Latest From California Healthline:
Critics are concerned about the explosion in controversial stem cell procedures offered by clinics — and, increasingly, respected hospitals. (Liz Szabo, 4/16)
Good morning! Officials reported 90 new measles cases in the latest round of updates, all but guaranteeing that 2019 will be the worst year this century has seen. California is one of the states listed with an on-going outbreak. More on that below, but here are some of your top California health stories for the day.
Newsom Has Made Strides Toward Fulfilling Promises On Homelessness, But Has Yet To Name A Secretary To Address The Issue: Gov. Gavin Newsome has promised that he will appoint a cabinet-level state homelessness secretary. "We must address homelessness. I’ll create an interagency council to end chronic homelessness led by a cabinet-level secretary committed to solving the issue not just managing it,” Newsom said on the campaign trail. While he has yet to name someone to the position, it might not be long before Newsom fills that post—in fact it could be as early as this week that he makes the announcement. Experts have mixed reactions if the state really needs a homelessness secretary, with some people saying the money to pay for it should be going toward tangible aid for the vulnerable population. Still others see the person as a crucial adviser to the governor. Read more from Politifact California and Capital Public Radio.
Meanwhile, Sacramento is set to open its first homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth. Councilman Steve Hansen, the city’s first openly gay council member, is proposing the shelter because he said the city needs to do more to help a vulnerable population within the homeless community. “The specific impacts of homelessness on LGBT youth are profound. As youth come out, their families kick them out, and they struggle to figure out where to go,” Hansen said. “In talking to LGBT youth of color and transgender youth, they are buffeted by multiple layers of prejudice and barriers. This is a way to empower them for a productive and happy life.” Read more from the Sacramento Bee.
Death Caused By Pellet Guns Are Rare, But Incident At Sacramento State Serves As Reminder That It Can Happen: The accidental death of Sacramento State student William Molina, 21, on Friday highlights a safety issue that can often be overlooked. Statewide, the number of emergency room visits related to the accidental discharge of an airgun jumped by 14 percent last year. There were 1,038 such reported incidents throughout the state, according to data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. In 2016, a California law went into affect making it illegal to sell “BB devices,” which are guns that use air pressure or springs, to any person under 18. Read more from the Sacramento Bee.
Below, check out the full round-up of California Healthline original stories, state coverage and the best of the rest of the national news for the day. And have a healthy weekend.
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More News From Across The State
San Francisco Chronicle:
SF Compromises — Slightly — On Embarcadero Navigation Center After Month-Long Backlash
San Francisco officials signaled a willingness Monday to compromise — slightly — with residents of Rincon Hill, South Beach and other waterfront neighborhoods who are staunchly opposed to a plan to bring a Navigation Center to the Embarcadero. After more than a month of divisive, sometimes vitriolic debate, Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney jointly announced changes to the city’s proposal meant to make the center’s arrival less jarring for its future neighbors. (Fracassa, 4/15)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Homeless Surge At SF Airport: Police Contacts Triple, And Officials Want BART To Step In
Authorities at San Francisco International Airport are struggling to deal with rising numbers of homeless people arriving at the International Terminal, many of them seeking shelter in the middle of the night after riding BART trains south from the city. (Gafni, 4/13)
Planning Your 420 High? Plan For A Driver, Too, MADD Says
Planning to indulge in some high times at 4:20 p.m. on 4/20, the date when many people celebrate cannabis culture? If so, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is urging you to also plan a designated driver to avoid making a potentially tragic mistake. The odds of being involved in a crash after 4:20 p.m. on April 20 is 12 percent higher in the United States than it is for the same period a week earlier, according to Canadian researchers who looked at 25 years’ worth of U.S. traffic data. For those under age 21, the risk increased by 38 percent. (Anderson, 4/16)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Travel Trailers End A Nomadic Existence For Some Camp Fire Victims
After five months of bouncing from motel to motel, Camp Fire survivors Marianne Warner and her 2-year-old daughter, Charlotte Sherwood, were finally able to kick up their heels after a long-awaited move into more stable housing: a travel trailer in Oroville. (Fimrite, 4/15)
San Francisco Chronicle:
South Bay Pediatrician Faces New Complaint Of Sex Abuse From Juvenile Patient
A Bay Area pediatrician and former foster parent who has been accused of sexual molestation by more than a dozen children and teens since 2001 is under investigation for a third time, after a new allegation of abuse in Santa Cruz County. (de Sa, 4/14)
The New York Times:
90 New Cases Of Measles Reported In U.S. As Outbreak Continues Record Pace
The number of new measles cases in the United States rose again this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday, bringing the total number to 555 in 2019. This year’s outbreak is on course to be the worst since the country eliminated measles as an endemic disease in 2000. Health authorities reported 90 additional cases as of April 11, with outbreaks in New York, Washington, California, New Jersey and Michigan, up from 78 the week before. (Malkin, 4/15)
The Associated Press:
US Measles Count Up To 555, With Most New Cases In New York
The 2019 tally is already the most since 2014, when 667 were reported. The most before that was 963 cases in 1994. (4/15)
Measles Cases Spike Driven By Outbreaks In N.Y. And 4 Other Regions
More American families are bringing measles home with them after traveling abroad, Cohn says. And once the disease lands stateside, it has a better chance of gaining a foothold because vaccination rates in some places have dropped below 93 to 95 percent, the threshold required to protect the entire community. "When you make the decision not to vaccinate your child, please understand you're also making that decision for the people around your child," New York City's deputy mayor of health and human services, Herminia Palacio, told NPR on Wednesday. (Doucleff and Neighmond, 4/15)
Anti-Vaxers Are Winning The War On Social Media. What's The CDC Going To Do About It?
