Army Public Health Weekly Update, 03 September 2021

Date Published: 9/3/2021
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​The Army Public Health Update is a collection of articles taken from public sources to offer awareness of current health issues and the media coverage given to them. The articles do not necessarily represent U.S. Army Medical Command opinions, views, policy, or guidance, and should not be construed or interpreted as being endorsed by the U.S. Army Medical Command.

The Army Public Health Weekly Update does not analyze the information as to its strategic or tactical impact on the U.S. Army and is not a medical intelligence product. Medical intelligence is available from the National Center for Medical Intelligence External Link .

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Table of Contents

    ANNOUNCMENTS 

    2020 Health of the Force

    Through annual reporting of key indicators that impact readiness and Soldier well-being, Health of the Force improves awareness and understanding of the health status of the Army. Results are communicated through an online digital platform and traditional reports. The Health of the Force suite of products gives leaders tools to advance programs and strategies that improve performance and reduce illness and injury. APHC

    U.S. MILITARY

    A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT: Community fights pandemic alongside medical staff

    27 August- The effects of the pandemic have inevitably put a strain on the workforce; perhaps none more-so than those working in the medical field. Fortunately, a great deal of the strain on Fort Gordon has been alleviated thanks to ongoing collaborative efforts between the installation's Army Public Health Nursing branch (APHN) and various Fort Gordon personnel; namely the command and its support teams. APHN's mission is to "enable total force readiness through promoting population-focused health, mitigating disease and injury, assuring force health protection, informing policy, and responding to emerging health threats." It is essentially the Army's equivalent of the Department of Public Health, explained Lt. Col. Dionicia Russell, chief of APHN, Eisenhower Army Medical Center. "We have to not just educate people, but any infectious disease, not just COVID, that comes across Fort Gordon, we have to actually trace and report to the Health Department," Russell said. When the first COVID-19 case on Fort Gordon was confirmed in February 2020, Russell began preparing for the worst. By mid-March, much of the installation had temporarily closed as the number of confirmed cases rose. Accomplishing APHN's mission was already a challenge with just herself and two other nurses on staff. The added need for tracing COVID-19 made it nearly impossible for an already strained staff. "When that happened, the Army sent out some guidance that if our numbers started going up, we could reach out to the post and they gave us a standardized process we could follow to do contact tracing and to do cleaning teams as that increased," Russell said. "We took that guidance when we saw our numbers started inching up." Reaching out to the installation's command team and Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, Russell said she received an outpouring of support from all sides. Her request for borrowed military manpower was approved, and a dedicated COVID-19 contact tracing team (CTT) was established. CTTs consist of service members from all backgrounds and branches of service. They serve on 90-day rotations. Their duties include – but are not limited to – calling patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and instructing them on their next steps. Using a detailed questionnaire, CTTs trace patients' movements in an attempt to notify other potentially exposed persons and prevent further spread of the virus. Army.mil External Link

    An immunized force is a battle ready force

    31 August- On the timeline of history, we are collectively more aware now of the role viruses play and the importance that immunizations have for us. For many in the military health organization, immunizations are a battleground for ensuring that our nation's' service members are ready to deploy anywhere at any time. The month of August is National Immunization Awareness Month, which is a great time to reflect on the fight against diseases and illnesses that are preventable with a simple rolling up of the sleeve and a poke. Prior to COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration recommended 17 routine vaccines for individuals from across the age spectrum to protect against serious illnesses such as measles, meningitis, polio and more. In 2012, the World Health Organization estimated that vaccination prevents 2.5 million deaths each year. Approximately 42,000 adults and 300 children in the United States die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases; all of these are preventable through timely vaccinations. There may be additional immunization requirements for members of the Armed Forces based on their risks of exposure to diseases like rabies, Japanese encephalitis, anthrax, or adenovirus among others. When a Marine or Sailor becomes ill in the field, the unit would do everything to get them to the best care possible. Emergency evacuation could endanger other teammates and disrupt the missions, not to mention being very costly, which is why immunization is an important initiative to keep our Marines and Sailors safe. "Sometimes our Sailors or Marines may be concerned about being a 'pin-cushion,'" says Captain Ilin Chuang, a vaccine researcher and preventive medicine & infectious disease physician from Navy & Marine Corps Public Health Center. "I have received many of these additional vaccines for my deployments and being stationed in Southeast Asia for years and would much rather receive these vaccines when I am healthy as extra armors of protection." Immunization of pregnant Marines and Sailors helps to keep them and their babies healthy. Pregnancy is challenging enough, immunization reduces further stress of vaccine-preventable illnesses. A CDC study in 2018 showed getting a flu shot reduced pregnant women's risk of being hospitalized with flu by around 40%. Another CDC evaluation in 2017 found Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough) vaccination during the third trimester of pregnancy prevents more than three in four cases of whooping cough in babies younger than two months old. DVIDS External Link

