Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Regional News • Americas • United States
Biden plans to make masks mandatory nationwide
Biden plans to make masks mandatory nationwide
Credit: unsplash.com/Anton

President-elect Joe Biden's first executive order will be a nationwide mask mandate, not as a "political statement" but for the "health of our families, and economic recovery of our country."

"This executive action will direct the agencies to take action to require compliance with CDC guidance on mask wearing and physical distancing in federal buildings, on federal lands, and by federal employees and contractors," Biden’s counselor and Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said. "And the President will call on governors, public health officials, mayors, business leaders and others to implement masking, physical distancing and other public measures to control Covid-19."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump claims Covid-19 number of the "China Virus is far exaggerated", US Surgeon General contradicts claim
Trump claims Covid-19 number of the "China Virus is far exaggerated", US Surgeon General contradicts claim
Credit: @realDonaldTrump via twitter

After President Donald Trump claimed Sunday that the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths of the "China Virus is far exaggerated" because of the CDC's "ridiculous method of determination", US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams responded that there was "no reason to doubt" the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's statistics.

"From a public health perspective, I have no reason to doubt those numbers," Adams said in an interview with CNN. "And I think people need to be very aware that it's not just about the deaths, as we talked about earlier. It's about the hospitalizations, the capacity. These cases are having an impact in an array of ways and people need to understand there's a finish line in sight, but we've got to keep running toward it."

Regional News • Americas • United States
556,208 people in the US have received Covid-19 vaccine in first week
556,208 people in the US have received Covid-19 vaccine in first week
Credit: unsplash/Markus Spiske

In the first week of the United States's mass inoculation campaign, the CDC reports that 556,208 people have received a shot of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine. Among the first to be vaccinated were front-line health care workers, the elderly and politicians.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Mike Pompeo exposed to Covid-19, but "has been tested and is negative"
Mike Pompeo exposed to Covid-19, but "has been tested and is negative"
Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that he had been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Though he "has been tested and is negative", he will be in quarantine "in accordance with CDC guidelines" and will be "closely monitored by the Department's medical team," so a spokesperson of the State Department.

Regional News • Americas • United States
CDC recommends "universal use of face masks" while indoors
CDC recommends "universal use of face masks" while indoors
Credit: Unsplash/Arturo Rey

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday recommended the "universal use of face masks" while in indoor places other than one's home to curb the spread of Covid-19. The agency also urges people to avoid "non-essential indoor spaces" and to postpone travel.

Health
Covid-19 may have been in US weeks earlier than initially thought, study finds
Covid-19 may have been in US weeks earlier than initially thought, study finds
Credit: unsplash/Louis Reed

Covid-19 may have been present in the United States weeks earlier than scientists and public health officials previously thought and before the first cases were publicly reported in China, a new study suggests.

The first Covid-19 case was officially confirmed on January 21 in the state of Washington, a patient who recently had returned from Wuhan. Scientists from the US CDC have published their research in the peer-reviewed medical journal 'Clinical Infectious Diseases, suggesting that "SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been present in the U.S. in December 2019, earlier than previously recognized." Their conclusion was based off routine blood samples collected by the Red Cross between December 13 and January 17, 2019, from residents of nine states.

Regional News • Americas • United States
CDC recommends that Americans should not travel for Thanksgiving
CDC recommends that Americans should not travel for Thanksgiving
Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Public Domain)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against travel for Thanksgiving and has posted updated guidelines for safely celebrating the holiday.

"The reason that we made the update is that the fact that over the week we've seen over a million new cases in the country," Dr Erin Sauber-Schatz, the CDC's lead for Community Intervention and Critical Population Task Force, told reporters in a conference call.

Regional News • Americas • United States
CDC reverses Covid-19 testing guidance after controversy
CDC reverses Covid-19 testing guidance after controversy
Credit: unsplash.com/Martin Sanchez

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reversed their testing guidelines Friday, which previously stated that asymptomatic people who were in contact with an infected person "do not necessarily need a test."

The update now states that "due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guidance further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic persons, including close contacts of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection."

The CDC recommends testing for "all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection" as it is "important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump contradicted CDC on vaccine timeline and importance of mask-wearing
Dr. Robert R. Redfield addresses a briefing on the latest information about the Coronavirus.
Dr. Robert R. Redfield addresses a briefing on the latest information about the Coronavirus. Credit: The White House (Public Domain)

President Donald Trump claimed Dr Robert Redfield was "confused" when he stated masks may be effective Covid-19 protection and that results from coronavirus vaccination would be visible on the second or third quarter of 2021.

Redfield, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made both claims during a session of the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday.

Trump, answering reporters, said: "I think he made a mistake when he said that. It's just incorrect information."

"I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70%. And if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will," the director of the CDC told lawmakers in the Senate.

Business • Health Care
Nine biopharmaceutical companies sign safety pledge for Covid-19 vaccine
Nine biopharmaceutical companies sign safety pledge for Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: unsplash.com/CDC

Nine biopharmaceutical companies have signed a safety pledge, committing to "developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles."

AstraZeneca, BioNTech, Moderna, Pfizer, Novavax, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Merck have signed the pledge just a week after the CDC's vaccine distribution plans surfaced, suggesting a vaccine would be available by as early as late October.

Regional News • Americas • United States
CDC says states should prepare for possible vaccine distribution by late October
CDC says states should prepare for possible vaccine distribution by late October
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction) (Public Domain)

The CDC has told health officials to be ready to distribute a Covid-19 vaccine by late October or early November. Officials from all 50 states and five large cities were told to prepare the distribution of the vaccine to health care workers and other high-risk groups by that time.

