Health Highlights: May 21, 2020

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Test All Newborns of Mothers With Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19: CDC

All babies born to women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should be tested, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines issued Wednesday.

The agency recommends that these newborns be tested 24 hours after birth and, if the test is negative, be retested the next day, CNN reported.

In areas of the United States where there is limited availability of testing, these newborns should be given priority, according to the CDC.

Doctors should presume these newborns are infected and should keep them isolated from other newborns and temporarily keep them separate from their mothers to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. If the mother tests negative for the coronavirus, she can be reunited with her baby.

The agency says infants may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 than older children, and that babies are most likely exposed to the new coronavirus through respiratory droplets from their mother or from other caregivers or visitors, CNN reported.

While there have been some limited reports that newborns may be exposed to the virus right before or during labor, that hasn’t been confirmed by research, according to the CDC.


Live Poultry Linked to Salmonella Cases in 28 States: CDC

Live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, in backyard flocks have caused salmonella infections that have sickened 97 people in 28 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

There have been 17 hospitalizations, but no deaths. About one-third of the ill people are children younger than 5.

Spring and summer are popular times to buy live poultry, but people can get sick from salmonella from touching live poultry or their environment. Birds carrying the bacteria can appear healthy and clean, the CDC said.

Backyard poultry flock owners should always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching chickens, ducks or anything in their environment. Don’t kiss or snuggle backyard poultry and don’t let children younger than 5 touch live poultry. Young children are more likely to get a severe salmonella infection.

Wear a specific pair of shoes while taking care of your poultry and keep those shoes outside of your home. Don’t wear them inside your home. Don’t let live poultry in your home, the CDC said.


Many Americans Worry That Reopening Country Will Cause Second Wave of Coronavirus Infections

As U.S. President Donald Trump urges states to “open up our country” from coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions, most Americans are concerned that doing so will lead to a second wave of infections, a new poll finds.

Of the 1,056 adults surveyed between May 14 and May 18, 83% said they’re at least somewhat concerned that easing restrictions in their area will result in a new surge of infections, with 54% saying they’re very or extremely concerned, according to the Associated Press-NORAC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.

With reopening, it’s essential for people to return to self-quarantine if they are exposed to the virus, about 80% of respondents said.

About 6 in 10 said widespread testing for the coronavirus is necessary to resume public activities, along with requiring people to stay six feet apart in most places and to wear face masks when they’re near others outside their homes.

Nearly half of the respondents said it’s crucial for a vaccine to be available before public life resumes, while another third said that’s important, but not essential.

About 60% said they believe people should have to stay in their homes except for essential errands, with about one-third strongly in favor of such a rule, according to the poll.

Support for stay-at-home orders has slipped from 80% in April, as has support for restricting gatherings to 10 people or fewer, which was at 69% in the new poll, compared with 82% in April.

Overall, the findings suggest that many Americans don’t expect a return to normal anytime soon, but rather an extended period of physical distancing, face masks and occasional quarantines, according to the AP.


Sales of Johnson’s Baby Powder Halted in U.S., Canada

Lawsuits claiming that talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder has caused cancer have led to a plunge in sales in the United States and Canada, so Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday it is ending sales of the product in those two countries.

The company said the talc-based powder is safe and will still be sold in other countries, the Associated Press reported.

About 19,400 lawsuits alleging that J&J’s talcum powder caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the lungs and other organs, have been launched against the company.

To date, J&J has won 12 cases, lost 15, and there have been seven mistrials. All of the lost cases have either been overturned on appeal or are still being appealed, the AP reported.