Sunday July 12, 2020
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Leading health experts from around the world have been meeting at the World Health Organization’s Geneva headquarters to assess the current level of knowledge about the new COVID-19 disease, identify gaps and work together to accelerate and fund priority research needed to help stop this outbreak and prepare for any future outbreaks.

The 2-day forum was convened in line with the WHO R&D Blueprint – a strategy for developing drugs and vaccines before epidemics, and accelerating research and development while they are occurring.

“This outbreak is a test of solidarity — political, financial and scientific. We need to come together to fight a common enemy that does not respect borders, ensure that we have the resources necessary to bring this outbreak to an end and bring our best science to the forefront to find shared answers to shared problems. Research is an integral part of the outbreak response,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “I appreciate the positive response of the research community to join us at short notice and come up with concrete plans and commitment to work together.”

The meeting, hosted in collaboration with GloPID-R (the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness) brought together major research funders and over 300 scientists and researchers from a large variety of disciplines. They discussed all aspects of the outbreak and ways to control it including:

  • the natural history of the virus, its transmission and diagnosis;
  • animal and environmental research on the origin of the virus, including management measures at the human-animal interface;
  • epidemiological studies;
  • clinical characterization and management of disease caused by the virus;
  • infection prevention and control, including best ways to protect health care workers;
  • research and development for candidate therapeutics and vaccines;
    ethical considerations for research;
  • and integration of social sciences into the outbreak response.

“This meeting allowed us to identify the urgent priorities for research. As a group of funders we will continue to mobilize, coordinate and align our funding to enable the research needed to tackle this crisis and stop the outbreak, in partnership with WHO,” said Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, chair of GloPID-R. “Equitable access – making sure we share data and reach those most in need, in particular those in lower and middle-income countries, is fundamental to this work which must be guided by ethical considerations at all times.”

During the meeting, the more than 300 scientists and researchers participating both in person and virtually agreed on a set of global research priorities. They also outlined mechanisms for continuing scientific interactions and collaborations beyond the meeting which will be coordinated and facilitated by WHO. They worked with research funders to determine how necessary resources can be mobilized so that critical research can start immediately.

The deliberations will form the basis of a research and innovation roadmap charting all the research needed and this will be used by researchers and funders to accelerate the research response.

CDC today confirmed another infection with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the United States. The patient is among a group of people under a federal quarantine order at JBSA-Lackland in Texas because of their recent return to the U.S. on a State Department-chartered flight that arrived on February 7, 2020.

As the disease continues to spread, according to Johns Hopkins data, there are now upward of 60,300 confirmed cases with nearly 1,400 deaths tied to the new virus.

All people who lived or travelled in Hubei Province, China, are considered at high risk of having been exposed to this virus and are subject to a temporary 14-day quarantine upon entry into the United States. This is the first person under quarantine at JBSA-Lackland who had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 15. There will likely be additional cases in the coming days and weeks, including among other people recently returned from Wuhan. While 195 people were discharged from quarantine on Tuesday, more than 600 people who returned on chartered flights from Wuhan remain under federal quarantine and are being closely monitored to contain the spread of the virus.

For the latest information on the outbreak, visit CDC’s Novel Coronavirus 2019 website.

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health Wellness is working with area physicians, hospitals and government agencies to guard against and prevent the potential spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus. So far, there have been no confirmed cases or suspected cases in Louisville.

“Communicable disease monitoring, outbreak response planning, and working with community partners to respond to community health threats is something that’s core to our daily operations,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, Chief Health Strategist and director of the Department of Public Health and Wellness. “Our team, led by our medical director, Dr. Lori Caloia, is working closely with our partners at the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to stay up to date on the novel coronavirus. We’ve been sharing guidance to healthcare providers, local colleges and universities and local businesses with international operations.”

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness maintains detailed plans on how to respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as the 2018 hepatitis A outbreak, as well as other community public health emergencies.

