Longer Looks: Wilderness Therapy, How AI Caught The Start Of A Pandemic, And Pregnancy Meds
Each week, KHN finds interesting reads from around the Web.
Does Science Support The 'Wilderness' In Wilderness Therapy?
Katherine Gibbons' life turned upside down on the day in October 2018 when she skipped school, stole a liter of vodka, and drank much of it on the walk back from the grocery store. Her mother, who had been worried about Katherine’s erratic behavior for months, saw the 17-year-old was off campus through a phone-tracking app. She arrived at the school as her daughter stumbled in and was losing consciousness on the floor of the assistant principal’s office. In 2018, Katherine Gibbons of suburban Chicago was abusing alcohol and skipping school. Her parents sent her to a wilderness therapy program in Oregon, and now the 18-year-old is back home and, her parents say, doing better.Visual: Alyssa Schukar for UndarkThe school called 911. It was Katherine’s fifth emergency room visit over the preceding year. “It was clear that whatever we were doing here for her was not working,” said her father Mike, an executive at an infrastructure construction company with a thick crop of graying brown hair. (Kaplan, 1/29)
An AI Epidemiologist Sent The First Warnings Of The Wuhan Virus
On January 9, the World Health Organization notified the public of a flu-like outbreak in China: a cluster of pneumonia cases had been reported in Wuhan, possibly from vendors’ exposure to live animals at the Huanan Seafood Market. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had gotten the word out a few days earlier, on January 6. But a Canadian health monitoring platform had beaten them both to the punch, sending word of the outbreak to its customers on December 31. BlueDot uses an AI-driven algorithm that scours foreign-language news reports, animal and plant disease networks, and official proclamations to give its clients advance warning to avoid danger zones like Wuhan. (Niiler, 1/25)
Donald Trump Is Not A Doctor. But He Plays One On Twitter.
President Donald Trump has long claimed to be an expert on everything from airplanes to horse racing. Lately, he’s been playing doctor, and it’s giving some real health professionals indigestion. Last week, as news broke that doctors were treating 34 U.S. troops for concussionlike injuries after a missile strike in Iraq, Trump brushed off the wounds as minor “headaches and a couple of other things.” That same day, Trump shared his thoughts on the fast-moving coronavirus outbreak, telling CNBC that the U.S. had the deadly virus “totally under control.” Since then, the death toll in China has climbed to more than 100, with more than 4,500 confirmed cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday said roughly 110 people in 26 U.S. states were being investigated as possible cases. (Muller, 1/29)
The Wall Street Journal:
What Was Going Wrong With My Pregnancy?
After 29 weeks of an unremarkable pregnancy, I woke up one morning and could not get the baby to move. I tried all the tricks: orange juice to wake her up, lying on my side to better feel her kicks. Still, nothing. My husband and toddler son headed to day care drop-off. A repairman arrived to check our furnace. I forced myself to eat an Oreo—what kid doesn’t like sugar? She stayed quiet. I canceled my 9 a.m. work call and got in the car. By the time I arrived at my obstetrician’s office on that day in the autumn of 2018, I was shaking with adrenaline. (Feintzeig, 1/24)
The New York Times:
She Was Prescribed Three Antibiotics But Only Got Worse. Why?
The young woman suddenly stopped in the middle of the sidewalk in New Haven, Conn.; her backpack felt strangely heavy. The weight on her shoulders seemed unbearable, as if the bag were filled with bricks rather than the usual notebooks, pens, computer and water bottle. She swung the bag to the ground as the flow of pedestrian traffic streamed around her. Her shoulders throbbed, and her back felt sore. Her legs trembled from the effort of walking. Still, she couldn’t just stand there on the street. She was in her last semester of college, and she had to get to a lecture. She heaved her backpack onto her shoulders and slowly made her way across campus. (Sanders, 1/29)
‘They Did Not Realize We Are Human Beings’
The half-dozen Marshall Islanders wandering this outdoor farmer’s market in a tight pack, more than 6,000 miles from their tropical, nuclear-scarred homeland, stick out with their colorful dresses, their banter in a foreign language, even their flip-flops on this cold, rainy morning. They’re among about 800 Marshallese who have found their way to this Midwestern city of 60,000 people. Some of the islanders are still learning English. Many are working low-wage jobs in local factories, restaurants and hotels. Most say they never planned to come here. (Diamond, 1/26)