Business summit panelists stress practicality to slow flu spread

first_img “There are detectable levels at the tail end of infection,” he said, “but it is not very transmissible.” Another CDC policy that was deemed reasonable by the panel was the recommendation to allow people to remain at work when they have sick family members. The important thing, according to CIDRAP Medical Director Kristine Moore, MD, MPH, is to continually balance limiting transmission and being reasonable about letting work continue. The 2-day conference, “Keeping the World Working during the H1N1 Pandemic: Protecting Employee Health, Critical Operations, and Customer Relations,” is sponsored by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota and wraps up today. In terms of providing a good health check to monitor their employees’ health, Druckman emphasized that no perfect solution exits. Rather, he stressed the importance of establishing a proportional plan or one that is targeted to a very specific situation. “This goes way beyond any support from the evidence,” he said. Sept 23, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – To mask or not to mask, hand washing versus hand sanitizers, how long to stay away from the workplace if sick with novel H1N1 influenza, tips for travel—these were some of the issues addressed in a panel discussion yesterday during a business preparedness summit in Minneapolis. A more controversial prevention tool is wearing masks or respirators. “A religious war goes on between face mask people and respiratory people,” said Merlin, “and it will go on for awhile.” Merlin, deputy director of the CDC’s Influenza Coordination Unit, said that, although the virus can be shed at low levels for 7 to 10 days after onset of symptoms, transmission is much more likely when viral shedding is high, within the first day or so after symptom onset. Despite the controversy in the United States about masks, Druckman pointed out the need to recognize culture differences and cited the prevalence of masks worn by people in Asian countries, as well as in Mexico during the spring wave of the H1N1 outbreak. In providing employers answers to vexing questions about preventing transmission of the H1N1 virus in the workplace, the panel emphasized scientifically grounded yet practical responses. According to Merlin, loose-fitting surgical masks provide a barrier over the nose and mouth and prevent a person from touching the nose and mouth and transferring the virus that way, but they do not reliably filter out small particles. As such, they are not considered needed in the general population. The only recommendation by the CDC is the use of a face-fitted N-95 respirator for healthcare workers who work with patients who have influenza and may transmit the virus, he said. Companies, he said, need to provide tools to their employees for handling a number of issues that may arise. Challenges not only include the actual health risks in other parts of the world, but the possibility that employees who travel may be stranded or quarantined in another country. Another issue is how to handle people who are re-entering the workplace after returning from traveling to a potential outbreak region.center_img Depending on circumstances, he said, answering a health questionnaire may be enough to satisfy safety concerns, whereas in a more severe situation, temperature screening may be necessary. Merlin agreed. “Perception clearly drives a lot of decision making,” he said. Underlying all of this is the need for the company to be perceived as doing something to safeguard its employees. “It is a bit like security in an office building,” he said. It is important that global companies have a consistent message for all of their employees who travel, he emphasized. Merlin summed up simple behaviors that, taken together, can provide a strong chance for prevention. “None of the interventions are perfect. But a reasonable policy of sick people staying at home, reasonable advice on hand and cough hygiene, a vaccination policy, and good education, you end up with a combination quite powerful.” Addressing whether guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that people sick with the H1N1 flu should stay out of the workplace until 24 hours after their fever has passed without medication use still holds true in light of recent reports that people can shed the virus up to 10 days, the CDC’s Toby Merlin, MD, said it does. For people at high risk of developing complications from infection of the virus, such as pregnant women, educating them about the importance of symptom recognition and quick action with a consultation with a physician and antiviral therapy is particularly critical. “The most important thing is educating people and helping people understand what the symptoms are and how it is transmitted, so as soon as they develop symptoms, it is their responsibility to take themselves out of the workplace,” said Moore. “There is a slippery slope problem when it comes to masks,” said Merlin, adding that the recommendation by the CDC for the use of a respirator in a particular circumstance has led some people to think that respirators are needed for other situations as well, say for a bus driver who comes in contact with the public. Nuts and bolts of preventionAmong the simple steps people can take to prevent transmission are washing hands or using hand sanitizers, according to the panel. Moore emphasized that both are good options, but with the caveat that hand washing requires at least 20 seconds of washing and not a simple water splash and that hand sanitizers work best on hands that are not physically dirty. Tips for travelFor Myles Druckman, MD, vice president of medical services for the Americas region with International SOS Assistance, the initial outbreak of novel H1N1 in Mexico in April brought to the forefront travel health and issues involved in managing a global workforce.last_img read more

