Photo: NIAID-RML via FlickrAn electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 — also known as 2019-nCoV — which is the virus that causes COVID-19.
There are still many unknowns about the COVID-19 outbreak, which as of February 26, has sickened more than 81,000 people and killed more than 2,700. See this map to keep up with the figures, which are updated as new information comes in from different countries.
Key questions, such as just how contagious the virus is, how deadly it is and whether there will be widespread transmission outside of China, do not all have precise answers yet. To help answer such questions and others about prevention, the federal public health response, risk factors and similar concerns, the CDC’s COVID-19 FAQ page offers a relatively comprehensive list of questions with succinct answers and links to details. Continue reading
Photo: CDCDrug resistant pseudomonas aeruginosa
The danger of antibiotic resistance became clearer in November with the release of new figures showing that antibiotic resistance is among the top ten causes of mortality in the U.S.
This information is a news hook for all kinds of follow-up stories, from examining the effectiveness of local hospital antibiotic stewardship programs, to parenting articles on the potential dangers of antibiotics to children as we enter the winter season. Continue reading
As state legislators have grappled with policies to address vaccine hesitancy, public health officials and journalists could do more to emphasize that the United States has a well-established and effective vaccine safety surveillance system, policy experts told AHCJ members during a Nov. 21 webcast.
The U.S. engages several agencies and organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the National Academy of Medicine, plus eight health care systems and seven academic hospitals in monitoring vaccine safety. Continue reading
In late September 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture finalized rules to deregulate the safety inspection process in pork production and to increase the slaughter of animals, despite the opposition of consumer advocates and several former agency officials.
The new rules allow company employees, rather than USDA inspectors, to determine which parts of meat with defects can be removed from the slaughter process. Companies, instead of USDA inspectors, also will be allowed to determine slaughter speeds, based on their ability to prevent fecal contamination. Continue reading
Vitamin E acetate, a common additive to dietary supplements and cosmetics, has been identified as a likely culprit in a national outbreak of deaths and serious illnesses traced to vaping.
Researchers tested fluid samples from the lungs of 29 patients with e-cigarette- or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) that were submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continue reading
The Association of Health Care Journalists has announced the selection of a new class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. The 12 journalists – supported through a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust – will spend a week studying public health issues at the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The AHCJ-directed fellowship program will include presentations, roundtable discussions and tours on epidemiology, global disease prevention efforts, chronic diseases, vaccines, foodborne disease, influenza, opioids, e-cigarettes and other topics.