• NIH panel votes for more oversight on pathogen research

    On Jan. 27, a National Institutes of Health panel unanimously voted in favor of draft recommendations to boost oversight of pathogen research. It is now up to the White House to decide whether to adopt the recommendations, according to a report from The New York Times. 
  • White House aims to expand birth control coverage under ACA

    The Biden administration aims to expand access to free birth control under the Affordable Care Act through a proposed rule issued Jan. 30.
  • Cleveland Clinic implements 'code sepsis' protocol to rapidly assess, treat patients

    Throughout Cleveland Clinic's healthcare system, a protocol known as "code sepsis" allows physicians to diagnose and treat the infection before it becomes life threatening. The hospital's standardized sepsis response is carried out by by specialized response teams at the bedside. 
  • 9 diseases with pandemic potential: WHO

    Behind the scenes at the World Health Organization, epidemiologists track a list of the most important infectious diseases to keep tabs on. The list is of utmost importance — particularly in an age where a global pandemic has already occurred. This is why in November, the WHO recruited 300 scientists to help identify the most infectious pathogens to update the list, which previously had not been revised since 2018.
  • COVID-19 still a public health emergency, says WHO: 5 updates

    The World Health Organization has determined COVID-19 remains a public health emergency. The agency's director-general accepted the recommendations of its emergency committee on Jan. 30. 
  • COVID-19 admissions fall 14% in 1 week: 7 CDC updates

    The U.S. saw double-digit decreases in COVID-19 admissions and hospitalizations this week, even as XBB.1.5 grew to account for nearly two-thirds of all infections, according to the CDC's COVID-19 data tracker weekly review published Jan. 27. 
  • Flu activity still high in 2 regions

    Flu metrics continue their steady decline in most of the U.S., though New Mexico and New York City are still reporting high levels of activity, according to the CDC's latest FluView report. 
  • Number of patients experiencing long COVID-19 has dropped, data shows

    Since June, the number of individuals who experience long COVID-19 has dropped, the Kaiser Family Foundation wrote of its findings after examining CDC data on long COVID-19. On top of that, more than 50 percent of patients who once reported having long COVID-19 say they are no longer affected by it.
  • FDA panel votes for bivalent COVID-19 shots, debates 'annual' schedule

    All COVID-19 vaccines should be targeted to the original and dominant strains, an FDA advisory panel said Jan. 26, but members debated whether a new modified vaccine every 12 months is optimal.  
  • Bird flu's spread to mammals elevates concern among virologists

    Concern is rising among health experts about the possibility of an H5N1 avian flu pandemic, as the strain has now been found in mammals. A Spanish mink farm was infected with the virus in October, signaling to experts the strain's capability to evolve and spread to other mammals, including humans, at possible pandemic levels.
  • Kaiser puts $25M to gun violence prevention

    Kaiser Permanente has committed $25 million to support gun violence prevention efforts spearheaded through its Center for Gun Violence Research and Education, the Oakland, Calif.-based system said Jan. 26.
  • 4 recent updates on long COVID-19 in 2023

    Below are four recent long COVID-19 updates Becker's has covered since the beginning of 2023: 
  • National tool from NYU Langone researchers offers data on dozens of key health measures

    Researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City have launched an online dashboard that provides data on 36 key health measures, including heart disease and breast cancer deaths, for all 435 congressional districts in the U.S. The tool is meant to guide lawmakers' decisions on health policy. 
  • How COVID-19 admissions compare to past winters

    The weekly rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations was nearly three times lower at the end of December compared to the same period a year prior, CDC data shows.
  • 15,500 US adults have newly discovered illness, NYU Langone study suggests

    Researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City estimate about 13,200 men and 2,300 women over the age of 50 in the U.S. have a rare syndrome called VEXAS — a deadly disorder that's associated with unexplained fevers and low blood oxygen levels in people with other diseases. 
  • Experts concerned over 'pandemic potential' if bird flu spills over to humans

    In the U.S. alone, the H5N1 avian flu strain has killed nearly 58 million birds in the last year. While the virus currently poses a low risk to humans, experts are concerned about its pandemic potential if it were to make a sustained jump. 
  • COVID-19 admissions down in 48 states

    The rate of new COVID-19 hospitalizations is falling in every state but Alaska and Hawaii, spurring a sigh of relief from many clinical leaders. 
  • Less global COVID-19 data spurs worries of missing a variant

    Researchers are concerned about whether the next COVID-19 variant of concern will be spotted in time as multiple countries are constricting their surveillance work, Nature reported Jan. 24. 
  • 2 states sue HHS, aim to divorce from WHO's authority

    Texas and Oklahoma are suing HHS for granting the World Health Organization the authority to determine and define what constitutes a public health emergency in the U.S. 
  • How children's hospitals are tackling gun safety

    In the last two years, St. Louis Children's Hospital has given out about 5,000 free gun locks to anyone who needs them, no questions asked. Leaders at the hospital say the initiative is one example of how healthcare organizations can address the nation's gun violence epidemic and reduce the stigma of talking about gun safety, according to a Jan. 22 CNN report. 

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