dengue fever

Public Health Emergency Declared In Puerto Rico Over Dengue Fever Outbreak

Puerto Rico’s hot and humid climate makes dengue fever an ongoing risk for its citizens. This year, however, “cases have exceeded historical figures,” according to Puerto Rico Health Secretary Carlos Mellado. 

Mellado has officially called a public health emergency this week as a means of decreasing the current rise in dengue fever cases. The declaration will help guarantee Puerto Rico has access to the resources they need in order to combat the current outbreak. The declaration is currently set to last for 90 days, and will be renewed if necessary. 

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Besides just Puerto Rico, Brazil, Peru, and other Latin American countries have also declared a state of emergency over dengue fever. 

The Puerto Rico Department of Health stated that they first noticed an increase in dengue fever cases at the end of 2023, according to NBC News. By the third week of January, there had been 146 cases reported, and the rates kept increasing. 

As of March 10th, there have been about 550 dengue fever cases reported in Puerto Rico since the beginning of the year. According to the Health Department, most of the cases are in the capital of San Juan. 

62% of patients have been hospitalized, according to reports, and only 29 cases have been considered severe so far. 

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Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease in which the most common symptom is fever, as well as serious headaches, nausea, vomiting, rash, and body pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC also stated that most dengue fever patients recover in a week, but severe cases can be life-threatening and require hospitalization, as it can lead to shock, internal bleeding, and death. Individuals who have experienced dengue fever in the past are more likely to develop severe symptoms. 

The CDC, the Puerto Rico Health Department, and other local agencies are working together to implement a dengue fever prevention and control plan. The plan involves eliminating and cleaning up areas of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. 

The plan also involved urging the public to use mosquito repellents and wire mesh panels to keep mosquitos out of their home. 

In a statement Monday, Mellado said “that all parts of Puerto Rican society must join forces to prevent contagion and the spread of this virus.”

wegovy

US FDA Approves Weight-Loss Drug Wegovy To Be Marketed For Heart Health Benefits 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an application from drugmaker Novo Nordisk that allows the weight loss drug Wegovy to add cardiovascular benefits to the medicine’s label, according to CNN

This marks the first weight-loss drug to be marketed to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart-related deaths in people who are at higher risk for cardiovascular issues and/or events. 

The addition to the label may improve some insurance coverage for Wegovy; the “sister drug” to Ozempic. The drug currently costs around $1,300 per month out of pocket, and many insurers don’t cover weight loss drugs. 

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“The evidence is that they reduce risk and save lives – and so it is indefensible to deny people access, or make it difficult for people to access, medications that will directly improve their health,” Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist and scientist at Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital, said Friday

“The point is that these drugs are not about appearance but about health. By treating obesity, we know we can reduce cardiovascular risk, and that may be only a part of the benefits that accrue.”

The approval occurred after a study involving 17,000 patients. The study, according to reports, showed that the patients who took Wegovy had a 20% lower risk of having a cardiac event than those who took the placebo. 

Wegovy is meant to be used for individuals who are considered to be obese or overweight, meaning they have a body mass index of anything between 27 – 30, as well as have a weight-related health condition such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. 

“Wegovy is now the first weight loss medication to also be approved to help prevent life-threatening cardiovascular events in adults with cardiovascular disease and either obesity or overweight,” Dr. John Sharretts, the FDA’s director of the Division of Diabetes, Lipid Disorders, and Obesity, said in a news release.

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“This patient population has a higher risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack and stroke. Providing a treatment option that is proven to lower this cardiovascular risk is a major advance for public health.”

The trial performed prior to this classification was done with patients with cardiovascular disease. They’ve either previously had a heart attack, stroke, or symptoms of peripheral artery disease: which is when one has clogged arteries in their arms or legs. 

Wegovy, however, has and is in a shortage currently, and drugmakers are struggling to keep up with the demand. Novo Nordisk released a statement last month that stated it would be gradually increasing the supply over this course of this year.

“The shortages are really, really bad right now,” Dr. Jody Dushay, an endocrinologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said Friday. 

“[I hoped] the expanded approval would improve insurance coverage, particularly as generic weight-loss drug alternatives can carry heart risks, but if insurance comes on board with this indication, [I have] no idea how manufacturing will ever catch up,” she said. 

