In The News

J&J (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccination Restart

After about a 10 day pause in the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) Vaccine being administered in the US, on April 23, the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practice (APIC), recommended to the CDC & FDA to restart J&J vaccinations again.  The pause was due to reports of multiple cases of a new syndrome that identified as an apparently rare cerebral venous sinus thrombosis with thrombocytopenia, later called TTS, and potentially associated with the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. This turned out to...

Seasonal Flu – So NOT in the News in 2020-2021

Seasonal Flu, for both the US and Canada, has pretty much been a no show for the 2020-21 Season.  Even though both countries did more surveillance and Flu tests than in other seasons, the number of Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) health care provider visits as well as positive Flu tests was nearly flat, even compared to previous very low seasons.  Canada wrote in their last report that there isn't even enough Flu detected to declare a start to the 2020-21 Flu...

Health Canada Issues an Advisory/Recall for Face Masks Containing Graphene

Health Canada published an Advisory to warn Canadians (the general public, healthcare professionals and hospitals) to NOT wear face masks that contain Graphene or Biomass Graphene until further notice. The warning explains the concern that wearers of these masks may inhale graphene particles from some masks that could pose health risks, including pulmonary injury.  Graphene is a fairly new nanotechnology, particularly when it comes to face masks, so a small introduction to the technology with regards to human health is...

FDA & CDC Recommend Pause in Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Vaccinations

THE FDA & CDC have recommended a pause in administering J&J (Janssen) COVID vaccinations after the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) had reports of six (6) women, between the ages of 18 and 48, developing a rare type of blood clot between 6 & 13 days after receiving the J&J vaccine.  This article contains an overview of the HAN Alert Recommendation and why it is so important, some information about this rare clot, adenovirus- vector COVID vaccines, a...

In the News – Three Health Safety Alerts

Public Health Authorities in the United States have released two health safety alerts and Canadian Health Authorities have released one.  All three have implications for First Responders, primarily EMS, but appropriate for others who may encounter these situations too.  Each alert/advisory includes information about the alert, what EMS & First Responders can do to manage the situation, and a short list of Resources & Links for obtaining more complete information. #1 is from the CDC, FDA, & the Southern Nevada...

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Vaccine Information

The Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) Vaccine started distribution this month and has been used at vaccination sites throughout the US. This vaccine is a different type of vaccine, called a virus vector vaccine; it requires only one shot to achieve full vaccination.  The vaccine is also easier to store since it needs only refrigeration and has a longer shelf life.  This article covers what is known about the vaccine and what is not, including how the vaccine was developed...

New Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This article is for awareness only.  A new Ebola outbreak in the Eastern Province of North Kivu, DRC, has been announced by the DRC and WHO.  Only two cases have been reported although there are more than 100 contacts, many of them high risk, which are being surveilled.   The two cases were women who had close contact and have both died.  The first case is married to an Ebola survivor from a previous outbreak in the Region, which just...

COVID-19 In the News Update

The available information about COVID-19 is updating/changing on a daily, if not hourly, basis.  In an attempt to make this updated info available more quickly, this document provides a list, divided into topics, each with links and a synopsis of what each site represents.  There are way too many available articles/sites to include them all, so these pages represent some of what I perceive are the best on the subject, at least at the moment selected. Most of the sites...

COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccination Update

The two mRNA vaccines have been out for more than a month and 4,263,056 individuals have already completed their vaccination series, while millions more await their second shot in the series, and even more are waiting to begin their vaccinations.  This update covers what is known about the current vaccines and what is not, that even after vaccination, it is essential that everyone continue their current protective behaviors, particularly with the finding of COVID-19 Variants in both Canada and...

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Variants

A year into the COVID Pandemic, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus has mutated millions of times as it transmitted between people.  It is what viruses do to survive & thrive.  Several of those mutations have resulted in COVID Virus Variants.  These variants have been identified by genetic sequencing in the few countries that have been doing aggressive testing for just these changes.  Three global variants have been officially identified and, at least temporarily, named. This article outlines why this happens,...

2020 AHA & ILCOR Guidelines

The new 2020 AHA (American Heart Association) and ILCOR (International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation) Guidelines have been released and are posted, for your convenience, within the following links. Links & Resources

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) August 2020

It is important to realize that this time, between August and November is the peak time for AFM. Furthermore, EMS Personnel and other First Responders should be aware of the signs and symptoms and other presentations of the syndrome, as well as how to further assess, monitor, stabilize/treat, and transport an individual (typically a child) with possible AFM. The inability to recognize and manage AFM appropriately, including transport to an appropriate hospital, may result in a worsening condition and...

Ebola Cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

The Ebola outbreak in the DRC Equateur Province in Mbandaka continues to produce new cases with a total of 74 known cases and 32 deaths.  There was only one new case reported on August 3 and no new deaths, but one new case and one new death reported on August 5 by the WHO African Regional Office.  

Updated FDA Hand Sanitizer Warning 8-5-20

There is an ongoing and escalating issue with hand sanitizers manufactured in some factories in Mexico, and sold in stores throughout the U.S, that pose a danger to those who use them.  This is due to either methanol being added or substituted for ethyl or isopropyl alcohols, or subpotent percentages of appropriate alcohols in them. 

FDA Warning about Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol

Executive Summary: The FDA has put out a recommendation that advises all consumers to NOT use any hand sanitizer products manufactured in Mexico by the company ESKbiochem SA de CV.  There is potential for these products to contain methanol (aka wood alcohol), which can be extremely toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.  The FDA notified the manufacturer (6/17/20) that they should remove the products from sale but the company has not yet responded.  The FDA suggests that anyone...

FDA Alert for Two Neuromuscular Blockade Meds 6-17-20

Executive Summary: The FDA is reportedly sending healthcare providers notice of temporary approval of a missing ‘Paralyzing Agent’ warning from the caps of vials of certain strengths of two neuromuscular blockade IV medications, namely vecuronium bromide and rocuronium bromide.  The affected products, with NDC numbers, manufacturers, and recommendations can be found at the FDA link below.  The missing vial cap warning is important as a safety reminder for a high-risk medication.  More complete details can be found in the body...

Upgrade Your Life Podcast with Del Denney – Super Charge Your Stress Management in the Age of Covid-19 | A Conversation with Mike Taigman

As a popular educator and author for several decades, Mike has focused on helping folks in emergency medical services take better care of themselves so they can take better care of their patients and communities. In this podcast, Mike shares strategies and discusses his new book Super Charge Your Stress Management in the Age of COVID-19.

New Ebola Outbreak NW DRC Declared 6-1-20

Executive Summary: On 6/1/20, the WHO announced a new outbreak of Ebola in the Northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the same area that had a short outbreak in May 2018.  WHO Responders & partners are already there and have done sampling & testing; more responders and supplies are on their way, including vaccine.  In this new outbreak, there are 9 cases, 5 of which have been fatal, and one healthcare workers infected.  This outbreak is...

Eastern Great Lakes Pediatric Consortium for Disaster Response Survey

Dear Colleague There has never been a more important time to draw on real world experience to improve pediatric disaster readiness. You are invited to participate in a short survey on pediatric disaster education.  This less than 20 minute survey is being conducted by the Eastern Great Lakes Pediatric Consortium for Disaster Response as part of the ASPR National Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program #1U3REP190615-01-00.  Your responses will identify gaps in pediatric disaster education and training and will serve to inform future...