HealthNews RoundUp - 1st Week of August 2022
Monkeypox Is Spreading Rapidly
Monkeypox, the orthopox viral infection typically only occurring in Africa, is rapidly spreading around the world. As of August 4th, the total number of worldwide cases was 26,864 with all but 345 occurring in countries where this disease has not been previously reported.
Though not usually fatal, at least 77 Africans have died and an additional 5 deaths have been reported outside of Africa.
The total number of confirmed US monkeypox cases as of August 4th is 7102 with cases occurring in every state except Montana and Wyoming. Most current US cases associated with male-male sexual intimacy. The states hit the hardest are New York, Florida, Illinois, Texas, and California.
The last major US outbreak occurred in 2003 with 47 confirmed or probable cases in 6 states, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, traced to infected pet prairie dogs that had been housed near imported small mammals from Africa. Then, in 2021, two isolated cases of monkeypox were diagnosed in Maryland and in Texas when US residents contracted the disease on trips to Africa.
Current efforts to stop the monkeypox epidemic include vaccination and use of anti-viral agents. A vaccination drive using the Danish monkeypox vaccine Jynneos or the older vaccinia viral vaccine ACAM2000 is underway but hampered by a vaccine shortage. The available supply is being optimized by only administering the first of 2 recommended doses, and virologists estimate that even this one dose offers 2 years of protection.
The best defense is avoidance of person-to-person contact with a monkeypox-infected person or their personal articles as the virus can live for weeks on objects. Those who have a social or occupational exposure to monkeypox including medical teams and diagnostic lab personnel should receive monkeypox pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP and that is vaccination.
How do you know you have monkeypox? Non-specific signs of illness such as fever and chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue are accompanied by or followed by the appearance of a rash that can be all over your body or more likely limited to points of contact where you contracted the disease.
The antiviral agent tecovirimat, TPOXX for short, is effective against monkeypox and prescribed for the most severe cases or in those with complicating medical problems.
#monkeypox #Jynneos #acam2000 #vaccination #tpoxx #tecovirimat
monkeypox, Jynneos, acam2000, vaccination, tpoxx, tecovirimat
School Masking Prevents CoVid
Primary CoVid infections occurred half as often and secondary transmission was 72% lower in schools that mandated universal masking vs those where masking was optional. This the conclusion of a multistate observational study led by Duke University researchers during the last 6 months of 2021. Data from 1,112,899 students and 157,069 school staff in 9 states were included in the study.
In schools with universal masking, the incidence of primary CoVid infections was 2.7 per 1000 students. Compare that with the incidence of 4.3 per 1000 in schools with partial masking and 5.4 per 1000 in schools with optional masking. The inescapable conclusion: school masking keeps kids healthy.
Good public health requires rules driven by science and data and citizen teamwork. Personal rights and freedoms become secondary to public safety since your individual precautions or lack of them affects all of us. This principle applies not only to masking but also to vaccination, public gatherings, and quarantines. The fact that many of our friends and neighbors in the United States cannot understand or accept this principle explains why nearly 94 million Americans have contracted CoVid and more than 1 million Americans have died from this disease. If we don’t pull together and get smart, other Americans may suffer a similar fate from Monkeypox.
#CoVid #masking #pandemic #publichealth #vaccination
CoVid, masking, pandemic, publichealth, vaccination
The Morning After Pill Less Effective For The Obese
Even a double dose of Plan B, levonorgestrel, the most common morning after pill, fails to significantly reduce the chances of ovulation and therefore pregnancy in obese women. Oregon Health and Science University investigators studied 70 women with a mean age of 28, a mean body mass index of 38, and a body weight of greater than 175 pounds.
The group of participants receiving the standard 1.5 mg dose of the progesterone levonorgestrel experienced only a 51% incidence of ovulation prevention while the group receiving the 3 mg double dose had only a 69% ovulation prevention. Not every effective. While the higher dose did inhibit egg release somewhat, the extra protection it afforded was not statistically significant and did not provide reliable emergency contraceptionS.
The OBGYN clinicians participating in the study recommend that obese women requiring emergency contraception consider asking their medical teams for ulipristal, marketed as Ella and EllaOne. This drug is a selective progesterone receptor modulator and does work effectively in heavier women.
#morningafterpill #obesity #ovulation #planB #levonorgestrel #Ella #ulipristal
morningafterpill, obesity, ovulation, planB, levonorgestrel, Ella, ulipristal
The Distinct Symptom Pattern of Long CoVid
Those with Long-haul CoVid, sometimes called Post Acute Sequelae of SARS-Covid2 or PASC, suffer from a distinct pattern of signs and symptoms. A collaborative study of 5562 American CoVid survivors was led by researchers at the University of Miami and UC-Irvine.
