Want to receive The Executive Briefing directly to your inbox? Subscribe here!
You've been subscribed!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Back to GetZedic.com

Heat, smoke, & worker health 🔥

The Executive Briefing - Friday, June 30th

Health News:

  • Some US foodborne illnesses topped pre-pandemic levels in 2022. (CIDRAP)
  • Wildfire smoke is back in the midwest, affecting at least 80 million people this week and creating unsafe air quality conditions for those who work outside. (CNN)
  • Common cold viruses are returning after a pandemic hiatus, with adenovirus in particular more common this summer than last. (NBC)
  • Norovirus is spreading through cruise ships at the fastest pace in years. (WSJ)
  • People with type A blood may be more easily infected with SARS-CoV-2. (Blood)
  • States and the CDC will start tracking cronobacter cases after last year’s infant formula contamination crisis. (Washington Post)
  • Tick and mosquito season is shaping up to be severe this year. (NBC)
  • Lysol has created an ‘air sanitizing spray’ that kills 99.9% of airborne viruses and bacteria. It’s been EPA-approved. (Reuters)
  • Hepatitis C treatment is underused because of high costs and insurance restrictions. (NPR)
  • An at-home Lyme disease test currently in development may help people get earlier diagnoses. (Fox)
  • The FDA gave ‘fast-track’ designations to a gonorrhea vaccine from GSK and an experimental drug to prevent flu. (Reuters, CIDRAP)
  • The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act went into effect this week, requiring employers with 15+ employees to provide reasonable accommodations, which may include longer breaks or more time off. (NBC)
  • It’s not just drug shortages - healthcare systems are short on syringes, chest tubes, and items needed for CT scans, causing major disruptions. (Axios)
  • The first new TB shot in over a century is entering a phase 3 clinical trial. (STAT)

Mental Health News:

  • The FDA has created a path for psychedelic drug trials for the first time for mental and behavioral health. (Axios)
  • The growing view of gun violence as an epidemic may help the US limit it. (NPR)

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:

It’s unbelievably hot at some of our locations. What can we do to protect our team?

Texas and other parts of the South are having a heatwave that makes them hotter than most other places on the planet right now. The ‘feels-like’ temp could get up to 125 degrees, which can be deadly for people who are out in that heat. The primary concern is heatstroke, when a person may be dizzy, confused, have a high heart rate, pass out, and ultimately may die if untreated. Be prepared to call 911 and cool their body immediately. Have ice or ice packs on hand and train managers to
Source: CNN

Wildfire smoke is affecting our employees even indoors. What can we do?

Smoke from the Canadian fires is still impacting huge portions of the US with terrible air quality. By the time your employees even get to work, they may already feel the effects of smoke - more so if they walk or use public transportation. Do your best to keep the outside air out; close windows and don’t prop doors open. Make sure your HVAC system is at the max settings and isn’t set to fresh air intake. Don’t add any unnecessary pollutants; consider skipping real candles if you normally put them on the tables. If you have masks on hand, make them available for your employees to wear on their commute. If an employee complains of health complications, take them seriously and encourage them to seek medical help - wildfire smoke can be particularly harmful for people with asthma, COPD, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as pregnant people and kids.
Source: CDC

I’ve heard the bird flu is becoming more likely to infect humans. What’s going on?

It’s true that there are a number of mutations in the various strains of H5N1 bird flu out there right now that might help the virus make the jump from birds to humans. There’s one specific protein called butyrophilin in human airways and lungs that generally stops most bird flu viruses from replicating, but some of the current H5N1 strains are better adapted to overcome it. Nearly all of the human cases we’ve seen in the past few years, which are spreading from birds to humans, include those mutations. But the virus isn’t spreading between humans, which means there are still more genetic mutations that would need to take place for this avian flu outbreak to become a human outbreak. Still, it’s something that we and all of the epidemiologists we know are keeping an eye on, and is a good reason to use your lessons learned from COVID to spruce up your future pandemic plan.
Source: New Scientist

Best Read:

When the Patient Gets There First: Is immediate access to test results always a good thing? | Mara G. Aspinall

Note: We’re off next Tuesday for the 4th of July and will be back next Friday. Enjoy your holiday celebrations!

Share this article:

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.