On Wednesday the Kentucky Department for Public Health reported that there are no confirmed or suspected 2019 novel coronavirus in the state. There are presently six confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States. All six cases are in isolation hospitals. They are in Arizona, California (2), Illinois(2) and Washington. These individuals had recently been in Wuhan, China or were close household contacts of those who had travelled to Wuhan. Yesterday the CDC reported the first case of person-to-person transmission in the United States between an Illinois woman who had travelled to Wuhan and her husband who had not.

The virus has now spread from China to 18 other countries and the World Health Organization has declared the 2019 novel coronavirus a global health emergency.
While the CDC considers this is a serious public health threat, based on current information, CDC reports that the immediate health risk from 2019 novel coronavirus to the general American public is low at this time. “Unless you have recently travelled to China or have been in close contact with someone who has, you are not at risk from the 2019 novel coronavirus,” said Dr. Moyer.

The 2019 novel coronavirus is a respiratory illness spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, like the way that flu and other respiratory viruses spread. Like other respiratory viruses, 2019 novel coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you have recently been to China and develop these symptoms, you should contact your health care provider immediately. Call ahead to alert them so measures can be taken to avoid spreading the virus at the health care facility. There are many strains of coronavirus, causing mild to severe illness. You may have been diagnosed in the past with a coronavirus. The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new unique strain.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019 novel coronavirus infection. You can protect yourself by taking everyday preventive actions including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Neighborhood Place partners will help host several events in February including the 8th annual “African American Read-In” at Southwick Community Center in honor of Black History Month, as well as multiple hiring events for the upcoming Census, Sodexo and the Kentucky Health Career Center. To learn more about these offerings and several others please refer to the list below.

Feb. 3, 12, and 14, Passport Health Care Informational Table at multiple locations
A community engagement representative is onsite to answer any questions that Passport members have regarding their plan, benefits and updates on the upcoming waiver.

  • Feb. 3 at South Jefferson Neighborhood Place, 1000 Neighborhood Place, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Call 363-1483 for more information.
  • Feb. 12 at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 3610 Bohne Ave., 3 – 4:30 p.m. Call 313-4635 for more information.
  • Feb. 14 at South Central Neighborhood Place, 4255 Hazelwood Ave., 9 – 10 a.m. Call 363-1483 for more information.

Feb. 3, 5, 11, 12, 19, and 26, 2020 Census Employment Recruitment at four locations

Become a 2020 Census Taker and support your community. The position entails collection of important data that will determine the state’s representation in Congress as well as how funds are spent in your community on things like roads, schools or hospitals.

  • Feb. 3 at South Jefferson Neighborhood Place, 1000 Neighborhood Place, 9 a.m. – 12 p. m., Call 363-1483 for more information.
  • Feb 4, 11, 18 and 25 at First Neighborhood Place, 1503 Rangeland Rd., 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Call 313-4700 for more information.
  • Feb. 5, 12, 19, and 26 at South Central Neighborhood Place, 4255 Hazelwood Ave, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Call 363-1483 for more information
  • Feb. 11 at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 3610 Bohne Ave. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Call 313-4635 for more information.

Feb. 3, 6 and 11, National Processing Center (NPC) Hiring Events at two locations
National Processing Center (NPC) is the U.S. Census Bureau’s primary center for mail processing, survey processing, data capture, imaging/scanning and warehouse operations. U.S. Census Bureau’s representative will be available to share information about the hundreds of entry-level Office & Warehouse Clerks employment opportunities for the Jeffersonville location. NPC recently increased the starting hourly pay rate for entry level clerks to $14.54 per hour.

  • Feb. 3 and 11, NorthWest Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Location at 4018 West Market St. Call 313-4892 for more information.
  • Feb. 6, Ujima Neighborhood Place, 3610 Bohne Ave., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Wednesdays, Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26 –  Louisville Forward – Office of Community Development/Office of Housing Outreach at NorthWest Neighborhood Place, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Located at 4018 West Market Street.  If you are interested in learning more about community housing resources such as Down Payment Assistance Programs, Home Repair Programs, Lead Safe Louisville Programs and current efforts to reduce vacant and abandon properties in our communities, representatives from Louisville Forward will be onsite monthly at NorthWest Neighborhood Place to provide face-to-face valuable information to assist median to low-income community residents.  For more information, visit Develop Louisville website at www.Louisvilleky.Gov/DevelopLouisville.

