Today’s Infectious Disease News (10/1/20)

Global COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 1 Million

Next weekend marks 7 months since the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Since then we’ve all dealt with a daily onslaught of COVID news, from updated safety protocols and novel treatment approaches to burgeoning hotspots and rising infection rates. Tuesday the pandemic reached another grim milestone. More than 1 million people globally have now died from the virus. The United States accounts for nearly 20% of all cases despite having less than 5% of the world’s population. Locally infections and hospitalizations are trending in the wrong direction. New Jersey’s transmission rate hit a 2-month high this week, surging to a rate of 1.16.

As we head into fall and winter, it will be as important as ever to take safety measures in our daily lives. Social distancing, wearing masks and good hand-hygiene are still crucial to controlling community spread. However, getting the flu shot is also one of the best things you do right now to protect yourself and others. Health experts warn that the combination of influenza and COVID-19 could overwhelm our health systems even with a mild flu season. To find out where you can get the vaccine, check out the CDC’s vaccine finder.