Army Public Health Weekly Update, 22 October 2021

Date Published: 10/22/2021
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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

    ANNOUNCE​MENTS 

    One Health Webinar Days

    Webinar Days is a scholarly sharing of ideas and innovations in the One Health space. This year's theme is One Health for a Bright Future: One Health Resiliency. This is a virtual event that will be held on Microsoft Teams, and registration is required. APHC

    U.S. MILITARY

    Mental health resources paramount during stressful times

    18 October- After an elongated battle against COVID-19, economically and logistically strained conditions within society, and potential anxiety over the recent withdrawals from Afghanistan, it has become more important for leaders to not only continue to monitor their Soldier's physical health, but their mental health as well. Help is also available for eligible Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield Military Family members as their strength is tested in weathering unique challenges such as frequent moves, deployments, employment challenges, and separations from loved ones. As people are more isolated due to restrictions designed to limit the transmission of COVID-19 and many exhibiting increased symptoms of depression, leaders, mental health professionals and chaplains are encouraging Soldiers, their Families, all Department of Defense civilians, and contractors to seek help if needed. “One of the major myths is that going to see a mental health professional is a career ender," said Maj. Frank Ragukonis, 3rd Infantry Division Psychiatrist. “There are plenty of successful senior enlisted or senior officers who have reached out and received mental health care in their past or currently. Caring for your mental health will not prevent you from reaching your career and military goals." There are many resources available to anyone that may find themselves lacking the tools to help them cope with the daily stresses of life. Leaders are the best source to obtain information when a Soldier feels like they may be in crisis. They can help guide the Soldier to the appropriate support channel and intervene in a timely manner. Capt. Chelsea Kay, commander of the 549th Military Police Company, 385th Military Police Battalion, is an experienced orator for suicide prevention. “The more that we talk about it and have an honest conversation, the better off we are," Kay said. “Educating people on the signs and symptoms is a way to help others or it may even be a way to help yourself because you may realize you are not alone." DVIDS External Link

    More than 95% of Active Duty have received COVID-19 vaccine

    15 October- More than 95% of the 1.4 million active duty service members have received at least one dose of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the latest figures from the Defense Department. The total percentage of active duty service members fully vaccinated was 83.7%, while an additional 13.0% have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Oct. 13. Overall, the DOD has administered more than 5.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Military Health System beneficiaries as of Oct. 13. That means there were more than 3 million first doses, and 2.5 million second doses administered. There were also 234,894 single doses administered. The percentages do not take into account those who have received either a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine or an additional shot due to a compromised immune system. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is available under an Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and can be used interchangeable with the Comirnaty vaccine, which was given full approval by FDA on Sept. 23. "COVID trends are moving in the right direction. At least in part due to our vaccination efforts, there are fewer infections, hospitalizations are down, and lives are being saved," said Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, director, Defense Health Agency. "While we've reached an important milestone, there's more to be done. We must continue our efforts to vaccinate the force and encourage healthy behaviors. How much COVID-19 impacts our lives is at least partially up to us." All of the service branches have set deadlines for getting their entire force vaccinated. Health.mil External Link

    Top medical workplace injuries – and some tips to prevent them

    15 October- Occupational hazards among medical workers can have a big impact on mission readiness. The top four hazards medical workers face are slips, trips and falls, needle sticks; repetitive motion injuries; and lifting and handling injuries, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The rate of lost-workday injuries resulting from slips, trips, and falls in hospitals is 90% greater than the average rate for all other private industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Slips, trips, and falls are the second-leading cause of lost-workday injuries in hospitals after overexertion. Slips, trips, and falls are mostly due to fluid spillage and items left in walking paths (especially electrical cords), said Steve Sinatra,  the lead safety manager at the Defense Health Agency's Occupational Safety Branch. Tips to avoid these injuries include:

    - Keep hallways clear.

    - Alert maintenance to slippery floors due to spills.

    - Pick up dropped packages or bundles.

    - Wear appropriate non-slip, non-skid footwear, especially in wet areas.

