Latest Epidemics News

Groups say Medicare discounts threatened in opioids bill

Sep. 21, 2018 4:22 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer and health care groups are scrambling to block what they say is a move by the pharmaceutical industry to commandeer must-pass opioids epidemic legislation as a vehicle for rolling back drugmaker discounts to Medicare beneficiaries with high prescription costs. Republicans said...

Administration sends states $1B in grants to battle opioids

Sep. 19, 2018 2:53 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is awarding more than $1 billion in grants to help states confront the opioid epidemic, with most of the money going to expand access to treatment and recovery services. Officials say more than $900 million comes from a grant program Congress approved this spring...

White House sets 'new direction' in biodefense strategy

Sep. 18, 2018 3:24 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Tuesday released a new biodefense strategy that it said takes a more comprehensive approach to preparing the nation for deliberate biological attacks and natural outbreaks of infectious disease. The goal of the strategy, which was required by Congress, is to...

To avoid overdoses, some test their heroin before taking it

Sep. 17, 2018 1:43 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — The newest tool in the fight against opioid overdoses is an inexpensive test strip that can help heroin users detect a potentially deadly contaminant in their drugs. Sales of fentanyl test strips have exploded as a growing number of overdose-prevention programs hand them out to people who...

Zimbabwe's government criticized over cholera outbreak

Sep. 14, 2018 12:00 PM EDT

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's new government is battling criticism over a cholera outbreak that has killed at least 25 people. A crowdfunding initiative by the finance minister amid reports of government spending on new vehicles for Cabinet members has only swelled public anger. Some local...

Calling teen vaping 'epidemic,' officials weigh flavor ban

Sep. 12, 2018 2:53 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials are sounding the alarm about teenage use of e-cigarettes, calling the problem an "epidemic" and ordering manufacturers to reverse the trend or risk having their flavored vaping products pulled from the market. The warning from the Food and Drug Administration on...

Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe's capital escalates; 21 dead

Sep. 12, 2018 12:31 PM EDT

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's police said Wednesday that they are banning "public gatherings" in Harare in an effort to curb a cholera outbreak that has killed 21 people. Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said in a statement Wednesday that the ban aims to alleviate "the continuous spread" of cholera...

Maryland charges opioid maker with major misconduct

Sep. 6, 2018 4:50 PM EDT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland authorities announced charges Thursday against an Arizona-based drugmaker that they say engaged in a nationwide scheme "characterized by extraordinary misconduct" to boost profits amid the coast-to-coast opioid epidemic. The office of Attorney General Brian Frosh filed charges...

UN says 120,000 suspected cases of cholera in Yemen

Aug. 30, 2018 1:21 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations says nearly 120,000 suspected cases of cholera were reported in conflict-wracked Yemen between January and mid-August and the pace has been increasing. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Thursday that although the 120,000 figure is lower than during the...

New Illinois law allows medical marijuana pain prescriptions

Aug. 29, 2018 11:23 AM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Doctors in Illinois can now prescribe marijuana as a painkiller thanks to a new law intended to counter a growing opioid abuse epidemic. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law Tuesday allowing physicians to temporarily prescribe cannabis for pain relief, effective...