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Health

Stray cat in Newark tested positive for rabies, here’s what you need to know

According to the Division of Health, the individuals were each bitten by the cat, which had been acting lethargic and presented with wounds of an unknown origin.

NEWARK (DE) BY DIGITAL STAFF: The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is advising New Castle County residents who live – or spend time – in the area of Four Seasons Parkway, near Route 896 in Newark, of a positive case of rabies in a stray cat that recently came into contact with two humans.

According to the Division of Health, the individuals were each bitten by the cat, which had been acting lethargic and presented with wounds of an unknown origin. After being captured, the cat was tested for rabies, which returned positive results on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

The individuals have begun treatment for rabies exposure., officials said.

Anyone who thinks they might have been bitten, scratched, or come in contact with a stray cat in this area should immediately contact their health care provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302-744-4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7., the Division of Health says.

They also add that anyone in the area who thinks a feral cat might have bitten their pet should call their private veterinarian for examination, treatment, and who will report the exposure to Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself

Rabies is a preventable disease. DPH recommends that individuals take the following steps to prevent rabies exposure:

  • All dogs, cats, and ferrets 6 months of age and older are required by Delaware law to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian.
  • Pet owners can reduce the possibility of pets being exposed to rabies by keeping them indoors and not letting them roam free. It is especially important for pet owners who do allow their cats to roam outdoors to vaccinate their pets.
  • Do not touch or otherwise handle wild or unfamiliar animals, including cats and dogs, even if they appear friendly.
  • Do not keep your pet’s food or water outdoors; bowls can attract wild and stray animals.
  • Do not feed feral animals, including cats, as the risk of rabies in wildlife is significant.
  • Spaying or neutering your pet may reduce the tendency to roam or fight and, thus, reduce the chance they will be exposed to rabies.
  • Keep your garbage securely covered.
  • Consider vaccinating livestock and horses as well. It is recommended to consult with your private veterinarian if you have any questions regarding whether your animal(s) should be vaccinated against rabies.

Since Jan. 1, 2021, the Division of Public Health has performed rabies tests on 44 animals, one of which was confirmed to be rabid, which includes this cat. DPH only announces those rabies cases for which it is possible the animal had unknown contacts with additional humans or pets.

In 2020, DPH performed rabies tests on 121 animals, four of which were confirmed to be rabid, including one raccoon, one bat, and two cats.

Rabies is an infectious disease affecting the nervous system of humans and other mammals. Infection can occur through the bite or scratch of an infected animal or if saliva from such an animal gets into the eyes, nose, mouth, or an opening in the skin. Rabies in humans and animals cannot be cured once symptoms appear. Therefore, if a human has been exposed, and the animal is unavailable to be quarantined or tested, DPH recommends that people receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment, a series of four vaccinations, as a precautionary measure.

If You Encounter an Animal Behaving Aggressively:

  • If you encounter a wild animal behaving aggressively, it is recommended you contact the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC) Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912 or 302-735-3600. Staff will determine whether it is more appropriate to refer callers to a private nuisance wildlife control operator. A listing of nuisance wildlife control operators can be found at https://wildlifehelp.org/.
  • Do not throw items at the animal or make loud banging noises, which may startle the animal and cause it to attack. Instead, your initial response – if the animal is behaving in an aggressive manner or appears to be foaming at the mouth – should be to raise your hands above your head to make yourself appear larger to the animal while slowly backing away from it. If the animal starts coming toward you, raise your voice and yell sternly at it, “Get away!” If all that fails, use any means to protect yourself including throwing an object at the animal or trying to keep it away by using a long stick, shovel, or fishing pole.
  • If you encounter a stray or feral domestic animal, such as a cat or dog, behaving aggressively, contact the Office of Animal Welfare at 302-255-4646.

If You Encounter a Sick or Injured Animal:

  • To report a sick or hurt wild animal, Delaware residents are asked to contact the DNREC’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912 or 302-735-3600. Staff will determine whether it is more appropriate to refer callers to a permitted volunteer wildlife rehabilitator.
  • If you encounter a sick stray domestic animal, such as a cat or dog, contact the Office of Animal Welfare at 302-255-4646.

