Monday's health stories

Apr 5, 2021 - Health

CDC: Disinfecting indoor surfaces only necessary after recent COVID-19 case

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Regular household cleaners and soap — not disinfectant — are fine to use to clean indoor surfaces and lower the risk of spreading the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

What they're saying: “Disinfection is only recommended in indoor settings, schools, and homes where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 24 hours,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at Monday's White House coronavirus briefing.

Services sector sees greatest surge on record

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Data: FactSet; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The U.S. services sector notched the fastest pace of growth on record last month, new data from a closely watched index shows.

Why it matters: It's another upbeat sign for the economic recovery.

Apr 5, 2021 - Health

FDA approves new ADHD drug for children

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to treat ADHD in children for the first time in over a decade, AP reports.

Why it matters: The drug, Qelbree, is not a controlled substance or a stimulant, meaning it is harder to abuse than drugs already on the market.

Updated Apr 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Florida governor clashes with "60 Minutes" over COVID vaccine rollout

A screenshot from "60 Minutes" of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: CBS

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution partnership with Publix grocery stores weeks after the company gave $100,000 to his PAC, CBS' "60 Minutes" reported Sunday, citing campaign finance records. DeSantis and Publix deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: DeSantis has been criticized for directing vaccines toward wealthy communities, with some who benefitted from the vaccine pop-ups also donating to the governor's political action committee, per Axios' Tampa Bay reporter Ben Montgomery.

Apr 5, 2021 - Health

Estimates show nearly 40,000 children in U.S. have lost a parent to COVID-19

Photo: Noam Galai via Getty Images

Nearly 40,000 children have lost a parent to the coronavirus, according to a new model published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Why it matters: Children who lose a parent are at greater risk of traumatic grief, depression, poor educational outcomes, and unintentional death or suicide, the authors write. Over 500,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S.

Apr 5, 2021 - World

England to open nonessential businesses for first time since December

Johnson visiting a garden store last week. Photo: Scott Heppell/WPA Pool/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Monday that England will proceed on April 12 with phase two of its four-step roadmap to reopening its economy, announcing that all nonessential shops, hairdressers and gyms can reopen and that pubs and restaurants will be permitted to serve customers outdoors.

Why it matters: It's a reflection of the continued success of Britain's vaccine rollout, which has been among the best in the world. The U.K. last year suffered the worst coronavirus death toll in Europe and its biggest economic contraction in 300 years.

CDC guidance says cruise ships won't need to mandate vaccines

Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that while it recommends all staff and travelers aboard cruise ships be vaccinated for COVID-19, cruise companies do not need to mandate vaccines in order to resume travel safely.

Why it matters: Cruise ships were some of the first super-spreader sites for the coronavirus in 2020 and have been docked ever since.

Fauci: Federal government won't require COVID vaccine passports

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The federal government will not mandate the use of vaccine passports for travelers or businesses post-pandemic, President Biden's chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told the Politico Dispatch podcast Monday

Why it matters: Passports showing proof of vaccination could speed up international travel re-openings, but the idea of requiring immunization credentials has become a point of contention, particularly among Republican officials.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
Apr 5, 2021 - Economy & Business

Pandemic fuels staggering teacher shortages across the U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The pandemic has pushed teachers out of the workforce in droves, and many schools don't have a strong safety net to fill the gaps as children come back into classrooms.

Why it matters: Teaching has been one of the toughest pandemic-era jobs, with pivots to remote learning and then risk of infection with school reopenings.

Doctors and nurses can be great vaccine messengers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One of the most important messages vaccine-reluctant Americans could hear is that their doctors trust the COVID vaccine, so they should too.

The big picture: Vaccine takeup among doctors and skilled nurses is high — and they’re among the messengers Americans trust most.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Apr 5, 2021 - Health

Vaccines may limit the damage from coronavirus variants

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Many public health experts are optimistic that the fourth wave of the coronavirus that the U.S. has entered won't be as bad as the other three — but emphasize that it will still be important to take precautions.

Why it matters: A more transmissible, deadlier variant of the virus the one that originated in the U.K. — is becoming increasingly prevalent across the country, but the U.S.'s extraordinary vaccination effort may blunt the worst effects of this most recent wave of cases.

Updated Apr 5, 2021 - World

India surpasses 100,000 new COVID cases in 1 day for first time

A health worker collecting a swab sample in New Delhi, India, on Sunday. Photo: Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India's Ministry of Health confirmed 103,558 new COVID-19 infections on Monday.

Why it matters: It's the first time the country has reported over 100,000 new coronavirus cases in one day. India is the second country after the U.S. to reach that milestone.