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Morning Rounds Shraddha Chakradhar

Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in DRC

The Ebola epidemic that has been confined to the Democratic Republic of the Congo since it began 10 months ago has made its way to neighboring Uganda, the country confirmed yesterday. A 5-year-old boy who was traveling with his family from the DRC tested positive for the disease and is currently in a treatment center in the Ugandan border town of Bwera. Several of his family members are also ill, although their test results are still pending. The boy and his family first stopped into a health center in the DRC and were directed to an isolation facility, but half the family then fled to Uganda. The country has already vaccinated some 5,000 health workers in anticipation of the disease spreading from the DRC, where there have been 2,071 cases and 1,396 deaths. 

Addressing maternal mortality in rural America

CMS, along with the American Academy of Family Physicians and other health groups, is hosting an event today to examine the impact of shuttering rural health centers amid the growing rates of maternal mortality in the U.S. Half of all U.S. counties lack a gynecologist or obstetrician, which often means that pregnant women in rural counties end up traveling more than 30 minutes to get health care. This is especially troubling considering that the U.S. has the worst maternal mortality rates among developed countries. Today’s event will bring together health policy and reproductive health experts — including from the CDC —  to discuss improving access to health care in rural America as well as policies that improve rural maternal care. 

More than 1 in 5 people in conflict areas experience mental health issues

New estimates from the WHO find that some 22% of people in conflict areas around the world suffer from a mental health problem. Here’s more from the report:

  • By disease type: 13% of people experienced mild forms of depression, PTSD, and anxiety, while some 5% of people experienced severe forms of those disorders.

  • By age: Those over the age of 70 in conflict zones experienced the highest rates of depression and anxiety compared to the general population and those of other ages in conflict areas.

  • A takeaway: The global estimates are higher than previously thought, according to the authors, who stress the need for mental health care and intervention in conflict-affected countries.

Inside STAT: The 5 key players behind ride-sharing’s move into health care


(SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES)

Not only did Uber and Lyft go public this year, the two companies have also steadily been expanding their presence into medical transportation. In the latest installment of our series looking at Big Tech’s move into the life sciences, STAT’s Megan Thielking outlines five key people to know at the two ride-sharing companies — from Uber’s VP of health care who has big plans to partner with Medicare Advantage plans to Lyft’s VP of compliance who is tasked with ensuring that the company, well, complies with all the regulations that govern health care transportation. STAT Plus subscribers can check out the full list here

AMA swears in first African American woman president

Atlanta psychiatrist Dr. Patrice Harris is now the first African American woman to lead the AMA in its 145-year history.  “I hope to be tangible evidence for young girls and young boys and girls from communities of color that you can aspire to be a physician,” Harris said in a statement. “Not only that, you can aspire to be a leader in organized medicine,” she said. She plans to focus on medical education, addressing chronic disease, and ensuring access to health care. Harris is taking over for Dr. Barbara McAneny, a New Mexico-based oncologist. The AMA also elected Dr. Susan Bailey, an immunologist from Fort Worth, Texas, to be its next president starting in 2020, making this the first time in the organization’s history that the AMA will be led consecutively by three female physicians. 

Hawaii, Massachusetts hold top state health care scores

A new scorecard of U.S. states on health care performance gives Hawaii and Massachusetts top marks, while Mississippi and Oklahoma fall at the bottom. Here’s more on the study:

  • The design: Analysts looked at access, health outcomes, cost of care, and other health care measures to arrive at the scores for all 50 states and D.C.

  • Overall trends: California had the highest jump in rankings — moving up 12 spots to number 14 — while Rhode Island had the most number of improved categories. Delaware and Wyoming moved down in ranking.

  • Future goals: The report also finds that if states did as well as the best state in the category, there would be 18 million more insured adults and children, and nearly a million more children receiving recommended vaccinations.

What to read around the web today

  • Daily HIV prevention pill urged for healthy people at risk. The Associated Press
  • For years, the clients of a Colorado funeral home kept their loved ones’ cremated remains. Then the FBI called. High Country News
  • How the brain shapes pain and links ouch with emotion. NPR
  • LGBTQ+ youth prefer to seek mental health help digitally. Wired
  • Alabama moves to state-ordered castration. The Atlantic

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow,

Shraddha

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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