Division of Public Health closes it’s Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services

The clinics, which previously operated within the Delaware State Service Centers, have been temporarily closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DOVER (DE) CONTRIBUTED BY DHSS: The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced Tuesday that its Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services will not reopen its Public Health Dental Clinics for direct patient care.

The clinics, which previously operated within the Delaware State Service Centers, have been temporarily closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the temporary closure of the clinics was largely driven by the pandemic, the decision to permanently close the clinics was under consideration before it began. Steady declines in the number of patients served through the clinics over the last five years as well as an increasing shift in programming focused on school- and community-based outreach led to the closure decision.  

The DPH Oral Health Program will continue to support access to quality oral health services through the Delaware Smile Check Program, a portable preventive dental program delivered on site in schools, that includes case management to connect families to providers that can best meet their dental needs, provide oral health and nutrition education, assist families with securing insurance, as well as other services as needed.

“Our priority is to continue with efforts to decrease the burden of oral disease for Delawareans, particularly for families with disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Dr. Nick Conte, director of the Division of Public Health’s Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services. “Portable dental programs have allowed us greater opportunity to reach populations that may experience barriers in accessing dental care services.”

Conte continued: “We look forward to resuming and expanding services provided through Delaware Smile Check and other community-based programs to address the needs of the community, and remain dedicated to utilizing new tools and technology to provide virtual education, case management, and laying a framework for dental medical integration to address the individual’s total health.”

Over the past year, the DPH Oral Health Program has identified children with urgent oral health needs and unmet dental needs, and successfully connected them with a dental home while the dental clinics have been closed. Notification was sent to patients regarding the permanent closure with additional information.

Previous clients of the DPH dental clinics who have not yet found a new dental home are encouraged to contact the Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services at 302-622-4540 to speak with staff who can assist them with identifying providers in their community that meet the needs of their family.

For more information about the Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services, visit https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsm/ohphome.html.

ChristianaCare named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in The U.S.

ChristianaCare’s Christiana Hospital and Wilmington Hospital are the only hospitals in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Camden area to receive the America’s 100 Best Hospitals in Joint Replacement and America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Spine Surgery in 2021.

NEWARK (DE) CONTRIBUTED BY CHRISTIANACARE: ChristianaCare has earned Healthgrades 2021 America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award™ and is among the top 1 percent of more than 4,500 hospitals assessed nationwide for its consistent, year-over-year superior clinical performance.

This stellar achievement follows four consecutive years in which ChristianaCare was named among Healthgrades’ America’s 100 Best Hospitals.

ChristianaCare’s Christiana Hospital and Wilmington Hospital are the only hospitals in Delaware to receive America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2021.

“At ChristianaCare, we are committed to being exceptional today and even better tomorrow,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of ChristianaCare. “This recognition is a testament to the unwavering focus of our caregivers to provide expert, high-quality, safe care that our community can count on. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and every day, we serve our neighbors as caring partners in their health.”

ChristianaCare also received the following distinctions from Healthgrades:

  • America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Gastrointestinal Care™ for 10 Years in a Row (2012-2021).
  • America’s 100 Best Hospitals for General Surgery™ for 10 Years in a Row (2012-2021).
  • America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Joint Replacement™ for 6 Years in a Row (2016-2021).
  • America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Spine Surgery™ for 8 Years in a Row (2014-2021).

ChristianaCare’s Christiana Hospital and Wilmington Hospital are the only hospitals in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Camden area to receive the America’s 100 Best Hospitals in Joint Replacement and America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Spine Surgery in 2021.

Photo | Submitted by ChristianaCare

Healthgrades is the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Healthgrades evaluates hospital quality based on patient outcomes for virtually every hospital in the country. They then use the data to call out hospitals that are clear leaders in their field.

