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Connecticut’s hospitalizations spike to 381; positivity rate back up to 4.6%

Connecticut’s coronavirus hospitalizations on Election Day spiked up to 381, the highest number of hospitalized patients the state has seen since June 3, according to data released by Gov. Ned Lamont’s office.

The state reported an additional 41 people hospitalized, which is a massive jump compared to recent months. Connecticut hasn’t seen such a large single-day increase in hospitalizations since mid-April, when the state was fighting through the worst of the pandemic’s spring wave.

State officials have acknowledged in recent days and weeks that Connecticut is now in the midst of a second wave of COVID-19. The state’s numbers began rising in early September, when the daily positivity rate jumped above the 1% threshold that it had maintained for most of the late summer.

That rate is still on the rise, and jumped to 4.6% on Tuesday, when the state reported 985 newly identified cases out of a total of 21,230 tests administered.

That daily rate fluctuates fairly widely, but the state’s weekly average rate is on the rise, too, as the state moves deeper into the second wave of COVID-19. Including Tuesday’s rate, the state’s weekly average rate is now 3.6%, which is the highest weekly rate the state has seen since June 6.

Coronavirus-connected deaths are on the rise as well. The state reported Tuesday that an additional seven people have died with the virus.

In the month of August, a total of 33 people in Connecticut died with COVID-19. That number increased to 43 for the month of September, and then to at least 108 for the month of October.

Medical experts have said that Connecticut may continue to see worsening numbers as the state moves into the winter, with the ongoing second wave potentially peaking as late as mid-January.

Across the state, a total of 74,843 people have contracted the virus and 4,634 people have died with it.

Nationwide, more than 9.3 million people have contracted the virus and a total of 232,447 people have died of it, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

The state is also expected to release the updated weekly travel advisory on Tuesday evening, however that update had not been released by 7:30 p.m.

Emily Brindley can be reached at [email protected]

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©2020 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

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Big Spike Seen in COVID Cases Among Kids | Health News

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 is surging among America’s children, according to leading medical groups.

As of Oct. 29, more than 853,000 children in the United States had tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began — 200,000 of them in October alone. In the week ending Oct. 29, an estimated 61,000 new cases in kids were reported — the most of any week in the pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Children’s Hospital Association reported.

“This is a stark reminder of the impact this pandemic is having on everyone — including our children and adolescents,” said AAP president Dr. Sally Goza. “This virus is highly contagious, and as we see spikes in many communities, children are more likely to be infected, too. We can help protect everyone in our communities by keeping our physical distance, wearing masks, and following other recommendations from our doctors and public health experts.”

Severe COVID-19 illness is rare among children, but more data are needed on longer-term effects. Those include ways the virus may harm kids’ long-term physical health as well as its emotional and mental health effects.

“Not only are children feeling the direct effects of the virus and becoming ill, but the pandemic has transformed their lives at critical stages of development and education,” Goza said in an AAP news release. “I’m very concerned about the long-term harms that children may suffer, particularly Black and Hispanic children, who are suffering a higher number of infections.”

Goza said this includes not only children who test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but everyone in these communities who are suffering disproportionate mental health harms.

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chairwoman of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, said the new numbers reflect a disturbing nationwide increase of COVID-19 cases in all groups, especially young adults.

“We are entering a heightened wave of infections around the country,” Maldonado said. “We would encourage family holiday gatherings to be avoided if possible, especially if there are high-risk individuals in the household.”

The number of reported COVID-19 cases in children is likely less than the true number because they often have mild symptoms and may not be tested, according to the AAP.

“On every measure — new infections, hospitalizations and deaths — the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction,” Goza warned.

She called on policymakers to listen to doctors and public health experts, and not to level “baseless accusations” against them.

“Physicians, nurses and other health care professionals have put their lives on the line to protect our communities,” Goza said. “We can all do our part to protect them, and our communities by wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and getting our flu immunizations.”

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, Nov. 2, 2020

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Cases of Covid-19 in children on rise in the US, with highest 1-week spike yet

Soaring case counts around the country are impacting children at “unprecedented levels,” according to new numbers released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, which are tracking data reported by state health departments.



a police car parked in a parking lot: An attendant talks to a person waiting in their car at a coronavirus testing site October 31 in El Paso, Texas.


© Cengiz Yar/Getty Images
An attendant talks to a person waiting in their car at a coronavirus testing site October 31 in El Paso, Texas.

