KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Public Health Views: Hope And Fear In The War Against Antibiotic Resistance; Zika And Risk Perception

News outlets offer opinions and editorials about various public health concerns.

The New York Times: We’re Losing The Race Against Antibiotic Resistance, But There’s Also Reason For Hope
A century ago, the top three causes of death were infectious diseases. More than half of all people dying in the United States died because of germs. Today, they account for a few percent of deaths at most. We owe much of that, of course, to antibiotics. The discovery of prontosil, the first synthetic modern antibiotic, earned Gerhard Domagk the Nobel Prize in 1939. Mass-produced penicillin earned Alexander Fleming, Ernst Boris Chain and Howard Walter Florey one in 1945. It is hard to overstate how much less of a threat infectious diseases pose to us today. But we take antibiotics for granted. We use them inappropriately and indiscriminately. This has led many to worry that our days of receiving benefits from them are numbered. (Aaron E. Carroll, 3/7)

The Seattle Times: Why Seattle Needs Safe-Injection Sites For Heroin Addicts
Well before pot became legal, the nation’s first needle exchange opened in these parts in 1988. The 1811 Eastlake housing project, which allows alcoholics to keep drinking, helped make Seattle’s “Housing First” model official federal policy. And a Seattle police social-services diversion for low-level drug dealers is being copied around the country. The next big idea is called a safe-injection site. (3/7)

The Seattle Times: It’s Time To Face The Region’s Opioid Epidemic Head-On
The horrendous effects of heroin addiction can be felt everywhere, from homeless encampments under bridges and on the streets of glittering downtown Seattle to rural communities throughout the state ... The only way to address this public health crisis — and to end the death spiral for some — is to acknowledge the scope of the problem and to be open to exploring new approaches to treatment. (3/7)

The Chicago Sun-Times: Doubek: She Lives On Mental Health Edge Because Of State Cuts
Tina Wardzala lies awake nights wondering and fearing what will happen to her and her sons if she loses the therapy and psychiatric medication she needs. “I have to be well to take care of my children,” she told me recently. I first wrote about Wardzala, 50, late last September. She has been a client at the Family Service and Mental Health Center of Cicero for 10 years. Men her mother invited into their home abused her as a child. As an adult many years ago, she was raped in the hallway of an apartment building when she was trying to deliver food to an elderly woman. It took seven years for her to muster the courage to tell her therapist about that. Wardzala has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia and bipolar disorder. (Madeleine Doubek, 3/7)

STAT: Uterus Transplants Are No Match For The Safety Of Surrogacy
Cleveland Clinic surgeons performed the nation’s first uterus transplant last week; nine more are planned as part of a clinical trial. The goal is to make it possible for a woman with a damaged or missing uterus to become pregnant. This is innovative, skilled surgery. But it does not represent real progress for infertile women. (Josephine Johnston and Eric Trump, 3/7)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.