Army Public Health Weekly Update, 29 January 2021

Date Published: 1/29/2021
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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 

    APHC COVID-19 Vaccination Information

    27 January- A safe and effective vaccine is an important tool for protecting yourself and those around you and ending the global pandemic. For more COVID-19 vaccination information visit: APHC

    U.S. MILITARY

    For veterans after suicide attempts, gender affects recovery needs

    25 January- What care do veterans need when recovering after suicide attempts? The answer may be different for women compared to men veterans, reports a qualitative study in Medical Care, part of a special issue devoted to new research on suicide risk and prevention in women. "The paths to recovery after a suicide attempt may vary by gender, especially among veterans," according to the new research by Lauren M. Denneson, Ph.D., of the HSR&D Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC) at VA Portland (Ore.) Health Care System. "Our data suggest that women emphasize relatedness whereas men emphasize competence." Their study appears in a supplement dedicated to "Advancing Knowledge of Suicide Risk and Prevention Among Women." Dr. Denneson and colleagues conducted in-depth interviews with 50 veterans with recent suicide attempts: 25 women and 25 men. "We asked participants what has been helpful, as well as what would be helpful, in their recovery from their suicide attempts," the researchers write. Medical Xpress External Link

    Horses help ARCP Soldiers recover and overcome

    21 January- Grooming, saddling and riding a horse may not seem like the typical activities of a modern-day Soldier, but that's exactly what some in the Army Recovery Care Program are doing as part of their adaptive reconditioning. Equine programs are offered at several soldier recovery units, including Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston SRU, Texas; Fort Carson SRU, Colorado; and Fort Riley SRU, Kansas. They allow Soldiers to develop bonds with horses while caring for them. In some programs, they go horseback riding as well. All of the programs practice COVID-19 precautionary measures. The JBSA adapting reconditioning program partnered with a stable to offer an equine therapy program. Participating Soldiers attend an instructional session and are taught how to groom horses and clean horseshoes. This time allows them to connect with the animals, said Angel Flores, adaptive reconditioning support specialist at the JBSA SRU. They also learn to maneuver horses around a ring and may take them on rides with the instructors. Flores said that interaction with the horses is beneficial. "The Soldiers are able to find peace," he said. He added that being with the horses and out in nature comforts many Soldiers. Sgt. 1st Class Leonard Morgan, a Soldier assigned to the JBSA SRU, had never been on horseback before participating in the equine therapy program. Since he started, he's ridden horses and been on trail rides. Morgan said the program fosters connections and mentioned that one horse remembers him when he visits. "They pair you up with the horse and you bond with that horse all morning, all day," he said. The Fort Carson SRU offers two programs; one is located at the U.S. Air Force Academy Equestrian Center and operated by a nonprofit. Participating Soldiers learn to groom and work with the horses and ride them with the equine program leaders. DVIDS External Link

    Medical mentoring fosters retention, improved health care delivery

    19 January- There are a variety of formal and informal methods used to help medical officers advance throughout their careers, and some, of course, are better than others. But Navy Capt. Barry Adams, commanding officer, Navy Medical Leader & Professional Development Command (NML&PDC), said "none of the new models adequately replace the ability to identify someone within your organization and just spontaneously ask them important career questions – 'What should I do about this or that.'" NML&PDC, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is responsible for professional development and training programs affecting more than 3,000 students annually through a portfolio of residence courses, professional workshops, distance education and administrative management of multiple pipeline talent management programs. There is a sophisticated and complicated algorithm within some iterations of formal Navy website mentoring programs for assigning junior service members to senior members and allowing potential mentors and mentees to choose and contact each other; however, "such an official mentoring program could not be as effective as desired because it ceases to be the spontaneous and organic relationship we want in mentoring, "Adams said. The next iteration of Navy mentoring is often framed as a personal coaching tool, which Adams said is more of what medical personnel are looking for throughout their careers. "This coaching paradigm is the evolving state of the art," he noted. Borrowing a page from a corporate playbook, each member would have some form of a Plan of Action & Management document that identifies tasks to be accomplished. It details resources required to accomplish the elements of the plan, any milestones in meeting the tasks and scheduled completion dates. Health.mil External Link

