Global Health NOW: Mexico City’s Water Problem; The Rise of Untraceable Firearms; and Deadly Distracted Driving

Global Health Now - Mon, 02/26/2024 - 09:09
96 Global Health NOW: Mexico City’s Water Problem; The Rise of Untraceable Firearms; and Deadly Distracted Driving Taps could run dry in the city of 22 million within months. View this email in your browser February 26, 2024 Forward Share Post Mexico City’s Water Slows to a Trickle
Mexico City is facing an escalating water crisis, as its outdated water infrastructure strains under severe drought, reports CNN.

As officials restrict water output and residents watch their faucets slow to a trickle, researchers warn the city of 22 million could hit “day zero”—the day taps run dry—within months, reports UPI

A closer look: 
  • ~90% of Mexico City is in severe drought, which is expected to worsen. 

  • ~60% of the city’s water comes from its over-extracted underground aquifer. 

  • The rest of the city’s water is pumped “vast distances uphill from sources outside the city,” per CNN; ~40% of the water leaks out during the process.
Inequality: “Day Zero” has already arrived in many neighborhoods, while those in wealthier areas remain unaffected. 

Solutions?: To stave off the crisis—now and in the future—the city must urgently overhaul the city’s water systems, including:
  • Improve wastewater treatment and fix infrastructure.

  • Install rainwater harvesting systems.

  • Work to restore rivers and wetlands. 
Related: 

Drought in Mexico: Three ways local projects are overcoming water issues – Diálogo Chino

US-Mexico border: 100 billion gallons of toxic sewage creating a 'public health crisis' – ABC GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners
Zambia’s rollout of an injectable version of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—delivering up to two months of protection from HIV— marks the medication’s first use outside of the U.S. and raises the bar for speeding access to preventive and treatment products to low-income countries. The Telegraph
 
The U.S. FDA has approved iloprost for severe frostbite to reduce the risk of amputation of fingers and toes; other countries including Canada and Nepal have been using the drug, which opens blood vessels and prevents blood clotting, for years. CNN
 
Germany will legalize cannabis for private use, with possession and cultivation limits, beginning in April. DW

The asthma drug Xolair significantly cut the risk of life-threatening reactions in children with severe food allergies, according to clinical trial results published yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine; the FDA already approved expanded use of the drug on February 16. TIME GUNS The Rise of Untraceable Firearms 
One in five crime-related guns on Baltimore’s streets are now “ghost guns”—firearms that don’t have serial numbers and are built from parts.

Guns made of parts from Polymer80—one of the largest makers of ghost gun parts nationwide—are recovered more than brands like Glock and Taurus, per a Baltimore Banner analysis.
  • This week, Baltimore officials announced they reached a $1.2 million settlement with Polymer80 that effectively ended the company’s business in Maryland. But keeping such guns off the streets remains an uphill battle. 
The Quote: “That is not someone’s right to bear arms; that is companies and organizations purposefully going around existing regulations on firearms,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott. 

Baltimore Banner

Ghost gun manufacturer to halt sales to Maryland residents – The Hill Thanks for the tip, Chiara Jaffe! GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES ROAD SAFETY More Distracted, More Deadly
Phone use while driving is on the rise in the U.S.—with deadly consequences. 

Researchers are gaining new insights into the phenomenon, thanks to insurance companies’ apps used by 10 million drivers. 

A recent report on driver behavior using that data found:
  • Both phone motion and screen interaction while driving went up ~20% between 2020-2022.
  • Drivers used their phones during nearly 58% of trips in 2022.
  • More than a third of that phone motion distraction happens at over 50 mph.
Fatal repercussions: The most distracted drivers are over 240% more likely to crash than the safest drivers.

Vox OPPORTUNITY QUICK HITS New Government report highlights hidden diabetes epidemic in the UK – News Medical

One of the last abortion doctors in Indiana – The New Yorker

Severe complications for pregnant veterans nearly doubled in a decade, with the highest rates among Black vets. – ProPublica 

Huge genome study confronted by concerns over race analysis – Science

Report: Minority UK health workers faced harassment, bias during pandemic – CIDRAP 

Does UT Tyler Health Science Center’s deal with private equity shield doctors from malpractice suits? – Texas Tribune

The Government Should Put Money Where The Public’s Mind Is – Nirvana (commentary)

Mascuzynity: How a nicotine pouch explains the new ethos of young conservative men – Vox Issue No. 2482
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

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Global Health NOW: Faulty Nets Linked to Malaria Surge; The Struggle to Stop Lassa Fever’s ‘Steady March’; and World’s Oldest Dog… Or Fuzziest Fraud?

Global Health Now - Fri, 02/23/2024 - 09:47
96 Global Health NOW: Faulty Nets Linked to Malaria Surge; The Struggle to Stop Lassa Fever’s ‘Steady March’; and World’s Oldest Dog… Or Fuzziest Fraud? View this email in your browser February 23, 2024 Forward Share Post Faulty Nets Linked to Surge in Malaria Cases  
Inexpensive and easy-to-use, insecticide-coated bed nets have been a key tool against malaria in some of the world’s poorest countries—including Papua New Guinea.
 
But around 2017, something started to go wrong, and malaria cases came surging back in PNG—up 88% by 2022.
 
Behind the surge: PNG scientists ultimately traced the shift to a decision by Vestergaard—the Swiss producer of the PermaNet 2.0 treated nets used exclusively in PNG—to change the nets’ chemical coating, as the original contained PFAS, a “forever chemical” linked to increased cancer risk.
 
The WHO was not informed of the switch until years later. And Vestergaard isn’t alone; other companies have also drawn criticism about their nets’ quality.

What’s next: A few companies, including Vestergaard, are rolling out new nets with different chemicals. But for now, PermaNet 2.0 is still being sold globally.
 
Important caveat: The nets are still a physical barrier to the disease-carrying insects, even if the insecticides aren’t as effective; all the experts interviewed for the article warned that it is crucial not to undermine support for broadscale use of the treated nets.
 
Bloomberg (paywall-free link available for just a few days)

Related: Malaria Surges, and Fixing Faulty Bed Nets Is Key to Winning the Fight – Bloomberg (commentary) GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners   10,500+ Ukrainian civilians have been killed in two years of war, and 30,457 have been wounded—leaving “a generation traumatised, displaced and fearful for their lives.” ReliefWeb

The South Korea doctors’ strike has led the country to raise its public health alert to “severe,” as the walkout of 8,400 physicians has forced hospitals to turn away patients and cancel operations. The Guardian

Long COVID brain fog has been linked to disruptions in the blood-brain barrier, along with a hyperactive immune system, according to a new study published in Nature Neuroscience. CIDRAP

Florida health officials have decided not to bar unvaccinated children from school amid a measles outbreak in Broward County, in what public health experts say is an alarming departure from typical best practices amid an outbreak. STAT INFECTIOUS DISEASES The Struggle to Stop the ‘Steady March’ of Lassa Fever
Across West Africa, health workers are contending with increasing cases of Lassa fever—a ​​deadly viral illness long thought to be contained to just a few countries—which has been cropping up in new regions. 

On the rise, and on the move:
  • Last year was the worst on record for the illness in Nigeria, with 227 deaths and 9,155 suspected cases. Case counts suggest this year will be even worse.

  • Mali, Togo, and Benin all reported their first cases in the last few years. 
Researchers are rushing to understand the disease’s spread—whether it’s related to changes in the virus, the mice that carry it, or the environment.
  • “The hot spots of today are not the hot spots of tomorrow,” said epidemiologist Gabrielle Breugelmans. 
Details of the disease:
  • 15%–20% of cases of severe disease are fatal—a number that can spike to 70% in some scenarios. One recent study puts the annual death toll at 18,000.
  • It flies under the radar: Rapid diagnostic tests for Lassa fever aren’t available, and patients are often misdiagnosed early. Most cases go undiagnosed and unreported.
  • The rural poor are especially vulnerable. 
Science GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES END-OF-LIFE Learning from Lengthy Hospice Stays
It has now been one year since former President Carter entered hospice care at home—a milestone that brought fresh attention to the dynamics of lengthy end-of-life care. 

U.S. patients can enter hospice care if their life expectancy is six months or less. But time spent in hospice can vary depending on a patient’s diagnosis: 

By the numbers:
  • 92 days: The average length of hospice care for Medicare patients who died in hospice in 2021.

  • 155 days: The average for people with neurological conditions like dementia and Parkinson's disease.

  • 51 days: The average for cancer patients.
Hospice is often too brief: Advocates say patients sometimes don’t enter hospice early enough to take full advantage of palliative care benefits. In 2021, half of hospice patients spent 17 days or less in care.

