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July 18, 2022
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A firefighter pauses while battling a forest fire in southwestern France yesterday. Thibaud Moritz/AFP via Getty

Heat Wave Blisters Europe


Record high temperatures have caused hundreds of deaths and raging wildfires in Europe’s historic heat wave, spurring thousands to evacuate, Axios reports.
  • Wildfires have forced people in parts of France, Spain, Portugal, and Greece to flee, the BBC reports—with Malaga, Spain, and France’s Bordeaux area hit with particularly intense blazes yesterday, per the AP.
  • The UK government declared an unprecedented national heat emergency Friday, as the country faced first-ever forecasts of 104°F (40°C) temperatures—while only about 3% of homes in the country have air conditioning, Axios notes.
 
Climate change connection: Climate scientists point to the changing climate’s role in the disaster, with heat waves becoming hotter, more frequent, and longer-lasting.
  • Europe’s heat waves have become more common, compared to other parts of the globe, Axios notes, citing a recent study tracking the continent’s spiking heat domes.
 
The Quote:
“It's firefighters, civil security who deal with the effects on a daily basis—and these effects aren't in 2030, they're right now,” said Grégory Allione, head of France's firefighters' federation.

GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES

The Latest

One-Liners

 
42% of 39,129 respondents who had regular menstrual cycles and participated in a web survey say they bled more heavily than usual after SARS-CoV-2 inoculation; the authors note that “attention to these experiences is necessary to build trust in medicine.” Science Advances
 
Earnings of ~300 CEOs of health care companies in total topped $4.5 billion in 2021; Regeneron’s CEO alone took home $453 million, according to a STAT analysis. STAT
 
A summer surge of COVID-19 cases in Germany is exposing weaknesses in the health system, especially among overworked nurses; German nurses are responsible for an average of 13 patients—in the Netherlands, that number is 5. Deutsche Welle
 
As neighboring countries are facing a new surge in COVID-19 cases, North Korea says 99.98% of its 4.77 million “fever” patients have fully recovered; no independent data is available on what most assume is a massive and ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Reuters

COVID-19 News


 
New COVID Vaccines Will be Ready This Fall. America Won’t Be. – The Atlantic

More (mostly mild) side effects when flu vaccine given with COVID booster – CIDRAP

How Often Is Long Covid Happening? The Answer Isn't So Easy to Find – Gizmodo

Interferon treatment may reduce severity of COVID-19 in people with certain genetic factors – NIH (news release)

Influenza and COVID-19 Are Colliding in Australia, and US Virologists Are Concerned – Medscape

Access to Primary and Specialty Health Care in the California State Prison Population During the COVID-19 Pandemic – JAMA Research Letter

You'll likely catch COVID-19 again and again. Will each round feel milder? – CBC

Is COVID-19 living in your freezer? – The Hill

GHN EXCLUSIVE

Equipment at the Yale University Lab in New Haven, Connecticut. August 26, 2019. George Etheredge/Bloomberg/Getty

How Covid Slowed Basic Science 

 
Locked out of labs for months. Critical supplies impossible to get when needed. Sick team members.

The pandemic has fundamentally changed the work of basic scientists, slowing science and the training of scientists.
 
In a GHN exclusive, journalist Joanne Silberner examines an issue that’s widely discussed among researchers:
  • The cost of lab supplies like chemicals, solvents, and gloves surged, and it can take months for orders to be filled.
  • Younger students couldn’t do field or lab work, missing an opportunity to to fall in love with science or find a mentor.
  • By October 2020, more than two-thirds of 1,100 US researchers said in a survey they felt “extremely or very stressed” in the past month.
 
The Quote: “I am very concerned about the impact that this pandemic has had on my junior colleagues,” says Ashani Weeraratna, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “The reverberations of this pandemic are going to continue for several years.”
 
Silver linings: With labs shut down, some scientists got caught up on writing journal articles. Others had their teams explore important topics and share their knowledge.
 
Weeraratna got a chance to watch a 3-year-old in her office, so their parent could get work done when daycare shut down.
  • “We colored and wore masks, and we hung out,” says Weeraratna.
 
Joanne Silberner for Global Health NOW

GLOBAL HEALTH VOICES

RADAR

Ebola-like Disease Surfaces in Tanzania


13 cases including 3 deaths from an unknown illness with symptoms similar to Ebola or Marburg are perplexing health officials in southern Tanzania.
  • Symptoms include “fever, headache, fatigue and bleeding, especially from the nose,” according to Aifelo Sichalwe, Tanzania's chief medical officer.
  • The first case was reported in Mbekenyera village on July 5.
  • Testing has ruled out Ebola and Marburg viruses.
 
Tanzanian and WHO experts are trying to prevent further spread, are conducting contact tracing, and isolating people with symptoms.
 
ABC

Related: Ghana declares first-ever outbreak of Marburg virus disease – WHO

MALNUTRITION

Born into Starvation


Venezuela’s children are literally wasting away in the face of the country’s decade-long economic collapse, devastating families and health workers alike.
The few doctors that remain must contend with a “constant stream” of deadly malnutrition cases, including those of kwashiorkor, one of the most severe forms of malnutrition. 

It’s a condition many nutritionists haven’t seen for decades. Now, some infants are dying of malnutrition even before having their birth registered.

The Quote: “[These] children passed away without an identity, wasted,” said nutritionist Susana Raffalli.

The New Humanitarian

DAILY DIVERSION

QUICK HITS

Doctors treating monkeypox complain of ‘daunting’ paperwork, obstacles – The Washington Post

NYC will use a one-dose monkeypox vaccine strategy to stretch supplies, despite FDA, CDC warnings against the move – STAT

The psychologists treating rape viictims in Ukraine – The New Yorker

The UN reports global asymmetries in population growth – The Lancet

Penny Mordaunt repeatedly advocated use of homeopathy on NHS – The Guardian Thanks for the tip, Cecilia Meisner!

How to bounce back from a PhD-project failure – Nature

Issue No. 2110


Global Health NOW is an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Contributors include Brian W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Morgan Coulson, Melissa Hartman, and Jackie Powder. Write us: dkerecm1@jhu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GHN_News.

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