Aug 25, 2017

Study shows Americans are using fewer antibiotics

Nati Harnik / AP

Americans with commercial health insurance are using antibiotics less frequently than they did several years ago, according to a new study by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, per The Washington Post.

Why it matters: The analysis reveals that doctors and patients are becoming more cautious of excessive antibiotic use, which research has shown breeds drug resistance and "superbug" bacteria. A study last year revealed roughly one-third of the antibiotics prescribed in outpatient settings were unnecessary.

The findings, based on 173 million Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance claims from people age 65 and under who filled prescriptions between 2010 and 2016, as detailed in WaPo:

  • '9 percent fewer antibiotics prescribed in outpatient settings were filled in 2016, compared with 2010."
  • "The steepest decrease in filled prescriptions was for children — a drop of 16 percent, compared with 6 percent for adults."
  • "The prescriptions filled for infants fell the most — 22 percent."
  • "People in the South and Appalachia [tend] to fill prescriptions at rates significantly greater than those in New England and along the West Coast."
  • "The highest rates were in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. However, between 2010 and 2016, the rates fell in all states except Delaware, Illinois and Nebraska."

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U.S.-led coalition in Iraq withdraws from 3rd base this month

A soldier stands guard at the Qayyarah airbase in southern Mosul on March 26. Photo: Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United States-led coalition in Iraq withdrew from K-1 Air Base in the northern part of the country on Sunday, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the third site that coalition forces have left this month as the U.S. gathers troops in Baghdad and at Ain al-Asad Air Base.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 679,977 — Total deaths: 31,734 — Total recoveries: 145,625.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 124,686 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per CDC, those residents should "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska issues a stay-at-home order — New York tries to nearly triple hospital capacity in less than a month and moved presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's initial handling of the virus balk at call for U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

The year of the protest meets the year of the lockdown

Hong Kong demonstrators protest a government ban on face masks in October. Photo by Laurel Chor/Getty Images

The year of the mass uprising has collided with the year of the coronavirus lockdown, leaving protest movements around the world stalled. 

The big picture: The enduring images of 2019 are of protest — from Hong Kong to Khartoum, across the Middle East and through much of Latin America. Seemingly overnight, though, social distancing has made such mass demonstrations almost unthinkable.

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