But: Long stays aren’t always a good sign. Regulators now see a pattern of patients with lengthy stays at the same hospice as a red flag—as some hospice fraud has involved companies billing Medicare for patients who weren't terminally ill.

Axios FRIDAY DIVERSION World’s Oldest Dog … Or Fuzziest Fraud?
A year ago, Bobi the Portuguese mastiff was crowned the world’s oldest dog. He was 30 years and 267 days old.
 
Or was he?
 
After months of speculation about Bobi’s true age, Guinness World Records has issued a stinging posthumous retraction, The Guardian reports
 
Naysayers attacked Bobi’s win from the beginning, putting Guinness and canine recordkeepers on the defensive. But they were no match for a Wired journalist who, like a good boy, took the stick, ran with it, and refused to bury it. He dug into:
  • Doubts that a pudgy pooch could live that long.

  • Dog fur experts’ suspicions about Bobi’s changing fur color.

  • Pet food giants’ alleged conspiracy to undermine the secret to Bobi’s longevity: home-cooked meals.
The fuzzy evidence that Bobi was 30+ years old amounted to: his owners said so.
 
One thing that’s certain: Bobi died last October. Even if he was never the world’s oldest dog, he crossed the Rainbow Bridge thinking he was—and no one can retract that. QUICK HITS Gun deaths surged among kids of color during the pandemic – Axios

SA doctors make up to 40 times more than those in Kenya and Nigeria – Bhekisisa

Lawsuit claims Virginia prison agency's body searches discriminate against women – Axios Richmond

Fasting-mimicking diet causes hepatic and blood markers changes indicating reduced biological age and disease risk – Nature Communications Thanks for the tip, Xiaodong Cai!

Cotton candy: Pink sugary sweet sets off alarm bells in India – BBC

Enhance field epidemiology workforce in South-East Asia Region – WHO

Colorado man dies after bite from Gila monster he illegally kept as a pet – CNN

Did the year 2020 change us forever? – The New Yorker Issue No. 2481
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

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General Assembly President calls for solidarity with Ukraine as ‘needless war’ reaches two-year mark

World Health Organization - Fri, 02/23/2024 - 07:00
UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis urged countries to stand with the people of Ukraine “in their quest for justice and peace” during a meeting on Friday to mark two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country. 
Categories: Global Health Feed

Global Health NOW: Dire Projections on Gaza Deaths; A Cheap and Easy Diarrhea Fix Isn't Reaching Patients; and Fentanyl Use Infiltrates Mexico

Global Health Now - Thu, 02/22/2024 - 09:23
96 Global Health NOW: Dire Projections on Gaza Deaths; A Cheap and Easy Diarrhea Fix Isn't Reaching Patients; and Fentanyl Use Infiltrates Mexico New Gaza projections show thousands of excess deaths over the next six months, even in a ceasefire scenario with no epidemics. View this email in your browser February 22, 2024 Forward Share Post Tents in a makeshift camp for displaced Palestinians beside the Tal Al-Sultan cemetery west of Rafah, Gaza, on February 13. Ahmad Salem/Bloomberg via Getty Images  Dire Projections on Gaza Deaths
New projections on the war in Gaza show thousands of excess deaths occurring over the next six months, even in a ceasefire scenario with no epidemics.
 
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health made projections of excess deaths in three scenarios:
  • 6,550 – Immediate and permanent ceasefire scenario with no epidemics.
  • 58,260 – Status quo scenario (Conditions continue as they have.)
  • 74,290 – A conflict-escalation scenario.
Projections including epidemics: Excess deaths would increase to 11,580, 66,720, and 85,750, respectively, per the report.
  • Possible epidemics include dysentery, cholera, measles, etc.
The Quote: “This is not a political message or advocacy,” the London School’s Francesco Checchi told The New York Times. “We simply wanted to put it … on the desks of decision makers, so that it can be said afterward that when these decisions were taken, there was some available evidence on how this would play out in terms of lives.”
 
The toll so far:
  • The war has led to 28,000+ deaths in Gaza and the displacement of 75% of the 2.2 million Gazans, per the report.
  • 1,200 Israelis have been killed, and 124 hostages are still being held in Gaza.

Related:

Gaza health crisis could kill 8,000 more by August even if fighting stops - report – Reuters

WHO: ‘Stringent Conditions’ Govern Military Action Against Health Facilities – Health Policy Watch GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners
The discovery of a powerful antibody that neutralizes a key neurotoxin common to four deadly snake species across Asia and Africa marks an important advance in the quest for a universal antivenom against the world’s ~200 venomous snakes; up to 138,000 people die each year from snake bites. Science
 
NIH scientists have uncovered brain abnormalities that may shed light on the long-sought biological basis of chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis), according to a study of 17 patients published in Nature CommunicationsThe Guardian

Mental health conditions are “the leading underlying cause” of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S., according to a JAMA Psychiatry article reviewing 30 recent studies and 15 historical references. CNN

Donations to four major nonprofits that fueled misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic topped $118 million between 2020 and 2022; the funds have allowed the groups to flex political power nationwide. The Washington Post GHN EXCLUSIVE Q&A Sahil, a 7-month-old child suffering from diarrhea, lies in a bed at the district hospital on May 21, 2022, in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Ritesh Shukla/Getty Images Child Diarrhea Has a Cheap and Easy Fix—Why Isn’t It Reaching Patients?
Diarrhea kills 500,000 children under five every year worldwide. Most of those deaths could be prevented with an inexpensive go-to treatment: Oral rehydration salts that target the dangerous dehydration caused by diarrhea. Yet the WHO’s recommended standard of care—a small package of electrolytes mixed with water before drinking—is underused, with nearly half of diarrhea cases worldwide not receiving the treatment.

Why? A new study published in Science enlisted actors in India to pose as child caregivers presenting to a health care provider a hypothetical case of a two-year-old child with uncomplicated diarrhea, to examine why ORS was under-prescribed. They found that providers considered ORS the best treatment, but their perception that caregivers did not want the treatment explained 42% of under-prescribing.
 
“It's not that providers don't know what the right thing is. It's that they know what the right thing is, but they still aren't doing it,” said lead study author Zachary Wagner, an economist at RAND.
 
Wagner spoke with GHN about what can be done to help ORS reach more patients, and the study’s implications for other countries where diarrhea is prevalent.
 
Annalies Winny, Global Health NOW  GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES OPIOID CRISIS Fentanyl Use Infiltrates Mexico
While Mexico is a trafficking hub for fentanyl, it has so far avoided its own consumption and overdose epidemic.

But that is changing, say researchers and health officials in the country, who worry that Mexico could soon develop an epidemic like that in the U.S.
  • The actual scale of consumption is unclear due to a lack of data. But researchers say initial information indicates a worrisome uptick. 
  • Researchers worry that fentanyl could take the same trajectory as meth: While meth started as just an export, a local market eventually took hold. 
Border cities have seen the greatest increase, as drugs unable to be smuggled into the U.S. are often sold in local markets.
  • 60% of 333 people who sought treatment for fentanyl use in 2022 were located in just four border municipalities. 

Reuters OPPORTUNITY QUICK HITS The Supreme Court will decide whether to let civilians own automatic weapons – Vox   Making cities mental health friendly for adolescents and young adults – Nature

Preventive Ebola vaccination safeguards health workers in Democratic Republic of the Congo – WHO via ReliefWeb

Inside Rwanda’s approach to epidemic preparedness – The New Times

Ukraine’s health system is a symbol of resilience – Politico (commentary)

Paul Farmer and the Audacity of Accompaniment – Think Global Health (commentary)

‘Gut Health’ Has a Fatal Flaw – The Atlantic Issue No. 2480
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

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Global Health NOW: Measles Threat Mounts; A ‘Triple Whammy’ of Mosquito-Borne Disease; and Less Hustle, More Bedroom Bustle

Global Health Now - Wed, 02/21/2024 - 09:24
96 Global Health NOW: Measles Threat Mounts; A ‘Triple Whammy’ of Mosquito-Borne Disease; and Less Hustle, More Bedroom Bustle View this email in your browser February 21, 2024 Forward Share Post A mother holds the hands of her young son, who is recovering from measles, at a clinic in Rotriak, South Sudan. November 29, 2023. Luke Dray/Getty Measles Threat Mounts
The WHO is warning that more than half the world's countries are on track to be at high or very high risk of measles outbreaks by the end of 2024—unless “urgent preventative measures are taken,” reports Reuters.
  • Cases last year spiked 79% to over 300,000—likely a fraction of the total.
Why? COVID-19-related disruptions in routine vaccinations mean measles cases have been on the rise across most regions.