    Army study evaluates use of dogs in COVID-19 detection

    27 August- Scientists at the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center are partnering with the University of Pennsylvania and various canine training facilities to continue research on how canines can aid in the fight against COVID-19 and other chemical biological threats. A team of researchers led by Dr. Patricia Buckley, supervisory biologist and chief of the Center's Biochemistry Branch, recently began phase two of this proof-of-concept study to determine if dogs can be trained to detect the odor of COVID-19 from human sweat. Center scientists say these dogs are able to detect a COVID-positive person days before a rapid test can. ''We're harnessing that scent-detection capability and figuring out how far we can take their limits of detection,'' said Jenna Gadberry, a research scientist at the center. ''So far, the levels they have been able to detect have been astounding.'' Funded by the Defense Department's Domestic Preparedness Support Initiative, this research is a collaborative effort that includes the center, University of Pennsylvania's Penn Vet Working Dog Center and Tactical Directional Canine (TDK9) Systems. Scientists at the center work together to take on research compliance, communicate with dog trainers, crunch data, and create test plans. The University of Pennsylvania serves as the sample collection hub to set up the clinical trial. The university obtains institutional review board approval to collect the clinical human samples and TDK9 and Penn Vet Working Dog Center conduct the canine detection training. In the fall of 2020, the team of collaborators completed phase one of the study, which involved collecting human COVID-19 positive and negative urine and saliva specimens. Phase two required volunteer participants to wear a T-shirt overnight and send it to the University of Pennsylvania where the shirt would serve as the training aid sample for the dogs to sniff. Participants were required to have an accompanying COVID-19 test to verify whether they were positive or negative for the virus. Though this was a long and tedious process, center scientists say that it was worth it. ''It took longer than we anticipated, but we were fortunate to get lots of wonderful volunteers who offered to help us,'' said Dr. Michele Maughan, center research scientist. Defence.gov External Link

    Army Wellness Center in Daegu offers innovative tools for incoming Soldiers and Families to boost health

    30 August- The Daegu Army Wellness Center (AWC) celebrated it's one year anniversary this summer—staffed with a highly-trained team of experts offering access to state-of-the-art fitness assessments and free services to assist Soldiers, families and civilians reach health and fitness goals. USAG Daegu is committed to being an assignment of choice by providing excellent quality of life support and programs for military communities. Army Wellness Centers provide programs and services that improve and sustain health, performance, and readiness of the Total Army. USAG Daegu's Army Wellness Center—located within Building 567 at Camp Walker—offers a wide-range of services including health coaching, metabolic testing, body composition measurement, physical fitness assessments and stress management coaching. Educational classes include Healthy Sleep Habits and nutritional classes such as Meals in Minutes with client centered action plans for better health and performance. "The first step is sign up for our 'Upping Your Metabolism' class hosted at Camp Walker and at Camp Carroll where we provide you with the tips and resources to improve your body composition and increase your metabolism," said Daegu Army Wellness Center Health Technician Phillip Clifton. "We are here every step of the way to help you reach your fitness goals. Sign up today for the 'Upping Your Metabolism' class and you are then free to start using all the services we offer." Daegu Army Wellness Center's cutting-edge technology includes Bod Pod assessments. Dubbed the Gold Standard of body composition testing, it provides valuable analysis to accurately measure both body fat and lean mass changes. The egg-shaped device is computerized and utilizes air displacement to calculate body composition. The service is free and can cost hundreds of dollars at a commercial facility. Army.mil External Link

