• Flu positivity falls to 2%: 6 notes

    Just 2 percent of more than 69,000 specimens tested for influenza at clinical laboratories in the U.S. were positive for the week ending Jan. 28, according to the CDC's latest FluView report. During the height of the flu outbreak in early December, the positivity rate surpassed 25 percent. 
  • Why the mpox outbreak only lasted 6 months: 3 notes for future infection crises

    The highly infectious mpox virus, formerly called monkeypox, was declared a public health emergency in August and ended Jan. 31 thanks to an aggressive, highly coordinated public response, ABC News reported Feb. 2.
  • 6 states where COVID-19 admissions are rising

    COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to fall nationwide, though several states have seen this trend reverse in recent days. 
  • Researchers zero in on 7 long COVID symptoms

    Long COVID-19's myriad risk factors and symptoms have been a key focus for study as experts aim to learn more about the effects and duration in humans. Now, emerging research may have narrowed the swath of symptoms to seven prominent conditions.
  • Deer may harbor old SARS-CoV-2 strains, research suggests

    With the Biden administration's plan to end the COVID-19 emergency declaration this coming May, the coronavirus — in some ways — shows signs of slowing, at least for now. It's likely to become something U.S. health officials treat similarly to the flu, experts say.
  • 1 dead, 3 blinded: Eye drops may be linked to antibiotic-resistant infection

    The CDC said a brand of over-the-counter eye drops may be linked to a bacterial infection that has killed one, left three blind in at least one eye and sickened eight more, NBC News reported Jan. 31.
  • Mpox public health emergency ends

    The national public health emergency declared over the mpox outbreak, which started last year and infected more than 30,000 Americans, is ending Jan. 31.
  • 4 issues infectious disease experts are focused on as fewer enter their profession

    Three years into the pandemic and 80 percent of U.S. counties are still without a single infectious disease expert, according to a report from the Infectious Disease Society of America released in September.
  • World isn't ready for the next pandemic, Red Cross says

    Countries are underprepared for the next pandemic, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said Jan. 30. 
  • Fungal infection Valley fever could spread beyond endemic Southwest

    Valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis, a fungal infection thought to be endemic in the Southwestern U.S., is spreading outside the region and could become endemic in many parts of the U.S. by 2095, NBC News reported Jan. 31.
  • NIH panel votes for more oversight on pathogen research

    On Jan. 27, a National Institutes of Health panel unanimously voted in favor of draft recommendations to boost oversight of pathogen research. It is now up to the White House to decide whether to adopt the recommendations, according to a report from The New York Times. 
  • White House aims to expand birth control coverage under ACA

    The Biden administration aims to expand access to free birth control under the Affordable Care Act through a proposed rule issued Jan. 30.
  • Cleveland Clinic implements 'code sepsis' protocol to rapidly assess, treat patients

    Throughout Cleveland Clinic's healthcare system, a protocol known as "code sepsis" allows physicians to diagnose and treat the infection before it becomes life threatening. The hospital's standardized sepsis response is carried out by by specialized response teams at the bedside. 
  • 9 diseases with pandemic potential: WHO

    Behind the scenes at the World Health Organization, epidemiologists track a list of the most important infectious diseases to keep tabs on. The list is of utmost importance — particularly in an age where a global pandemic has already occurred. This is why in November, the WHO recruited 300 scientists to help identify the most infectious pathogens to update the list, which previously had not been revised since 2018.
  • COVID-19 still a public health emergency, says WHO: 5 updates

    The World Health Organization has determined COVID-19 remains a public health emergency. The agency's director-general accepted the recommendations of its emergency committee on Jan. 30. 
  • COVID-19 admissions fall 14% in 1 week: 7 CDC updates

    The U.S. saw double-digit decreases in COVID-19 admissions and hospitalizations this week, even as XBB.1.5 grew to account for nearly two-thirds of all infections, according to the CDC's COVID-19 data tracker weekly review published Jan. 27. 
  • Flu activity still high in 2 regions

    Flu metrics continue their steady decline in most of the U.S., though New Mexico and New York City are still reporting high levels of activity, according to the CDC's latest FluView report. 
  • Number of patients experiencing long COVID-19 has dropped, data shows

    Since June, the number of individuals who experience long COVID-19 has dropped, the Kaiser Family Foundation wrote of its findings after examining CDC data on long COVID-19. On top of that, more than 50 percent of patients who once reported having long COVID-19 say they are no longer affected by it.
  • FDA panel votes for bivalent COVID-19 shots, debates 'annual' schedule

    All COVID-19 vaccines should be targeted to the original and dominant strains, an FDA advisory panel said Jan. 26, but members debated whether a new modified vaccine every 12 months is optimal.  
  • Bird flu's spread to mammals elevates concern among virologists

    Concern is rising among health experts about the possibility of an H5N1 avian flu pandemic, as the strain has now been found in mammals. A Spanish mink farm was infected with the virus in October, signaling to experts the strain's capability to evolve and spread to other mammals, including humans, at possible pandemic levels.

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