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Maintaining Essential Health Services During COVID-19 in Low Resource, Non-U.S. Settings

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 07:00
Globally, health systems have been challenged by the overwhelming demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources and staff are being diverted to test and treat people with presumed or diagnosed COVID-19, and supplies are limited. Some healthcare services are being compromised in order to meet the demands of caring for COVID-19 patients, and many people fear accessing healthcare facilities due to fear of acquiring the virus.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Clinical Care Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 07:00
Find links to resources for clinicians caring for patients with a suspected or confirmed infection caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

WHO reveals shocking extent of exploitative formula milk marketing

WHO news - Thu, 04/28/2022 - 18:04
Formula milk companies are paying social media platforms and influencers to gain direct access to pregnant women and mothers at some of the most vulnerable moments in their lives. The global formula milk industry, valued at some US$ 55 billion, is targeting new mothers with personalized social media content that is often not recognizable as advertising.

Increase in severe acute hepatitis cases of unknown aetiology in children

ECDC - Risk assessments - Thu, 04/28/2022 - 15:00
An increase in severe acute hepatitis cases of unknown aetiology among previously healthy children was first reported by the United Kingdom (UK) to the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations (IHR) notification system on 5 April 2022 (testing had excluded viral hepatitis types A, B, C, D and E and other known causes of acute hepatitis). Following this alert, the United States and several European Union, European Economic Area (EU/EEA) and other countries have reported suspected cases.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

ECDC publishes Rapid Risk Assessment - Increase in severe acute hepatitis cases of unknown aetiology in children

ECDC - News - Thu, 04/28/2022 - 15:00
Following the initial report of an increase of severe acute hepatitis cases of unknown aetiology among previously healthy children by the United Kingdom on 5 April 2022, and as of 20 April 2022, 111 cases, aged 10 and under have been identified in that country.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

A second booster could avert a substantial proportion of COVID-19 deaths between now and mid-autumn 2022 in older age groups

ECDC - News - Thu, 04/28/2022 - 15:00
A continuous high incidence or a large surge in cases in the early summer would imply a large benefit from an early second booster roll-out but optimal timing will largely depend on trends in infections ECDC says in the latest technical report on a second mRNA COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

Health Equity in Action

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Thu, 04/28/2022 - 07:00
Health Equity in Action
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

UNICEF and WHO warn of perfect storm of conditions for measles outbreaks, affecting children

WHO news - Wed, 04/27/2022 - 16:51

 

An increase in measles cases in January and February 2022 is a worrying sign of a heightened risk for the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases and could trigger larger outbreaks, particularly of measles affecting millions of children in 2022, warn WHO and UNICEF.

Pandemic-related disruptions, increasing inequalities in access to vaccines, and the diversion of resources from routine immunization are leaving too many children without protection against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

The risk for large outbreaks has increased as communities relax social distancing practices and other preventive measures for COVID-19 implemented during the height of the pandemic. In addition, with millions of people being displaced due to conflicts and crises including in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan, disruptions in routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccination services, lack of clean water and sanitation, and overcrowding increase the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.

Almost 17 338 measles cases were reported worldwide in January and February 2022, compared to 9665 during the first two months of 2021. As measles is very contagious, cases tend to show up quickly when vaccination levels decline. The agencies are concerned that outbreaks of measles could also forewarn outbreaks of other diseases that do not spread as rapidly.

Apart from its direct effect on the body, which can be lethal, the measles virus also weakens the immune system and makes a child more vulnerable to other infectious diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea, including for months after the measles infection itself among those who survive.  Most cases occur in settings that have faced social and economic hardships due to COVID-19, conflict or other crises, and have chronically weak health system infrastructure and insecurity.

“Measles is more than a dangerous and potentially deadly disease. It is also an early indication that there are gaps in our global immunization coverage, gaps vulnerable children cannot afford,” said Catherine Russell, UNICEF Executive Director. “It is encouraging that people in many communities are beginning to feel protected enough from COVID-19 to return to more social activities. But doing so in places where children are not receiving routine vaccination creates the perfect storm for the spread of a disease like measles.”  

In 2020, 23 million children missed out on basic childhood vaccines through routine health services, the highest number since 2009 and 3.7 million more than in 2019.

Top 5 countries with reported measles cases in the last 12 months, until April 2022 1Country Reported Measles cases Rate per million cases First dose measles coverage (%), 20192First dose measles coverage (%), 20203 Somalia 9068 554 46 46 Yemen 3629 119 67 68 Afghanistan 3628 91 64 66 Nigeria 12 341 58 54 54 Ethiopia 3039 26 60 58

As of April 2022, the agencies report 21 large and disruptive measles outbreaks around the world in the last 12 months. Most of the measles cases were reported in Africa and the East Mediterranean region. The figures are likely higher as the pandemic has disrupted surveillance systems globally, with potential underreporting.

