APHA’s Get Ready Blog – Flu is here, and it’s widespread. Get vaccinated.
It’s official: the flu is more widespread than Bieber fever.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is widespread throughout most of the U.S. and case counts have been increasing. Serious influenza activity was reported in 46 states and Puerto Rico as of Feb. 11, says CDC’s weekly FluView report.

CNN – 25% of all overdoses are from heroin
America’s opioid epidemic continues: The latest numbers from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, released Friday, show that one in four drug overdoses in 2015 was related to heroin. In 1999, just 6% of all overdoses were related to the drug.
When looking at overdoses overall, opioid-related deaths represented the majority. In 2015, overdoses involving opioids represented 73% of all overdose deaths, a significant jump from 57% in 2010. Opioids include heroin as well as drugs with a similar chemical structure, such as oxycodone and illicit synthetics like fentanyl.

The New York Times – One in Every 137 Teenagers Would Identify as Transgender, Report Says
Nearly 150,000 American teenagers from 13 to 17 years old — or one out of every 137 — would identify as transgender if survey takers asked, according to an analysis of state and federal data that offers an answer to a question that has long eluded researchers.
The figure stands to inform the fierce debate over the rights of transgender youth, reignited on Wednesday by President Trump’s decision to rescind an Obama administration policy that protected the rights of students to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity. The estimate may also help lawmakers and advocates across the country better understand the populations they serve.

Kaiser Health News – Support For Health Law Grows, Leaving Republicans In A Bind
Republican members of Congress are at home this week, with many of them getting an earful from anxious constituents about their plans to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. A poll out Friday gives those lawmakers something to be anxious about, too.
The monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds overall support for the health law ticked up to 48 percent in February, the highest point since shortly after it passed in 2010. That was a 5-point increase since the last poll in December. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent project of the foundation.)

The Washington Post – Cancer patients, survivors fear GOP efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act
Ashley Walton was 25 when a mole on her back turned out to be melanoma. She had it removed, but three years later she discovered a lump in her abdomen. She was then unemployed and uninsured, and so she put off going to a doctor. She tried to buy health insurance. Every company rejected her.
By the time Walton finally sought medical help, the melanoma had spread to her brain, lungs and elsewhere. And she eventually became eligible for California’s Medicaid program, which had been expanded under the Affordable Care Act. Two major surgeries, radiation and immunotherapy did not cure the cancer — but did beat it back.