Army Public Health Weekly Update, 17 September 2021

Date Published: 9/17/2021
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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 

    Army announces implementation of mandatory vaccines for Soldiers

    14 September- The Army outlined its plan today to fully comply with the Secretary of Defense's order requiring all Service members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Army began implementing the Secretary of Defense's order on August 24, following DoD and White House guidance. Before then, vaccines had been optional. "This is quite literally a matter of life and death for our Soldiers, their families and the communities in which we live," said Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army Surgeon General. "Case counts and deaths continue to be concerning as the Delta variant spreads, which makes protecting the force through mandatory vaccination a health and readiness priority for the total Army." While soldiers who refuse the vaccine will first be counseled by their chain of command and medical providers, continued failure to comply could result in administrative or non-judicial punishment – to include relief of duties or discharge. Soldiers have the ability to request an exemption from receiving the vaccine, if they have a legitimate medical, religious or administrative reason.  Soldiers who are pending exemption requests will not be subject to adverse actions until the exemption is fully processed. Commanders, command sergeants major, first sergeants and officers in Command Select List (CSL) positions who refuse to be vaccinated - and are not pending an exemption request – face suspension and relief if they refuse to comply. Prior to any adverse action, each would be notified of the suspension and potential relief from their duties. They would then be counseled and provided the opportunity to be vaccinated before they would become subject to removal from their positions by a general officer. Officers and noncommissioned officers who have been selected and are waiting to assume CSL command, key billet or nominative sergeant major positions – some of the most coveted assignments in the Army - will likewise be subject to removal from the list for those assignments should they refuse to be vaccinated without a pending or approved exemption. Commanders will request a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand be initiated for any Soldier who refuses to be vaccinated and does not have a pending or approved exemption request. Such reprimands can be career ending. Active duty units are expected to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 15, 2021 and Reserve and National Guard units are expected to be fully vaccinated by June 30, 2022. Army.mil External Link

    U.S. MILITARY

    Army tests new EFMP system, targets assignment process for select families

    10 September- The Army is currently piloting a new Exceptional Family Member Program online enrollment process to improve the assignment research and selection process for EFMP participants, G-9 officials said Thursday. Close to 300 Soldiers and family members are participating in the initial test of the integrated Army Enterprise EFMP system, or E-EFMP, from Aug. 27 through Sept. 30, said Paul Grossman, EFMP lead for Soldier and Family Readiness, Army G-9. The new system should reduce the time Soldiers and families dedicate toward investigating care and support options during the permanent change of station process, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston said recently during the 2021 Fires conference, hosted by Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Families often have to research a gaining installation and surrounding community to determine if they have the necessary services to meet their EFMP requirements, Grinston said. They then have to repeat the process if denied their initial assignment, resulting in undue stress. "Why does a family member have to research [an assignment] all on their own?" Grinston said. "We are better than that in this day and age. I got that task and working on it extremely hard." In June, Grossman said that the Army awarded a contract to develop the E-EFMP to support the service's EFMP families by fiscal year 2022. Under E-EFMP, Soldiers can access a range of medical and assignment information, along with an overview of installation and military treatment facility capabilities, he added. The program will also operate as the Army's centralized EFMP case management system, allowing Soldiers to initiate a Department of Defense Form 2792, or Family Member Medical Summary, and manage their enrollment online. Once the pilot is complete, G-9 officials plan to leverage user feedback to improve the program, Grossman said. The goal is to design a system that is both transparent and easy to use. Army.mil External Link

    Fort Drum senior leaders host town hall to discuss COVID vaccines, school reopening's