Concerned that anti-vaccination activists are winning the war on social media, advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say public health authorities need to figure out how to fight back. "Have we done enough? I think the answer to that is no," said Patricia Stinchfield, a pediatric nurse practitioner and a liaison representative to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. (Cohen, 4/12)
Sanders Town Hall Audience Cheers After Fox News Host Asks If They'd Support 'Medicare For All'
The audience at a Fox News town hall erupted in cheers and applause when asked by moderator Bret Baier if they would support Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) "Medicare for All" proposal. "I want to ask the audience a question here. ... How many are willing to transition to what the senator says, a government-run system?" Baier asked before the crowd burst into cheers. (Seipel, 4/15)
Rick Scott And Chuck Schumer Feud Over Puerto Rico
Rick Scott campaigned on standing up for Puerto Rico. But with President Donald Trump warning senators not to provide more aid to the island, the Florida Republican is caught between his party and his promises. And Democrats are eager to exploit that tension — blasting Scott for sticking with the president on a critical disaster relief bill and throwing the freshman senator into the middle of a broader fight over stalled assistance for millions of Americans devastated by wildfires, flooding and hurricanes. (Levine, 4/16)
The New York Times:
Melinda Gates On Tech Innovation, Global Health And Her Own Privilege
You would perhaps be demonstrating an excess of sympathy to feel sorry for of ultrawealthy philanthropists. But it’s fair to say that many members of that cohort have found themselves in a challenging moment, faced as they are with increasing anti-elitism and skepticism about just how much altruism, as opposed to ideological self-interest, motivates their work. “There are absolutely different points of view about philanthropy,” says Melinda Gates, who, along with her husband Bill, heads the charitable foundation that bears their name, aimed at increasing global health and reducing poverty. Its endowment, at $50.7 billion, is the largest in the world. “But we’re lucky to live in a democracy, where we can all envision what we want things to look like.” In that regard, Gates’s focus, both here and abroad, is on broadening women’s rights, a subject she explores in her new book, “The Moment of Lift.” “I have rage,” she said, about the injustices she has seen. “It’s up to me to metabolize that and use it to fuel my work.” (Marchese, 4/15)
The Policy Experts Shaping Democrats’ Drug-Pricing Approach
There’s a cadre of health policy experts — two professors, a lobbyist, all former policy advisers to Democratic administrations — advising Nancy Pelosi on how best to lower prescription drug prices, a chief party priority. The group, which includes the likes of Harvard professor Richard Frank, has been working closely with Wendell Primus, a Capitol Hill veteran and the senior adviser on budget and health policy issues to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Primus and the rest of his group are widely seen as taking a left-of-center but pragmatic approach to the policy issue, and are even working with the Trump administration in hopes of brokering a bipartisan deal. (Facher, 4/15)
It's Just In Mice! This Scientist Is Calling Out Hype In Science Reporting
Mice form the basis of all biomedical research. As the quintessential model organism, they are perfect specimens in which to study all sorts of human conditions. But just because a drug performs well in mice, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll have the same result in humans. Science journalists and press releases — as translators of these findings — often fail to clearly demarcate that line. A new Twitter account hopes to make that line much clearer. Last Friday, tweets from @justsaysinmice started making the rounds on Twitter and they quickly went viral. Every tweet — all 11 of them so far — follows the same pattern: A news story or press release with a sensational headline is tweeted out, with two simple words tacked on top: “IN MICE.” (Chakradhar, 4/15)
Proponents Start Push To Lift U.S. Ban On 'Three-Parent IVF'
Last week, a Greek woman with a history of multiple in-vitro fertilization failures gave birth to a healthy baby with DNA from three biological parents. It was the first successful birth in a clinical trial of a controversial fertility treatment known as mitochondrial replacement therapy, which combines genetic material from the intended mother and father plus a female donor. In the U.S., the procedure is effectively banned because of a congressional amendment passed in 2015 that’s been renewed every year since. But now, a group of scientists, patient advocates, and bioethicists want to see the prohibition lifted. The technique, they say, could help certain women who are carriers of serious genetic diseases have healthy, biologically related children. (Mullin, 4/16)
When Teen Dating Leads To Homicide, Girls Are Most Likely Victims
Domestic violence is common among adults, and women are most frequently the victims. In fact, nearly half of women killed by homicide in the United States are killed by their former or current intimate partners. Now a new study finds that this kind of violence also poses a risk to the lives of adolescent girls. The study found that of the more than 2,000 adolescents killed between 2003 and 2016, nearly 7 percent — 150 teens — were killed by their current or former intimate partners. (Chatterjee, 4/15)