There were 61,000 new cases in children during the last week of October, “which is larger than any previous week in the pandemic,” the AAP said in a statement. From the onset of the pandemic through October 29, more than 853,000 children have tested positive for Covid-19, the AAP said, including nearly 200,000 new cases during the month of October.

“This is a stark reminder of the impact this pandemic is having on everyone — including our children and adolescents,” said AAP President Dr. Sally Goza in the statement.

“This virus is highly contagious, and as we see spikes in many communities, children are more likely to be infected, too,” Goza said.

Yet these numbers are likely an undercount, the AAP said. Because symptoms in children are often mild and can look like common colds or viruses, many children go untested.

Symptoms in children

Typical symptoms of Covid-19 in both children and adults include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, a dry cough, difficulty breathing, headaches, digestive issues, body aches and fatigue, runny nose, sore throat and sneezing.

Unusual symptoms can include “Covid toes” — a reddish tinge to toes and other extremities, a sudden loss of taste and smell and conjunctivitis, a highly contagious condition also known as pink eye.

However, early research has suggested children may not get fever, cough or shortness of breath as often as adults. Fever and cough was found in 56% and 54% of children in one study, compared to 71% and 80% of adults, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shortness of breath was found in only 13% of pediatric patients, compared to 43% of adults. Sore throat, headache, muscle pain, fatigue and diarrhea were also less commonly reported in children.

While cases of severe illness due to Covid-19 appears to be rare among children, severe illness has been reported, most often in infants less than a year.

When children did need to be hospitalized, the CDC found, one in three needed to be treated in the intensive care unit — the same rate as for adults.

Long-term effects not known

Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, according to an early October report by the CDC, were about twice as likely to test positive for Covid-19 than kids between 5 and 11 years old.

More severe cases of Covid-19 were most likely to be found in children with underlying health conditions, the CDC said, with chronic lung disease, including asthma, the most commonly reported condition (55%). While in smaller percentages, children with disability (9%), immune disorders (7%), diabetes (6%), psychological conditions

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New Coronavirus Cases Drop After One-Day Spike On Sunday

ARLINGTON, VA —Virginia Department of Health confirmed 14 new cases Monday of COVID-19, the illness associated with the new coronavirus, in the Arlington Health District. That’s down from the 50 new cases that were reported on Sunday, which is the latest single day reporting of new cases since May 29. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Arlington stands at 4,778.

Virginia health officials also reported no new deaths due to COVID-19 Monday in Arlington. The last new death was reported on Oct. 24. The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the Arlington Health District now stands at 154.

A total of 540 people have been hospitalized in Arlington due to COVID-19.

VDH confirmed Monday there have been 25 outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Arlington Health District. There have been 18 outbreaks at long-term care facilities, three at a congregate setting, three in health care settings, and, one at a college or a university. The total number of cases connected with an outbreak is 646. There have been 237 reported coronavirus cases in Arlington involving health care workers.

There have been 183,418 total cases statewide, according to data reported by the Virginia Department of Health. In Virginia, there have been 3,658 coronavirus-related deaths to date. There have been a total of 12,674 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

VDH reported Monday that 85,620 COVID-19 tests have been taken in Arlington, with a 4.9 percent positivity rate. Statewide there have been 2,873,195 COVID-19 tests taken, with a 6.8 percent positivity rate, according to VDH.

Get the latest updates on the new coronavirus in Virginia as they happen. Sign up for free news alerts and a newsletter in your Patch town.

Globally, more than 46.6 million people have been infected by COVID-19, and over 1.2 million people have died, Johns Hopkins University reported Monday morning. In the United States, more than 9.2 million people have been infected and over 231,000 people have died from COVID-19.

VDH breaks down the number of cases and deaths in Arlington by age, race and ethnicity. The breakdown by age is as follows:

(VDH)
(VDH)

Arlington residents should take the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Also see …

This article originally appeared on the Arlington Patch

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Officials Warn of Cyberattacks on Hospitals as Virus Cases Spike

Hundreds of American hospitals are being targeted in cyberattacks by the same Russian hackers who American officials and researchers fear could sow mayhem around next week’s election.

The attacks on American hospitals, clinics and medical complexes are intended to take those facilities offline and hold their data hostage in exchange for multimillion-dollar ransom payments, just as coronavirus cases spike across the United States.

“We expect panic,” one hacker involved in the attacks said in Russian during a private exchange on Monday that was captured by Hold Security, a security company that tracks online criminals.

