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Considerations for the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Workforce: Enhancing Access to COVID-19 Vaccination Services

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Mon, 05/16/2022 - 07:00
This page describes how case investigators and contact tracers can provide vaccination support.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Epidemiological update: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5

ECDC - News - Fri, 05/13/2022 - 15:00
As of 12 May 2022, ECDC has reclassified Omicron sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5 from variants of interest to variants of concern.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

ECDC and WHO publish joint surveillance bulletin on hepatitis outbreak

ECDC - News - Fri, 05/13/2022 - 15:00
ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe are publishing a joint surveillance bulletin on the current outbreak of hepatitis of unknown origin in children.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

WHO announces winners at the Awards ceremony of the 3rd Health for All Film Festival (HAFF)

WHO news - Fri, 05/13/2022 - 11:51

More than 1000 film makers from over 110 countries have submitted short films for the 3rd edition of the WHO Health for All Film Festival (HAFF), on themes ranging from the trauma of war to living with COVID-19, through women’s health and so much more. Seventy short films have been chosen for the shortlist reviewed by a jury of international actors, development leaders and senior WHO experts. WHO’s Director-General approved the advice from this jury and announced the winners today.

"These compelling short films, combining powerful storytelling with important public health information, portray the huge range of health challenges that people face around the world every day,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “With 3500 submissions received over three years so far, the WHO Health for All Film Festival has demonstrated that short films can make a big difference to raising awareness on these important health issues, and stimulate action to promote and protect health."

The 70 shortlisted films are available to view online in six playlists. From this official selection one “GRAND PRIX” is attributed for each of the three main competition categories: Universal Health Coverage, Health emergencies, and Better health and well-being.

Sharon Stone, Golden Globe and EMMY Award-winning Actress from the United States of America, juror of the 3rd HAFF, Producer, and Activist for Health and Humanitarian Causes, said: "I am so delighted to be part of the Health for All Film Festival. This is about creating better awareness on crucial actions needed for reaching healthier living conditions around the world.  These documentaries that we viewed were all just wonderful. The stories selected talk to us about the intrinsic value of good health and its access, and they advocate for universal health coverage. Universal health coverage is a very important right, it’s a human right for everyone around the world."

Four special prizes are also attributed for a Student-Produced Film, a film on Rehabilitation, a Health Innovation Film and a Very Short Film.

Emilia Clarke, Actress and Health Activist from the United Kingdom, and juror of the 3rd HAFF, said: "It has been an honour and a pleasure for me to join the jury of the Health for All Film Festival by the World Health Organization, especially for watching this year’s special category about Rehabilitation which is something I care about and believe in deeply, as my Foundation is dedicated to this issue for people affected by brain injuries. Where rehabilitation means coming back to rediscover you are still the SameYou.

I hope that you’ll be moved as I was by the winning short film of this special prize, not only is it for a cause close to my heart but it also is one of the most beautiful short films I’ve seen in a long time, as well as many others that I invite and encourage you to watch online at this festival’s website, it was such a close call as all the films we watched each had their own magic and importance!”

List of films receiving awards

UHC “GRAND PRIX”:
“Pre-eclampsia: Predict Earlier, Prevent Earlier”  - Indonesia / Maternal health / Documentary – Duration 7’53’’ / Submitted and directed by Indonesian Prenatal Institute

Health Emergencies “GRAND PRIX”:
“Intensive” - United Kingdom / COVID-19 severe case / Animation – Duration 7’26’’ / Submitted and directed by Oliver John Pratt (United Kingdom)

Better Health and Well-being “GRAND PRIX”:
“Euphoric”  - India / Female Genital Mutilation / Artistic creation based on testimony – Duration 4’35’’ / Submitted and directed by Nirmala Choudhary and Roopali Ramesh Kumar (India)

SPECIAL PRIZE Rehabilitation Film:
“Sim-Patia” – Spain - Italy / Brain injury / Animation - Duration 2’42’’ / Submitted and directed by Carlos Gómez-Mira Sagrado and Rossana Giacomelli