    10 September- Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) leaders hosted a town hall Sept. 9 to discuss the latest on COVID-19 and to answer questions from viewers watching the live stream. Maj. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander, said that the mandatory military vaccination process, per the Secretary of Defense mandate, began Sept. 6 at Fort Drum. All unvaccinated Soldiers and those who need their second shot are directed to go, by unit, to the mass vaccination site on post. Soldiers are briefed on the mandatory vaccination policy, and then they either receive the inoculation or explain why they are seeking a medical or religious exception. If a Soldier declines the vaccination, that information is documented. "The key thing there is making sure we are treating everybody with a high level of dignity and respect," Beagle said. "The key for us right now is accountability." To date, Beagle said that roughly 78 percent of Soldiers within the division have been vaccinated. Col. Matthew Mapes, Fort Drum Medical Department Activity commander, said that it is important for people to have the facts about vaccines. He said that when the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval of the Pfizer vaccination on Aug. 23, it came with a name change. Comirnaty is the same as the Pfizer vaccine, but it combines the words COVID-19 immunity and mRNA. In accordance to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Drum MEDDAC is currently providing third doses to moderate-to-severe immunocompromised beneficiaries. For everyone else, the vaccine booster is awaiting approval as early as next week from the Food and Drug Administration. "The goal is to offer boosters later this fall, and those will occur at the eight-month mark after receiving your second dose," he said. Col. James Zacchino Jr., Fort Drum garrison commander, said that Fort Drum children returned to the classroom this week, and that all the safety protocols are being enforced in schools and on buses. "Overall, we continue to dialogue with all of our schools off post, and we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis as we remain committed to keeping our community safe," he said. DVIDS External Link

    Ft. Bragg Airborne troops support R&D to prevent Soldier head injuries

    10 September- FORT BRAGG, North Carolina – Airborne Soldiers here recently tested combat helmet sensors looking to help the Army lessen repetitive traumatic injuries to the head and neck while jumping from aircraft. The 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division and the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate teamed up to do testing for the Army Research Laboratory's (ARL) newest Head Impact Monitoring Sensors. Ongoing research supported by the ARL over the last 10 years has developed improved monitoring devices and the implementation of many new protective gear developments. "Ultimately our goal for the Rate Activated Tether (RAT) helmet suspension is to increase the blunt impact protection in all combat helmets for all Soldiers," said Thomas Plaisted, the ARL Materials Engineer Research Lead. He said whether Airborne or ground-based operations Soldiers, the goal is to achieve a comfortable and stable helmet fit with minimal added weight. "The Impact Monitoring Mouthguard (IMM) is a 'Check Engine' sensor that provides understandable and objective head impact and blunt force data to line leaders regarding the readiness of their Service members," said Dr. Adam Bartsch, Chief Science Officer for Prevent Biometrics. For the past year, the IMM Team has been collaborating with the ARL to evaluate the RAT impact absorption system fitted into the Army Combat Helmet. Army.mil External Link

    Talking about hard topic may save life

    10 September- In a quarterly report released by the Department of Defense, the total number of service members who died by suicide across the armed services in 2020 totaled 689 lives. Of those, 173 were active-duty Soldiers, roughly 25% of the national total. Matthew Younger, Army Substance Abuse Program prevention branch chief, said during Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month he hopes Soldiers and Families will take time to discuss the warning signs of suicide as well as prevention strategies to reduce the risk of this tragedy taking place in the Fort Campbell community. Suicide can be a touchy and embarrassing subject, Younger said, and for that reason Soldiers might be hesitant to come forward if they are struggling with suicidal ideations. However, Soldiers should know the Army has changed in the last 30 years, and the conversation surrounding the topic has transitioned to one of mental health rather than mental toughness, he said. Although being viewed as weak or incompetent for admitting the need for help may be a real fear for some, Younger encourages anyone who needs help to work through that fear and seek assistance. "There is no punishment for getting help," he said. "They may think that they're just a private or a specialist or a new E5 or whatever it is. They may think 'Well, if I do this will they think I'm weak now or not respect me? Are they going to judge me?' But times have changed since the 80s when we didn't talk about it, this generation is more open and it's not going to hurt you to get help." Starting that conversation can be intimidating, Younger said, but it is a necessary step toward getting the help that may save a life. DVIDS External Link

    GLOBAL

    AI startups to follow for mental health care

    14 September- Mental health is a sensitive issue that we often hear, especially during the start of the pandemic. For the past months, people have been enduring different battles in their minds and other matters. As per the data dated August 2020 to February 2021 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 41.4% increase was recorded among adults who have early signs of depressive disorder. Elsewhere, the escalating percentage of those who have not yet received mental health care reached 11.7% from 9.2%. For this part, we will be discussing some of the AI startups which focus on giving the best mental health solutions for the people. For those who are struggling mentally, here are the best AI startups that will take care of your mental health issues online. Tech Times External Link

