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Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of April 8, 2024


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of April 8, 2024–April 12, 2024.

The AP (4/11, Shastri) reports, “Measles outbreaks in the U.S. and abroad are raising health experts’ concern about the preventable, once-common childhood virus.” In the U.S., “measles cases already are nearly double the total for all of last year.” The CDC has “documented 113 cases as of April 5. There have been seven outbreaks and most of U.S. cases—73%—are linked to those flare-ups.” On Thursday, the CDC “released a report on recent measles case trends, noting that cases in the first three months of this year were 17 times higher than the average number seen in the first three months of the previous three years.” The report pointed to “unvaccinated Americans who got infected in the Middle East and Africa and brought measles back to the U.S.” as a major source of this year’s outbreaks.

CNN (4/11, McPhillips) reports, “Last month, the CDC issued a health alert to doctors to increase awareness of the international spread of measles, and urged them to vaccinate infants a few months ahead of the typical schedule if families are planning to go abroad.” American Medical Association President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, said in a statement at the time, “The overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vaccines remain among the most effective and safest intervention to both prevent individual illness and protect the health of the public.”

Healio (4/10, Rhoades) reports, “Patients with long COVID showed no difference in fatigue after exercise vs. those without long COVID, nor did their symptoms significantly worsen, suggesting that ‘cautious exercise’ could help rehabilitation, a randomized study showed.” However, according to the study, when “compared with control participants, those with long COVID reported greater exacerbation of muscle pain (P=.04) and joint pain (P=.009) after” high-intensity interval training. The results were published in JAMA Network Open.

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CNN (4/9, Cheng) reports, “Using acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, during pregnancy was not associated with increased risk of autism, ADHD or intellectual disability in children, a new study” published in JAMA found. A sibling analysis “found that there was no evidence of increased risk of autism, ADHD or intellectual disability associated with acetaminophen use during pregnancy, according to the study led by scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Drexel University.”

HealthDay (4/9, Thompson) reports, “The analysis of more than 2.4 million children born in Sweden included siblings not exposed to the drug before birth, researchers said.”

Multiple Sclerosis News Today (4/8, Bryson) says the use of obesity medications “is associated with a reduced chance of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to” an analysis of FDA Adverse Event Reporting System data. Analyses found semaglutide, in particular, “significantly lowered the likelihood of developing MS by 76.2%, dulaglutide by 83.5%, liraglutide by 83.9%, empagliflozin by 76.6%, and metformin by 61.3%.” The findings were published in Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders.

The New York Times (4/5, Mandavilli) reported, “Bird flu outbreaks among dairy cows in multiple states, and at least one infection in [a] farmworker in Texas, have incited fears that the virus may be the next infectious threat to people.” The H5N1 influenza virus “is highly pathogenic, meaning it has the ability to cause severe disease and death.” However, “while its spread among cows was unexpected, people can catch the virus only from close contact with infected animals, not from one another, federal officials said.”

Reuters (4/5, Santhosh) reported the CDC on Friday issued an alert about the H5N1 avian flu; “to prevent infection from the virus, the CDC recommends the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, antiviral treatment, patient investigations and monitoring of persons exposed to sick or dead, wild and domesticated animals and livestock that may have been infected with the virus.”

The Hill (4/6, Irwin) reported, “The CDC said it tested the patient’s virus genome and sequences from cattle, wild birds and poultry.” The agency “found minor changes, they both ‘lack changes that would make them better adapted to infect mammals.’”

Editor’s note: For more information on bird flu and other disease outbreaks, visit this page.

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