Jun 26, 2019

Overdose deaths may be on the decline

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

For the first time in decades, the number of overdose deaths in the U.S. may finally be falling, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing provisional government data.

Why it matters: That would be a strong and promising sign that the current addiction epidemic — fueled by prescription opioids, heroin and illegal fentanyl — has at least stopped getting worse.

  • Yes, but: This progress is tenuous, and one year will not make up for the 30-year rise in overdose deaths. While life-saving drugs to reverse the immediate effects of an overdose have become much more widely available, access to longer-term addiction treatment is still wanting. One other grim explanation, the Journal notes, "is that some of the most vulnerable people have already been killed."

Go deeper: The hot spots of the opioid epidemic

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Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

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 stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.