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Just today, the FDA announced that certain groups are eligible for a second updated booster dose. Those 65 and older and people with certain kinds of immunocompromise are eligible for a second bivalent dose, but the vast majority of Americans are still just eligible for one single dose of the updated bivalent booster. If you’re 65 and up, you can get a second updated booster at least four months after your first. If you are immunocompromised, you can get another updated booster at least two months after your first, and can continue to get additional doses at the discretion of your doctor. Still, only about one in five eligible Americans have gotten their updated booster, so this latest update only applies to a very small percentage. You can still get your updated booster dose if you haven’t yet!
It’s true that a man in Chile has been hospitalized with bird flu, and that an analysis of the virus shows two new mutations that have previously been shown to help the virus replicate better in mammals. That said, these changes alone probably aren’t enough to mean it can spread easily between humans, so the public health risk is still low. We aren’t worried about an imminent bird flu outbreak among humans, but we are worried on a longer timescale, and think everyone from governments to corporations should have their next pandemic plan in place.
Food processing plants already test for Salmonella, but it requires sending samples off to a lab and usually takes at least a day to return. Right now, there’s not usually testing at the food preparation stage, unless something has already gone wrong. A new German study hopes to create a quicker, one-hour rapid test that turns red if the sample has Salmonella, similar to a COVID test. It’s still very much in the development stage, but a branch of Toyota is a major investor, so they’re already thinking about commercializing the test. Whether it makes sense to use regularly in restaurants or food prep as part of a standard QA procedure remains to be seen, but we think it could be incredibly helpful to reduce risk before a high-profile event or to implement it for a period of time when there’s an unknown source for an ongoing outbreak. We’ll eagerly await these being readily available on the market, but that’s not likely for a number of years.
This depends. If it was more than a few days ago, no other employees are showing signs of illness, and there are no guest illness complaints, you’re probably in the clear. But if the employee worked in the 48 hours before or immediately after their symptoms ended, they were probably still shedding the virus, so you should do a full sanitizing in those cases. In many cases we’re seeing lately, other employees are getting sick, too. Even if they don’t work while sick, if you’ve heard of multiple employees in different households coming down with noro-like symptoms, it’s the safest bet to do a full noro sanitizing to make sure you’re breaking the cycle of illness.