KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Despite Flu Vaccine’s Possible Link To Miscarriage, Experts Implore Pregnant Women To Still Get The Shot

While scientists look into the potential link, experts also say it is still very important for women to protect themselves and their babies from the flu. In other public health news: tetanus and other world health problems; mosquitoes; Zika; brain injuries and violence; restrictions on blood donors; and a quadruplet-success story.

NPR: A Flu Shot Is Still 'Essential' For Pregnant Women, Obstetricians Say
Flu symptoms can be more severe when you're pregnant, landing women in the hospital, threatening their lives and even leading to preterm birth or miscarriage. The virus is a risk to the woman and the baby. So, it's particularly important that people who are pregnant get the flu vaccine. And it's also important that the effects of those vaccines be studied in pregnant women. (Hersher, 9/25)

The New York Times: World Health Officials Describe Progress Against Tetanus, H.I.V. And Malaria
Infant and maternal tetanus was officially eliminated from the Americas this year, the Pan American Health Organization announced on Thursday. At one time, the infection killed about 10,000 newborns annually in the Western Hemisphere; tetanus still kills about 35,000 infants around the world. It was one of several significant global health advances, including new programs against malaria and H.I.V., announced last week in conjunction with the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. (McNeil, 9/22)

Los Angeles Times: Mosquitoes Spread Deadly Diseases, And Public Health Experts Hope To Fight Back With This New Emoji
Mosquitoes are more than a spoiler of backyard barbecues. They threaten more than half the world’s population with their disease-spreading bites. In fact, mosquitoes are deadlier — by far — than sharks and snakes. They are the incubator and chief disseminator of malaria, dengue and yellow fevers, as well as newer scourges like the West Nile and Zika viruses. Their numbers explode with floods, hurricanes and climate change, allowing them to outnumber every animal on Earth during their peak breeding season. Public-health officials fret about them 24/7. (Healy, 9/22)

Tampa Bay Times: Whatever Happened To The Zika Epidemic?
The state Health Department counts only 180 Zika infections in Florida so far in 2017, on track to come in well below the 1,456 cases reported all of last year. The vast majority are travel-related cases brought to Florida by people who came from somewhere else, like Zika hotbed areas in Central and South America or the Caribbean, already infected with the virus. (Griffin, 9/25)

The New York Times: Movie’s Ads Protest Rules Restricting Gay Men From Donating Blood
The last “Saw” movie, released by Lionsgate in 2010, was advertised as “the final chapter.” But you didn’t think a franchise with roughly $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales was going to die that easily, did you? In true horror film fashion, the series will resume its torture killings on Oct. 27 with an R-rated eighth installment titled “Jigsaw.”Less expected: Lionsgate’s decision to promote “Jigsaw” by shaking an angry fist at America’s blood-donation regulations. (Barnes, 9/24)

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