Home Health First Edition: March 7, 2022 – Kaiser Health News

First Edition: March 7, 2022 – Kaiser Health News

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Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations.
KHN: Patients Divided Over Alzheimer’s Drug: Is It A ‘Risk I’m Willing To Take’ Or Just A ‘Magic Pill’? 
If you listen to the nation’s largest Alzheimer’s disease advocacy organizations, you might think everyone living with Alzheimer’s wants unfettered access to Aduhelm, a controversial new treatment. But you’d be wrong. Opinions about Aduhelm (also known as aducanumab) in the dementia community are diverse, ranging from “we want the government to cover this drug” to “we’re concerned about this medication and think it should be studied further.” (Graham, 3/7)
KHN: Charts Paint A Grim Picture 2 Years Into The Coronavirus Pandemic 
The coronavirus pandemic is now stretching into its third year, a grim milestone that calls for another look at the human toll of covid-19, and the unsteady progress in containing it. These charts tell various aspects of the story, from the deadly force of the disease and its disparate impact to the signs of political polarization and the United States’ struggle to marshal an effective response. (Jacobson, 3/7)
KHN: Watch: California’s Top Health Adviser On Learning To Live With Covid
Dr. Mark Ghaly, head of California’s massive Health and Human Services Agency, continues to wear a mask in grocery stores and will dine outside — but not indoors ­— at restaurants even as California, like much of the nation, has lifted its mask mandate and many other pandemic restrictions. This was among the topics explored March 4 as KHN Senior Correspondent Samantha Young met with Ghaly for a wide-ranging 30-minute interview hosted by the Sacramento Press Club. Young spoke with Ghaly, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s top health adviser, about the administration’s plans for moving forward as covid case rates and hospitalizations ebb. Vaccines, testing, and masking are all part of the governor’s strategy, Ghaly said, as covid becomes endemic and Californians learn to live with the virus. (3/7)
The New York Times: Most Women Denied Abortions By Texas Law Got Them Another Way
In the months after Texas banned all but the earliest abortions in September, the number of legal abortions in the state fell by about half. But two new studies suggest the total number among Texas women fell by far less — around 10 percent — because of large increases in the number of Texans who traveled to a clinic in a nearby state or ordered abortion pills online. Two groups of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin counted the number of women using these alternative options. They found that while the Texas law — which prohibits abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, or around six weeks — lowered the number of abortions, it did so much more modestly than earlier measurements suggested. (Sanger-Katz, Miller and Bui, 3/6)
Axios: Texans Overwhelmingly Traveled Out-Of-State To Get Abortions After Ban Took Effect
Newly released data shows that Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas' surrounding states saw a nearly 800% increase in abortion patients from Texas between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021. Meanwhile in Texas, the number of clinic abortions performed in the state fell by approximately 60% in the first month after Senate Bill 8 was enacted. (Gonzalez, 3/5)
Politico: ‘I Almost Lost My Baby’: Parents Demand Answers From FDA
Two weeks after a nationwide recall of infant formula tied to five hospitalizations and two deaths, the FDA is refusing to answer questions about why it took months to take action, while parents, lawmakers and advocates ratchet up pressure on the agency. As POLITICO recently reported, the FDA, CDC and formula maker Abbott Nutrition knew about the first infant seriously sickened by Cronobacter sakazakii, a rare bacteria, in September. It was more than four months before FDA sent inspectors to investigate the plant where the formula was made. It took another three weeks to order a recall. The timeline has raised questions about the government’s response and whether quicker action could have prevented illnesses and deaths. (Bottemiller Evich, 3/5)
Stat: White House Transparency Disputes Imperil Funds To Buy Covid Therapeutics
The White House hasn’t publicly detailed exactly how it’s spent the more than $4 trillion Congress authorized for Covid-19 relief — and now, that lack of transparency could imperil its request for more money to fight the pandemic and buy therapeutics. Amid heated negotiations over a government funding bill, three dozen Republican senators including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are refusing to consider more Covid-19 relief funding unless the federal government provides a full accounting of how funds have been spent. The White House disputes the accusations that there has been a lack of transparency, and an administration official said the White House briefs Congress on a regular and bipartisan basis about details of the status of relief funding. (Cohrs, 3/4)