    DHA recognizes the service of women on Women's Equality Day

    30 August- In 1873 a federal court issued a decision to convict and fine women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony. Dr. Holly O'Reilly explained how Anthony had been arrested for casting a vote at a time when women were not permitted to do so. O'Reilly, program manager for the DHA's Sexual Assault/Women's Behavioral Health Program Management Office, was the keynote speaker at the recent Defense Health Agency's Women's Equality Day observance. The event took place on the 101st anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which prohibits voter discrimination on the basis of sex. Since 1971 our nation has celebrated Women's Equality Day. In keeping with this tradition, the DHA used this opportunity to publically recognize the rights and inherent dignity of all women. "An 1848 meeting of the Seneca Falls Convention is what launched the women's suffrage movement," O'Reilly told attendees of the observance. "There were 68 women and 32 men who signed the Declaration of Sentiments, which outlined the rights they were asking for on behalf of American women." When the Seneca Falls Convention first assembled, women could not legally vote, nor could they serve in the Armed Forces or receive basic employment benefits. Through dedicated advocacy work, the Convention and other women's rights pioneers sought to eliminate these and other injustices. They "petitioned for equal rights for all, regardless of color or sex," O'Reilly said. Through their dedicated efforts these pioneers led the nation on a journey to reverse the injustices of the past and create space for their participation in American public life. Health.mil External Link

    Virtual pain care skills training features 28 workshops, Simon Sinek

    30 August- The National Capital Region (NCR) Pain Initiative at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, Maryland will host the 11th Annual Pain Care Skills Training from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2. "This is the largest pain military training in the country," said Dr. Christopher Spevak, an anesthesiologist and pain physician who leads the NCR's Capital Region Pain Initiative and Tele-Pain Program. "We attract physicians, social workers, pharmacists and others involved in pain management from throughout the Military Health System. We've also received requests from other domestic and international military physicians to attend." Spevak and Amy Osik, senior program manager for the NCR Pain Initiative and Tele-Pain Program, explained how attendees from all over the world will be able to attend the event virtually. The goal is for providers and members of the health care team to learn more about optimizing care and integrative approaches to pain management. Spevak noted the training occurs at the beginning Pain Awareness Month, observed during September when organizations worldwide work to raise awareness of how pain affects individuals, families, communities and the nation. This training supports this goal. "We really give attendees what they need in terms of practical information and useable skills," Spevak explained. In addition to plenary sessions, the training includes interactive, case-based workshops focused on pain and pain management. He added a highlight of the event is a plenary session during which patients share their stories. Virtual plenary sessions kick off the training Aug. 31. British-American author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek will be the guest speaker for the Dr. Anita Hickey Memorial Lecture. Sinek will discuss 'The Infinite Game, Finding Fulfillment Everyday'. Hickey, namesake for the event's keynote presentation, was a retired Navy captain who served 28 years in uniform as a pain physician. After her retirement, Hickey continued to serve as a pain management/anesthesia physician at Naval Medical Center San Diego in California. Prior to her death in 2019, Hickey authored numerous articles and book chapters on topics including pain management, post-traumatic stress disorder and acupuncture. She also authored the book, "Pain Is Not What It Seems: The Guide to Understanding and Healing from Chronic Pain and Suffering." Spevak explained how Sinek was chosen as guest speaker for the Hickey lecture because he is well-known by military leadership. His books are quoted by senior military leaders from all services, and he's known for addressing issues regarding wellness and fulfillment. "This is something we're focusing on – the wellness of our health-care teams to better serve our patients," said Spevak. Other speakers for the event's plenary sessions include Ruth Clark, a dietitian from the Defense Health Agency's National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Maryland, who will discuss "Optimizing Nutrition to Maximize Health Potential." Dr. Ilene Robeck, a pain physician who worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs, is slated to address "COVID and Pain," and Dr. Wayne Jonas, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and practicing family physician in integrative health and health-care delivery, will discuss "Healing in the Time of COVID." Health.mil External Link

    GLOBAL

    Artificial intelligence technology for heart imaging can be used as tool to help doctors examine scar tissue