Zooming in: 

In Florida: An outbreak has been reported at an elementary school in Broward County, Fla., where 11% of students are unvaccinated, reports CBS Miami.
  • This outbreak and the others in the U.S. are a “canary in the coal mine” moment as vaccination rates drop, Michael Osterholm, director of University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, told USA Today, adding: “We're going to see more kids seriously ill, hospitalized and even die. And what's so tragic about this, these are all preventable.”
In Northern Ireland, officials have confirmed the country’s first measles case in seven years, reports the BBC, as outbreaks flare across Great Britain and Ireland. 

Related: 

‘It is shameful’: why the return of Victorian-era diseases to the UK alarms health experts. – The Guardian

Measles infections pose far more risks than most realize – NBC GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners   Emergency polio vaccinations have started in Zimbabwe for 4 million children, after health officials detected three cases caused by a rare mutation of the virus strain used in oral vaccines. AP

Long COVID prevalence is 43%–58% lower among adults who were fully vaccinated before they were infected, per a new study of 4,605 participants published Monday in Annals of Epidemiology. CIDRAP

The EU is tightening limits on toxic particles and gas pollution allowed in the air—but the new targets still permit 2X as much pollution as WHO guidelines. The Guardian

The largest global study of COVID-19 vaccines affirmed previously established links to increased risk for adverse side effects like Guillain-Barré syndrome and myocarditis, but researchers noted that COVID-19 infections are more likely to cause such conditions. The Hill INFECTIOUS DISEASES A ‘Triple Whammy’ of Mosquito-Borne Diseases
A concurrent outbreak of dengue, Zika, and chikungunya is besetting the island nation of Timor-Leste—and is a warning sign for what could become more common with climate change, researchers say. 

Timor-Leste, which borders Indonesia, has seen its mosquito population “spiral out of control” with extended seasons of wet and warm weather—perfect breeding conditions for the insect.

The country has logged 147 dengue cases as of January. The chikungunya outbreak is Timor-Leste’s first ever—another troubling sign to public health officials. 

The Quote: “Having three outbreaks is a wake-up call, in that sense to say these diseases are coming as the world warms,” said biologist Michael Bonsall. 

The Telegraph POPULATIONS Less Hustle, More Bedroom Bustle
While Japan’s government struggles to reverse a slumping birth rate, the Tokyo suburb of Nagareyama has managed to buck the trend, enjoying Japan’s highest population growth rate for six years running.
  • Nagareyama’s 2022 fertility rate was 1.50, surpassing the 1.26 national average. 
How it was done: Nagareyama’s mayor, Yoshiharu Izaki, adopted a series of progressive childcare initiatives to create an environment conducive to both working and child-rearing, including:
  • Increased city daycare options.

  • Commuter-friendly options like a weekday bus service for nursery school kids, plus two train stations with an express line to zip working parents to Tokyo, halving commutes.
In the works: A quota system to discourage daycares from refusing children with disabilities. 

Bloomberg CityLab GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES OPPORTUNITY Watch “An Enemy of the People”  
Actors, public health leaders, scientists, journalists, and others will stage dramatic readings this week of Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play “An Enemy of the People,” which has special relevance today.
 
Synopsis: After a doctor discovers his town’s water supply is poisoned by a tannery, he tries to save the community but is met with anger and derision. He’s branded an “enemy of the people.”
  • With its echoes of attacks on public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, the performance includes actor David Strathairn, former NIH director Francis Collins, former NIAID director Anthony Fauci (Feb. 24 only), and others.
Details: Two performances, both available on Zoom for free and followed by a town hall discussion. Registration is required. QUICK HITS Inside the Darfur camp where a child dies every two hours – The Guardian

Mpox symptoms evolved over the past 5 decades, meta-analysis finds – CIDRAP

Mortality surged for renters facing eviction during the pandemic, study finds – CNN 

Less than one in four mothers get quality intrapartum health care services in Ethiopia – Nature

M. Kahn: UK’s evolving role in global health – The BMJ (commentary)

The HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Revisiting the Early Days of a Global Health Crisis – Duke Research Blog / Duke University

Cuban province applies innovative practice to favor family planning program – Cuban News Agency

These bikers try (and try) to gut a state helmet law – Capital News Service (Annapolis) Thanks for the tip, Cecilia Meisner! Issue No. 2479
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

Please send the Global Health NOW free sign-up link to friends and colleagues: http://www.globalhealthnow.org/subscribe

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The 2024 Scaringi Lecture Series in Speech Language Pathology

McGill Faculty of Medicine news - Tue, 02/20/2024 - 11:51

McGill’s School of Communication Sciences and Disorders
is proud to be hosting a research talk on enhancing the language of adolescents
with DLD and a workshop on using narratives in clinical assessment and
intervention.


These events are funded by the Scaringi Lecture Series grant. This year the events are also co-sponsored by the
FRQSC group on Cognitive plasticity and language acquisition.

Categories: Global Health Feed

The 2024 Dr. Donald G. Doehring Memorial Lecture

McGill Faculty of Medicine news - Tue, 02/20/2024 - 11:42

McGill’s School of Communication Sciences and Disorders
is proud to announce:
The 2024 Dr. Donald G. Doehring Memorial Lecture
March 11, 4:30 to 6 pm
Leacock 232
855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Dr. Sheila Blumstein
Brown University

Categories: Global Health Feed

Global Health NOW: Alabama Court: Embryos Are Children; Strategies for Surviving in a ‘Blood Desert’; and The Hunt for ‘Zombie’ Viruses

Global Health Now - Tue, 02/20/2024 - 09:32
96 Global Health NOW: Alabama Court: Embryos Are Children; Strategies for Surviving in a ‘Blood Desert’; and The Hunt for ‘Zombie’ Viruses View this email in your browser February 20, 2024 Forward Share Post The Supreme Court of Alabama in Montgomery, on July 6, 2018. Raymond Boyd/Getty Alabama Court: Embryos Are Children  
Alabama's Supreme Court ruled late last week that embryos frozen as part of the in vitro fertilization process are considered children under state law.
  • The ruling means someone could be held liable for destroying them, The Washington Post reports (gift article).

  • The decision will have “devastating consequences” for the 1 in 6 people who experience infertility and rely on IVF, Barb Collura of Resolve: The National Infertility Association told Axios.
How might the ruling affect Alabama’s IVF clinics? 
  • Justice Greg Cook wrote a dissent that the court’s 7-2 ruling “almost certainly ends the creation of frozen embryos through in-vitro fertilization in Alabama.”

  • IVF clinics “could be held liable for discarding surplus embryos,” Axios notes.

  • The Medical Association of the State of Alabama argued in a brief last year that “at best" new legal exposure would significantly raise IVF costs and could close fertility clinics, per The Washington Post.
Back story: The court’s ruling came from a wrongful-death lawsuit brought against a fertility clinic patient who dropped other couples’ frozen embryos. The court’s decision means the case can proceed.
 
Big picture: The unprecedented ruling was made as laws in nearly a dozen states “have broadly defined personhood as beginning at fertilization,” per the reproductive rights group Pregnancy Justice. GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners   Half of the genomes sequenced in the latest “All of Us” data release are from non-Europeans, per Nature; the project was created to correct a longstanding lack of diversity in genomic datasets. STAT

Reports of asbestos contamination in Sydney expanded Monday to include seven additional sites, including a school, a sports center, and a supermarket; traces of bonded asbestos in mulch have been found in 41 spots scattered across the city since early January. Reuters
 
South Korean hospitals were forced to cancel surgeries and turn away patients today after more than 1,600 doctors went on strike; the junior doctors are protesting a government plan to introduce more trained physicians into the system. BBC
 
Roughly half of 7,483 urinary tract infection cases analyzed for a study in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda were multidrug-resistant, highlighting a high rate of MDR infections in East Africa and demonstrating the need to invest in routine surveillance. CIDRAP HEALTH EQUITY Strategies for Surviving in a ‘Blood Desert’
Billions of people worldwide live in “blood deserts”: regions where the need for blood cannot be met in at least 75% of clinical cases.
  • Lack of blood is a major reason so many people die after trauma in low- and middle-income countries—as many as 50% to 60%, per some estimates. 
While stabilizing blood supply takes years, there are immediate innovations health leaders can adopt to bridge the gap, say researchers with Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who shared recommendations in the Lancet Global Health

Some recommendations:
  • Civilian “walking blood banks,” a military-formulated strategy in which volunteers are ready and able to give blood at short notice. 

  • Intraoperative auto-transfusion—in which a patient’s own blood is recirculated during medical procedures.

  • Drone-based blood delivery.
Harvard Medical School GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES RESEARCH The Hunt for ‘Zombie’ Viruses
What lies beneath…the permafrost? 

That’s the question scientists and spouses Jean-Michel Claverie and Chantal Abergel have sought to answer for years in their research—prying biological secrets from the deep freeze of places like Siberia and Antarctica. 

