Infectious

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Dubai launches new dedicated centre for treating infectious diseases



a group of people in a room: Hospitality Care Centre Dubai Healthcare Authority


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Hospitality Care Centre Dubai Healthcare Authority

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has inaugurated a Hospitality Care Centre dedicated to the treatment of infectious diseases, including Covid-19.

The specialised facility is located in the Dubai Industrial Zone and has 170 rooms spread across of three floors.

The state-of-the art centre includes clinics, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology and follow-up services.

It is operational 24×7 and has already begun receiving Covid-19 cases. There are 88 rooms dedicated for treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Patients will be treated under the supervision of staff from Rashid Hospital, since the centre is directly affiliated with the hospital.

Humaid Al Qutami, director-general of the DHA said that the authority had worked towards increasing the capacity of its medical facilities, in anticipation of any developments.

He added that the objective is for the facility in the future to become an international centre specialised in treating communicable diseases, providing highly advanced laboratory for radiology and diagnostic tests, and serving as unit for epidemiological research and studies.

Earlier this month, the authority launched three new dedicated Covid-19 testing facilities in the emirate at Al Rashidiya Majlis, Al Hamriya Port Majlis and Jumeirah 1 Port Majlis, in collaboration with the Community Development Authority Dubai.

Read: DHA opens three new Covid-19 testing facilities in Dubai

It takes the number of DHA centres exclusively for Covid-19 testing up to five – which includes those already opened at Al Shabab Al-Ahli and Al Nasr Clubs.

On Tuesday, the UAE reported 1,390 new cases, 1,708 recoveries and two deaths in the last 24 hours. The registered infection count has therefore risen to 127,624.

Read: Covid-19 update: UAE reports 1,390 cases; 466 infections registered in Oman

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COVID takes challenge of tracking infectious college students to new level

As the return of college students to campuses has fueled as many as 3,000 COVID-19 cases a day, keeping track of them is a logistical nightmare for local health departments and colleges.

Some students are putting down their home addresses instead of their college ones on their COVID testing forms — slowing the transfer of case data and hampering contact tracing across state and county lines.

The address issue has real consequences, as any delay in getting the case to the appropriate authorities allows the coronavirus to continue to spread unchecked. Making matters worse, college-age people already tend to be hard to trace because they are unlikely to answer a phone call from an unknown number.

“With that virus, you really need to be able to identify that case and their contacts in 72 hours,” said Indiana University’s assistant director for public health, Graham McKeen.

And if the students do go home once infected, where should their cases be counted? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted this issue in a recent study of an unnamed North Carolina university’s COVID outbreak, stating that the number of cases was likely an underestimate. “For example, some cases were reported to students’ home jurisdictions, some students did not identify themselves as students to the county health department, some students did not report to the student health clinic, and not all students were tested,” it said.

The White House coronavirus task force even addressed the problem in weekly memos sent to the governors of Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky and New Jersey. “Do not reassign cases that test positive in university settings to hometown as this lessens ability to track and control local spread,” it recommended late last month in the memos, made public by the Center for Public Integrity.

While the full scope of the address confusion is unclear, the health departments of California, Indiana, Iowa and Virginia all acknowledged the challenges that arise when college cases cross state and county lines.

The maze of calls needed to track such cases also lays bare a larger problem: the lack of an interconnected COVID tracking system. Colleges have been setting up their own contact tracing centers to supplement overstretched local and state health departments.

“It is very patchwork, and people operate very differently, and it also doesn’t translate during a pandemic,” said McKeen, whose own university has had more than 2,900 cases across its Indiana campuses. “It made it very clear the public health system in this country is horribly underfunded and understaffed.”

Colleges’ transient populations have forever bedeviled public health when it comes to reportable infectious diseases, such as measles and bacterial meningitis, Association of Public Health Laboratories spokesperson Michelle Forman said in an email to KHN. But the coronavirus infections spreading across the country’s universities, and the mass testing conducted to find them, are something else altogether.

“COVID is just a different scale,” she said.

Lisa Cox, a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said the issue of

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China Passes Biosecurity Law to Prevent Infectious Diseases | World News

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s top legislative body passed a new biosecurity law aimed at preventing and managing infectious diseases, state news agency Xinhua reported late on Saturday.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee voted to adopt the law on Saturday, according to Xinhua, and it would come into effect on April 15, 2021.

The law would establish systems for biosecurity risk prevention and control, including risk monitoring and early warning, risk investigation and assessment, and information sharing.

It would also have provisions to prevent and respond to specific biosecurity risks, including major emerging infectious diseases, epidemic and sudden outbreaks, and biotechnology research, development and application, reported Xinhua.

China had announced in May that it aimed to fast-track the passing of the biosecurity law by year-end, following the global coronavirus outbreak which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

China has managed to nearly stamp out domestic transmissions of the coronavirus following aggressive measures to curb its spread. New infections detected last week in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao however ended China’s run of about two months without reporting a local case.

China’s health commission last reported 13 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Oct. 17, bringing the mainland’s total number of confirmed cases to 85,672.

(Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Infectious Disease Expert Contradicts Anthony Fauci, Reveals How Thanksgiving Travel Could Be Safe

While Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning against large family gatherings and travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., another health expert is saying that those who utilize proper precautions should be okay to do some traveling over the holidays.

Speaking to WPTV, an NBC affiliate station, Dr. Kleper De Almeida, an infectious disease specialist with JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida, said that he felt travel could take place over the holiday season, including Thanksgiving, so long as those choosing to travel did so in a smart and safe way.

“As long as people take the measures that we should be applying every day, it would be safe to travel,” he said. “We need to be very mindful of that while we travel to protect ourselves from exposure, and in doing so, minimizing the risk of bringing it back to our communities.”

De Almeida’s comments directly contradict ones made by Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has been seen as the face of COVID-19, as he repeatedly warns Americans of rising infection rates and encourages mask use and social distancing. However, while those measures can help slow the spread, he has warned against letting them be the sole means of protection when it comes to considering a larger gathering for Thanksgiving and even admitted that he was taking precautions by not spending the holiday with his own daughters.

“That is unfortunately a risk, when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting,” Fauci said. It is unfortunate, because that’s such a sacred part of American tradition—the family gathering around Thanksgiving. But that is a risk.”

The CDC echoed Fauci’s concerns with their guidelines for the holiday season, and traditional events that draw large crowds, like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, are going virtual to try and prevent the spread.

The United States currently stands at more than 8 million total COVID-19 infections reported and 218,000 deaths, with more than 70,000 new cases reported Friday, the largest increase since July. According to statistics from the New York Times, a total of 29 states continue to report high numbers of cases, while 16 other states are starting to report upticks.

In the past seven days, states that have seen high surges in percentages of cases have been North and South Dakota, which have seen more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents, with Montana, Wisconsin and Nebraska also reporting high numbers, with more than 300 cases per 100,000 residents. Currently, the only states that have seen less than 100 infections per 100,000 people (less than 0.001 percent), have been Vermont, Maine, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, California, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Delaware, Georgia and Louisiana.

Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Photo: POOL / Al Drago

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