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Hospitalized with COVID-19

first_imgDue to a persistent high temperature ten days after being diagnosed with coronavirus British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, has been hospitalized for testing. According to reports, the Prime Minister is still battling COVID-19 and its symptoms such as fever and cough.Reports are that this was not an emergency admission but that Johnson was admitted to hospital for testing and monitoring. Meanwhile 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth address the nation today. It was a rare speech given by the queen who wanted to reassure England that there is light at the end of the tunnel with the virus and that “we shall succeed.” Her son, Prince Charles, 71, was also diagnosed with the coronavirus seven days ago and is now reportedly out of self-isolation.last_img read more

Mushrooms integrated into cuisine

first_imgThe Mushroom Council promotes and encourages consumption of fresh mushrooms. It works with many universities across the country to put on different events to appeal to students.“We want to raise consumer awareness regarding the benefits of mushrooms through Mushroomapalooza, and introduce students to how flavorful and diverse mushrooms can be,” said Mushroom Council administrator Brittany Stager.  “It’s important to include mushrooms in your daily diet because it’s a good source of very important minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.”Café 84 was busy during the hours of Mushroomapalooza. It offered seven different mushroom dishes, from chili portabellini mushroom street tacos with shredded cabbage and soy sauza crema to mushroom risotto with crispy onions.“Students are very excited; you can tell from the lines — they haven’t stopped since four o’clock,” Kitchen Manager Rajeendra Wanniarachchige said. “When kids see this kind of event they text their friends to let them know.”Many students found out about the event through word of mouth.“My friend who came here earlier texted the whole swim team in our group chat saying whoever likes mushrooms, check out Café 84 tonight,” said Dimitri Colupaev, a senior majoring in economics. “I am enjoying the menu options; the cream of mushroom soup is great.”USC has seven other restaurants that are participating in the Mushroomapalooza Tour this week such as Seeds, Moreton Fig and Lemonade.“We definitely want to have more events like the Mushroomapalooza,” Wanniarachchige said. “We are still in the process of investigating, but we hope to bring more farm-to-table foods that promote locally grown organic produce.” USC Hospitality has partnered with the Mushroom Council to host the first day of the Mushroomapalooza Tour at Café 84 on Monday.Mushroom Kingdom · Chase Bloch, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, tests out the new mushroom options available through ‘Mushroompalooza’ at Café 84 on Monday. The event will last all week. – Carrie Sun | Daily Trojanlast_img read more

Antigua and Barbuda investigate suspected case of measles

first_imgThe Ministry of Health in Antigua and Barbuda is investigating a suspected case of measles that was imported into the country by a visitor from the United Kingdom.According to Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas, the suspected case was reported by the doctor who treated the patient.Patient isolatedSealey-Thomas said the patient with the suspected case of measles has been isolated and those who travelled with her, will be quarantined and monitored to see whether or not they are affected.The Health Ministry will also ensure that they are properly vaccinated as the ministry awaits laboratory confirmation of the disease.Public appealMeanwhile, the ministry has issued an appeal to the public to ensure that they are adequately immunized against measles, mumps and rubella with the MMR vaccine.In 2016, the Region of the Americas, including Antigua and Barbuda was certified as being free of measles. However, Sealey-Thomas says health officials should ensure the country retains its measles-free status by ensuring families are properly vaccinated.“We need parents to check to see that your children have the correct dosage of the MMR, the measles, mumps rubella vaccine. Take your card and your child to the nearest health center so the nurses there can check and ensure that your child is properly vaccinated or if they need another dosage,” Sealey-Thomas said in an advisory.Adults are also being encouraged to check with their physician if they are unsure about their vaccination status.Symptoms of measlesMeasles is a highly contagious disease which is characterized by high fever, cough, runny nose and a red rash which starts on the face and spreads to the body. It is caused by a virus and is spread through coughing and sneezing.There is no specific treatment, but the measles vaccine that is administered as part of a country’s vaccination program provides lifelong protection against the disease.Those who are not vaccinated face a higher risk of getting the viral infection.last_img read more