    Covid deaths rare among fully vaccinated - ONS

    14 September- Fully vaccinated people are much less likely to die with Covid-19 than those who aren't, or have had only one dose, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show. Out of more than 51,000 Covid deaths in England between January and July 2021, only 256 occurred after two doses. They were mostly people at very high risk from illness from Covid-19. The figures show the high degree of protection from the vaccines against illness and death, the ONS said. Some deaths after vaccination were always expected because vaccines are not 100% effective, and it takes a couple of weeks after your second dose to build the fullest protection. Of the 51,281 deaths involving Covid registered in England between 2 January and 2 July 2021:

    -640 (1.2%) were people who had received both vaccine doses

    -This total includes people who had been infected before they were vaccinated

    -Some 458 deaths (0.8%) were people who died at least 21 days after their second dose

    -Just 256 deaths (0.5%) were people who were both fully vaccinated and who had their first positive PCR test at least 14 days after their second dose

    "Breakthrough" deaths - occurring at least two weeks after the second jab along with a first positive PCR Covid test - tend to happen in the most vulnerable, men and those with weakened immune systems, with the average age being 84. BBC News External Link 

    COVID-19 vaccine boosters for some, but not all people

    14 September- The Lancet published a Viewpoint on September 13, 2021, co-authored by former U.S. FDA staff and other immunologists, explaining their suggestion regarding receiving a third COVID-19 vaccination. These vaccine researchers stated, 'Current evidence does not appear to show a need for boosting in the general population, in which efficacy against severe COVID-19 remains high.' 'Although the benefits of primary COVID-19 vaccination clearly outweigh the risks, there could be risks if boosters are widely introduced too soon, or too frequently.' The message that boosting might soon be needed, if not justified by robust data and analysis, could adversely affect confidence in vaccines and undermine messaging about the value of primary vaccination.' 'Thus, widespread boosting should be undertaken only if there is clear evidence that it is appropriate. Examining the evolving data will be needed to ensure decision-making about vaccine boosting is informed by reliable science....  more than politics. The unedited but formatted article is published below: 'A new wave of COVID-19 cases caused by the highly transmissible delta variant is exacerbating the worldwide public health crisis and has led to consideration of the potential need for, and optimal timing of, booster doses for vaccinated populations. Although the idea of further reducing the number of COVID-19 cases by enhancing immunity in vaccinated people is appealing, any decision to do so should be evidence-based and consider the benefits and risks for individuals and society. COVID-19 vaccines continue to be effective against severe disease, including those caused by the delta variant. Precision Vaccinations External Link

    It may take 'many, many' more vaccine mandates to end the Covid-19 pandemic, Fauci says

    13 September- Millions of Americans still need to get vaccinated to slow or stop the spread of Covid-19 and getting the pandemic under control could take "many, many" more vaccine mandates, Dr. Anthony Fauci said. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said if more people aren't persuaded to get vaccinated by messaging from health officials and "trusted political messengers," additional mandates from schools and businesses may be necessary. "I believe that's going to turn this around because I don't think people are going to want to not go to work or not go to college ... They're going to do it," Fauci told CNN's Jen Christensen during an interview at the NLGJA, the Association of LGBTQ Journalists, convention Sunday. "You'd like to have them do it on a totally voluntary basis, but if that doesn't work, you've got to go to the alternatives." The combination of the highly contagious Delta variant and the vaccine holdouts has put the United States in a "very difficult period" of the Covid-19 pandemic, Fauci said. CNN External Link

    Moderna COVID-19 vaccine most effective against Delta variant

    12 September- COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing hospitalizations and emergency department visits caused by the Delta variant, according to data from a national study. That data also indicate that Moderna's vaccine is significantly more effective against Delta than Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. "These real-world data show that vaccines remain highly effective at reducing COVID-19 related hospitalizations and emergency department visits, even in the presence of the new COVID-19 variant," said study author Shaun Grannis, M.D., M.S., Regenstrief Institute vice president for data and analytics and professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. "We strongly recommend vaccinations for all who are eligible to reduce serious illness and ease the burden on our healthcare system." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s VISION Network analyzed more than 32,000 medical encounters from nine states during June, July and August 2021, when the Delta variant became the predominant strain. The results showed that unvaccinated individuals with COVID-19 are 5-7 times more likely to need emergency department care or hospitalization, similar to the overall effectiveness prior to the variant. Outbreak News Today External Link

