Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 3, 2022

Iowa news

Patients discharged after COVID-19 are so sick they’re returning to the hospital

Des Moines writer Andie Dominick caught up again with Dr. Tom Benzoni, a local emergency room physician, to talk about the coronavirus pandemic. He has been interviewed for the Register numerous times since the coronavirus pandemic hit Iowa. (Des Moines Register)

Health experts ask Iowans to visit urgent care clinics for less pressing concerns

Health officials are urging Iowans to consider visiting an urgent care clinic instead of the emergency room if they have a less pressing medical concern this winter. The message comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state remain high, and the state is seeing high rates of respiratory virus infections and flu cases this winter. COVID-19 hospitalizations have passed 800 in December, an amount last seen in Iowa a year ago, once again putting additional pressure on the state’s health care system and workers. (Iowa Public Radio)

Finding at-home rapid tests for COVID-19 is hit-and-miss, but other options are available

The Des Moines metro area isn’t completely bereft of rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests — though finding them can require a hunt. Phone calls to area Walgreens last week all opened with prerecorded warnings of “unprecedented demand” for the at-home rapid tests; Walgreens and CVS pharmacies limit their purchases to four and two per customer, respectively — if a store location has supplies in stock. (Des Moines Register)

National news

South Africa says that it has passed its fourth wave of cases, and counts few added deaths

The South African government has said that data from its health department suggested that the country had passed its Omicron peak without a major spike in deaths, offering cautious hope to other countries grappling with the variant. Some scientists were quick to forecast the same pattern elsewhere. (The New York Times)

FDA authorizes COVID-19 vaccine boosters for children 12-15

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose for children ages 12 to 15. The omicron variant is spreading rapidly among younger people in the U.S. According to NBC News data, the country set a record Sunday for total pediatric patients hospitalized with confirmed and suspected COVID-19, pointing to the need for young teens to be vaccinated. (USA Today)

Decision looms that could determine fate of Alzheimer’s drug

Federal officials are wrestling with a decision that could go a long way toward determining the future of the controversial new Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, and whether significant numbers of patients use it. In January, Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 and over, plans to issue a preliminary decision on whether it will cover the expensive medication. The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Aduhelm in June has drawn fierce criticism because clinical trials showed the drug had significant safety risks and unclear benefit to patients. (The New York Times)

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