The possibility of a rollout in the proposed timeline has heightened concerns that the Trump administration is seeking to rush the distribution of a vaccine — or suggest that one is near — before Election Day on November 3.

Sports • Baseball
MLB: Marlins home opener postponed after coronavirus outbreak
MLB: Marlins home opener postponed after coronavirus outbreak
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Fourteen individuals of the Miami Marlins have tested positive for coronavirus, hours before the team's first home game. The Marlins were scheduled to play the Baltimore Orioles as part of a three game series on Monday, 27 July.

Marlins CEO Derek Jeter released a statement, claiming the "health of our players and staff has been and will continue to be our primary focus."

Per the CDC, the Marlins' home state of Florida has the second highest number of cases at 418,844 as of 28 July.

Regional News • Americas • United States
CDC issues statement on the "Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall"
CDC issues statement on the "Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall"
Credit: unsplash.com/Marcelo Cidrack

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a call to reopen schools, two weeks after President Trump called the agency's previous recommendations on the reopening of school's "very tough and expensive."

"Reopening schools creates opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets — our children — while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families," so the CDC's statement published on Thursday.

The statement further states that " best available evidence indicates that COVID-19 poses relatively low risks to school-aged children," and lists the benefits of in-person attendance.

Health
U.S. sees a decrease in child vaccinations amid pandemic, C.D.C. reports
U.S. sees a decrease in child vaccinations amid pandemic, C.D.C. reports
Credit: unsplash.com/CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting a significant decrease in childhood vaccination rates since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in March. The study shows a decline in vaccination rates of around 17% in 5-month-year-old children in May 2020, resulting in only approx. 50% of children being vaccinated. "The avoidable suffering and death caused by children missing out on routine immunisations could be far greater than Covid-19 itself," warns Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director-general.

"With lower than normal vaccination coverage among all age groups, children may be at higher risk for vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough, chickenpox, and more," said CEO of Magnolia Health Aaron Sisk, adding that "even during these uncertain times, it’s important that we continue to encourage everyone to protect themselves, including getting immunizations to protect children from preventable health complications."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Covid-19 hospital data to be sent to Trump administration instead of C.D.C.
Covid-19 hospital data to be sent to Trump administration instead of C.D.C.
Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

The Trump administration has ordered all U.S. hospitals to send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington instead of directly to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Department of Health and Human Services will now collect all data related to Covid-19 hospitalisations.

Assistant secretary of public affairs Michael Caputo said that a "new faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it."

According to the New York Times the "database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions."

Health
40% of Covid-19 infections asymptomatic, according to CDC
Table 1. Parameter Values that vary among the five COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios
Table 1. Parameter Values that vary among the five COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

According to the CDC's "COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios", approximately 40% of Covid-19 infections are asymptomatic. The agency has now included an "Infection Fatality Ratio", predicting that around 0.65% of people infected with Covid-19 could die.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Pelosi criticised reopening of schools, says Trump is "messing with the health of our children
Nancy Pelosi e union's annual Legislative Conference the union's annual Legislative Conference, February 2020
Nancy Pelosi e union's annual Legislative Conference the union's annual Legislative Conference, February 2020 Credit: AFGE / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi heavily criticised the Trump administration for its demand to reopen schools this fall, calling it "malfeasance and dereliction of duty." Pelosi called for the CDC guidelines for reopening schools to be mandatory rather than flexible.

"The president and his administration are messing with the health of our children. We all want our children to go back to school. Teachers do, parents do and children do. But they must go back safely," so Pelosi.

Regional News • Americas • United States
C.D.C warns that US "probably recognized about 10 percent of the outbreak"
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield (l) with Dr. Anthony Fauci (r) at the Vaccine Research Center, 2018
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield (l) with Dr. Anthony Fauci (r) at the Vaccine Research Center, 2018 Credit: NIH Image Gallery from Bethesda, Maryland, USA (Public Domain)

On Thursday, C.D.C. director Dr Robert Redfield warned that the numbers of Covid-19 infections are most likely to be 10 times higher than the official numbers of 2.3 million, basing these assumptions on recent antibody test results.

"Now that serology tests are available, which test for antibodies, the estimates we have right now show about 10 times more people have antibodies in the jurisdictions tested than had documented infections," so Redfield.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Health officials, including Anthony Fauci, appear before congress to testify about White House Coronavirus response
Dr Anthony S. Fauci in the Press Briefing Room of the White House, March 2020
Dr Anthony S. Fauci in the Press Briefing Room of the White House, March 2020 Credit: The White House / Public domain

Trump administration health officials are testifying about the White House response to the coronavirus before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today. Among the health officials are Dr Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert and the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and Dr Robert Redfield, Director of the C.D.C.

Fauci told the committee that he believed "it will be when and not if" a vaccine would be ready and that he is "cautiously optimistic" that one will be available by the end of 2020 or early 2021. He further warned that "we're now seeing a disturbing surge of infections" but that the coronavirus task force was not asked to slow testing.

A statement by the C.D.C. was released prior to the hearing, warning that "Covid-19 activity will likely continue for some time" and that the virus "could place a tremendous burden on the health care system related to bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective equipment and health care worker safety."

Health
CDC warns of aggressive rats amid Covid-19 restaurant closures
CDC warns of aggressive rats amid Covid-19 restaurant closures
Credit: unsplash.com/Mert Guller

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning on rats after reports of rat cannibalism and "an increase in rodent activity" in residential areas. As the Covid-19 pandemic forced restaurants to shut down, the absence of restaurant food waste forces rodents to look for food sources elsewhere. There have been sightings of hordes of rats in Chicago, New Orleans and New York which are not only travelling farther for food but also during daytime. According to rat expert Bobby Corrigan, "rats are not becoming aggressive toward people, but toward each other."