    - Learn how to use ladders and stepstools appropriately for reaching higher items. Never use or stand on a chair with wheels.

    Additionally, military medical treatment facilities should ensure the maintenance of exterior walkways, parking lots, and other areas where people may be walking. Needle stick prevention is a priority as medical workers often deal with blood. Blood can carry pathogens. Needles or other sharp objects such as burs and scissors also may expose health care workers to biological hazards, chemicals or drug exposures, and radioactive materials. Air Force Capt. Lara Poole further explained: "There are many threats that our health care workers face when it comes to providing excellent patient care. One of these threats is needle stick and other sharps injuries," said Poole, who is the public health flight commander, 316th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, Malcolm Grow Medical Clinics & Surgery Center at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Health.mil External Link

    U.S. Army to evaluate relationship between body composition and physical fitness

    18 October- FORT EUSTIS, VA – The U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training (USACIMT), together with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), is leading the facilitation of a comprehensive body composition study examining the association between body composition and Soldier physical performance. The results of the study will help inform potential future changes to the Army Body Composition Program. The study is part of the Army's efforts to optimize Holistic Health and Fitness and improve Soldier readiness. It has been more than 30 years since the Army first started using body fat standards in place of height and weight tables. A re-examination of the force is needed as the Army's physical readiness programs evolve to reduce injuries and empower Soldiers' to perform basic Soldier tasks. The scientifically and ethically approved study will examine active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve Soldiers representing diverse backgrounds, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, and Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) physical demand categories and duties. During the study, researchers will assess body size and composition by measuring Soldiers' height, weight, circumferences, and body composition and examine them in relationship to their most recent physical fitness score (either the ACFT or APFT) as well as the dates and types of physical limitations due to injury. For women, the study will also look at the number and dates of pregnancies, as well as delivery methods, and first post-partum physical fitness score and ABCP record, if applicable. The study will use four measurement techniques to assess body composition: (1) standard AR 600-9 tape test, (2) dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), (3) three-dimensional total body scanning (3D scanning), and (4) bio-electrical impedance analysis (BIA). The study will examine the associations of these four measurements with physical performance and compare them to the current AR 600-9 circumference measurements. Additional information will provide relationships between type and duty time loss due to injury or pregnancy and associations to body composition and physical performance. DVIDS External Link

    GLOBAL

    A move to rein in cancer-causing 'forever chemicals'

    18 October- The Biden administration on Monday said it would require chemical manufacturers to test and publicly report the amount of a family of chemicals known as PFAS that is contained in household items like tape, nonstick pans and stain-resistant furniture, the first step toward reducing their presence in drinking water. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, or PFAS refers to more than 4,000 man-made chemicals that are often called “forever chemicals" because they don't break down in the environment. Exposure to the chemicals has been linked to certain cancers, weakened immunity, thyroid disease, and other health effects. Michael S. Regan, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said in an interview that regulating PFAS has been one of his priorities. He previously served as the top environmental regulator in North Carolina where startlingly high concentrations of the chemicals were found in several sources of public drinking water.  “PFAS contamination has been devastating communities for decades. I saw this first hand in North Carolina," Mr. Regan said. He recounted visiting with mothers unsure if their children's drinking water was safe, and caregivers wondering if a loved one's terminal illness was associated with exposure to the chemicals. The new E.P.A. testing requirements will go into effect “in a matter of weeks," Mr. Regan said. The agency did not provide an estimate of the cost to manufacturers but Mr. Regan said it is a cost that industry, not taxpayers, should bear.  “It could be expensive, but it's necessary," Mr. Regan said. “It's time for manufacturers to be transparent and provide the American people with this level of detail," he said. Thousands of chemicals classified as PFAS are ubiquitous in consumer products because they increase resistance to heat, stains, water and grease. The E.P.A. plans to group the chemicals into 20 subcategories based on shared characteristics. By the end of 2021, the E.P.A. will require manufacturers to test chemicals from each grouping, which the agency said will yield data on more than 2,000 PFAS to inform E.P.A. plans going forward. Mr. Regan discussed the new policies at North Carolina State University in Raleigh flanked by local officials including Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The E.P.A. will take additional regulatory steps involving PFAS that it will propose by 2022, Mr. Regan said. The list, which the E.P.A. described as a “road map" includes setting legal limits for safe levels of PFAS in drinking water, which the chemical industry tentatively supports; designating it as a hazardous substance under the laws that govern toxic Superfund sites, which industry opposes; and increasing monitoring and research. Meanwhile the Department of Defense, is expected to review how to clean PFAS contamination at nearly 700 military installations and National Guard locations by the end of 2023. The chemicals are in a foam used at military installations and by civilian firefighters to extinguish fires. The New York Times External Link

