Public health

The big picture

D.C. program offers temporary housing to some homeless residents

Just over 100 residents of four D.C. homeless encampments will be offered one-year housing leases before the encampments are permanently cleared.

Sep 24, 2021 - Health
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

All Public health stories

Sep 22, 2021 - Health

FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people at high risk of severe COVID-19 and people 65 years and older.

Driving the news: The approval comes just days after an FDA advisory panel recommended boosters for the two groups but overwhelmingly voted against the third shots for younger Americans.

Sep 22, 2021 - Health

Minority-serving institutions to help create pipeline for more diverse public health workforce

President Joe Biden speaks while meeting with Latino community leaders at the White House in early August. Photo: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ten minority-serving higher-ed institutions will be awarded about $75 million to recruit and teach Black, Latino, Native American, AAPI and other students of color in public health professions to foster better representation in tackling future public health emergencies, the Biden administration will announce Wednesday.

Why it matters: Outdated technology infrastructure and messy data collection during the pandemic fueled misinformation and prevented real-time action for hardest-hit and highest-risk communities.

Sep 22, 2021 - Health

Chicago mayor angry with slow pace of lead line removal

A worker in Detroit removes a lead pipe that connected the water main to a home. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios.

Last September, Mayor Lori Lightfoot became the first Chicago mayor to launch a plan to remove Chicago's toxic lead service lines — pipes that connect most Chicago homes to the water main.

  • The plan aimed to remove 650 lead lines from low-income homes in the first year using $15 million in federal block grants.
Sep 20, 2021 - Health

First Texas doctor sued for performing abortion in violation of new law

Abortion rights activists march to the house of US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Chevy Chase Maryland, on Sept. 13, 2021, following the court's decision to uphold a stringent abortion law in Texas. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

A San Antonio physician is facing a lawsuit after he admitted performing an abortion considered illegal under Texas' new law.

Why it matters: The civil suit, filed by a convicted felon in Arkansas, against Alan Braid is the first such suit under the law that allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a pregnant person obtain an abortion after six weeks.

Sep 20, 2021 - Health

Pedestrians face greater danger as D.C. reopens

Photo: Paige Hopkins/Axios

Near-miss collisions between pedestrians and cars are spiking throughout the area as D.C. reopens, leading to a new push from activists for action from city leaders.

Why it matters: Everyday danger for pedestrians has increased as our area has become more livable and walkable — and more of our activities have moved outside.

Sep 17, 2021 - Health

Obesity in children accelerated during the pandemic

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Children and teens gained weight at a more "alarming" rate during the pandemic, especially those who are overweight or obese, a CDC report out Thursday shows.

Why it matters: The study, which analyzed more than 430,000 kids ages two- to 19-years-old, supports warnings by experts who said the nationwide closures of schools and early child care settings may have reduced the ability for children to have regular physical activity and access to healthy meals.

Sep 16, 2021 - Health

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

Expand chart
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.

Sep 16, 2021 - 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.

More Public health stories