“COVID-19 has profoundly changed the delivery of health care but what is unchanged is the importance of high-quality care. Those hospitals that achieved the America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award have exhibited a long-standing commitment to quality and superior clinical outcomes, which differentiates them from other health care organizations. We applaud their ongoing efforts,” said Brad Bowman, M.D., chief medical officer of Healthgrades.

These Healthgrades recognitions come on the heels of several other recent quality recognitions for ChristianaCare:

  • ChristianaCare’s Wilmington Hospital and Christiana Hospital received an ‘A’ in the fall 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing the hospitals’ achievements in protecting patients from harm and providing safer health care.

  • The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) recognized ChristianaCare for surgical excellence in caring for its sickest patients and named it one of 89 hospitals that achieved meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in 2020.

  • For five years in a row, ChristianaCare has been rated a Best Hospital by U.S. News & World Report. ChristianaCare achieved the highest ratings in nine of 10 common adult conditions or procedures evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. ChristianaCare was recognized as the best hospital in Delaware and was ranked No. 3 among the 90-plus hospitals in the Philadelphia region.

Recipients of the America’s Best Hospitals Awards are recognized for overall clinical excellence across a broad spectrum of care. During the 2021 study period (2017 through 2019), these hospitals showed superior performance in clinical outcomes for patients in the Medicare population across at least 21 of 32 most common inpatient conditions and procedures — as measured by objective performance data (risk-adjusted mortality and in-hospital complications).

Man who died from FLU complications had underlying health conditions

“We are keeping this person’s family in our thoughts as well as everyone battling illness in this difficult time.,” Said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.

DOVER (DE): A 56-year-old Kent county male infected with influenza B, who also had underlying health conditions, passed away last week., according to the Delaware Division of Public Health.

The FLU related death is the first for the 2020-2021 Flu season.

As of Dec. 19, 2020, the most recent date for which flu statistics are available, there have been five laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu in Delaware for the current season.

Two cases each are to residents of Kent and New Castle counties, and one resident is from Sussex County. This number reflects only the number of lab-confirmed cases; the actual number of cases circulating statewide is likely much higher as not all people with the flu seek treatment, and many cases are diagnosed through rapid test kits in a provider’s office versus a lab.

“This tragedy reminds us that while we are diligently fighting COVID-19, we cannot forget about influenza as it also can be extremely dangerous and deadly, particularly to individuals who already have weakened immune systems,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We are keeping this person’s family in our thoughts as well as everyone battling illness in this difficult time. We encourage Delawareans to get their flu vaccines if they have not done so already and to make sure everyone in their family gets theirs, too. The vaccine will lessen your likelihood of getting the flu and can lower the severity of your symptoms if you catch it. You should also take antiviral medicines if your primary care provider prescribes them.”

In addition to getting a flu vaccine and taking antiviral medication as directed, DPH recommends that you:

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• Stay home if you have cold or flu-like symptoms.

• Practice social distancing to reduce your chance of catching the flu from someone else.

• Wear a face covering if you have to go out in public to a doctor’s appointment or pharmacy.

• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and dispose of tissues immediately; if no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow.

Additionally, those sick with the flu should stay home from work, school, and other gatherings and not return until they have been free of fever – with a temperature less than 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C) without the use of fever-reducing medications – for at least 24 hours.

They should avoid close contact with well people in the household and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other clear liquids. Over-the-counter medicines can provide symptom relief, but if you suspect you have influenza, call your primary care provider as he or she may decide to provide antiviral medications to help hasten recovery and prevent serious complications. This is particularly important for those who feel very sick, are pregnant or have chronic medical conditions.

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[su_tab title=”Flu symptoms”]
Flu symptoms come on suddenly, and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and body aches, chills and fatigue. Some people get complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. People with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and asthma are more susceptible to catching the flu.
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Flu vaccines are still available at many pharmacies and grocery stores, and through primary care physicians and some specialists. To find participating stores, enter your ZIP code in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s flu vaccine finder at www.cdc.gov/flu/. Flu shots continue to be available at DPH clinics located within the Department of Health and Social Services’ State Service Centers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all State Service Centers are requiring appointments for flu vaccines:

• Porter State Service Center, 509 W. Eighth St., Wilmington. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call 302-515-3174 to schedule an appointment.

