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LATEST NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

Children Under Five Can Start Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines

On Saturday, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include use in children ages 6 months to 5 years of age. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on COVID-19 vaccines, making the shots immediately available for eligible children. There have been over 2 million confirmed cases of COVID among children 6 months through 4 years of age, according to CDC data. Of those cases, over 200 children have died after contracting the virus. COVID-19 is the fifth most common cause of death in children under age 5.

Comparing the Pfizer and Moderna COVID Vaccines for Young Children

CDC’s advisory committee endorsed both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines children ages 6 months to 5 years of age. Since there are two vaccines, which do you choose for your children? This article from STAT doesn’t tell you which is best for your child, but they did lay out what’s known about the differences in the vaccines in the hopes it will help your decision. For this age group, the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines differ more than they do in any other age group on the vaccination spectrum. The two companies went separate ways in their decisions about how much antigen to put into their vaccines for babies, toddlers, and preschool-aged children. Read the article here.

Warning Vulnerable Populations About Monkeypox Without Stigmatizing Them

Many of the people affected by the current global monkeypox outbreak are reported to be men who identify as gay or bisexual, or men who have sex with men. The virus can affect anyone, but in response to where the majority of cases are, public health officials are gearing their information toward communities of gay and bisexual men. And that makes some people saying that the messaging echoes back to the HIV/AIDS crisis and has the potential to stigmatize the gay community while missing others who are susceptible to the disease. NPR speaks with Dr. Boghuma K. Titanji, physician and clinical researcher in infectious diseases at Emory University, about the lessons public health officials can learn from the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s.

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Long COVID—New Data

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An increasing number of individuals initially infected with the coronavirus report more lasting symptoms for four or more weeks after acute COVID-19. These long-term symptoms typically indicate post-COVID conditions or long COVID. Furthermore, as more people will be exposed to the virus and become sick, we can expect growing numbers of patients to experience post-COVID symptoms. New findings reveal the prevalence of long-term COVID among those who contract the virus. 

What is Long COVID? 

Some adults and children who contract the coronavirus and develop COVID-19 experience long-term effects, specifically, post-COVID conditions or long COVID. This illness is also known as chronic COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, and post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection. Although long COVID most often occurs in adults, children and adolescents can also suffer long-term symptoms. 

Monkeypox Outbreak: What We Know

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If you have headline fatigue after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be reluctant to delve into learning about another emerging viral outbreak. However, it’s important to understand the general situation when it comes to the current monkeypox outbreak so that you can proceed with calm, confidence, and the ability to anticipate future developments. 

Here’s what you need to know about the current monkeypox outbreak, including its global spread and public health implications. 

What Is Monkeypox? 

Monkeypox is a rare disease that has been on the radar of scientists for more than 60 years. It is thought to have originated in monkey colonies and was first discovered to have infected a human in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The monkeypox virus is in the same family of viruses as the virus that causes smallpox. However, monkeypox disease is not as severe as smallpox. 

Water Safety Tips To Keep You and Your Family Safe

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Ah…nothing beats the feel of the cool water as you enter the swimming pool or a lake on a hot summer’s day. Few activities are both relaxing and invigorating at the same time and you wish you could float forever. However, as welcoming as the water can be, you need to take precautions to prevent drowning or other injuries, especially if you have young children. If you own a pool, then you must assume the tremendous amount of responsibility that comes with it. 

Before “diving” into the tips, it’s helpful to appreciate some of the stats regarding the dangers of swimming. The American Red Cross provides the following: 

  • Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children ages one to four than any other cause except birth defects. 
  • Drowning is the leading cause of death in autism for children and adults. 
  • Children with autism spectrum disorder are 160 times more likely to experience nonfatal and fatal drowning than their typically developing peers. 
  • Among those 1-14, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes. 
  • For children younger than 5 years old, 87 percent of drowning fatalities happen in home pools or hot tubs. 
  • Most take place in pools owned by family, friends, or relatives. 

June 27 - National HIV Testing Day

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HIV continues to be a serious public health concern in the United States, where it affects more than 1.2 million Americans. Getting tested for HIV is key to ending this epidemic, given how nearly 40 percent of new infections are transmitted by people who don’t know they have the virus, reports the CDC. 

June 27 of every year is National HIV Testing Day—a day that was first observed in 1995 to spread awareness of the importance of getting tested for HIV. 

The month of June is also LGBTQ+ Pride Month, which is celebrated to honor and recognize equal justice and opportunities for Americans who identify as LGBTQ+. Practicing safer sex regardless of your gender or identity can help you reduce your risk of contracting and transmitting HIV. 

Why is Testing for HIV Important? 

Testing for HIV is the first step you can take toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing the transmission of HIV—especially if you have the virus and haven’t been diagnosed. 

The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can find out whether you have HIV. If you have the virus, it’s critical to begin treatment. According to the CDC, people with HIV who receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) can remain healthy for many years and prevent HIV from progressing into AIDS. 


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