Wednesday, August 3rd at 3pm ET
Join us tomorrow for a 30 minute flash briefing to discuss what employers need to know about monkeypox. We’ll cover what steps you need to take to keep the impact on your business to a minimum. Register here.
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.
Yes, you should isolate yourself if you're having symptoms, but especially if someone in your household has confirmed COVID. It can take a few days after your symptoms first start for you to test positive on a rapid test. While it’s possible you have some other illness in a strange coincidence, it’s also possible that you have COVID and just have a low viral load in your nose. If you’re having symptoms, you’re probably sick enough to be contagious even if the test isn’t showing it – assume you have COVID and isolate for five days at least from your own symptom start date.
You should always check with your own doctor before starting any medication, but just because there's a possibility of a rebound doesn’t necessarily mean you should skip Paxlovid. There is a chance that you’ll experience more symptoms after recovering and need to isolate again, but that’s a small price to pay compared to what could happen without it for those who are high-risk enough to meet the criteria for being prescribed the antiviral medication in the first place. Taking Paxlovid may have some side effects (including a famously bad taste in your mouth), but it drastically reduces the chances of severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Your doctor will work with you to assess your risk, ensure you’re not taking any medications that could interact poorly with the drug, and make a decision that’s right for you.
Wildfire season is getting longer and more severe due to climate change, so businesses in wildfire country should be prepared. The biggest issue for most employers will be protecting employees (and guests) from bad air. Air purifiers work well indoors, and most restaurants and commercial offices have stepped up their air filtration due to COVID. If you haven’t, that’s a great place to start that can help reduce COVID spread, as well. Employers should monitor air quality - anything over 150 AQI means that workers outside should have an N95 mask on. On days with such poor air quality, closing windows and doors is recommended, as well. And, as always, you should have an emergency plan in place in case you need to evacuate.
Yes, there is an FDA-approved drug called TPOXX that was designed to treat smallpox and does work to alleviate the symptoms of monkeypox, as well. The US has nearly 2 million doses in stockpile, but since it’s not specifically meant for monkeypox, it can be tough to actually get it prescribed. Until recently, it even required the doctor to send the CDC detailed reports that included photos and a journal kept by the patient, which made it even harder to prescribe. Now, the CDC has made it easier to prescribe, but patients are still reporting delays in getting the drug, which can extend how long patients suffer from sometimes-excruciating pain.
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.