As temperatures rise and millenia-old Arctic earth thaws, Claverie and Abergel have been hunting “zombie viruses,” the nickname given to prehistoric viruses that could reemerge—with uncertain impact.

Seeking to understand potential threats, the researchers have revived more than a dozen viruses from permafrost, including one frozen for 50,000 years, and others plumbed from the frozen stomachs of wooly mammoths. 

The Quote: “The human species is only 200,000 years old. We don’t know what kind of viruses existed before that and we’re certain our immune systems were never exposed to them,” said Claverie. 

The Telegraph CLARIFICATION A data point in yesterday’s summary about extreme temperatures and Indian farm workers experiencing menopause left out the time frame. It should have read:
 
Data point: By 2025, 1.1 billion women globally will be perimenopausal, according to a 2014 article in Menopause. QUICK HITS Dengue activity in the Americas already outpacing last year’s surge – CIDRAP

Death and redemption in an American prison – KFF via NPR Shots

WHO reports 4 more MERS cases from Saudi Arabia – CIDRAP

More than half of U.S. newborns got RSV protection – Axios

A dispute over a common asthma drug leaves patients caught in the middle – The Hill Thanks for the tip, Cecilia Meisner!

Burnout: Identifying people at risk – Norwegian University of Science and Technology via ScienceDaily

Neuralink's first human patient able to control mouse through thinking, Musk says – Reuters Issue No. 2478
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

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Categories: Global Health Feed

A Powerful Call To Address Racism In Medicine—With Action, Not Words

Dr. Pai Forbes - Mon, 02/19/2024 - 13:53
What ails the health of the richest nation in the world? The diagnosis, as well as the prescription, can be found in ‘Legacy,’ a powerful book, by Dr. Uche Blackstock.
Categories: Global Health Feed

Global Health NOW: Protecting Against Biotech Threats; Heat Waves and Hot Flashes in India; and Bubonic Plague Breakthroughs

Global Health Now - Mon, 02/19/2024 - 09:04
96 Global Health NOW: Protecting Against Biotech Threats; Heat Waves and Hot Flashes in India; and Bubonic Plague Breakthroughs Researchers warn that DNA editing and print-on-demand tech could be hijacked to unleash dangerous pathogens View this email in your browser February 19, 2024 Forward Share Post Canva Protecting Against Biotech Threats
As DNA editing and print-on-demand technologies grow more common, researchers are warning that such tools could easily be hijacked to unleash dangerous pathogens, reports The Telegraph
  • DNA is now easily produced in labs and sold for purposes ranging from research to vaccine development. 
  • But one in five global suppliers do not vet an order’s buyer, biotech experts estimate
New type of security needed: Last week, the Nuclear Threat Initiative launched the International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science—a nonprofit seeking to limit the risks that biotech pose, reports Science
  • “At the moment, it would be relatively easy for a malicious actor to go and find a provider that isn’t screening. We know from Interpol that there are malicious actors around the world who do try and acquire that biology to cause deliberate harm,” said Piers Millett, group’s new executive director. 
The group’s aims include helping leaders formulate policy guardrails and creating protective tools like its newly released software system—which seeks to help DNA synthesis companies screen DNA orders and customers for potential bad actors.  GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners
Opioid cravings were “significantly” curbed by an anti-obesity drug—the GLP-1 medication liraglutide, according to a small, 3-week study presented Saturday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. STAT

In New Zealand, scientists are decrying the new government’s decision to scrap a plan to reform research—which included a funding boost, improved representation of Indigenous Māori researchers, and a focus on issues like climate change. Science

Collier County, Fla. officials voted unanimously last week to halt the usage of fluoride in water treatment facilities in the unincorporated portions of the county—about 85,000 buildings and homes—citing medical freedom as the reason. NBC2

Gains against antimicrobial resistance threats have been made by 11 high-income countries, per the new AMR Preparedness Index Progress Report—including increased surveillance and antibiotic stewardship efforts; but more must be done to address the “looming public health crisis.” CIDRAP GHN EXCLUSIVE India’s heat waves have made menopause symptoms more severe for farmworker Sunita Nikam in Kurundvad, India. Sanket Jain Heat Waves and Hot Flashes in India   
KURUNDVAD, India—After working in the field for six hours in blistering heat, farmworker Sunita Nikam could not sleep. 
  • She soon experienced night sweats and, during the day, hot flashes that reddened her face and drenched her in sweat. 
  • She suffered painful body aches and would sometimes collapse while working in the sugarcane fields.
  • She was 39 and experiencing symptoms of early menopause. 
Hot flashes and night sweats, like those Nikam experienced, might be worsened by fluctuations in average and extreme temperatures caused by climate change, according to a 2023 article in the journal Maturitas.
 
“In our data from laboratory trials and interviews, we’ve seen that hot [flashes] occurring in hotter environments are more uncomfortable,” says Sarah Carter, of Australia’s Charles Darwin University. However, data do not yet conclusively link climate change with more severe menopause symptoms.
 
Data point: 1.1. billion women globally will be perimenopausal, according to a 2014 article in Menopause

The Quote: “No one is interested in how menopause affects a woman,” says Nikam, now 48. “I was relieved only after my menopause ended.”


Sanket Jain for Global Health NOW GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES INFECTIOUS DISEASES Bubonic Plague Breakthroughs
The bubonic plague resurfaced in Oregon on Feb. 7—the first time in a decade for a disease best known for killing ~50 million people in the 14th century, NPR Goats and Soda reports
  • These days, the plague can usually be treated with antibiotics—and so officials do not expect any further spread. 
New plague insights:
  • Black Death survivors had “substantial” protective mutations in their genomes—mutations that persist among their descendants, per a 2022 study.  
  • Even after decades of zero cases in a region, the plague can quietly circulate among rodents and reemerge without warning, NPR notes. 
  • Pneumonic plague, when the bacteria spreads to the lungs, is typically much more dangerous.
QUICK HITS Stress is driving teens’ drug use, new federal study suggests – Washington Post

Another school, supermarket among seven new sites identified as positive for asbestos in Sydney – ABC

A shallow lake in Canada could point to the origin of life on Earth – CNN

Dengue Rages Around The Globe. Where Are The Vaccines? – Forbes (commentary)

Three ways AI is improving public health – Harvard Public Health

FDA expands use of asthma drug Xolair to treat severe food allergies – AP

Pakistan: Health ministry prohibits sugary drinks in official meetings – Dawn Issue No. 2477
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

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Categories: Global Health Feed

First Person: Supporting mental health in Madagascar, one consultation at a time

World Health Organization - Sun, 02/18/2024 - 07:00
Ongoing humanitarian crises in southern Madagascar have worsened the situation for people with mental health disorders, but the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) has been supporting patients by providing more psychiatric consultations.
Categories: Global Health Feed

Global Health NOW: Abortion Pills Via Telehealth: ‘Effective, Safe’; Taylor Swift Versus Public Health Conference: Guess Who Won?

Global Health Now - Fri, 02/16/2024 - 09:15
96 Global Health NOW: Abortion Pills Via Telehealth: ‘Effective, Safe’; Taylor Swift Versus Public Health Conference: Guess Who Won? View this email in your browser February 16, 2024 Forward Share Post A doctor prepares doses of mifepristone in a New Mexico clinic that mostly provides the pills to women from Texas. May 7, 2022. Paul Ratje/The Washington Post via Getty Abortion Pills Via Telehealth: ‘Effective, Safe’ 
A new study adds to “a solid body of evidence” that abortion pills are safe to prescribe—even remotely.

The study analyzed the records of 6,000+ patients who received a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol in the mail after a telehealth consultation. 

Some key findings from the study, published on Wednesday in Nature Medicine:
  • 97.7% of patients had complete abortions, while 2.3% of patients needed further medication or non-emergency evacuation procedures.

  • Patients had severe adverse events in 0.25% of cases. 

  • Both the success and adverse event rates from the study are comparable with rates from in-person prescriptions, researchers said. 
Significance:
  • The study contributes to evidence that abortion medications are safe and effective—even as the Supreme Court is weeks away from hearing arguments over access to mifepristone (and following the retraction last week of papers central to that case—which had raised safety concerns about mifepristone). 

  • About 10% of abortion pills are prescribed via telehealth, and medication abortion accounts for more than half of all abortions in the U.S.
“The study affirms the FDA decisions to make this medication more broadly available,” said the study’s lead author, Ushma Upadhyay. 

