In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
Researchers say their study suggests solitary households may be markers for older adults in better health and with more functional independence. (Rachel Bluth, 7/29)
In more than three-quarters of the cases that researchers said might have been preventable, factors at the hospital contributed to the child’s return, according to the researchers. (Michelle Andrews, 7/29)
Deportation-relief programs would have meant access to subsidized health care. (Ana B. Ibarra, 7/29)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'What's Left?'" by Steve Kelley.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
SENIORS’ SOLITUDE MIGHT BE INDICATOR OF GOOD HEALTH
At a certain age
living alone is construed
as a healthy sign.
If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.
Summaries Of The News:
Curbing high drug prices is a popular topic on the campaign trail, but industry lobbyists weren't feeling the heat at the Democratic National Convention this week. Meanwhile, now that the general election is officially on, The Hill looks at what to expect out of the candidates' health care policies.
Stat: At The DNC, The Debate Over Drug Prices Gives Way To Charcuterie And Cheese
The drug industry didn’t really feel the heat here at the Democratic National Convention. Once you left Wells Fargo Arena, where Bernie Sanders thundered, “The greed of the drug companies must end!” in the climatic speech of the convention’s opening night, drug lobbyists could be seen chatting with senior Democratic officials in crowded bars, picking at spreads of choice charcuterie and cheese. In between band sets at one such event, cosponsored by the drug company Astellas, Democratic congressmen lauded free trade — on the same day that streams of Sanders supporters had chanted their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. (Scott, 7/28)
The Hill: What Can We Expect In Healthcare With Clinton, Trump?
Clinton would expand Obamacare by allowing a buy-in to Medicare starting at age 55, offering a public health insurance option and continuing the drive for Medicaid expansion...Mr. Trump has adopted the Republican platform, which eliminates Obamacare and replaces it with consumer-based insurance plans. (Bellefeuille, 7/28)
The Food and Drug Administration has asked blood centers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale to suspend blood donations during the investigation into the four cases that may not be linked to travel outside the country.
The Associated Press: FDA: No Miami-Area Blood Donations During Zika Investigation
Federal authorities have told blood centers in two Florida counties to suspend collections amid investigations into four mysterious cases of Zika infection that may be the first spread by mosquitoes on the U.S. mainland. Blood centers in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas were asked to immediately stop collecting blood until they can screen each unit of blood for the Zika virus with authorized tests, according to a statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website. (7/28)
NPR: Fearing Zika, FDA Asks 2 Florida Counties To Halt Blood Donations
The move came after investigators ruled out travel as the cause of four cases of Zika virus in those counties. Florida health officials announced the cases last week. The people hadn't traveled to places where Zika is endemic and don't appear to have contracted it through sex, leaving a possibility that they got the virus from being bitten by infected mosquitoes in the U.S. (Bichell, 7/28)
The Washington Post: FDA Temporarily Halts Blood Donation In Two Florida Counties Over Zika Fears
The FDA is also recommending that nearby counties also put these precautions in place as soon as possible to maintain the safety of the blood supply. For blood-collection establishments outside of this region, FDA is recommending that donors who have traveled to Miami-Dade and Broward Counties during the previous four weeks defer on donating blood. The FDA alerted the Florida's surgeon general and the major blood-collection industry organization Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, the FDA also reached out to blood-collection establishments in Florida, starting with the state’s largest blood collectors, according to Tara Goodin, an FDA spokeswoman. (Sun, 7/28)
The Associated Press: F.D.A. Says 2 Florida Counties With Zika Cases Should Suspend Blood Donations
The F.D.A. had previously advised blood banks to refuse donations from people who had recently traveled to foreign countries with Zika outbreaks. The main supplier of blood in Florida, OneBlood, announced last week that it would start testing donated blood for the Zika virus on Monday. OneBlood officials have said they will halt blood collections in ZIP codes where local transmission of Zika is confirmed and bring in blood from unaffected areas to maintain local supplies. Some blood banks in Texas and Hawaii have begun testing donations for the Zika virus, and others plan to do so soon. (7/28)
PBS Newshour: 2 Florida Counties Halt Blood Donations, As Evidence Mounts For Local Zika Transmission
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested that two Florida counties — Miami-Dade and Broward — postpone blood donations as officials investigate the possible local transmission of Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects. The temporary ban arrived Wednesday, the same day Florida health officials announced an investigation into two cases of the mosquito-borne disease that do not appear linked to travel. Last week, the Florida Health Department reported two other cases of suspected transmission by local mosquitoes. (Akpan, 7/28)
PBS Newshour: What You Need To Know About South Florida Zika Scare
The Food and Drug Administration asked two South Florida counties — Miami-Dade and Broward — to immediately halt blood donations as what looks like four cases of locally transmitted, mosquito-borne Zika virus are investigated. Hari Sreenivasan talks with Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health, about the virus, which can cause birth defects. Fauci says the FDA is taking “prudent steps.” (Sreenivasan, 7/28)
In other Zika news —
Stat: The Best Drug To Fight Zika May Already Be Approved And Out There, Study Suggests
Several teams of scientists are racing to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. But what if a drug that already exists could stop an infection in its tracks? According to new research, it’s not a totally crazy idea. A group of researchers has identified two dozen Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs that have shown some ability to block Zika from infecting human cells in the lab, according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. Some of these drugs — which treat infections, cancers, and even depression— also showed potential to prevent infection in certain cells tied to fetal defects in pregnant women. (Joseph, 7/28)
Modern Healthcare: Failure To Fund Efforts To Fight Zika Reveals Need To Permanently Address Public Health Disasters
Nearly 800 women in the United States and its territories have tested positive for a Zika infection...And yet, Congress left for its seven week summer break without approving President Barack Obama's request for $1.9 billion to deal with Zika. (Muchmore, 7/28)
Kansas Health Institute: Amid Zika Concerns, Kansas Researchers Seek Mosquitoes That Can Carry The Virus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently awarded Kansas more than $350,000 to support efforts to protect Kansans from Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease. The money also will go toward eliminating adverse health outcomes that can result from Zika infection, including severe birth defects. Now, state agencies are working to identify and monitor the two species of mosquito that transmit the Zika virus. (Wilson, 7/28)
Sacramento Bee: Zika Found In Sacramento County's First Reported Case
A Sacramento County man who recently traveled to an area with active Zika transmission has tested positive in a preliminary test for the virus. The 34-year-old man sought medical care after exhibiting Zika symptoms, prompting the doctor to report the case to the county, said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. She could not specify which symptoms the man had. (Caiola, 7/28)
The Associated Press: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released In Cayman Islands
The first wave of genetically modified mosquitoes were released Wednesday in the Cayman Islands as part of a new effort to control the insect that spreads Zika and other viruses, officials in the British Island territory said. Genetically altered male mosquitoes, which don't bite but are expected to mate with females to produce offspring that
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