    Single-Dose Sputnik Light vaccine found effective with seniors

    14 September- EClinicalMedicine, an open-access peer-reviewed clinical journal published by The Lancet, found the Sputnik Light vaccine effectively prevented disease among 415,000 seniors living in the Province of Buenos Aires in Argentina. According to this observational study published on September 12, 2021, the single component of the Sputnik Light vaccine has demonstrated 78.6-83.7% general efficacy against COVID-19 in subjects aged 60-79 years old. Furthermore, Sputnik Light demonstrated efficacy against hospitalizations at 82.1-87.6%. These researchers concluded by saying, 'Similarly to other COVID-19 vaccines, the administration of one dose of Sputnik Light (Gam-COVID-Vac) was effective for a wide range of COVID-19–related outcomes.' Sputnik Light is a recombinant human adenovirus 26 serotype (rAd26) vaccine based on a well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, which cause the common cold. As of September 14, 2021, the Sputnik Light vaccine is available in over (18) countries: Note: This study did not receive outside funding, and the researchers did not disclose any industry conflicts of interest. The first limitation of this study lies in the observational nature of the study design. In addition, cohort studies differ from clinical trials in several aspects; as the unvaccinated population does not receive a placebo, any behavioral change in the vaccinated population, such as modifying prevention measures and social distancing, might be a source of systematic uncertainty. Precision Vaccinations External Link

    Unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19: CDC study

    11 September- Unvaccinated people face a far greater chance of death from the COVID-19 delta variant, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control. The study monitored incident of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in 13 U.S. jurisdictions during two periods between April 4 and July 17 in 2021. Findings showed that numbers for all categories were "substantially" higher in persons not fully vaccinated compared with those in fully vaccinated people. After the second period, which occurred between June 20 and July 17, the study noted that not fully vaccinated individuals are 4.5 times more likely to get infected (89.1 per 100,000 vs .19.4), 10 times more likely to be hospitalized (7.0 per 100,000 vs .7) and 11 times more likely to die (1.1 per 100,000 vs .1) from the delta variant. The period of time the study examined coincided with the delta variant becoming the dominant strain in the United States. "Getting vaccinated protects against severe illness from COVID-19, including the Delta variant," the study notes. "Monitoring COVID-19 incidence by vaccination status might provide early signals of potential changes in vaccine effectiveness that can be confirmed through robust controlled studies." The new study highlights the need for vaccinations at a time when the Biden administration is facing strong pushback on efforts to increase vaccinations across the country, including a sweeping mandate requiring all employers with more than 100 employees to enforce vaccinations. Fox News External Link

    INFLUENZA

    CDC: Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

    2020-2021 Influenza Season for Week 35, ending September 4, 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 35. CDC External Link

    VETERINARY/FOOD SAFETY

    Anonymous tip leads to USDA recall of beef, chicken empanada products

    13 September- SAS Foods Enterprises Inc. is recalling more than 3,700 pounds of beef and chicken empanada products that were produced without the benefit of federal inspection. They also have a false USDA mark of inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. "The problem was discovered after FSIS received an anonymous tip and initiated an investigation," according to the FSIS recall announcement. "FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase." Consumers can use the following information to determine whether they have the recalled products in their homes.

    - 1-lb. zip-lock bags or clear, plastic containers with "SAS Food EMPANADAS DE POLLO CHICKEN PATTIES."

    - 1-lb. zip-lock bags or clear, plastic containers with "SAS Food EMPANADAS DE CARNE BEEF PATTIES."

    The products subject to recall bear establishment number "EST. 38548" inside the USDA mark of inspection; however, the recalling company has no affiliation with Establishment 38548. No other identifying information, such as dates or lot code numbers, was provided in the recall notice.