STAT

Related: 

In Carolinas, mental health becomes part of the abortion debate – Roll Call

The year after a denied abortion – ProPublica

Abortion Scavenger Hunt — Public Health Post (Boston University School of Public Health) GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners   Violent attacks on schools in Africa surged dramatically last year—up 20%, with 411 reports including drone strikes on schools, teachers murdered, and the use of tear gas to disperse teacher meetings; Nigeria and Sudan accounted for most of the incidents, 89 and 55, respectively, according to the analysis by Save the Children. ReliefWeb

New measles cases are emerging across “every region in England,” per a new epidemiology report published by the UK Health Security Agency, as officials warned that hundreds of thousands of children remain unvaccinated. The Guardian 

Lyme disease surveillance by the U.S. CDC has changed to make reporting requirements easier for states, leading to an apparent 69% rise in cases in 2022—a spike officials attribute to the shift in data collection. STAT

Smoking drugs surpassed injection as the most frequent route to overdose deaths, according to a new CDC study prompted by California reports indicating a rise in smoking fentanyl—the drug involved in the most U.S. overdoses. AP GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES RSV A Vaccine Mix-Up Mystery
Two RSV vaccines, GSK’s Arexvy and Pfizer’s Abrysvo, were finally available this winter, but only one of them—Abrysvo—was approved for pregnant women. Neither was approved for young children.
 
The distinction between the two shots slipped by some health care providers, the CDC reports:
  •  At least 128 pregnant women were mistakenly given Arexvy, and at least 25 children under age 2 received a vaccination. 
Some infants mistakenly vaccinated were meant to receive the monoclonal antibody nirsevimab. GSK’s vaccine appears to have been administered to some pregnant women because Pfizer’s was not as widely available, and pharmacists believed them interchangeable.
 
Experts are now urging the U.S. FDA to encourage companies to give similar products clearly distinguishable names.
 
The New York Times (gift article) FRIDAY DIVERSION Taylor Swift Versus Public Health Conference: Guess Who Won?  
Millions of people are willing to bend over backward to be in Taylor Swift’s presence—or even in an adjacent parking lot. But one public health conference has gone to great lengths to avoid her, IDSE reports.
 
In a tense calendar clash with the New Orleans leg of the Eras tour, the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene swiftly surrendered, forfeiting their conference dates and pushing the event from October to November. The preemptive strike will save conference-goers from sharing the city with 250,000 Swifties and the inflated hotel prices, packed restaurants, and nightmarish transportation that come with them, ASTMH explained.
 
Rabid internet theorists could interpret this in several ways: that Swift is single-handedly destroying public health by displacing conferences, or that she’s a hero to procrastinating researchers. Thanks to the date change, ASTMH has extended its call for symposia to March 5. There’s still time! QUICK HITS Brazil’s health agents scour junkyards and roofs for mosquitos to fight dengue epidemic – AP

Puerto Rico is entangled in a heated public health debate over vaccines and masks – ABC

China is experimenting on mutant Covid strains again – should we be worried? – The Telegraph

WHO to update guidelines for TB preventive treatment – CIDRAP

Covid-19 vaccine confidence soured by officials’ messaging, Republicans argue – STAT

The Ugly Stain of Ageism on Smart Home Technology – Public Health Post (commentary)

Headlights are blinding us. Here’s why it’s mostly an American problem – CNN Issue No. 2476
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

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Global Health NOW: Smoking’s Lasting Immune System Impact; Lingering Chemicals? A Lingering Question; and On the Frontier of Future Pathogens

Global Health Now - Thu, 02/15/2024 - 09:07
96 Global Health NOW: Smoking’s Lasting Immune System Impact; Lingering Chemicals? A Lingering Question; and On the Frontier of Future Pathogens Study finds that smoking harms the body’s targeted responses to pathogens “many years” after quitting smoking. View this email in your browser February 15, 2024 Forward Share Post Cigarette butts in an ashtray in Toulouse, southwestern France, on September 23, 2022. Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty  Smoking’s Lasting Immune System Impact  
Smoking has long-term negative effects on a key part of the human immune system, according to a Nature article published yesterday that offers a major new reason not to smoke.  
 
The study, which involved a lifestyle and diet survey as well as blood samples from 1,000 French participants, found:
  • Targeted responses to pathogens based on previous exposure (known as the adaptive response) were harmed for “many years” after a person quit smoking, STAT reports.
 
What’s causing lasting changes?
  • Institut Pasteur researchers found smoking led to epigenetic changes (modifications to DNA sequences that activate or deactivate certain genes).
  • This negatively impacted cytokines (key molecules in the body’s immune defenses) and how they reacted to pathogens.
Quitting is still smart: 
  • The study also found the body’s “fast and general innate responses to bacteria or viruses” returned soon after people stopped smoking.
 
The Quote: “The best time to quit smoking is as soon as possible,” says Darragh Duffy, a senior author of the Nature article.
 
Related:

E-Cigs Show Some Benefit as Smoking Cessation Aid in Clinical Trial – MedPage Today
 
Juul’s internal playbook opens a rare window into influence in Washington – STAT GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners
Larger, more severe desert locust outbreaks are likely in the future because of climate change-driven extreme wind and rain, according to a Science Advances article published yesterday; a swarm of 80 million locusts covering a square kilometer can consume in a single day food crops that could feed 35,000 people. AP

A new CDC study found that COVID-19 patients are 4.3 times more likely to develop chronic fatigue than those who hadn’t had the virus, with women and older people at higher risk for the condition; the study also found that COVID patients with fatigue faced a higher mortality risk. ABC News
 
People who live alone were more likely to report depression than those living with others, per a CDC report published today; 16% of US adults live alone, and 6.4% of them reported having depression, “compared to 4.1% of those who live with others.” Axios
 
Global health photographers are caught at a “representational crossroads” where pressure to quickly create compelling images pushes them to “sanitize, sensationalize, or stage” scenes, raising ethical dilemmas around content in the photos as well as consent in obtaining them, according to a new study in PLOS Global Public Health. PLOS via EurekAlert ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH Lingering Chemicals? A Lingering Question. 
In the year since the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, residents worried about their health have had little direction about next steps. A big part of the reason: 

No public health infrastructure has been set up to help people track health impacts, or to help them confirm whether illnesses are linked to chemical exposures from the crash. 

That means: 
  • There was no widespread biological testing for chemical exposure.
  • There has been no creation of a large-scale community health registry.

Without these resources, residents might never have answers to their future health questions, and it means Norfolk Southern can “can wipe their hands clean” of responsibility, said environmental epidemiologist Molly Jacobs: “Because we don’t have the right tools in place to make those connections if they’re there.” 

The Allegheny Front GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS On the Frontier of Future Pathogens
As researchers try to anticipate and prepare for the next pandemic, they are patrolling spots with spillover potential—regularly “virus hunting,” or collecting environmental DNA samples from a growing array of sources: 

In the subway: Researchers have taken to swabbing and “mapping” the biome of urban transit systems, hospitals, sewage canals, and other public places—creating an atlas of microorganisms found in mass transit systems around the world. 

At the forest’s edge: In the Republic of Congo, researchers are patrolling the edges of tropical forests, collecting swabs from animals, carcasses, and feces—on the alert for signs of Ebola and other diseases.

In the air: In Cambodia, researchers have been using air filters to sample public markets where vendors slaughter, clean, and defeather chickens—high-risk areas for an avian flu outbreak.

In the water: Wastewater testing has become an increasingly common way to flag and trace outbreaks; in September 2020, the CDC launched the country’s first National Wastewater Surveillance System
 
Undark QUICK HITS UNRWA at the frontlines: managing health care in Gaza during catastrophe – The Lancet

The Dangers of Privatizing Health Care in Argentina – Think Global Health

Portugal's approach to the opioid epidemic is a flashpoint in U.S. fentanyl debate – NPR

US study highlights excessive antibiotic therapy for uncomplicated pneumonia – CIDRAP

Fiji launches national policy on healthy eating to combat NCDs – Xinhua

Obituary: Benjamin Villasol Lozare, 1947-2024 – Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Broken heart syndrome is real. Here’s how it can affect you – The Hill Issue No. 2475
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

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Global Health NOW: Inoculating Against Vaccine Misinformation; Social Isolation in South Korea; and Too Toxic for Golfers, but Fine for Farmers?

Global Health Now - Wed, 02/14/2024 - 09:49
96 Global Health NOW: Inoculating Against Vaccine Misinformation; Social Isolation in South Korea; and Too Toxic for Golfers, but Fine for Farmers? View this email in your browser February 14, 2024 Forward Share Post Cerri McKeon holds her two-month-old daughter, Eden, while a doctor takes notes about her respiratory symptoms, on May 6, 2020 in Cloquet, Minnesota. Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via Getty Inoculating Against Vaccine Misinformation 
As the RSV vaccine made its debut in the U.S. last year, public health practitioners watched its reception closely. What might uptake look like in an increasingly vaccine-skeptical landscape? 