    Doctors see advanced cancer cases in the wake of pandemic-delayed screenings and treatment

    13 October- Anne LaPorte, a registered nurse, was fatigued and had some back pain. She just moved from Hawaii to California, and it was around the same time as the beginning of the pandemic -- in early 2020 -- when most people were feeling uneasy. "I thought it was the stress of the move," said LaPorte, 55. But then by March of last year, the fatigue and pain heightened. She made a doctor's appointment for answers. "My symptoms were getting worse. Covid was just hitting our hospital at that time so things were quite stressful. I had difficulty accessing just routine care at this time and our facility was -- as most facilities were -- completely unprepared for the Covid epidemic," LaPorte said. "So, I saw probably three other primary care doctors and went to the ER three times before I was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer," she said. "I would say it took -- March, April, May, June, July, August -- six months before I had a diagnosis."  LaPorte never smoked, stays active as a triathlon athlete and had been in good health. "The day before I was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer, I had cycled 50 miles," LaPorte said. "I was having difficulty running but I could still get on my bike. So you wouldn't look at me and really know that I was in advanced terminal lung cancer. My prognosis was three to six months when I was diagnosed." She said that physicians found the cancer had spread throughout her spine, liver and left eye. Now retired from nursing, LaPorte has been in treatment for 13 months. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, LaPorte's experience of having trouble accessing routine care has become commonplace. CNN External Link

    Natural immunity is good: Getting vaccinated after being sick with COVID-19 is better

    19 October- Many people have caught COVID-19 over the past 20 months, despite their best efforts, or because they didn't take enough precautions against the coronavirus. Data is just starting to emerge about how protected they may be against another infection. As with most illnesses, contracting COVID-19 provides immune "memory" that helps protect against a future infection. But it's still unclear how sick a person has to get with COVID-19 to develop enough immune memory to be protective and for how long. That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends even people who have had COVID-19 get vaccinated against it. A growing body of research suggests infection plus vaccination provides the strongest protection against a wide range of variants, possibly for a long time.  People who were infected and then vaccinated some months later have "what's called 'hybrid immunity,' which is like super-immunity," said Warner Greene, a virologist at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. This combined protection seems to last a long time, according to a new study in the journal Science. It may last far longer than vaccination alone, he said, though that hasn't been proven yet. USA Today External Link

    No more suck it up and press on -- preventing injury is hard science

    18 October- Occupational injuries for service members are common in every branch of the military and in practically every job, from wrenching one's back while lifting a missile to wiping out on a freshly mopped office corridor. "One ankle fracture can take somebody out of their job for six months, just as stress or strain can take somebody out on limited duty for 90 days," said Catherine Hall, chief of occupational safety for the Defense Health Agency in San Antonio, Texas. "They're a cost to the mission any time you take somebody out of the fight." All jobs are unique. While a mechanic is going to have more hand injuries than an office worker, all occupations have an "injury trend," Hall said. Repetitive stress injuries, for instance, Hall described as "cumulative traumas." A dentist does very different work than a wrench-turning mechanic but is just as likely, if not more so, to develop repetitive motion wrist and hand injuries. For a mechanic, working in cold weather makes things even worse, she said, because blood flows away from hands, resulting in more force being applied. But for mechanics, medical professionals, or many other jobs, "working in a small, finite area and doing it all day long" is going to result in stress to the fingers, hands, and arms, said Hall, who is a retired Air Force jet mechanic turned safety specialist. "With the term 'ergonomics,' people automatically think [of a desk and] computer work station setting, but there's so much more work-related musculoskeletal risk in a lot of other settings," said Kelsey McCoskey, an ergonomist from the U.S. Army Public Health Center (APHC) at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. And even with corrective surgery, very often one's injured back or knee might not ever be the same, said John Pentikis, a colleague of McCoskey and the manager of the ergonomics and engineering branch at APHC. With carpal tunnel surgery, for example, surgery usually "only brings back about 70% of [one's] original capability to exert force, even without symptoms," he said. Health.mil External Link

