Posts Tagged HEALTH

These Are the 10 States

5 July 2022
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with the Most Monkeypox Cases

Monkeypox has now been found in 31 U.S. states, as well as Washington D.C., as part of an outbreak that has seen over 5,700 confirmed cases worldwide across 52 countries. That’s according to data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Monkeypox is a virus originally passed to humans from animals and usually seen in Central and West Africa. However, it is currently spreading in populations within non-endemic countries across the world, including rapidly in Europe and North America. Symptoms may include fever, headaches, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion, followed by a pustulous skin rash that may scar. These symptoms are similar, but less clinically severe, to those of smallpox, which was eradicated in the 1980s.

While some earlier cases have been associated with gay and bisexual men—with many U.S. cases being linked to a single event—anyone of any sexuality can contract the disease, and there is no conclusive evidence at this point in time that monkeypox is definitively a sexually transmitted disease.

According to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, the risk level is still undecided. “I think it would be risky to classify it as low, medium or high,” he said in a statement. “Given the numbers, I would not say right now, at this particular point, that it is a ‘high risk.’ But the numbers may increase, which means we’ve just got to be careful and pay attention.”

The CDC plans to allocate vaccines to states based on case rate, focusing on men who have sex with men. There are two types of vaccine being sent out: JYNNEOS, which is in limited supply in the U.S., and ACAM2000, which there are plenty of in the U.S., but cannot be used in people who have weakened immune systems, skin conditions like atopic dermatitis/eczema, or pregnancy. More JYNNEOS vaccines are expected to arrive in the U.S. in the coming weeks. Patients are fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second shot of JYNNEOS and 4 weeks after ACAM2000.

The ten states with the highest numbers of cases are California, New York, Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland.

The District of Columbia also has the fifth highest case rate of any municipal region in the U.S.

California
A total of 95 monkeypox cases have now been identified in California, according to the official CDC count as of July 5.

The California Department of Public Health said in a statement: “Monkeypox testing is currently available through 10 public health laboratories in California, but capacity is limited. CDPH is working with partners to identify additional testing laboratories and to increase testing capacity. At this time, we ask that health care providers work with their LHD to determine if patients meet clinical and epidemiological criteria for monkeypox virus testing.”

New York
New York has recorded 96 cases of monkeypox as of July 1, with 87 in New York City, 5 in Westchester County, 1 in Sullivan County, 1 in Chemung County, 1 in Rockland County and 1 in Suffolk County. The state is due to receive an initial batch of nearly 6,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine from the federal government.

The New York State Department of Health has warned locals that “based on previous outbreaks of monkeypox around the world, some groups may also be at heightened risk for severe outcomes if they contract monkeypox. This includes people with weakened immune systems, elderly New Yorkers, young children under 8 years of age, and pregnant people.”

Illinois
Some 53 monkeypox cases have now been reported in Illinois, as of the CDC count on July 5. The Illinois Department of Public Health is reportedly receiving 1,291 doses of the monkeypox JYNNEOS vaccine for use outside of Chicago, with the Chicago Department of Public Health being allocated a separate 3,200 doses.

Florida
Florida has 51 cases of monkeypox according to the current CDC count. This is occurring in parallel to the recent outbreak of meningococcal disease, which is also primarily affected the LGBTQ+ community in the state.

District of Columbia
Washington D.C has 31 monkeypox cases so far. On June 27, it was announced by Mayor Bowser and DC Health that a limited amount of free monkeypox vaccination appointments would soon be available to eligible District residents, which requires being 18 years of age or older and either being a gay bisexual, and other man who has had multiple sexual partners or any anonymous sexual partners in the last 14 days, a transgender women or nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men, or a sex worker.

Massachusetts
Massachusetts now has 23 confirmed monkeypox cases, with eight new cases, all of which are in isolation, being announced by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on June 30.

Pennsylvania
According to the latest CDC count, Pennsylvania has 14 confirmed cases of monkeypox as of July 5. At least seven of these cases are in the Philadelphia area.

Texas
Some 12 monkeypox cases are currently recorded in Texas, three of whom did not travel in the three weeks before becoming sick, meaning they were exposed in Texas.

“With the sharp increase in monkeypox cases worldwide, it’s not surprising to see the virus spread in Texas,” said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, chief state epidemiologist, in a news release on June 30. “We want people to know what the symptoms are, and if they have symptoms, to avoid the types of close contact with other people that can spread the disease.”

Virginia
Virginia has recorded 11 cases of monkeypox as of July 5, the majority of whom are in the north of the state.

According to the Virginia Department of Health website, “for all reported close contacts of monkeypox cases, VDH will monitor their health for 21 days after their last exposure to a case and, if needed, will coordinate vaccination for high-risk contacts.”

Georgia
As of July 5, 11 cases have also been reported in Georgia, increasing since June 20, when the state reportedly only had three cases.

Maryland
Maryland has seven reported cases of monkeypox so far.

“Although human monkeypox is a rare infection in the United States, this Maryland case and other cases in the region and country remind us that we need to be prepared and take steps to prevent infection and its spread,” said Maryland Department of Health Deputy Secretary for Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan in a news release on June 16. “MDH will continue to work with local and federal public health authorities and communicate responsibly with Maryland residents as we learn more.”

