Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Doctor Urges Wood River Valley to Get a Flu Shot
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Y day campers show how to social distance.
   
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Dr. Scott McLean, a Ketchum internist, says his greatest fear going forward is the possibility of a dual epidemic of influenza and COVID-19 in the winter of 2020-21.

McLean says the 2018-19 flu season was a moderate flu year and, still, the United States had 35.5 million cases, which resulted in 490,600 hospitalizations and 34,200 deaths.

Only 45 percent of adults got flu shots that year. In a well-matched year, flu shots can cut the risk by 50 percent. And that number would rise substantially if many more were immunized to create so-called herd immunity, said McLean.

 
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Paul Ries’ COVID Curve shows the number of cases in Idaho continuing to climb while Blaine County’s total number of cases has stayed relatively flat for the past couple weeks.
 

With manufacturers trying to match production to demand, the United States often faces shortages of vaccines.

“We can’t afford to do that this year,” McLean said. “The federal government needs to step up and offer to absorb the risk of over-manufacturing of flu vaccine. They need to do this now. It probably won’t happen. There will be a shortage so get vaccinated as soon as it is available to you.”

REPORTED COVID CASES ESCALATE AS COVID PRECAUTIONS RELAXED

While Blaine County’s official COVID-19 tally held steady at 515 cases for the seventh day in a row, the number of new daily cases in Idaho continues to gallop along.

The state reported 54 new cases on Monday and 78 on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, bringing its total cases to 3,540. It's the largest spike the state has seen since May 22. Twin Falls is now up to 489 cases—not too far behind Blaine County.

Gooding County reported its first COVID-related death on Monday. And a new death in Kootenai County became the state’s 89th.

Southeastern Idaho Public Health has reported new cases involving a boy and a girl under 18. While Eastern Idaho Public Health is reporting new cases involving men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. in Bonneville County.

MORE BARS ASSOCIATED WITH COVID CASES

Four more bars in Boise and Meridian have joined the list of those where bargoers may have been exposed to coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Central District Health Department has warned that the cluster of illnesses associated with six downtown Boise bars singled out last week has grown.

SUMMER FUN CANCELLED

The Western Idaho Fair has cancelled its 2020 fair, which was scheduled for late August. The fair—the largest event in Idaho—attracts a quarter million people each year.

Closer to home the 2020 Braun Brothers Reunion Festival held each summer in Challis has been cancelled.

BUCKING THE TREND

Glenns Ferry Historic Opera Theatre began its summer play series this past weekend with a staging of the melodrama “How the West Was Worn.” It will show that every Saturday night. And beginning this coming Friday, June 19, it will stage a Friday night comedy “Charley’s Aunt.”

BRONCOS TEST POSITIVE

Multiple football and soccer athletes have tested positive for the coronavirus at Boise State University. Forty athletes underwent COVID-19 testing before they could join voluntary workouts this week. Those testing positive will have to wait to return to campus until it’s deemed safe for them to join the others.

DONATE BLOOD; GET A FREE TEST

The Red Cross announced on Monday that it will test all blood, plasma and platelet donations for coronavirus antibodies free of charge. The Red Cross is doing that to better help Americans understand the virus and where it’s been and to let donors know if they’ve been exposed.

Those who donate during the month of June will be given a $5 Amazon gift card as the organization tries to prevent a summer shortage of available blood. To schedule an appointment, go to RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

BREAKTHROUGH?

Researchers claim a “major breakthrough” in the fight against COVID-19. Low doses of the generic steroid drug dexamethasone given to patients admitted to the hospital reduced death rates by a third among those with the most severe cases of infection, according to Reuters.

The inexpensive drug is the only drug so far shown to reduce mortality—and it reduces it significantly, said one investigator. One way it appears to help is calming the hyper-immune reaction that some patients experience, which can often prove deadly. The drug is generally used with other diseases to reduce inflammation for such things as allergies and nausea.

UTAH CASES ACCELERATE

Utah saw an increase of 332 positive COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The state also set a record for active hospitalizations at 137. The Beehive State gained 2,247 new cases over the week, spanning the state from Logan to St. George, with 18 people dying.

The state’s busiest day was 546 on June 6. The state has lost 139 of its citizens to date.

TRAVELERS MAR NEW ZEALAND’S COVID-FREE STATUS

New Zealand went 24 days with no new cases of coronavirus…until two travelers arrived from the United Kingdom. The two women, part of the same family, are in a managed isolation hotel in Auckland.

SOCIAL DISTANCING COULD NET THIS TEEN A COLLEGE EDUCATION

A St. Louis, Mo., teen has built a business out of social distancing. He created Stand In-Line Services, hiring classmates to stand in lines at the DMV and elsewhere. He charges $20 an hour for the service, according to Inside Edition.

MEXICANS FIND DANGER WORKING IN CANADA

Mexico has temporarily banned citizens from going to Canada to work after hundreds of Mexican workers have been infected with COVID-19—after completing a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Two migrant workers died during the past few weeks and dozens more treated in hospitals, according to CNN.

It’s believed that communal housing, cramped conditions in packing facilities have contributed to the spread, particularly in Ontario. More than 60,000 migrant workers go to Canada every year for seasonal work.

ANOTHER VACATION SPOT OPENS

Yosemite National Park has reopened after being closed for nearly three months because of the pandemic. But only half of the usual number of visitors are being allowed. Some campgrounds and visitor’s centers will remain closed.

 

~  Today's Topics ~


Keeping Tabs on Wolves

Ketchum Galleries Unveil New Exhibitions

Ketchum Joins Hailey in Requiring Masks in Public
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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