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CDC Set to Ease COVID Guidance, Including for Schools

THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Americans could see an easing of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations as soon as this week.

Updated guidance expected from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would change

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 4, 2022
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  • Mystery of Hepatitis Cases in Kids Deepens as CDC Probe Continues

    Evidence continues to mount that a specific strain of adenovirus could be implicated in a wave of American children who've developed acute hepatitis of unknown origin, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Friday.

    "The evidence is accumulating that there's a role for adenovirus, particularly adenovirus 41," Dr. Jay Butler, the CDC's deputy director for infectious ...

    After a Sweeping Review, CDC Looks to Rebuild Public Trust

    In April, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a new center to better forecast infectious disease outbreaks. It also underwent a month-long review to examine their current systems and inform future strategies.

    Together, these announcements paint a picture of an agency at a crossroads, in the wake of enormous public scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Most...

    CDC Investigating 109 Cases of Severe Hepatitis Among Kids

    Five children have died in a mysterious wave of acute hepatitis that has sickened dozens of kids across the United States during the past seven months, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent...

    Experts Weigh in on CDC's New Forecasting Center for Infectious Diseases

    Back in December, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a detailed briefing to warn public health officials about an emerging COVID variant dubbed Omicron.

    Officials were incredibly specific, said Lori Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, predicting that Omicron would enter the United States in four weeks and grow in inte...

    CDC Launches Forecasting Center for Infectious Diseases

    A new forecasting center for infectious diseases was officially launched by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.

    The goal of the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics is to act as a "National Weather Service" for infectious disease outbreaks, and to guide public health decisions during outbreaks. These can include developing vaccines, distributing antivi...

    CDC Extends Mask Mandates on Planes, Trains to May 3

    A federal mask mandate for planes, trains, airports and some bus services that was set to expire in five days will be extended until May 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday.

    The spread of the Omicron subvariant BA.2 - which now ...

    Is the CDC in Crisis? Former Agency Directors Debate Its Future

    A handful of former directors of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they support a sweeping review of the agency that's been ordered up by CDC head Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

    Earlier this week, Walensky announced that she has asked outside experts to ...

    CDC Director Walensky Announces Sweeping Review of Agency

    In an effort to modernize an agency that has come under fire for its handling of the pandemic, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that the agency would undergo a monthlong review of its inner workings.

    In an email sent to agency employees, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said she has hired a senior federal health official outside of the Atlanta-based age...

    CDC Close to New Guidance on COVID Restrictions

    Updated criteria to guide COVID-19 restrictions will be announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later this week or early next week, according to a CDC scientist involved in the process.

    Currently, the agency's guidance on measures such as

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  • February 24, 2022
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  • CDC Turns to Wastewater Data to Track COVID's Spread

    It's less enchanting than reading tea leaves, but federal health officials announced Friday that they are expanding nationwide efforts to track COVID-19 by monitoring virus levels found in raw sewage.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects to add an additional 250 surveillance sites over the next few weeks to a list of more than 400 places that already regularly test ...

    Gun Deaths Continue to Rise in America's Cities

    A temporary falloff in the number of Americans who kill themselves and others with guns is over, newly released U.S. government data show.

    "Firearm homicides and suicides are an urgent public health concern in the United States," said Scott Kegler, lead author of a new study of gun violence ...

    Breakthrough COVID Cases Overwhelmingly Mild for Vaccinated People: Study

    A review of cases from 465 U.S. hospitals underscores the protection provided by COVID-19 vaccines.

    The new review -- by researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health -- found that vaccinated adults who got breakthrough infections rarely got severely ill. Respiratory failure, the need for treatment i...

    CDC Warns of Rise in Rabies Linked to Bats

    Three people died recently in the United States recently from rabies linked to bats, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. They bring the total number of U.S. rabies cases in 2021 to five.

    That's a sharp rise over prior years -- no reported rabies cases in people were reported in the United States during 2019 and 2020, the CDC noted. Overall, the number of rab...

