Rising seas and melting polar ice caps and glaciers documented by impressive satellite imagery capture the attention of the news media and make headlines. Yet, the most consequential aspect of any change in climate, no matter the cause, receives scant attention. The single most pressing repercussion of any significant alteration in climate, whether global in scale or localized, will be in the shifting patterns and distribution of infectious diseases.
Substantial alterations in either localized or global temperature and humidity can directly relate to the distribution and virulence of many microbial pathogens, no matter the underlying cause. This correlates with the rich complexity and diversity of all ecologies in which pathogens thrive. So shifts in the distribution of vegetation, the dispersal and range of animal predators or their prey, or distortions in the variety, concentration or specific strains of vectoring insects or disease carrying organisms can all influence the transmission of pathogens or their relative abundance.
We can already see its effects. more >>
New data shows that health insurance premiums do not appear to be increasing as much as they have been since companies began adjusting to the new health care law last year. While the average is lower than expected, the variation is large. Some will pay much more while others will pay less.
PriceWaterHouseCoopers Health Research Institute's preliminary look at the 2015 individual health care market rate finds that, including the 27 states and Washington D.C. that have reported health insurance premium proposals from health insurance companies, the national average health insurance premium will increase by 7.5 percent for 2015.
"Obamacare's" popularity has reached an all time low in August with 53 percent Americans finding the Affordable Care Act unfavorable according to the Kaiser Family Foundation monthly tracking poll. But one of the law's instrumental architects, Jonathan Gruber, told The Christian Post that if the 7.5 percent mark holds up when all the states have reported their data, it should be celebrated as positive stride for the Affordable Care Act. more >>
Two Christian missionaries who got infected by the deadly Ebola virus while working in Liberia have been given a fighting chance at life thanks to an experimental serum made from tobacco plants called ZMapp.
The missionaries, Dr. Ken Brantly, 33, who works with Samaritan's Purse and Nancy Writebol, 59, an aid worker with SIM, are both being treated at a special unit set up at Emory University Hospital in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, according to news reports.
Brantly, who was flown from Liberia to the U.S. on Saturday, was the first to receive treatment, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Writebol arrived in the U.S. on Tuesday and both missionaries have been showing progress. more >>
The Ohio Department of Health has been cracking down on apparent abuses and violations at facilities that provide abortions.
Two clinics, Northeast Ohio Women's Center in Cuyahoga Falls and Capital Care Network of Toledo, may lose their healthcare facility licenses. The ODH has proposed that the two clinics lose their licenses and the order, if uncontested, will take effect on Aug. 12.
Last week, a panel sitting for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down – by a 2 to 1 margin − a 2012 Mississippi law as an undue burden on a woman's right to abortion. What kind of burden, you might ask, would the majority deem sufficiently undue so as to overturn a state law?
The answer might surprise you: Requiring physicians who perform abortions to secure hospital admitting privileges –just like physicians with other outpatient surgeries.
Considered standard medical practice for essentially any type of office-based procedure, doctors maintain hospital admitting privileges to assure the health and safety of patients. The treating physician should have unrestrained and immediate access to a nearby hospital in case of a complication. more >>
A federal judge has ruled that an Alabama law that requires abortion providers to attain hospital admitting privileges is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Monday against the law, passed last year as House Bill 57, and extended an earlier decision blocking its implementation.
"The evidence compellingly demonstrates that the requirement would have the striking result of closing three of Alabama's five abortion clinics, clinics which perform only early abortions, long before viability," wrote Thompson. more >>