STD Rates Are Spiking And Experts Are Pointing Fingers At Budget Cuts, Dating Apps
Syphilis cases increased by 19 percent, gonorrhea by nearly 13 percent, and chlamydia by nearly 6 percent compared with 2014.
The New York Times:
Reported Cases Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Are On Rise
There were more cases of sexually transmitted diseases reported in the United States last year than ever before, according to new federal data. Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis — three of the most common S.T.D.s — grew for the second consecutive year, with sharper increases in the West than other regions. And while all three diseases are treatable with antibiotics, most cases continue to go undiagnosed, potentially causing infertility and other problems. (Goodnough, 10/19)
In other national health care news —
The New York Times:
Children 14 Or Under Need Fewer H.P.V. Vaccine Doses
Children 11 to 14 years old need only two doses of the H.P.V. vaccine, not the previously recommended three doses, to protect against cervical cancer and other cancers caused by the human papillomavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. But teenagers and young adults who start the vaccinations later, at ages 15 through 26, should stick with the three-dose regimen, the disease centers said. (Grady, 10/19)
VA Shuffles Managers, Declares ‘New Leadership’
Although Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald has asserted that more than “90%” of the VA’s medical centers have “new leadership” or “leadership teams” since he took over the troubled agency in 2014, a USA TODAY investigation found the VA has hired just eight medical center directors from outside the agency during that time. (Slack, 10/18)
The Common Cold May Be Beatable, Scientists Say
Time and again, Martin Moore’s children get sick with a cold. He hauls them to their doctor, who then informs him that there’s nothing to be done aside from taking them home and waiting it out. The experience is maddening for Moore — especially because he’s a virologist. For everything that virologists have learned about rhinoviruses — the cause of the majority of colds — they have not invented a vaccine for them. In 2013, Moore wondered if he could make one. He consulted a rhinovirus expert for some advice. Instead, the expert told him, “Oh, there will never be a vaccine for rhinovirus — it’s just not possible.” (Zimmer, 10/20)
Are Concerns About A Price War Between Johnson & Johnson And Pfizer 'Overblown'?
After Pfizer announced earlier this week that it will sell a biosimilar version of Remicade, the blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis treatment, Johnson & Johnson executives are scrambling to calm investors who worry the health care giant will quickly lose a big chunk of revenue. That’s because Pfizer plans to sell Inflectra at a 15 percent discount to Remicade, which generated roughly $1.2 billion in sales for Johnson & Johnson in this year’s first quarter. A biosimilar, you may recall, is a nearly identical variant of a biologic and is expected to provide the same result in patients, which means the Pfizer medicine is poised to eat into Remicade sales. The question, though, is by how much? (Silverman, 10/19)