Today’s Headlines

Today’s Headlines

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 18, 2022

Iowa news

5 charts show how Iowa’s second year of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to its first

March 8 marked two years since the first cases of COVID-19 in Iowa were announced to the public. Since then, more than 750,000 Iowans have contracted the disease, and more than 9,000 have died from it. And much like new variants have changed the predominant strain of coronavirus over the past year and forced health experts to adjust, the pandemic itself has changed plenty since the outset. (Des Moines Register)

Dementia care needs will far surpass physician, caregiver numbers in Iowa

A new report from the Alzheimer’s Association warns that Iowa’s shortage of dementia care specialists, geriatricians and direct patient care workers will significantly worsen over the next several decades as the prevalence of Alzheimer’s increases in Iowa and nationally. The association’s 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report provides an in-depth look at the latest statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality, costs of care and impact on caregivers nationwide and in Iowa. (Business Record)

Iowa GOP defections lead to rare defeat for wide-ranging bill on COVID-19 vaccines, lawsuits

It became clear this week that Iowa House Republicans lack the votes for a pair of their key priorities this year — at least for the moment. Twelve Republican lawmakers defected on a vote to consider an amendment that would have banned businesses from requiring workers to take the COVID-19 vaccine and capped damages in lawsuits involving commercial vehicles, causing it to fail 48-50. Every House Democrat voted no. Republicans hold a 60-40 majority in the Iowa House. (Des Moines Register)

National news

To mask or not to mask? That is the question after CDC eases mask guidelines for fatigued nation

Federal health officials have relaxed mask recommendations for Americans living in areas of low or medium risk of COVID-19, but almost one-third of the U.S. population is not supposed to breathe a sigh of relief. What are they supposed to do? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a color-coded map by counties revealing guidelines suggesting who could get reprieves from wearing masks indoors in their county. It’s based on hospitalizations, hospital capacity and case numbers, the latter of which has dominated the metrics. (USA Today)

35 companies sign on to produce generic versions of Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill

Nearly three dozen pharmaceutical companies around the world have signed agreements to produce generic versions of Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 antiviral medicine nirmatrelvir, the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool announced, in an effort to bring the treatment to low- and middle-income countries. The agreement grants 35 manufacturers across 12 countries the ability to produce the raw components of nirmatrelvir or the finished version packaged with the anti-retroviral medicine ritonavir. (Forbes)

COVID-19’s ‘silver lining’: Research breakthroughs for chronic disease, cancer, and the common flu

The billions of dollars invested in COVID-19 vaccines and research so far are expected to yield medical and scientific dividends for decades, helping providers battle influenza, cancer, cystic fibrosis and far more diseases. “This is just the start,” said Dr. Judith James, vice president of clinical affairs for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. “We won’t see these dividends in their full glory for years.” (USA Today)


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