Public health

The big picture

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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Updated Apr 13, 2021 - Health

White House issues first-ever proclamation on Black maternal health

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Tuesday issued its first-ever presidential proclamation marking Black Maternal Health Week as part of an effort to highlight racial gaps in pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths.

Why it matters: The U.S. retains the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world, largely due to high mortality rates among Black mothers, according to research by Commonwealth Fund. Black women in the U.S. are 2.5 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.

Apr 13, 2021 - Health

Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine has not led to blood clots following J&J reports

Photo: Steve Parsons/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna released a statement Tuesday reassuring people of the safety of its coronavirus vaccine hours after the FDA recommended pausing the administration Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines due to reported cases of "extremely rare" blood clots.

What they're saying: After over 64.5 million doses administered globally, a comprehensive assessment using data through March 22 "does not suggest an association with" blood clots in the brain or veins, Moderna said.

Apr 13, 2021 - Health

Illinois extends Medicaid coverage to 1 year postpartum

Democratic lawmakers from Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Robin Kelly and Rep. Lauren Underwood. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Tom Williams/Pool/AFP/ via Getty Images

Illinois on Monday became the first state to extend Medicaid coverage for new mothers, offering a year of coverage instead of the standard 60 days.

Why it matters: 52% of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. occur within a year of giving birth. In Illinois, it's 80% of maternity deaths, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said on a media call Monday.

Working-age, young Latinos face disproportionately high COVID death rates in U.S.

Ricardo "El Profe" Castorena, right, of the non-profit Binational of Central California, gives a mask to a farmworker in the fields of Selma last December. Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Working-age and young Latinos face disproportionately high COVID-19 death rates as states move toward reopening. Foreign-born Latinos who work essential or front-line jobs are especially in peril.

The big picture: A foreign-born Latino worker in California is 11.6 times more likely to died from COVID-19 than any other non-Hispanic U.S.-born group, according to a new USC study.

Apr 10, 2021 - World

Iran tightens COVID restrictions amid fourth wave of pandemic

Revolutionary Guard members prepare to take part in disinfecting Tehran, Iran. Photo: Majid Saeedi / Getty Images

Iran on Saturday began enforcing tightened COVID restrictions nationwide as the number of coronavirus cases surged.

Driving the news: The country on Friday recorded 22,478 coronavirus cases, its highest single-day total, according to Al Jazeera. Health officials confirmed more than 19,660 cases on Saturday, as the surge in new infections follows last month's Iranian holiday celebrations.

Apr 10, 2021 - Health

WHO official: Brazil is dealing with "raging inferno" of a COVID outbreak

Mourners watch as workers wearing protective equipment bury the casket of a Covid-19 victim at the Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Photo: Victor Moriyama/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brazil is facing a "raging inferno of an outbreak," Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization, warned Friday as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths across the country soars.

Driving the news: The surge, driven in part by relaxed mitigation measures and a more contagious local variant, has overwhelmed the country's health system. Brazil this week confirmed more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Apr 9, 2021 - Health

Pfizer asks FDA to expand COVID vaccine authorization to adolescents

Photo: Matthew Hatcher via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech asked the Food and Drug Administration Friday to expand the emergency use authorization of its COVID vaccine to cover adolescents ages 12–15.

Why it matters: The authorization would broaden vaccination efforts and speed up the country's race to herd immunity, a goal that will ultimately require teenagers and children to be vaccinated as well.

Updated Apr 9, 2021 - Health

CDC declares racism "a serious public health threat"

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Thursday declared racism "a serious public health threat."

Driving the news: Walensky highlighted the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on communities of color, pointing to case and death counts, as well as economic and social effects.

Updated Apr 7, 2021 - World

Brazil's daily COVID death toll tops 4,000 for first time

Cemetery workers carry a coffin during the burial of a COVID-19 victim at the Sao Joao municipal cemetery in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on March 26. Photo: Silvio Avila/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil confirmed more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time on Tuesday, the health ministry announced.

Why it matters: A surge in cases and deaths, driven in part by relaxed mitigation measures and a more contagious local variant, has overwhelmed the country's health system.

Apr 7, 2021 - Health

CDC: 80% of teachers, school staff received at least one shot by end of March

A teacher helps a student at Gartfield Elementary School in Oakland, California. Photo: Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronical via Getty Images

Nearly 80% of teachers, school staff and childcare workers had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

What they're saying: “Our push to ensure that teachers, school staff, and childcare workers were vaccinated during March has paid off and paved the way for safer in-person learning,” said CDC director Rochelle Walensky.

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