    1 September- A brand new artificial technology for heart imaging might be able to improve patient care. This technology could allow doctors to examine the patient's heart for scar tissue while also eliminating the need for contrast injections that are required for traditional cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging. A team of researchers that were responsible for developing the technology include doctors coming from the UVA Health reports the success of the new approach in an article uploaded to the scientific journal Circulation. The team compared its AI approach which is known as virtual native enhancement with contrast-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance scans that are currently used to help monitor hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is the most common genetic heart condition. Researchers reportedly found that virtual native enhancement is capable of producing higher-quality images as well as better capture evidence of scar in the heart. This is without the need for actually injecting the standard contrast agent that is usually required for cardiovascular magnetic resonance scans. Technology has reportedly been very useful in helping patients understand their health status. Researcher Dr. Christopher Kramer noted that this is a new potentially important advance, especially if it can actually be expanded to other patient groups. Dr. Christopher Kramer is the chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medical Health at UVA Health which is Virginia's only designated Center of Excellence by Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy association. It was noted that being able to identify scar in the heart is an important contributor to progression towards heart failure and even sudden cardiac death would be highly significant. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance scans would reportedly be done without any contrast and thus saving cost and any risk from the contrast agent. Tech Times External Link

    Child obesity increased during COVID-19 pandemic: study

    29 August- A new study found that child obesity significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The study, published Friday on the Journal of the America Medical Association (JAMA) Network, found that "youths gained more weight during the COVID-19 pandemic than before it." The greatest change occurred among children aged 5 through 11 years old, which saw a Body Mass Index (BMI) increase of 1.57 and prevalence of obesity increase from 36.2% to 45.7%.  Some experts raised concerns when remote learning started that obesity would increase among children as they lacked certain daily physical activities, such as gym class and recess, as well as differences in meal plans. Now, those children have seen a significant increase in weight that will prove difficult to shed.  A study in May found similar results after researchers measured the BMI for about 300,000 children between the ages of 2 and 17: On average, the prevalence of obesity increased by about two percentage points, going as high as 15.4%. Fox News External Link

    First, surges in Covid-19 infections led to shortages of hospital beds and staff. Now it's oxygen

    30 August- Hospitals in parts of the South are running out of oxygen supply as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue soaring, driven by the swaths of people who remain unvaccinated and a dangerous coronavirus variant that has infected millions of Americans. Several hospitals in Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana are struggling with oxygen scarcity. Some are at risk of having to use their reserve supply or risk running out of oxygen imminently, according to state health officials and hospital consultants. With the continued uptick in Covid-19 cases, there has been more demand on the oxygen supply, and hospitals cannot keep up the pace to meet those needs, Donna Cross, senior director of facilities and construction at Premier -- a health care performance improvement company -- told CNN. "Normally, an oxygen tank would be about 90% full, and the suppliers would let them get down to a refill level of 30-40% left in their tank, giving them a three- to five-day cushion of supply," said Cross. "What's happening now is that hospitals are running down to about 10-20%, which is a one- to two-day supply on hand, before they're getting backfilled." Even when they're getting backfill, it's only a partial supply of about 50%, Cross said. "It is very critical situation." Florida on Saturday had the highest Covid-19 hospitalization rate in the country, with 75 patients per 100,000 residents in hospitals with the virus, according to data from federal health officials and Johns Hopkins University. It also reached yet another pandemic high of Covid-19 cases Friday, reporting 690.5 new cases per 100,000 people each day from August 20 to August 26, state data showed. CNN External Link

    Life-saving cholesterol jab recommended on NHS

    1 September- An expensive but "game-changing" anti-cholesterol drug could soon be offered to hundreds of thousands of people in England and Wales on the NHS. NHS England says inclisiran, given as a twice-a-year injection, could save about 30,000 lives within a decade. It normally costs nearly £2,000 per dose but Novartis, which makes it, has agreed an undisclosed discount. It can lower bad fat in the blood when other cheaper drugs, like statins, have not done enough, says draft advice. The health watchdog NICE is recommending it as an option for people who have already had a stroke or heart attack and are not responding to other cholesterol-lowering treatments. Experts hope it will help to cut their risk of further life-threatening cardiovascular events. Although there is no long-term proof of this yet from studies, they believe it is worth recommending based on existing evidence. It will bring England and Wales in line with guidance for Scotland. More than two in five people in England are thought to have high cholesterol and around 6.5 million adults are taking medicines, called statins, to help lower it. BBC News External Link