SPECIAL PRIZE Health Innovation film:
“For Every Girl, a Forest”  - India / Gender equity / Documentary – Duration 6’24’’ / Submitted and directed by Jose Corbella (Argentina)

STUDENT FILM PRIZE:
“Improving Lives in Three Dimensions: 3D-Printed Prostheses” - Sierra Leone / Disability / Documentary – Duration 5’03’’
Submitted and directed by Merel van der Stelt (The Netherlands)

SPECIAL PRIZE Very Short Film:
“Glamming my Wounds”  - Kenya / Gender Based Violence / Fiction – Duration  1’55’’
Submitted and directed by Terry Adhiambo Ombaka (Kenya)

List of films receiving a special mention from the jury

UHC Special Mention:
“The 5% : A Family’s Perspective on Complex Clubfoot”  - Brazil / Disability / Documentary – Duration 5’40’’ / Submitted by MiracleFeet and directed by Rachel Vianna (Brazil)

Health Emergencies Special Mention: “I was just a child”  - Philippines / Natural disasters / Animation – Duration 5’06’’ / Submitted and directed by Breech Asher Harani (Philippines)

Better Health and Well-being Special Mention:
“Autism in China: The Challenges Parents Face Raising Children of the Stars”  - China / Documentary – Duration 8’28’’  / Submitted and directed by Andersen Weicong Xia (China)

Rehabilitation Special Mention:
“Move, Dance, Feel”  - United Kingdom / Cancer and artistic dancing to support treatment / Documentary – Duration 4’58’’  / Submitted and directed by Emily Jenkins and Move Dance Feel (United Kingdom)

Health Innovation Special Mention: “Malakit”  - Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname / Malaria - Access to diagnosis and care in remote areas / Documentary – Duration 8’54’’ / Submitted and directed by Maylis Douine (French Guiana)

Very Short Films Special Mention:
“Meet the Willbuts”  - Saint Kitts and Nevis / NCDs prevention / Animation – Duration 1’23’’ / Submitted and directed by Oyehmi Begho and Lake Health and Wellbeing (Saint Kitts and Nevis)

For more details on the official selection, the jury composition and further information, please visit https://www.who.int/film-festival

Air Travel Toolkit for Airline Partners

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 05/13/2022 - 07:00
Communication Toolkit for Airlines to inform Travelers and Crew
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

CDC COVID-19 Global Response

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 05/13/2022 - 07:00
The goals of CDC's global response to COVID-19 are to limit human-to-human transmission, minimize the impact of COVID-19 in vulnerable countries with limited preparedness capacity, and reduce specific threats that pose current and future risk to the United States.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

WHO and MPP announce agreement with NIH for COVID-19 health technologies

WHO news - Thu, 05/12/2022 - 14:04

WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) today finalized a licensing agreement with the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the development of several innovative therapeutics, early-stage vaccines and diagnostic tools for COVID-19.

The licenses, which are transparent, global and non-exclusive, will allow manufacturers from around the world to work with MPP and C-TAP to make these technologies accessible to people living in low- and middle-income countries and help put an end to the pandemic.

The 11 COVID-19 technologies offered under two licences include the stabilized spike protein used in currently available COVID-19 vaccines, research tools for vaccine, therapeutic and diagnostic development as well as early-stage vaccine candidates and diagnostics. The full list of the NIH COVID-19 technologies covered in the agreement is here.

“I welcome the generous contribution NIH has made to C-TAP and its example of solidarity and sharing,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Whether it’s today’s pandemic or tomorrow’s health emergency, it’s through sharing and empowering lower-income countries to manufacture their own health tools that we can ensure a healthier future for everyone.”

“We are honoured to sign these public health-driven licence agreements with NIH under the auspices of C-TAP with the goal of providing equitable access to life-saving health products for the most vulnerable in the world,” said Charles Gore, MPP Executive Director.