Stat: A Roadmap To Get From The Covid Pandemic To The 'Next Normal' 
A new report released Monday charts a path for the transition out of the Covid-19 pandemic, one that outlines both how the country can deal with the challenge of endemic Covid disease and how to prepare for future biosecurity threats. The report plots a course to what its authors call the “next normal” — living with the SARS-CoV-2 virus as a continuing threat that needs to be managed. Doing so will require improvements on a number of fronts, from better surveillance for Covid and other pathogens to keeping tabs on how taxed hospitals are; and from efforts to address the air quality in buildings to continued investment in antiviral drugs and better vaccines. The authors also call for offering people sick with respiratory symptoms easy access to testing and, if they are positive for Covid or influenza, a quick prescription for the relevant antiviral drug. (Branswell, 3/7)
CBS News: The CDC Explains How You Should Approach The Next Phase Of The Pandemic 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 90% of Americans can now consider removing their masks while indoors. The Atlanta-based public health agency updated its mask guidance this week citing data that tracks community wide spread of COVID-19 by county. The announcement came after many states allowed their indoor mask mandates to expire. The CDC's new advice does not apply to every locale or scenario. The Transportation Security Administration's federal mask mandate for traveling by commercial aircraft, bus, and rail systems remains in place but is set to expire on March 18.  (Zubrow, 3/6)
The Atlantic: The Burden Of COVID Is Shifting To The Global South
Americans, by and large, are putting the pandemic behind them. Now that Omicron is in the rearview mirror and cases are plummeting, even many of those who have stayed cautious for two full years are spouting narratives about “going back to normal” and “living with COVID-19.” This mentality has also translated into policy: The last pandemic restrictions are fading nationwide, and in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden declared that “most Americans can remove their masks, return to work, stay in the classroom, and move forward safely.” Other rich, highly vaccinated countries are following much the same path. In the U.K., for example, those with COVID-19 no longer have to self-isolate. It helps that these countries have more vaccine doses than they know what to do with, and a stockpile of tools to test and treat their residents if and when they get sick. (Sam-Agudu, Kabisen Titanji, Okumu and Pai, 3/4)
AP: Death Toll Nears 6 Million As Pandemic Enters Its 3rd Year 
The official global death toll from COVID-19 is on the verge of eclipsing 6 million — underscoring that the pandemic, now entering its third year, is far from over. The milestone is the latest tragic reminder of the unrelenting nature of the pandemic even as people are shedding masks, travel is resuming and businesses are reopening around the globe. The death toll, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, stood at 5,999,158 as of Monday midday. (Rising, 3/7)
KOB 4: Roswell Man Who Spent More Than 500 Days In Hospital For COVID Returns Home 
One New Mexican man spent 550 days in the hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19. After being away from his family for more than a year, Donnell Hunter was finally able to go home. It seemed the whole town of Roswell rolled out the red carpet for his return, he even got a police escort as he was driven in from Albuquerque. Signs of encouragement lined the road into Roswell Friday. All greeting Hunter as he came home, after more than a year in a hospital bed. (Schacht, 3/5)
Los Angeles Times: COVID-19 Drug Evusheld For Vulnerable People Can Be Hard To Get
Leanne Cook was glum but unsurprised when the tests confirmed what she and her doctors had expected: Even after three shots of a vaccine, she had no antibodies to protect her against COVID-19. Her immune system had been hampered by the drugs she takes for her condition, a rare disease affecting her kidneys. As other vaccinated people began to let down their guard last year, Cook continued to minimize trips outside her home in Mission Viejo. Then Cook heard about something that could plug those missing antibodies into her system — a preventive pair of injections called Evusheld. But health officials cautioned that there was only so much to go around. (Alpert Reyes, 3/6)
NPR: How Common Are Cardiovascular Problems After COVID?
