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Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of Nov. 6, 2023


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of Nov. 6, 2023–Nov. 10, 2023.

CNN (11/9, Musa) reports, “The percentage of kindergartners who received their state-required vaccines for measles remained below the federal target last school year, and the rate of vaccine exemptions for children reached the highest level ever reported in the United States, according published Thursday by the” CDC. Coverage for “the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine; diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine; poliovirus vaccine; and varicella vaccine for chickenpox...declined in a majority of states for the 2022-23 school year, the report said.”

NBC News (11/9, Edwards) says, “The CDC report found that 3% of children entering kindergarten during the 2022-2023 school year were granted a vaccine exemption from their state.” That “is the highest exemption rate ever reported in the U.S.”

CNN (11/8, Viswanathan) reports, “Working under the sun could be a major cause of skin cancer worldwide, according to new data from the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization.” These “two United Nations agencies jointly announced new estimates...that link working outdoors in the sunlight to non-melanoma skin cancer.” The report “says that nearly 1 in 3 deaths from non-melanoma skin cancer is caused by ultraviolet radiation from outdoor work.” The findings published in Environment International.

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The New York Times (11/7, Mandavilli) says, “The rise in sexually transmitted infections in the United States has taken a particularly tragic turn: More than 3,700 cases of congenital syphilis were reported in 2022, roughly 11 times the number recorded a decade ago, according to data” from the CDC. Having the disease “during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth, and infants who survive may become blind or deaf, or have severe developmental delays.” Last year, “the disease caused 231 stillbirths and 51 infant deaths.” Almost “90% of the new cases could have been prevented with timely testing and treatment, according to the agency.”

The AP (11/7, Stobbe, Hunter) reports, “The 2022 count was the most in more than 30 years, CDC officials said, and in more than half of the congenital syphilis cases, the mothers tested positive during pregnancy but did not get properly treated.”

NBC News (11/7, Bendix) reports, “Communities of color bear the greatest burden: Babies born to Black, Hispanic or American Indian/Alaska Native mothers in 2021 were up to eight times more likely to have congenital syphilis compared with babies born to white mothers, according to CDC data.”

The New York Times (11/6, Barry) reports, “With each mass shooting, Americans look to one grim indicator—the number of dead—as a measure of the destructive impact.” However, “damage left behind by gunshot wounds reverberates among survivors and families, sending mental health disorders soaring and shifting huge burdens onto the health care system, a new analysis of private health insurance claims shows.” The analysis published in Health Affairs found that “for families in which a child died of a gunshot wound, surviving family members experienced a sharp increase in psychiatric disorders, taking more psychiatric medications and making more visits to mental health professionals.”

The Hill (11/3, Weixel) reported lawmakers in the House “are launching a probe into how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responding to a growing number of prescription drug shortages in the country.” House Committee on Oversight and Accountability members wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, that “requested documents and a staff-level briefing to understand the agency’s role in monitoring drug shortages and mitigation strategies.” According to the FDA “drug tracker,” there are “nearly 130 drugs currently in short supply, including generic cancer drugs, amoxicillin, albuterol and Adderall. Earlier this year, there was a shortage of children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen.”

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