From The New York Times:
The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public.
The new instructions were posted recently in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department — not the C.D.C. — will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
To make matters worse, the HHS data archives are not open to the public — meaning the American people cannot independently verify any of the information. In other words, the Republicans are consolidating control of data in the hands of a centralized big government, because it's one that they have power over.
A spokesperson for HHS told the Times that the decision was made because CDC's data collection was inefficient. That spokesperson claimed that CDC's data was lagging about a week behind, and that CDC and HHS would ultimately be sharing data. But this conflicts with a memo from the HHS, which states, "As of July 15, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site."
Instead, HHS will route their data through a private company called TeleTracking, based in Pittsburgh. Read the rest
Although other symptoms have been reported by doctors for months, the CDC only had three listed on their site: fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty with breathing.
But on April 18, they quietly added six more: headache, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
For some reason, they never made a public announcement about the changes to their list, and "the agency did not immediately respond to questions about the revised list," according to The New York Times.
Also from the NYT:
While people who become seriously ill from coronavirus infection primarily have acute respiratory distress, other symptoms that accompany the disease can vary widely, doctors and researchers have reported.
It has turned out, for example, that many people with Covid-19 don’t have fevers or that their fevers wax and wane and are sometimes accompanied by chills.
Shortness of breath can emerge at the same time as other symptoms or it can crop up suddenly a week or even 10 days after a person has been experiencing more manageable symptoms like cough and aches.
Some people report a notable loss of smell and taste, an effect that can also occur with other respiratory infections.
Image by R_R_Studio / Pixabay Read the rest
NEW: After weeks of internal White House debate, finally the U.S. Centers for Disease control will 'recommend,' but not require, that people wear face coverings or improvised cloth masks if they go out in public.
The CDC will soon advise the American people to wear masks in public to stem the spread of coronavirus. This is a complete reversal of policy change, well into an still-uncontrolled disease outbreak.
Lives will be lost because of this policy bungling. Read the rest
Apple and the CDC have released this app to help you self-diagnose in the event you are wondering if you have COVID19.
I think most of the world imagines every tickle in their throat as the beginning of the end.
COVID19 Screening tool for IOS Read the rest
CDC says 'risk to the American public is low at this time'
Apparent a coping method for these troubled times is unprotected sex.
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A new government report finds that combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia reached an all-time high in 2018. Nearly 2.5 million cases of these sexually transmitted diseases were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the year.
"We're documenting an increase in STDs for the fifth consecutive year," said Elizabeth Torrone, an epidemiologist with the CDC.
The Cyber Independent Testing Lab is a security measurement company founded by Mudge Zadko (previously), late of the Cult of the Dead Cow and l0pht Heavy Industries and the NSA's Tailored Access Operations Group; it has a unique method for assessing the security of devices derived from methods developed by Mudge at the NSA.
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Ebola is now a treatable disease. Read the rest
Apologists for wealth inequality often argue that inequality is a poor measure of whether a society is just or not: in the gospel of the right, society naturally forms hierarchies with the "best people" at the top (depending on what kind of right winger you are, that's either rich people or male people or white people or straight people, or some combination thereof), and they proceed to bring prosperity to all of us by ordering us around and telling us what to do, so that their wisdom can be played out for the world (see also: "job creators").
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If you're planning on taking a salad to your Thanksgiving potluck this year, be wicked careful of what you throw into it: The Centers for Disease Control is currently warning everyone, frigging everywhere to avoid romaine lettuce as if eating it could dose you with E Coli... because there's a pretty decent chance that it will. According to the CDC's Twitter feed for the time being we none of us should be eating "...any romaine lettuce, including whole heads and hearts, chopped, organic and salad mixes with romaine" until they figure out what the source of E Coli is and how much of the romaine supply chain has been contaminated by it. For the complete lowdown on what the CDC knows so far, you'll want to check out their E coli alert page.
For those unfamiliar with it, E coli (Escherichia coli,) bacteria can be found in the guts of healthy folks and many animals. It's fine, for the most part! Some strains of the bug, however, are not so fine. Should one of these strains of E coli get into our systems, typically via the ingestion of contaminated water or food, those stricken by the bug can suffer symptoms ranging fa quick bout of the trots to serious issues with symptoms including severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
So, maybe serve up a kale, iceberg or coleslaw salad this year, instead. It'll give everyone gathered around your table one more reason to be thankful.
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You may have heard that an Emirates flight EK 203 was quarantined by the Center for Disease Control at John F. Kennedy Airport immediately after landing earlier this week. At first, it was crazy town: ABC news reported that 100 people on the flight were sick with fevers and uncontrollable coughing. Vanilla Ice was on board! But as the CDC and the NYPD began to get a handle on what was going on, things felt a little less scary. Only 10 people in total--maybe--were sick. Only 11 of the 100 sick individuals were taken to the hospital. More than half of the passengers were found to be healthy. Those who were healthy enough to forgo medical attention were released to go about their lives, provided they reported any worsening systems to the CDC. Also, Vanilla Ice is just fine. According to the CDC, all signs point to the illness being a flu.
Knowing this doesn't make me feel any better about the fact that two more planes landing in the United States were placed under heavy scrutiny by health officials.
From The Verge:
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Both of today’s flights were on American Airlines: one from Munich and another from Paris. They landed at Philadelphia International Airport with about a dozen people in total on board who felt sick, according to a statement from the airport. That in itself is not that unusual because of the dry air and the prevalence of cat dander on planes, Allen Parmet, an aerospace medicine expert, told The Verge in an interview yesterday: “It’s actually pretty common to have somebody coughing in a plane.”
Brenda Fitzgerald was Donald Trump's Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, charged with reducing smoking among Americans and doing work that directly affected the financial fortunes of tobacco companies when she bought a stake in Japan Tobacco.
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Epidemiology is intrinsically at odds with right-wing ideology: the idea that all humans have a shared microbial and viral destiny, one that entwines the poorest and richest among us, which cannot be severed by the highest walls or all the private security in the world is a significant barrier to anyone who dreams of Going Galt and declaring themselves to be responsible only to themselves -- there is no Ayn Rand novel thick enough to stop you from getting antibiotic resistant TB.
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Motor vehicle deaths continue to drop in the US this century. Firearm deaths continue to rise. If the CDC's WISQARS data holds its path since 2013, guns will soon be America's top killing machine. The 17 states (and one district) in order are: Read the rest
The Epidemic Intelligence Service is the crack CDC team that investigates new diseases. (If you want to read more about them, I'd recommend checking out Maryn McKenna's Beating Back the Devil.) Now, you can play Epidemic Intelligence operative at home, with the CDC's new iPad app game, Solve the Outbreak. Fulfill all your childhood, Hot Zone-induced fantasies! Read the rest
Yes, bedbugs are gross. But before you go all Conan on any creepy creatures living in your mattress, please be aware that pesticides are both helpful and potentially dangerous. With bedbug infestations on the rise in many American cities, the Centers for Disease Control is trying to make people aware of the dangers of using too much pesticide, using the wrong types of pesticide, or not carefully following directions. Know what you're using on your home and know what any company you hire to spray is using, too. (Via Jen Gunter) Read the rest