If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Shigella is a bacteria and noro is a virus, but they both cause similar GI symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea. Both noro and shigella can spread via contaminated food and contact with infected people, especially if they haven’t washed their hands thoroughly. Noro tends to be quicker, with a fast onset and symptoms resolving within a few days, but shigella can last five days to a week or more. Unlike shigella, there is a season when noro is more common - and we’re coming up on the end of it in April, though cases can and do still occur all year long. Both are high in the US right now, and together they’re the top causes of “stomach flu” outbreaks in schools and childcare settings. At the end of the day, if you’re not sure what kind of stomach bug it is, it’s safest to keep employees sick with noro or shigella-like symptoms home for a full 48 hours after their symptoms end.
Yes, long COVID is having a major impact on employers everywhere. One Harvard estimate puts the economic costs at $3.7 trillion. Healthcare costs are predicted to be $9000 higher for those with long COVID than those who were infected but don’t have long-term symptoms. It’s primarily affecting employers via labor costs. Long COVID is a major underlying factor in the labor shortage - over half with long COVID who were working before they got sick are now working fewer hours or are out of work. The number of leaves of absence and employees requiring accommodations has increased across nearly all of our clients. And long COVID patients have a 3.6 greater likelihood of missing work for medical reasons. The good news is that recent studies have shown that long COVID symptoms do get better for the majority of people over time, with most recovering within six months, and less than 10% still feeling symptoms after a year.
Hepatitis B testing is done via blood tests, so it’s not likely something that an employer would offer directly. You can certainly let your employees know that it’s recommended. If you offer Hep B vaccines to your new employees, that could be a good time to share with them that a Hep B test is recommended by the CDC. At the end of the day, Hep B is less of a workplace issue unless your employees come into contact with blood or needles. Most of our clients aren’t changing their policies now that the CDC recommends an adulthood Hep B screening.
Congratulations! You’ve managed to dodge COVID up until now. There’s a possibility that a small percentage of the population has genetic mutations that make them less likely to get COVID. But it’s also likely luck. Most people in the US have gotten it at this point - 60% of the population at least, though the actual number is likely significantly higher from those that never tested or never reported that test. Remember, COVID can be asymptomatic, which means you may have had it and simply not had any symptoms. Still, there are people who managed to dodge testing positive for COVID until just this month - including a few on our own ZHH team! That said, there’s some research linking specific genes with those who only had asymptomatic COVID, and there’s certainly the possibility that some people are genetically more likely to be immune. Still, it’s wiser to assume that you’re not the very rare super-immune and instead just very, very lucky. In time, you may be infected and should still take precautions to limit your exposure.