Public health

The big picture

One year on — No end in sight for deadly Ebola outbreak

More than 1,800 people have died.

Aug 1, 2019 - Health
Chart: The mortality rate ranking for each state, by disease

Everything's deadlier in the South.

May 11, 2019 - Health
The stark disparities in how infectious diseases kill Americans

More men still die from infectious diseases than women.

Updated Apr 5, 2018 - Health

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Coronavirus updates: U.S. probes possible community spread as more countries report cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The CDC said Wednesday U.S. clinicians have found the novel coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country nor knowingly have contact with anyone infected, as six more countries reported their first cases.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. South Korea has the most cases outside China, with 1,595 infections confirmed by Wednesday night. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 453 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Brazil confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America

Revelers participate in the celebration of the street carnival of Bloco do Caixao on Tuesday in Ouro Preto, Brazil. Photo: Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

Brazil's health ministry confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

Why it matters: The case comes in the midst of Carnival, a peak time for domestic travel that draws millions of revelers in major cities. Brazil is tracking 20 suspected cases of the virus in the country, according to health officials.

Go deeper: Follow Axios' full coverage of the oronavirus

Olympic official: Tokyo is "looking at a cancellation" if coronavirus not contained by late May

View of the Olympic Rings near the new National Stadium in Tokyo. Photo: Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The fate of the Tokyo Olympics is expected to be decided within the next three months amid fears surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus, International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday.

The state of play: The games are on as of now, but the committee's final decision will depend on discussions with the World Health Organization, Pound said. The Olympics are set to bring roughly 11,000 athletes to Tokyo, with the event scheduled to begin on July 24. Another 4,400 athletes will arrive in Japan for the Paralympics set to start on Aug. 25.

Go deeperArrowFeb 25, 2020 - Sports

The U.S. is still taking on measles during the coronavirus threat

A patient receiving the measles vaccine on Aug. 28, 2019. Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images

The U.S. is still grappling with old diseases like measles — as well as enduring problems like addiction and heart disease — even as it tries to combat new threats like the coronavirus, the Washington Post reports with Kaiser Health News.

Why it matters: While we race for new treatments in the wake of new threats, we're also beset by plenty of problems we know how to solve. Declining vaccination rates, for example, are allowing once-vanquished diseases to come roaring back, and holes in addiction treatment keep people at risk.

Coronavirus "infodemic" threatens world's health institutions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak is being matched, or even outrun, by the spread on social media of both unintentional misinformation about it and vociferous campaigns of malicious disinformation, experts tell Axios.

Why it matters: The tide of bad information is undermining trust in governments, global health organizations, nonprofits and scientists — the very institutions that many believe are needed to organize a global response to what may be turning into a pandemic.

Go deeperArrowFeb 25, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus stress tests drug industry's dependence on China

A Hong Kong commuter wears a face mask. Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeperArrowFeb 24, 2020 - Health

FDA approves new cholesterol prescription

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a non-statin oral medication to combat high cholesterol, according to a press release from manufacturer Eserion Therapeutics.

Why it matters: Heart disease is the leading killer in the U.S. and globally. The drug, bempedoic acid, is the first of its kind to receive the FDA's stamp of approval in nearly two decades.

Go deeperArrowFeb 22, 2020 - Health

Repatriated American citizens have doubled coronavirus cases in U.S.

Face mask discarded outside the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The official number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. just doubled — to 34 — but public health officials are pointing out that these are mostly people who've been repatriated.

Why it matters: As concerns grow about a global pandemic, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to make sure the message gets out: "We are not seeing community spread here in the United States," Nancy Messonnier says.

Go deeperArrowFeb 21, 2020 - Health

More than 100 children have died from the flu so far this season

Influenza vaccine. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

105 children have reportedly died in the U.S. from the flu, the highest so far this season, per data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Health officials typically treat a high rate of seniors, a vulnerable population during flu season, but this year, children and young adults have been more susceptible.

Go deeperArrowFeb 21, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The coronavirus outbreak may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.

What's new: Signs people are infecting each other in a more sustainable fashion in China, an uptick in confirmed cases in Japan and Singapore, and research showing people without symptoms may be able to infect each other are fueling concerns that COVID-19 will develop into a pandemic.

Go deeperArrowFeb 19, 2020 - Health
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