Dushay added, “this might also help prioritize use of [the drugs] among those with highest-risk obesity, those who also have cardiovascular disease.”

measles

Ten Cases of Measles Confirmed in Florida Elementary School Outbreak

On Tuesday, the Broward County schools superintendent announced that seven children at Manatee Bay Elementary in Weston, Florida, have tested positive for measles. According to the Florida Department of Health, ten cases have been reported statewide.

Lawmakers and health officials are urging parents and state officials nationwide to take extra precautions to safeguard their children.

In a letter last week, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said the health department is “deferring to parents or guardians to make decisions about school attendance.” The letter also stated that “up to 90% of individuals without immunity will contract measles if exposed.” However, “Individuals with a history of prior infection or vaccination who have received the full series of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) immunization are 98% protected and are unlikely to contract measles.”

“Because your child may have already been exposed, you should watch your child for signs and symptoms of the disease, including a rash that often develops on the face and neck before spreading to the rest of the body. Other symptoms include high fever, which can reach 105°F, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. All children presenting with symptoms of illness should not attend school until symptoms have fully subsided without medication.”

According to the most recent data from the Florida Department of Health, nine out of the state’s measles cases have been reported in Broward County, and all of those cases have involved children. Two of the children are younger than four years old.

The Florida Department of Health released a memo to healthcare workers, reminding them to report any suspected cases.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) lists measles as one of the world’s most contagious diseases, which spreads through respiratory droplets. The virus remains active and infectious in the air and surfaces for up to two hours.

“Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads easily when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. It can cause severe disease, complications, and even death. Measles can affect anyone but is most common in children. Measles infects the respiratory tract and then spreads throughout the body. Symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose and a rash all over the body.”

Its complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection causing brain swelling), severe diarrhea, ear infections, and pneumonia. “Measles itself also weakens the immune system and can make the body ‘forget’ how to protect itself against infections, leaving children extremely vulnerable.”

The organization also recommends that all children get the measles, mumps, and rubella MMR vaccine. Due to widespread vaccination efforts, the United States had eliminated measles in 2000. It is unclear what the vaccination status was for the children under four.

US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, who represents the city of Weston, urged Florida Surgeon General Ladapo to declare a public health emergency and make it a requirement that unvaccinated children stay home during the outbreak.

In contrast to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, Ladapo’s advisory suggests that parents of unvaccinated children make their own decisions about whether or not to send them to school. The CDC advises unvaccinated individuals to remain home for at least 21 days after exposure, around the time it takes for symptoms to manifest.

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In addition to demanding that DeSantis do more to protect Floridians, Wasserman Schultz demanded that Ladapo resign or be fired.

“I would have thought he would have stepped in here or made sure there was some communication to ensure that irresponsible guidance isn’t issued by his surgeon general. And the fact that he hasn’t taken action to roll that back is representative of Ron DeSantis’s disinterest in keeping the public’s health safe.”

On Monday, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) Chief Medical Officer Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH, issued a statement responding to the outbreaks.

“Measles can be particularly serious for children and potentially deadly. At least 1 in 5 unvaccinated people in the United States who contract measles is hospitalized. Nearly 1 out of 20 children develop pneumonia, the most frequent cause of measles-related death in young children. Approximately 1 child out of every 1,000 with measles will suffer brain injury, potentially causing convulsions, deafness, or intellectual disability. For unvaccinated babies who contract measles, 1 in 600 can develop a fatal neurological complication.

Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, but is still the most easily transmitted human virus presently in circulation. Thankfully, by following established public health principles, Americans can make informed decisions, prevent outbreaks, and protect our communities.

Vaccination is the best and safest way to protect children. Two doses of measles vaccine are more than 97% effective in preventing the disease entirely, and vaccinated people may continue to engage in routine activities even if they are exposed to someone with the disease.”

A total of 58 cases were reported last year, and 35 measles cases have already been reported in several states this year. With just 91.7% of Florida’s kindergartners vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella, the state is falling short of the national 95% vaccination rate target.

measles

Measles Outbreak In Florida Has Health Officials And Parents Concerned 

As of Monday this week, health officials in Broward County, Florida have confirmed eight cases of the measles virus, including one in a child under the age of 5.

