If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
There’s a huge issue right now with shortages of certain prescription drugs, including the diabetes drug Ozempic, the antibiotic Amoxicillin, and the ADHD medication Adderall. For employers, this is causing unexpected issues like employees needing to take time off to titrate new medications, or having to stay out longer to care for sick kids while they wait for antibiotics. If you or an employee is struggling to get the medication you need, the first step is to let your doctor know you’re having a problem. They may be able to send your prescription to a different pharmacy that has it in stock, for example. In some cases, Canadian pharmacies may have meds in stock, but many are slow or don’t take insurance (though some people have had success submitting claims after the fact). In this new landscape, it’s important not to wait until the last day of your medication to refill a prescription. Pharmacies are short-staffed and are having supply chain issues, so you can’t always rely on quick refills anymore.
If you have completed the two-dose vaccination series against hepatitis A at any point in your life, you are considered fully vaccinated and protected against hep A. The current schedule has the first dose between 1 and 2 years of age, and the second at least 6 months later. If you haven’t been vaccinated against hep A, you should ask your doctor whether you need one. It’s recommended for international travelers and men who have sex with men, along with a number of other conditions and life experiences that put people at higher risk. If you’ve had direct contact with someone with hep A and you’ve never been vaccinated before, you’ll also need to get the vaccine as soon as possible, and within two weeks of exposure. Once you get both doses, you’re generally considered protected for life.
For the most part, the changes made to beef up surface sanitizing protocols at the beginning of the pandemic are useful in combating norovirus, as well. Ultimately, we learned that COVID spreads more through the air than it does on surfaces, but most businesses have at least some increased sanitizing procedures in place that can be part of the effort to fight the spread of noro. Most of the actual sanitizing solutions used for noro work against COVID, too, but not necessarily the other way around - be sure you’re using one that’s EPA-approved against both. Remember, norovirus is incredibly contagious and spreads differently than COVID, so heating food above 140 degrees, sanitizing surfaces and utensils, and washing hands are more important with norovirus than they are with COVID. For both diseases, though, making sure that nobody is working sick is the number one tool to prevent workplace spread.
We’ve heard rumors about nearly every surprising death and medical emergency that makes the news. When Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field, and when soccer reporter Grant Wahl died suddenly due to an aortic rupture, the rumors that it was linked to vaccines started almost immediately. Katelyn Jetelina from Your Local Epidemiologist covers this in her most recent post (our best read, below). The facts are very clear: there is no increased risk of non-COVID death after COVID vaccination, and the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks. Most of the online content spreading disinformation about sudden deaths due to vaccines is misleading. There are some verified and serious side effects possible from the vaccination, but they are much more rare than vaccine disinformation spreaders would have you think. It’s important to remember that overall, those who are vaccinated die less than those who aren’t, and vaccines saved millions of lives over the past two years.
COVID-19 Vaccines and Sudden Deaths: Separating Fact from Fiction - Your Local Epidemiologist