September 21, 2023
Just when you thought it was over, COVID is on the rise again in Florida

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Just when you thought it was over, COVID is on the rise again in Florida

| 8/1/2023

Just when you thought it was over, COVID is on the rise again in Florida

Florida is seeing a COVID uptick last experienced after the winter holidays. The increase in the number of cases began immediately after the Fourth of July and has risen each week since, according to national and state data tracking services. Although reported testing levels are relatively low, the positivity rate has jumped to 17.4% from 11% a month ago, according to state health data. More from WJCT and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Which vaccines are required for schoolchildren in Florida? A reminder ahead of the new year

As the new school year inches closer, some students must get their shots. The sooner you get them, the better. It is important to remember some local county health departments have limited appointments. There are no new required vaccines this cycle. Vaccination rates were dangerously low following the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are rebounding. [Source: News 4 Jax]

In Florida's local malaria outbreak, forgotten bite led to surprise hospitalization

At first, Hannah Heath thought she probably just had a bad case of food poisoning. The Sarasota resident was vomiting and had chills and a fever. But four days later, she was still really sick. "Finally I called my husband and I was like, 'You have to take me to the ER, I think I'm dehydrated; I think I need an IV,'" said Heath, 39. This was in late June, and Heath hadn't yet heard that malaria cases were cropping up in Sarasota county. When doctors at Sarasota Memorial Hospital told her she had the disease, she was in disbelief. [Source: WUSF]

Leprosy could become endemic in Florida as cases rise

Rising cases of leprosy in the Southeast U.S. point to the possibility of the disease becoming endemic to the region, and a high concentration of those cases were reported in central Florida. In a recently published research letter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that Florida is witnessing an increase in leprosy cases lacking traditional risk factors and recommending that travel to Florida be considered when conducting leprosy contact tracing in any state. More from USA Today, WFLA, and  The Hill.

Here's how you can help kids stay healthy if they play outside in a heat wave

Extreme heat poses health risks to everyone — and it's a unique challenge for kids who love to be outdoors in summertime. Small children can be especially at risk in the heat, but experts say they can still play safely — if grownups follow a few guidelines. Extreme temperatures can cause dangerous stress to the heart, kidneys and other organs, and humidity and dehydration can compound the risks. [Source: Health News Florida]


› UF Health rolls out Florida’s first mobile stroke treatment unit
More than 15,000 Floridians die from a stroke each year. Some strokes last for a few minutes while others continue for hours or even days. How quickly someone having a stroke receives care can mean the difference between full brain function and a lifelong disability — or death. That was on the minds of UF Health emergency staff as the new mobile stroke treatment unit hit the road Tuesday in Gainesville. It is the only mobile stroke treatment unit in Florida and one of 20 mobile stroke programs in the nation.

› UCF could get $700,000 from state to alleviate Florida nursing shortage
The University of Central Florida's Board of Trustees will consider approving nearly $700,000 dollars in matching funds from the state of to help boost its nursing program. The Florida Hospital Association estimates that by 2035, Florida will face a shortage of 59,000 nurses. The money would come from the Florida Board of Governors and would help pay for more equipment to train current nursing students.

› JSO details why it terminated its contract with private jail healthcare provider Armor Health
This week, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced it is terminating a $98 million contract with inmate healthcare provider Armor Health less than a year into the five-year contract. The termination letter obtained by News4JAX details the reasons why. In the termination letter signed Monday, Undersheriff Shawn Coarsey said Armor breached its contract because it failed to maintain accreditation with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, failed to meet reporting requirements, failed to comply with Florida’s Public Records Act and failed to disclose its criminal conviction.

› Tampa General to buy 3 local hospitals from Tennessee company
Tampa General Hospital has agreed to buy three Bravera Health hospitals north of Tampa for $290 million. The sale was announced by Community Health Services, the current owner of the three hospitals in Brooksville, Crystal River and Spring Hill. Once the sale closes, the Franklin, Tennessee-based company will no longer have any hospitals or clinics in Tampa Bay, leaving the operator with seven hospitals in the Panhandle, Southwest Florida and the Keys.

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