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Health & Nutrition
Coronavirus Update - Please Share
UPDATE 28 MARCH: WA Post reports more than 100,000 people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus, a world-topping caseload that has increased tenfold in the past week and a half, and that many experts predict will continue to rise for weeks or months.

The actual number of infections is almost certainly much larger because only a fraction of 1 percent of Americans have been tested, far behind countries such as South Korea and Italy.

ORIGINAL POST 4 MARCH: The Washington Department of Health (DOH) continues to report that the immediate risk of illness from the new coronavirus known as COVID-19 remains relatively low at this time. Even so, the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both to the U.S., and globally.

The state’s Health Department continues to update the current risk and provides an overall assessment of the situation in our state, including the number of confirmed deaths and the number of people under public health supervision.

Get more details here

DOH has also established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. Note: The DOH coronavirus hotline is experiencing high traffic and may be temporarily unavailable.

Health tips
There are steps people can take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. We encourage you to share these tips with your staff and students.

Health tips include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and 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 or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

For your convenience, we have attached a one-page handout from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that illustrates, with pictures, how to stop the spread of germs.

Poster to share

USNIH reports progress in sickle cell disease treatment
NPR Reported 19 December: Scientists report progress using gene therapy to treat sickle cell disease, a common and devastating genetic blood disorder. New genetic technologies offer promise to treat it. Scientists are also renewed interest in older DNA techniques to help people with this common, devastating blood disorder.

One approach involves giving sickle cell patients' cells a new gene to compensate for the defective one, to make their bodies produce a healthy version of a protein called hemoglobin, and that's what red blood cells need to carry oxygen in the body. Another strategy is sort of similar to the CRISPR gene-editing approach that (a US patient) got; it involves using gene therapy to make cells produce a different kind of hemoglobin called fetal hemoglobin to make up for that defective hemoglobin.

Continue to NPR Source

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