CDC says new virus spreading beyond travelers

first_imgApr 28, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – As the official count of US swine influenza cases rose to 64 today, top federal health officials said it’s becoming increasingly clear that the virus is spreading beyond people who recently traveled to Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.”The information we’re seeing from states and locals . . . is that this appears to be acting like a normal flu virus, which has a fairly high rate of transmission in families,” Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said at a news briefing this afternoon. He said investigators are finding respiratory and flu-like illnesses in family members of case-patients.Besser said the only confirmed case of person-to-person transmission in the United States so far is in the two Kansas cases, which officials have said involved a husband and wife. But he said that probably only reflects the limited extent of testing, adding, “I expect we are seeing transmission within families.”Later he commented that while travel history is an important diagnostic clue in people who have a flu-like illness, “I wouldn’t limit it to that, because it’s really [in] a minority of cases to date that we’ve identified that travel history.”The signs of ongoing transmission seem to fit with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) move yesterday to raise the pandemic alert level to phase 4, which means a new flu virus can spread efficiently enough to cause sustained community outbreaks.This morning the CDC raised its case count to 64, from 40 as of yesterday, including 45 cases in New York, 10 in California, 6 in Texas, 2 in Kansas, and 1 in Ohio. Besser said five patients have been hospitalized—three in California and two in New York—but provided no details on their illnesses.The Associated Press reported this afternoon that “several hundred” students who attend a New York City Catholic school that has been hit by swine flu are sick.Besser reported that the latest illness onset date in a confirmed swine flu case is Apr 24, but that doesn’t mean there has been no transmission since then.”We’re asking that if you are a confirmed case not only that you stay home, but that the rest of your family stay home as well,” to limit the virus’s spread, he said.States all want suppliesIn other comments, Besser reported that all states have now requested their shares of antiviral drugs and personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile, and the CDC is working to fulfill the requests. He called the requests “a forward-leaning step,” since most states don’t have any cases yet.In response to a question, he said the CDC has not yet identified anything that distinguishes swine flu from seasonal flu, aside from the possible clue of a travel history. He said it was an advantage that the new virus did not emerge in the middle of the regular flu season.”If this outbreak had occurred in January or February it would’ve been very difficult to detect because of all the flu activity going on,” he said.On vaccine issues, Besser called the possibility of adding a swine flu antigen to the seasonal flu vaccine “an attractive approach” in that one vaccine could protect against seasonal and swine flu infections. “We do know that seasonal flu vaccine production is moving forward, and we don’t want to delay that, but that is under consideration,” he added.The other possibility is to make a monovalent vaccine, containing just the swine flu strain, he noted.The CDC previously said it was developing a seed strain of swine flu virus for companies to use in making a vaccine. Besser said the seed strain has not yet been sent to the manufacturers.He also reported that the incubation period in US swine flu cases appears to range from 2 to 7 days, which he termed typical for flu.Earlier in the day, Dr. Keiji Fukuda of the WHO emphasized—as he did yesterday—that the swine flu represents “a serious situation” but that a pandemic is not yet inevitable. “We really are in a period in which countries should take this opportunity to really prepare themselves for the possibility of a pandemic,” especially countries not yet dealing with cases, he said.He said that as of today the WHO officially counted 79 cases, including 40 in the United States (the number reported yesterday), 26 in Mexico, 6 in Canada, 3 in New Zealand, 2 in Spain, and 2 in the United Kingdom.Later today, the WHO in an online statement reported that Israel has confirmed 2 cases. The numbers are confirmed cases reported by governments.Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and the environment, stressed how much remains unknown about the new virus, including where it originated and why severe cases seem to be confined to Mexico.”We still do not have a good explanation for why the pattern of cases in other countries appears relatively mild while the pattern in Mexico appears to be much more severe,” he said. Besser said much the same in the CDC briefing.When asked about reports that the virus might have originated in Mexico’s Vera Cruz state, Fukuda said, “I think right now it’s not possible to really know where this virus originated.” He added that the swine flu isolates that have been analyzed have been very similar, suggesting that the virus emerged recently and has not been around long enough to branch into many variants.Fukuda cautioned that even if swine flu activity subsides sometime soon, it will be at least several months before experts can conclude that a pandemic won’t happen. “It’s very hard to know when something like this disappears. I don’t think we’ll be able to conclude that in the next few weeks.”He also warned not to forget how the great pandemic of 1918-19 unfolded. “It also started out as a relatively mild spread of illness that really wasn’t much noted in most places, but then it became a very severe pandemic in the fall,” he said.See also: CDC swine flu pagehttp://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/Apr 28 WHO updatehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_04_28/en/index.htmlWHO swine flu pagehttp://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania Businesses Endorse Mask-Wearing to Protect Employees, Customers, Communities

