Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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."

Regional News • Americas • United States
CDC adds six symptoms to its COVID-19 List

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added six new symptoms to its existing list of symptoms for COVID-19.

The CDC has long said that fever, cough, and shortness of breath are indications that someone might have the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. It has now added more conditions that may come with the disease: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Also, this list is not all-inclusive, and the CDC recommends consulting a medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Health
Case of Hantavirus in China sparks fears of a parallel pandemic on twitter

According to the Global Times, an English-language Chinese news paper, a man died of Hantavirus in the Chinese Yunnan province. The corresponding tweet made by the newspaper, tagged #Hantavirus, gained a high number of retweets and comments due to the fear of a pandemic parallel to COVID-19. According to the CDC these fears are unnecessary since the Hantavirus can only be transmitted directly from rodents and cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

Health
Professor from John Hopkins University claims that number of US Covid-19 cases is higher than announced

Dr. Marty Makary from the John Hopkins University claims that for every person that has been positively tested for the coronavirus, multiple untested but infected people are out there. He thinks that the US has between "50,000 and half a million cases". Even his lowest estimation is way higher than the official number of over 1,600 confirmed cases. He also criticizes the CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - for not rolling out the testing fast enough and even using the wrong testing system.

Health
Northern California nurse that got in contact with coronavirus patient got denied testing

The National Nurses President Deborah Burger read out a statement from a nurse that says she is sick and in quarantine after caring for an infected patient. She says the National CDC so far is not initiating the test since she wore the recommended protective equipment and therefore she "wouldn't have the coronavirus". Later the National CDC said they have a problem with her identifier number.

Health
White House overruled Center for Disease Control and Prevention's advice that old people should not fly

While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention wanted to recommend that people of higher age and people that are physically fragile should not fly, the White House overturned the plans. The air travel recommendation was removed following an inside source of the Associated Press.