    Politics is derailing a crucial debate over the immunity you get from recovering from Covid-19

    19 October- Among scientists, there's little debate: People who get sick with Covid-19 develop at least some protection against being infected in the future. But exactly how much protection they have, and how long it lasts, are the subjects of the country's latest Covid-19 controversy. For the past month, university employees, professional athletes, and conservative lawmakers across the country have argued they should be exempted from increasingly strict vaccine mandates because, scientifically speaking, they don't need them: They're already protected by their body's own immune response. This debate, however, is decidedly different from other political fights that have undermined the U.S. coronavirus response. Unlike the conspiracy-riddled arguments about hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin, the concept of natural immunity has a rational basis and data to support it. Like the other debates, though, it has devolved into partisan bickering, highlighting how the state of American politics has ruined the country's scientific process and made nuanced debates all but impossible. “It's hard to know where the data will finally land, and it's hard to know where the shouting will land," said Wendy Parmet, a Northeastern University law professor who has written extensively about the legality of government-imposed quarantines and vaccine mandates. “People on the right scream, so people on the left say no. We're in this horrible, awful feedback loop of vitriol right now." There's still no scientific consensus about the exact strength or durability of the natural immunity a person gains when they recover from Covid-19, or how much it varies from person to another. In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study showing that vaccine-derived immunity is more powerful than immunity derived from a previous coronavirus infection. Unvaccinated people who've previously had Covid-19 are twice as likely to be re-infected with the virus compared to those who are vaccinated and were previously sick, according to the data. It prompted Rochelle Walensky, the agency's director, to plead with Americans: “If you have had Covid-19 before, please still get vaccinated." STAT News External Link

    Positive trial results for Valneva Covid vaccine

    18 October- The Valneva Covid vaccine that the UK cancelled a 100m dose order for last month, works well at priming the immune system to fight coronavirus, phase three trial results suggest. Blood results from volunteers who received the jab had high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the pandemic virus. It outperformed the AstraZeneca vaccine on this measure in head-to-head tests. Valneva is seeking regulatory approval for its jab, manufactured in Scotland. It is an inactivated whole virus vaccine, meaning it contains a dead version of coronavirus that cannot cause disease. This is the same way that flu and polio vaccines are made. French pharmaceutical company Valneva said the vaccine had a "neutralizing antibody seroconversion rate above 95%" and there were no severe cases of Covid seen in the trial despite variants, such as Delta, being in circulation. Lead investigator Prof Adam Finn, of the University of Bristol, said the results, shared in a press release, were both "impressive and extremely encouraging". "These results suggest this vaccine candidate is on track to play an important role in overcoming the pandemic," he said. Valneva hopes to initially get the jab approved for those aged between 18 and 55, based on the age range of people in the trial. The Valneva Covid vaccine that the UK cancelled a 100m dose order for last month, works well at priming the immune system to fight coronavirus, phase three trial results suggest. Blood results from volunteers who received the jab had high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the pandemic virus. It outperformed the AstraZeneca vaccine on this measure in head-to-head tests. Valneva is seeking regulatory approval for its jab, manufactured in Scotland. It is an inactivated whole virus vaccine, meaning it contains a dead version of coronavirus that cannot cause disease. This is the same way that flu and polio vaccines are made. French pharmaceutical company Valneva said the vaccine had a "neutralizing antibody seroconversion rate above 95%" and there were no severe cases of Covid seen in the trial despite variants, such as Delta, being in circulation. Lead investigator Prof Adam Finn, of the University of Bristol, said the results, shared in a press release, were both "impressive and extremely encouraging". "These results suggest this vaccine candidate is on track to play an important role in overcoming the pandemic," he said. Valneva hopes to initially get the jab approved for those aged between 18 and 55, based on the age range of people in the trial. BBC News External Link