Robi Tamargo never worried much about her heart. The 61-year-old had started running competitively in middle school, played Division 1 sports in college and kept up her exercise routine throughout her life, working out regularly at her local gym before work. But that changed in the spring of 2020 — when she got COVID. Tamarago, a clinical psychologist who used to serve in the Navy, discovered a patient of hers was infected. Soon she was also sick, and it got bad quickly. She woke up one morning in early May to discover the left side of her face was numb. At the hospital, doctors found a blood clot in her brain and were able to treat it quickly enough to prevent her from experiencing a more serious stroke. (Stone, 3/5)
Philadelphia Inquirer: Deer Can Spread COVID-19 To People, Study Suggests
The 11-year-old cat had been vomiting and lethargic for several days, and showed little interest in food. When the pet was examined at the University of Pennsylvania’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital in September, her owner mentioned a possible clue to the symptoms: Someone in the household had COVID-19. The animal’s nasal swab turned up negative. A fecal sample, on the other hand, told the tale. The shorthair feline was infected with the delta variant. Scientists have now found the coronavirus in 29 kinds of animals, a list that has been steadily growing almost since the start of the pandemic and includes cats, dogs, ferrets, hamsters, tigers, mice, otters, and hippos. In most cases, the animals have not been shown to transmit the virus back to humans. (Avril, 3/7)
The Washington Post: ‘People’s Convoy’ To Circle Beltway Again On Monday
The “People’s Convoy,” a group of hundreds of trucks, cars and SUVs protesting the government’s response to the pandemic, plans to leave the Hagerstown Speedway about 9:30 a.m. Monday and head to the Capital Beltway for a second day of demonstrations in the D.C. area, an organizer said. Organizer Brian Brase said the group, which circled the Beltway twice on Sunday, is aiming to loop around once on Monday. He said the group plans to occupy two lanes instead of one, as an “escalation.” The group’s motorists will drive the minimum legal speed limit, he said. (Silverman and Elwood, 3/6)
Bloomberg: Congress’ Police Force Declares Emergency Over Trucker Convoys
The Capitol Police Board issued an emergency declaration Sunday in response to convoys of truck drivers who assembled around the capital region to protest the government response to Covid-19. The overseers of the police force that protects Congress and Capitol Hill said the truckers and other vehicles could shut highways, bridges and roadways in the capital region, including in Washington. The protest, which started Sunday with truckers making two noisy laps around the Capital Beltway interstate highway, could last several days. (Allison, 3/6)
Seattle Times: Demonstrators Rally Against WA’s COVID Mandates At Capitol 
Opponents of Gov. Jay Inslee’s public-health restrictions to curb COVID-19 descended upon the Washington Capitol campus Saturday with flags, signs and vehicle convoys. Saturday’s demonstration was titled “Government Resistance Impedes Tyranny” and comes as some of Inslee’s mandates are gradually being lifted. (O'Sullivan, 3/5)
The Wall Street Journal: Restaurants Debate Masks As Covid-19 Rules Rapidly Disappear 
Some businesses, including Texas Roadhouse Inc., the Cheesecake Factory Inc. and Applebee’s, believe that there is a benefit for business and their workers when mask mandates are removed. The facial coverings are hot and uncomfortable to work in, and not having to put them on between bites and sips makes customers more motivated to dine out, Applebee’s President John Cywinski said Wednesday. (Haddon and Council, 3/6)
NPR: Door-To-Door COVID Vaccine Teams, Led By Women, Are Making Rounds In Pakistan
A doctor gives a pep talk to some two dozen women sitting in a hall of a medical center. "We've got Pfizer. We've got Moderna. We've got Sinovac," says Dr. Kishwar Tanwir, who oversees vaccinations in the Pehlwan Goth district of the Pakistani city of Karachi. The women were about to go door-to-door to offer COVID-19 jabs on a recent February day – part of some 13,000 teams led by women that were dispatched across the southern province of Sindh to vaccinate some 12 million people over the age of 12. (Hadid and Sattar, 3/5)
Bay Area News Group: COVID-19 Deaths In California Among Vaccinated Rose Sharply With Omicron
During a three-week stretch at the height of this winter’s devastating omicron case surge, Santa Cruz County health officials lost 10 patients to COVID-19. All but one were vaccinated, and five had received booster shots. As the omicron wave recedes, California data reveal an unsettling trend. Compared to the delta variant case surge last summer, deaths among the vaccinated rose sharply with omicron, a variant said by many experts to cause milder illness. A Bay Area News Group analysis of state COVID-19 deaths found that in the four deadliest weeks of the delta and omicron surges, the number of unvaccinated people who died were nearly identical, and far higher than the totals for the vaccinated. Even so, three times more vaccinated people died during the omicron peak than during delta’s heyday. (Woolfolk, Blair Rowan and DeRuy, 3/6)
Philadelphia Inquirer: Philly's Health Department Has Said Half Of Young Kids Had COVID Shots. That May Be Incorrect