    MHS looks to decrease substance abuse, as numbers rose in 2020

    22 January- If there is one overriding element that Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Eric Serpico would like you to know about National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, it's that help is accessible, and care available. "We will find you the correct level of care needed," said Serpico, department chief of addiction treatment services at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, Maryland. "Anything we can do to break down stigma. We collaborate with command and the service member, and there is discretion and sensitivity in the process." Treatment at WRNMMC includes detox capabilities, therapy and intensive outpatient services, and a psycho-education early intervention program. For longer inpatient needs, the hospital refers patients to facilities on other bases, such as those at nearby Fort Belvoir, or to civilian settings. "Primarily in a military setting, we have seen alcohol as kind of the mainstay," Serpico said. "But that wouldn't preclude anyone who has used cocaine or marijuana from entering into treatment." Regarding what's referred to as "illicit" drug use, the military's zero tolerance policy has been in place for decades, but the different branches handle addiction and substance use disorder (SUD) in different ways. And there are different means to get help — via command referral, medical referral, and self-referral. Overall, the approach to care is growing and evolving, Serpico explained.  "There's increased sensitivity, and I would say, support," he said. "We have seen junior enlisted to senior enlisted to officers all come through our program. They're actually being supported by their command to attend these treatments. I do believe there's been a shift in the culture to promote entry into our type of programs." Health.mil External Link

    GLOBAL

    Antibody cocktail used as passive COVID-19 vaccine

    26 January- New York-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced on January 26, 2021, positive initial results from an ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating REGEN-COV™ (casirivimab and imdevimab antibody cocktail) used as a passive vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in people at high risk of infection (due to household exposure to a COVID-19 patient). Regeneron's REGEN-COV was found to produce a reduction in overall infections seen within the first week, with 100% prevention of symptomatic infections. And, 'markedly decreased levels and duration of viral shedding in asymptomatic infections that still occurred in REGEN-COV group,' stated Regeneron's press statement. Furthermore, REGEN-COV may have potential application in people who need immediate protection or respond poorly to vaccination. "These data using REGEN-COV as a passive vaccine suggest that it may both reduce transmission of the coronavirus as well as reduce viral and disease burden in those who still get infected," commented George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President, and Chief Scientific Officer at Regeneron. "Even with the emerging availability of active vaccines, we continue to see hundreds of thousands of people infected daily, actively spreading the virus to their close contacts. The REGEN-COV antibody cocktail may be able to help break this chain by providing immediate passive immunity to those at high risk of infection, in contrast to active vaccines which take weeks to provide protection." Regeneron's phase 3 trial is being run jointly with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Precision Vaccinations External Link

    Covid-19: Five days that shaped the outbreak

    26 January- A year ago, the Chinese government locked down the city of Wuhan. For weeks beforehand officials had maintained that the outbreak was under control - just a few dozen cases linked to a live animal market. But in fact the virus had been spreading throughout the city and around China. This is the story of five critical days early in the outbreak. By 30 December, several people had been admitted to hospitals in the central city of Wuhan, having fallen ill with high fever and pneumonia. The first known case was a man in his 70s who had fallen ill on 1 December. Many of those were connected to a sprawling live animal market, Huanan Seafood Market, and doctors had begun to suspect this wasn't regular pneumonia. Samples from infected lungs had been sent to genetic sequencing companies to identify the cause of the disease, and preliminary results had indicated a novel coronavirus similar to Sars. The local health authorities and the country's Center for Disease Control (CDC) had already been notified, but nothing had been said to the public. BBC News External Link