“NIH were the first to share their patents with MPP for an HIV product back in 2010 when we were created, and we are delighted to continue strengthening our partnership. It is clear that MPP’s model works across different health technologies.”

The announcement was made today by the US Government at the second Global COVID-19 Summit, co-hosted by the United States, Belize, Germany, Indonesia and Senegal.

Licensing the NIH technologies to MPP under the auspices of C-TAP will allow greater access to these technologies and hopefully lead to the development of commercial products that can address current and future public health needs. In most circumstances, NIH will not collect royalties on sales of products licensed in 49 countries classified by the United Nations as Least Developed Countries.

Launched in 2020 by the WHO Director-General and the President of Costa Rica, and supported by 43 Member States, C-TAP aims to facilitate timely, equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 health products by boosting their production and supply through open, transparent and non-exclusive licensing agreements. MPP provides the licensing expertise to this initiative and holds the licences.

The 11 technologies include: 

  1. Prefusion spike proteins  (Vaccine Development) 
  2. Structure-Based Design of Spike Immunogens  (Research Tool for Vaccine Development) 
  3. Pseudotyping Plasmid (Research Tool for Vaccine Development) 
  4. ACE2 Dimer construct (Research Tool for Drug Development) 
  5. Synthetic humanized llama nanobody library and related use  (Research Tool for Drug and Diagnostic Development)
  6. Newcastle Disease Virus-Like Particles Displaying Prefusion-Stabilized  Spikes (Vaccine Candidate) 
  7. Parainfluenza virus 3 based vaccine (Vaccine Candidate)
  8. A VSV-EBOV-Based Vaccine (Vaccine Candidate)
  9. RNASEH-Assisted Detection Assay for RNA (Diagnostic)
  10. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA Virus (Diagnostic)
  11. High-Throughput Diagnostic Test  (Diagnostic)

 

Epidemiological update: Hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children

ECDC - News - Wed, 05/11/2022 - 15:00
Since the first alert launched by the United Kingdom (UK) on 5 April 2022, probable cases of hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children have been reported from several countries worldwide.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

EASA and ECDC take first steps to relax COVID-19 measures for air travel

ECDC - News - Wed, 05/11/2022 - 15:00
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued an update to the health safety measures for air travel, paving the way for a relaxation of the need to wear medical masks on board a flight, but noting that a face mask is still one of the best protections against the transmission of COVID-19.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

WHO highlights glaring gaps in regulation of alcohol marketing across borders

WHO news - Tue, 05/10/2022 - 11:50

A new report from the World Health Organization highlights the increasing use of sophisticated online marketing techniques for alcohol and the need for more effective regulation. It shows that young people and heavy drinkers are increasingly targeted by alcohol advertising, often to the detriment of their health.

Reducing the harm from alcohol – by regulating cross-border alcohol marketing, advertising and promotion is the first report from WHO to detail the full extent of the way that alcohol is today being marketed across national borders – often by digital means – and in many cases regardless of the social, economic or cultural environment in receiving countries.

Worldwide, 3 million people die each year as a result of harmful use of alcohol – one every 10 seconds – representing about 5% of all deaths. A disproportionate number of these alcohol--related deaths occur among younger people, with 13.5% of all deaths among those who are 20–39 years of age being alcohol-related.

“Alcohol robs young people, their families and societies of their lives and potential,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Yet despite the clear risks to health, controls on the marketing of alcohol are much weaker than for other psychoactive products. Better, well enforced and more consistent regulation of alcohol marketing would both save and improve young lives across the world.”

A digital revolution in marketing and promotion

One of the biggest changes in recent years to alcohol marketing is the use of sophisticated online marketing. The collection and analysis of data on users’ habits and preferences by global Internet providers has created new and growing opportunities for alcohol marketers to target messages to specific groups across national borders. Targeted advertising on social media is especially effective at using such data, with its impact strengthened by social influencers and sharing of posts between social media users.

One data source quoted in the report calculated that over 70% of media spending of leading alcohol marketers based in the USA in 2019 was through promotions, product placement and online advertisements in social media.