    Packaged Salads Tied to E. Coli Outbreak in 6 States

    Check your packaged salad greens: More than a dozen people have been infected by a strain of E. coli in six U.S. states, health officials report.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a food safety alert linking the outbreak to Simple Truth Organic Power Greens and Nature's Basket Organic Power Greens. The greens may be contaminated with E. coli and may be making peop...

    48 COVID Cases Reported on World's Largest Cruise Ship

    At least 48 passengers and crew members on Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas -- the world's largest cruise ship -- have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been quarantined, the company said Monday.

    Of the 48 people who tested positive during the sailing, 98% were fully vaccinated. That's not surprising, since the overall vaccination rate among the nearly 6,100 passengers and crew ...

    CDC Supports 'Test-to-Stay' Strategy for Schools

    Unvaccinated students exposed to COVID-19 can remain in the classroom as long as they're regularly tested for the virus at school, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

    The CDC pointed to two new studies from California and Illinois as evidence that school districts can...

    Early CDC COVID Tests Were Not Only Contaminated, But Flawed: Report

    Along with being contaminated, there was also a basic design flaw in COVID-19 testing kits created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention early in the pandemic, a new agency review shows.

    It was already known that the PCR kits were contaminated, but the CDC's find...

    Were Cancer Patients Neglected in U.S. COVID Vaccine Rollout?

    In nearly two-thirds of U.S. states, cancer patients weren't put at the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccines in the initial phase of vaccination, a new study finds.

    Many cancer patients are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 as the disease or related treatments leaves them with weakened immune systems.

    Perhaps many cancer patients were skipped over for COVID shots because vaccinat...

    Vaccines, Boosters Should Protect Against Severe COVID, Even With Omicron: Fauci

    Americans who are vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 should have enough antibody protection to prevent severe illness if they become infected with the new Omicron variant, White House COVID response officials said Tuesday.

    Omicron has caused concern among medical experts due to a "large number of mutations, around 50, much larger than previous variants," including some "anticipated t...

    Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. Hospital Personnel Still Unvaccinated

    Nearly a third of health care staff in U.S. hospitals were not vaccinated against COVID-19 as of mid-September, a new study shows.

    Researchers analyzed data on more than 3.3 million health care workers at more than 2,000 hospitals nationwide between Jan. 20 and Sept. 15.

    "Our analysis revealed that vaccine coverage among U.S. hospital-based [health care personnel] stalled significan...

    CDC Lowers Threshold for Lead Poisoning in Youngest Kids

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it has lowered its limits for lead poisoning in kids.

    The move is expected to more than double the number of 1- to 5-year-olds with worrisome levels of the toxic metal in their blood, according to the Associated Press. That means the number is projected to grow from 200,000 to about 500,000, AP said.

    <...

    Risk of COVID from Grocery Store Surfaces Very Low: Study

    Your chances of getting COVID-19 from surfaces at the grocery store are minimal, a Canadian study reassures.

    Researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario collected 957 samples at four grocery stories over a month. None tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID,

  • Cara Murez
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  • October 12, 2021
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  • U.S. Murder Rate Up 30% During Pandemic, Highest One-Year Rise Ever

    The rate at which homicide is taking the lives of Americans jumped by 30% over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic -- the largest year-to-year increase ever, new federal government figures show.

    The rate jumped from 6 homicides per 100,000 people in 2019 to 7.8 per 100,000 in 2020, according to provisional data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center...

    Side Effects of Pfizer Booster Shots Similar to First Two Doses

    As millions of Americans sign up to get their Pfizer booster shot, a new government report delivers reassuring news about its expected side effects.

    The study, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, evaluated the experiences of individuals who were able to get third doses starting in mid-August because they had compromised immune systems. In those cas...

    CDC Endorses Booster Shots for Millions of Americans

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended booster shots of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for millions of older and high-risk Americans, kicking off a new chapter in the national effort to protect the vulnerable from severe disease.

    First, an expert CDC advisory panel called for COVID-19 booster shots for those over 65, nursing home residents and other Amer...