The outbreak has mainly been traced to the Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston, near Fort Lauderdale, which the 5-year-old patient doesn’t have a direct connection to. However, experts knew that with a virus like this, spreading to various age-groups in different areas is almost guaranteed, according to reports from NBC News.

According to Dr. David Kimberlin, the co-director of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, “cases are not going to stay contained just to that one school, not when a virus is this infectious.”

So far in 2024, there have been at least 35 cases of the measles reported across 15 states, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, Florida’s outbreak is the biggest in the US. 

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Experts are warning parents about just how contagious measles is, especially with its long incubation period. Health officials are warning residents to take it seriously, and that State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo’s decision to let parents decide whether or not to quarantine their children or continue to allow them to go to school, will likely allow cases to spread. 

“Measles is the most infectious pathogen in humans that we know of. It’s like a heat-seeking missile. It will find the people who are not immune, and they’re going to get sick.”

NBC News also reported that unvaccinated individuals have a 90% chance of becoming infected if exposed to the measles virus. Katelyn Ketelina tracks illnesses for a website called “Your Local Epidemiologist,” and she stated that “Epidemiology 101 is identify and isolate. This is especially true for outbreaks of measles because of how incredibly contagious the virus is and the fact that people who are infected can spread it for up to three weeks.”

Dr. Ladapo wrote a letter sent to parents at the elementary school last week, stating: “Due to the high immunity rate in the community, as well as the burden on families and educational cost of healthy children missing school, DOH is deferring to parents or guardians to make decisions about school attendance.” 

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Back in 2022, Ohio experienced its own measles outbreak where 85 children, mainly unvaccinated toddlers, were infected. 42% of those children had to be hospitalized, and when the outbreak began, Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts took a different approach to advising parents.

Roberts encouraged parents of unvaccinated children who became infected to have their kids receive one dose of the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine as a “form of post-exposure prophylaxis.” Kids who received the treatment would only need to quarantine for 72 hours, as opposed to the 21-day quarantine requirement for those who remained unvaccinated. 

The MMR vaccine offers 97% protection against infection. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 measles patients are hospitalized, and 1 in 3 out of every 1,000 patients will die. 

“More and more people are questioning vaccines and why people need vaccines. They’re gonna find out pretty soon,” said Dr. Kimberlin. 

measles

CDC Is Warning Healthcare Providers That Measles Cases Are On The Rise 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning health officials across the nation that cases of measles are on the rise. The CDC sent out an email on Thursday after reports of nearly two dozen cases since December. They believe these outbreaks are mainly caused by children who were eligible for the vaccine but have not received it, according to reports from USA Today

The alert stated that healthcare providers should look for patients experiencing rash, fever, and pay attention to those who have recently traveled internationally. The CDC said that officials have tracked seven cases of measles that were brought into the nation from international travelers, and two outbreaks with more than five cases each. 

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Most of the cases were in children who have not been vaccinated for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine even if they were eligible. 

“The U.S. is at a ‘canary in the coal mine’ moment with rising cases among children of the highly infectious, vaccine-preventable disease,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. 

Federal data has also shown that there’s been a general decrease in vaccinations in young children, and there are currently record-breaking levels of vaccine exemptions in kindergartners specifically. 

“We’re going to start seeing more and more of these outbreaks. We’re going to see more kids seriously ill, hospitalized and even die. And what’s so tragic about this, these are all preventable,” Osterholm said to USA TODAY.

According to the CDC, around a fifth of people who get measles will be hospitalized, and one in 1,000 people who get the virus develop brain swelling that could lead to brain damage. They also warned that one to three in a thousand will die. 

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“The U.S. is seeing a growing body of parents who don’t want to comply with vaccine recommendations, coupled with lagging access to health care to get vaccinated amid the pandemic,” Osterholm said

The US has seen outbreaks in Philadelphia and Washington state, with also documenting exposures in the Washington DC area. Separate cases have been reported in Atlanta and New Jersey as well.

“Between Dec. 1 and Jan. 23, there were 23 cases in the U.S. There were 56 cases in all of 2023 and 121 cases in 2022,” the CDC said. 

