If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
There are reports that the CDC is about to reduce or even eliminate exclusion requirements for close contact for those who are unvaccinated or not up to date, and de-emphasize the 6 foot, 15 minute rule defining close contact. We’re waiting to see exactly what they publish, but expect to have to make some changes to our exclusion chart based on these updates. Our sources say these might come in the next few days.
The current outbreak of monkeypox is very rarely fatal. Over 99% of people survive. People with weakened immune systems, children under 8, people with a history of eczema, and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be more likely to get seriously ill or die. There’s another strain of monkeypox in the Congo Basin that is not the one circulating worldwide right now, which has a higher mortality rate of about 10%, which may be contributing to some confusion about just how deadly monkeypox can be. As of August 3, 2022, nearly 25,000 confirmed cases have led to 10 deaths worldwide, with more than half in West Africa where it’s endemic.
Monkeypox spreads primarily through close physical contact with rash, lesions, scabs, or body fluids. It can also spread through respiratory droplets spread through prolonged, close, face-to-face contact or during intimate contact like kissing and sex. Touching clothing or linens that were in contact with the infectious rash or body fluids can also spread the virus, though we’re still learning exactly how long it can live on surfaces. You can’t get monkeypox from someone who is asymptomatic. Anyone can get monkeypox if they have close physical contact with someone who has symptoms of monkeypox. You can’t get monkeypox from a brief conversation, touching a doorknob or money, or really any short, casual contact.
Monkeypox virus can live on clothing, bedsheets, and other linens, though for how long is still being studied. The virus can spread if someone’s monkeypox rash, lesions, or scabs touch the fabric for a prolonged period of time, and then someone else touches the fabric for a prolonged period of time. Aprons, ties, and other items worn over clothing are less likely to spread the virus because they don’t have prolonged contact with skin, but if any employee has worked with an active rash or lesions, any linens they used or touch should be carefully laundered. If possible, the sick person should handle their own laundry until it’s clean. Anyone else handling it should wear gloves and a mask and carefully fold rather than shake the dirty fabric. Normal laundry settings with detergent is fine to clean the fabric.
Experts are warning that a 'twindemic' of COVID and the flu might finally be upon us this coming fall. So far, we in the US have been able to avoid this, but with flu cases already rising in July, and COVID cases surging again, health experts are worried we will be following in Australia and New Zealand's footsteps straight to a twindemic.
The key is simple: make sure no employee works sick.
If you don't have an employee health monitoring program, now is a great time to start. And you can help prevent a 'twindemic' from hitting your business hard by providing a flu shot and/or COVID booster program for your employees. Keeping employees (and customers!) healthy is not just good practice, it protects your bottom line.
Learn more about starting a program by scheduling a 15 minute chat with us here.