Wednesdays, Feb. 5 – March 25, 4 Your Child Dads Making the Difference at NorthWest Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  
Located at 4018 W. Market St.  For more information or to register for the upcoming weekly workshops, please contact Dr. Cheri Langley at 709-9323 or by email at 4YourChild@Outlook.com.  “4 Your Child” is an eight-week fatherhood program that aims to improve the quantity and quality of fathers’ involvement by integrating responsible parenting, economic stability, and relationship education services.  Participants may be compensated for their time up to $220 but registration is required.

Feb. 6, Humana Insurance Informational Table at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave. Call 313-4635 for more information. A community engagement representative is onsite to answer any questions that members have regarding their plan and updates on the upcoming waiver.

Feb. 6, Sodexo Hiring Opportunities at First Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Road (T.J. Middle School in the W.D. Bruce Building – door #24). Call 313-4700 for more information. Sodexo, a food-service agency, will provide on-the-spot interviews for positions with Jewish Hospital, Our Lady of Peace and University of Louisville Hospital. Bring your resume and be prepared for an interview. This is one of Sodexo’s busiest hiring seasons. Stop by if you are looking for employment that can lead to a full-time or part-time position.

Feb. 6, 13, 18, and 20, A Healthy Journey for Two at multiple locations
Educational Baby Shower A Healthy Journey for Two is an educational baby shower open to any expectant mothers. The class will include a range of information and resources, as well as free baby items, gift cards, prizes, and snacks. Hosted by Seven Counties and KIDSNow. Fathers are welcome but must be registered. For more information, contact Mendy Mason at 341-5400 or melynda.mason@centerstone.org.

  • Feb. 6 at NorthWest Neighborhood Place, 4018 W. Market St., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Feb. 13 at First Neighborhood Place, 1503 Rangeland Rd., 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Feb. 18 at South Central Neighborhood Place, 4255 Hazelwood Ave., 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Feb. 20 at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 3610 Bohne Ave., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Feb. 10, 17 and 24, Kentucky Health Career Center Outreach at three locations

A KentuckianaWorks Health Career Center professional will provide valuable information to help increase your occupation potential including training funds for in-demand occupations; resources for individuals seeking advance healthcare careers; resume writing, career assessments; interview planning; computer essentials, work-based learning opportunities and more.

  • Feb. 10 at at NorthWest Neighborhood Place, 4018 W. Market St., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Feb. 17 at South Central Neighborhood Place, 4255 Hazelwood Ave., 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Call 363-1483 for directions, and call 595-4003 for more information.
  • Feb. 24 at First Neighborhood Place, 1503 Rangeland Rd., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Call 313-4700 for more information.

Feb. 17, Anthem Insurance Information Table at Ujima Neigbhorhood Place, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave. Call 313-4635 for more information. A community engagement representative is onsite to answer any questions that Passport members have regarding their plan and updates on the upcoming waiver.

Feb. 19, JenCare Senior Medical Center to Discuss Heart Healthy Tips for Seniors at South Jefferson Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. -1p.m.
Located at 1000 Neighborhood Place, JenCare will be on hand with healthy snacks and to share tips for seniors on keeping your heart healthy and knowing the symptoms of a heart attack.   Call 363-1483 for more information.

Feb. 20, 8th African American Read-In at Southwick Community Center, 6 p.m.

Located at 3600 Southern Ave. Call 313-4635 for more information. Celebrate black authors through spoken word, dance and Soul Food tasting. Participate in the “Bring a Book, Take a Book” station. Free and open to the public.  Sponsored by Ujima Neighborhood Place, Southwick Community Center, Break Every Chain Deliverance Ministry and Councilwoman Jessica Green.

Feb. 27, Birthing While Black Community Conversation at Ujima Neighborhood Place, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Located at 3610 Bohne Ave. Contact 354-8424 for more information.  Join this community conversation focusing on addressing racial gaps in maternal health. A film screening will take placefrom 6:45 – 7:30 p.m. followed by a discussion.  Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Ujima Neighborhood Place, Louisville Metro’s Department of Public Health and Wellness and Healthy Start initiative.