Researchers from the CDC and the World Health Organization recently released a report that highlighted the increases in global measles cases and deaths within the last year. In 2022, according to the CDC and WHO, there were 9 million cases with 136,000 deaths, mostly in children. 

Europe has also seen a major rise in measles cases. 

“The increased number of measles importations seen in recent weeks is reflective of a rise in global measles cases and a growing global threat from the disease,” the CDC said Thursday.

covid

What Health Officials Are Saying About New Covid Variant JN.1

JN.1 is the newest fast-spreading variant of Covid-19, and is now the most widely circulating version of the virus, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

According to reports from the Alabama Local News, JN.1 is an offspring of the Omicron variant, and currently accounts for 66% of the current positive cases of Covid-19; an increase from the 44% two weeks ago. 

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In a statement, the CDC said that “Covid-19 activity is currently high. Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths have increased in recent weeks. JN.1 may be intensifying the spread of Covid-19 this winter.”

Covid-19 infections, however, are not causing severe disease as frequently as it was. The CDC’s recent report showed that while cases are up by 27% compared to this time last year, the number of Covid-related illnesses requiring emergency room visits are down by 21%. 

Overall Covid-19 hospitalizations are 22% lower when compared to 2023, and the total deaths associated with Covid is down by 38%. The CDC cited the immune protections provided by vaccines, prior infections, or the combination has led to these lower percentages. 

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“Over 97% of people have natural or vaccine-induced antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19. This immune protection can fade over time but tends to last longer for preventing severe disease than for preventing infections.”

While the JN.1 specifically hasn’t caused more severe illness for those who contract Covid-19, the symptoms are similar. ALN reported that these symptoms include: sore throat, congestion, runny nose, cough, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

NBC News reported that of these symptoms, healthcare facilities have reported more upper respiratory symptoms followed by congestion and cough. The symptoms that were more common in earlier Covid-19 cases, such as loss of taste or smell and diarrhea, are much less present. 

All diagnostic Covid-19 tests, including common rapid antigen tests and PCR tests, are effective at detecting the JN.1 variant, as well as other variants. The CDC also reported that the variants are impacted by antiviral treatments as well.

New Study Reveals Severe Obesity Is On The Rise For US Children 

An updated study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that although obesity rates in children were dropping last decade, it’s now on the rise. 

National data suggests that around 2.5% of preschool aged children were severely obese during 2020. Heidi Blanck of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one of the study’s authors, spoke on these discouraging findings:

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​​“We were doing well and now we see this upward trend. We are dismayed at seeing these findings.”

The study itself collected data from 2 to 4-year-old children that are enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children program through the US Food and Nutrition Service. This particular program helps provide healthy foods and other services to low-income families with preschool children. As a part of the program and study, the children were both weighed and measured, according to the AP

The researchers have collected data from the current and past decade from more than 1.6 million kids within the program. It found that in 2010, 2.1% of the children in the program were severely obese. In 2016 that percentage dropped to 1.8% but rose up to 2% by 2020; that’s roughly 33,000 out of the 1.6 million.

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20 states across the country saw the most significant increases, with California having the highest rate at 2.8%. Among different racial and ethnic groups, Hispanic kids saw the highest increase as well at 2.8%. 

Blanck stated that it’s not totally clear why these increases occurred. The initial drops in obesity rates were attributed to 2009 policy changes, including removing juice from infant food packages, reducing saturated fats in foods, and increasing accessibility to fruits and vegetables. 

“The daily hardships that families living in poverty are facing may be harder today than they were 10 years ago, and the slight increases in the WIC package just weren’t enough,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong, a Duke University childhood obesity researcher.

Compared to last decade, the number of children in the WIC program has declined, and the data was also impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as researchers were still analyzing obesity rates when fewer parents were taking their children to the doctors.

“Despite its limitations, it was a very well done study. It gives you a hint of what’s going on,” said Deanna Hoelscher, a childhood obesity researcher at the UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, concluding that the researchers are “thinking it’s going to get worse.”

mask

HV.1, The New Covid-19 Variant Spreading Throughout The US 

A new Covid-19 variant is dominating the cases in the US, with another version of the coronavirus already spreading overseas. 