Taipei’s COVID PCR testing reserved only for highly-likely cases from April 30

1 May 2022
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Capital’s mayor Ko Wen-je asks people not to take advantage of free PCR testing service

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei residents are urged to seek PCR testing for COVID-19 only when they have tested positive from self-administered screening, to preserve the capital’s medical capacity.

Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) noted in a briefing on Friday (April 29) that with cases rising, the services of the city’s seven free PCR testing sites need to be optimized to avoid a strain on hospitals. The facilities will be reserved for those with a positive result from a rapid test starting Saturday (April 30).

Ko made a plea for people not to take advantage of medical resources without first conducting a home test and without having developed any symptoms. “Please do not use the screening capacity as a health check-up,” Ko pleaded.

The seven hospitals where free PCR testing services are available are Taipei City Hospital Zhongxing, Heping, Yangming, and Zhongxiao branches, as well as Wanfang Hospital and Taipei Guandu hospital. The institutes have a combined capacity of 4,000 PCR tests a day and positive rates had climbed from less than 1% to 13% as of Thursday (April 28).

According to Ko, the capital is adapting its epidemic control measures by treating those positive from rapid tests as confirmed cases. This is based on science as figures from the seven sites have indicated a 88.57% match of people shown to have COVID both from home-based and hospital-carried-out tests.

Hospitals in Taipei have been asked to allocate 15% of their wards for COVID patients and run at reduced capacity, including halting unnecessary surgery. The government is still studying to what extent can the city cope – the breaking point, prompted by which to implement a “soft lockdown,” involving restricting people’s movements, banning dine-in services, and promoting remote working, Ko said.

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Are Child Hepatitis Cases Linked to COVID-19 Vaccines?

27 April 2022
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In the past few weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported an outbreak of hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) in children across the globe including in the U.S., UK, Ireland, Spain, and France.

However, this has fueled speculation on conspiracy websites such as The Expose, purporting a link between the rollout of vaccines and hepatitis.

In an article published on April 22, 2022, The Expose claimed there is evidence that links COVID-19 vaccines to the recent rise in hepatitis cases among children.

The article suggests one such study by Pfizer “proves that the mRNA jab accumulates in the liver causing hepatitis.”

The claim has spread on social media alongside pre-existing anti-vaccine or vaccine-skeptic narratives, and not only in English but in Spanish and German, too.

While the scale of the outbreak differs around the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it has received reports on a total of 169 cases in 12 countries of the WHO European and Americas regions.

In the U.S., severe hepatitis is suspected in three Illinois children as of 26 April, 2022; in total there are 11 recorded cases in the States so far, nine by WHO and two by health authorities in North Carolina.

Globally, the majority of cases were reported in the UK. On April 25, 2022, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said the total number of confirmed cases was 111.

The UKHSA said none of the confirmed cases in under 10s were vaccinated, stating: “There is no link to the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.” WHO has also said the vast majority of affected children have not been vaccinated.

UKHSA added the cases predominantly were among under-fives, with initial symptoms of gastroenteritis, followed by the onset of jaundice. The age threshold in the UK for the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine is 5 years and over. People aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, can also get a booster dose.

Instead, initial investigations into the hepatitis outbreak are pointing to adenovirus as a possible cause. Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that can cause a variety of illnesses such as bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throat, and inflammation of the stomach.

In testing, the UKHSA said adenovirus was the most common pathogen, detected in 75 percent of 53 confirmed cases. Another 16 percent of cases tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Meera Chand, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections at UKHSA, said in a statement emailed to Newsweek: “Information gathered through our investigations increasingly suggests that this rise in sudden onset hepatitis in children is linked to adenovirus infection. However, we are thoroughly investigating other potential causes.”

She added that parents and guardians should be alert to the signs of hepatitis (including jaundice) and to contact a healthcare professional if they are concerned.

“Normal hygiene measures such as thorough handwashing (including supervising children) and good thorough respiratory hygiene, help to reduce the spread of many common infections, including adenovirus,” Chand said.

“Children experiencing symptoms of a gastrointestinal infection including vomiting and diarrhea should stay at home and not return to school or nursery until 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.”

The WHO has stated that while adenovirus is one likely underlying cause, “it does not fully explain the severity of the clinical picture.”

It added: “Factors such as increased susceptibility amongst young children following a lower level of circulation of adenovirus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the potential emergence of a novel adenovirus, as well as SARS-CoV-2 co-infection, need to be further investigated.”

So where does the baseless claim about COVID-19 vaccines originate from?

In its article, The Expose quoted research examining the link between COVID-19 vaccines and the liver.

One study, carried out on rats (with concentrations relatively far higher than a typical human dose) found a high concentration of lipid particles from the Pfizer vaccine detected in the liver following injection.

While observations and studies into the long-term effects of various COVID-19 vaccines will continue for some years, health authorities around the world affirm that the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

False.

There is no evidence of a link between COVID-19 vaccines and hepatitis cases in children. As stated by the UKHSA and WHO, no link between vaccines and hepatitis has been established as the majority of cases are of those who have not been vaccinated. Researchers and scientists say they are still grappling with finding the underlying cause or causes of this spike in cases, although early examinations suggest a type of adenovirus may be involved.

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