“The rising importance of digital media means that alcohol marketing has become increasingly cross-border”, said Dag Rekve of the Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Unit at the World Health Organization. “This makes it more difficult for countries that are regulating alcohol marketing to effectively control it in their jurisdictions. More collaboration between countries in this area is needed.”

Sponsorship of sporting events

Sponsorship of major sporting events at global, regional and national levels is another key strategy used by transnational alcohol companies (which are gaining increasing dominance in the production and branding of alcohol beverages). Such sponsorship can significantly increase awareness of their brands to new audiences. In addition, alcohol producers engage in partnership with sports leagues and clubs to reach viewers and potential consumers in different parts of the world.

The increasing market of e-sports, including competitive gaming events, is another opportunity to sponsor events and increase brand recognition and international sales. So is product placement in movies and serials, many of which are streamed on international subscription channels. According to an analysis of the 100 highest-grossing box office U.S. movies between 1996 and 2015, branded alcohol was shown in almost half of them.

A focus on marketing to specific audiences

The lack of regulation to address cross-border marketing of alcohol is of particular concern for children and adolescents, women, and heavy drinkers.

Studies have shown that starting to drink alcohol at a young age is a predictor of hazardous drinking in young adulthood and beyond. Furthermore, teenage drinkers are more vulnerable to harm from alcohol consumption than older drinkers. Areas of the world with young and growing populations, such as Africa and Latin America, are being particularly targeted. 

In addition, alcohol consumption among women is an important growth sector for alcohol production and sales. While three quarters of the alcohol that the world drinks is consumed by males, alcohol marketers tend to see the lower rate of women drinking as an opportunity to grow their market, often depicting drinking by women as a symbol of empowerment and equality. They organize corporate social responsibility initiatives, on topics such as breast cancer and domestic violence, and engage with women known for their success in areas such as sports or the arts to promote brands of alcohol.

Heavy and dependent drinkers are another target for marketing efforts, since in many countries just 20% of current drinkers drink well over half of all alcohol consumed. Alcohol-dependent people frequently report a stronger urge to drink alcohol when confronted with alcohol-related cues, yet they rarely have an effective way to avoid exposure to the content of the advertising or promotion.

Existing regulation primarily limited to individual states

While many countries have some form of restrictions on alcohol marketing in place, generally they tend to be relatively weak. In a WHO 2018 study, it was found that, while most countries have some form of regulation for alcohol marketing in traditional media, almost half have no regulation in place for Internet (48%) and social media (47%) marketing of alcohol.

Meanwhile, sustained attention and work by national governments, the public health community and WHO to limit the availability and promotion of tobacco products, with specific attention to the cross-border aspects of tobacco production and marketing, has led to life-saving reductions in global tobacco use and exposure.

International cooperation required

The report concludes that national governments need to integrate comprehensive restrictions or bans of alcohol marketing, including its cross-border aspects, in public health strategies. It highlights key features and options for the regulation of cross-border marketing of alcohol and stresses the need for strong collaboration between states in this area.  

Note for editors:

Drinking alcohol is causally linked to an array of health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, including alcohol dependence; major noncommunicable diseases such as liver cirrhosis, some cancers and cardiovascular diseases; and injuries and deaths resulting from violence and road traffic crashes.

Social Media Toolkit: COVID-19 Booster

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Tue, 05/10/2022 - 07:00
Find a social media toolkit to encourage people to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, including sample messages and images.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Staffing Resources

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Tue, 05/10/2022 - 07:00
Federal staffing resources for health departments.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

WHO delivers 20 ambulances to Ukraine

WHO news - Mon, 05/09/2022 - 13:48

To support emergency health needs in Ukraine, World Health Organization (WHO) today gave 20 all-terrain ambulances able to function in even the most damaged and inaccessible areas to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. 

“We bring not just supplies but support based on your needs. Today we are handing to you 20 ambulances, along with generators and blood refrigerators to hospitals wherever they  are needed.'' said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General handing over the keys to the Deputy Minister of Health Iryna Mykychak in Lviv, Ukraine. “But the most important thing  we want to see delivered is peace.”