    HIV drug, Cabenuva, approved by FDA; 1st injectable regimen

    21 January- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Cabenuva (cabotegravir and rilpivirine, injectable formulation) as a complete regimen for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in adults to replace a current antiretroviral regimen in those who are virologically suppressed on a stable antiretroviral regimen with no history of treatment failure and with no known or suspected resistance to either cabotegravir or rilpivirine. This is the first FDA-approved injectable, complete regimen for HIV-infected adults that is administered once a month. The FDA also approved Vocabria (cabotegravir, tablet formulation), which should be taken in combination with oral rilpivirine (Edurant) for one month prior to starting treatment with Cabenuva to ensure the medications are well-tolerated before switching to the extended-release injectable formulation. "Currently, the standard of care for patients with HIV includes patients taking daily pills to adequately manage their condition. This approval will allow some patients the option of receiving once-monthly injections in lieu of a daily oral treatment regimen," said John Farley, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Office of Infectious Diseases in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Having this treatment available for some patients provides an alternative for managing this chronic condition." The safety and efficacy of Cabenuva were established through two randomized, open-label, controlled clinical trials in 1,182 HIV-infected adults who were virologically suppressed (HIV-1 RNA less than 50 copies/milliliter) before initiation of treatment with Cabenuva. Patients in both trials continued to show virologic suppression at the conclusion of each study, and no clinically relevant change from baseline in CD4+ cell counts was observed.  The most common adverse reactions with Cabenuva were injection site reactions, fever (pyrexia), fatigue, headache, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, sleep disorders, dizziness and rash. Cabenuva should not be used if there is a known previous hypersensitivity reaction to cabotegravir or rilpivirine, or in patients who are not virally suppressed (HIV-1 RNA greater than 50 copies/milliliter). Cabenuva and Vocabria were granted Fast Track and Priority Review designation by the FDA. The FDA granted the approval of Cabenuva and Vocabria to ViiV Healthcare. Outbreak News Today External Link

    Merck stops developing both of its COVID-19 vaccine candidates

    25 January- Merck is halting development of its two COVID-19 vaccine candidates, saying that while the drugs seemed to be safe, they didn't generate enough of an immune response to effectively protect people against the coronavirus. Results of Phase 1 clinical studies showed that the two vaccine candidates — known as V590 and V591 — "were generally well tolerated, but the immune responses were inferior to those seen following natural infection and those reported for other SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccines," Merck said in a statement about its decision. Merck is one of dozens of drugmakers worldwide that have put COVID-19 vaccine candidates into clinical trials in the worldwide race to produce a vaccine. Others include Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech — both of which now have U.S.-approved vaccines — along with AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Novavax and Sanofi. While Merck is shelving both of its vaccine candidates, the company says it will keep working on two therapeutic drugs, including one that aims to protect the body's respiratory system from the coronavirus's ravaging effects. Last month, the company signed a deal with the U.S. government agreeing to supply up to 100,000 doses of one of those drugs for about $356 million. NPR External Link

    Moderna finds COVID-19 vaccine still protects against emerging strains

    25 January- Moderna says tests show that its COVID-19 vaccine offers protection against new variants of the coronavirus but that the vaccine is more effective against the variant first identified in the U.K. than the one found in South Africa. As a result, Moderna will test booster doses of its vaccine, including one that would be tailored to fight strains that have recently emerged. The newly identified strains have caused alarm, as health officials in the U.K. and South Africa say the strains appear to spread more easily than older variants of the coronavirus. They emerged in recent months, even as vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech raised hopes in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Moderna says that at current dosage levels, its COVID-19 vaccine regimen "is expected to be protective against emerging strains detected to date." But the company also says that when its vaccine was used against the variant initially found in South Africa, known as B.1.351, the vaccine produced levels of virus-fighting antibody titers that were around six fold less than when it's used against other variants. NPR External Link

    Restaurants push for more access to Covid vaccine, but unlikely to force workers to receive it

    25 January- As the Covid vaccine rollout gains steam nationwide, restaurants are weighing options to encourage workers to get the vaccine. Foodservice workers are recommended in phase 1(c) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's lists of who should be vaccinated when supply is limited, falling just behind high-risk health-care workers, the elderly and frontline essential workers. The National Restaurant Association requested priority for those who work in foodservice after first responders and the most vulnerable. "Prioritizing testing and vaccine distribution will help ensure the food supply chain for our communities and ensure that agriculture industry and restaurant industry employees will be safe selling and serving healthy food," Sean Kennedy, a spokesman for the industry group said in a statement to CNBC. "The Association continues to engage with the Administration on vaccine distribution planning and the State Restaurant Associations are working to ensure restaurant workers continue to be considered essential to food security and are prioritized in their state vaccine rollout plans." CNBC External Link 

    Social Media messages promote HPV vaccination risks

    26 January- The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is associated with various health problems, including genital warts and cancers. But, an HPV vaccine has been available since 2006 to help stop the virus, yet HPV vaccination rates across the U.S. remain low. Monique Luisi, an assistant professor in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, has studied more than 6,500 public HPV vaccine-related posts on Facebook from 2006 to 2016 and found nearly 40% of Facebook posts about the HPV vaccine amplified a perceived risk. The data also suggest these posts had momentum over time. HPV vaccine risk amplification message appeared in 39.5% of posts, attenuated in 2.9% of posts, with the remaining 57.7% doing neither. Luisi stated in a press release, "People are going to see what they are going to see on social media, so it's important to not only take what you see on social media but also talk to a doctor or health care provider." "Just because it's trending doesn't mean it's true." In the USA, the Gardasil 9 vaccine is generally available, while other HPV vaccines are available in other countries. Precision Vaccinations External Link

