COVID-19 grows in Los Angeles's poorer communities

The LA Times has observed that COVID-19 infection rates are falling in wealthier enclaves while gaining traction in poorer communities.

Denser living conditions, higher populations of 'essential' workers, and historic difficulty accessing health care force folks in a position to be infected.

LA Times:

The Times compared neighborhoods in which more than 25% of the population was living below the poverty line — defined by the Census Bureau as a family of four making less than $26,000 a year — to those in which the poverty rate was lower than 5%.

The shift shows the surge feared by public health officials did come to pass, but was largely concentrated in the poorest, most crowded neighborhoods — areas with a lot of essential workers, more crowded housing and higher rates of underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

Early in the outbreak, health officials and experts warned that numbers showing higher infection rates on the Westside in predominately white, affluent neighborhoods such as Bel-Air, Beverly Crest and Brentwood were skewed by uneven testing that masked the true spread of COVID-19. Those areas have seen their fortunes improve after months of social distancing and economic disruption.

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We've got to stop turning our backs on Ebola

Remember back in 2014 when everyone thought that an Ebola outbreak in Africa wouldn't be a problem for North Americans and then – and this is the shit and giggle part – four laboratory-confirmed cases of the hemorrhagic fever showed up in the United States? Everyone, justifiably, freaked out. The panic didn't last, though. As the countries like Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone began to report that the control measures put in place to stem the spread of the disease were starting to have an effect, the notion of Ebola being the big-bad of our time faded from the public eye. But just because you can't see something doesn't mean it can't hurt you.

From the CBC:

Cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in an area of Congo facing an Ebola epidemic as long ago as December and the first deaths were reported in January, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, as four new suspected cases surfaced.

The health ministry said on Tuesday that at least 17 people had died in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo where health officials have now confirmed an outbreak of Ebola, although it did not give a time-frame for the deaths.

Only two confirmed cases: no big deal, right? It's hard to say.

Ebola takes time to show itself. Someone who's contracted the disease can wander around, feeling great and infecting people as they go, for weeks, before any symptoms arise. According to the CBC, this time around, while only two cases of the disease have been confirmed, experts on the ground suspect that four new cases, including two nurses who were treating individuals infected with Ebola, will soon be verified as well. Read the rest

General Mills recalls some flours after 38 people become sick with E. coli

General Mills today announced it will voluntarily recall various batches of its Gold Medal, Gold Medal Wondra and Signature flours that federal officials say may be linked to 38 people getting sick in 20 states from a strain of E. coli. Read the rest