“Today, as we consolidate our efforts with WHO, we need to strengthen our national health care system. And these are very effective ways to support our doctors, who heroically provide medical care in Ukraine in difficult times. Today we received modern off-road vehicles from the WHO to ensure medical evacuation. These ambulances can drive to the most important places available, even where the roads have been most damaged” said Deputy Minister Mykychak as she looked over the new addition to the emergency relief team’s fleet. “We are infinitely grateful to all our international partners for such important and significant support of Ukraine. We worked closely with the WHO team in Ukraine for a long time, long before the war in health care reform in Ukraine. I am confident that together we will provide necessary support people of Ukraine and address health needs. We need peace.”

Dr Tedros has been in Ukraine for 3 days of meetings with senior government leaders and to assess the current health needs in Ukraine. During this time he visited health facilities damaged during the war and spoke with health care workers who worked tirelessly, providing care by torchlight and eventually evacuating all patients when it became too dangerous to continue.

Two months into the war, the medical infrastructure in Ukraine has been significantly damaged due to the continuous attacks on health care, and access to health care in many areas has been severely impacted. This donation of 20  ambulances will help bring vital lifesaving care to people in Ukraine and improve the national emergency medical teams' timeliness and quality of health services.

“WHO is committed to supporting people in Ukraine in accessing much-needed health services. The donation of 20 ambulances will bring lifesaving care as Ukraine’s health services have been significantly stretched and access to health care remains a challenge for many people,” said Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in Ukraine. “One of the health workers we spoke to remembered how during the days of constant shelling in their city, ambulances continued to operate even during curfew to ensure people received the care they needed. We are inspired by the bravery of Ukrainian health workers and hope this donation will contribute to their work.”

WHO has so far delivered 393 metric tonnes of emergency and medical supplies and equipment to Ukraine. Of that amount, 167 metric tonnes have reached their intended destinations, mostly in the east, south and north of the country where the need is greatest.

Notes to editors:

● Barely a week after the war started in Ukraine, WHO launched an appeal for three months (March – May 2022) for US$ 57.5 million to address the needs of 6 million people: US$45 million for health response in Ukraine and another US$12.5 million for the health needs of Ukrainian people affected by the conflict in neighbouring countries. This is WHO’s first appeal to respond to the ongoing war in Ukraine, and it has been fully funded.

● WHO is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health. WHO leads global efforts to expand universal health coverage. We direct and coordinate the world’s response to health emergencies. We promote healthier lives – from pregnancy care through old age. WHO works across 194 countries in 6 regions of the world, including the European Region which encompasses 53 countries across Europe and Central Asia. WHO staff include the world’s leading public health experts, bringing together doctors, epidemiologists, scientists and managers – all champions for healthier, safer lives everywhere.  

WHO launches first ever global report on infection prevention and control

WHO news - Fri, 05/06/2022 - 09:34

The COVID-19 pandemic and other recent large disease outbreaks have highlighted the extent to which health care settings can contribute to the spread of infections, harming patients, health workers and visitors, if insufficient attention is paid to infection prevention and control (IPC). But a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that where good hand hygiene and other cost-effective practices are followed, 70% of those infections can be prevented. 

Today, out of every 100 patients in acute-care hospitals, seven patients in high-income countries and 15 patients in low- and middle-income countries will acquire at least one health care-associated infection (HAI) during their hospital stay. On average, 1 in every 10 affected patients will die from their HAI.

People in intensive care and newborns are particularly at risk. And the report reveals that approximately one in four hospital-treated sepsis cases and almost half of all cases of sepsis with organ dysfunction treated in adult intensive-care units are health care-associated.

