A summary of important health news from the previous week.
U.S. Becomes More Vulnerable to Tropical Diseases Like Zika
Following the recent outbreak of Zika, a bug-borne illness, in Puerto Rico, epidemiologists are taking note. Zika has never before traveled so far north, and it is already inciting panic in Brazil as babies born to mothers who are infected suffer severe birth defects. Climate change not only means rising sea levels, but also that fleas and ticks will increase in number and spread to new regions. These changes, along with increased urban crowding and travel, has led to diseases spreading faster than ever. Disease patterns predict that illnesses like Zika will only continue to spread, as the CDC analyzes how to minimize risk.
Obama Vetoes Bill to Repeal Health Law and End Planned Parenthood Funding
President Obama used the eight veto of his presidency to stop legislation that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and removed any federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The ACA has been decisive since its implementation six years ago. Although this is the first repeal attempt to make it to the president's desk, it is the 62nd Congressional vote to repeal it. When speaking of the veto, Mr. Obama stated “Because of the harm this bill would cause to the health and financial security of millions of Americans, it has earned my veto.”
Incentive Worth $550 Fails To Motivate Obese Workers To Lose Weight
Workplace wellness programs are becoming more popular, but may not affect obesity. A recent study in The Journal of Health Affairs found that workers who were obese and were enrolled in programs promising to reduce the cost of health insurance based on weight reduction only lost an average of 1.5 pounds. The study was a randomized case control study at the University of Pennsylvania that included 197 obese employees who were asked to lose 5% of their weight.
How tap water became toxic in Flint, Michigan
The water in Flint, Michigan has been found to have dangerously highly corrosive and contains toxic levels of lead. This toxicity is a result of the city switching their water source from Lake Huron to the Flint, River two years ago to reduce costs. Residents say this information was kept from them for 18 months.
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