Some hospitals in New York State and on the West Coast reported cyberattacks in recent days, though it was not clear whether they were part of the attacks, and hospital officials emphasized that critical patient care was not affected.

The Russian hackers, believed to be based in Moscow and St. Petersburg, have been trading a list of more than 400 hospitals they plan to target, according to Alex Holden, the founder of Hold Security, who shared the information with the F.B.I. Mr. Holden said the hackers claimed to have already infected more than 30 of them.

On Wednesday, three government agencies — the F.B.I., the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency — warned hospital administrators and security researchers about a “credible threat” of cyberattacks to American hospitals, according to a security executive who listened to the briefing.

Officials and researchers did not name the affected hospitals, but Sonoma Valley Hospital in California said it was still trying to restore its computer systems after an intrusion last week. St. Lawrence Health System in New York confirmed that two of its hospitals, Canton-Potsdam and Gouverneur, were hit by ransomware attacks Tuesday morning that caused them to shut down computer systems and divert ambulances. Sky Lakes Medical Center in Oregon was also crippled by a ransomware attack Tuesday that froze electronic medical records and delayed surgeries, a hospital representative said.

Employees at that hospital, in Klamath Falls, Ore., were told, “If it’s a P.C., shut it down,” said Thomas Hottman, the public information officer at Sky Lakes.

It was unclear whether those attacks were related to the hacking campaign underway. But the latest breaches were linked to the same Russian hackers who held Universal Health Services, a giant network of more than 400 hospitals, hostage with ransomware last month in what was then considered the largest medical cyberattack of its kind.

The hackers are also the same group behind TrickBot, a vast conduit for ransomware attacks that government hackers and technology executives have targeted in two takedowns over the past month.

In late September, United States Cyber Command started hacking into TrickBot’s infrastructure in an effort to disable it before the election. Microsoft also started taking down TrickBot servers via federal court orders over the past month. The goal of both efforts, officials and executives said, was to pre-empt ransomware attacks on the election that could disrupt voting

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Trump continues to falsely claim that spike in coronavirus cases is due to heightened testing



Donald Trump in a suit standing in front of a crowd: LONDONDERRY, NH - OCTOBER 25: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on October 25, 2020 in Londonderry, New Hampshire. President Trump continues to campaign ahead of the November 3rd presidential election. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)


© Scott Eisen/Getty Images
LONDONDERRY, NH – OCTOBER 25: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on October 25, 2020 in Londonderry, New Hampshire. President Trump continues to campaign ahead of the November 3rd presidential election. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has claimed over and over in the past week — at campaign rallies, on Twitter and in an interview with “60 Minutes” — that the US is only seeing so many coronavirus cases because the country is doing so much testing.

“Cases up because we TEST, TEST, TEST. A Fake News Media Conspiracy,” he wrote on Twitter on Monday morning.

Trump made similar claims during the summer spike in cases. They were flat wrong then, as we explained in a July fact check, and they are flat wrong now.

Facts First: The spike in US coronavirus cases is not being caused by an increase in testing. The number of confirmed new cases is increasing at a faster rate than the number of new tests. And the number of hospitalizations and deaths is also rising, which shows that, contrary to Trump’s repeated claims, the increase in the case numbers isn’t merely being caused by tests capturing mild cases. Taken together, the numbers tell a consistent story: the situation in the US is genuinely getting worse.

“To say that cases aren’t actually increasing is to deny reality,” Dr. Tom Frieden, who served as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Barack Obama, said in a Sunday email.

“Not only are cases and infections increasing, but hospitalizations — which follow case increases by several weeks — and deaths — which follow hospitalization increases by a week or two — are also increasing. What’s more, the proportion of tests that are positive has increased, and this correlates with increased actual spread of infection.” Frieden added: “The most reliable information is positivity, and this increased in all regions of the country.”

The national positivity rate as of Saturday was 6.1%, per Johns Hopkins University data, up from 4.6% a month prior.

If the increase in reported cases “were due to a very high level of testing, we would expect to see the percentage of tests that are positive be very low, certainly less than 3%. However that is not what we are seeing,” said Aubree Gordon, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan.

Worsening numbers

On Friday, the US set a new record for reported daily coronavirus cases: 83,757, according to Johns Hopkins data. Through Saturday, the seven-day average for daily new cases was 66,970 — the highest since late July.

The increase in daily cases is far outpacing the increase in daily testing. The COVID Tracking Project, an initiative that assembles and analyzes coronavirus data, tweeted on Saturday that “tests rose 3.8% from a week ago, while cases are up 20.6%.”

