Tennis is losing another legend this year. Roger Federer announced his retirement today, just weeks after Serena Williams played her last match.
In health care news, flu season could be particularly difficult this year, the first since most COVID restrictions (particularly masks) were lifted.
Welcome to Overnight Health Care, where we keep track of the latest political moves and news affecting your health. For The Hill, we’re Nathaniel Wexel and Joseph Choi. Someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.
Nation warned to prepare for difficult flu season
Health experts are warning the nation to prepare for what could be an exceptionally severe flu season in the fall and winter, as more and more people who have not acquired immunity over the past few years mingle and mingle. There are two main reasons why more people will be exposed to the flu this year.
- The first is that with coronavirus restrictions like wearing or forgetting masks, people are more likely to come into contact with the flu virus this year than the last two years.
- The second reason is that it’s possible that fewer people will be immune to the flu virus this year because fewer people have had the flu over the past two years — as the pandemic has locked people up and with people worried more about contracting COVID-19.
The past two flu seasons simply haven’t seen the same levels of flu exposure, said Richard Webby, a virologist in the division of infectious diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“As a population group, our immunity to influenza drops a little bit,” Webby said. “When the virus comes back, it will probably have a little more room to spread, a little more room to cause disease.”
Flu season over the past two years has essentially been “nonexistent”, said Amish Adalja, a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and added that the trend has always been bound to end once social distancing is in place. Less exercise.
According to Adalja, the evidence that the flu is returning is a sign that people are returning to “some semblance of their pre-COVID lives.”
Judge temporarily blocks six-week abortion ban in Ohio
A judge on Wednesday temporarily halted a six-week abortion ban in Ohio that went into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins Issue a temporary restraining order The law will be suspended for 14 days, as pro-abortion activists are now asking a judge to issue a preliminary injunction that will block the law further for the duration of the case.
Jenkins allowed the hold in part because he believed the plaintiffs had a highly likely chance of winning the case under the protections afforded by the state constitution.
The legislation, known as the “Heartbeat Act” and signed into law by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (right) in 2019, bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, generally in the sixth week of pregnancy. The law was blocked until the Supreme Court overturned federal abortion protections in June.
while: In neighboring Indiana, the first abortion ban passed in the post-Rowe era takes effect. The legislation includes very limited exceptions, but prohibits abortion at all stages of pregnancy.
Abortion providers who violate the law are subject to a criminal penalty of up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Food and Drug Administration: Use of TPOXX should be restricted to ensure efficacy
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that the monkeypox virus could mutate large enough to render treatments currently used to combat the outbreak ineffective.
TPOXX, the smallpox antiviral licensed to treat monkeypox cases, works by inhibiting the VP37 protein found in orthopoxviruses, the family of viruses to which both smallpox and monkeypox belong.
“However, as stated on the drug label, TPOXX has a low barrier to viral resistance. This means that small changes in the VP37 protein can have a significant impact on the antiviral activity of TPOXX,” the FDA said.
TBD efficacy: The efficacy of TPOXX against monkeypox infection remains unknown, with little or no human data available. The drug has been approved for the treatment of smallpox by the US Food and Drug Administration based on data from animal studies and there are currently no safety or efficacy data for the treatment of monkeypox.
stingy steering: The CDC is monitoring changes in the monkeypox virus that could make it better at evading potential protection from TPOXX. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advised “use the drug judiciously,” due to the potential for monkeypox to become resistant.
New clinical trials planned for blood tests to detect cancer
President Biden is set to sign an agreement In order to promote biotechnology As part of the promotion ofcancer moon. The cancer-focused initiative was launched in 2016 and restarted earlier this year.
On the horizon, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is planning a large-scale clinical trial of cancer screening tests that can detect multiple types of cancer from blood samples.
If any of these types of screening tests receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), diagnosing cancer could become easier for millions of people.
elusive: There is one test for early detection of multiple cancers currently available in the United States called Galleri, which can be used to detect more than 50 types of cancer. It’s not currently approved by the FDA, so it’s not covered by insurance, at a cost of $949 out of pocket. It is not intended as a stand-alone diagnosis but rather a complement to existing cancer screening tests such as mammograms, low-dose CT or colonoscopy.
An upcoming clinical trial led by the National Cancer Institute could help offer these tests to a larger number of patients. The agency plans to enroll 24,000 healthy people between the ages of 45 and 70 in 2024, a total of 225,000 people overall.
White House launches monkeypox research agenda
The White House on Thursday announced a round of new research commitments aimed at better understanding how monkeypox is diagnosed, treated, and prevented, with new clinical trials underway in both the United States and countries where the virus is endemic.
During a press conference, the White House’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, acknowledged that there are “a number of unanswered questions” when it comes to responding to monkeypox.
- There are currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatments specifically intended to treat and prevent monkeypox.
- Treatments that have been used throughout the outbreak — particularly the Jynneos vaccine and the antiviral tekovirimat, or TPOXX — have been approved to treat and prevent smallpox infection.
Funding is still unclear: Funding for responses to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak as well as the COVID-19 pandemic has been poor in recent months, with Congress yet to approve any further money despite the White House’s request for nearly $4 billion for the monkeypox response.
Fauci said the money for current clinical trials came from several different sources.
“The money that we use in clinical trials is the money that we took out of our smallpox and other wallets. So hopefully we can get additional funding to be able to do the things I’m talking about.”
what we read
- Anti-abortion groups receive more calls for help with unplanned pregnancies (NPR)
- These three startups are trying to improve diversity in clinical trials, a challenge experts say will take more than just technology (stat)
- ‘I felt judged’: LGBTI Americans benefited much more from medical discrimination (Nineteenth news)
Country by state
- “Should Dr. Oz make that decision?”: The fight for abortion rights takes center stage in the Pennsylvania Senate race (Vanity Fair)
- Imminent hospital closure shakes Atlanta healthcare landscape and race politicsKaiser Health News)
- Louisiana Electricity Project Funding Stuck in Abortion Controversy (AP)
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s health care page For the latest news and coverage. see you tomorrow.