    Needle-Free nasal spray flu vaccine available in the USA

    31 August- UK-based AstraZeneca announced that FLUMIST® QUADRIVALENT influenza vaccine is now available in the USA for the 2021-2022 flu season. The needle-free FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT is the only US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved nasal-spray influenza vaccine. In line with the 2021-2022 recommendations from the U.S. CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics, FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT continues to be an option for flu vaccination for people ages 2 through 49. The CDC stresses the importance of receiving a yearly flu vaccine, citing vaccination as the most effective protection against seasonal flu infection. "As the world continues to navigate an unpredictable public health landscape with coinciding influenza and COVID-19 viruses, AstraZeneca remains committed to following the science and putting people and their communities first by helping ensure families have access to a needle-free vaccination option," stated Mina Makar, SVP, US Respiratory & Immunology at AstraZeneca, in a press statement. "Improving patient and public health is at the heart of what we do, and we are proud to be doing our part in fighting the flu again this season by working with our partners to provide FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT to those eligible this year." Since FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT is the only FDA-approved flu vaccine to use a needle-free nasal spray administrative technique, eligible patients may prefer it. AstraZeneca's live attenuated influenza vaccine (either as trivalent or quadrivalent formulations) has been approved by the FDA since 2003 and is covered by most health insurance plans. The most common side effects of FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fever over 100°F. Please note, all available influenza vaccines are manufactured differently, and different preparations have different indications as licensed by the FDA. Those interested in receiving a flu vaccine are encouraged to speak with a healthcare provider, says AstraZeneca. Precision Vaccinations External Link

    Pfizer starts dosing patients in oral COVID-19 drug trial

    1 September- Pfizer Inc. (PFE.N) said on Wednesday it had started dosing in a mid-to-late-stage trial of its oral antiviral therapy for COVID-19 in non-hospitalized, symptomatic adult patients. The company and its rivals, including U.S.-based Merck & Co Inc. (MRK.N) and Swiss pharmaceutical Roche Holding AG (ROG.S), have been racing to develop the first antiviral pill to be taken on early signs of the illness. Pfizer's mid-to-late-stage trial in 1,140 participants would study the therapy, PF-07321332, in combination with a low dose of ritonavir, which has been used with other antivirals too, the company said. (https://bit.ly/3kJWzg9) PF-07321332 is designed to block the activity of a key enzyme that is needed for the coronavirus to replicate. To date, Gilead Sciences Inc.'s (GILD.O) remdesivir, administered intravenously, is the only approved antiviral treatment for COVID-19 in the United States. Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics' molnupiravir is already being studied in a late-stage trial in non-hospitalized patients to see if it reduces the risk of hospitalization or death. The companies said on Wednesday they had started a late-stage trial of molnupiravir for the prevention of COVID-19 infection. Pfizer said in July if the PF-07321332 trial was successful, it would file for a potential emergency use authorization in the fourth quarter. Reuters External Link

    South African researchers keep wary eye on yet another new coronavirus variant

    31 August- Genetics researchers who have been watching for new coronavirus variants say they've seen a troubling new lineage that carries many of the same hallmarks as other strains, including Alpha, Beta and Gamma. The variant they are watching, called C.1.2, has popped up across South Africa as well as in seven other countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the researchers report. They're not sure whether its constellation of mutations will make it more dangerous, but it carries changes that have given other variants increased transmissibility and the ability to evade the immune system's response to some degree. Having more mutations does not necessarily equal more danger -- some mutations can weaken a virus and it's the combination of changes that affects whether a virus becomes more efficient. One extra mutation could cancel out the effects of another. But the team -- which includes virologist Penny Moore of South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases -- say they are keeping an eye on it. "We are currently assessing the impact of this variant on antibody neutralization following SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa," they wrote in a report posted online as a preprint. CNN External Link

    Study: 98% of 'highly allergic' people have no reaction after COVID-19 vaccination