    U.S. FDA to allow mixing and matching of COVID-19 boosters- NYT

    18 October- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is planning to allow Americans to get a different booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine than the one initially taken, the New York Times reported on Monday. The FDA in September authorized a booster dose of Pfizer Inc. (PFE.N) and partner BioNTech's two-shot COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 65 and older and some high-risk Americans. The regulator's advisory panel has also backed the use of Moderna Inc. (MRNA.O) and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ.N) COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. The government would not recommend one shot over another, and it might note that using the same vaccine as a booster when possible is preferable, the NYT report said, citing people familiar with the agency's plans. The FDA declined to comment on the matter. U.S. health officials have been under pressure to authorize the additional shots after the White House announced plans in August for a widespread booster campaign pending approvals from the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reuters External Link

    What scientists know about the risk of breakthrough covid deaths

    19 October- The death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday from complications of Covid-19 has provided fuel for vaccine skeptics and opponents, who immediately seized on the news that Mr. Powell had been vaccinated to stoke doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccines. But Mr. Powell's immune system had quite likely been weakened by multiple myeloma, a cancer of white blood cells. Both the disease and the treatment can make people more susceptible to infections. His age, 84, may also have increased his risk, scientists said. Mr. Powell received his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in February, said Peggy Cifrino, his longtime aide. He was scheduled for a booster last week but fell ill before he received it, she said. Mr. Powell had also undergone treatment for early stage Parkinson's disease, she said. Although Mr. Powell's death is a high-profile tragedy, scientists emphasized that it should not undermine confidence in the Covid-19 vaccines, which drastically reduce the odds of severe disease and death. “Nothing is 100 percent effective," said Dr. Paul A. Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. “The point of getting a vaccine is that you want to know that the benefits clearly and definitively outweigh the risks. And we know that for this vaccine." The vaccines are highly effective, even against the more contagious Delta variant, which is now responsible for nearly all coronavirus infections in the United States. People who are fully vaccinated are roughly one-tenth as likely to be hospitalized and even less likely to die from Covid-19 than those who are unvaccinated, according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A New York Times analysis of data from 40 states found that fully vaccinated people have accounted for 0.2 to 6 percent of Covid-19 deaths. Among the more than 187 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated, there have been 7,178 deaths, according to the C.D.C. Eighty-five percent of those deaths have been in people 65 or older.  “Breakthrough deaths with vaccinated individuals do occur," said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “But there are certain groups that are at greater risk." Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been clear that older adults are the most likely to develop severe Covid-19. They also have less robust immune systems in general and mount a weaker immune response to the vaccines. In one recent study, which has not yet been reviewed by experts, researchers found that residents of Canadian long-term care homes, who had a median age of 88, produced levels of neutralizing antibodies roughly five- to six fold lower after vaccination than did staff members, who had a median age of 47. The New York Times External Link

    INFLUENZA

    CDC: Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

    Key Updates for Week 40, ending October 9, 2021:

    HHS-Protect Hospitalization Surveillance- Hospitals report to HHS-Protect the number of patients admitted with laboratory-confirmed influenza. During week 40, 276 patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza were admitted to the hospital.

    Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality- No influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring during the 2021-2022 season have been reported to CDC. CDC External Link

    VETERINARY/FOOD SAFETY

    Raw milk recalled in Washington after sampling reveals E. coli contamination

    15 October-  Williams Valley Family Farm LLC of Clayton, WA, is recalling retail, raw whole milk because of E. coli contamination. The recall was initiated after routine sampling conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) revealed the presence of toxin-producing E. coli in the farm's unpasteurized, raw milk dated Oct. 20-28. There is concern that consumers may have the milk in their homes because of the expiration date, which has not passed. Consumers who have purchased the recalled products are urged not to drink them and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund, according to the recall notice.

    Recalled products:

    - Williams Valley Family Farm, LLC retail raw whole milk displaying Best By dates of Oct. 20 through Oct. 28. 

    - The recalled product was bottled in gallon and half-gallon containers and was sold to customers in Eastern and Western Washington, including retail stores.

    Consumers who have purchased the recalled products are urged not to drink them and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Food Safety News External Link

    WELLNESS

    Have we been doing self-care all wrong?

    1 October- In the spring of 2020, Crystal McEwen lost her mother to covid-19 and her husband to an affair. McEwen, a day-care teacher, provided in-home care for her mother, who suffered from bipolar schizoaffective disorder and early onset dementia. Due to strict visitation restrictions in Brooklyn's overwhelmed hospitals, McEwen couldn't be with her mother in her last hours. “My mother was my baby," she said. “But all of a sudden, I didn't have a family." To deal with her grief, McEwen, 38, sought out a therapist, began journaling, developed a meditation practice and increased the time she spent in prayer. At about the same time, Samantha Purnell, 24, a real estate agent, began investing in new wellness products and documenting her experiences on TikTok, where her videos have amassed more than 8 million views. She calculates that she spends close to $1,000 a month on blowouts, nail appointments, gym classes, self-tanners, massages, makeup, skin-care products, a journal and a subscription to a meditation app. “I call it recharging my beauty batteries," she said. Both Purnell and McEwen describe their practices as self-care. The term now represents a baffling range of meanings. Karla Scott, a professor of communication at Saint Louis University who has been studying the language of self-care for 27 years, says it can refer to any practice that sustains and supports well-being. “If you perform any action that constitutes caring for yourself, you are doing self-care," she said. The Washington Post External Link

    USAFRICOM

    Ebola outbreak: 3 additional confirmed cases reported Beni

    18 October- In a follow-up on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), three additional cases were confirmed, including one death, bringing the outbreak total to 5 confirmed cases with 3 deaths. “We confirmed the existence of these three cases in the health area of the Beni territory", according to officials. Among the three new cases detected are a 32-year-old woman – who began to have symptoms on October 15 – and a 41-year-old man, who was a contact for the third case confirmed, a three-year-old girl who began to experience fever last October 12 and passed away at dawn this Saturday. The DRC launched the immunization campaign last Wednesday. About a thousand doses of vaccine have been deployed in North Kivu province along with other pharmaceuticals to support the response. To date, more than 220 contact cases have been identified since the reappearance of the disease on October 8. “The initial genomic sequencing indicates that the new cases probably represent a new outbreak of the Ebola epidemic of 2018-2020, most likely transmitted by a persistently infected survivor or by a survivor who experienced a relapse," said WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USCENTCOM

    Jordan shigella outbreak rises to 80, Source still not identified

    17 October- In a follow-up on the shigella outbreak in Jerash, Jordan, the Director of Jerash Governmental Hospital, Sadiq Al-Atoum, said the number of shigellosis cases recorded in Jerash has risen by 22 cases, bringing the total number to 80. At least 16 people are still being treated. The Director of Communicable Diseases, Ali Zitawi, said that all of the patients are under the age of 12 and suffered from the same symptoms: abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea and vomiting. Health authorities in Jordan continue to collect samples from water sources, restaurants and bakeries in Jerash and Ajloun to determine the source of the Shigella bacteria. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USEUCOM