Countries with the largest measles outbreaks since the past year include Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. Insufficient measles vaccine coverage is the major reason for outbreaks, wherever they occur.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted immunization services, health systems have been overwhelmed, and we are now seeing a resurgence of deadly diseases including measles. For many other diseases, the impact of these disruptions to immunization services will be felt for decades to come,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Now is the moment to get essential immunization back on track and launch catch-up campaigns so that everybody can have access to these life-saving vaccines.”

As of 1 April 2022, 57 vaccine-preventable disease campaigns in 43 countries that were scheduled to take place since the start of the pandemic are still postponed, impacting 203 million people, most of whom are children. Of these, 19 are measles campaigns, which put 73 million children at risk of measles due to missed vaccinations. In Ukraine, the measles catch-up campaign of 2019 was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and thereafter due to the war. Routine and catch-up campaigns are needed wherever access is possible to help make sure there are not repeated outbreaks as in 2017–2019, when there were over 115 000 cases of measles and 41 deaths in the country – this was the highest incidence in Europe.

Coverage at or above 95% with 2 doses of the safe and effective measles vaccine can protect children against measles. However, COVID-19 pandemic related disruptions have delayed the introduction of the second dose of the measles vaccine in many countries.

As countries work to respond to outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, and recover lost ground, UNICEF and WHO, along with partners such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the partners of the Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others are supporting efforts to strengthen immunization systems by:

  • restoring services and vaccination campaigns so countries can safely deliver routine immunization programmes to fill the gaps left by the backsliding;
  • helping health workers and community leaders communicate actively with caregivers to explain the importance of vaccinations;
  • rectifying gaps in immunization coverage, including identifying communities and people who have been missed during the pandemic;
  • ensuring that COVID-19 vaccine delivery is independently financed and well-integrated into overall planning for immunization services so that it is not carried out at the cost of childhood and other vaccination services; and
  • implementing country plans to prevent and respond to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and strengthening immunization systems as part of COVID-19 recovery efforts.

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Source: Provisional data based on monthly data reported to WHO as of April 2022

2 Source: WHO/UNICEF estimates of national immunization coverage, 2020 revision.

3 Source: WHO/UNICEF estimates of national immunization coverage, 2020 revision.

 

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Download UNICEF photos and broll here. Download WHO photos

For more information on the 24–30 April WHO World Immunization Week campaign and all resources.

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

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, 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 well-being. 

Visit www.who.int and follow WHO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube and Twitch.



 

 

Information about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Wed, 04/27/2022 - 07:00
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that requires 2 shots, 21 days apart. Learn about safety data, efficacy, and clinical trial demographics.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

COVID-19 and Animals

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Wed, 04/27/2022 - 07:00
Animals and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

What You Need to Know About Variants

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Tue, 04/26/2022 - 07:00
Since November 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) has reported a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in London and southeast England. This rapid increase in cases has been linked to a different version-or variant-of the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Tue, 04/26/2022 - 07:00
Variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have been reported in many countries around the world. Learn more about the current variants of concern.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

European Immunization Week, 2022

ECDC - News - Mon, 04/25/2022 - 15:00
European Immunization Week (EIW) is marked across the European Region every year in the last week of April. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of immunization for people’s health and well-being.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

Quarantine and Isolation (Q&I) Calculator FAQ

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 04/22/2022 - 20:22
Find guidance for health departments on people in U.S. communities exposed to a person with known or suspected COVID-19 or community-related exposure.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

CDC Strategy for Global Response to COVID-19 (2020-2023)

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 04/22/2022 - 07:00
Strategy defines CDC program priorities & guides development of criteria for monitoring & evaluating impact for CDC's global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

WHO recommends highly successful COVID-19 therapy and calls for wide geographical distribution and transparency from originator

WHO news - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 18:03

Today, WHO made a strong recommendation for nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, sold under the name Paxlovid, for mild and moderate COVID-19 patients at highest risk of hospital admission, calling it the best therapeutic choice for high-risk patients to date. However, availability, lack of price transparency in bilateral deals made by the producer, and the need for prompt and accurate testing before administering it, are turning this life-saving medicine into a major challenge for low- and middle-income countries.

Pfizer’s oral antiviral drug (a combination of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir tablets) is strongly recommended for patients with non-severe COVID-19 who are at highest risk of developing severe disease and hospitalization, such as unvaccinated, older, or immunosuppressed patients.

This recommendation is based on new data from two randomized controlled trials involving 3078 patients. The data show that the risk of hospitalization is reduced by 85% following this treatment. In a high-risk group (over 10% risk of hospitalization), that means 84 fewer hospitalizations per 1000 patients.