Kelly Oakeson, the chief scientist for next generation sequencing and bioinformatics for the Utah Department of Health and Human services, stated that “virus evolution is what we’re seeing in real time,” according to Deseret News

HV.1 is the variant currently the most prevalent in the US. “The variant is just getting better at getting into our cells. It’s better at making us sick. It’s better at doing what viruses do,” Oakeson said. 

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“The variant hasn’t yet reached dominant status in Utah but should soon, since the state tends to lag about two weeks behind the national variant proportions estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” he said. 

When it comes to what citizens in Utah, where the variant is quite prominent, should know about HV.1, Oakeson stated that “it’s more infectious.” 

“It can definitely infect more people. That’s why we’re seeing it increase in prevalence in the population. The symptoms seem to be the same. The severity seems to be the same as EG.5. I wouldn’t call it severe but I wouldn’t call it mild.”

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“Mild seems to instill in people’s minds, ‘Oh, it’s nothing at all. I don’t have to worry about it. it’s not going to cause any serious effects.’ People are still dying from this, I wouldn’t call that mild. People are still getting long COVID from EG.5 or HV.1. I wouldn’t call that mild,” he explained. 

“People are still ending up in the hospital with this. I wouldn’t call that mild. COVID-19 could kill them … (or) they could get it, have a runny nose, and be fine. There’s a huge dynamic range there of symptoms and severity.”

“If it was happening in the summertime, it might have less of an impact on everything. But now that it’s happening in the fall/winter … people are indoors, it’s getting colder outside. There’s more holidays. 

You’re probably going to see an increase in cases for sure. Is that driven by HV.1? Is that driven solely by the seasonality, what time of year it is? No, it’s probably a combination of all of those things. … We’ve seen this now, year after year,” he explained.

brain

Software Program Powered by Artificial Intelligence May Revolutionize Treatment of Aneurysms

A medical software program powered by artificial intelligence called PreSize can potentially revolutionize the treatment of brain aneurysms. Scientists found that PreSize outperformed experienced neurosurgeons at predicting where to place a treatment stent in a patient’s brain.

Weakness in an artery wall typically causes aneurysms, which, if discovered before rupturing, can be medically monitored or surgically closed with a tiny metal clip. Brain aneurysms are more common in people over the age of 40 but can occur at any age.

Alternatively, a flexible mesh tube of metal called a stent can be implanted inside the artery via catheter insertion guided by X-ray imaging. These stents typically utilize shape memory alloys, which spring open upon being unsheathed.

Researchers analyzed data from previous brain aneurysm operations, during which a “multitude” of different stents were used, to better understand the devices’ behavior under different conditions.

Dr Katerina Spranger, founder and chief executive of the company that developed the software, Oxford Heartbeat, told the UK’s PA news agency that the placement of the device is critical during treatment.

“It’s extremely important to get the device correct, in terms of the correct size and also correct implantation. Currently, the way they do it, there is a lot of guesswork involved.”

According to Dr. Spranger, there is a high risk of complications from these complex devices, the most common of which are blood clots, which can lead to strokes.

“If the device is, for example, undersized, it can detach from the blood vessels and start traveling around the circulatory system of the body, which is huge complication. Or if it’s oversized, it can almost rupture the vessel.”

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PreSize provides doctors with a reconstructed image of a patient’s brain and a catalog of digital device replicas that mimic the behavior of various stents.

“This is another key to the complexity of the problem because all those devices are very different. Each manufacturer has their own proprietary technology. In the virtual environment, the algorithms put the two together – the complex anatomy of the patient and mechanics of the device. It can predict what’s going to happen if you put a particular device into a particular location.”

The PreSize platform allows clinicians to load a patient’s scan and test out different devices right inside the operating room to determine which will be most effective.

“We do a lot of research, a lot of experiments, to make sure that the digital twins actually correspond to the actual device’s behavior. We designed it so that it’s extremely intuitive and extremely accurate. Fit for a high-stress surgical environment because the patient is usually already on the table.”

According to Dr. Spranger, the best device can be determined in just three minutes using PreSize instead of the usual 10-15 minutes.

