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The Executive Briefing - Tuesday, June 27th, 2023

Malaria in TX and FL 🦟

Health News:

  • The latest EU.1.1 variant is rising quickly in the western US. (CBS)
  • Some of the most cautious Americans are starting to relax their COVID precautions. (Washington Post)
  • Cyclospora cases in the most recent (likely non-broccoli-related) outbreak have risen from 28 to 34. (FDA)
  • Declassified US intelligence isn’t likely to answer the debate about COVID’s origins. (Washington Post)
  • Severe period pain is often dismissed in teens, though many have endometriosis. (Washington Post)
  • The heat in Texas has proven deadly, and it’s only getting worse. (CNN)
  • Sperm counts decline even after mild COVID. (CIDRAP)
  • The DEA relaxed online prescribing rules during the pandemic but wants to reign them in now. (KFF Health)
  • Rural areas in the US are facing closing hospitals and a lack of ambulances. (USA Today)
  • Obesity drug Wegovy’s popularity has employers rethinking insurance coverage. (Reuters)

Mental Health News: 

  • Most parents support screening their kids for mental health, a new study shows. (MedPage Today)
  • Culturally relevant training in mental health care is crucial. (WFAE)
  • Employers give themselves poor marks in terms of providing mental health benefits to employees, according to a new survey. (Fierce Healthcare)

Best Questions: 

Should we be worried about malaria in the US?

It’s big news that there have been several locally-acquired cases of malaria in Texas and Florida, which isn’t common in the US. In the past, nearly all malaria cases have been imported by people traveling from countries where it’s endemic, so two cases in two different states from local mosquitos is worrisome. For employers whose workers are outside, consider offering mosquito protection like repellent, long sleeves, and pants, or screens for indoor-outdoor spaces, especially in areas with lots of mosquitos. Malaria symptoms are flu-like and require medical treatment. 

Source: CBS

An employee has a tick bite. Can they work? 

Yes, an employee can work if they have a tick bite or were just bitten, though they should monitor themselves for symptoms. Right now, there aren’t many viruses or diseases caused by ticks that also spread from human to human, except in rare cases with blood transfusions. While the employee can continue to work, they should monitor for rash, fever, or other symptoms in the weeks after their tick bite and seek medical attention if needed. 

Source: CDC, Washington Post

What’s the update on the new variant that the CDC is tracking? 

The CDC is regularly tracking new variants and has their eye on a few different ones in the US, including EU.1.1, which has made headlines recently. While it still accounts for under 2% of total cases in the country, it’s rapidly rising in the west, making up 8.7% of cases in Utah, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Utah seems to have a particularly high case rate of EU.1.1, but the good news is that Utah’s case rates and hospitalizations still remain low. We’ll continue to track this and other new variants, though a lack of testing data means there will be lags between what’s happening on the ground and the data we’re seeing in the lab.

Source: CBS

Best Read: 

Is Long COVID Linked to Mental Illness? - Slate

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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.