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Tag: covid

Surge in Overdose-Related EMS Activations During Pandemic

At the beginning of the pandemic, the trends predicted by public health officials forecasted an increase in the proportion of individuals using substances alone, widespread toxification of the drug supply, and markedly reduced access to treatment, all of which could increase the lethality of overdose incidents. In addition, experts warned against the negative implications of social isolation which was likely to drive a surge in overdoses as people increasingly began using drugs alone without a person to call emergency medical services (EMS) or administer naloxone in the event of an overdose.

The rates of overdose deaths were increasing prior to the beginning of the pandemic, yet social distancing measures, increased isolation, heightened stress levels, and decreased emotional wellbeing in the population have contributed to a further rise in an alarming trend. Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that there was a total of 19,416 overdose deaths recorded between January and March – an increase of nearly 3,000 compared with the same quarter last year. According to an analysis of national EMS data, overdose-related cardiac arrests – which typically result in death – spiked amid pandemic conditions. Data from a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry indicate that as of October 31, 2020, all but nine U.S. states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality among their populations.

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Myocarditis Rates Up in Vaccinated Male Adolescents

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies are investigating a potential link between the COVID-19 vaccine and myocarditis. The condition has been reported at higher-than-usual rates in 12- to 39-year-old males within one week of receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine.

The U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) vaccine safety monitoring system has reported an uptick in the number of patients experiencing heart inflammation, or myocarditis, after receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. As of May 31, 2021, there were 475 reports of myocarditis among the recently vaccinated, primarily young men age 16 to 24, according VAERS data. Of the 475 cases, 226 met the CDC’s definition of a “working case” and will be investigated further through patient medical records.

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