The analysis revealed 5 characteristic findings in CoVid Long-haulers. These included: persistent cold and flu-like symptoms; abnormal smell and taste senses; shortness of breath and/or chest pain; problems with thinking, memory, and vision; and cardiac symptoms.
Being aware of these presenting symptoms and signs will help you recognize whether you are suffering from Long CoVid. They will also help your medical teams make the diagnosis and prescribe effective therapy.
#longCovid #smell #taste #shortnessofbreath #cognition #memory #vision #cardiac
longCovid, smell, taste, shortnessofbreath, cognition, memory, vision #cardiac
What’s The Twitter Buzz About CoVid by Healthcare Workers
Comments about CoVid on Twitter are a reflection of what is going through the minds of the public as well as often being misinformation. But what do health care workers think about CoVid. Researchers in the UK and in Canada analyzed 2588 tweets from health care workers about CoVid, Long CoVid, and the public’s reaction to the CoVid challenge looking at the general sentiments and predominant themes.
Nearly all of the words in the tweets, 99.4%, reflected negative sentiments. These comments centered around the rising numbers of cases and hospitalizations, the failure of effective mitigation policies due to lack of public cooperation, and the slow pace of vaccinations, particularly in children. The primary emotions expressed were sadness in 68% of tweets, joy in only 14% related to treatment successes, and fear in 9%.
The predominant themes were: concern for the future in 24% of tweets; concern for child safety in schools in 18%; concerns about the abysmal vaccination progress in 15%; criticisms of ineffective public health policies in 12%; and regrets about the opposition to facemasks in 5%.
Healthcare workers, going all out day in and day out, show frustration with governmental missteps including confusing messaging and lack of public support. We all need to get onboard and support the monumental efforts of our healthcare teams.
#CoVid #twitter #healthcareworkers #schools #masking #vaccination
CoVid, twitter, healthcareworkers, schools, masking #vaccination
Any Advantage to Medicare Advantage?
You’ve seen them on TV offering you an unbelievable option to conventional Medicare. Some of your favorite public figures are pitching this stuff. (Broadway Joe,vComedian Jimmy Walker, and Star Trek’s favorite commander Bill Shatner). They’re talking about Medicare Part C which is another name for a Medicare Advantage Plan. Is there really an advantage or are there hidden disadvantages?
Joe, Jimmy, and Bill paint a rosy picture. You get all the advantages of traditional Medicare including doctor’s visits, hospital care, and surgery but also the promise of additional coverage for dental services, eyeglasses, hearing aids, prescription drugs, fitness workouts, and more all without the need for a separate prescription drug plan or Medicare supplementary policies, so-called Medigap plans. The best news: in many cases you play nothing and enjoy a reduction or elimination of what you’re currently paying for traditional Medicare and a Medicare supplementary policy. Too good to be true? You bet.
What is this really? The US government pays private health insurance companies, your best friends….right, the money that would normally go to providing medical care for you via traditional Medicare.d These companies then provide that care. It's a tremendously profitable business for these companies. They make twice the profit for each person covered under Medicare Advantage that they make covering younger individuals.
The ways they made these profits is the dirty little secret they don’t want you to know. Let’s shine a light on this now so that you do know.
Many plans saddle you with costly out-of-pocket expenses including copays and deductibles when you require covered services. The insurer only pays the entire bill when you reach a maximal out-of-pocket ceiling which can be quite high.
The other huge savings for them and disadvantage for you is choice. With a Medicare Advantage Plan you are limited to the insurer’s network of providers and hospitals and often only where you live. Your own medical team and preferred hospital may not be on that list.
The insurance companies reap more profits by forcing these contracted doctors and hospitals to accept less for their services. Then too, they often deny recommended services during the cumbersome preauthorization process forcing you to file grievances and appeal, appeal, and appeal.
The bottom line: Medicare Advantage is a great option if you are willing to have a limited choice of doctors and hospitals and are prepared for hefty co-pay expenses should you become ill. It’s a great choice if you are a member of the walking well and never require other than routine healthcare services.
#medicare #partC #medigap #advantage
medicare, partC, medigap, advantage
Short Shorts for 1st Week of August, 2022
Here are the quickie reports about cutting edge medical and healthcare discoveries this 1st Week of August, 2022.
Neuroblastoma, the development of cancer in the involuntary nervous system, is a deadly disease for children 5 years and younger. Now a group of biologists at Virginia Commonwealth University have identified a compound called SHP099 that blocks the enzymatic activation of the MEK/ERK proteins that potentiate the growth of these tumors. The best news is that even high doses of SHP099 have little effect on normal cells. The compound shrinks neuroblastoma tumors in mice and, hopefully someday, will also do so in children.