• Hudson State Service Center, 501 Ogletown Road, Newark. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call 302-283-7570 to schedule an appointment.

• Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call 302-857-5140 to schedule an appointment.

• Milford State Service Center – Riverwalk, 253 N.E. Front St., Milford. For ages 9 years and older. Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call 302-424-7130 to schedule an appointment.

• Anna C. Shipley State Service Center, 350 Virginia Ave., Seaford. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call 302-628-6772 to schedule an appointment.

• Adams State Service Center, 544 S. Bedford St., Georgetown. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call 302-515-3174 to schedule an appointment.

For more information about the flu, visit flu.delaware.gov or call DPH at 1-800-282-8672.[/su_tab]

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For early-stage lung cancer, Tagrisso approved in the U.S. by FDA

Approval based on unprecedented results from the ADAURA Phase III trial where Tagrisso reduced the risk of disease recurrence or death by 80%

AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso (osimertinib) has been approved in the US for the adjuvant treatment of adult patients with early-stage epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated (EGFRm) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after tumour resection with curative intent.

Tagrisso is indicated for EGFRm patients whose tumours have exon 19 deletions or exon 21 L858R mutations as detected by an approved test.

The approval was granted under the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) pilot program. Five other countries participated in a concurrent submission and review process through FDA’s Project Orbis.

While up to 30% of all patients with NSCLC may be diagnosed early enough to have potentially curative surgery, disease recurrence is still common in early-stage disease and nearly half of patients diagnosed in Stage IB, and over three quarters of patients diagnosed in Stage IIIA, experience recurrence within five years.1-4

The approval was based on results from the ADAURA Phase III trial where Tagrisso demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in disease-free survival (DFS) in the primary analysis population of patients with Stage II and IIIA EGFRm NSCLC, and also in the overall trial population of patients with Stage IB-IIIA disease, a key secondary endpoint.

Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, chief of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT and principal investigator in the ADAURA Phase III trial, said: “Adjuvant Tagrisso has demonstrated an unprecedented disease-free survival benefit for early-stage lung cancer patients with EGFR mutations who face high rates of recurrence even after successful surgery and subsequent chemotherapy. This approval reinforces how critical it is to test all lung cancer patients for EGFR mutations before deciding how to treat them and regardless of their stage at diagnosis. This will help ensure as many patients as possible can benefit from this potentially practice-changing treatment.”

Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, said: “For the first time, a targeted, biomarker-driven treatment option is available to patients in the US with early-stage EGFR-mutated lung cancer. This approval dispels the notion that treatment is over after surgery and chemotherapy, as the ADAURA results show that Tagrisso can dramatically change the course of this disease. We remain committed to treating cancer patients earlier, when they may still have a chance of being cured.”

Adjuvant treatment with Tagrisso reduced the risk of disease recurrence or death by 83% in the primary endpoint of DFS in patients with Stage II and IIIA disease (hazard ratio [HR] 0.17; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.12-0.23; p<0.0001). DFS results in the overall trial population of patients with Stage IB-IIIA disease showed Tagrisso reduced the risk of disease recurrence or death by 80% (HR 0.20; 95% CI 0.15-0.27; p<0.0001). At two years, 89% of patients treated with Tagrisso remained alive and disease free versus 52% on placebo after surgery, the current standard of care. The safety and tolerability of Tagrisso in this trial was consistent with previous trials in the metastatic setting.

Tagrisso was recently granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for patients in the early-stage disease setting by the US FDA. In April 2020, an Independent Data Monitoring Committee recommended for the ADAURA trial to be unblinded two years early based on a determination of overwhelming efficacy. Investigators and patients continue to participate in the trial and remain blinded to treatment.

