Stories by Sam Baker

"Mystery illness" flummoxes CDC

Lab testing equipment
Photo: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is “frustrated” by the mysterious spread of an illness similar to polio, cases of which have now been confirmed in 22 states. Seems like a very reasonable cause for frustration, to be honest.

By the numbers: 127 cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, have been reported so far in 2018, including 68 confirmed cases, according to CDC data. There were 33 confirmed cases last year.

Former LePage aide is running Medicaid

Mary Mayhew. Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Mary Mayhew, a former health commissioner under Maine Gov. Paul LePage, started yesterday as the director of the federal office that directly oversees Medicaid.

Why it matters: The Trump administration is focused intently on reframing Medicaid as something closer to a welfare program, and has arguably made more significant conservative policy changes to Medicaid than to any of the other programs it oversees.

The Apple Watch could be used for hip and knee patients

Apple watches
Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Hip and knee replacements may be the next health care frontier for the Apple Watch, now that it can monitor users' heart rates.

What's new: Reuters reports that 4 hospitals and a handful of other providers are working with Zimmer Biomet, a medical device company, to test an app that would transmit patients’ heart rate, steps taken and standing hours to their doctors.