Today, on the eve of World Hand Hygiene Day, WHO is previewing the first ever Global Report on Infection Prevention and Control which brings together evidence from scientific literature and various reports, and new data from WHO studies.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many challenges and gaps in IPC in all regions and countries, including those which had the most advanced IPC programmes,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General. “It has also provided an unprecedented opportunity to take stock of the situation and rapidly scale up outbreak readiness and response through IPC practices, as well as strengthening IPC programmes across the health system. Our challenge now is to ensure that all countries are able to allocate the human resources, supplies and infrastructures this requires.”

The new WHO report provides the first-ever global situation analysis of how IPC programmes are being implemented in countries around the world, including regional and country focuses. While highlighting the harm to patients and healthcare workers caused by HAIs and antimicrobial resistance, the report also addresses the impact and cost-effectiveness of infection prevention and control programmes and the strategies and resources available to countries to improve them.

The impact of healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance on people’s lives is incalculable. Over 24% of patients affected by health care-associated sepsis and 52.3% of those patients treated in an intensive care unit die each year. Deaths are increased two to threefold when infections are resistant to antimicrobials.

In the last five years, WHO has conducted global surveys and country joint evaluations to assess the implementation status of national IPC programmes. Comparing data from the 2017–18 and the 2021–22 surveys, the percentage of countries having a national IPC programme did not improve; furthermore in 2021–22 only four out of 106 assessed countries (3.8%) had all minimum requirements for IPC in place at the national level. This is reflected in inadequate implementation of IPC practices at the point of care, with only 15.2% of health care facilities meeting all of the IPC minimum requirements, according to a WHO survey in 2019.

However, encouraging progress has been made in some areas, with a significant increase being seen in the percentage of countries having an appointed IPC focal point, a dedicated budget for IPC and curriculum for front-line health care workers’ training; developing national IPC guidelines and a national programme or plan for HAI surveillance; using multimodal strategies for IPC interventions; and establishing hand hygiene compliance as a key national indicator.

Many countries are demonstrating strong engagement and progress in scaling-up actions to put in place minimum requirements and core components of IPC programmes. Progress is being strongly supported by WHO and other key players. Sustaining and further expanding this progress in the long-term is a critical need that requires urgent attention and investments.

The report reveals that high-income countries are more likely to be progressing their IPC work, and are eight times more likely to have a more advanced IPC implementation status than low-income countries. Indeed, little improvement was seen between 2018 and 2021 in the implementation of IPC national programmes in low-income countries, despite increased attention being paid generally to IPC due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO will continue to support countries to ensure IPC programmes can be improved in every region.

WHO is calling on all countries around the globe to increase their investment in IPC programmes to ensure quality of care and patient and health workers’ safety. This will not only protect their populations, increased investment in IPC has also demonstrated to improve health outcomes and reduce health-care costs and out-of-pocket expenses.

# # #

Notes to Editors

IPC is a clinical and public health specialty based on a practical, evidence-based approach which prevents patients, health workers, and visitors to health care facilities from being harmed by avoidable infections, including those caused by antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, acquired during the provision of health care services. It occupies a unique position in the field of patient and health workers’ safety and quality of care, as it is universally relevant to every health worker and patient, at every health care interaction.

 

About WHO

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from 149 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019–2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing. 

For updates on COVID-19 and public health advice to protect yourself from coronavirus, visit www.who.int and follow WHO on TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedInTikTokPinterestSnapchatYouTubeTwitch.

 

COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 05/06/2022 - 07:00
A review of the week's key data from CDC's COVID Data Tracker, narrative interpretations, and visualizations.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

ECDC Summer School 2022: Emerging challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic

ECDC - News - Thu, 05/05/2022 - 15:00
Public health ethics, risk communication and the European framework for tackling cross-border health threats. These were the three themes of the 2022 edition of the ECDC European Summer School.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands – ECDC supports World Hand Hygiene Day 2022

ECDC - News - Thu, 05/05/2022 - 15:00
5 May is World Hand Hygiene Day, a World Health Organization initiative that aims to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, thus protecting patients from healthcare-associated infections.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

14.9 million excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021

WHO news - Thu, 05/05/2022 - 12:47

New estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that the full death toll associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic (described as “excess mortality”) between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million (range 13.3 million to 16.6 million).  

