(Washington, DC) – Lawmakers are pressing CDC Director Robert Redfield about the growing coronavirus threat.
During a House hearing, Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro stressed that it is a real and growing crisis. She argued that the U.S. is behind the curve on the availability and distribution of coronavirus test kits. Redfield said health officials are working hard to push accurate tests out as quickly as possible. He cited a government “regulatory process” that had to be navigated.
Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole said a “deadly new disease is just a plane ride away.” He noted that there is a long road ahead with many unknowns.
New York Democrat Nita Lowey called the coronavirus crisis an emergency and criticized the Trump administration’s response.
Meantime, California Democrat Barbara Lee noted that store shelves have been stripped of hand sanitizer and said many people need it if they can’t get to a source of hot water and soap. Redfield said he could not address shortages in the consumer supply chain but he vowed to look into it.
The number of deaths in the United States from the coronavirus is topping 100. West Virginia reported its first case of the virus making the total number of cases in the U.S. is just over 58-hundred. A large majority are being reported in New York and Washington state. Cases have now been confirmed in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Illinois reported its first death today as a result of the virus, joining 18 total states. Nearly 85-percent of those who have died were older than 60 and about 45-percent were older than 80. Of the first 100 reported fatalities, many people appear to have had underlying health conditions including diabetes and kidney disease.
(Washington, DC-AP) – CDC officials say a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. appears inevitable. After closed briefings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill today, Dr. Nancy Messonnier spoke with news reporters and said it’s not a matter of if but when.
The U.S. has 53 confirmed cases, including 36 people evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Alex Azar is facing more heat over the growing coronavirus threat. During a House hearing, Azar defended the Trump administration’s request for two-point-five-billion-dollars in emergency funding to prepare for the coronavirus.
Democrats have called it too little, too late. New York Democrat Nita Lowey criticized the Trump administration for budget cuts in U.S. global health programs, including at the CDC. She called it disastrous.
Azar said the emergency funding request is flexible and stressed that more money could be requested later, if necessary. Meantime, Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole said the threat of a global pandemic is more serious than a major terrorist attack.
(Atlanta, GA-AP) — The number of measles cases reported in the U.S. is rising to at least 704. The CDC says that figure breaks a 25 year record for the highly contagious illness.
Measles was considered to be eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. One-third of the current cases involve children under the age of five. The CDC says more than 500 of those infected were not vaccinated.
In a statement, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar noted that measles is potentially deadly. He called the outbreak completely avoidable and insisted that vaccines are safe.
(AP) – The CDC is warning people not to eat a single leaf of romaine lettuce. Consumers should toss out any romaine lettuce they may have already purchased, and it should not be served in restaurants or sold in stores.
Reports say 32 people across eleven different states have fallen ill from the contaminated lettuce. The origin of the outbreak is currently unknown and remains under investigation.
(Chicago, IL) – An outbreak of a stomach bug is being linked to McDonald’s salads. Officials in Illinois have reported 90 cases of cyclospora since May and Iowa has recorded 15 since late June.
Illinois health officials say about a quarter of the people infected reported eating McDonald’s salads days before. The parasite can cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, weight loss and loss of appetite. McDonald’s says it’s cooperating with the CDC and FDA in investigating the source of the outbreak.
(SL) – The CDC says so-called nightmare bacteria are trying to spread across the U.S. The scary-sounding term describes bacteria that can resist most antibiotics.
The CDC says a new testing program turned up unusual, antibiotic-resistant genes more than 220 times last year.
Eleven-percent of people screened for the powerful bacteria carried them, although they had no symptoms. The CDC says an aggressive approach to detect bacteria that defy treatment can snuff them out by quickly isolating infected patients.
(Washington, DC) – A study from the Center for Disease Control says one out of every six adults in the U.S are binge drinkers. Dr. Robert Brewer, a lead in the CDC’s alcoholism program, says binge drinking is not only risk your health, but is also a public health and safety risk.
The CDC defines binge drinking as four or more drinks consumed in a short period for women, and for men, five or more drinks consumed in one sitting. The study says that excessive alcohol consumption leads to 88-thousand deaths a year, which costs the U.S. over 249-billion dollars. The average binge drinker in America consumed nearly 500 binge drinks per year.
(Atlanta, GA) – Just as the flu season is winding down, the CDC is warning that a second wave of the potentially deadly illness is spreading across the country. This time, the worrisome strain is Type B which the CDC says is now accounting for six out of ten flu cases.
Influenza A is the more common type, responsible for 80-percent of the more than 26-thousand hospitalizations for the flu this season. Federal health officials say illness associated with the B strain can be just as severe, especially in young children. The CDC says 133 children have died of the flu since October.