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Right now, JN.1 makes up nearly all the cases in the U.S. This past summer, other variants were responsible for most cases, so if you got COVID at that time, you won’t have as much protection as you might if you got COVID earlier this winter. That’s in part due to the fact that natural immunity after infection starts to wane after two to six months, in general. Add to that the many mutations that make JN.1 different from previous variants circulating in the summer, and it’s possible that exposure to a new variant could mean you get COVID twice in a relatively short period of time if you’re exposed. If you also got an updated vaccine dose in the fall, you’ve even further reduced your chances of getting sick. Ultimately, how often you get COVID will depend on a lot of unique factors, including your exposure, age, immune system, and boosters. If you haven’t gotten an updated dose yet, it’s not too late, and that might help you get through the rest of winter without catching COVID.
Source: NY Times
Measles is a particularly tricky illness for businesses. Because it’s so incredibly contagious to those who are unvaccinated (90% exposed will get it if unprotected), most health departments feel the need to move very quickly to notify the public after an exposure. That means if a parent brings their sick child to your business, through no fault of your own, you might end up with your name all over the local news within a matter of hours. For ZHH clients, you can train managers to call you or us quickly if the health department mentions measles. We’ll help work with them, coordinate with your team, and manage the response. Every employer can focus on communicating with your employees the importance of routine childhood vaccinations for them and their families, especially the MMR vaccine for measles. As our best read below delves into in greater detail, measles is not just dangerous for small kids but also poses a huge risk to those infected because it can cause “immune amnesia,” putting patients at higher risk for other infections that their body can’t fight off.
It certainly feels a bit like there are constant notifications from the FDA and CDC about investigations for E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and similar foodborne illnesses right now. In part, that’s because there actually are more compared to the first year of the pandemic, when other illnesses were almost universally lower. But in reality, there were fewer outbreaks investigated by the CDC in 2023 than in each of the previous two years. The CDC has investigated one each of E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria so far in 2024, which is slightly heavier activity than usual for the first two months of the year but not particularly out of the ordinary. We’ll continue to keep an eye on recalls and outbreaks and hope that things die down a bit in the coming days and weeks.
Measles infections pose a far greater risk than most realize because they can cause “immune amnesia,” leaving patients more vulnerable to other infections: