The Top Medical/Health News Stories of the Week
Here’s our round-up of the medical and healthcare news stories of the week – and what a week it’s been! We’ve scoured the news for the stories we think are important to know about. Every week, we’ll bring you a fresh batch of healthcare stories for you to feast on.
Use these stories to help boost your knowledge of the healthcare sector and the biggest health topics affecting us.
Monkeypox: UK Cases Rise to 71, with Vaccines for High-Risk Contacts
The largest outbreak of monkeypox outside Africa started in early May, with hundreds of cases popping up in more than 15 countries. The virus is usually associated with travel to Central and West Africa, but some affected individuals do not have such a travel link. Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease but certain groups form a greater proportion of the affected.
The mild infection spreads through close contact with scabs on the skin, bedding and clothing of an infected person, and through their coughs and sneezes. The World Health Organization says the outbreak is “containable,” with thousands of doses of the smallpox vaccine being sent to NHS trusts in an effort to combat the outbreak.
This monkeypox outbreak is interesting to hear about because of its scope. Specifically, most of the cases are in Europe, which is rarely seen. Further, health officials are unsure why monkeypox is spreading. Keep an eye on the news for more information about this currently developing situation.
Covid Can Cause Ongoing Damage to Heart, Lungs and Kidneys, Study Finds
Some people who suffered from Covid exhibited ongoing symptoms, a condition called long Covid. Researchers have recently found evidence that Covid can adversely affect a range of organs, with the severity of ongoing symptoms linked to the severity of the infection itself. The recent study shows that one in eight individuals who were hospitalised for Covid were likely to have heart inflammation and abnormalities in their lungs and kidneys.
This study provides important insight into the ongoing effects Covid can have on the population; the researchers urge members of the public to take up the offer of vaccination to avoid such preventable consequences.
Australian Company to Ship Baby Formula to Shortage-hit US
There is an ongoing nationwide shortage of baby formula in the United States following a recall issued by Abbott Laboratories, the largest baby formula producer in the country. Now, an Australian company, Bubs Australia, is planning to ship 1.25m cans of its baby formula to the United States to help parents who are struggling to feed their babies.
Although this news story is not in the UK context, different countries working together to overcome a significant health-related issue is inspiring.
G20 Pandemic Fund Ploughs ahead amid Fears World Not Ready for Future Threats
The World Bank intends to house a multi-billion dollar fund set up by G20 countries to help developing countries better prepare for pandemics. The fund has raised just under $1 billion from the United States, the European Union, Germany, and private donors with the understanding that the world may be in a worse position to fight future health threats as a result of the financial toll of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The fund could be operational within months according to the World Bank.
Pandemic preparedness is a global priority; this fund will hopefully play a core role in the responses to future health threats.
Oklahoma Governor Signs into Law Strictest Abortion Ban in the US
A draft Supreme Court opinion leaked earlier this month showed the court majority intends to overhaul federal abortion rights, leaving their legalisation to individual states. The Oklahoma Governor, Kevin Stitt, signed into law the strictest abortion ban in the United States.
Specifically, the legislation, which takes effect immediately, prohibits abortions from fertilisation and allows private citizens to sue those who help women terminate their pregnancies. Prior to the passage of these laws, Oklahoma had become a destination for Texas women seeking abortions after six weeks. These newly placed restrictions will force patients to travel to states such as Kansas, New Mexico, and Colorado should they want to end their pregnancies.
As a healthcare professional, it is important to be aware of hot button health-related issues, like abortion. Although this article references American legislation, your patients may be worried about the consequences such actions could have for them.
That’s a wrap on this week’s news round-up, before you leave, pick one that you found the most interesting out of our selection.
Stay tuned for next week’s roundup. Who knows what will happen in the next seven days?
Before you leave, take 5 mins and reflect on what you’ve learnt from this
- What surprised you? What was expected?
- How has this improved your knowledge of healthcare developments?
Make a quick note of these reflections (bullet-points are fine) in your reflective diary. You might find it useful when answering medical interview questions!