    INFLUENZA

    CDC: Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

    Key Updates for Week 2, ending January 16, 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 the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) states and Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project (IHSP) states. A total of 136 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations occurring between October 1, 2020, and January 16, 2021, were reported by FluSurv-NET sites for an overall cumulative hospitalization rate of 0.5 per 100,000 population. This is lower than average for this point in the season and comparable to the overall rate seen at this point during the 2011-12 season. Hospitalization rates stratified by age will be presented once case counts increase to a level that produces stable rates by age.

    Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality: No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 2. CDCExternal Link

    WHO Influenza Update

    18 January 2021, based on data up to 03 January 2020-

    - The current influenza surveillance data should be interpreted with caution as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has influenced to varying extents health seeking behaviors, staffing/routines in sentinel sites, as well as testing priorities and capacities in Member States. The various hygiene and physical distancing measures implemented by Member States to reduce SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission have likely played a role in reducing influenza virus transmission.

    - Globally, despite continued or even increased testing for influenza in some countries, influenza activity remained at lower levels than expected for this time of the year.

    - In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, influenza activity remained below inter-seasonal levels, though sporadic detections of influenza A and B viruses were reported in some countries.

    - In the temperate zone of the southern hemisphere, influenza activity was reported at inter-seasonal level.

    - In the Caribbean and Central American countries, increased influenza detections were reported in Haiti in recent weeks. Severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) activity, decreased in most reporting countries.

    - In tropical South America, there were no influenza detections in this reporting period.

    - In tropical Africa, influenza activity continued to be reported in Western Africa.

    - In Southern Asia, sporadic influenza detections were reported across reporting countries.

    - In South East Asia, there were no influenza detections reported in this reporting period.

    - Worldwide, influenza B detections accounted for the majority of the very low numbers of detections reported. WHO External Link

    VETERINARY/FOOD SAFETY

    Botulism concerns spur recall of boneless sardines

    23 January- Clover Leaf Seafoods Corp. is recalling two flavors of boneless sardines because it has been determined that they may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism poisoning. The company triggered the recall, according to a notice posted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The notice did not provide any details on how the problem was discovered or how the volume of sardines subject to recall. Government inspectors are working with the company to find the cause of the problem. The investigation could lead to the recall of other products, according to the CFIA notice. As of the posting of the recall notice no confirmed illnesses had been reported in connection with the recalled sardines. Consumers ca use the following label information to determine whether they have any of the recalled sardines in their homes. Food Safety News External Link

    WELLNESS

    Crying may help with pandemic stress, especially if you do it around another person

    25 January- My husband and I were talking about experiences we have missed out on during the pandemic, such as having hospital visitors when our second son was born, when I surprised us both by bursting into tears. Once I started crying, I couldn't stop. I sobbed and heaved for at least 20 minutes, as built-up stress and grief flooded out of me. Afterward, I felt a sense of peace, as if some of the weight of this pandemic had been eased — at least in the moments and days that followed. Many of us have suffered over the past year, in ways both large and small. We're more isolated than ever, while also taking on new responsibilities, such as remote schooling or working from home without child care. We may be grieving a death or mourning the postponement of a wedding. During these extraordinary times, stress and sadness can accumulate within us, especially if we suppress our negative feelings. After my sobbing session, I wondered: Could crying be a way to help us cope and release some of that stress? And if so, is it a good idea to make ourselves cry? There are three types of tears: basal tears, reflexive tears and psychic tears. Basal tears and reflexive tears keep your eyes healthy by lubricating them and ridding them of harmful irritants, respectively. The tears from crying are psychic tears, which Gauri Khurana, a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist in New York, defines as "tears that are expelled during an emotional state." The Washington Post External Link