MIT mechanical bioengineers have developed a wearable sticker capable of providing continuous, live ultrasound images. These stamp-sized devices mate arrays of ultrasound transducers with adhesives and capably create images of underlying organs for up to 48 hours. Currently, the patches must be wired to the imaging processors but, in the future, wireless versions may transmit to mobile processors to permit continuous ultrasound monitoring of body organs and developing babies.
Those awaiting heart transplants often need a boost in the pumping function provided by their own flagging hearts. Traditionally, that requires an implantable pump, a so-called left ventricular assist device, to be surgically inserted into the left ventricle during an open heart procedure. The Mayo Clinic now offers another option, a heart pumping a catheter called the Impella 5.5 that is non-invasively introduced into the heart via an armpit vessel. The device pumps blood out of the left ventricle into the aorta taking the load off the heart muscle. An added bonus: having this catheter pump pushes a transplant candidate higher up on the list.
A prickly skin patch not only delivers CoVid vaccine without the dreaded hypodermic syringe feared by the needle-phobic, but it also triggers a higher level of CoVid protection. Australian researchers report that a protein-subunit CoVid vaccine triggers 11 fold higher levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant when administered via a high density needle microarray patch compared with a conventional intradermal needle injection.
There you have the latest health reveals for this 1st Week of August, 2022, 2022. When additional information about these developments becomes available, I’ll pass it on to you.
#neuroblastoma #mekerk #shp099 #ultrasound #sticker #impella #lvad #CoVid #omicron #microarray
neuroblastoma, mekerk, shp099, ultrasound, sticker, impella, lvad, CoVid, omicron, microarray
HEALTH BUSINESS SHORTS
Healthcare Business News. 1st Week of August, 2022
Here is some notable healthcare-related business news for this 1st Week of August, 2022.
A California OBGYN is putting together the financing to create an off-shore women’s reproductive clinic. The ship will be named PRROWESS which stands for “Protecting Reproductive Rights of Women Endangered by State Statutes.” Anchored offshore in federal waters 3 nautical miles from Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi and 9 nautical miles from Texas, the clinic will offer pregnancy terminations up to 14 weeks of gestation as well as contraception services and treatment for sexually-transmitted disease.
Counseling in your pocket appears to be losing favor. Investment in the creation and fine-tuning of behavioral health apps declined by at least 60% and app downloads have dropped by 30% over the past 2 quarters. These apps include those offering self-help for meditation, relaxation, sleep, and stress. On the other hand, the digital mental health services that HAVE risen in popularity are tele-psychology and psychiatry.
Hacking of healthcare systems has been on the rise, and the feds have reported more than 256 digital security breaches and lockdowns affecting hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies over the past 6 months. That’s up 72% compared with the same timeframe one year ago. Hospitals and healthcare conglomerates and their cybersecurity vendors are now calling on the administration and Congress to step in and provide a national framework to protect America’s medical and psychiatric data. The Biden administration has taken steps to answer that call. Hopefully, our legislators in the House and Senate will do the same.
And finally, patients often complain that communications before and after a healthcare encounter are sorely lacking. New York City based Cipher Health has created digital solutions to this problem that automate communications between providers, patients, and their at-home caregivers. Cipher’s systems automate appointment reminders, pre-visit questionnaires, followup calls, secure messaging between medical teams and patients, and patient education that engages patients in their care in order to create frictionless patient experiences. Cipher services 8 million Americans via 500 hospital systems in 46 states.
There you have the latest healthcare-related business news for this 1st Week of August, 2022, 2022.
#abortion #roevwade #offshore #mentalhealth #counseling #stress #telehealth #hacking #ransomware #whitehouse #congress #encounters #communications #patienteducation
abortion, roevwade, offshore, mentalhealth, counseling, stress, telehealth, hacking, ransomware, whitehouse, congress, encounters, communications, patienteducation
DeWALT Mitre Saw Safety Guard May Fall Off
The CPSC and DeWALT have recalled DeWALT 12-inch Sliding Compound Miter Saws. The rear safety guard on this mitre saw may detach or break creating the possibilities that the user could sustain deep lacerations from the exposed saw blade and that projectiles could strike the user or bystanders. About 1,364,000 of these saws were sold in the US and about 118,600 were sold in Canada at Lowe’s stores, The Home Depot and hardware stores nationwide, and online at Amazon.com, Lowes.com and at other websites. Immediately stop using these recalled saws and contact DeWALT at 1-800-990-6421 for information regarding receipt of a free repair kit. Alternatively, owners may take their saw to a DeWALT service center for a free repair.