The results from the ADAURA trial were presented during the plenary session of the American Society of Clinical Oncology ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program in May 2020 and were recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The US regulatory submission was reviewed under the FDA’s RTOR pilot program which aims to ensure that safe and effective treatments are available to patients as early as possible. Five national health authorities collaborated with the FDA on this review through Project Orbis, an initiative of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence, which provides a framework for concurrent submission and review of oncology medicines among international partners. These included Health Canada, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa), Swissmedic, and Singapore Health Sciences Authority. The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency participated in the review as an observer.

In China, Tagrisso is under priority review for the adjuvant treatment of patients with early-stage EGFRm NSCLC based on the ADAURA Phase III trial. This indication is also under regulatory review in the EU and additional global submission discussions are ongoing.

Tagrisso is a once-daily oral tablet approved for the 1st-line treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic EGFRm NSCLC and for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic EGFR T790M mutation-positive NSCLC in the US, Japan, China, the EU and many other countries around the world.

Lung cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, accounting for about one-fifth of all cancer deaths.5 Lung cancer is broadly split into NSCLC and small cell lung cancer, with 80-85% classified as NSCLC.6 The majority of all NSCLC patients are diagnosed with advanced disease while approximately 25-30% present with resectable disease at diagnosis.1-3

For patients with resectable tumours, the majority of patients eventually develop recurrence despite complete tumour resection and adjuvant chemotherapy.4 Early-stage lung cancer diagnoses are often only made when the cancer is found on imaging for an unrelated condition.7-8

Approximately 10-15% of NSCLC patients in the US and Europe, and 30-40% of patients in Asia have EGFRm NSCLC.9-11 These patients are particularly sensitive to treatment with an EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) which block the cell-signalling pathways that drive the growth of tumour cells.12

ADAURA
ADAURA is a randomised, double-blinded, global, placebo-controlled Phase III trial in the adjuvant treatment of 682 patients with Stage IB, II, IIIA EGFRm NSCLC following complete tumour resection and adjuvant chemotherapy as indicated. Patients were treated with Tagrisso 80mg once-daily oral tablets or placebo for three years or until disease recurrence.

The trial enrolled in more than 200 centres across more than 20 countries, including the US, in Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East. The primary endpoint was DFS in Stage II and IIIA patients and a key secondary endpoint was DFS in Stage IB, II and IIIA patients. The data readout was originally anticipated in 2022. The trial will continue to assess overall survival.

Tagrisso
Tagrisso (osimertinib) is a third-generation, irreversible EGFR-TKI with clinical activity against central nervous system metastases Tagrisso 40mg and 80mg once-daily oral tablets have received approval in the US, Japan, China, the EU and many countries around the world for 1st-line EGFRm advanced NSCLC and EGFR T790M mutation-positive advanced NSCLC.

AstraZeneca in lung cancer
AstraZeneca has a comprehensive portfolio of approved and potential new medicines in late-stage development for the treatment of different forms of lung cancer spanning different histologies, several stages of disease, lines of therapy and modes of action.

AstraZeneca aims to address the unmet needs of patients with EGFRm tumours as a genetic driver of disease with the approved medicines Iressa (gefitinib) and Tagrisso, and its ongoing Phase III trials LAURA, NeoADAURA, and FLAURA2.

AstraZeneca is committed to addressing tumour mechanisms of resistance through the ongoing Phase II trials SAVANNAH and ORCHARD which test Tagrisso in combination with savolitinib, a selective inhibitor of c-MET receptor tyrosine kinase, along with other potential new medicines.

AstraZeneca in oncology
AstraZeneca has a deep-rooted heritage in oncology and offers a quickly growing portfolio of new medicines that has the potential to transform patients’ lives and the Company’s future. With seven new medicines launched between 2014 and 2020, and a broad pipeline of small molecules and biologics in development, the Company is committed to advance oncology as a key growth driver for AstraZeneca focused on lung, ovarian, breast and blood cancers.

By harnessing the power of six scientific platforms – Immuno-Oncology, Tumour Drivers and Resistance, DNA Damage Response, Antibody Drug Conjugates, Epigenetics, and Cell Therapies – and by championing the development of personalised combinations, AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer treatment and one day eliminate cancer as a cause of death.

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