Oxford University Press — How filling the Supreme Court vacancy will affect public health (featuring APHA Past Presidents Barry S. Levy and Victor W. Sidel)
Who is selected to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court will profoundly affect key public health issues, including gun control, access to reproductive health services, and climate change. In recent years, the Court has ruled, usually by 5-to-4 decisions, on these issues and will likely continue to do so by narrow margins. Whoever fills the vacant seat is likely to tip the balance, one way or the other, on future Court decisions related to these issues. Handguns account for 33,000 deaths annually in the United States. Gun control, such as restricting gun ownership, has been demonstrated to be a successful method for reducing these fatalities. The Supreme Court in recent years has overturned municipal ordinances in Chicago and Washington, D.C., that banned residents from keeping handguns at home for the purpose of self-defense.
CDC —Protect patients from antibiotic resistance (including infographic)
People receiving medical care can get serious infections called healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which may lead to sepsis or death. Hospitals report common HAIs to CDC, including infections caused by C. difficile, infections following surgery, and infections following placement of a tube in the bladder or a large vein (catheter). These infections can be caused by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, making them difficult to treat. In certain kinds of hospitals, one in four of these infections (not including C. difficile) are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria identified by CDC as urgent or serious threats to health
Reuters — BioCryst’s Zika drug shows promise in mice
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Monday a dose of its experimental antiviral drug improved survival rates in mice infected with the Zika virus in a preclinical study. Two doses of the drug, BCX443, were tested against a placebo and an oral antiviral called ribavarin for their effect on survival of immune-deficient mice infected with Zika. Seven out of eight mice that received the “standard” dose survived but none of the other mice that received either a low dose, the placebo or ribavirin were alive after 28 days. The study was conducted at Utah State University under an ongoing program run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
Lexington Herald Leader — It’s not too late to receive a flu shot, the most effective way to prevent influenza
Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a highly contagious illness that can occur in children or adults of any age. It occurs more often in the winter. Influenza is spread easily from person to person by coughing, sneezing or touching surfaces. Each year complications of the flu require more than 200,000 people in the United States to be hospitalized. Serious illness is more likely to occur in children, older adults, pregnant women and people with certain health problems such as asthma or other forms of lung disease.