Flu Shot Still Left Off To-Do List For 40 Percent Of Adults Even After Last Year’s Deadly Season
Public health officials warn about a repeat of last year when the virus killed 80,000 people, and they stress that side effects from the shot are mild. Other public health news focuses on the outcry over the first CRISPR babies; prescription heroin; new transplant rules; more raw beef recalls; and the rise of mosquito-born illnesses.
41 Percent Of Adults Don't Plan To Get Flu Shot Despite Last Year's Deadly Season
More than 40 percent of American adults have not received a flu shot this year and don't plan to do so, according to a new poll released Wednesday. The survey from NORC at the University of Chicago found that, as of mid-November, 41 percent of adults said they haven't been vaccinated and have no plans to change that, despite last season's record-high death toll. (Hellmann, 12/5)
The New York Times:
Why Are Scientists So Upset About The First Crispr Babies?
A Chinese scientist recently claimed he had produced the world’s first gene-edited babies, setting off a global firestorm. If true — the scientist has not yet published data that would confirm it — his actions would be a sensational breach of international scientific conventions. Although gene editing holds promise to potentially correct dangerous disease-causing mutations and treat some medical conditions, there are many safety and ethical concerns about editing human embryos. Here are answers to some of the numerous questions swirling around this development. (Kolata and Belluck, 12/5)
Is America Ready For Prescription Heroin?
The U.S. drug crisis does not appear to be letting up. The nation experienced a shattering 47,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017. Driving the surge are potent, cheap synthetics like fentanyl. They've spread into the illicit drug supply, and in response communities have been trying a range of interventions, from increasing naloxone trainings to upping treatment resources. (Gordon, 12/6)
The Washington Post:
Critics Say New Transplant Rules Will Benefit Big City Medical Centers
The organization that controls the distribution of livers for transplant revised its controversial allocation policy for the second time in a year, further limiting transplant centers’ access to organs collected in their areas. The new plan eliminates geographical boundaries drawn years ago that had largely given transplant centers first shot at livers collected from brain-dead donors in hospitals nearby. It moves the liver transplant system farther toward a “sickest-first” model that would send organs to recipients more than 500 miles away if they demonstrate the greatest need. (Bernstein, 12/5)
More Raw Beef Recalled After Nationwide Salmonella Outbreak
More than 2,500 tons of raw beef are being added to a recall in connection with a salmonella outbreak that federal officials say has sickened hundreds of people across 25 states. The Arizona-based JBS Tolleson processing plant initially recalled about 3,500 tons of potentially contaminated beef in October. JBS, the top global meatpacker that owns the plant, still maintains the move ensured all of the affected product had already been removed from store shelves. (Held, 12//5)
Climate Change Means A Rise In Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Like Eastern Equine Encephalitis
The number of people who got sick in the United States from an infected mosquito, tick, or flea tripled between 2004 and 2016. More than 640,000 cases over that time, according to the CDC. In Florida, changing climate and a lack of good diagnostic tools, make it easier for insect-borne diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis to spread. The personal and financial costs of even one case of this disease can be catastrophic. (Prieur, 12/5)