    Click here for photos of recalled products and their labels. Food Safety News External Link

    Company recalls fully cooked, frozen chicken for risk of Listeria contamination

    11 September- Erie Meat Products Ltd. is recalling unbranded "Frozen All White Meat Fully Cooked Diced Chicken" from the marketplace because of possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).  Retailers, distributors, manufacturers and food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals and nursing homes should not serve, use or sell the recalled product. The recalled frozen chicken may be in possession of establishments because of its long shelf life. Establishments can use the following information to determine whether they have the recalled frozen chicken on hand. This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings. The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled product from the marketplace. The company reported distribution details as follows: Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, possibly national, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product. Food Safety News External Link

    WELLNESS

    Skiers might be at lower risk for anxiety, study finds

    15 September- Slaloms through snow are a winter staple for some, but they might have mental health benefits, too. Skiers had a nearly 60% lower risk of getting diagnosed with anxiety disorders compared to non-skiers, according to a study published Friday in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. Mental health experts have for years considered physical activity a "promising strategy" for helping prevent anxiety -- which affects up to 10% of people worldwide -- or reduce its symptoms. However, the current study's authors wrote, previous research has been inconclusive about the impact of exercise amount or intensity or physical fitness level on the risk of developing anxiety disorders, and how these relationships might differ among men and women. Some researchers have also proposed that any association between high physical activity levels and a lower risk of anxiety disorder may be due to undiagnosed anxiety symptoms preventing vulnerable individuals from engaging in physical activity. The authors compared 197,685 Swedish people who participated in Vasaloppet -- the world's largest long-distance ski race at 56 miles (90 kilometers) long -- between 1989 and 2010, to 197,684 adults who had similar health profiles but were not skiers. CNN External Link

    USAFRICOM

    Chickenpox outbreak recorded in Kasai province, DRC

    12 September- Twenty cases of chickenpox were recorded in the space of a week in the Banga health zone in Ilebo territory in Kasai province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The announcement was made by the chief doctor of the Banga health zone, Dr. Adrien Bwenyi Thursday. "It is since last week that we noticed the cases of chickenpox in the health zone of Banga. To date, we have counted around 20 cases. It is mainly people aged 15 to 25 who are most affected by this disease. We have sensitized the population to respect hygiene measures to prevent the spread of this disease ", confided the chief medical officer of the Banga health zone, Dr. Bwenyi. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USCENTCOM

    IROS, UAE's first Contract Research Organization, launched to support clinical trials in healthcare research

    13 September- Reinforcing the growing significance of the UAE in global healthcare research, Insights Research Organization and Solutions (IROS) – the first-of-its-kind Contract Research Organization (CRO) in the UAE— has been launched, specializing in healthcare research and solutions that will cover all therapeutic areas. Based in Abu Dhabi, IROS is born out of G42 Healthcare – a leading health-tech company on a mission to offer world-class healthcare in the UAE and beyond. IROS will harness real-world data and Artificial Intelligence to support internationally leading standards of scientific and ethical research, conduct clinical trials and reporting, alongside key solutions, and insights to expand and ensure access to and innovation of life-changing treatments. The IROS debut marks a significant milestone in UAE's growing prominence in the global healthcare research and development space, spurred on by the success of the country's Phase III clinical trials for the development and testing of a COVID-19 vaccine. The focus of IROS is to provide intelligent and high-quality solutions to help develop new drugs and medications by leveraging state-of-the-art research capabilities and groundbreaking technologies. This will invigorate the generation of revolutionary treatments to address pressing healthcare challenges of the present and the future. Dr. Walid Zaher, CEO of IROS and Chief Research Officer at G42 Healthcare, said: "With the increasing incidence of chronic diseases, cancer, and haematological disorders that require life-saving drugs, the MENA region needs a sustainable and robust clinical research infrastructure. The UAE has an immense capacity for research and the substrate to develop a strong regulatory framework, which makes it an ideal location to build a CRO to service the needs of the region. With its surrounding population size and diversity in genetic profile and lifestyle, IROS has the perfect landscape to foster research and testing, leading to innovative new drugs and therapies." Middle East Health  External Link 

