If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Believe it or not, they’re not available in the US, even though the technology for a rapid antigen test exists, and they’re just like at-home COVID tests. At-home COVID tests were authorized for emergency use because of the pandemic, but traditionally the FDA has been very slow to approve at-home tests of any kind, for fear that people will inaccurately administer or interpret the results, according to reporting by Brittany Trang of STAT. But COVID tests have changed a lot of that with scanned barcodes, digital results, and telehealth proctored tests. Still, insurance only covers at-home COVID tests because there’s a public health emergency underway, and when that ends, they won’t be covered, which is how it works for flu tests right now. So, in order to get useful at-home flu tests - which would help with diagnosis and correctly prescribing life-saving antivirals - we’ll need some policy changes both in how the FDA approves tests and how insurance covers them.
You can certainly get RSV more than once, and in fact, many people will get it repeatedly throughout their lifetime. It’s even possible to get RSV more than once per season, though most will have a period of protection right after being sick. There are two different main strains of RSV in circulation (just like the flu), which increases the chances of reinfection with whichever strain they didn’t have. As early as next year, an mRNA RSV vaccine may be available which should help reduce the circulation of the virus, but until then, taking the same precautions as you would for COVID and washing your hands well can help reduce your risk.
Unfortunately, yes. If you have COVID rebound, you may be infectious and should restart your five-day isolation again. You should wait until your symptoms are improving or until Day 5 (again) before you end your isolation to ensure you’re not spreading the virus to others.
With at least two Listeria outbreaks recently that were linked to deli meats, deli cheese, and soft cheeses, businesses can take some extra precautions to reduce the risk of a Listeria outbreak. First, make sure fridges are at the correct cold-holding temp and properly cleaned without spills. Separate raw and prepared foods, and be sure to store raw foods properly according to the food code. Fix any cracked tools, tiles, or areas with standing water. If you have deli slicers, be sure they’re regularly cleaned and in good repair, as they’re often involved in Listeria outbreaks. Be sure you have clear, approved sources for any food suppliers and sources. And, of course, a solid sick call program can quickly identify possible foodborne illness outbreaks before they’re out of control.
Will America continue to turn away from vaccines?