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US Ambassador To The UK And State Department Warns Americans: If You Want To Get Home ‘Do It Now’

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United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom Woody Johnson warned Americans in the United Kingdom that if they wished to return to the U.S.  to “do it now” as airlines continue to shut down services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Tweet posted Wednesday Ambassador Johnson reaffirmed that Heathrow Airport, in London is still open to flights heading to the United States but that could change. As of Wednesday he said employees at the airport are ready to assist Americans trying to get home.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters he is urging Americans who are still abroad and who want to get home to do so “immediately.” He said commercial and government-chartered flights could soon stop due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Americans who wish to return home from abroad should do so immediately and make arrangements to accomplish that,” said Pompeo.

“If you are a U.S. citizen and want to fly to the U.S. do it now,” said Ambassador Johnson. “Commercial flights are still available but nobody knows how long it will last. The Embassy’s Consular team and the CBP team at Heathrow do incredible work to provide services & assist in repatriating Americans!”

On Tuesday, British Airways announced that it will suspend all flights to and from London’s Gatwick airport amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the BBC. The report came after EasyJet’s suspension of flights when the U.K. government warned citizens to stay put and only travel for essential needs.,

BBC reported that British Airways told its staff members that it was a challenging environment in “unprecedented circumstances.”

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Healthcare

NY Gov Hochul issues executive order: Polio ‘an official diisaster’

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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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