Want to receive The Executive Briefing directly to your inbox? Subscribe here!
You've been subscribed!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Back to GetZedic.com

The Executive Briefing - Tuesday, February 7th

Why #diedsuddenly pushes vaccine lies & more


  • Levels of both COVID and flu are continuing to fall nationwide over the past two weeks. (CIDRAP)
  • Black Americans with long COVID struggle to access the care they need. (ABC)
  • After the public health emergency ends, the US could run out of free treatment and vaccines by summer. (SF Chronicle)
  • Family caregivers of those with long COVID face an extra strain. (NPR)
  • Spillover from bats likely caused COVID, and they’re a common vector for animal-to-human viral transmission. Researchers are studying fruit bats to work to prevent the next one. (KHN)
  • Despite conspiracy theories rampant on the internet right now, egg yolks do not protect against COVID, and that’s not why there’s an egg shortage… (AP)
  • The tripledemic affected 40% of US households, with nearly 3 in 10 having someone test positive for the flu, according to a new study. (KFF)

Public Health News:

  • A technicality in congressional language could keep groundbreaking RSV shots from kids who need them - it’s a monoclonal antibody shot and not a vaccine. (KHN)
  • Egg prices are dropping but the unprecedented size of the avian flu outbreak means that more bird-related shortages may come. (NPR)
  • More than 400 products from Fresh Creative Cuisine, including prepackaged breakfast and lunch items and fruit cups, were recalled for possible Listeria contamination. (CNN)
  • Hospital-acquired sepsis surged in California hospitals during the pandemic. (LA Times)
  • There’s a nationwide shortage of tests for Chronic Wasting Disease, a prion disease similar to Mad Cow that affects deer. While it’s not been found in humans, the CDC warns against eating CWD-infected meat. (CIDRAP)
  • A “huge jump” in pregnant women hospitalized with the flu is likely due to a drop in flu vaccination rates. (Denver Post)
  • H5N1 bird flu has been found to be spilling over into mammals in the US, including skunks, bears, foxes, and raccoons. (USA Today)
  • A woman in Washington state has refused treatment for tuberculosis, and public health officials are taking her to court as a last resort, since refusing to isolate with active TB puts others at risk. (NBC)

Mental Health News:

  • On Dec 1, 2022, a cyberattack on a telecommunications company caused a daylong voice calling outage of the 988 hotline. Texts and chat services still worked. (AP)
  • Governors in a dozen states are advocating for more money for mental health programs. (WSJ)

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Best Questions:

Why is this sub-variant called Kraken and what’s different about it?

A group of scientists nicknamed XBB.1.5 “Kraken” and it caught on from a viral tweet. This Omicron subvariant was likely created when someone was infected with two different subvariants that “recombined” into a new one. We now know that people can be infected with multiple variants at once and that new subvariants can occur from mutations or combinations of prior ones. While we haven’t seen many massive evolutionary leaps in the virus since Omicron cropped up, there’s always a possibility that a new variant wreaks havoc by better evading our immunity or being more severe. But we’re glad to report that the Kraken variant doesn’t cause more severe illness than previous variants, a trend that we’re hopeful will continue with the subsequent evolution of the virus.

When will we need our next booster dose?

There was a massive meeting of scientists and public health experts at the end of January to discuss this along with a bunch of other tricky issues. They’ve landed on an annual COVID vaccine in the fall, on roughly the same schedule as flu shots. They’ll meet in June to review the prevailing sub-variants and recommend which ones to target for mRNA vaccines, and those will be available in the fall, just like they do each year with targeting the flu strains that are circulating in the southern hemisphere. So, for those of us who have already gotten our updated bivalent booster (less than one in five eligible Americans!), we’ll likely get them each fall moving forward, unless another surge or new unforeseen variant arises mid-year. For those who haven’t yet gotten the updated booster, you are eligible right now! It prevents severe illness, reduces the chances of long COVID, and makes it more likely that your next brush with COVID will be a mild one. We should hear more after the ACIP meeting in mid-February about whether there’s any need for higher-risk folks to get another booster dose before the fall.

Is there any data that folks with updated boosters are better able to avoid long COVID?

Being fully vaccinated does cut your chances of getting long COVID. A study of nearly 100,000 patients in Scotland found that six to 18 months after coronavirus infection, nearly half had lingering symptoms ranging from mild to severe. That study reported that vaccination did provide some protection from long COVID, and it also found that asymptomatic infections didn’t generally lead to long COVID. So, getting the updated booster may not prevent you from getting COVID at all and having to isolate for five days, but it does reduce your chances of getting long COVID, which can happen to healthy people even with mild infections.

An employee cut themselves pretty badly in the kitchen. What do we need to do?

First, get the employee any medical help they need, and wear gloves while helping them! You should have a first aid kit readily available, but for more serious injuries, call 911. Once the employee has the help they need, you’ll start bloodborne pathogen clean up procedures. Every location should have a kit, which may vary but should have clear instructions inside. Generally, you’ll open the kit and put on protective equipment. Use a brush and dustpan to sweep any broken glass or objects that could cut you, and sprinkle a special powder over the spill area, which makes any liquid into a gel so that it’s easier to clean up. Then you’ll disinfect the area and let it soak (30 seconds for blood, 10 minutes for vomit) before using paper towels to scrub the area from the outside in and repeat that process twice. Check and disinfect any nearby reusable equipment. Soiled paper towels and protective items go into the biohazard bag that’s in the kit. Seal and dispose of the biohazard bag properly, which means sending in the ambulance with the patient, dropping it off at the local ambulance corps or ER, or calling the ER to find out the best local place to dispose of biohazard. Finally, carefully wash hands, arms, and face, and be sure to reorder a new bloodborne pathogen clean up kit right away. Depending on your company policy, managers may need to report the incident to HR.

Best Read:

'Died suddenly' posts twist tragedies to push vaccine lies | AP News

Share this article:

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.