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The Executive Briefing - Tuesday, May 16th

Mpox cluster in Chicago

Hi ZHH community! Are you planning on attending the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago next week? We’d love to grab a coffee or a drink and catch up while you’re there!

Email lsweeney@zerohourhealth.com (or just reply to this email!) if you’re attending and have time to say hello!

Health News:

  • The mpox outbreak isn’t over, with ongoing community transmission and a cluster of 13 cases in Chicago worrying public health experts. (CBS)
  • Discrimination at work is tied to a higher risk of developing hypertension. (Washington Post)
  • More gay men are now eligible to donate blood in the US. (AP)
  • People were more likely to get their kids vaccinated against COVID when hearing that another trusted parent had done the same. (CIDRAP)
  • Cronobacter sakazakii, the bacteria linked to recent infant formula infections, may become a nationally reportable illness. (Washington Post)
  • New recommendations urge women to begin regular mammograms at age 40, rather than waiting until 50 as previously recommended. (NPR)
  • While pandemic restrictions are ending, outstanding fines for those who violated COVID rules still must be paid. (Yahoo)
  • The CDC is reporting the first known cases of antifungal-resistant ringworm in the United States and urging providers to be on the lookout for infections. (CNN)
  • Up to 80 nurses got sick with norovirus-like symptoms after having lunch from a local bakery to celebrate Nurse Appreciation Week. (Yahoo)
  • The CDC issued new guidance for building ventilation to help prevent transmission of respiratory illnesses, suggesting that 5 air exchanges per hour and an upgrade to MERV filters are minimum best practices. (CIDRAP)
  • One man’s gene mutation seems to have delayed his Alzheimer’s disease and provided a key for a possible treatment. (NY Times)
  • The Italian cycling team's leader withdrew from the prestigious Giro d’Italia race after a positive COVID test. (Guardian)

Mental Health News:

  • Remote work is putting pressure on parents’ mental health. (USA Today)
  • Half of employees have lied about the reason for their mental health day. (Employee Benefit News)
  • School avoidance - kids skipping it entirely - is becoming a crisis after COVID. (USA Today)

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

Best Questions:

Why is mpox back in Chicago? Should we be worried?

Mpox transmission is down and the global WHO emergency has been declared over, but there’s still community transmission in the US, including a recent cluster of 13 cases in Chicago. All of those cases have been in men, and most were vaccinated. The vaccine doesn’t totally protect against mpox, but it does reduce the severity of symptoms and offers some level of protection against transmission for some period of time, though exactly how much is still being studied. In the US, mpox has been disproportionately affecting gay and bisexual men and trans people. Spring and summer could lead to a resurgence of mpox as people gather for festivals and other events, including pride celebrations. It’s important to note that mpox is still rare, and only spread through very close physical and intimate contact, so it’s not a reason to avoid pride parades! To make sure that everyone can enjoy a healthy and happy Pride, it’s important to make sure that those at high risk for mpox get their second dose of the vaccine - even if it’s been a while since the first.

A guest says they got norovirus from our restaurant, but their symptoms started within an hour of dining. Is that possible?

No, norovirus symptoms begin 12-48 hours after ingesting the virus and tend to take at least 24 hours for most people. We regularly hear of guest complaints within an hour or two of eating at a restaurant, because people assume that the most recent meal is what caused their illness. Instead, it’s often what they ate the day or even two days before. If symptoms begin in less than 12 hours, either it’s not noro, or it’s not related to the most recent meal.

What are the symptoms of Hep A that managers should look out for?

We’ve had a few Hep A cases lately, so it’s a good time to review what to do if a manager notices something odd. Hep A symptoms that managers might be able to physically see include yellow skin or eyes. Other common symptoms that are less visible include diarrhea, dark cola-colored urine or light-colored diarrhea or poop, vomiting, fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite. If a manager sees an employee come in with yellow skin or eyes, they should immediately ask about other symptoms of Hep A, and send the employee home until they receive a doctor’s note clearing them to work. The only exception is when the employee has a known medical condition that causes jaundice, like some cancer treatments, for example, and their symptoms are not new or changed.

Best Read:

23 Pandemic Decisions That Actually Went Right - The Atlantic

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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.