    31 August- Allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are rare, even among recipients with a history of complications in response to inoculations, medications and other irritants, a study published Tuesday by JAMA Network Open found. Still, special precautions should be taken to safely vaccinate those at high risk for allergic reactions, the researchers said. Among more than 400 participants described as "highly allergic," 98% had "no immediate" reaction following receipt of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the data showed. Six, or fewer than 2%, of the study participants had "minor allergic responses," while three, or fewer than 1%, experienced anaphylaxis. "The rate of allergic reactions, particularly anaphylactic reactions, to the [Pfizer-BioNTech] vaccine are higher than for other commonly used vaccines. This finding is particularly true for patients with a history of allergic reactions," researchers, from Tel-Hashomer Hospital in Ramat-Gan Israel wrote. "However, this vaccine prevents deadly disease and is a main tool to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, immunization of the general population, including those with an allergic history, is an important goal. Overcoming safety concerns and predominantly allergic ones is needed to achieve this goal," they said. The risk of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, with the currently available COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech is "very low," according to research published earlier this year. UPI External Link

    INFLUENZA

    CDC: Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

    2020-2021 Influenza Season for Week 33, ending August 21, 2021:

    Influenza-Associated Hospitalizations- The Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) conducts population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalizations in select counties in 14 states and represents approximately 9% of the U.S. population. As in previous seasons, patients admitted for laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalization after April 30, 2021, will not be included in FluSurv-NET. Data on patients admitted through April 30, 2021, will continue to be updated as additional information is received.

    Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality- No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 33. One influenza-associated pediatric death occurring during the 2020-2021 season has been reported to CDC. CDC External Link

    VETERINARY/FOOD SAFETY

    Hundreds of tons of Italian meat recalled because of Salmonella outbreak

    28 August- Three days after the CDC announced that Fratelli Beretta Italian meat products were linked to a Salmonella outbreak, the company has announced a nationwide recall of more than 430 tons of one of its products. Fratelli Beretta USA Inc. of Mount Olive, NJ, is recalling 24-ounce trays containing two 12-ounce packages of "Fratelli Beretta UNCURED ANTIPASTO PROSCIUTTO, SOPPRESSATA, MILANO SALAMI & COPPA" with best by dates of Aug 27, 2021, through Feb 11, 2022. The products are marked with the UPC number 073541305316 and have an establishment number "EST. 7543B" printed on the packaging next to the best by date. The products are labeled as ready to eat, according to the recall announcement posted by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. The ready-to-eat (RTE) uncured antipasto meat trays were produced from Feb. 28, 2021, through Aug. 15, 2021. There are 862,000 pounds of product subject to this recall. Because of the long shelf life of the meat product there is concern that consumers may have it in their homes. Consumers are advised to check the label information of any product they have on hand. If the codes match the recalled products the meat should immediately be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been investigating a combined outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections and an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections and found a link to Fratelli Beretta products. Combined, the outbreaks are responsible for 36 illnesses in 17 states with 12 hospitalizations and no deaths. As of Aug. 26 the data for the two outbreaks is being reported together because the investigations have been combined. No new cases have been reported since the previous notice on Aug. 24. Food Safety News External Link

    Salmonella and Listeria contamination leads to Top Quality Dog Food recall

    27 August- Top Quality Dog Food of Hyattsville, MD, is recalling "Beef HVM" 1-pound packages because of potential Salmonella and  Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Both Salmonella and Listeria can affect animals eating the product and there is risk to humans handling contaminated products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. The contamination was found after a state surveillance sample revealed the presence of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, in some 1-pound. packages of Beef HVM. The remaining "Beef HVM" batch in the firm's possession has been quarantined and it has discontinued the distribution of this batch. The recalled "Beef HVM" was distributed in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Miami, Connecticut and South Carolina. The products were also distributed through mail order and direct delivery from July 27 to Aug. 2. Outbreak News Today External Link

    Wisconsin issues mosquito-related illness warning after 4 horses contract EEE

    30 August- Wisconsin state health officials recently issued a warning concerning mosquito-related illnesses following the reports of the first Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) activity this year in four horses, one each in Monroe, Burnett, Calumet and Marquette counties. EEE is spread through the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus, which mosquitoes can get after biting an infected bird. While horses can't spread EEE directly to humans or even to mosquitoes that bite them, a case of EEE in a horse confirms that some mosquitoes in the area are infected with the virus and may spread EEE to people and other animals. Symptoms of EEE in humans include the sudden onset of fever, chills, and body and joint aches. EEE infection can develop into severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures, and paralysis. Permanent brain damage, coma, and death may also occur in some cases. These symptoms are similar to those caused by West Nile virus (WNV) another illness spread by mosquitoes that is most commonly spread during late summer, though WNV is less likely to cause severe illness or death. On average, 44 human cases of illnesses spread by mosquitoes in Wisconsin are reported to public health each year. Since many infections cause mild illness that goes undiagnosed, the actual number of Wisconsin cases is likely to be much higher. Outbreak News Today External Link