The answer: Not very encouraging, reports Politico. The CDC’s latest figures show that just over 1 in 5 of those aged 60+ got the shot. Only 16% percent of pregnant people got vaccinated. And among babies and young children, uptake was “low.”

But countering misinformation quickly is something medical and public health professionals are becoming more adept at, said Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health:
  • “If the question is, is the public health community better prepared than it was three years ago? I can answer yes,” he said. 
Some practical strategies to combat misinformation include:
  • “Prebunking”: Anticipating and addressing misinformation before it takes root. 

  • Monitoring social media to rapidly identify emerging misinformation.

  • Building trust through consistent relationships with patients and the public. 

Use a playbook: This week, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security launched a new hands-on playbook to address health misinformation, per a news release from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The playbook guides practitioners through the steps of preparing for rumors—and how to act once they arrive. GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners   A fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 12 Americans who’d received epidural anesthesia at clinics in Mexico was caused by an aggressive fungus that attacks blood vessels in the brainstem, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Washington Post

Mandatory “virginity tests” are being forced on female high school students in Turkmenistan’s province of Balkan; authorities say the tests are necessary to “evaluate teenagers’ morality.” RFE/RL

One of the largest anti-abortion ad campaigns in the U.S. has allegedly used a company to harvest data by tracking people’s visits to nearly 600 Planned Parenthood locations. Politico Thanks for the tip, Cecilia Meisner!

Older adults who exercised before the pandemic were 10% less likely to contract COVID-19 and 27% less likely to be hospitalized if they did become infected, per a Brigham and Women's Hospital study. CIDRAP ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH Too Toxic for Golfers, but Fine for Farmers?  
The EPA has reaffirmed paraquat’s safety for use on American crops, despite evidence linking the herbicide to Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, childhood leukemia, and more, The Guardian reports.
  • A 2021 lawsuit by public health and agricultural groups pushed the EPA to reassess the science—but the plaintiffs say the agency’s newly released draft report again ignores dozens of peer-reviewed studies and “broad scientific consensus” of the risks.
While the EPA has said that the herbicide is too toxic for use on U.S. golf courses, it still allows its use on farms—threatening the health of farmworkers, nearby residents, and the people spraying fields, according to the Environmental Working Group’s call to ban the herbicide.
 
Over 60 countries have banned paraquat—including the U.K. Yet the manufacturer, Syngenta, continues to produce the substance in a U.K. plant for export to countries including Japan, Australia, and the U.S., per the BBC. GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES LONELINESS Social Isolation in South Korea
As a growing number of South Korea's young adults isolate themselves from society, the country’s government is trying to understand the scope of the loneliness epidemic. 

In a nationwide survey, the government polled 21,000+ people ages 19–39 who have experienced isolation or reclusion. 

Some alarming findings:
  • ~12,000 respondents were in current danger of isolation—including 504 who reported that they don't leave their room.

  • Three-quarters of respondents reported having suicidal thoughts, and nearly 60% reported that their physical and mental health is bad. 

  • A quarter of respondents said their isolated or reclusive state lasted for one to three years. 
Wanting help: More than 80% said they want to break out of their situation.

Factors at play: Researchers say that South Korea’s family-centric, success-driven culture puts pressure on young people. And the pandemic only exacerbated the problem. 

NPR

Related: When loneliness is an epidemic, here’s how to find joy on Valentine’s Day – AP QUICK HITS WHO warns assault on Gaza's Rafah would be an 'unfathomable catastrophe' – Reuters

Snapshots: How the climate crisis is hurting people in Central America – The New Humanitarian

New study reveals inconsistent care in EMS systems across the United States – News Medical

Shots can be scary and painful for kids. One doctor has a plan to end needle phobia – NPR Shots

Few Nursing Facility Residents and Staff Have Received the Latest COVID-19 Vaccine – KFF

Most employees think it’s OK to talk about mental health at work. Some still don’t do it, survey finds – CNN

People who are blind can navigate indoors with a phone in their pocket – NewScientist

Can kids playing in dirt help discover new antibiotics in soil? – Cosmos Magazine Issue No. 2474
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

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Global Health NOW: Condoms, Today’s Your Day!; A Catastrophic ‘Wake-Up Call’; and Left Out of Liver Transplants

Global Health Now - Tue, 02/13/2024 - 09:49
96 Global Health NOW: Condoms, Today’s Your Day!; A Catastrophic ‘Wake-Up Call’; and Left Out of Liver Transplants View this email in your browser February 13, 2024 Forward Share Post A student holds up a condom on May 22, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. Gabriel Luengas/Europa Press via Getty Condoms, Today’s Your Day!  
They’ve helped avert an estimated 117 million new HIV infections since 1990.

They’re 98% effective in preventing unplanned pregnancy over a year, if used correctly.
 
They’re “still the only tool that can prevent HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancy all in one,” WHO says.
 
It’s February 13, International Condom Day. (Ed. Note: It’s also the day before Valentine’s Day.)
 
More related facts:
  • Condoms could have prevented the majority of the 374 million new syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis infections estimated to have occurred in 2020, per WHO.

  • Interventions that talk positively about sex—and sexual pleasure—increase condom use.

  • History: The AIDS Healthcare Foundation launched International Condom Day in 2009, per the Hindustan Times.

  • Brazilian artist Adriana Bertini has made art out of condoms for decades, WHO reports.
Anti-“stealthy” bill falls: Republican representatives in South Dakota killed a bill yesterday that would have clarified it’s illegal to remove a condom during sex without consent (“stealthing”), The Dakota Scout reports. Rep. Kadyn Wittman had proposed the bill after a friend had an unplanned pregnancy as a result of stealthing, Dakota News Now reported last week
 
ICYMI: GHN Condom Stories

From ‘Condom Man’ to Full-Service HIV Clinic: How One Team in Uganda Serves Key Populations – Global Health NOW
 
C Is for Condom, P Is for Pill – Global Health NOW GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners   UK and Chinese researchers identified four biomarkers linked to the future development of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or dementia in an analysis of 1,500 blood proteins; the findings need to be independently verified, but could inform development of a blood test to predict dementia risk up to 15 years pre-diagnosis. Nature
 
South Asian people have lower levels of stem cells key to regenerating blood vessels, according to a new study that sheds light on a potential reason for the population’s increased risk of heart disease (double the risk of people of European descent). STAT
 
An anti-pollution push helped China prevent suicides, according to a new study that bolsters evidence linking heavy pollution and suicide risk, and attributed nearly 10% of the overall decline in suicide rates between 2013 and 2017 to pollution reduction efforts. Science

A large study in Catalonia, Spain, found that COVID-19 upped the risk of major cardiovascular events for people with HIV by 30%; the research documented the greatest risk in the six months post SARS-CoV-2 infection and suggested that even mild infections increased the risk. CIDRAP CHOLERA A Catastrophic ‘Wake-Up Call’
Across Southern Africa, the cholera outbreak that erupted late last year is now “spiraling into an uncontrollable health crisis,” said the director of Oxfam in Southern Africa.

Zambia and Zimbabwe are both struggling to contain the crisis, as access to clean water and sanitation continues to frustrate public health efforts. 

Zambia has reported ~8,000 cases and ~600 deaths in what has become the nation’s worst outbreak on record, reports The Telegraph.
  • Children have been hardest hit—accounting for 1/3 deaths so far. 
Zimbabwe has reported ~22,000 cases and 450+ deaths, reports DW. Only 1 of 3 households in the country has access to treated water sources and sanitation.

A cholera vaccine shortage is complicating intervention efforts, but health officials say clean water access is the critical need. 

The Quote: “This catastrophic cholera epidemic must be a wake-up call … to increase funding for water, hygiene and sanitation, especially as we see climate change fuelling the global surge in outbreaks,” said Robert Kampala, the Southern Africa regional director for WaterAid. GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES HEALTH DISPARITIES Left Out of Liver Transplants
Native Americans have the highest rate of death from liver disease in the U.S.—but they are less likely than other racial groups to secure a spot on the national liver transplant list, per an analysis by The Markup and The Washington Post.

By the numbers:
  • Compared with their total number of deaths from liver disease, white people are placed on the transplant list ~3X more often than Native Americans.

  • If transplant rates had been equal, ~1,000 more Native people would have received liver transplants between 2018–2021.
Driving disparities: With limited access to health services, Native Americans are often not diagnosed until the disease has limited their options.

