Rabies death recorded in Illinois; COVID-19 cases in children ‘exceptionally high’ in the USA

The state of Illinois has reported its first human rabies case (and death) in nearly 70 years after an 80yo man who was bitten by a rabid bat last month succumbed to the infection after he refused treatment (the reason for this is not given). A 2018 WebMD article highlights the potential cost of surviving rabies in the US, explaining that for the uninsured, patients can be up for tens of thousands of dollars.

NEW COVID-19 cases have been decreasing among the USA’s adult population, however according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children made up over one quarter of new cases (26.7 percent) in the week to Sept 30. With nearly 850,000 child cases added over the past month the AAP notes that ‘the available data indicate that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children’ but more study is needed into the effects of the pandemic on ‘the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects’. (The AAP states that the data is preliminary and subject to change). On a global level, the WHO advised that the downward trend seen in new case reporting since August continues. The Oct 5 epi update notes that all regions except Europe (relatively stable) had experienced a decline in new case numbers over the previous week - UK, Turkey and Russia had Europe’s highest numbers of new cases. Africa logged a 43 percent drop in weekly cases - Angola, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Mauritius, and Sao Tome and Principe reported an upward trend in the past week. South Africa continues to report more than half of all new cases in the region. Read more

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