Trump has repeatedly suggested that the increase in confirmed cases is happening simply because tests are capturing cases

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Fear and anxiety spike in virus hot spots across US

Preslie Paur breaks down in tears when she thinks of her state’s refusal to mandate face masks.

The South Salt Lake City, Utah, woman can’t work at her special education job due to an autoimmune disease. Her husband, also a special ed teacher, recently quit because his school district would not allow him to work remotely to protect her and their 5-year-old son, who has asthma.

“I feel forgotten,” Paur said. “We’re living in a world we no longer fit in. We did everything right. We went to college, we got jobs, we tried to give back to our community, and now our community is not giving back to us. And I’m very scared.”


As President Donald Trump barnstorms the swing states, often downplaying the coronavirus pandemic before largely unmasked crowds, the nation continues to lurch toward what his opponent Joe Biden, citing health experts, warned will be a “dark winter” of disease and death.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN on Sunday that “we’re not going to control the pandemic.” Asked why, he said it’s “because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

Vice President Mike Pence will continue campaigning despite his chief of staff testing positive for COVID-19. His office said Pence and his wife both tested negative for the virus Sunday.

About half of U.S. states have seen their highest daily infection numbers so far at some point in October, and the country as a whole came very close to back-to-back record daily infection rates on Friday and Saturday.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that 83,718 new cases were reported Saturday, just shy of the 83,757 infections reported Friday. Before that, the most cases reported in the United States on a single day had been 77,362, on July 16.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which federal health officials have used as a source for their pandemic projections, currently forecasts that the U.S. COVID-19 death toll could exceed 318,000 by Jan. 1.

As of Sunday, there were nearly 8.6 million confirmed infections in the U.S., with 224,906 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

At least seven states — Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio and Oklahoma — saw record high infection levels Saturday. And some Northeastern states hit hard in the spring are seeing numbers bounce back; New Jersey’s toll of 1,909 new infections Saturday was the most it had seen in a day since early May.

The virus also is surging in the Mountain West, especially Idaho and Utah.

In Twin Falls, Idaho, new data suggest that 1 in 24 residents has contracted the coronavirus, said Dr. Joshua Kern, vice president of medical affairs at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center. Amid a crush of new cases, the hospital brought in nurses from Boise, scaled back elective surgery and, as of Friday, stopped admitting pediatric patients.

“It’s gotten kind of out of hand,” Kern told The Associated Press. “We’ve had

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Colorado limits more gatherings as COVID cases spike

DENVER (AP) — Citing a steady increase in Colorado’s coronavirus hospitalization caseload, state health officials announced new limits Friday on personal gatherings of people from different households in more than two dozen counties.

An amended state health order affecting 29 of the state’s counties limits personal gatherings to 10 people from no more than two households. Gatherings of up to 25 people were previously permitted in those counties, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Personal gatherings in 30 other Colorado counties were already restricted to 10 people. No new limits were imposed for five counties with lesser caseloads.


The Department of Public Health and Environment said it took the action after investigators determined that COVID-19 cases associated with social gatherings and community exposure had been more common since July.

“We need to keep gatherings smaller and with people from fewer households — we are asking everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the department’s executive director.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis appealed to residents to help stem what he called an alarming acceleration of new cases and hospitalizations. Upward trends in new confirmed cases and hospitalizations could strain hospital intensive-care capacity in December, the Democratic governor said.

There are roughly 1,800 intensive-care beds statewide for all health emergencies. More than three-quarters of those beds were occupied for all reasons over the week leading up to Monday, the state health department said.

The state reported 458 virus hospitalizations Friday. Health officials reported there were nearly 20 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents Friday, one of the highest, if not the highest, recorded rates of the pandemic.

More than 2,000 people have died of the virus in Colorado, which has reported more than 85,000 positive cases. The number of cases is probably higher because of a lack of testing and other reasons.

The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

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US coronavirus: New cases, hospitalizations spike

Thursday was the first day with more than 70,000 new US Covid-19 cases in three months, and the hospitalization rate is soaring, new data reveal.



a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: After changing PPE, an LPN dons her face shield at an Aveanna Healthcare and Fallon Ambulance walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the continuing coronavirus pandemic in Lynn, MA on Oct. 19, 2020. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)


© Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
After changing PPE, an LPN dons her face shield at an Aveanna Healthcare and Fallon Ambulance walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the continuing coronavirus pandemic in Lynn, MA on Oct. 19, 2020. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Thirty-two states reported rising Covid-19 infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Thursday was the highest day for new infections since July 24 and the day with the fourth highest total ever, at 71,671, Johns Hopkins says.

