public health

The coronavirus appears to be much more lethal in some countries than in others.

In Italy, about 10% of people known to be infected have died. In Iran and Spain, the case fatality rate is higher than 7%. But in South Korea and the U.S. it's less than 1.5%. And in Germany, the figure is close to 0.5%.

So what gives?

The answer involves how many people are tested, the age of an infected population and factors such as whether the health care system is overwhelmed, scientists say.

Joey Flechas / MIAMI HERALD

The city of Miami will enact a 10 p.m. curfew starting Friday night, creating the most severe restrictions yet for the city’s more than 460,000 residents as government leaders push to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.

Andre Penner / AP via Miami Herald

This story has been updated with new information on court hearings at 6 p.m. on Friday March 13.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis declared a local state of emergency in the city Friday afternoon, as a measure to try to slow the spread of Coronavirus, or COVID-19. 

Surging Health Care Worker Quarantines Raise Concerns As Coronavirus Spreads

Mar 9, 2020

As the U.S. battles to limit the spread of the highly contagious new coronavirus, the number of health care workers ordered to self-quarantine because of potential exposure to an infected patient is rising at an exponential pace. In Vacaville, California, alone, one case — the first documented instance of community transmission in the U.S. — left more than 200 hospital workers under quarantine and unable to work for weeks.

With nine Florida-related coronavirus cases at last report, concern is growing about the spread of the disease but testing isn’t widely available at this point.

ISTOCK

Editor's Note: This article was published at 12 p.m. on March 2, 2020.

The Florida Department of Health announced the first two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the state on Sunday night, in Hillsborough and Manatee counties.

 

The patients are under medical care, the health department said, and the presumptive diagnosis means the results are awaiting confirmation from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

Two ‘Presumptive Positive’ Cases Of Coronavirus In Florida, Governor Says

Mar 2, 2020
JOSÉ A. IGLESIAS / MIAMI HERALD

A Manatee County resident and a Hillsborough County resident have tested “presumptively positive” for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office. These are the first two cases to be reported in Florida.

A presumptive positive case has tested positive by a public health laboratory and is pending confirmatory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The announcement was included in a memorandum released late Sunday declaring a public health emergency in the state.

As the U.S. and much of the world deals with the arrival of COVID-19, one place that's managed to limit the spread of the disease is Hong Kong.

Hong Kong sits right up against China's Guangdong Province, which has had more than 1,300 cases, the second largest number on the mainland after Hubei.

But Hong Kong has seen fewer than 100 cases since the outbreak began, and so far its strategies to contain the coronavirus have prevented large-scale outbreaks that have happened in countries like Iran, Italy and South Korea.

The extreme cases of lung injury caused by vaping have raised awareness of the potential harms of electronic cigarettes.

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began tracking the problem last March, there have been 52 confirmed deaths and about 2,400 hospitalizations.

Updated on Sept. 27 at 7:06 p.m. ET to reflect the latest information from federal agencies

An outbreak of severe lung disease among users of electronic cigarettes continues to spread to new patients and states.

Ben Ryan / Courtesy

South Florida has among the highest number of new HIV cases in the country. A 2016 report from the CDC found Miami had 46 cases per 100,000 people and Ft. Lauderdale had 47 – that’s nearly double what is seen in New York City and Los Angeles.  A new investigation by the Guardian found that millions of dollars in federal funds for HIV prevention and treatment were turned away by the state of Florida while Rick Scott was governor.

Why Are So Many Palm Beach County Beaches Closing?

Aug 15, 2019
Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post

Another round of beaches closed Wednesday because of harmful bacteria levels. Unfortunately, the ‘no-swimming’ warnings you get are usually too late. Also, as of now it’s almost impossible to find out where the bacteria is coming from.

Alicia Simons snorkeled with her granddaughter at Lake Worth Beach for two days last month before learning the water was foul with a fecal contamination.

Between Monday, when a water sample was taken, and the Wednesday beach closure, she suspects the duo swallowed at least a little of the bacteria-laced slurry.

Florida Surgeon General Declares Public Health Emergency Over Hep A

Aug 2, 2019
USDA.GOV

After more than 2,000 cases of reported hepatitis A cases in Florida this year, state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees declared a public health emergency Thursday.

“I am declaring this Public Health Emergency as a proactive step to appropriately alert the public to this serious illness and prevent further spread of Hepatitis A in our state,” Rivkees said in a prepared statement.

Rivkees encouraged people to be vaccinated against the virus, which is spread through oral injection or fecal matter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida. Meanwhile the number of cases of Hepatitis A in the state continues to rise.

Needle Exchanges Find New Champions Among Republicans

May 9, 2019
Sammy Mack / WLRN News

Once repellent to conservative politicians, needle exchanges are now being endorsed and legalized in Republican-controlled states.

At least four legislatures have considered bills to allow hypodermic needle exchanges, and two states, Georgia and Idaho, made them legal this year. In each of these states, the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans and the governor is a Republican.

Pages