An air-powered, inflatable costume, worn by a employees member on Christmas to unfold vacation cheer, could also be accountable for a coronavirus outbreak that contaminated dozens of staff in a hospital in San Jose, Calif., a hospital spokeswoman mentioned.
An worker wore the costume “briefly” within the emergency division at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Middle, the spokeswoman, Irene Chavez, mentioned in a press release. The hospital started an investigation after 44 employees members examined optimistic for the coronavirus between Dec. 27 and Friday, she mentioned.
Inflatable costumes are normally powered by a battery-operated fan that sucks air into the go well with, serving to it hold its form. T. rex and sumo wrestler fashions are among the many extra common. Some costumes cowl the wearer’s face whereas others go away it uncovered.
Ms. Chavez declined to say what sort of air-powered costume the hospital worker wore, however she described it as “vacation themed.” NBC Bay Area reported on Sunday night that it was a Christmas tree costume, with a pink nostril, a smile and a big pair of eyes.
As a part of its response to the outbreak, Ms. Chavez mentioned, the hospital was wanting into “whether or not the costume, which did have a fan, was a contributing issue.” Air-powered costumes have been banned, she mentioned.
It was unclear how lengthy the worker had worn the costume within the emergency division. The hospital declined to say whether or not any sufferers had been contaminated.
With distribution of a coronavirus vaccine starting within the U.S., here are answers to some questions you may be wondering about:
- If I reside within the U.S., when can I get the vaccine? Whereas the precise order of vaccine recipients could differ by state, most will doubtless put medical staff and residents of long-term care amenities first. If you wish to perceive how this determination is getting made, this article will help.
- When can I return to regular life after being vaccinated? Life will return to normal solely when society as a complete features sufficient safety towards the coronavirus. As soon as nations authorize a vaccine, they’ll solely be capable to vaccinate a couple of % of their residents at most within the first couple months. The unvaccinated majority will nonetheless stay susceptible to getting contaminated. A rising variety of coronavirus vaccines are displaying sturdy safety towards turning into sick. Nevertheless it’s additionally attainable for individuals to unfold the virus with out even figuring out they’re contaminated as a result of they expertise solely delicate signs or none in any respect. Scientists don’t but know if the vaccines additionally block the transmission of the coronavirus. So in the interim, even vaccinated people will need to wear masks, keep away from indoor crowds, and so forth. As soon as sufficient individuals get vaccinated, it should develop into very troublesome for the coronavirus to search out susceptible individuals to contaminate. Relying on how rapidly we as a society obtain that purpose, life would possibly begin approaching one thing like normal by the fall 2021.
- If I’ve been vaccinated, do I nonetheless must put on a masks? Sure, however not eternally. Right here’s why. The coronavirus vaccines are injected deep into the muscle tissues and stimulate the immune system to provide antibodies. This seems to be sufficient safety to maintain the vaccinated individual from getting sick. However what’s not clear is whether or not it’s attainable for the virus to bloom within the nostril — and be sneezed or breathed out to contaminate others — at the same time as antibodies elsewhere within the physique have mobilized to forestall the vaccinated individual from getting sick. The vaccine scientific trials have been designed to find out whether or not vaccinated individuals are shielded from sickness — to not discover out whether or not they might nonetheless unfold the coronavirus. Based mostly on research of flu vaccine and even sufferers contaminated with Covid-19, researchers have motive to be hopeful that vaccinated individuals gained’t unfold the virus, however extra analysis is required. Within the meantime, everybody — even vaccinated people — might want to consider themselves as attainable silent spreaders and hold carrying a masks. Read more here.
- Will it damage? What are the unintended effects? The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is delivered as a shot within the arm, like different typical vaccines. The injection into your arm gained’t really feel totally different than some other vaccine, however the charge of short-lived unintended effects does seem increased than a flu shot. Tens of 1000’s of individuals have already obtained the vaccines, and none of them have reported any serious well being issues. The unintended effects, which might resemble the signs of Covid-19, final a couple of day and seem extra doubtless after the second dose. Early experiences from vaccine trials counsel some individuals would possibly must take a time without work from work as a result of they really feel awful after receiving the second dose. Within the Pfizer examine, about half developed fatigue. Different unintended effects occurred in no less than 25 to 33 % of sufferers, generally extra, together with complications, chills and muscle ache. Whereas these experiences aren’t nice, they’re an excellent signal that your individual immune system is mounting a potent response to the vaccine that may present long-lasting immunity.
- Will mRNA vaccines change my genes? No. The vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer use a genetic molecule to prime the immune system. That molecule, often known as mRNA, is ultimately destroyed by the physique. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that may fuse to a cell, permitting the molecule to slide in. The cell makes use of the mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus, which might stimulate the immune system. At any second, every of our cells could comprise tons of of 1000’s of mRNA molecules, which they produce in an effort to make proteins of their very own. As soon as these proteins are made, our cells then shred the mRNA with particular enzymes. The mRNA molecules our cells make can solely survive a matter of minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is engineered to face up to the cell’s enzymes a bit longer, in order that the cells could make further virus proteins and immediate a stronger immune response. However the mRNA can solely final for a couple of days at most earlier than they’re destroyed.
It was additionally unclear whether or not any of the contaminated employees members had obtained the primary dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, however specialists have mentioned that it takes at least a couple of weeks for the vaccine’s protecting results to kick in. Based on the hospital, 40,000 Kaiser staff in Northern California have obtained the primary dose of the vaccine.
“Any publicity, if it occurred, would have been utterly harmless, and fairly unintended, as the person had no Covid signs and solely sought to elevate the spirits of these round them throughout what’s a really demanding time,” Ms. Chavez mentioned of the costumed employee.
The emergency division can be deep-cleaned, Ms. Chavez mentioned, and along with protocols that have been already in place, staff can be supplied free weekly testing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus is primarily unfold by way of respiratory droplets and may “generally be unfold by airborne transmission” of each bigger droplets and smaller aerosols when individuals “cough, sneeze, sing, speak, or breathe.”
Dr. Jose-Luis Jimenez, an aerosol knowledgeable and a professor of chemistry on the College of Colorado Boulder, helped examine the choir outbreak in Skagit County, by which no less than 53 infections and two deaths have been traced to a singing observe in Washington State. In an interview on Sunday, he mentioned that the outbreak among the many employees at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Middle was more than likely the results of airborne transmission.
“It’s type of just like the choir case,” Dr. Jimenez mentioned. “There is no such thing as a technique to infect 43 individuals whenever you’re carrying a dressing up aside from by way of airborne transmission, by way of aerosols, since you’re inside a dressing up and can’t contact objects or get individuals contaminated by way of surfaces.”
The hospital is in Santa Clara County, Calif., the place there have been 73,493 confirmed coronavirus circumstances, according to a New York Times database. There have been 2,397,923 confirmed cases across California.
Greater than 21,000 individuals have been hospitalized in California on Jan. 1, in accordance with the Times database, a 26 % enhance from two weeks earlier.