CDC Investigates Fatal Case Of Rare Tropical Disease Melioidosis
News outlets report on the investigation into a death last month in Georgia of a person who is the latest found to have melioidosis, usually a disease affecting South Asia. Prostitution, homelessness, medical marijuana, and reading and writing proficiency in Oregon are also in the news.
US Investigates Latest Case Of A Rare Tropical Disease
U.S. health officials are investigating the latest fatal case of a rare tropical disease typically found in South Asia. The unidentified person, who died last month in Georgia, was the fourth U.S. case this year of melioidosis caused by a bacteria that lives in soil and water, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. None of the cases from Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota or Texas traveled internationally, puzzling experts. The CDC said two died. (Stobbe, 8/10)
CDC Reports Fatal Melioidosis Case In Georgia: What Is The Rare Bacterial Infection?
A person in Georgia has succumbed to a rare bacterial infection called melioidosis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Monday. But what exactly is it and who is at risk? Sequencing suggested the case was linked to three prior infections across Kansas, Texas and Minnesota, and cases involved both children and adults, the CDC said. Two out of four cases resulted in death and two of the patients had no risk factors, which are considered to be underlying medical issues such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and cancer. (Rivas, 8/9)
In other news from Texas, California, Georgia and Oregon —
Texas Is First State To Make Buying Sex A Felony
People who buy or solicit sex from prostitutes in Texas can soon be charged with state jail felonies under a new law that ramps up penalties for a host of crimes related to sex trafficking in an attempt to deter the practice. House Bill 1540, authored by state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, also expands the definition of human trafficking — a first-degree felony in Texas — to include those who recruit trafficking victims from residential treatment centers that house homeless or foster children and minors who were previous victims of violence and assault. (Scherer, 8/9)
As Homelessness Surges, Venice Beach Debates Solutions
The Los Angeles community of Venice Beach is rich with cultural touchstones: Muscle Beach, a seaside skate park, and the bustling boardwalk filled with street vendors and musicians. Amid the pandemic it’s also emerged as a microcosm of the homelessness catastrophe in the U.S.’s second-largest city — and a focal point for public anger over the issue in Southern California. The conflict over how to handle it has pitted an aggressive enforcement approach favored by many city leaders against a grassroots movement advocating for a more housing-first, humane way. It's also driving a wedge between neighbors with conflicting views on safety and the need to reclaim public space versus the plight, and rights, of the unhoused. (Sisson, 8/9)
Questions Raised Over The First Medical Marijuana Companies Given Licenses In Georgia
Patients and medical marijuana advocates are questioning how Botanical Sciences and other inexperienced companies could come out on top following a competitive but secretive selection process by the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission, with most information blacked out in heavily redacted applications. Fifteen of the 69 companies that applied for Georgia’s six licenses have filed protests, which could cause further delays for 20,000 registered patients with serious illnesses who lack a legal way to buy medical marijuana oil that state law allows them to use. “I’m very concerned that some people were awarded licenses who had better-looking applications, but are those same people going to be able to produce quality oil that’s going to save my daughter’s life?” said Beckee Lynch, whose daughter takes cannabis oil to prevent grand mal seizures that lasted up to six hours at their worst. (Niesse, 8/9)
Oregon Governor Signs Bill Suspending Math, Reading Proficiency Requirements For HS Graduates
In June, state lawmakers voted to approve the bill that suspended the requirements for students for three years, KATU reported. Foundations for a Better Oregon said in a statement at the time that the bill is intended to "truly reflect what every student needs to thrive in the 21st century." Supporters of the bill insist that considering math and reading essential skills has been an unfair challenge for students who do not test well. The report said the requirement was first suspended at the start of the pandemic. The KATU report pointed out that Republicans have come out against the bill and claim that it lowers "expectations for our kids." But there was some bipartisan support. (DeMarche, 8/10)