Month: December 2021

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Nearly 20{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} of healthcare support workers struggle with food insecurity

Heading into a third year of the pandemic, 19.7{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} of healthcare support workers say they have faced food insecurity in the previous month, a study found. Compare that to a 6.6{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} food insecurity rate among all healthcare workers.

The problem is the worst in nursing homes, where 22.7{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} of healthcare support workers, people who work as aides and assistants, reported lacking access to enough food, the study published this fall in Health Affairs showed.

Healthcare workers have often been missed in conversations about food access because previous studies and interventions have focused on the general population, said Mithuna Srinivasan, principal research scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago and an author of the study on healthcare worker food insecurity.

“The gap in that research is that it was all focused on patients’ food insecurity,” Srinivasan said. “Nobody asked the questions from the standpoint of healthcare workers themselves.”

Many workers

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Health News

Johnson booster 85{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} effective against Omicron: S.Africa study

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A booster of US coronavirus vaccine Johnson & Johnson was 85 percent effective in preventing serious illness in areas where Omicron was dominant, a South African trial study indicated Thursday.

The South African Medical Research Council conducted the study on from November 15 to December 20, but it has still not been peer-reviewed.

It found the top-up jab to largely protect staff in a country where the highly transmissible strain is now behind most Covid cases.

“Data from the… study confirm that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shot provides 85 percent effectiveness against hospitalization in areas where Omicron is dominant,” Johnson & Johnson said.

“This adds to our growing body of evidence which shows that the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine remains strong and stable over time, including against circulating variants such as Omicron and Delta,” it said.

Around half

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WHO: global COVID cases up 11{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} last week, omicron risk high

The World Health Organization says the number of COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide increased by 11{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} last week compared with the previous week, with the biggest increase in the Americas. The gain followed a gradual increase since October.

The U.N. health agency said in its weekly epidemiological report released late Tuesday that there were nearly 4.99 million newly reported cases around the world from Dec. 20-26.

Europe accounted for more than half the total, with 2.84 million, though that amounted to only a 3{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} increase over the previous week. It also had the highest infection rate of any region, with 304.6 new cases per 100,000 residents.

WHO said that new cases in the Americas were up 39{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} to nearly 1.48 million, and the region had the second-highest infection rate with 144.4 new cases per 100,000 residents. The U.S. alone saw more than 1.18 million cases, a 34{f771d91d784324d4be731abc64bffe0d1fd8f26504ceb311bcfd8e5b001778f4} increase.

Reported new cases

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Health News

With ‘test-to-stay,’ children and staff can safely remain in school after COVID exposures

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Children and staff who repeatedly test negative for COVID-19 after contact with someone who has the illness can safely remain in school if universal masking programs are in place, according to a new “test-to-stay” study report from the ABC Science Collaborative.

The finding provides a safe alternative to quarantining people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and enables schools to remain open without interruptions. This research will be used by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to consider revising its guidelines on quarantine for schools across North Carolina.

The research, coming as the country faces the omicron variant, provides a more practical and focused approach to the “test-to-stay” protocols that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently endorsed, which require testing of anyone within three feet of an infected person at school despite both parties being masked.

ABC Science researchers have raised concerns

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Hospitals’ quandary about safety in the COVID-19 era will persist next year

While 2021 was a year of innovations in how care is delivered to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, big questions remain about how some of these changes are impacting hospital quality and safety.

Though the pandemic affected every community, many localities have shouldered a disproportionate share of COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths and job losses. Those factors will need to considered when regulators determine how to measure hospital performance for the Medicare star ratings program, said Dr. Rishi Wadhera, a health policy researcher and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

“We need to think about how the broader context in terms of public health and economic shock affected the trajectory of outcomes in specific communities, and how that affects our assessment of how well hospitals are doing,” Wadhera said.

For instance, Vizient data from its health system clients show that lower-acuity patients used emergency departments less and alternate sites more since the

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Antiviral drug receives authorization from FDA

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that molnupiravir, an investigational oral antiviral drug invented by scientists at Emory University, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for treatment of COVID-19.

The EUA authorizes the use of molnupiravir for “the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate.”

“Molnupiravir was discovered at Emory because of the tremendous vision of George Painter and Dennis Liotta, and the incredible work of so many in our ,” says Gregory L. Fenves, president of Emory University. “Emory’s mission is to serve humanity, and throughout this pandemic our faculty, researchers, staff, students, and alumni have stepped up like

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