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter June 25, 2020 Economy,  Press Release,  Public Health Multiple research studies indicate the efficacy of mask-wearing to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Mask-wearing also has been called altruistic, a way to increase our freedoms, and a simple kindness. Today, Governor Tom Wolf’s call to wear masks has been endorsed by Pennsylvania businesses that see mask-wearing as vital to protecting customers, employees, communities and their bottom lines.“The COVID-19 guidance we provided to Pennsylvania businesses includes required mask-wearing by all who enter a business – employees and customers – because we know owners want to do all they can to protect those who help them maintain their bottom line,” Gov. Wolf said. “I’m pleased that employers both large and small have taken this guidance seriously and are joining me in a call to protect against the spread of COVID-19.”“The GIANT Company continues to take the necessary steps to keep our customers and team members safe in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus – from requiring team members to wear masks to checkstand partitions at registers, plus other social distancing and strict sanitation protocols,” said president Nicholas Bertram. “Everyone should continue to do their part as good neighbors to follow the mask-wearing guidance put forth by Governor Wolf to protect each other and help stop the spread of the virus.”“Businesses should model the importance of safety and precaution through their practices — including masks — to build customer trust and ultimately keep everyone safe,” Mallory Fix Lopez, owner, On Point Bistro in South Philadelphia said. “This also leads to more sustainable business. Safe employees mean a secure workforce. Additionally, customers have faith they are safe when patronizing the business. The use of masks is key to public health and business sustainability, and it’s essential that businesses are actively supporting the use of masks.”“As a hair salon owner, the safety of my customers is important to me,” said Georgeanne Huff-Labovitz, owner of Marie Huff Hairdressing in Tacony in NE Philadelphia. “I am taking every effort to ensure their safety. Wearing a face covering protects everyone and prevents the spread of COVID-19 and is a key part of safely reopening my business and serving my customers.”Gov. Wolf and Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine made mask-wearing a requirement of businesses with in-person operations via the secretary’s order that grants her this authority granted by law.The governor and secretary of Health’s business guidance centered around reopening includes the mask-wearing requirement. The guidance states that businesses must “Require all customers to wear masks while on the premises. Businesses that provide medication, medical supplies or groceries must provide an alternate, no contact, means of delivering goods for customers who cannot wear a mask. However, individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition (including children under the age of 2 years per CDC guidance) may enter the premises and are not required to provide documentation of such medical condition.”Read more on Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen PA here.Ver esta página en español.center_img Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania Businesses Endorse Mask-Wearing to Protect Employees, Customers, Communitieslast_img read more

Video Of 3-Year-Old At Ripley Co. Fair Goes Viral

first_imgAniah Ison, 3, goes by the nickname of “Monkey.” We have video evidence as to why.OSGOOD – The first time you watch the video of a 3-year-old on the funhouse at a carnival you’re really not sure what is going to happen. There are approximately 1.6 million viewers you felt the same.The girl held on with a death grip and is now getting quite a bit of attention for her accomplishment. The Youtube video has been featured on national television including Fox News, Good Morning America and The Talk.The video was captured at the Ripley County 4-H Fair on Wednesday, July 23. Aniah Ison is the star of the video and not surprisingly, her mother Cierra says Aniah goes by the nickname “Monkey.”“She is constantly climbing and hanging on everything, the refrigerator door, closet door, climbing on furniture and jumping off stuff. She is always saying and doing funny things- but this is definitely on top of her list!”The Milan natives have attended the fair in year’s past and the funhouse is always a favorite of Aniah’s, her mother says.“I took her last year on wristband night and she did the funhouse 15 to 20 times in a row and wouldn’t get off of it, but would walk through the tunnel. This year she was excited to go back and do it again, but I didn’t expect her to ride it the way she did,” Cierra Ison noted.After holding on for dear life Aniah took a tumble but was not injured. The boy in the video is Aniah’s brother, Rowan, as you hear Aniah announce, “I like that Mommy!”Thankfully, Cierra videotaped the impromptu performance by her daughter to share with family and friends. She uploaded it on Facebook and friends later urged her to post it on Youtube. Within one week, the video was viewed by 1.5 million users and appeared on national television.“I was excited but I was also scared because I had no idea [the video would be on television] because no one contacted me,” Cierra Ison recalled. “Since then all of the networks she has been on have contacted me.”Anytime a video goes viral you can expect some feedback. The Ison video has certainly seen plenty with both positive and negative remarks from anonymous internet users.“All local feedback has been positive. But the extent and crudeness of the negative comments are crazy.”“I think there have been just as much positive comments too, people sticking up for me who don’t even know me. So I think a lot of people that like the video are more level headed and just like [the video] and go on.”Cierra, an employee at Sharper Image in Batesville, added that any financial gains from the video will be put away for Aniah when she is older.“Really the experience overall has been awesome. I can’t wait to explain to her when she is older what is going on. She really has no idea what is going on right now she just likes watching the video.”last_img read more