WHO suggests against its use in patients at lower risk, as the benefits were found to be negligible.

One obstacle for low- and middle-income countries is that the medicine can only be administered while the disease is at its early stages; prompt and accurate testing is therefore essential for a successful outcome with this therapy. Data collected by FIND show that the average daily testing rate in low-income countries is as low as one-eightieth the rate in high-income countries. Improving access to early testing and diagnosis in primary health care settings will be key for the global rollout of this treatment.

WHO is extremely concerned that -- as occurred with COVID-19 vaccines -- low- and middle-income countries will again be pushed to the end of the queue when it comes to accessing this treatment.

Lack of transparency on the part of the originator company is making it difficult for public health organizations to obtain an accurate picture of the availability of the medicine, which countries are involved in bilateral deals and what they are paying. In addition, a licensing agreement made by Pfizer with the Medicines Patent Pool limits the number of countries that can benefit from generic production of the medicine.

The originator product, sold under the name Paxlovid, will be included in the WHO prequalification list  today, but generic products are not yet available from quality-assured sources. Several generic companies (many of which are covered by the licensing agreement between the Medicines Pool and Pfizer) are in discussion with WHO Prequalification but may take some time to comply with international standards so that they can supply the medicine internationally.

WHO therefore strongly recommends that Pfizer make its pricing and deals more transparent and that it enlarge the geographical scope of its licence with the Medicines Patent Pool so that more generic manufacturers may start to produce the medicine and make it available faster at affordable prices.

Along with the strong recommendation for the use of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, WHO has also updated its recommendation on remdesivir, another antiviral medicine.

Previously, WHO had suggested against its use in all COVID-19 patients regardless of disease severity, due to the totality of the evidence at that time showing little or no effect on mortality. Following publication of new data from a clinical trial looking at the outcome of admission to hospital, WHO has updated its recommendation. WHO now suggests the use of remdesivir in mild or moderate COVID-19 patients who are at high risk of hospitalization.

The recommendation for use of remdesivir in patients with severe or critical COVID-19 is currently under review.

Walk the Talk is back in Place des Nations this year - here’s how we’re doing it safely

WHO news - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 15:57

The Walk the Talk event returns on Sunday, 22 May 2022 to Geneva, Switzerland on the morning of the 75th World Health Assembly. WHO is joining with the UN family and the Geneva community to celebrate the importance of healthy lifestyles and demonstrate measures to safely conduct public events.

The third edition of the Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge, and the first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is an opportunity to gather safely and to promote solidarity and a health lifestyle.

There is no “zero risk” when it comes to any kind of gathering – especially events that bring groups of people together. Regardless of the size of the event, we are at risk from COVID-19 whenever we get together with people.

Safety precautions will be taken for this event including the following measures:
  • Proper crowd management including safe distancing - employing physical barriers (cones, ropes, poles, etc.) to maintain distance between people, separating accesses and way outs, adopting one-way pathways and corridors to enforce unidirectional flow, establishing spacious waiting areas to complement crowd control measures.
  • Adequate ventilation of spaces, either by natural means or mechanical means (i.e. by supplying air to or removing air from an indoor space by powered air movement components)
  • Ensuring availability of handwashing facilities with water and soap and/or hand sanitizer dispensers
  • Availability of close bins to ensure safe disposal of water bottles and other items
  • Make available public health and safely measure messages on the website and onsite for prospective participants
  • Train volunteers and inform them on what is expected from them, especially if they will be required of actively disseminate health messages or enforce any PHSM


Participants are also advised to observe the following health protocols:
  • If you don’t feel well, show any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19, stay home.
  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s your turn.
  • If you choose to attend a public event, always follow precautionary measures, regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status or history of prior infection.
  • Keep at least a 1-metre distance from others at all times.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask that covers the nose and mouth when physical distancing of at least 1-metre is not possible and in poorly ventilated indoor settings.
  • Do not remove the mask to speak.
  • Avoid crowded or poorly ventilated areas
  • When coughing and sneezing - cover with bent elbow or tissues.
  • Clean your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or wash with soap & water


To learn more and register, go to www.who.int/global-walk-the-talk

Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 07:00
people who are up to date with their vaccines are well protected from serious illness or other health outcomes.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Cases in the U.S.

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Wed, 04/20/2022 - 23:38
CDC COVID Data Tracker - Cases and Deaths by State
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

19 April update: Monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak

ECDC - News - Wed, 04/20/2022 - 15:00
As of 19 April 2022, an outbreak of 187 confirmed and probable cases of monophasic S. Typhimurium (cluster 1) has been identified in the EU/EEA and the United Kingdom.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

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