Health Highlights: Aug. 28, 2020
Model Says COVID Deaths Could Surpass 317,000 by December Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Peaches Has Now Sickened 78 People in 12 States: CDC FDA Warns About Hand Sanitizers in Food-Like Packaging Maine Summer Camps Identified, Isolated COVID-19 Cases U.S. Nursing Home Staff Must Be Tested Regularly for COVID: White House
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Model Says COVID Deaths Could Surpass 317,000 by December
A widely cited model for COVID-19 deaths in the United States predicts a total of 317,000 deaths by December.
On Friday morning, a model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington forecast that the number of COVID-19 deaths may reach 317,312 by December, an increase of about 8,000 deaths from a previous estimate one week ago.
There could be more than 136,000 more deaths between now and December, and the daily death rate could rise to more than 2,000 per day, according to the latest IHME estimate, CNN reported.
However, the IHME researchers noted that "if mask wearing in public increases to 95%, more than 67,000 lives could be saved."
Since January, there have more than 5 million COVID-19 cases in the United States, and more than 180,000 deaths, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, CNN reported.
Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Peaches Has Now Sickened 78 People in 12 States: CDC
A salmonella outbreak linked to recalled peaches from Prima Wawona and Wawona Packing Co. LLC has now sickened 78 people in 12 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an update Thursday.
It said that 23 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.
Prima Wawona has expanded its recall to include bulk/loose peaches sold until Aug. 3. Previously, the company recalled peaches sold in bags.
Several other companies have recalled Prima Wawona peaches or food made with them, including Aldi, Food Lion, Hannaford, Kroger, and affiliated retailers Target, Walmart and Wegmans.
Russ David Wholesale recalled peach salsa and gift baskets made with recalled Prima Wawona peaches. The recalled peach salsa was sold under three brand names and labeled as "Perfectly Peach Salsa."
Consumers and others should not eat, serve, or sell recalled peaches packed or supplied by Prima Wawona or Wawona Packing Co. LLC, or food made with these peaches, the CDC said.
If you have loose peaches and don't know where they're from, throw them out, the agency advised.
The investigation into the outbreak is continuing, the CDC said.
FDA Warns About Hand Sanitizers in Food-Like Packaging
A warning about alcohol-based hand sanitizers in packaging that looks like food or drink has been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"The agency has discovered that some hand sanitizers are being packaged in beer cans, children's food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles and vodka bottles," according to an FDA a news release. "Additionally, the FDA has found hand sanitizers that contain food flavors, such as chocolate or raspberry."
Reports received by the FDA include a person who bought what they believed was drinking water but was actually hand sanitizer, and a hand sanitizer using children's cartoons in marketing and sold in a pouch that resembled a snack, CNN reported.
"I am increasingly concerned about hand sanitizer being packaged to appear to be consumable products, such as baby food or beverages. These products could confuse consumers into accidentally ingesting a potentially deadly product. It's dangerous to add scents with food flavors to hand sanitizers which children could think smells like food, eat and get alcohol poisoning," FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in the release.
Maine Summer Camps Identified, Isolated COVID-19 Cases
Three COVID-positive people with no symptoms were successfully identified and isolated at four overnight camps in Maine, a new government report shows.
The actions prevented COVID transmission to more than 1,000 other campers and staff who attended the four camps for well over a month between June and August, CNN reported.
The camps included people from across the United States and also from Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom who quarantined for up to 14 days before arrival. Three of the camps also asked attendees to submit COVID-19 test results beforehand, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Daily temperature checks, more time spent outside and a good supply of face masks were among the social distancing steps taken at the camps.
All the precautions paid off, Dr. Laura Blaisdell, from Maine Medical Center Research Institute, and colleagues wrote, CNN reported.
U.S. Nursing Home Staff Must Be Tested Regularly for COVID: White House
Nursing home staff will have to be tested regularly for COVID-19, and facilities that fail to do so will face fines, the Trump administration said Tuesday.
Even though they account for less than 1% of the nation's population, long-term care facilities account for 42% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, the Associated Press reported.
There have been more than 70,000 deaths in U.S. nursing homes, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
It's been months since the White House first urged governors to test all nursing home residents and staff, the AP reported.