An “epidemic” in Indian Country: Native Americans are 4X more likely to die from the disease than non-Hispanic White people.
  • It is the second leading cause of death among Indigenous men ages 35–44.
The Markup QUICK HITS Maternal syphilis rates in the US have tripled in recent years, CDC report shows, raising infection risk for infants – CNN

Cheap, plentiful and devastating: The synthetic drug kush is walloping Sierra Leone – NPR Goats and Soda

We have treatments for opioid addiction that work. So why is the problem getting worse? – Vox

Women and Minorities Bear the Brunt of Medical Misdiagnosis – Undark

U.S. schools are sending more kids to psychiatrists out of fears of violence. Clinicians are concerned – The Guardian

Smoking in cars with kids is banned in 11 states, and West Virginia could be next – AP

WHO updates list of medically important antibiotics for use in human medicine – CIDRAP

Was Pfizer’s “Here’s to Science” commercial during the Super Bowl a winning play or a fumble? – STAT Issue No. 2374
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on X @GHN_News.

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Stories from the UN Archive: Boris Karloff, leprosy and Nigeria

World Health Organization - Tue, 02/13/2024 - 07:00
As the world celebrates World Radio Day, marked on 13 February, we dug into the UN archives for a vintage podcast classic from 1959, when famed Frankenstein actor Boris Karloff narrated an episode describing a visit to a leprosy clinic in Tiranka, Nigeria.
Categories: Global Health Feed

Global Health NOW: Investigating Chile’s Inferno; Adolescent Boys’ Eating Disorders; and First Fatal Alaskapox Case

Global Health Now - Mon, 02/12/2024 - 09:04
96 Global Health NOW: Investigating Chile’s Inferno; Adolescent Boys’ Eating Disorders; and First Fatal Alaskapox Case Why did one neighborhood survive flames that destroyed 15,000+ homes? View this email in your browser February 12, 2024 Forward Share Post Investigating Chile’s Inferno 
As the smoke clears from deadly wildfires that engulfed Chile’s Valparaíso region on February 2, the grim toll is coming into focus—along with a better understanding of what led to the “tornado of fire,” reports The Telegraph.
  • At least 131 people have died, and 370 are still missing. 15,000+ homes were destroyed.
A “tinderbox combination”: Wildfires have become 3X more common in Chile in recent years, due to El Niño and global warming. But “the velocity and deadliness” of this firestorm were unprecedented, reports The Guardian.
  • Heat, drought, and extreme winds fueled “firestorms” that obliterated neighborhoods within minutes—with residents receiving little to no warning of a blaze “packing the power of several hydrogen bombs.” 

  • Highlighting inequality: Officials estimate that 70% of the region’s destroyed homes were in poorer settlements called “tomas ilegales.”

  • Hawaii, California, France, Portugal, Canada, Greece, and Australia have all been hit by such storms in recent years.
Lessons from Botania: Amid the ravaged hillsides, officials are seeking to learn lessons from the unscathed neighborhood of Botania—which had previously adopted a fire prevention plan, created by Chilean forestry officials and a local NGO with USAID support, per The Washington Post (gift article). GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners   The large reduction in foreign aid is taking a toll on Afghanistan’s public health system and making it difficult for millions of Afghans to access health care, per a new Human Rights Watch report; Taliban limits on women’s freedom of movement have further reduced health care access for women. AP
 
Quebec health officials are warning of the arrival of a synthetic opioid 25X times more powerful than fentanyl; the compound, protonitazepyne, was detected in pale green tablets that appear to be other prescription opioids. The Canadian Press
 
Gang violence claimed 1,100+ lives in Haiti in January, according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk; that’s 3X the number documented in January 2023. UN News

The CDC has issued its first guidance for comprehensive laboratory testing for syphilis, which also covers performing point-of-care tests, processing samples, and reporting test results; syphilis cases have surged in the US since 2018. MedPage Today EATING DISORDERS Adolescent Boys at Risk
Adolescent boys have been increasingly hospitalized over the last decade for eating disorders—a signal that more resources need to be directed to them, The New York Time reports (gift article)

Distinctive traits: While eating disorders in young women typically present as a fixation on losing weight, body dysmorphia among young men can focus on growing larger and more muscular.
  • One-third of U.S. teenage boys report that they’re trying to get more muscular.

  • “We see the obsessive exercise. We see eliminating certain types of food. We see marked dietary restraint,” said Sarah Smith, a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Severe effects: Boys hospitalized for eating disorders have more severe medical complications compared to hospitalized girls—including greater heart-rate abnormalities, higher rates, and longer hospital stays, per a recent International Journal of Eating Disorders study.

Driving the increase: Researchers say social media is a key factor.
  • “Not only are young people consuming body ideals from the media, but they feel pressure to produce content and display their own bodies on social media,” said Jason Nagata, a pediatrician.
Related: Anorexia Should Never Be Considered a Terminal Illness – Undark (commentary) GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES RADAR First Fatal Alaskapox Case Confirmed
An immunocompromised Kenai Peninsula man who died in late January is the first known death from Alaskapox, per Alaska Public Radio.
  • Alaskapox—related to other orthopox viruses like smallpox, cowpox, and mpox—is likely transmitted by direct contact with an infected animal; it’s been found mostly in red voles and squirrels.

  • The man who died reported contact with a stray cat who hunted small mammals.
There’s no evidence of person-to-person transmission, said CDC epidemiologist Julia Rogers, who expects Alaskapox to remain rare—and unlikely to be fatal in people who aren’t immunocompromised.

Significance: The fatal case, which took months to diagnose, marked the first case outside of the Fairbanks area—and from a different strain, signaling the virus could be more widespread in small mammals than realized, per Anchorage Daily News.

CDC recommendations:
  • Avoid handling or letting pets near sick or dead animals
  • Have any lesions checked out by health professionals.
  • Health providers should step up their ability to recognize the pox lesions.
OPPORTUNITY QUICK HITS Gaza: UN health agency warns over continuing attacks on healthcare – UN News

Researchers uncover genetic factors for severe Lassa fever – ScienceDaily

‘Fleeing under the cover of darkness’: How Idaho’s abortion ban is changing pregnancy in the state – CNN

There's a science research gap in Africa. Here's how to fill it – World Economic Forum (commentary)

Youth with autism are more likely to be arrested. A Nevada judge wants to remedy that – NPR

Gender bias in science ‘deprives our world of great talent’: Guterres – Nagaland Tribune

UMich study finds association between heavy metal exposure and early menopause – The Michigan Daily

Scientists at the School of Medicine want to delay menopause. Should they? – Yale Daily News

3D printer creates brain tissue that acts like the real thing – Science Issue No. 2472
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

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Categories: Global Health Feed

Making AI a partner in neuroscientific discovery

McGill Faculty of Medicine news - Fri, 02/09/2024 - 09:55
New paper argues that Large Language Models can reveal breakthroughs humans alone cannot
Categories: Global Health Feed

Global Health NOW: COVID-Era Ageism Has Not Abated; STI Testing To Go; and Pigeons Under Suspicion

Global Health Now - Fri, 02/09/2024 - 09:33
96 Global Health NOW: COVID-Era Ageism Has Not Abated; STI Testing To Go; and Pigeons Under Suspicion View this email in your browser February 9, 2024 Forward Share Post An 87-year-old woman is assisted by a health care aide in putting on a COVID-19 mask in Sarasota, Florida, on January 7, 2022. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty COVID-Era Ageism Has Not Abated
Three out of four Americans who have died of COVID-19 were older adults. And the toll is ongoing:
  • 4,810 people aged 65+ died of COVID-19 during the last week of 2023 and the first two weeks of 2024. 
And yet: Updated vaccines and antiviral therapies are becoming harder for seniors to access. Meanwhile, assisted living centers are struggling with labor shortages. 

The pandemic effect: Ageism has long been a problem in American society—escalating as Boomers have commodified youth, say researchers. But it spiked during the pandemic.
  • “It has further stigmatized aging,” said John Rowe of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
A call for integration: A critical change needs to be a shift away from sequestering seniors into separate communities as they age, advocates say. 

A wake-up call: “People are greatly underestimating what the cost of caring for the older population is going to be over the next 10 to 20 years, and I think that’s going to cause increased conflict,” said Karl Pillemer, a gerontologist at Cornell University.

KFF Health News GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners   A high-dose naloxone spray—2X as potent as the highest dose previously available for reversing opioid overdoses—did not save more lives than the previous standard dose, but did cause more side effects like vomiting, per research published in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. AP

Men exposed to DDT and other environmental toxins may produce sperm with genetic alterations that affect embryo development and neurodevelopment and could increase their future children’s rates of birth defects and diseases, per a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. McGill University (news release) 

Among Maui wildfire survivors, 55% are living with depression, while 74% have respiratory issues, according to preliminary findings from a University of Hawaii study that is tracking 2,000 survivors over the next 10 years. The Guardian

Brain drain in antibiotic research could pose a setback to antimicrobial resistance research, a new report from the AMR Industry Alliance warns—noting that there are ~3,000 AMR researchers active in the world, compared with ~46,000 cancer researchers. CIDRAP HEALTH SYSTEMS Pandemic Lessons for an Election Year
A new BMJ series on U.S. COVID-19 lessons highlights the need for systemic health reforms—and calls on the 2024 U.S. presidential candidates to make it a centerpiece of their campaigns. 
 
