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Cyclospora, Listeria, & Hep A in the news

The Executive Briefing - Friday, June 23rd

Health News:

  • More frozen fruit has been recalled, this time for Listeria in Sunrise brands. (Axios)
  • The NYC DOH has issued an alert for Legionnaires disease and Pontiac disease (extrapulmonary legionella). NY state now has the highest incidence of Legionnaires in the country. (NYC DOH)
  • The WHO is investigating a woman’s death from swine flu in Brazil who didn’t have direct contact with pigs. They still aren’t very concerned about person to person transmission. (CBS)
  • NY will become one of the first states to expand post-COVID telehealth laws, specifically to protect providers who prescribe abortion medications to patients in other states. (Axios)
  • A US-funded researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology was one of three researchers who fell ill early in the COVID pandemic, fueling suspicion of a lab leak. (WSJ)
  • The tranquilizer xylazine (aka Tranq) worsens the life-threatening effects of opioids and makes them harder to reverse. (STAT)
  • Measles cases have been reported in California’s central valley, just as the CDC warns those planning to travel internationally this summer to be aware of rising measles cases among unvaccinated travelers. (LA Times, CDC) 
  • The COVID vaccine doesn't harm ovarian or reproductive health. (CIDRAP)
  • A new study confirmed that just two people out of 18 infected with COVID in a controlled study shed 86% of the airborne virus. (Nature)
  • New York City has extended its COVID Emergency Declaration, with the mayor citing the many ways NYC still hasn't recovered. (NBC NY)
  • The CDC will recommend the RSV vaccine for anyone 65 and older, with a number voting to allow it for anyone 60-64, as well. (NBC)
  • Two cases of locally acquired malaria have been found in Florida, most recently in someone who spent extensive time outside. (Health News FL)
  • A USPS mail carrier died of possible heat-related illness in Texas. (Dallas Morning News)
  • While one cyclospora outbreak investigation was closed (likely broccoli from Guatemala), a second one has grown to 210 reported cases. (CDC)

Mental Health News: 

  • Both suicides and homicides among young Americans jumped early in the pandemic. (AP)
  • Loneliness and a lack of social relationships really do lead to increased mortality. (Nature)
  • A panel recommended anxiety screening for all adults under 65. (NBC)
  • Millennial celebrities are helping to change mental health stigma. (Washington Post)

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 should we do if we used Hep A contaminated frozen berries? 

As the frozen berry recall expands to include more products from a wider selection of providers, the chances that you’ve used or still have recalled berries may be growing. First, if you have any recalled product left, be sure to discard it immediately. Since these are frozen berries, be sure to check all of your freezers to make sure you have none left. Anyone who ate the recalled berries within the last two weeks should consult their medical provider to discuss prophylactic vaccination.

Source: FDA

Could the Fourth of July cause a COVID spike? 

Generally, we’re less worried about Juneteenth, Fourth of July, and other summer holidays in terms of COVID spikes because they are often celebrations that are held outdoors. Great ventilation paired with low case counts across the country mean that we’re hopeful that this year’s Independence Day activities won’t be too risky. Of course, if you’re feeling sick, you should skip that party, even if it’s outdoors, to protect those you care about. 

Source: LA Times

Why is the CDC recommending measles vaccination before summer travel? 

The measles is an incredibly transmissible virus, and each summer, lots of Americans travel to other countries where there are active measles outbreaks. Over the past few years, vaccination rates have dropped considerably for the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine, which is usually standard for US kids. If you or your family aren’t vaccinated for measles and are headed to an area where it’s active, you should make sure to get two doses of the MMR vaccine at least two weeks before your travel date. Kids as young as 12 months are eligible. 

Source: NBC

Best Read:

NY Times:  Suddenly, It Looks Like We're in the Golden Age for Medicine

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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.