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The Executive Briefing - Friday, April 7th

When to expect an inspection…

Health News:

  • A pet dog in Canada died after testing positive for bird flu. (USA Today)
  • Narcan, fentanyl test strips, COVID tests, and condoms will be available for free in vending machines throughout D.C. (Washington Post)
  • Prepping for next winter, experts are worried about vaccine hesitancy and its impact on flu and COVID shots, but also routine childhood vaccinations. (Medpage Today)
  • Two infants who were born to COVID-infected mothers were born with severe brain damage, underscoring the risks of COVID infection in pregnant people. (Reuters)
  • The WHO chief thinks that the global COVID emergency will be lifted by Thanksgiving. (Reuters)
  • Starbucks’ new olive oil infused drinks are causing people to complain of upset stomachs, though it’s likely related to the combo of oil and caffeine, not any foodborne illness. (NBC)
  • Researchers are studying gorilla viruses for insights that could help humans. (Washington Post)
  • India is seeing a major rise in COVID cases and is ramping up testing to track it. (Reuters)
  • TB screening has begun in San Diego after a person who visited a nonprofit’s sites multiple times was found to have active TB. This is in the same area and unhoused community where a Hep A outbreak started and spread nationwide. (SD Union Tribune)
  • NYC has seen an increase in invasive Group A strep infections, which can be life-threatening. They’re mostly in those 65+ though there’s a small increase in children, too. (NYC Health)

Mental Health News:

  • Reframing mass shootings as suicides might help prevent them. (MPR)
  • ‘Nature prescriptions’ can improve anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. (Guardian)

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

Best Questions:

Our employee tested positive for norovirus at the hospital. Should we expect a health inspection?

Yes! The lab is required to report a norovirus positive result to the health department, and since it’s so incredibly contagious and most major outbreaks include restaurants, you can basically guarantee that the health department will pay you a visit. Start daily wellness checks for your employees for the next few days, exclude anyone with GI symptoms, and do a thorough cleaning of your restaurant in advance of the inspection. Pull your most recent inspection report and make sure to address any violations you’ve previously been cited for. Double-check all handwashing-related items, as well, like making sure there’s soap in the dispensers, paper towels for drying hands, hot water in the sinks, and nothing blocking handwashing sinks. That’s because handwashing violations are of particular concern when norovirus might be spreading.

What is vaccine-derived polio? Should we be worried in the US?

In other parts of the world, an oral polio vaccine is used which contains a live, weakened version of the virus. In some rare cases, the virus can mutate and may spread to others who aren’t fully vaccinated, especially in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation or overcrowding. Most of the cases found from vaccine-derived strains are in Africa right now. In 2021, a newer, safer version of the oral vaccine was rolled out, which should help to reduce vaccine-derived polio across the world. In the US, we use a different polio vaccine without live virus, so our risk here is more about unvaccinated travelers who pick this up abroad, or for those who received the oral vaccine in their childhood in another country who pass it to unvaccinated people once they arrive in the US. This isn’t something widespread in the US, and the best course of action is to ensure that you and your children are vaccinated against polio.

An employee’s family member was diagnosed with MRSA. Can they work?

MRSA is a bacteria that causes a staph infection that’s drug-resistant and can sometimes be severe, even requiring hospitalization. Even if a family member or housemate has a diagnosed MRSA infection, your employee can almost certainly continue to work since MRSA only spreads through skin-to-skin contact when both parties have open wounds. Unless that’s happened, your employee should be in the clear.

Best Read

A new flu is spilling over from cows to people in the U.S. How worried should we be? | NPR

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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.