    WELLNESS

    How to handle the infuriating 'here we go again' feeling as the delta variant rages

    24 August- It's an unfortunate example of deja vu all over again. The devastating surge in the delta variant of the coronavirus has abruptly curbed our newfound freedom — bringing back mask mandates, restrictions and fear, and leaving many Americans frustrated, stuck, demoralized or worse. Among the most common responses are despair (I can't go through this again!) or anger (I can't believe I have to go through this again because some people won't get vaccinated!) or a deep sense of weariness. These reactions are understandable, given what we've been through, experts say. "People lived for a year, terrified they were going to get covid, and we had a carrot in front of us to get vaccinated, then go back to normal life," says psychologist Alice Domar, executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Waltham, Mass. "People were celebrating when they got to two weeks after their second vaccine. They had a month or two of getting a taste of freedom, then Provincetown hit" — the July outbreak in the Massachusetts beach town fueled by the delta variant — "and on a dime, people had to start thinking about changing their behavior again." Washington Post Wellness External Link

    USAFRICOM

    DRC top doc: 'The third wave is behind us', 'Must remain vigilant'

    29 August- Doctor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, during his weekly press briefing held this Friday, August 27, 2021 in Kinshasa, affirmed that the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has passed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, the coordinator of the Technical Secretariat of the Multisectoral Response Committee insisted on respecting barrier measures and vaccination to avoid the 4th wave of the Coronavirus in the country. "The third wave is behind us. But we must always be vigilant because we do not want there to be a 4th wave. This is really why the correct wearing of the masks is obligatory and also soon it is the vaccination. We will therefore resume vaccination and I ask you to make efforts so that the hesitations and resistance to vaccination can cease, " he said. As for the provinces strongly affected by this disease, in particular Lualaba and Tshopo, he suggested that efforts are being made for the Coronavirus to be controlled, "in order to have the same trend throughout the world. extent of the country ". Regarding vaccination, he said that between August 17 and 24, 3,785 people received the second dose of AstraZeneca. And in total, 80,045 were completely vaccinated (1st and 2nd doses). Outbreak News Today External Link

    USCENTCOM

    Dengue fever in Taiz, Yemen: 4,770 cases since the beginning of the year

    28 August- Health officials in Yemen said this week that 4,770 cases of  dengue fever had been detected in Taiz governorate in the southwestern part of the country since the beginning of the year through the end of July. Taysir Al-Sami'i, Deputy Director of Information at the Ministry of Health's office in Taiz said the neighborhoods of the city of Taiz, the capital of the governorate, recorded a greatest spread of the disease compared to other areas in the most populous governorate in Yemen. He attributed the spread of dengue fever to several reasons, most notably the spread of mosquitoes that transmit the disease, and the health authorities' preoccupation with confronting the COVID-19 epidemic, which led to the neglect of other infectious diseases. Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are four closely related but antigenically different serotypes of the virus that can cause dengue (DEN1, DEN 2, DEN 3, DEN 4). Outbreak News Today External Link

    USEUCOM

    Sweden: Few of those vaccinated become seriously ill

    26 August- The Swedish Public Health Agency reports approximately 6.6 million people in the population over the age of 18 have been vaccinated with at least one dose and 5.3 million people with two doses. Since the turn of the year, more than 650,000 cases of covid-19 have been reported. Of these, 5,274 have been infected despite being vaccinated with two doses and two weeks have elapsed since then. These cases are called breakthrough infections. During the month of May, such cases accounted for 1 percent of the reported cases. During the first two weeks of August, they accounted for 11 percent. "The increase in breakthrough infections is completely expected. The greater the proportion of the population that is vaccinated, the greater the proportion of cases detected will be vaccinated because there are fewer people left who are not vaccinated. No vaccine protects 100 percent, but the vaccines against covid-19 are effective and provide very good protection against serious disease", says state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. The breakthrough infections often cause mild or no disease symptoms at all. When it comes to the age and gender distribution in breakthrough infections, it reflects vaccination coverage in the country, where more older people and women are vaccinated than younger and men. The Public Health Agency's analysis also shows that the number of fully vaccinated people who have been intensively cared for or died with covid-19 is small. Since the turn of the year, 21 people who have been vaccinated with two doses have been cared for at IVA. The median age for these cases was 75 years. During the same period, 190 fully vaccinated individuals died within 30 days of their covid-19 diagnosis. Among these, the median age was 87 years. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USINDOPACOM