    USEUCOM

    Italy: AIFA warns against use Parvulan for the treatment of COVID-19

    12 September- The customs units of the Ministry of Health which are responsible for the evaluation of specific requests for the importation of medicines from abroad, the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) has carried out an in depth evaluation of some suspicious import requests concerning the medicine "Parvulan". This medicine, containing Corynebacterium parvum as an active substance, is not authorized for marketing in Italy. Parvulan is authorized and marketed in Brazil (as verified by AIFA with the competent Drug Regulatory Authority, ANVISA) for the following therapeutic indications:
    Stimulant of innate immunity, adjuvant in the treatment of dermatological infections of viral, bacterial, fungal and protozoal origin, adjuvant in systemic and local infections. It has a regressive effect on solid neoplasms. Helps in the treatment of erysipelas caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Adjuvant in the treatment of acne vulgaris. The in-depth analyses were carried out in order to ascertain compliance with the regulatory framework and the legality of some import requests submitted to USMAF as set out in the procedures in the Minister of Health Decree dated 11 February 1997 ("Rules for the import of medicines authorized in other Countries"). In particular, the requested quantity of  the product (thousands of vials) and the reported therapeutic indication (Herpes zoster) were considered as grounds for suspicion, also with respect to the number of authorized medicines (and molecules) currently marketed in Italy. Outbreak News Today External Link 

    USINDOPACOM

    Philippines reports 20K new COVID-19 infections, 640 additional Delta variants identified

    13 September- Philippines health officials reported an additional 20,745 new COVID-19 infections Monday and 163 deaths, bringing the cumulative totals to 2,248,071 cases and 35,307 deaths since the start of the pandemic last year. During the past month, the Philippines reported 485,751 new COVID-19 cases and more than 4800 deaths. Only nine other countries have reported more cases during this 28 day period. The Department of Health (DOH), along with their partners from the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) today reported an additional 640 Delta variant cases. Of the new 640 cases, 584 were local cases, 52 were Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF), and four cases are currently being verified if these are local or ROF cases. Of the 584 local cases, top regions indicated as addresses of the cases were the National Capital Region with 112 cases, Cagayan Valley with 52, and CALABARZON with 49. 13 of the cases died. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USNORTHCOM

    U.S.: Listeria cluster in NYC- Linked to Brooklyn NetCost Market

    12 September- New York City health officials report investigating a cluster of three patients who tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The three patients had clinical isolates highly related to each other by whole genome sequencing (WGS). All three patients, each older than 50 years of age, reside in Brooklyn. They were all hospitalized for their illness. The patients all reported shopping at NetCost Market at 3100 Ocean Ave in Brooklyn, NY and purchased ready-to-eat products from the deli counter prior to illness onset. Food and environmental specimens collected at the deli area were found to be highly related to the NYC clinical isolates by WGS. NetCost management has worked closely with the Health Department and New York State Agriculture and Markets to ensure that the deli area is safe for consumers at this time. Health officials say customers who have purchased food from this deli counter before 9/5/2021 should not eat the food and throw it out. Listeriosis, a bacterial disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes, is uncommon, and usually occurs sporadically. Although it can cause mild illness in immunocompetent adults, it can also cause sepsis and meningoencephalitis in newborns and adults, and spontaneous abortion in pregnant women. Neonates, the elderly, immune compromised individuals, and pregnant women are at greatest risk for serious or fatal infection. Foodborne outbreaks of listeriosis have been associated with ingestion of raw or contaminated milk, soft cheeses, contaminated raw vegetables, and undercooked or ready-to-eat meats such as hotdogs, luncheon meats, and refrigerated pâtés. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USSOUTHCOM

    Chile continues to report decrease in COVID-19 cases

    12 September- Chile Minister of Health, Enrique Paris, reported today that there were 449 new cases of COVID-19. This out of  56,394 tests performed in the last 24 hours. At the national level, the difference of new confirmed cases is -5% and -29% for the comparison of 7 and 14 days, respectively. There are 12 regions that have decreased their new cases in the last 7 days and 13 in the last 14. The positivity of cases by PCR in the last 24 hours is 0.88%, equal to the average of the last 7 days. The positivity of cases by antigen for the same period is 0.2% and the average of the last 7 days is 0.8% ", explained the authority. Minister Paris added, "with a sustained large number of daily exams, the positivity for the last 24 hours at the country level is 0.88% and in the Metropolitan Region it is 1%." Based on region, said the Minister of Health, "according to the sampling, the highest positivity of cases by average PCR in the last 7 days corresponds to the regions of Arica and Parinacota, Antofagasta, Metropolitana and O'Higgins." Finally, Minister Paris reported that "the regions with an increase in new confirmed cases in the last 7 days are: Aysén, Arica and Parinacota, Antofagasta and Atacama. Arica and Parinacota have the highest current incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Atacama, Antofagasta and Tarapacá". Outbreak News Today  External Link