Pediatric deaths increase to 53 as US suffers from influenza outbreak — CDC

admin   •   February 7, 2018   •   2970

The United States is facing worst flu outbreak in a decade.

Federal health officials said that at least 16 more children died of the flu over the past week and more states are reporting high levels of illness.

Based on the latest report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over the winter season, 53 children have died and flu-related hospital admissions are at an all-time high.

In Atlanta, Georgia, Grady Memorial hospital opened a temporary mobile emergency room enclosed in plastic tents to handle a 25 percent increase in visits in the month of January.

“We really need to bring in additional resources, and it really needs to be the best that it can be for our patients.” said medical director Dr. Hany Atallah.

The dominant strain during this flu season is called influenza a or H3N2 that in seasons past was linked with severe disease and death, especially in the elderly and young.

“The very old and the very young are the group that tends to be in the most danger of catching the flu,” said the director.

In January this year, New York already has 7, 779 flu-positive patients according to the New York state department. In Presbyterian Hospital, health measures are strictly implemented to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We promote and administer seasonal influenza vaccine to all our staff and patient. We added standard on droplet precautions. That’s very important. the most important is to wear a mask and wash your hands,” said Roberta Torre, a registered nurse at Presbyterian Hospital.

The United States is now 10 weeks into the current flu season, which is expected to last for at least several more weeks.

CDC continues to recommend the flu vaccine, not only to prevent flu but potentially lessen its severity. Strains of the flu with greater vaccine susceptibility are expected to become more common as the season progresses, according to the agency. — Reuters

 

US advises citizens vs traveling to PH due to COVID-19 situation

Maris Federez   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines –The United States (US) government has issued an advisory for its citizens to avoid travel to the Philippines due to a “high-level” of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the Philippines due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country,” the US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) announced in its website.

The CA said that aside from COVID-19, crimes, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping are among the reasons cited by the CDC in placing the Philippines on Level 4 advisory.

The bureau advises US citizens to exercise increased caution in going to the Philippines, and to “read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.”

“There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into the Philippines,” the CA said.

The Do Not Travel advisory specifically indicated the Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping; and Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest.

It also advised to Reconsider Travel to other areas of Mindanao due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

The State Department added that should US citizens decide to travel to the Philippines, they must visit the U.S. Embassy’s webpage regarding COVID-19, the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19, monitor local media for breaking events, and adjust their plans based on new information, and other follow other precautions specified.

Countries that were issued a Level 4 travel warning include Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, and Spain among others.  —/mbmf

CDC reverses earlier COVID-19 guidance that said asymptomatic people may not need testing

Maris Federez   •   September 19, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday (US Eastern Time) reversed its controversial coronavirus testing guidance that said people who were exposed to an infected person but weren’t showing any symptoms “do not necessarily need a test.”

The new guidance says that people who have been in close contact with an infected person and do not have symptoms “need a test.”

“Due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guidance further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic persons, including close contacts of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the CDC says.

The agency defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes.

The CDC guidance reversal followed criticisms from public health specialists on the agency’s change in testing guidance in August that seemed to downplay the significance of testing people who don’t have symptoms but could be spreading the virus.

The new guidance also advised people who are waiting for their test results to “self-quarantine/isolate at home and stay separated from household members to the extent possible and use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.”

The CDC also reiterated its recommendations to follow “measures to mitigate the spread of the virus and to protect people at increased risk of severe illness:  social distancing, wearing a mask when social distancing is not possible, avoiding crowds, avoiding indoor crowded spaces, and washing or sanitizing hands frequently.” —/mbmf

Know: How to prevent novel coronavirus infection —CDC

Maris Federez   •   January 31, 2020

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

As a reminder, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

These include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact their healthcare provider immediately. — (with details from Yam Escala) /mbmf

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