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The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that a new analysis shows the agency's delayed rollout of coronavirus testing did not hinder the nation's response to the pandemic.

The coronavirus didn't start spreading in the U.S. until late January or early February, the CDC analysis found, and it circulated at low levels for quite some time.

As a result, the availability of earlier widespread testing for the virus would not have been able to spot it, according to CDC Director Robert Redfield.

Houses of worship around the country on Friday got a presidential green light to open immediately.

"I call on governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now," President Trump said in remarks at the White House. "These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united," he said. "The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue and to their mosque."

A nationwide analysis of COVID-19 data released this week shows broad discrepancies between what some states are reporting about testing for the novel coronavirus to the public, and what is being reported by the CDC. The analysis lists Florida as “the most extreme case” of testing discrepancies between what the state and the federal government are reporting.

In Florida, Nurses across the state have complained about a lack of face masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment.
U.S. Navy

A new report from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention says at least 9,200 of the nation's health care workers have been infected with COVID-19. Twenty-seven have died.

Most of the health care workers reported that their only contact with the coronavirus was through patients at work.

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people wear cloth or fabric face coverings, which can be made at home, when entering public spaces such as grocery stores and public transit stations. It is mainly to prevent those people who have the virus — and might not know it — from spreading the infection to others.

Updated at 1:55 a.m. ET Monday

In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now advising against gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks.

Jane Castor and public health officals at a public press conference
City of Tampa

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is urging residents to follow simple precautions to prevent from getting COVID-19 because of how quickly it can spread.

The mayor held a press conference Thursday morning with health care representatives to address how they’re preparing for the disease and how people can protect themselves.

 

“We know that the emphasis on this particular virus is the ease with which it is spread,” said Castor. “That is our concern.”

Billboard and parking garage of Raymond James Stadium
Carl Lisciandrello / WUSF Public Media

With 18 cases confirmed in Florida, COVID-19 is beginning to impact major events statewide. Miami cancelled the Ultra Music Festival in response and other large gatherings are also being scrapped.

While health officials in the United States wait to see just how bad a public health challenge COVID-19 will pose, they still have to deal with an all-too-familiar challenge: flu.

It's been a bad flu season. Not the worst ever, but bad.

"It started very early this year," says Emily Martin, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collecting statistics about flu.

List of ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Hillsborough County

After two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Hillsborough and Manatee counties, governmental agencies, universities, and private companies are stepping up their response.

Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET

Federal health officials issued a blunt message Tuesday: Americans need to start preparing now for the possibility that more aggressive, disruptive measures might be needed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus in the U.S.

The strongly worded warning came in response to outbreaks of the virus outside China, including in Iran, Japan, South Korea and Italy, which officials say have raised the likelihood of outbreaks occurring stateside.

The U.S. Embassy in China confirmed on Saturday that a 60-year-old American infected with coronavirus died at a hospital in Wuhan on Thursday. It's the first known American death from the outbreak, which has been declared an emergency by the World Health Organization.

"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss," an embassy spokesperson said. "Out of the respect for the family's privacy, we have no further comment."

Department of Defense

Vaping lung-related injuries are on the rise, and there are still many unanswered questions as to why.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there has been a breakthrough in the investigation into the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries that has led to the deaths of 39 people and sickened more than 2,000 others.

Investigators announced Friday that they have detected a chemical compound called vitamin E acetate in all the samples of lung fluid collected from 29 patients who were hospitalized after vaping, suggesting a possible culprit for the spate of lung injuries that has swept across the U.S.

By News Service of Florida

The Florida Department of Health is working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address a hepatitis A outbreak and hopes the “partnership” will help expand vaccinations, state officials said Wednesday.

Parasites In The Pool? CDC Says Cases Are On The Rise

Jul 3, 2019

By Danielle Prieur / WMFE

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows that the number of cases of one pool-borne illnesses is growing.

Two men recently contracted flesh-eating bacterial infections through water in the Tampa Bay area.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Two men recently contracted flesh-eating bacterial infections through water in the Tampa Bay area. Doctors are encouraging residents and visitors to the region to be cautious, especially around brackish water.

Barry Briggs, a tourist from Ohio, was infected in March while boating near Weedon Island. He needed immediate surgery to save his foot.

Doctor holding a stethascope.
iStock

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency visits climbed to a record high of 146 million patients nationally in 2016 - the most recent year available.

8.3 million of those patients were seen in Florida emergency rooms.

Over the last couple of decades, the opioid epidemic has hit the U.S. hard in a series of waves.

USF College of Public Health

With Florida being an international travel destination, there could be a risk for infectious diseases from foreign countries. And the risk of bioterrorism remains a possibility as well.

These and other topics will be the focus as the University of South Florida hosts the first ever Global Health, Diplomacy and National Security Symposium Feb. 28 in Tampa.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new study suggests that many Florida men are still having unprotected sex despite telling their partners they're HIV positive.

The number of people who got sick in the United States from an infected mosquito, tick, or flea tripled between 2004 and 2016. More than 640,000 cases over that time, according to the CDC. In Florida, changing climate and a lack of good diagnostic tools, make it easier for insect-borne diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis to spread. 

Climate Change Means A Rise In Mosquito-Borne Illness

Jan 17, 2019

The sunlight coming through the picture window of Debbie Casey’s room at a nursing home in Daytona Beach falls on a message board covered with pictures from her life. 

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport temporarily shut down water fountains in its Concourse A and is sanitizing them after several passengers became ill aboard a Tampa-bound Frontier Airlines flight on Tuesday.

At least six passengers were stricken and "the primary symptom was vomiting," Janet Scherberger, spokeswoman for Tampa International Airport, told NPR in an email. "It appears the six individuals did not have any connection to each other."

Go Ahead, You Can Eat That Florida Romaine Lettuce

Nov 28, 2018

Florida-grown romaine lettuce has been cleared in the recent E. coli outbreak, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Tuesday.

“While the federal investigation is ongoing, I’m encouraged that Florida-grown romaine lettuce is not linked to the outbreak and has been cleared to re-enter the marketplace,” Putnam said in a prepared statement.

Late Monday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention narrowed an earlier warning about the outbreak to romaine lettuce harvested in coastal areas of northern and central California.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has traced an ongoing E. coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in the Central Coastal region of California.

Lettuce from other parts of the U.S. and Mexico is safe to eat, the CDC says. However, if you're not sure where your romaine lettuce came from, err on the side of caution and throw it out, health experts say.

A total of 43 people in 12 states have been infected in this outbreak. No deaths have been reported.

Investigators who are trying to track down the source of E. coli contamination in romaine lettuce are feeling that they've seen this movie before.

Over the past six weeks, at least 50 people in the U.S. and Canada have gone to the doctor suffering from the symptoms of food poisoning. They were infected with an identical strain of E. coli bacteria. Most of them remembered eating romaine lettuce.

Cut Caesar salad off the menu this week: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a multistate E. coli outbreak is underway, and romaine lettuce is to blame.

Thirty-two people are sick, including 13 who were hospitalized; no deaths have been reported. An additional 18 people were sickened in Canada.

Evidence points toward romaine lettuce as the likely source, but the CDC can't get more specific than that.

Experts say the number of flu cases could rise over the holidays as people share germs along with turkey dinners. A flu shot and good hygiene practices are crucial to staying healthy.

A second E. coli outbreak associated with romaine lettuce has public health officials warning against eating the leafy green vegetable.

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