Philadelphia health officials have said for weeks that more than half of the city’s 5-to-11-year-olds have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. The city’s own data, though, suggest that the vaccination rate might be far lower, closer to a third in that age group. City officials said Friday they were looking at the numbers as part of a routine review, but declined to shed light on apparent discrepancies. “It matters because we need to know how far we’re trying to achieve,” said Ala Stanford, the pediatric surgeon and founder of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium who has had a focus on vaccinating schoolchildren. Accurate data “just helps me know what goal I’m going toward.” (Laughlin and Graham, 3/4)
AP: Cruises Resume From Mobile, Alabama, After Pandemic Break 
Passenger ships are once again set to depart from the Alabama Cruise Terminal at Mobile following a nearly two-year break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the city’s future as a cruise port is hazy. The Carnival Ecstasy is scheduled to leave from Mobile Saturday afternoon for a five-day trip to Cozumel, and the Miami-based Carnival Corp. has said the roughly 2,000-passenger ship would continue vacation trips from the port through mid-October. (3/5)
Modern Healthcare: Hospitals Grapple With Saline Shortages
Hospitals have had trouble sourcing sodium chloride injections amid recalls and supply disruptions. B. Braun Medical recalled five lots of leaky 250 milliliter sodium chloride injections, the Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday. Hospitals use sodium chloride, also known as saline, to replenish fluids, flush wounds, compound drugs, deliver intravenous medications and stabilize patients during surgery. Vials, syringes, bags and saline solution have been in short supply over the last two months because B. Braun Medical, Pfizer, Fresenius Kabi, Becton Dickinson, Baxter International and ICU Medical have endured manufacturing delays or product malfunctions, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. (Kacik, 3/4)
Modern Healthcare: Healthcare Employment Rose Across Nearly All Sectors In February
Healthcare employers made more hires last month than during any period since September as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued to steadily decline. Healthcare companies added an estimated 63,500 jobs in February, up from 17,500 in the first month of 2022, according to preliminary data the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday. The industry contributed to a total of 678,000 new jobs across the economy. (Devereaux, 3/4)
AP: Louisiana University Restores Psychiatric Nursing Master's 
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is now offering a graduate nursing concentration in psychiatric mental health, starting in fall 2022. Licensed registered nurses can apply for a master’s program that will qualify them to take a national certification exam, the university’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences said in a news release. (3/5)
AP: New Mexico University Suffers Shortage Of Donated Cadavers
Fewer people in New Mexico are donating their bodies to science when they die, making training harder for medical students preparing for their careers. The University of New Mexico Anatomy Lab said Friday that it needs about 75 donated cadavers each year to train future doctors, but currently only has 18. (3/4)
The Washington Post: This Is Why It’s So Hard To Find A Therapist Right Now
It has been difficult to find mental health counseling in much of the United States for years, long before the coronavirus pandemic began. But now, after two years of unrelenting stress, turmoil and grief, many people seeking help are confronting a system at or beyond capacity, its inadequacy for this moment plainly exposed. It is even more difficult to find specialized care for children or those with lower income. Assistance of any kind is in short supply in rural areas, where all health-care choices are more limited than they are for residents of cities and suburbia. Those hoping to find a Black or Latino therapist face even more limited options. (Bernstein, 3/6)
Modern Healthcare: Nursing Homes Lead State-Focused Push To Regulate Staffing Agencies
The nursing home industry is launching a lobbying offensive in several states to limit what healthcare staffing agencies can charge providers, but the efforts are facing fierce headwinds from agencies, lawmakers, nurses and, in some cases, hospitals. The wave of legislation in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania comes amid a pandemic that saw rates for traveling nurses soar, due to increased demand for their services. That means higher staffing costs for hospitals and nursing homes, who accused agencies of "price gouging" and taking advantage of a pandemic. Providers argue something needs to be done to rein in staffing agencies, and with action unlikely at the federal level, nursing homes are turning to state legislatures. (Hellmann, 3/4)
AP: L.A. County Health Plan Fined $55M For Health Care Failures 
L.A. Care, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, was fined $55 million for failing to authorize care thousands of poor and at-risk members, causing health-threatening treatment delays, California regulators announced Friday. The fines — by far the largest in state history — were levied against the Los Angeles County health plan by the state Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Health Care Services. (3/4)
Houston Chronicle: Texas Children’s Hospital Pauses Hormone Therapies For Gender-Affirming Care After Abbott And Paxton Directive