    COVID-19 records being set in Russia as vaccinations lag

    16 October- Russian health authorities reported records in daily cases and deaths Saturday, reporting 33,208 new infections and 1,002 deaths, according to the Moscow Times. To date, 7,958,384 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 6,981,907 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia's latest data indicates 222,315 fatalities nationwide. Russian authorities blame a slow vaccination campaign for the sharp rise of infections and deaths. The surge comes with just a third of Russians fully inoculated as of Saturday. Only around 48 million out of 144 million Russians are fully vaccinated, according to the latest data from the coronavirus task force, with 51 million having received one shot. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said, “We have been recording quite high mortality rates in recent months. And I would like to remind everyone that, as of today, the main preventive measure that helps protect an individual and helps avoid a fatal outcome is vaccination." Golikova mentioned four available Russian vaccines – Sputnik V, Sputnik Light, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac, which have proven their effectiveness and safety both inside the country and abroad. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USINDOPACOM

    China reports H5N6 avian flu case in Hunan Province

    18 October- Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) announced today the monitoring of an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in mainland China, the 24th case reported in the past 10 months. The case involves a 60-year-old woman living in Changde in Hunan Province. She is a farmer and had exposure to dead poultry. She developed symptoms on October 3, and was admitted for treatment on October 13. The patient is in critical condition. From 2014 to date, 48 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by Mainland health authorities. Avian influenza is caused by those influenza viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks. Human cases infected with avian influenza A (e.g. H5N1, H5N6, H6N1, H7N4, H7N9, H9N2 and H10N8) viruses have been identified in recent years. Clinical presentation of avian influenza in humans may range from flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches) to severe respiratory illness (e.g. chest infection).  Eye infection (conjunctivitis) and gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. nausea, vomiting and diarrhea) have also been reported. Infection of the more virulent forms [e.g. avian influenza A (H5N1, H5N6, H7N9 or H10N8) viruses] can result in respiratory failure, multi-organ failure and even death. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USNORTHCOM

    U.S.: Indiana- Reports 1st flu death of 2021-22 flu season

    16 October- Indiana state health officials are reminding the public to get immunized against influenza after confirming the first flu-related death of the 2021-22 flu season. In the 2020-21 flu season, seven residents died after contracting influenza. In 2019-20, 137 Hoosiers lost their lives to the disease. “Although influenza deaths last year were some of the lowest we have seen, that is largely due to the COVID-19 mitigation measures most Hoosiers were following, such as staying home and wearing masks," said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “The flu remains a very real threat to Hoosiers, and we encourage everyone who is eligible to get a flu shot to help protect themselves and our hospital systems, which are still strained by the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. Because infants younger than 6 months can't be vaccinated, it's important that anyone in a household where a young baby lives or visits get a flu shot to protect the child. Healthcare workers also are urged to get a flu vaccine to reduce their risk of transmitting illness to their patients. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USSOUTHCOM

    100 million Brazilians fully vaccinated against COVID-19

    15 October- As a result of the more than 300 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine distributed throughout the country, Brazil arrives on this Wednesday, an important milestone in the Vaccination Campaign: more than 100 million Brazilians are fully vaccinated . The number corresponds to 62.5% of the target audience immunized with two doses of the vaccine or with a single dose immunizer. Until the end of October, this brand should grow even more. This is because the Ministry of Health predicts the arrival of over 51.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine. The forecast is for 15.3 million from AstraZeneca and 36.1 million from Pfizer's immunizing agent. The doses correspond to new contracts, in addition to the 100 million delivered by both laboratories. The Butantan Institute has also completed deliveries in September. “We have come a long way since the start of the Vaccination Campaign, but we need to advance even more. Therefore, I invite all Brazilians who have not yet taken the second dose of the vaccine to return to the vaccination post to complete the vaccination schedule. Only vaccinated will overcome the virus and return to our normal state", said the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga. To date, the Federal Government has sent more than 301 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the states and the Federal District. The fast and efficient distribution logistics made Brazil reach today 93.7% of the target audience vaccinated with the first dose. More than 2.4 million have already received booster immunizations. Outbreak News Today External Link