“A fraction of a millimeter can make or break a surgery. We knew that for a software to be successful in such a high-stress environment, it has to be super easy. We designed it so that it can be used without even any training. They get real-time feedback. For example, if they want to try another device, reposition the device, elongate the device, choose another – it immediately reacts and immediately tells them ‘this is how it’s going to look.’”

Dr. Spranger predicts that the use of software in the medical field will soon become a “standard of care” due to its high accuracy, marking it as “a medical device of a new generation.”

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According to The Independent, 375 people have had procedures using PreSize. Seven hospitals across England, Scotland, Germany, Finland, and Ukraine have been taking advantage of the new technology.

PreSize was found to be more accurate than human clinicians at predicting where a stent will “land” in the brain, according to research published in the BMJ Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery.

In the study, eight neurointerventionalists were given 3D images and data showing a stent’s initial landing location for 51 cases.

The medics were given the stent’s origin and instructed to plot its course as they usually would, using the information provided and the stent’s dimensions to make an educated guess as to where it would ultimately land.

PreSize could predict its final landing location with a 95% accuracy rate, while the neurointerventionalists had an 81% accuracy rate.

England’s healthcare system is currently using AI to help clinicians read scans and X-rays to speed up diagnoses and decision-making on treatments. However, Dr. Spranger recommends “rigorous testing” before deploying new systems.

“AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, but before we adopt it, we must rigorously test new systems. Medical device software companies like ours should be held to account to address any distrust about AI.”

chemo

US Cancer Centers Are Experiencing Ongoing Widespread Shortages Of Chemotherapy Drugs, According To Survey 

According to a survey released last week by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, among 29 cancer centers across America, 72% have reported a shortage of carboplatin, a chemotherapy medication. Additionally, 59% have been experiencing a shortage of the drug cisplatin. 

Of all the centers involved in the survey, 86% reported a shortage of at least one kind of anti-cancer or chemotherapy drug. 

This specific survey from the network is an updated version of their survey May in which they found that 93% of the respondents reported a shortage of carboplatin with 70% reporting a shortage of cisplatin. The updated survey was conducted between September 6th to the 20th and took data from 29 of the 33 institutions within the cancer network. 

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“Cisplatin and other similar platinum-based drugs are prescribed for an estimated 10% to 20% of all cancer patients,” according to the National Cancer Institute.

According to the American Association for Cancer Research, several cancer medications have been experiencing shortages within the past few years, with record breaking shortages occurring this year. 

In September, The White House released a report that stated the US has a shortage of 15 cancer drugs. Cisplatin, carboplatin and methotrexate are three of the more generic medications for cancer treatments that have been used for decades. In the report, the White House stated these shortages are mainly due to manufacturing and supply chain issues. 

“Everyone with cancer should have access to the best possible treatment according to the latest evidence and expert consensus guidelines,” Dr. Robert Carlson, CEO of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, said.

“Drug shortages aren’t new, but the widespread impact makes this one particularly alarming. It is extremely concerning that this situation continues despite significant attention and effort over the past few months. We need enduring solutions in order to safeguard people with cancer and address any disparities in care.”

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Dr. William Dahut, the chief scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, stated that carboplatin and cisplatin are known as “core drugs for treating cancer.” 

“The manufacturing side is really the aspect that’s most important to get this right,” he said, as reported by CNN.

“Should there be some drugs in reserve? Should there be the ability to look at supply chains or economic issues? But who actually would enforce those? Who would pay for those? How would that work? I think that needs to be worked out. But I do think a short-term, medium-term and long-term philosophy is needed, as opposed to moving from crisis to crisis,” Dahut stated. 

The centers also stated that several other cancer medications are in short supply; 66% reported a shortage of methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug, 55% experienced a shortage of 5-fluorouracil, 45% for chemotherapy fludarabine, and 41% for hydrocortisone. 

“These drug shortages are the result of decades of systemic challenges,” Alyssa Schatz, the network’s senior director of policy and advocacy, said according to CNN..

“We recognize that comprehensive solutions take time and we appreciate everyone who has put forth proposals to improve investment in generics and our data infrastructure. At the same time, we have to acknowledge that the cancer drug shortage has been ongoing for months, which is unacceptable for anyone impacted by cancer today. These new survey results remind us that we are still in an ongoing crisis and must respond with appropriate urgency,” Schatz said.