Texas Children’s Hospital has stopped prescribing gender-affirming hormone therapies — a move that could affect thousands of transgender children in Texas — in response to a controversial directive from state leaders to investigate medical treatments for transgender youth as child abuse. The nation’s largest pediatric hospital revealed the decision Friday, dealing a blow to parents of transgender children who were seeking access to medicine that slows the onset of puberty or hormone treatments that help older children develop into bodies that match their identities. (Gill and Banks, 3/4)
Bloomberg: Texas Is Appealing Temporary Ban On Probe Of Trans Child’s Parents
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he’ll appeal a court order temporarily blocking the state’s child protective services agency from investigating the parents of a transgender teen for alleged child abuse. Abbott filed a so-called notice of accelerated appeal of the order on Thursday in Texas state court in Austin. The conservative Republican seeks to enforce his controversial Feb. 22 letter requiring state officials to investigate parents who seek gender-affirming care for their transgender children. (Larson, 3/4)
Stat: Study: Women See More Adverse Events With Cancer Treatments
When Crystal Ortner was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, her doctors decided to tackle it with an extremely aggressive chemotherapy regimen that included six drugs, along with numerous surgeries. During her initial round of treatment, Ortner experienced septic shock, causing her doctors to cease chemotherapy for a period of time because her body was too weak to handle it. Later, she said, her extreme side effects while on chemotherapy — constant vomiting, nausea, an overall feeling of complete debilitation — felt like “going to hell and back.” … Research has long shown that women are more likely than men to have severe reactions to chemotherapy treatments. At the same time, emerging evidence suggests that women also experience greater toxicity with targeted therapies and immunotherapies, which aim in part to mitigate the inherent toxicities of chemotherapy. (Banks, 3/7)
AP: Purdue Prof Gets $1M For Rapid Test For African Swine Fever 
A Purdue University researcher has landed a $1 million grant to boost his work on a rapid test for detecting African swine fever. The funding for Mohit Verma, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, was included in the U.S. Farm Bill to help enhance the nation’s ability to develop rapid tests for high-consequence diseases, the Journal & Courier reported. (3/6)
The Washington Post: Firearms Have Cost 12.6 Million Years Of Life In Just A Decade 
For years, the primary cause of death for younger Americans was automobile accidents. That’s evolving as firearm deaths mount — and they cost millions of years of potential life. In an analysis in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open, researchers found that between 2009 and 2018, the United States lost 12.6 million years of life because of firearms alone. (Blakemore, 3/6)
Crain's New York Business: Despite HIV Cases Falling, Black Residents In NYC Still See Higher Rates Than Other Groups
Even with new HIV cases falling in New York City each year, the proportion taking root in Black populations has steadily risen. From 2003 to 2020, new HIV diagnoses in the city fell to 1,396 from 2,832, according to data from the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The proportion of new cases in Black populations, however, rose to 47% from 42% during that time. Cases among Latinos and Asian-Pacific Islanders stayed at roughly the same levels, 34% and 5% in 2020, respectively, from 2013. Only white populations saw a drop, from 18% to 13%. (Sim, 3/4)
Politico: Eric Adams Is After Your Child's Chocolate Milk
Eric Adams has a problem with chocolate milk. New York’s first self-professed vegan mayor was at the forefront of a movement to ban chocolate milk from public schools before his time in City Hall. Now, equipped with the power to set policies for the nation’s largest school system, the evangelist for healthy living has again turned his attention to the lunch-room staple — and registered concern with the state’s powerful dairy industry. (Bocanegra and Toure, 3/6)
San Francisco Chronicle: Counties Say They’re ‘All In’ On Newsom’s Mental Health Plan — If It Comes With Enough Money
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to overhaul California’s mental health care system by expanding treatment services and compelling more people to accept help was cheered by many local government officials this week. But for many counties, the difficult question now is how they would pay for such an ambitious expansion of treatment and court services when many locales are already struggling to provide such care. Graham Knaus, executive director of the California State Association of Counties, warned that many behavioral and social health systems are still digging out from decades of underfunding. He said the part of Newsom’s plan that calls for sanctions if counties cannot provide comprehensive treatment to those suffering from debilitating psychosis is misguided. (Ravani and Gardiner, 3/4)
AP: Hassan Introduces Bill To Add School Mental Health Workers 
States would get federal grants to hire and retain mental health providers in schools under legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan. Hassan, a Democrat, said the legislation would create a new grant program at the Department of Health and Human Services. The federal government would cover 90% of the cost of providing mental health services to children enrolled in Medicaid. (3/6)
Macon Telegraph: Dublin VA Reports No New Infections After Veterans Were Potentially Exposed To Diseases 
