KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Longer Looks: Zika; Staying Sober; McDonald’s At The Hospital

Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.

Vox: Obama Has A New Plan To Fight Zika, Asks Congress For $1.8 Billion
What makes Zika so unnerving is that it was virtually unknown in the Western Hemisphere until arriving in Brazil in 2014, likely during the World Cup. Since then, it has spread rapidly throughout South America and the Caribbean, carried by the notoriously pesky Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. So far, only about a dozen people in the United States have been infected, mostly travelers from abroad. But the virus is expected to arrive in Florida, Texas, and other Southern states during the spring and summer mosquito season. (Brad Plumer, 2/8)

The New York Times: Staying Sober After Treatment Ends
Getting sober is hard. Making sobriety last is much harder. Most people who go into a residential rehab treatment manage to detox and stay that way during their weeks- or months-long stay. But problems begin when they leave. Many patients walk out the door — and fall off a cliff. (Tina Rosenberg, 2/9)

The Atlantic: When The Hospital Serves McDonald's
Even as medical researchers discover more about the foods that keep our bodies well, many hospitals continue to serve foods that promote disease. Last year, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit group composed of 12,000 doctors, issued a damning report about the healthfulness of hospital food in the U.S. Of the 208 hospitals surveyed, 20 percent housed fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, and Wendy’s on their campuses. (Shilpa Ravella, 2/9)

FiveThirtyEight: Asking Women To Avoid Pregnancy Is Absurd, Even In The Face Of Zika
In addition to declaring a “public health emergency of international concern,” the World Health Organization has said pregnant women should aggressively avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada and several European countries have issued advisories for pregnant women who are considering traveling to the majority of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Several Latin American countries — including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica — have made far more dramatic asks, saying women should delay getting pregnant altogether. (Barry-Jester, 2/5)

The New York Times: Willie Wood Made The Most Memorable Play Of Super Bowl I. He Has No Recollection.
Doctors are unsure if [Willie Wood's] mental failings are from aging, football or both. Many former players have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease whose symptoms include dementia and erratic behavior attributed to repeated head blows, but it can be diagnosed only posthumously. In 2007, Wood left his home to enter assisted living. In a newspaper interview shortly after the move, he said the highlight of his day was waking up in the morning. But the worst moment of his day always quickly followed. (Bill Pennington, 2/5)

The Atlantic: The Essentials For Giving Birth Around The World
For most expecting mothers in the Western world, a hospital bag is something that makes the birthing process marginally more comfortable. You’ve just brought a new being into the world; you deserve to wear your own sweatpants. But in some parts of the world, hospitals are so bare-bones that women in labor must tote everything with them, from rubber gloves to water pans to gauze. (Olga Khazan, 2/8)

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