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One in 17 people have had Covid-19 in TCI; new herd immunity goal is 85%

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#TurksandCaicos, August 9, 2021 – Turks and Caicos has fallen from the Level 1 low risk for Covid-19 rating by the United States to return to Level 2, which is less desirable but certainly earned with the surge in new infections.

Health Minister E Jay Saunders led a press conference just hours after the country was alerted about 13 new cases detected in Providenciales and days following information that four cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed in the TCI.

Seventy-four per cent of the new cases are local people; last press conference tourists were leading the new case count.

At this time, full vaccination is 66.4 per cent; a correction from our previously reported 67 per cent as informed by the Minister of Health Saunders earlier this week.

The Minister on Friday night shared that 72.3 per cent of adults have received at least one jab of the Pfizer vaccine; 780 young people have been fully vaccinated, these are between 16 and 25 years old; 36 youngsters 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated.

The outgoing minister of health informed, there were three breakthrough cases among the 46 active coronavirus infections up to Friday and nine of those infected are children age zero to 19.

On Saturday, Turks and Caicos shot up to 58 active cases of the Coronavirus.  On Sunday 11 recoveries were registered and with that, the number of new active infections dipped to 47.

At this stage, just about one in 18 people in Turks and Caicos has had the Coronavirus since the pandemic hit in March 2020; a total of 2,523 cases have been logged and 18 people have died.

Additionally, there is a new benchmark for herd immunity; no longer 70 per cent or 80 per cent, but now at 85 per cent as new Covid 19 variants reduce efficacy rates of the vaccines.

Health

Monkeypox NOT a Public Health Emergency, but watch out, its changing says WHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

June 27, 2022 – The World Health Organization says while Monkeypox is not a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (the highest alert the body can give) they are concerned about the rapid spread and data gaps in the current outbreak.

“I am deeply concerned by the spread of Monkeypox, which has now been identified in more than 50 countries, across five WHO regions, with 3,000 cases since the early May,” said Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

There had been fears that the WHO would declare the outbreak an emergency of international concern going into a June 23 meeting. He maintained that the world had neglected Monkeypox research despite the fact that it had been circulating in Africa for many years. He stressed that this approach to neglected diseases must change as the world is an interconnected population. This inter connectivity could prove disastrous for vulnerable people.

“What makes the current outbreak especially concerning is the rapid, continuing spread into new countries and regions and the risk of further, sustained transmission into vulnerable populations including people that are immunocompromised, pregnant women and children,” he said.

In order to combat this he called for the communication and collaboration between member states and a collective response.

So far the disease has been exhibiting different symptoms than usual including rashes localized to the genitals instead of the entire body like usual. This prompted the US Centers for Disease Control to change the requirements advising doctors to test anyone who appeared with a rash seeming like Monkeypox.

Ghebreyesus revealed Monkeypox was an evolving health threat that the WHO was following extremely closely and maintained that countries should use surveillance, contact tracing, isolation, and ensuring health tools were available to at risk populations as ways to control the spread.

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Health

Moderna & Pfizer approved for toddlers in US

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, June 25, 2022 – Toddlers can now be vaccinated with either Moderna or Pfizer in the United States following the US Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee vote to authorize the jabs for the youngest humans.

Some 2.5 million vaccines were ordered for these youngsters from Pfizer and 1.3 million are on order from Moderna.

The authorization committee voted unanimously on both vaccines and it comes as a relief to millions of parents who opted to keep their children away from family gatherings, even school

The lowest age a US resident can now get vaccinated is 6 months, Pfizer says their shot is ready for children six months to four years old and Moderna goes one year higher at 6 months to 5 years.  Both Pfizer and Moderna say the toddlers will need boosters in the future.

As of June 2, there have been 442 children between the ages of 0-4 years old who have died as a result of Covid-19 in the United States.

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Health

Listeria kills three in UK

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, June 25, 2022 – At least 3 people have died in an ongoing listeria outbreak in the United Kingdom linked to smoked fish.  The Food Standards Agency in the UK says,  “Listeria is widespread in the environment and can contaminate a range of food at low or standard refrigeration temperatures.  It can be destroyed by thorough cooking.  It is of most concern in chilled, ready-to-eat foods that do not require further cooking, such as smoked fish.”

At least 12 cases, six of them since January, are linked to the fish.  Vulnerable individuals were especially affected by the outbreak including a pregnant woman and several elderly persons.  The three victims who died were all over 65 years old.

The agency said there was no need to avoid smoked fish but to cook it thoroughly.  Contaminated food may not look or smell spoiled but it can cause severe illness in pregnant women, cancer patients, children, and the elderly.

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