A month after warning more than 4,600 veterans they might have been exposed to HIV, Hepatitis B and C, a Middle Georgia VA medical center says it has not identified any new infections. The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin paused medical procedures for two days in January after an internal review found issues with the staff’s procedures for sterilizing equipment between patients. (Baxley, 3/4)
AP: Effort To Provide Free Dental Care To Veterans In Maine 
The state is partnering with dental clinics provide dental hygiene services to Maine veterans who are unable to afford them. The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Service said it’s working with eight clinics, including the UMA Dental Hygiene Clinic in Bangor, to provide the service. The Maine Veterans’ Dental Network, which the veterans bureau oversees, received a $35,000 grant from Northeast Delta Dental to provide the care to veterans. (3/6)
AP: Health Agency Wants Dead Birds To Check For West Nile Virus | AP News
South Carolina’s health agency is again asking people to bring certain types of dead birds to their offices so they can test them for West Nile virus. Starting March 15, officials are looking for the bodies of crows, blue jays, house finches, and house sparrows that don’t appear to be injured and haven’t started decaying, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said in a news release. (3/6)
Bloomberg: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Owner Unilever Pledges Nutrition Reports
Unilever PLC, which makes high-sugar treats like Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum ice-creams, has pledged to publish new nutritions benchmarks for its food brands as investors urge the global giant to take more responsibility for improving consumer health. Public reports will be issued on the performance of its products against at least six different government-endorsed measures, including the U.K.’s regulations against high fat, salt and sugar, and Europe’s Nutri-Score, Unilever said in a statement Monday. The assessment will be published annually — starting in October — both globally and for 16 key markets including the U.S., U.K. and China. (3/7)
USA Today: Health Study: Live Longer By Weight Training 30 To 60 Minutes Weekly
Spending just 30 to 60 minutes each week on muscle strengthening exercises can not only make you stronger, but also likely add years to your life, new research suggests. Strength-building exercise has long been recommended by experts as life-enhancing. And there's been a growing body of research suggesting even a little exercise helps fend off disease and increases life spans. This new analysis of 16 exercise studies found people who did 30 to 60 minutes of resistance exercises weekly had a lower risk of getting heart disease, diabetes or cancer, as well as 10% to 20% lower risk of early death from all causes, according to the study published Monday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (Miranda, 3/5)
Reuters: China To Provide Ukraine Humanitarian Aid, Praises Russia Ties
China's Red Cross will provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine "as soon as possible", Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday, as he praised his country's friendship with Russia as "rock solid". … It was the first time the country has announced such help. China proposes that "humanitarian action" must abide by the principles of neutrality and impartiality, and humanitarian issues should not be politicised, he added. (Woo, 3/7)
AP: Ukrainian-American Adoption Advocate Dies In Invasion 
A man who split his time between the St. Louis area and Ukraine, helping arrange adoptions of children with medical needs, has died amid the fighting in the war-torn country. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Serge Zevlever was killed when he volunteered to check on a commotion outside a Kyiv bomb shelter on Feb. 26, his daughters said. That was just two days after Russian forces launched an invasion of Ukraine. (3/5)
AP: Russian War In World's 'Breadbasket' Threatens Food Supply
The Russian tanks and missiles besieging Ukraine also are threatening the food supply and livelihoods of people in Europe, Africa and Asia who rely on the vast, fertile farmlands of the Black Sea region — known as the “breadbasket of the world.” Ukrainian farmers have been forced to neglect their fields as millions flee, fight or try to stay alive. Ports are shut down that send wheat and other food staples worldwide to be made into bread, noodles and animal feed. And there are worries Russia, another agricultural powerhouse, could have its grain exports upended by Western sanctions. (Wilson, Magdy, Batrawy and Asadu, 3/6)
Reuters: Philippine Leader Approves Bill Raising Sex Consent Age From 12 To 16
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill that raises the minimum age of sexual consent from 12 to 16, his office said on Monday, in a bid to protect minors from rape and sexual abuse. The Philippines until now has had one of the world's lowest minimum ages of sexual consent, behind Nigeria's age of 11, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). (3/7)
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Patients Divided Over Alzheimer’s Drug: Is It a ‘Risk I’m Willing to Take’ or Just a ‘Magic Pill’?
Charts Paint a Grim Picture 2 Years Into the Coronavirus Pandemic
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When Teens Blow Off Parents’ Pleas to Get Vaccinated, the Consequences Can Be Deadly
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