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Published: December, 2020; Vol 17, Num 8


Health & Safety Headlines

COVID-19 Vaccine & Treatment News

Several companies have developed COVID-19 vaccines and have submitted them to the FDA for emergency approval. Experts expect the first doses may become available by mid-December. On the treatment front, the FDA gave emergency authorization for a second antibody drug to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. The drug is available for people 12 years and older who are at high risk for more severe symptoms; trials have shown the drug is effective at significantly reducing virus levels in the body.

Many Young Adults Unaware of Signs of Stroke

From 2000 to 2010, the rate of strokes among young adults rose by 44 percent. However, in a recent study, only one in three young adults could identify all five stroke symptoms – sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side; trouble speaking or confusion; sudden trouble with eyesight; sudden trouble walking or dizziness; and sudden, severe headache with no known cause. Calling 911 at the first signs of a stroke greatly increases the chances a person will survive.

Workplace Safety Positively Influences Mental Health

A study by Canada’s Institute for Work and Health found that workers who didn’t feel adequately protected from COVID-19 on the job reported higher levels of anxiety and depression than workers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Workers who did feel protected by their employer onsite reported lower levels of anxiety and depression than those working remotely.

Health Behaviors Among Construction Workers

A recent NIOSH study found that several health behaviors – smoking, smokeless tobacco use, binge drinking, no leisure-time physical activity and not always using a seatbelt – were much more common among construction workers than other workers. However, the study also found that construction workers were more likely to get a good night’s sleep (at least seven hours) than the general workforce.

[Nick Fox]