    What to do, and not do, before and after your Covid vaccine shot

    25 January- It's an all-out sprint to get Americans vaccinated against the deadly novel coronavirus. As you prepare to get your shot, here are 10 actions experts suggest doing -- and avoiding. You should be able to find out when it's your turn to be vaccinated and how to register in your neighborhood by reaching out to your state or local health department. CNN has created a list of state websites, emails and phone numbers for all 50 states and territories. Check there for information on available vaccine registrations in your local area. If you have doubts about the vaccine, get educated -- the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is just one of many trusted organizations with vetted, science-based facts about the virus and available vaccines. CNN External Link 

    USAFRICOM

    Cholera outbreak claims 20 lives in Nigerian Delta state

    23 January- The African nation is dealing with another blow of cholera outbreaks, as recent reports have shown 20 people in the state of Delta have died due to cholera. The outbreak was recorded from the coastal communities of Bomadi and Burutu Local Government Areas, mostly children. "Here in Bomadi, we drink from this river (Focados) because that is the only source of water. Anyone can see how dirty the river is. Some persons also rely on their shallow wells or ponds; this is clearly the cause of this cholera," a Bomadi resident said. In response, State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ononye Mordi assured that efforts were being made by the state government to activate the water project soon in order to avail the people of the area of affordable clean and potable water supply, a major necessity of the affected communities. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USCENTCOM

    Iraqi authorities detect bird flu outbreak in Salahudin province

    17 January- The province of Salahudin, located north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, has recorded a new bird flu outbreak, as the country's Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture assured that all protecting procedures were adopted to curb the spread of the virus. "The laboratory tests proved that poultry in Samarra, some 120 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, was infected with bird flu," Ammar Khalil, governor of the province, said. Over 60,000 chickens in the province were detected to have acquired the bird flu, as authorities are advising citizens to be on 'high alert' in confronting the virus. All the chickens in the fields infected with the virus were culled, and the fields' halls were sanitized, in addition to blocking and scanning 3 km of areas surrounding the fields. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USEUCOM

    Finland: No significant increase in COVID-19 cases due to Christmas and New Year holiday

    23 January- The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare report that while new COVID-19 cases are still reported in large numbers across the country, the Christmas and New Year period did not cause any significant rise in the number of COVID-19 infections. The Epidemiological situation has remained about the same for four weeks now, officials note. Between 11 and 17 January, a total of 1,689 new cases were reported to the communicable diseases register, showing a decrease of 136 cases from the previous week. The incidence of new cases was 31 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is about the same as in the previous week. The total number of new cases in the last two-week period (4–17 January) was 3,514, which was 112 cases more than in the preceding two-week period. The incidence of new cases was 63 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the preceding two-week period it was 61. Currently, the estimated basic reproduction number is 0.75–0.95, with a 90 per cent probability. The need for hospital care has reduced slightly compared to the previous week: on 20 January, the number of people requiring hospital care was 145. Of them, a total of 56 were inpatients in primary healthcare, 63 inpatients in specialized medical care (hospitals of hospital districts) and 27 inpatients in intensive care. The average age of COVID-19 patients requiring hospital care has risen; the biggest age group in intensive care is now people aged 60–69. On 20 January 2021, the total number of deaths related to the disease was 632. The incidence and number of COVID-19 cases are still very high in many European countries and their neighboring areas. The new virus variants may affect the development of the epidemic. So far, a total of 86 cases of the new variants discovered in the Great Britain and South Africa have been confirmed in Finland. Measures are taken to stop the spread of the variants to Finland by increasing testing at the borders and by issuing regional restrictions and recommendations. Outbreak News Today External Link

    Ontario: UK COVID -19 variant identified at Barrie long-term care home

    24 January- The Simcoe Muskoka Health District reports genome sequencing on all six COVID-19 samples from a Barrie long-term care home have now been identified as the United Kingdom (UK) variant that has proven to be highly contagious and easily transmitted. "The rapid spread, high attack rate and the devastating impact on residents and staff at Roberta Place long-term care home has been heartbreaking for all," said Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU). "Confirmation of the variant, while expected, does not change our course of action. We remain diligent in doing everything we can to prevent further spread. "On Wednesday January 20, SMDHU confirmed that preliminary laboratory testing of six cases had identified a high likelihood that there was a COVID-19 variant of concern. The second test, a whole genome sequencing test, determined the exact COVID-19 variant, the UK B.1.1.7 variant.  This variant of concern is more easily transmitted, resulting in much larger numbers of cases in a very rapid fashion. The outbreak at Roberta Place long-term care was first declared on January 8. As of yesterday, Friday, January 22, 124 of 127 residents, and 84 staff were positive for the virus, resulting in 29 deaths. In addition, two essential visitors and three external partners have tested positive. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USINDOPACOM