    FDA Approves Pfizer Booster Shots for Seniors, High-Risk Americans

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer booster shots for people over 65 and for those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

    Under the emergency use authorization, the booster shots should be given at least six months after a person is fully vaccinated.

    Wednesday's move is likely the beginning of a staggered campaign to deliver booster shots to all Americans, s...

    CDC Expert Panel to Weigh In on Vaccine Boosters

    An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet on Wednesday to discuss which Americans, if any, should get Pfizer booster shots to rev up their immunity to COVID-19.

    Their recommendation will follow a decision by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration expert panel to only give booster shots to those over 65 and those in high-risk groups.

    The CDC pane...

    Pet Store Puppies Passing Drug-Resistant Bacteria to People

    It's hard to resist those big, pleading eyes in the pet store window. But buyer beware. Pet store puppies may infect people with a bacteria for which no common antibiotic treatment exists, a new study warns.

    Campylobacter jejuni (C jejuni) cannot be treated with any common antibiotics and is an increasing public health threat, according to researchers at the U.S. Center...

    Which Cancer Patients Need a COVID Booster Shot Most?

    An alliance of leading U.S. cancer centers has updated guidance about COVID-19 vaccine boosters for cancer patients and the people around them.

    The National Comprehensive Cancer Network's new recommendations are intended for health care providers.

    "COVID-19 can be very dangerous, especially for people living with cancer, which is why we're so grateful for safe and effective vaccines...

    Top Federal Health Officials Ask White House to Scale Back on COVID Boosters

    Top U.S. health officials have reportedly warned the White House to curtail its plans to offer COVID-19 booster shots to Americans later this month.

    Leaders of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both told White House pandemic coordinator Jeffrey Zients in a meeting Tuesday that their agencies will not be able to fully assess the n...

    New 'Mu' Coronavirus Variant Being Watched Closely: Fauci

    A new coronavirus variant called Mu that may be able to evade existing antibodies, including those from vaccines, is under close watch by U.S. health officials.

    The variant hasn't taken extensive hold in the United States at this point, but the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is taking it "very seriously," according to its director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, CBS Ne...

    UTIs, Sepsis, Staph: COVID Is Upping Rates of Other Hospital Infections

    The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a resurgence in other infections that strike hospitalized patients, a U.S. government study finds.

    The study, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, highlights the broad toll the pandemic has taken. It found that rates of several types of hospital-acquired infections rose after the pandemic reached U.S. shores in 2020.

    More hospital...

    As Classes Resume, Some Health Tips From the CDC

    Students face a number of challenges as they head back to school this fall -- from potential exposure to COVID-19 and other illnesses to injuries on the playing field.

    "This return to school season is like no other," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Schools must be prepared to protect children from COVID-19, while also addressin...

    You're Vaccinated But Get a Breakthrough Infection: What Next?

    More than 171 million people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United States, but the highly infectious Delta variant has left some with "breakthrough" cases nonetheless.

    These cases were anticipated, because the COVID vaccines weren't designed to eliminate all virus infections, but rather to lower a person's risk of severe illness and hospitalization.

    Even now, "being va...

    Salmonella Illness in 17 States Tied to Salami, Prosciutto

    Two salmonella outbreaks that appear related to salami and other Italian-style meats have sickened at least 36 people in 17 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Twelve people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

    Because some people recover from salmonella without medical care and aren't tested, the CDC suspects the true number of...

    Parents, Look Out for Mental Health Issues as College Kids Return to Class

    This year of pandemic isolation and anxiety has been tough for many, but an expert says college students are at particularly high risk for mental health issues as they transition from adolescence to adulthood.

    As students return to their campuses, it's important for parents to monitor their young adults' mental health, said Dr. Richard Catanzaro, chief of behavioral health at Northern Wes...

    Less Than Three-Quarters of March Madness Fans Wore Masks Properly

    It could have been a slam-dunk, but fewer than 3 out of 4 fans at the March Madness basketball tournament wore masks correctly, a new study reports.

    Mask mandates at sporting events, concerts and other large indoor gatherings play an important role in combating the spread of COVID-19, the researchers pointed out.

