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Head lice in the workplace?

The Executive Briefing - Tuesday, July 11th

Health News:

  • The Biden Administration announced a plan to reduce deaths from fentanyl-laced with xylazine, called “tranq dope.” (NBC)
  • Temps will be over 100 degrees in multiple states this week, and up to 120 degrees in the Southwest this weekend. (Bloomberg)
  • A dose of the antibiotic doxycycline taken shortly after sex can help lower the risk of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. (NPR)
  • Europe is probing whether Ozempic use raises risk of suicidal thoughts. (WSJ)
  • A new air monitor can detect COVID variants in just 5 minutes. (CIDRAP)
  • Kidney stones are increasing in kids and teen girls, but doctors aren’t sure why. Diet, overuse of antibiotics, and hotter summers may be to blame. (NBC)
  • Substance use disorder is climbing among seniors. (NY Times)
  • Early data from a trial of an oral bivalent norovirus vaccine points towards it being effective. (Clinical Trials Arena)
  • Florida has two more malaria cases, bringing its total to six. (NBC)
  • Legionnaires’ disease sickened four people at a retirement community in Texas. (Houston Chronicle)
  • A Wisconsin woman died of blastomyces, a rare fungus found in soil in the midwest. (Fox)
  • More HIV cases are linked to a now-closed New Mexico salon that gave ‘vampire facials.’ (NBC)

Mental Health News:

  • Mental health peer respite facilities are filling care caps in over a dozen states. (KFF Health)
  • The NYC hotline to advise police on whether to force someone into involuntary psych evaluations has gotten zero calls since it went live on Jan. 31. (Politico)
  • Gut health and mental health are linked, and scientists are studying the connection to improve treatment options. (NPR)
  • Use of the 988 mental health crisis line has soared in Minnesota, with May seeing 74% more calls compared to the year before. (MPR)

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or need help, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Best Questions

What is ‘Long Vax Syndrome’? How can we talk about it with vaccine-hesitant coworkers?

All vaccines can cause rare side effects in some people, like heart inflammation that we’ve all heard about. Some people have had a variety of symptoms that resemble Long COVID after vaccination rather than infection. For a long time, doctors and researchers were unclear if this was really linked to vaccination or whether these people might have gotten COVID without knowing it. Over the past few months, more of the scientific and public health community is accepting that some rare cases may be linked to vaccines, though there is still very little research and nothing concrete confirming that vaccines caused these symptoms. Either way, ‘Long Vax’ is much, much rarer than Long COVID is after infection, and it’s important to emphasize that vaccine benefits far outweigh the risk. Is it possible that in some rare cases, vaccines cause similar symptoms to long COVID? Yes. But you’re far more likely to get Long COVID after getting a serious case of COVID - and the vaccine is still the best way to protect from that.
Source: Science

We have some employees with head lice. What should we do?

We’re getting lots of calls about head lice right now, so you’re not alone. First, don’t panic - head lice are unpleasant and contagious, but they don’t spread disease. They aren’t indicators of poor hygiene and are actually very common, especially among young children. The employees should go home and treat their lice at least once before returning to work, usually with an over-the-counter medicated shampoo. They can ask their doctor or pharmacist for advice if they need it. In your business, any common areas with high-backed chairs, cots for napping, or shared clothing with collars that touch the base of the neck should be disinfected or washed and dried on high heat. Your pest control expert can do an inspection for you but the use of insecticide sprays or fogs is not recommended and aren’t necessary to control lice.
Source: CDC, SHRM

What are the symptoms of malaria?

Malaria symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Sometimes, they also include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms can take a while - from 10 to 30 days after being bit by a mosquito. Malaria can be misdiagnosed as a virus, especially since it’s so rare in non-travelers in the US. With new cases in Texas and Florida, it’s something to keep an eye out for, but it’s not an acute concern for businesses right now. General mosquito control is still crucial to prevent other diseases like West Nile.
Source: NBC

Best Read:

Study spotlights personal, health system impact of long COVID | CIDRAP

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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.