A nursing home in Connecticut has caused national concern after 89 residents and staff tested positive for coronavirus; 87 of the infected were fully vaccinated and 8 died. The outbreak began at the Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in North Canaan, Connecticut in late September.
The eight individuals who died had “serious underlying health issues.” 78 residents and staff have recovered since the outbreak began. “We are encouraged to see only 3 active cases of covid-19 remaining within our nursing home. Of the total 67 residents affected over the course of this outbreak, 56 are fully recovered and off isolation. Sadly, we have lost 8 individuals with serious underlying health issues to Covid” said CEO Kevin O’Connell.
Facility leaders said 87 of the 89 infected residents and staff were fully vaccinated, so leaders are "obviously concerned we experienced some level of waning immunity." https://t.co/EBQEKfLD7B
— Mercedes Schlapp (@mercedesschlapp) November 17, 2021
Because 87 of the 89 were fully vaccinated individuals, leaders are “obviously concerned we experienced some level of waning immunity.” O’Connell said they had boosters scheduled for November 2, but the outbreak pushed it back.
“We’re following the guidance of the Department of Health…and they do not recommend providing booster to anybody with active infections for 14 days after the outbreak,” said O’Connell. Therefore no booster shots can be made available until there are no new positive cases for two full weeks.
The CDC currently recommends that all individuals, 18 and older, who live in long-term care facilities, receive a COVID-19 booster shot, given the fact that residents are likely to live closely together, and are often older adults with underlying medical conditions, which cause them to be at “increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19.”
Officials from the home said over the weekend, “We continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates for residents, staff, families and community stakeholders as the situation changes.”
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Human Infection of H3N8 Bird Flu Reported in China
Will it ever end? On Tuesday this week China’s health authority recorded its first human infection of the H3N8 strain of avian influenza. The variant was identified in a 4-year-old boy from Henan province.
According to a statement from the National Health Commission (NHC) the child raises chickens and crows in his home city of Zhumadian. On April 5 he showed fever and other symptoms, then was admitted to a medical institution five days later for treatment.
The statement indicated while it has been found in horses, dogs, birds and seals around the world, no human cases have ever been reported. Fox News reports the commission “warned the public to avoid contact with sick and dead poultry, as well as live poultry, and pay attention to hygiene.”
In March, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses had been detected in 13 states among commercial and backyard poultry, as well as in wild birds of 14 states.
Fortunately, the agency said H5N1 bird flu poses a low risk to the public.
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