More than 41,000 people were hospitalized across the country, according to the Covid Tracking Project. This is the highest level of nationwide hospitalizations since Aug 20.

The number of people hospitalized has increased by 33% since the beginning of October, the CTP says.

Deaths are also creeping upward, with 856 on Thursday, Johns Hopkins says. The 7-day average of deaths continues to climb and is up to 763. That is the highest level of average weekly deaths in a month.

In White House coronavirus task force reports obtained by CNN this week, officials say there are “early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States.” And more state leaders have sounded the alarm on increasing infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Study: Masks could save 100,000 by end of February

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation says the “fall/winter surge has begun” — just a couple weeks behind Europe — and will intensify in November and December before reaching a peak in January.

“Many states will face enormous pressure on hospital capacity and will likely have to re-impose some social distancing mandates,” IHME said. “The best strategy to delay re-imposition of mandates and the associated economic hardship is to expand mask use.”

The IHME said in another study Friday that if 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved through February.

The study notes that about 49% of US residents report that they “always” wear a mask in public.

At that rate and with states continuing to remove social distancing mandates, the US death toll could reach about 1 million by February 28, according to the study.

Just one state is headed in the right direction

Oregon is the only state whose Covid-19 statistics are trending in the right direction, according to Johns Hopkins data, which also show:

  • At least eight states reported record-high hospitalizations Thursday: Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio ,Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
  • At least 12 states saw their highest seven-day averages of new daily cases: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.
  • And at least six states — Colorado, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah — reported their highest daily case counts.

Health officials issued a stay-at-home order

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As COVID-19 cases spike, pneumonia vaccine demand rockets and Europe runs low

By Emilio Parodi, Ludwig Burger and Michael Erman

MILAN/FRANKFURT/NEW YORK (Reuters) – As COVID-19 infections rise, people seeking to avoid one lung disease compounding another are queuing up to get inoculated against bacterial pneumonia, causing shortages of a Merck & Co <MRK.N> vaccine in parts of Europe.

Demand for Merck’s Pneumovax 23, which is used to prevent pneumococcal lung infections, has hit record highs across the world, the company said.

More than 40 companies and researchers are testing vaccines against the novel coronavirus, but none have been approved in the West.

In the meantime, doctors are giving the pneumonia shot to more people than ever as a preventative measure.

Pneumococcal prevention, the largest segment of the vaccine market by value, rang up about $7 billion in sales in 2019, contested by Pfizer <PFE.N>, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L>.

Pfizer’s Prevenar 13, known as Prevnar 13 in North America, is the global market leader, and brought in about $5.8 billion in sales in 2019. It works for both infants and the elderly but it covers fewer bacterial strands than the Merck product.

GSK’s Synflorix is designed for children.

Usage differs by country, but Pneumovax 23, which lasts about five years, is primarily given to the elderly.

“During the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, there has been increased emphasis on adult vaccination, and we have seen an unprecedented surge in demand for Pneumovax 23 around the world,” a Merck spokesman told Reuters in an email.

Pneumovax 23’s international sales more than doubled to $96 million in the second quarter, though U.S. sales fell substantially, according to the quarterly report.

The U.S. drugmaker is working to make as much as possible, but demand is outpacing supplies in some markets, the spokesman added.

And supplies in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and Austria are running low, according to drug agencies monitoring supplies for those countries.

The news is likely to stoke worries about the availability of medicines as people seek ways to boost their immunity during the cold winter months.

Stocks of seasonal flu vaccine are also low in some European cities amid worries about the risk of a potentially lethal “twindemic”.

Delfino Legnani, professor at Milan University, said he has been recommending the Pneumovax 23 shot to his older patients for years, but some have only been willing to get it for the first time this winter.

“It is practically impossible to find. Now everyone wants it, so there aren’t enough doses,” he said.

Italy’s drug agency listed the drug as being in short supply and has authorised pharmacies to buy supplies from abroad approved under a special marketing authorisation scheme.

There are no signs of supply issues in the United States.

RATIONING

Other countries are feeling the pinch too.

Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority said on its website an unexpected increase in demand had caused a shortage since March and that multiple countries were affected.

Its Belgian equivalent also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global increase in demand for

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