October 24, 2014
In America. Last night, an American physician who recently returned to NYC from West Africa tested positive for Ebola. Craig Spencer, 33, had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. Yesterday, he developed a fever, nausea, pain and fatigue. He is in isolation and being treated at Bellevue Hospital, one of the eight New York hospitals designated as part of an Ebola preparedness plan.
Some good news. Amber Vinson is one of the nurses who cared for Thomas Duncan, the first U.S. patient with Ebola. She is reportedly free of the virus.
New travel restrictions. New restrictions were placed on travelers from West African countries with Ebola outbreaks. They are now required to report their temperatures along with any other potential symptoms of the disease daily for 21 days.
Worldwide. As of October 22, the CDC estimates that there are 9,935 total cases of Ebola and 4,877 total deaths.
Pause. That’s adorable. A 3-year old Ebola survivor in Sierra Leone proposed to his nurse. She accepted, of course.
Yesterday, the car-service Uber delivered flu shots to anyone in Boston, New York, and Washington DC. The one-day UberHEALTH pilot program drove registered nurses to inject the vaccine to anyone who requested. For free. No insurance required.
That reminds me. Get your flu shot.
Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soda can age the body just as much as smoking. Stick with me here. About to talk biology. Telomeres, which are the caps at the end of chromosomes, get shorter as we get older and can also shrink as a result of certain behaviors, such as smoking. Shorter telomere length is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and some cancers. A new study found that people who drank soda tended to have shorter telomeres. A daily 20-ounce serving was associated with 4.6 years of additional telomere aging, the same damage previously found among regular smokers. Water please.
Bit by bit, this regular section summarizes key components of the 11,000+ page bill.
Enrollment period. The period of time during which individuals who are eligible can enroll in a qualified health plan using the Marketplace. For coverage starting in 2015, the open enrollment period is November 15, 2014–February 15, 2015.
Small problem. A recent survey found that 76% of uninsured adults don’t know when the health care law’s open enrollment period starts.
Is that right?
This month, Oregon became the first state to offer drugs that delay the onset of puberty for transgender adolescents enrolled in Medicaid. While the treatment is new, its becoming a standard in care for transgender teens. In 2009, the Endocrine Society published a best-practices guide for treating transgender teens that includes the use of puberty suppressants.
Costly. A stress test is a screening tool used to test the effect of exercise on your heart. A new study found that inappropriate use of cardiac stress testing is costing the U.S. health care system more than $500 million a year.
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