    China reports 4th rabies case from organ transplantation in four years

    24 January- China reported it's fourth rabies case caused by organ transplantation on January 2019 since 2015 and details of the case are described in Biosafety and Health in December. The donor of the organs was a 57-year-old male farmer who was hospitalized in November 2018 of continuous abdominal pain and syncope. He was later transferred to another hospital with a diagnosis of acute intestinal obstruction. His condition continued to worsen and was declared brain dead and a family member suggested an organ donation program– a total of five organs, including left and right corneas, double kidneys, and liver were transplanted to 5 recipients, respectively. The donor had no history of exposure or rabies-related symptoms. The deceased recipient was a 38-year-old female patient of uremia who received the renal transplantation at on November 11, 2018. She recovered and was discharged two weeks later. Outbreak News Today External Link

    Covid: New Zealand reports first case in the community in months

    25 January- New Zealand has reported its first case of Covid-19 outside of a quarantine facility in more than two months. Health officials said a 56-year-old woman who had recently returned from Europe tested positive days after completing a compulsory two-week period of managed isolation. Contact tracing efforts are under way, and authorities have published a list of locations the woman visited. New Zealand has been widely praised for its response to the pandemic. The country, with a population of five million, has recorded 1,927 confirmed cases and 25 deaths over the course of the pandemic. BBC News External Link

    Singapore's historic dengue outbreak year in 2020

    26 January- In 2013, Singapore reported the largest dengue fever outbreak in recent history recording some 22,318 cases and eight deaths. However, that record was easily shattered in 2020 as Singapore officials report that as of Dec. 17, 2020, 34,844 dengue cases were reported. The year started with high weekly dengue cases of between 300 – 400, and the relative dominance of the more unusual dengue virus serotype (DENV-3) in the first four months of the year. Weekly cases rose sharply in May 2020 and eventually peaked in July 2020 with 1792 cases in a week. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USNORTHCOM

    2 in 5 Americans live where COVID-19 strains hospital ICUs

    25 January- Straining to handle record numbers of COVID-19 patients, hundreds of the nation's intensive care units are running out of space and supplies and competing to hire temporary traveling nurses at soaring rates. Many of the facilities are clustered in the South and West. An Associated Press analysis of federal hospital data shows that since November, the share of U.S. hospitals nearing the breaking point has doubled. More than 40% of Americans now live in areas running out of ICU space, with only 15% of beds still available. Intensive care units are the final defense for the sickest of the sick, patients who are nearly suffocating or facing organ failure. Nurses who work in the most stressed ICUs, changing IV bags and monitoring patients on breathing machines, are exhausted. Fox News External Link

    Sexually transmitted infections in the US: 'The burden of STIs is staggering'

    26 January- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Monday that that on any given day in 2018, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and showed the incredible cost that goes with it... "The burden of STIs is staggering," said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. "At a time when STIs are at an all-time high, they have fallen out of the national conversation. Yet, STIs are a preventable and treatable  national health threat with substantial personal and economic impact. There is an urgent need to reverse the trend of increasing STIs, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected many STI prevention services." STIs can have serious health consequences. People with these infections do not always experience disease symptoms, but, if left untreated, some STIs can increase the risk of HIV infection, or can cause chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and/or severe pregnancy and newborn complications. Outbreak News Today External Link

    USSOUTHCOM

    Argentina reports 145 confirmed Salmonella cases in Salta province

    24 January- The supervisor of the Epidemiological Surveillance program, María Valdez said in a press conference Friday since the beginning of the year, 145 confirmed salmonellosis cases have been reported in Salta province. More than 80 percent of the infections were concentrated in the city of Salta and the rest in municipalities in the interior. "In the last outbreak, the cases were doubled compared to the previous period," said the official. According to provincial statistics, the age range that has contracted the most salmonellosis is found in babies and children up to 9 years of age, representing 44 percent of cases. It was stated that the health authorities work together with the Bromatology teams of the province and the municipalities. In addition, actions, preventive measures and investigation of cases are coordinated with the company  Aguas del Norte and with the Regulatory Body of Public Services. Outbreak News Today External Link