Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 20, 2023

Iowa news

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations drop to lowest points in months

Most of the typical COVID-19 indicators declined in Iowa this week, a sign the pandemic may be receding after a second consecutive week of decreasing cases and hospitalizations. The state health department reported fewer new cases this week than it has in any week since October 2022. The Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Authority’s latest update on coronavirus concentration in the city’s sewage showed the effective virus concentration in the area’s wastewater has broadly been trending down since late December, after a steady rise in the months before. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa families raise awareness on growing fentanyl crisis

Gov. Kim Reynolds said 83% of Iowa’s opioid-related deaths last year were at least partially caused by fentanyl. That’s up from 31% five years ago. Now, an Iowa family is sharing their heartbreaking story in the hopes of saving others. In 2021, Sebastian Kidd lost his life after taking half a pill that he didn’t know contained fentanyl. His parents, Derek and Kathy, are part of a statewide campaign urging others to realize “one pill can kill.” An eastern Iowa family is also speaking out after their son was killed by the deadly drug. Debbie and Rod Courtney lost their son, Chad, after a long battle with addiction. The couple is now using the tragedy to help others. (KCCI)

Bill creates framework for rural emergency hospitals in Iowa

A bill introduced in the Iowa House would set up a state licensing process for rural emergency hospitals. Federal rules now let small rural hospitals discontinue inpatient care and just provide an emergency room and outpatient services. Rep. Martin Graber of Fort Madison says this could be a financial lifeline for more than 30 small Iowa hospitals where very few patients are being admitted for an overnight stay. (Radio Iowa)

National news

Yes, you can be sick from two viruses at the same time

As the viral soup of COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza continues to infect people, there is evidence of people testing positive for multiple viruses at the same time. Researchers say children are especially prone to co-infection and there is growing evidence that simultaneous infections can increase health risks. (Iowa Public Radio)

Artificial pancreas successfully treats type 1 diabetes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 23 million U.S. adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. Now, an artificial pancreas may provide relief for people with type 1 diabetes. It functions by mimicking the processes of a real pancreas. A glucose sensor is placed under the skin to automatically calculate, with an algorithm, how much insulin to deliver through a pump. People with type 1 diabetes would no longer have to closely monitor levels of sugar in their blood manually and take daily injections. They also can monitor readings on their smartphones by uploading the number of carbohydrates estimated to be consumed during a meal. (Interesting Engineering)

Social isolation linked to an increased risk of dementia, new study finds

Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that socially isolated older adults have a 27% higher chance of developing dementia. Social isolation has previously been known as a dementia risk factor and is linked to other serious health conditions such as heart disease and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study’s findings suggest that simple interventions could be meaningful. (Iowa Public Radio)

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