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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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.

21 hours ago - 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.

Apr 4, 2021 - Health

CDC investigates salmonella outbreak linked to wild birds in eight states

Common siskin, carduelis spinus. Photo: Prisma Bildagentur/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating an outbreak of salmonella in eight states that has sickened 19 people, the CDC confirmed in a statement Thursday.

Why it matters: The CDC notes that wild songbirds—such as pine siskins—can be common vectors for the spread of salmonella, and most of the people infected in this outbreak said they had been in contact with a wild bird prior to their illness or owned a bird feeder.

Half of Latino renters depend on eviction relief

Members of the Los Angeles Tenants Union protest against evictions and give out food for the homeless in February. Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Around 56% of Hispanic renters said in March, before an U.S. eviction moratorium was extended, that they were otherwise likely to be forced to leave their homes in the next two months, per Census data.

Why it matters: Evictions contribute to a greater spread of COVID-19 as people experiencing homelessness end up in crowded infection-prone situations, according to studies, and coronavirus is already more easily spread among Latino families due to cramped living conditions and multigenerational homes.

The race between COVID vaccines and emerging variants

America is in a race to vaccinate people before the country is overwhelmed by variants that are spurring a fourth wave of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Spring is here, and when cases were dropping, hope was rising for a more normal summer. But experts warn this will only happen if people keep social distancing, wearing masks and getting vaccinated as soon as they can.

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