The unfolding series—called “essential reading” for global health students by guest editor Gavin Yamey—will include articles on the effects of systemic racism, mass incarceration, labor market inequalities, and more. It is designed not to assign blame, the editors say, but to offer a map to transform U.S. preparedness.
 
In a new piece added this week, Justin Feldman and Mary Bassett dig into the diminished role of the public sector in providing health services.
 
Key takeaways:
  • Policies favoring “privatization, limited government, and a punitive role for state programs” have long hampered health services.

  • Weakened government led to widespread use of management consultants—with limited accountability—steering the public health response.

  • The investigator-driven model of public health research divides researchers and public agencies.
Rx to “rebuild the hollowed state”:
  • Reduce reliance on management consultants.

  • Restore and protect state-led public health surveillance and laboratories.
GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS Testing To Go 
Over the last two years, new vending machines have started popping up at malls, clinics, and community centers across the Bristol and Brighton regions in the U.K. 

The unusual fare inside: self-test kits for STIs. 

The initiative, spearheaded by the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, was launched as STI rates rose 24% in England in 2022, per one analysis.

Increasing access: The distribution model aims to bypass common testing barriers: stigma, hassle, and lack of awareness. Over one year, 2,500+ self-test kits were dispensed from 10 locations.
  • A study of the vending machines found that more than half of their users said it was their first STI test.

  • “What we found with all of the machines is that actually people see these things, and they think, ‘you know what, it’s fine, I’ll use it,’ and then it starts normalizing testing,” said Jaime Vera, one of the initiative’s leaders.
The Washington Post (gift article) FRIDAY DIVERSION Pigeons Under Suspicion  
To some, they are flying rats; to others, they are the winged kings of espionage.
 
In the latest installment of the not-actually-that-rare phenomenon of pigeons accused of spying, a suspected Chinese spy pigeon has finally been exonerated—eight months after being caught in Mumbai wearing a suspicious ankle bracelet, Indian Express reports.
 
As it turned out, the suspect was merely an open-water racing pigeon from Taiwan who flew the coop on a lark.
 
It wasn’t the first time. Not long ago, another winged suspect was reported by a hawk-eyed human as it “came to mingle with other pigeons.” Paranoid much?
 
Largely known for pooping on stuff, today’s pigeons struggle to match the glory of their ancestors—like Cher Ami, the decorated World War I carrier pigeon who was shot through the breast while helping save hundreds of soldiers and, before dying, still managed to deliver the message. QUICK HITS It happened on Call The Midwife – now NHS nurses deal with thousands of cases a year – The Telegraph

It's no surprise there's a global measles outbreak. But the numbers are 'staggering' - NPR Goats and Soda

Weight loss drugs tied to fewer anxiety, depression cases: Study – Becker’s Hospital Review

How Abortion Trigger Laws Impact Mental Health – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

What to do when you’re completely overwhelmed by climate anxiety – Vox

Devex CheckUp: Donating or dumping? The truth about gifted medical devices – Devex   Cities know that the way police respond to mental crisis calls must change. But how? – KFF Health News

Pharma CEOs don't budge on pricing at hearing with Sanders – Axios Issue No. 2471
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

Please send the Global Health NOW free sign-up link to friends and colleagues: http://www.globalhealthnow.org/subscribe

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Global Health NOW: New Insights into the U.S. Transgender Experience; Building a Better Chicken Patty; and The Lone Star Threat

Global Health Now - Thu, 02/08/2024 - 09:16
96 Global Health NOW: New Insights into the U.S. Transgender Experience; Building a Better Chicken Patty; and The Lone Star Threat Transgender people are dealing with worsening disparities in health and economic opportunities, survey shows. View this email in your browser February 8, 2024 Forward Share Post ACLU march participants chant and hold signs in support of transgender rights during the 2023 Los Angeles Pride Parade in Hollywood on June 11, 2023. Mario Tama/Getty New Insights into the U.S. Transgender Experience
Transgender people in the U.S. are dealing with worsening disparities in health and economic opportunities, according to a new preliminary analysis from the yet-to-be released 2022 U.S. Transgender Survey.
 
The summary from the survey, which included up to 605 questions and 92,000+ respondents, is the most detailed look at the transgender experience in the U.S. since 2015, The 19th reports.
 
Takeaways:
  • Unemployment among transgender people reached 18%, far above the national average and an increase from 15% in a 2015 survey.
  • 34% of respondents live in poverty, up from 29%.
  • 26% reported problems with insurance, including being denied coverage for gender-affirming care.
  • 48% of those who accessed health care in the previous 12 months had a negative experience, such as being refused care.
 
Moving plans: Laws in some states targeting transgender people led nearly half of respondents to consider moving in the previous year, The New York Times reports. And 5% did move.
 
Survey details: The survey sample wasn’t randomized, “so it cannot be interpreted as representative of the transgender population as a whole,” per The Times, which also noted that 43% of respondents were between 18 and 24. GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES The Latest One-Liners
Viagra and similar drugs for erectile dysfunction may reduce men’s risk for Alzheimer's disease by 18%, according to a new study involving 260,000 men published in Neurology; scientists cautioned that more research is needed to prove a causal effect. BBC
 
Phthalates and other synthetic chemicals
in plastic food containers have been linked to tens of thousands of preterm births in the U.S. each year, per a new study in the Lancet Planetary Health; researchers examined national data on 5,000 mothers for the study. USA Today

A new analysis published yesterday in Pediatrics raised concern about the toll of long Covid on U.S. children, and illustrates how the condition can target multiple organ systems; it found that up to 20% of kids who had Covid developed long Covid but pointed to “lots of caveats” in the data used. New York Times (Gift Article)
 
Ebola vaccination halves the risk of mortality for those infected with the disease, according to a new DRC study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases; previous studies focused on the vaccine’s effectiveness against infections, but not its impact on mortality. MSF via ReliefWeb NUTRITION Building a Better Chicken Patty
Chicken patty sandwiches are a staple of American school lunches. But of the 30 varieties of chicken patties made for school meals, just two are free of “ingredients of concern”—products nutritionists say are not suitable for children. 

No guardrails: There are no federal restrictions governing the use of preservatives, chemicals, and artificial ingredients in school meals.

A chicken sandwich quest: When the Urban School Food Alliance—a nutrition-focused nonprofit supporting the country’s largest school districts—sought to introduce a chicken patty that was free of hormones and “ingredients of concern,” they got more than they bargained for:
  • 27 months of negotiations between processors, buying cooperatives, and legal teams.
  • $400,000 in costs to help develop the new patty.

Even after all of that: At the last minute an ingredient the Alliance had been trying to avoid, cellulose gum, was inserted into the patty’s breading recipe. 

The Guardian GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES TICKBORNE DISEASES The Lone Star Threat
In the past few decades, the lone star tick, once primarily an East Coast concern, has expanded its reach as far west as Nebraska.

That invasion—enabled largely by climate change and other environmental impacts—carries worrisome threats. 

Leveling up attack: Unlike other ticks which function more as opportunists, lone stars are hunters—seeking out sources of vibrations and carbon dioxide.
  • “They detect your breath and become alert. And then you gotta watch out,” said microbiologist Jim Occi. 

Traveling with baggage: The lone star tick carries a number of novel maladies, including: 
  • Ehrlichiosis: a bacterial, Lyme-like disease 
  • Alpha-gal syndrome, which leads to an allergy to red meat and other animal products.
  • Heartland and Bourbon viruses, which are emerging viruses scientists are still trying to understand.

The bottom line: New tools for preventing tick bites are “urgently needed,” said one CDC epidemiologist. 

Undark QUICK HITS Millions of Survivors of 2023 Turkey-Syria Quakes Remain Destitute, Traumatized – VOA

DEA reverses decision stripping drug distributor of licenses for fueling opioid crisis – AP

Vaccine-makers seek a role in the fight against antibiotic resistance – CIDRAP

Not wearing mask during COVID-19 outbreak isn’t protected by free speech, court rules – The Hill 

To regain trust, the CDC must show its work – Harvard Public Health (commentary)

ChatGPT passes the nutrition test, but experts remain irreplaceable – News Medical

The new mile-high club: Why airline toilets could give early warning of the next pandemic – The Telegraph Issue No. 2470
Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Kate Belz, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @globalhealth.now and X @GHN_News.

Please send the Global Health NOW free sign-up link to friends and colleagues: http://www.globalhealthnow.org/subscribe

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McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous Peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg Nations. McGill honours, recognizes, and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which peoples of the world now gather. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

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