South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced Monday that her state will be the first to conduct clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine, a drug hailed by many doctors and patients as a miracle solution in the fight against an invisible enemy, the coronavirus.
“From day one, I’ve said we’re going to let the science, facts, and data drive our decision-making in South Dakota. Throughout last week, I communicated with White House officials to let them know that South Dakota’s medical community was ready to step up and lead the way on research efforts,” Noem said in Monday’s press release.
Her statement continued, “I made direct requests to President Trump and Vice President Pence to supply us with enough hydroxychloroquine so that it could be made available for every hospitalized person the state may have as well as for those healthcare workers on the frontlines and those in the most vulnerable populations.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine last month after it showed promising results of recovery in early clinical trials. The anti-malaria pill, coupled with the antibiotic azithromycin, has since been used to treat many patients diagnosed with the coronavirus.
South Dakota will soon test the drug on a larger scale with the help of Sanford Health, Avera and Monument Health. The three providers will treat up to 100,000 coronavirus patients, healthcare workers and anyone else with high-risk of exposure to the virus, according to the press release.
The state currently has 868 confirmed cases of the virus and has seen six deaths.
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NY Gov Hochul issues executive order: Polio ‘an official diisaster’
New York Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday issued an executive order that Polio is now considered an official disaster.
“On polio, we simply cannot roll the dice,” said Dr. Mary T. Bassett, New York State Health Commissioner. “If you or your child are unvaccinated or not up-to-date with vaccinations, the risk of paralytic disease is real. I urge New Yorkers to not accept any risk at all.”
The virus that causes polio has been found in the wastewater of more than one county, according to state health officials. “A sewage sample from Nassau County collected in August tested positive for poliovirus, following the prior detection of the virus in wastewater samples in Rockland County, Orange County, Sullivan County and New York City, further indicating that the virus is spreading in the area to some degree” reports The Wall Street Journal.
“The Nassau County sample was also genetically linked to the single confirmed case of paralytic polio that had been identified this summer in a young adult resident in Rockland County who was unvaccinated.”
Hochul’s executive order has been issued through Oct. 9, and expands the network of providers able to administer polio vaccinations to “include emergency-medical-services workers, midwives and pharmacists.”
The new order makes providers send polio-immunization data to the New York State Department of Health in order to better help health officials “focus vaccination efforts on areas of low uptake.”
New York state health officials have sent out alerts to providers, have hung fliers “in houses of worship, grocery stores and summer camps and talked with community leaders about boosting vaccination rates this summer.”
The Wall Street Journal Reports:
The poliovirus spreads mostly when a person touches their mouth after coming in contact with an infected person’s feces. Most infected people don’t develop any symptoms but can still spread the virus, a major concern for health officials, and around a quarter develop flulike symptoms. Those who are vaccinated are at low risk, health officials have said, as getting three doses of the polio vaccine administered in the U.S. is at least 99% effective at preventing paralytic disease.
Health officials, however, also said that certain New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated but at high-risk should receive a single lifetime booster. That applies to individuals who will or might have close contact with a suspected or confirmed polio patient, as well as healthcare workers in those areas who might handle poliovirus samples or treat patients who might have polio…
Two forms of the virus can cause paralysis, one of them being the wild poliovirus found in nature. The case in New York, on the other hand, is caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus, a mutated form of a strain used in an oral polio vaccine…
The oral polio vaccine, used in many parts of the world outside of the U.S., relies on a weakened, live form of the virus that recently inoculated children shed in their feces. In places with lower vaccine uptake, the weakened virus can sometimes circulate and mutate to become more like the wild virus and potentially paralyze people who are not fully vaccinated.
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