A summary of important health news from the past week.
Teva Pharmaceuticals is working to develop a cheaper generic alternative to the EpiPen, the price of which has recently gone up by over 400%. The FDA is currently working to approve Teva Pharmaceutical's alternative option in order to bring more competition to the market and provide families with a more affordable option. There is some discussion that the FDA may accelerate Teva Pharmaceutical's application for drug approval.
Orlando Hospitals Say They Won't Bill Victims Of Pulse Nightclub Shooting
Hospitals that treated victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL have announced they are going to waive the victims' medical bills. The facilities involved are Florida Hospital, which treated twelve victims, and Orlando Regional Medical Center, which treated forty-four victims. The shooting took place on June 12 and resulted in forty-nine deaths and fifty people wounded.
US blood supply should be screened for Zika, FDA says
The FDA recently recommended that the US blood supply should be screened for the Zika virus. This recommendation addresses concerns that asymptomatic individuals who unknowingly possess the virus might attempt to donate blood. The Red Cross is already testing for Zika in five states and, in the next two weeks, will expand its testing to four more states. Previously, in February, the FDA recommended Zika screening in areas with active transmission.
First known case of sexual Zika transmission without symptoms
The first documented case of a person without symptoms of Zika transmitting the virus to a partner who had not travelled to the infected areas through sexual activities has been reported. Especially pregnant women should undergo protected sexual contact, even if their partners, who have been exposed to Zika infected sites, develop no signs of the virus, or the fetus could be affected by lifelong defects.
Heroin laced with elephant tranquilizer hits the streets
The heroin epidemic has grown in the United States, and is now at a new level of fear as there are now reports of heroin laced with carfentanil. This new drug is 10,000 times stronger than morphine, and is commercially used to sedate large mammals. Two milligrams are apt to sedate a 2,000 pound African elephant. The drug is not only dangerous to those who use it, but to those who are around it, as it can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled.
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