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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Hepatitis A virus, produced from an image taken with transmission electron microscopy. Photo: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Florida Surgeon General declared a public health emergency this week after cases of Hepatitis A, a vaccine-preventable disease, swelled to 2,034, the Miami Herald reports.

What's happening: 56 new cases of Hepatitis A, a communicable disease of the liver, were reported in Florida from July 20 to July 27. Most of the areas affected are in central and western Florida, according to the Herald.

“The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination. It is important that we vaccinate as many high-risk individuals as possible in order to achieve herd immunity.”
— Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, in a statement on Thursday

Context: Only 548 cases were reported in Florida for all of 2018, according to the state's health department. Florida’s outbreak is overlapping with a national influx of cases.

Go deeper: The intensifying national debate over vaccine exemption rules

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines.
  2. Health: Lessons for trapping the next pandemic.
  3. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  4. Politics: Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  5. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses — In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine its hardly using.
Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine it's hardly using

Macron, Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel (R) at a summit in October. Photo: Yves Herman/Pool/AFP via Getty

Italy on Thursday blocked the export of 250,000 AstraZeneca doses to Australia, becoming the first EU country to exercise an export ban due to a vaccine shortfall in the bloc.

Why it matters: The controversial step exposes multiple major challenges to distributing vaccines — even among the world’s richest countries.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Global freedom continues steady decline: report

The global erosion of democracy has continued for a 15th consecutive year, according to an annual report from Freedom House.

Zoom in: The report calls particular attention to India, which slipped from “free” to “partly free” due to the government's “scapegoating of Muslims” and “crackdown on critics.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is, according to the report, “driving India itself toward authoritarianism.”

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