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In Texas, state with most nursing homes, experts fear for elderly amid coronavirus surge
Adene Sanchez/iStock By HALLEY FREGER, ALLISON PECORIN, and MATTHEW MOSK, ABC NEWS (AUSTIN) -- The senior citizens who populate Texas nursing homes were not jammed into bars or packed onto beaches on Memorial Day, but officials there now fear that coronavirus that began spreading among younger people over the past month is imperiling the lives of the state’s most vulnerable.It was a grim but predictable development for a state with more nursing homes – 1,218 – than any state in the nation, experts told ABC News. Some said they already suspect a link between the recent spread of the virus...
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Calls for change after 26-year-old Black woman dies during childbirth
PeopleImages/iStock By ANASTASIA ELYSE WILLIAMS, KATIE KINDELAN and KATE HODGSON, ABC News (NEW YORK) -- The death of a 26-year-old Black woman during an emergency C-section is putting a spotlight on the disparities women of color face during childbirth, and leading to calls for change.Sha-asia Washington died earlier this month during an emergency C-section at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, a city-run hospital in Brooklyn, New York."If you know shaasia she wanted to be a mom and she was gonna be an amazing one," reads a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $67,000 for Washington's daughter, Khloe, and her partner,...
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Why pediatricians are pushing for kids to go back to school in the fall
smolaw11/iStock By DR. SABINA BERA, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- While the Trump administration is urging schools to open in the fall, many parents remain concerned about the safety of their children. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, is going back to school safe?The American Academy of Pediatrics has some answers. The nation's top pediatrician group made headlines last month after releasing clinical guidance saying this year's goal should be for students to be "physically present in school."The guidance highlights the negative impact on children since school closures. More time away from school can result in social isolation, abuse and untreated mental health...
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Thirteen states now report coronavirus testing issues, in echo of early troubles
Bill Oxford/iStock By SOO RIN KIM, OLIVIA RUBIN and ALI DUKAKIS, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As coronavirus cases surge in much of the country, issues with testing availability and access have once again arisen in nearly every aspect of the testing supply chain, local officials and hospital leaders in several states told ABC News -- a troubling echo of the shortages that plagued the nation's initial response to the virus months ago.Testing issues have manifested differently in different parts of the country, from states in the midst of a renewed battle against COVID-19 and those who still fear one might...
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Novavax receives highest funding to develop COVID-19 vaccine
simon2579/iStock By DR. SABINA BERA, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Novavax, a vaccine development company, was recently awarded over $1.6 billion by the United States government to support commercial-scale manufacturing of their potential coronavirus vaccine.According to Stanley Erck, CEO of Novavax, the company was selected to be part of the government's Operation Warp Speed program because of its prior experience with two related coronavirus vaccines (SARS and MERS), as well as other infectious diseases such as Ebola."We use the same platform," Erck told ABC News' Bob Woodruff. "In all of these different diseases, we take a surface protein on the virus...
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Study finds high rates of positive COVID-19 tests in low-income NYC neighborhoods
filadendron/iStock By DR. SHANTUM MISRA, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As cases of coronavirus continue to skyrocket around the country, new details are emerging from New York City -- once the epicenter of the domestic pandemic. A recent study suggests that in some communities in the city, over 60% of residents tested positive for COVID-19 infection.And low-income communities seemed to be hit the hardest, with zip codes in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx reporting the highest rates of positive results."We found that test positivity rates were higher in lower income areas," and "among the Black population," said Dr. Jim Crawford, co-author...
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Three things to know about kids, schools and COVID-19
andresr/iStock By ANNE FLAHERTY, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Everyone agrees it’s not healthy to keep kids stuck at home, with the American Academy of Pediatrics encouraging school districts to resume in-person class time for the health of the nation's children.But when it comes to the virus and its potential to spread quickly, it’s less clear what will happen when they return.Here are three things to know about kids, schools and COVID-19:It’s rare for kids to get really sick. But there’s limited evidence on how easily they spread it.If there’s one clear finding among researchers, it’s that young people infected with...
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What the latest Supreme Court decision means for your contraceptive care
areeya_ann/iStock By KATIE KINDELAN, ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court's ruling Wednesday to allow an employer or university with a religious or moral objection to opt out of covering contraceptives could cost women hundreds of dollars each year in out-of-pocket expenses, experts say.The court ruled 7-2 to uphold President Donald Trump's move to let more employers opt out of the Affordable Care Act mandate guaranteeing no-cost contraceptive services for women.Conservatives hailed the decision as a resounding win for religious liberty, while groups that support reproductive rights slammed the ruling, saying it threatens birth control access, particularly for low-income workers and...
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COVID-19 deaths may lead to prolonged grief disorder
AlexSava/iStock By DR. YALDA SAFAI, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, health experts are warning about the risk of prolonged grief disorder among people who lose loved ones. Older adults are especially at risk, according to a study published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.Prolonged grief disorder, also known as complicated grief, is characterized by persistent yearning for and preoccupying thoughts and memories of the deceased, as well as emotional pain that causes impairment in everyday activities.This disorder can last at least six months and is different from normal bereavement, which can still be painful...
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Communities for the elderly devise new ways to prevent COVID-19, fight isolation
Cecilie_Arcurs/iStock By KRISTOFER RIOS, CHO PARK, MATTHEW MOSK and LAUREN EFFRON, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Mary Winnet was overjoyed at the sight of seeing her husband. It was the first time the couple was able to reunite in two months.“Do I get to touch you? You’re healthy?” she asked her husband before reaching out for an embrace.Like many residents in senior living communities, Winnet and her husband were separated and placed in quarantine to keep them safe from the coronavirus, COVID-19.But the measures meant to save their lives have also been isolating. In addition to each other, they’ve been kept...
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Asymptomatic and presymptomatic people transmit most COVID-19 infections: Study
narvikk/iStock By ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) -- Silent transmission of the novel coronavirus could account for more than half of infections, according to one new mathematical model by U.S. and Canadian researchers.The researchers utilized data on asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission from two different epidemiological studies and estimated that more than 50% of infections were attributable to people not exhibiting symptoms.Since the study is based on a mathematical model, the 50% finding is an estimation based on probabilities and approximations, rather than a precise figure.The findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of...
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'Game changer': A shot every 2 months works better than a daily pill to prevent HIV, study says
iStock/ipopba (NEW YORK) -- BY: DR. DANIELLE WEITZERThanks to modern medicine, we now have a once-daily pill that can prevent HIV, a virus that interferes with the body's ability to fight infections. However, experts say the pill doesn't work for everyone's lifestyle, and it's important for people to have other options so they can better protect themselves from HIV infection.Now, a new study finds that a long-acting injectable medication given as a shot every eight weeks is significantly more effective than a HIV prevention pill taken every day called Truvada.The study, which comes from the HIV Prevention Trials Network and...
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