Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of Jan. 30, 2023–Feb. 3, 2023.

The New York Times (2/2, Holpuch) reports Global Pharma, “the manufacturer of a brand of over-the-counter eye drops said that it was recalling the product, EzriCare Artificial Tears, after it was linked to a drug-resistant bacteria strain that has caused at least one person’s death and vision loss in five others.” The CDC “has advised people to stop using the eye drops, as the agency investigates an outbreak of a strain of the bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosa,” which “had never been identified in the United States before the current outbreak and is resistant to a class of antibiotics called carbapenems.”

The Washington Post (2/2, Ables) reports the CDC’s warning comes “after 55 patients in 12 states were identified with infections caused by a strain...between May and January.”

The AP (2/2, Stobbe) reports, “EzriCare, the company that markets the eye drops in the U.S., said it is not aware of any evidence definitively linking the outbreak to the product, but that it has stopped distributing the eye drops.”

The Washington Post (2/1, Chang) reports, “For years, the treatment protocol for children with concussions involved keeping them out of school to rest in a quiet, dark room with reduced access to screens until they felt better.” But in the past decade, physicians “have been moving toward encouraging kids to return to school and light activity after only a couple of days of rest, even if symptoms persist.” One study published last month in JAMA Network Open “backs the new approach,” finding “that an early return to school...benefited children ages 8 to 18, who had less severe symptoms two weeks after their concussion compared with kids who stayed home longer.”

The Washington Post (1/31, Bogage) reports the FDA “will create a senior position to oversee food safety and nutrition after recent foodborne-illness crises, including a baby formula shortage, exposed major flaws in the agency’s structure and culture.” This move is part of Commissioner Robert Califf’s, MD, “reorganization of the FDA’s food policy apparatus.”

Reuters (1/31, Douglas) reports that “in response to recommendations made by” the Reagan-Udall Foundation, “the FDA will establish a Human Foods Program led by a deputy commissioner, uniting its Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, food policy office, and certain functions of its regulatory affairs office...announced” Califf.

The AP (1/31, Aleccia) reports, “The revamped foods program will include a separate center focused on nutrition, including foods such as infant formula, plus an office to coordinate state efforts to identify and prevent foodborne illness outbreaks.” It “also calls for a new expert advisory committee to weigh in on food safety, nutrition and new food technologies.”

The AP (1/30, Miller, Seitz) reports that on Monday, President Biden “informed Congress...that he will end the twin national emergencies for addressing COVID-19 on May 11, as most of the world has returned closer to normalcy nearly three years after they were first declared.” This “move to end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations would formally restructure the federal coronavirus response to treat the virus as an endemic threat to public health that can be managed through agencies’ normal authorities.”

Reuters (1/30, Ayyub, Pitas, Humer) reports, “The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a statement the declarations, which were set to expire in the coming months, would be extended again until May 11 and then terminated.”

The New York Times (1/27, Jewett, Anthes) reported the FDA “plans to revise a longstanding policy that excluded most gay and bisexual men from blood donation, instead adopting an approach that will screen donors depending on their recent sexual activity, agency officials said on Friday.” The agency “said the new guidelines would be more inclusive and were based on a review of a recent study and data from other countries, including Britain and Canada, that took similar approaches.”

The AP (1/27, Perrone) reported medical groups “including the American Medical Association have...said such exclusions are unnecessary given advances in technology to test blood for infectious diseases.” The draft policy would “do away with the current three-month abstinence requirement for donations from men who have sex with men” and instead would screen all potential donors “with a new questionnaire that evaluates their individual risks for HIV based on sexual behavior, recent partners and other factors.” Also, this policy would “apply to women who have sex with gay or bisexual men.”

Reuters (1/27, Satija, Samal) reported the FDA “has also proposed new time limits for people taking pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis treatments used for HIV prevention.”

AMA Morning Rounds news coverage is developed in affiliation with Bulletin Healthcare LLC. Subscribe to Morning Rounds Daily.

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