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.
One of our favorite voices on COVID, Dr. Eric Topol, put it perfectly: “This has downgraded from a hurricane to not even a tropical storm.” New studies shared over the weekend confirm that while Pirola has a lot of mutations, the updated boosters that will be available as early as next week will provide protection against it. Even though it does have some immune escape, it’s not nearly as much as we feared. This is all good news but doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. COVID hospitalizations have been rising for seven straight weeks, fueled by other Omicron subvariants, and just because BA.2.86 isn’t as bad as it could have been, it doesn’t mean it won’t cause waves. Today we’re just grateful that the new vaccines protect against Pirola and hope you’ll plan to get your fall booster and flu shot soon!
Sources: YLE, USA Today
Ultimately, we think you should. While we know that isolating for 5 days is a nuisance for some and a financial hardship for others, the reality is that everyone will be in close contact with someone who has a newborn baby or grandparent at home that needs to be protected. Even though we are living day to day with this virus, it’s still much deadlier than the flu - one study found over one in four patients hospitalized with COVID died, compared to less than one in ten with the flu. If you test negative, you still might have COVID, so it’s best to test a few days in a row if you have symptoms and to stay home if you’re sick even if you test negative. We’re all sick of it, but the virus is still here and we do have some control of whether we spread it to our friends, coworkers, and families.
It’s not nearly as concerning from a foodborne illness perspective if an employee tests positive for a non-shiga-toxin-producing E. coli. The worst outbreaks are generally from E. coli O157:H7 or other STEC type E. coli. California is one example of a state that only requires reporting for STEC, also known as enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) or vero-toxin producing (VTEC). But for some state and county health departments, all E. coli cases are reportable, but different health departments respond differently to non-STEC E. coli. For example, in Iowa, all E. coli cases are reportable, but not all individual cases require public health investigations. If the employee had GI symptoms and tested positive for E. coli, you should assume that there’s a foodborne illness risk and act accordingly, but it may not require the same level of response as O157:H7. When in doubt, give ZHH a call and we can support you in figuring out the right next steps with the employee and the health department.
Source: IDPH, CDPH