    "With vaccination rates still low and COVID transmission ongoing, the ...

    New CDC Guidelines May Have Made Opioid Prescribing Safer

    Five years after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention retooled a guideline for prescribing opioid painkillers, research suggests the change is paying off.

    With the United States in the grip of an opioid overdose epidemic, the CDC released an evidence-based guideline in 2016 to help doctors treat patients' pain while balancing the risks and benefits of prescription opioids....

    Breaded, Raw Chicken Recalled in Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak

    More than 59,000 pounds of frozen, raw, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken products linked with a multi-state salmonella outbreak have been recalled, the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) says.

    The products were produced Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, 2021, by Serenade Foods in Indiana and sold under the brand names Milford Valley, Dutch Farms and Kirkwood. A public health alert a...

    4th Case of Tropical Bacterial Illness Found in United States: CDC

    The fourth U.S. case of a rare and potentially fatal bacterial disease called melioidosis, typically found in the tropics, has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Genome testing shows that the strain in the latest case in Georgia is linked to the strains of Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria that caused the three previous infections in Kansas, Texas ...

    The Delta Variant & the Vaccinated: One Expert's Take on the Data

    News that the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 can be picked up and spread by vaccinated folks has sparked confusion and concern, and an infectious disease expert wants to clarify.

    These worries follow a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that urged even vaccinated folks to wear masks indoors in areas with substantial or high rates of COVID-19...

    Severe Opioid Overdoses Rose by Nearly a Third During Pandemic

    Opioid overdose-related visits to U.S. emergency departments rose by nearly one-third during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

    That's the key finding in a new analysis of data from 25 emergency departments in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

    "COVID-19, and the disruptions in every part of our social and work lives, made this situation ev...

    CDC Now Says Vaccinated Should Be Tested After COVID Exposure, Even Without Symptoms

    People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should be tested for the virus if they come into contact with infected people, whether or not they have symptoms, say updated testing guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The agency previously said that fully vaccinated people did not need to be tested after exposure to the virus unless they had symptoms, The New...

    Listeria Outbreak Linked to Precooked Chicken: CDC

    One death has been reported in a listeriaoutbreak that appears to be linked to precooked chicken served in health care facilities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

    Three people in Texas and Delaware became sick after they ate foods at a long-term care home or hospital, and interviews and lab tests indicate they likely got sick from eating precooked chicke...

    How Much Should the Delta Variant Worry You?

    The Delta variant of COVID-19 is upending any return to normalcy in some parts of the United States, with locales like Los Angeles County urging vaccinated folks to once again don masks indoors.

    Infectious disease experts said these places are acting with an abundance of appropriate caution, given that the Delta variant is more transmissible and potentially more dangerous.

    But the d...

    Hand Sanitizer Vapors Can Cause Nausea, Dizziness

    The coronavirus pandemic has had an unexpected side effect -- a wave of bad reactions to alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

    Vapors from the products can cause headache, nausea and dizziness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which advises consumers to use the products in well-ventilated areas.

    "We have received increasing reports of these side effects since the start ...

    Will People Really Need a Yearly COVID Booster Vaccine?

    As the number of people fully immunized against COVID-19 rises into the hundreds of millions, immunologists and infectious disease experts now are pondering a new question in the unfolding pandemic.

    Namely, how long will vaccine immunity last, and will people who've gotten the jab need booster shots to maintain their protection?

    It's an important question, as waning immunity in the ...

    Real-World Study Shows Power of Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines to Prevent COVID

    A real-world study shows that even when folks who get the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines do have 'breakthrough' infections, those illnesses are mild.

    The study, from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is among the first to show that people who get COVID-19 despite being fully or partially vaccinated are less likely to have serious illness or to infec...

    'Breakthrough' COVID Infections After Vaccination Are Rare: CDC

    Comedian and commentator Bill Maher recently made news of his own when he contracted COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

    But such breakthrough COVID-19 cases among the vaccinated are rare, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Case Investigations Team.

    Nearly 10,300 SARS-CoV-2 infections have occurred in v...