#dewalt #mitresaw #safetyguard #lacerations #penetratingwounds #recall
dewalt, mitresaw, safetyguard, lacerations, penetratingwounds, recall
Makita Cordless Hedge Trimmers Lack A Safety Guard
The CPSC and Makita USA Inc. now recall Makita Cordless Hedge Trimmers. The teal-colored blade guard on these hedge trimmers is missing creating laceration hazards for users. About 2600 of these hedge trimmers were sold in the US at home improvement stores, hardware stores and other independent outdoor power equipment stores nationwide and online at HomeDepot.com and Amazon.com. If you bought one of these hedge trimmers, stop using it and contact Makita at 1-800-462-5482 to arrange for a free repair. The company will provide you with a prepaid shipping label to return your trimmer to their repair station.
#makita #hedgetrimmer #safetyguard #lacerations #recall
makita, hedgetrimmer, safetyguard, lacerations,recall
Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray Has Benzene
The FDA and the Edgewell Personal Care Company have recalled Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray. This product has trace levels of benzene which has apparent origins in the propellent used to generate the spray. Benzene is a carcinogen that enters the body via inhalation, ingestion, or skin penetration. The affect products have expiration dates of December, 2022, February, 2023, and April, 2024. If you have any of these products, toss them and contact Edgewell at 1-888-686-3988 to obtain instructions regarding refunds or for more general information about this recall.
#bananaboat #hairscalpspray #benzene #carcinogen #recall
bananaboat, hairscalpspray, benzene, carcinogen, recall
Lyons Magnus Products Have Bacterial Contamination
The FDA and Lyons Magnus LLC now recall variously branded and flavored drinks. These include: Lyons Ready Care Dairy and Nutritional Drinks; Lyons Barista Style beverages; Pirq chocolate, vanilla, caramel and strawberry drinks; Lucerna chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry drinks, Aloha protein drinks, Intelligentsia coffee and oat latte; Kate Farms pediatric vanilla, Oatly oat milk barista; Premier Protein chocolate, vanilla, and cafe latte drinks, MRE protein shakes; Stumptown cold brew coffees; and Imperial nutritional and dairy drinks. These products are contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii. This bacterium causes bacterial infections manifest by fever, vomiting, and urinary tract infections particularly in frail or immunocompromised persons. If you have any of these products, don’t consume them and return them to the place of purchase for a refund. For more information, call the Lyons Recall Support Center at 1-800-627-0557.
#lyons #drinks #cronobacter #infection #recall
lyons, drinks , cronobacter, infection, recall
Wilbur’s Milk Chocolate Covered Blueberries Have Almonds
The FDA and Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections now recall Wilbur’s Milk Chocolate Covered Blueberries. The 8 oz. packages of these chocolate covered blueberries also contain chocolate covered almonds. Those with almond allergies could develop serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume these blueberry candies. The affected product has a best by date of 4/5/2023. If you bought this candy and anyone in your household has an almond allergy, return the item to the place of purchase for a refund. For more information, call Wilbur’s at 1-207-865-4071.
#wilburs #chocolateblueberries #almonds #allergy #recall
wilburs, chocolateblueberries, almonds, allergy, recall
Another Men’s Supplement Contains Hidden Drug
The FDA and Distributor RFR, LLC announce the recall of SANGTER Energy Supplement. This supplement contains undeclared sildenafil, the generic name for the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, making it an unapproved drug with unproven safety and effectiveness. This supplement is a danger for those taking any nitrate-containing drugs such as nitroglycerin as the sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase, may cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Do not use this supplement, and contact RFR at 1-305-989-5472 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a refund.
#sangter #supplement #sildenafil #nitrates #hypotension #nitroglycerin
sangter, supplement, sildenafil, nitrates, hypotension #nitroglycerin
HEB Creamy Creations Light Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Has Wheat
The FDA and the HEB company are recalling HEB Creamy Creations Light Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. This ice cream contains undeclared wheat. Those with a wheat or gluten allergy or with celiac disease could develop a serious allergic reaction after ingesting this ice cream. The half gallon packages have a best buy date of Jan 6 2023 and were sold in HEB stores in Texas and Mexico and in Mi Tienda stores in Texas. If you have this ice cream in your freezer, don’t consume it. Return it to the place of purchase for a refund. For questions, contact H-E-B Customer Relations at 1-855-432-4438.
#HEB #icecream #mintchocolatechip #wheat #allergy #gluten #recall
HEB, icecream, mintchocolatechip, wheat, allergy, gluten, recall