“These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”

Excess mortality is calculated as the difference between the number of deaths that have occurred and the number that would be expected in the absence of the pandemic based on data from earlier years. 

Excess mortality includes deaths associated with COVID-19 directly (due to the disease) or indirectly (due to the pandemic’s impact on health systems and society). Deaths linked indirectly to COVID-19 are attributable to other health conditions for which people were unable to access prevention and treatment because health systems were overburdened by the pandemic. The estimated number of excess deaths can be influenced also by deaths averted during the pandemic due to lower risks of certain events, like motor-vehicle accidents or occupational injuries. 

Most of the excess deaths (84%) are concentrated in South-East Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Some 68% of excess deaths are concentrated in just 10 countries globally. Middle-income countries account for 81% of the 14.9 million excess deaths (53% in lower-middle-income countries and 28% in upper-middle-income countries) over the 24-month period, with high-income and low-income countries each accounting for 15% and 4%, respectively. 

The estimates for a 24-month period (2020 and 2021) include a breakdown of excess mortality by age and sex. They confirm that the global death toll was higher for men than for women (57% male, 43% female) and higher among older adults. The absolute count of the excess deaths is affected by the population size. The number of excess deaths per 100,000 gives a more objective picture of the pandemic than reported COVID-19 mortality data.

“Measurement of excess mortality is an essential component to understand the impact of the pandemic. Shifts in mortality trends provide decision-makers information to guide policies to reduce mortality and effectively prevent future crises. Because of limited investments in data systems in many countries, the true extent of excess mortality often remains hidden,” said Dr Samira Asma, Assistant Director-General for Data, Analytics and Delivery at WHO. “These new estimates use the best available data and have been produced using a robust methodology and a completely transparent approach.”

“Data is the foundation of our work every day to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. We know where the data gaps are, and we must collectively intensify our support to countries, so that every country has the capability to track outbreaks in real-time, ensure delivery of essential health services, and safeguard population health,” said Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response. 

The production of these estimates is a result of a global collaboration supported by the work of the Technical Advisory Group for COVID-19 Mortality Assessment and country consultations. 

This group, convened jointly by the WHO and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), consists of many of the world’s leading experts, who developed an innovative methodology to generate comparable mortality estimates even where data are incomplete or unavailable. 

This methodology has been invaluable as many countries still lack capacity for reliable mortality surveillance and therefore do not collect and generate the data needed to calculate excess mortality. Using the publicly available methodology, countries can use their own data to generate or update their own estimates. 

“The United Nations system is working together to deliver an authoritative assessment of the global toll of lives lost from the pandemic. This work is an important part of UN DESA’s ongoing collaboration with WHO and other partners to improve global mortality estimates,” said Mr Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. 

Mr Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the Statistics Division of UN DESA, added: “Data deficiencies make it difficult to assess the true scope of a crisis, with serious consequences for people’s lives. The pandemic has been a stark reminder of the need for better coordination of data systems within countries and for increased international support for building better systems, including for the registration of deaths and other vital events.”

 

Note for editors:

The methods were developed by the Technical Advisory Group for COVID-19 Mortality Assessment, co-chaired by Professor Debbie Bradshaw and Dr. Kevin McCormack with extensive support from Professor Jon Wakefield at the University of Washington. The methods rely on a statistical model derived using information from countries with adequate data; the model is used to generate estimates for countries with little or no data available. The methods and estimates will continue to be updated as additional data become available and in consultation with countries.

CDC Accelerates Global COVID-19 Vaccinations through Global VAX

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Thu, 05/05/2022 - 07:00
Factsheet information and resources for the global COVID-19 response, including non-U.S community mitigation, non-U.S. clinical mitigation.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Post-COVID Conditions: CDC Science

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Thu, 05/05/2022 - 07:00
CDC is analyzing healthcare data, partnering with clinicians, and working with researchers to learn more about post-COVID conditions (Long COVID).
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

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