Returning travelers cause sizable malaria burden in US

first_imgOver a recent 15-year period, close to 1,500 US travelers a year were hospitalized for treatment of malaria acquired overseas, far more than were treated for other travel-related diseases, according to a study published yesterday on the eve of World Malaria Day.In related news, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced yesterday that a pilot program for administering the world’s first malaria vaccine to young children will be conducted in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi starting next year.Imported cases cost $555 millionMalaria transmission in the United States was stopped in the 1950s, but a steady stream of travelers are bringing the disease home with them, suggesting that many travelers are not taking adequate precautions, according to the study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (AJTMH).Researchers looked for malaria cases in hospitalization discharge records in the 2000 to 2014 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, according to the report. They estimated there were 22,029 malaria-related hospitalizations over the 15 years, or 4.88 per million population, with 4,823 severe cases and 182 in-hospital deaths.”It appears more and more Americans are traveling to areas where malaria is common and many of them are not taking preventive measures, such as using anti-malarial preventive medications and mosquito repellents, even though they are very effective at preventing infections,” Diana Khuu, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study, said in an AJTMH news release. She is a scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles.The findings showed that malaria-linked hospitalizations, averaging 1,489 per year, were far more common than hospitalizations for most other travel-related diseases, according to the release. For example, dengue fever, which is common in Latin America, accounted for 259 hospitalizations per year over the same period.The malaria patients were hospitalized for an average of 4.36 days, at an average cost of $25,789, the report said. The total cost of the cases over the 15 years came to about $555 million.The burden fell disproportionately on patients who were male, black, or 25 to 44 years old, the study found. Plasmodium falciparum malaria—the most deadly type—accounted for most of the hospitalizations, and August was the month with the most cases.Since about 69% of all malaria patients need hospital treatment, the scientists estimated that about 2,100 people in the United States have malaria each year, according to the release.Khuu commented that mosquitoes capable of carrying malaria are common in parts of the United States, and that increases in the number of travelers coming home with the disease increase the risk of re-establishing the disease in the country. But the study found no significant change in the rate of malaria hospitalizations over the study period.Malaria vaccinations planned in AfricaMeanwhile, plans to give the new malaria vaccine, called RTS,S, to children in parts of Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi were announced yesterday by the WHO’s Regional Office for Africa. The vaccine was developed to protect young children from P falciparum malaria.The pilot program will assess whether the vaccine’s protective effect in children 5 to 17 months old, shown in phase 3 testing, can be replicated in real life, the WHO said. Specifically, the program will test the feasibility of delivering the required four doses of RTS,S, the vaccine’s potential role in reducing childhood deaths, and its safety in routine use.WHO officials describe the vaccine as a complementary tool that could be added to the core package of WHO-recommended measures for preventing malaria, including insecticide-treated bed nets, spraying indoor walls with insecticides, and preventive medicines for pregnant women and young children.Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi were chosen for the program because they have high coverage with treated bed nets, good malaria and immunization programs, high malaria burdens, and participation in the RTS,S phase 3 trials, the WHO said.RTS,S was developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and is the first malaria vaccine to succeed in a phase 3 trial, the WHO noted. In 2015, two WHO advisory groups recommended pilot vaccination programs in three to five settings in sub-Saharan Africa.Several non-governmental global health agencies are partnering to provide $49.2 million for the first phase of the pilot program (2017 to 2020), which will be complemented by in-kind contributions from the WHO and GSK, the WHO said.WHO cites progress, challengesIn other malaria news, the WHO yesterday reported progress and big remaining challenges in the battle against the disease. The agency said the rate of new malaria cases fell by 21% globally from 2010 to 2015, and death rates fell by 29% in the same 5-year period. In sub-Saharan Africa, which bears 90% of the malaria burden, cases and death rates fell by 21% and 31%, respectively.Still, in 2015 the global malaria toll was 429,000 deaths and 212 million new cases, with one child dying from malaria every 2 minutes, the WHO said.The agency’s long-term malaria strategy calls for reducing cases and deaths by 90% and eliminating the disease in at least 35 countries by 2030. Interim 2020 targets call for 40% reductions in cases and death rates and for eliminating malaria in at least 10 countries.Funds for malaria prevention, researchOther malaria news related to World Malaria Day included announcements about grants for malaria prevention and research:The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria said today it would provide more than $242 million over 3 years to continue the battle against malaria in Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. The grant will be the group’s largest regional allocation and the first with the specific goal of eliminating the disease in a specific region. The step continues the fund’s Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative, launched in 2013.The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced late last week it would provide about $9 million in first-year funding for seven malaria research centers around the world. The awards will go to three new and four existing centers that work in 14 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The 7-year awards continue NIAID’s 2010 program that created the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMRs) in regions where malaria is endemic.See also:Arp 24 AJTMH abstractApr 24 AJTMH press releaseApr 24 WHO-Africa press release on vaccination programApr 24, 2015, CIDRAP News story “First malaria vaccine shows promise despite efficacy drop-off”Oct 23, 2015, CIDRAP News story “WHO experts urge gradual rollout of malaria vaccine”Apr 24 WHO press release on malaria progress and challengeslast_img read more

Los Alamos History Museum Atoms & Art Ends Aug. 18

first_imgThe Los Alamos History Museum’s popular temporary exhibit, Atoms and Art: The Intersecting Lives of Maria Poveka Martinez and Bernice Bidwell Brode will be coming down soon. The Los Alamos History Museum is at 1050 Bathtub Row and open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. More information about the museum and Atoms and Art is available at losalamoshistory.org. Los Alamos History Museum exhibit: Atoms and Art is sponsored by Enterprise Bank & Trust. Courtesy photo The exhibit, sponsored by Enterprise Bank & Trust, brings to life an extraordinary intersection of history, culture, and art. Martinez and Brode were brought together by the Manhattan Project, where Brode worked as a computer only miles away from the Martinez home at the Pueblo de San Ildefonso. The exhibit’s last day is Sunday, Aug. 18. Don’t miss the chance to explore the story of how these two women met during the Manhattan Project, highlighted by a beautiful collection of Martinez pottery. History Museum News: Los Alamos History Museum exhibit: Atoms and Art is sponsored by Enterprise Bank & Trust. Courtesy/LAHMlast_img read more

John Goodman was “depressed” and “brokenhearted” by ‘Roseanne’ cancellation

first_imgABC(LONDON) — John Goodman has opened up about this past spring’s abrupt cancellation of his hit Roseanne reboot, telling the Sunday Times that the situation — caused by a racially-charged tweet from his onscreen wife Roseanne Barr — left him “brokenhearted.”“[B]ut I thought, ‘OK, it’s just show business, I’m going to let it go,’” he recalls thinking at the time. However, he admits, “I went through a period, about a month, where I was very depressed. I’m a depressive anyway, so any excuse that I can get to lower myself, I will. But that had a great deal to do with it, more than I wanted to admit.”He said of ABC’s quick decision to cancel the show, “I was surprised,” adding, “I’ll put it this way, I was surprised at the response. And that’s probably all I should say about it.”Goodman described himself and Barr as “work friends,” but steadfastly defended her in one area. “I know, I know, for a fact that she’s not a racist.”Barr signed over her rights to the show so that she won’t be compensated for the spin-off featuring Goodman and the rest of her sitcom family, titled The Conners.“I sent her an email and thanked her for that,” Goodman revealed to the paper. “I did not hear anything back, but she was going through hell at the time. And she’s still going through hell.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more