Linh Ta
Jan 9, 2023 - COVID

New Omicron variant begins spreading in Iowa

Illustration of a COVID virus cell being overshadowed by a significantly larger COVID virus cell.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The XBB.1.5 COVID-19 subvariant — a new version of the Omicron variant — is slowly growing in Iowa.

State of play: XBB.1.5 makes up about 28% of COVID cases in the country and is the fourth most prevalent strain here in Iowa.

Linh Ta
Sep 9, 2022 - COVID

When Iowans should get the new COVID vaccine booster

Illustration of a person's arm with multiple bandaids on it.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The updated COVID-19 booster started rolling out this week in Des Moines. As winter approaches, health officials say some people should start making plans to get it as soon as possible.

Why it matters: COVID-19 has mutated so quickly that vaccinations were in need of an update to target strains like Omicron that now account for the majority of U.S. cases, writes Axios' Tina Reed and Adriel Bettelheim.

Jason Clayworth
Sep 1, 2022 - COVID

Travel up, COVID precautions down as Iowa heads into Labor Day

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Most Americans are not taking extra steps to avoid COVID-19 before they go on vacation, according to an Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index taken a few weeks ago.

Why it matters: The perception of personal risk has fallen to the point where even more frequent hand washing and sanitizing — the most common precaution — is not in play for most travelers, Axios' Adriel Bettelheim reports.

Jason Clayworth
Aug 23, 2022 - COVID

CDC estimates 85% of Iowa kids have had COVID

Data: CDC; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

Nearly 85% of Iowa kids have already been infected with COVID-19, new CDC data show.

Driving the news: The CDC released the results of its latest pediatric antibody seroprevalence survey last week.

Jason Clayworth
May 20, 2022 - COVID

Nearly 3,000 of Iowa's COVID deaths were preventable, analysis finds

Data: Brown School of Public Health; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Vaccines could have prevented nearly 3,000 COVID-related deaths in Iowa between January 2021 and last month, according to a new analysis by Brown University's School of Public Health.

The big picture: The analysis suggests that roughly half of the more than 641,000 deaths nationwide since 2021 could have been prevented, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

Jason Clayworth
May 18, 2022 - COVID

Des Moines may mask back up, mayor says

An illustration of a mask.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Des Moines may reinstate a mask policy if cases continue to escalate, Mayor Frank Cownie warned during a council work session Tuesday.

Driving the news: Iowa averaged around 505 new COVID cases per day in the last week, according to The New York Times tracker. That's more than double the average two weeks ago.

Linh Ta
May 13, 2022 - COVID

Report: U.S. meatpackers pushed plants to stay open despite ample supply

Tyson sign

A Tyson Foods Inc. facility in Lexington, Nebraska, on April 24, 2020. Photo: Dan Brouillette/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Leaders of several large U.S. meatpacking companies pushed the narrative that meat was in short supply in the country back in April 2020, despite sitting on ample supply, according to a U.S. House committee report released Thursday.

Why it matters: That was one of the narratives used by industry leaders to pass an executive order that protected meatpackers from shutdowns and stricter oversight by local health departments, despite mass COVID-19 infections within factories.

World Food Prize recipients warn G7 of growing hunger crisis

A photo of a World Food Prize recipient.

World Food Prize Laureate Lawrence Haddad spoke at the Iowa State Capitol in 2018. He is one of 25 prize recipients who signed a letter sent Thursday to world leaders warning of mass famine. Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Des Moines Register via Imagn

More than two dozen World Food Prize recipients are calling for more action on three problems they say threaten to reverse progress in the fight against world hunger: COVID-19, climate change and conflict.

Why it matters: 45 million people are living on the edge of famine, according to the World Food Programme.

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