Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Roundup: Sturgis rally shows combined natural/vaccine immunity of 75% won't stop outbreaks from large events

Here's a roundup of recent news about the pandemic and immunization efforts:

As cases skyrocketed in August, Florida health officials changed the way they reported death data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, giving the appearance of a pandemic in decline. Has your state or local government changed its pandemic reporting? Read more here.

Here's what we know about the Mu variant, the fifth variant of interest being monitored globally by the World Health OrganizationRead more here and here.

The coronavirus is spreading through animals such as deer, cats and dogs. It's unclear how much of a risk such cases are for humans, but hunters can take steps to protect themselves. Read more here.

A huge spike in coronavirus infections followed the recent Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota. That's noteworthy because the population has some of the highest levels of natural immunity in the nation, writes physician and health-policy researcher Ashish K. Jha. About half the state has immunity from previous infections and about half is fully vaccinated; there's some overlap between the two, so about 75% of the state has some immunity. The spike in cases after the rally tells us that 75% herd immunity isn't enough to stave off outbreaks after large community events, he writes. Read more here

Rural counties in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin that rely on dairy and animal agriculture have seen comparatively higher unemployment rates during the pandemic, a study says. Read more here.

Northern Idaho hospitals are rationing care because they have so many Covid cases. Read more here.

Hospitals are struggling in Mississippi, the least-vaccinated state, and high-level life support is getting hard to find across the South. See how your state and county stack up on this interactive map.

Why is the Delta surge hitting rural areas harder? Front-line workers "say it’s a perfect storm of personal freedom beliefs, mistrust of the government, a culture that tends toward taking care of things on their own, highly shared misinformation, and, yes, faith," Moira McCarthy reports for Healthline. Read more here.

A nationwide study found that most Americans (84%) are willing to take a coronavirus test. Nearly 52% preferred saliva testing over the nasal test (31.9%). A plurality of respondents (31.7%) preferred home testing, as opposed to 28.9% who preferred drive-through testing or the 23.4% who preferred testing in a hospital. More than a quarter of respondents said they'd be willing to take a coronavirus test using a less-preferred testing method at a less-convenient location if they were financially compensated. But most people who refused a coronavirus test for reasons other than testing method and location weren't persuaded by monetary incentive. Read more here.

Many who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 experience anger and lack of closure. Read more here.

More than one-fifth of Kentucky schools have shuttered because of outbreaks, but they're not learning much at home because the state legislature recently limited distance learning. Read more here.

A Sept. 10 webinar will discuss strategies for nurses, school health professionals, and other health-care professionals to address rural vaccine hesitancy with their patients. Read more here.

The pandemic has forced many rural hospitals to make changes in their workflow; that often creates new vulnerabilities hackers can exploit. A cybersecurity expert discusses the problem, and how rural hospitals can protect themselves from cyberattackers. Read more here.

Farmers should want to curtail the pandemic before it hurts American agricultural supply chains, write two agricultural economists. Read more here.

More first responders are dying from Covid-19, many who refused the vaccine. Read more here.

Rural leaders in Georgia say the pandemic has widened the rural/urban gap in educational attainment, health-care access, and workforce shortages. Read more here.

Weary health-care workers in three rural Appalachian hospitals are seeing more and sicker patients, but many workers still hesitate to get vaccinated. Read more here.

Urban areas of California are taming the Covid-19 surge, but rural areas with low vaccination rates remain in danger. Read more here.

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