Photo: CDC

Two more people in Louisville have died from the flu over the past two weeks. Both were elderly individuals with underlying medical conditions. This brings the number of flu deaths in Louisville this flu season to five.

Louisville had 600 laboratory confirmed flu cases last week, and 888 in the prior week. This compares to 522 and 429 laboratory confirmed flu cases respectively for the same two-week period last year.  Kentucky’s Department for Public Health is reporting widespread flu activity.  Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that key indicators that track flu activity declined slightly but remain high.  CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 13 million flu illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths from flu

“Everyone age six months and older should get a flu shot,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the city’s chief health strategist.  “If you’re sick, please see a healthcare provider right away. Antiviral medications may be a treatment option that can lessen your symptoms and shorten the time of your illness.”

People  who are at high risk of serious complications from flu include:

  • Children younger than 5, and especially children younger than two
  • Adults age 65 and older
  • Pregnant women and women up to two weeks after baby’s birth
  • Residents of nursing homes and long-term facilities
  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • People with weakened immune systems

“Many people can’t get a flu shot,” added Dr. Moyer.  “They may be younger than six months of age, be undergoing chemotherapy or have other health conditions that prevent them from getting vaccinated.  When you get a flu shot, you’re not only protecting yourself but you’re protecting others.”

Flu shots are available at physicians’ offices, pharmacies and at many grocery stores. The cost of flu shots is covered by most insurance plans, by Medicare and by Medicaid. To find a flu shot location near you click here.

Mayor Greg Fischer today helped cut the ribbon on a second Wellness Center for Louisville Metro Government employees and their dependents. The center, located at 6127 Airport Hotels Blvd. off Fern Valley Road, is managed by Concentra and provides annual physicals, urgent care and primary care needs to employees with Louisville Metro Government insurance. Additionally, the new center offers access to a dietician, x-ray and physical therapy services.

The center is designed to help the city, and taxpayers, save money on health care costs.

“Our core city values of health, lifelong learning and compassion come together at our Metro Employee Wellness Centers,” said Mayor Fischer. “Helping our employees take care of themselves and their families helps us run a more efficient operation and maximizes the investment of our taxpayers.”

More than 160 Metro employees and dependents have received care from medical professionals since the new center opened in mid-December 2019.

The first Employee Wellness Center, managed by Concentra, opened downtown at the corner of First and Liberty streets in October 2013.

For more information, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/human-resources/metro-employee-wellness-center-information

Louisville has had two more flu deaths in elderly individuals with underlying medical conditions. One of the individuals was unvaccinated and the other’s vaccination status is unknown.

These deaths come a month after another unvaccinated elderly individual with underlying medical conditions died of the flu. Patient privacy laws do not allow for disclosure of other details about the individuals.

Louisville had 880 laboratory confirmed flu cases last week, and 886 in the prior week. This compares to 570 and 565 laboratory confirmed flu cases respectively for the same two-week period last year.  Kentucky’s Department for Public Health is reporting widespread flu activity.  Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that flu activity is high, continues to increase and has been elevated for eight weeks.  CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 6.4 million flu illnesses, 55,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths from flu.

“It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the city’s chief health strategist.  “If you’re sick, please see a healthcare provider right away. Antiviral medications may be a treatment option that can lessen your symptoms and shorten the time you are sick.”

The CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths each year in the United States since 2010.  During that period there have been from 9 million to 45 million flu-related illnesses and between 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations.

People  who are at high risk of serious complications from flu include:

  • Children younger than 5, and especially children younger than two
  • Adults age 65 and older
  • Pregnant women and women up to two weeks after baby’s birth
  • Residents of nursing homes and long-term facilities
  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • People with weakened immune systems

“We recommend anyone six months and older get a flu shot,” Moyer said. “But we especially recommend it for people in these high-risk groups.”

Flu shots are available at physicians’ offices, pharmacies and at many grocery stores. The cost of flu shots is covered by most insurance plans, by Medicare and by Medicaid.

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