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.
The CDC’s isolation guidelines for COVID positive people who have symptoms have not changed. They still recommend 5 days of isolation at a minimum. People can end isolation after 5 days if they are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, and if symptoms are improving. For those who still have symptoms, or if they test positive “toward the end” of their 5 days, they should continue to isolate until Day 10. For our purposes, we’ve defined “toward the end” as Day 3-5. Any employees who chat in having tested positive again on Days 3, 4 or 5 will continue to be extended to a 10-day exclusion from their symptom start date. The CDC does recommend 10 days rather than 5 for those with moderate to severe illness, but that’s a very small percentage of people that is reduced almost to zero if you consider that they’ll be extended to 10 days if they still have symptoms. Most people with moderate to severe cases will not be ready to return at Day 5.
No, the virus that causes shingles and chickenpox is a different virus that’s not related to monkeypox. Although both have ‘pox’ in the name, there is no cross-protection for those who have had one but not the other. If you’ve had chickenpox or shingles in the past, you’re not protected against monkeypox and should still take all the recommended precautions.
Yes, if you’re up to date on childhood vaccines in the US, you’ve almost certainly been vaccinated against polio. Only those who aren’t up to date on standard US childhood vaccines are not. The polio case in New York state was in an unvaccinated young adult, and most public health experts believe the virus found in wastewater is spreading through unvaccinated people. Young kids who haven’t yet completed their vaccination series may also be at risk, so it’s important to get your children vaccinated on time.
Probably, yes - at least to some degree. Scientists are still studying the new monkeypox virus, but most believe that childhood smallpox vaccines - given before 1972 in the US - do provide some level of protection against monkeypox. Exactly how much protection is unclear. The US stopped vaccinating kids against smallpox in 1972 because it was irradiated in the country, so anyone born after that has likely not been vaccinated if they grew up in the US.
A quick note: we’re skipping Friday’s Executive Briefing for a brief vacation! We’ll be back next Tuesday.
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.