Public health

The big picture

America's deepening drinking habit

Pandemic-related spikes in drinking came after years of increasing alcohol consumption

Jul 7, 2021 - Health
America's poor health is jeopardizing its future

New studies underscore just how bad American health is compared to other rich countries, which has worsened the impact of COVID-19

Oct 24, 2020 - Health
How the world could monitor for potential pandemic viruses

Global monitoring is key to UN strategy for preventing future pandemics.

Jul 9, 2020 - Health
Saving the elderly from coronavirus

America and much of the world is aging rapidly and is in need of technologies to care for the elderly.

Jun 17, 2020 - Health
Pandemic re-emphasizes need for universal flu vaccine

There's been "promising progress" in the quest for the universal flu vaccine.

Jun 4, 2020 - Health
Chart: The mortality rate ranking for each state, by disease

Everything's deadlier in the South.

May 11, 2019 - Health

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13 hours ago - Health

1 in 10 children live with a mentally ill or severely depressed adult

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Data: National Center for Health Statistics; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Nearly 10% of children in the U.S. lived with someone who was mentally ill or severely depressed, data released Thursday from the National Center for Health Statistics show.

The big picture: The datapoint from 2019 was part of a larger effort to understand the number of children with different racial and ethnic backgrounds who are exposed to violence, parental incarceration or have lived with someone with mental health, alcohol or drug problems.

21 hours ago - Health

Study: Gaps in data on Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders alarming amid COVID

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are one of the fastest-growing populations, yet data collection on the community at the federal and state levels remains "virtually nonexistent," according to a new study published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law.

Why it matters: In 1997, the Office of Management and Budget mandated the disaggregation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander data from the broader "Asian" category. Yet two decades later, over 30% of federal data sources fail to provide disaggregated NHPI data, a gap that's more pressing than ever due to the pandemic, researchers say.

Sep 14, 2021 - Health

Maryland Zoo to vaccinate certain animals against COVID

One-month-old white Bengal tiger is vaccinated on July 29, 2021 in Nantong, Jiangsu Province of China. Photo: Xu Peiqin/VCG via Getty Images.

The Maryland Zoo announced Tuesday that it will begin vaccinating certain animals that have been proven to be vulnerable to COVID-19.

Details: The vaccine, which has been specifically modified for animals, will be administered to "North American river otters, the chimpanzees and our cat species – Amur leopard, cheetah, bobcat, and lion," according to the announcement.

DeSantis threatens to issue "millions" in fines over local vaccine mandates

Ron DeSantis. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that the state will fine cities and counties $5,000 for each employee required to get vaccinated, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Why it matters: It is the Republican governor's latest threat against local officials who have implemented mask or vaccine mandates in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Sep 13, 2021 - Health

Parents search for COVID vaccine trials for their children

A health care worker testing a child for coronavirus in Austin, Texas, in August 2021. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some parents around the U.S. are on the hunt for COVID-19 vaccine trials instead of waiting for FDA approval to get their young children inoculated, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: As kids return for in-person schooling before those under 12 became eligible for shots, it's created anxiety for parents who worry about the small — but very real — possibility that their kid could become severely ill, experience long-term consequences from or die from COVID.

How the Delta variant dominates Mu

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The Mu variant of the coronavirus is something to monitor — as it appears to partially evade immunity from authorized COVID-19 vaccines — but Delta's continued dominance means "Mu is not any immediate threat," NIAID director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

Why it matters: Sounding the alarm, Fauci says widespread vaccination is a priority to fight the coronavirus and cut down on the rate of new infections — which is currently 10 times higher than where it needs to be.

FDA needs more time on Juul e-cigarette ban decision

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will delay its decision on top-seller Juul, but thousands of other electronic cigarettes will be ordered off the U.S. market.

Why it matters: The stalled decision prolongs the agency's determination on whether there is enough data to show if adult cigarette smokers switching to a less harmful option outweighs the detrimental costs of young people getting hooked on nicotine by vaping.

Sep 9, 2021 - Health

HHS awards over $18M in grants to bolster students' health care access

Students and parents in line to enter school. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Biden administration has awarded over $18 million in grants to expand students' access to health care and mental health support as the new school year takes off, according to new numbers shared with Axios.

Why it matters: Both children's mental health and their utilization of mental health services worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, per research from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The return to in-person instruction could also lead to increased health risks depending on masking and vaccinations in the community.

Sep 8, 2021 - World

COVAX cuts 2021 forecast for available COVID doses by a quarter

Needles and vials of vaccine. Photo: Sebastian Barros/NurPhoto via Getty Images

COVAX, the UN-backed program aimed at addressing COVID vaccine inequality, cut its forecast for doses available in 2021 by roughly a quarter.

Why it matters: The forecast led the World Health Organization (WHO) to double down on calls for wealthier nations to wait until at least the end of the year to administer booster shots so lower-income nations can vaccinate their populations.

Black youth more likely to visit hospital for police-related injuries

Trends in the Annual Rate of Legal Intervention Injury Among Youth Aged 0 to 19 Years by Race and Ethnicity and Sex. Screenshot: JAMA Pediatrics

Nearly 16,000 children and adolescents went to the emergency room or hospital due to police encounters between 2005 and 2017, with rates four to seven times higher for Black kids compared to white kids, according to a statewide analysis in California.

Why it matters: While youth are less likely to be injured by policing compared to adults, the analysis published in JAMA Pediatrics shows kids aren't spared the racial disparities seen in law enforcement of adults.

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