Genetic changes in the Bordetella pertussis bacteria over time have reduced the protection offered by current pertussis vaccination, CDC researchers reported in Emerging Infectious Diseases. The findings, based on 2000 to 2013 lab sample data from whooping cough patients, "will aid open research toward improved vaccine development and disease control strategies," researchers wrote.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children be vaccinated with either inactivated influenza vaccine or the quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine nasal spray during the 2019 to 2020 flu season, following a review of recent flu vaccine data. "Every year, we are never sure if the vaccine strains are going to be perfectly matched up with incoming flu strains, but based on the information that we have now, we believe the nasal spray is an acceptable option," said AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases chair Dr. Bonnie Maldonado.
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CDC researchers found that nearly two million children and adolescents, or 283,000 youths younger than 18 annually on average, had emergency department visits for sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries from 2010 to 2016, with nearly 45% of all SRR-TBI-related pediatric ED visits due to contact sports. The findings in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report also showed that SRR-TBIs were most prevalent among boys and youths ages 10 to 17.
The prevalence of major depression symptoms among adolescents ages 12 to 17 during the previous year rose by 52% between 2005 and 2017, according to a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Lead author Jean Twenge said that greater social media use and reduced sleep may account for the increase in mental health issues.
An expert panel recommended using the Localized Scleroderma Skin Severity Index, the Localized Scleroderma Skin Damage Index, high-frequency ultrasound, infrared thermography and MRI to diagnose juvenile localized scleroderma. Treatment decisions should be made by a pediatric rheumatology specialist and should be based on disease subtype and degree of activity, the panel wrote in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
A study found that out-of-network doctors charged patients 150% more on average per emergency department visit in 2017 than what in-network health care providers were paid. Data also showed care by out-of-network doctors raised prices by an estimated $6 billion for Americans with private insurance who went to an in-network ED.
A continuing increase in the adoption of EHRs and EMRs, the use of artificial intelligence and transition to the cloud are among the top five predictions for health care technology this year, writes Charles Aunger, managing director of technology at Health2047. Rounding out the list are a rising number of cybersecurity issues and attacks, and expansion of the mobile-first movement.
The CMS released a new set of resources to encourage more states to pursue Section 1115 demonstration waivers and make it easier for them to secure federal approval to implement changes to their Medicaid programs, such as requiring beneficiaries to work or lose eligibility. CMS Administrator Seema Verma wrote in a blog post that the new resources, which include templates for creating implementation plans and reporting documents, as well as guidance for assessing demonstrations, are designed "to support state monitoring and evaluation efforts."
US District Judge James Boasberg said he will issue a ruling by April 1 on lawsuits challenging the Trump administration's approval of Medicaid work rules in Kentucky and Arkansas after hearing oral arguments from Department of Justice lawyer James Burnham. Boasberg, who blocked Kentucky from imposing similar requirements last year, appeared skeptical of the Trump administration's renewed strategy to encourage Medicaid beneficiaries to work, questioning whether the requirements would help achieve Medicaid's goal of promoting health coverage to low-income people.