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Measles, monkeypox and norovirus outbreaks – this week’s Friday Five!

Norovirus outbreak closes more than 1000 hospital beds

NHS England has been forced to close 1,100 beds in the past week because of a widespread outbreak of the norovirus winter vomiting bug.

National data showed that the number of cases of norovirus for mid-November was 28% higher than the average for the same period in the previous 5 years.

NHS officials have urged people with the virus not to go to work and parents not to send children with it to school, until 48 hours after symptoms have gone.

Read more in the Guardian.

New typhoid vaccine gives hope to Pakistan population

A new typhoid vaccine has been shown to reduce cases of the disease by more than 80% in a trials and could be used to help stop an almost untreatable strain of the infection.

Typhoid fever is caused by a highly contagious Salmonella Typhi bacteria and spread through contaminated food and water. It affects between 11 and 21 million people around the world each year and kills 128,000 to 161,000.

It is thought that the new vaccine will be able to reduce the number of typhoid deaths in Pakistan where the Salmonella Typhi is now extremely resistant to antibiotics.

Read more on the BBC.

Why you should care about measles – who will be next?

Very sad times in Samoa where an outbreak of measles has killed 62 people of which 54 were children aged 4 and under.

The government has told most public and private workers to stay home for two days and has shut down roads to nonessential vehicles as teams began going door-to-door to administer vaccines.

With vaccination rates at 30% in 2018 faith healers and anti-vaxxers have been pinpointed as causing a decline in vaccination rates leading to the epidemic.

Read more in the Guardian.

Monkeypox case in the UK again

A patient has been diagnosed with monkeypox in the south west of England. The condition is similar to human smallpox and although it is much milder, it can be fatal.

The patient, who is believed the patient contracted the infection while visiting Nigeria, was transferred to a specialist infectious disease centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

It’s not the first time the rare viral infection has been detected in the UK, as a patient was diagnosed with the virus in September 2018.

Read more on the BBC.


Quote of the week

In response to Age UK’s analysis that showed that the current social care crisis has cost the NHS 2.5 million bed days since the last election, Ms Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, called the next government to rebuild the country’s social care system:

“It is imperative that whichever party forms the next Government, it takes decisive action to rebuild our social care system and put it on an even financial keel.”

Read more in inews and the BMJ.


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