    Dengue in Bangladesh pushes 10K cases, DENV-3 predominates in Dhaka

    29 August- The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in Bangladesh reported 252 additional dengue fever hospitalizations, bringing the total this year to 9,857 cumulative cases. Of the 252 cases reported today, 202 are from the capital city of Dhaka. All month, Bangladesh has reported in excess of 200 cases per day. DGHS reported one additional dengue related death, bringing the total to 42 year-to-date. Researchers at the Bangladesh Science and Industry Research Council (BCSIR) noted the majority of dengue infections in Dhaka this year are the dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3), the strain that triggered the 2019 dengue outbreak. BCSIR performed genome sequencing on 20 samples of the virus from a hospital and all of them were DENV-3. Saif Ullah Munshi, head of the Virology Department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), said, "Last year, most dengue infections in the country were caused by DENV-1 and DENV-2 serotypes. But this year, most of the infections appear to be caused by DENV-3. This strain was first identified in the country in 2017." "Former DENV-1 and DENV- 2 patients are suffering from critical conditions when re-infected with DENV-3, and that's why there are more deaths this year," he said. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USNORTHCOM

    U.S.: Florida- Poison Control reports spike in cases related to ivermectin, Most involve meds for livestock

    29 August- Florida Poison Control tweeted last week that they are seeing a spike in cases related to ivermectin, a deworming medication. They report treating 27 patients in August, primarily from the use of ivermectin made for livestock. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried released the following statement concerning what the Florida Poison Control Center reported: "The promotion of inappropriate use of this drug is irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous. There is no public health or scientific support for its use to treat or prevent COVID-19, and there are serious safety concerns when it comes to self-medicating and humans using medications intended for animals," said Commissioner Fried. "Individuals should look to their medical doctors when it comes to medical treatments – not online quacks. We must not allow a platform for such misinformation that is putting the well-being of Floridians at risk. I urge the Governor to disavow those promoting false cures, and instead listen to the scientists and medical community when it comes to preventing and treating COVID-19 – promoting the safe and effective vaccines and encouraging mask wearing." The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued warnings against self-medicating with animal drugs and that this medicine, even when prescribed for human use, has not been authorized or approved to treat or prevent COVID-19. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USSOUTHCOM

    Chile COVID-19: 15 regions have a positivity less than or equal to 1%

    29 August- The Minister of Health, Enrique Paris, reported that "672 new cases are reported, a positivity of 1.11% in the last 24 hours nationwide with 60,920 examinations, PCR and antigen tests." "The positivity in the Metropolitan Region is 2% and 15 regions have a positivity less than or equal to 1%. 13 regions decreased their cases in the last 7 days and 14 did so in 14 days. The variation of new confirmed cases at the national level is -17% and -27% for the comparison of 7 and 14 days respectively, "said the health authority. The head of the portfolio added that "of the 672 new cases, 11% are diagnosed by antigen test, 28% originate from Active Case Search (BAC) and 31% of those notified are asymptomatic. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Region presents 11% due to antigen, 22% due to BAC and 25% of the reported cases are asymptomatic ". According to sampling, the regions with the highest positivity are Metropolitana (Santiago), O'Higgins, Valparaíso and Maule. Meanwhile, the Aysén region registers the highest incidence rate in the country per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by the regions of Tarapacá, Metropolitana and Maule. According to Friday's report, of the 672 new cases of COVID-19, 426 correspond to symptomatic people and 189 do not have symptoms. In addition, 57 Positive PCR tests were recorded that were not reported. The total number of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the country reaches 1,636,627. Of this total, 4,453 patients are in the active stage. The recovered cases are 1,593,188. Outbreak News Today External Link