health

Japan’s leader visits hospital, raising health concerns

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has visited a hospital for what Japanese media say was a regular health checkup, although the visit generated renewed concerns about his health

TOKYO —
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went to a hospital on Monday for what Japanese media said was a regular health checkup, although the visit generated renewed concerns about his health.

Videos of Abe being driven in a car to Keio University Hospital in Tokyo on Monday morning were widely shown on Japanese TV news reports. Public broadcaster NHK TV later showed him leaving the hospital at about 6 p.m.

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the hospital visit, saying it was not on his official schedule. Abe has been on a summer break recently, as has

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Coronavirus Lab Accidents; Super-Spreader Vegas Casinos; Slow Cash Flow to Public Health

Welcome to the latest edition of Investigative Roundup, highlighting some of the best investigative reporting on healthcare each week.

Coronavirus Lab Accidents

Lab accidents involving coronaviruses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have raised questions about the potential risks that an infected lab worker could pose to the public, ProPublica reports.

Records show at least six UNC researchers in the past 5 years had to be checked following potential exposures to lab-created SARS coronaviruses. Two other UNC researchers required monitoring after accidents involving a lab-created MERS coronavirus.

That monitoring mostly involved merely reporting their temperature or symptoms twice a day to the university. They mainly went on with their normal lives without isolation or distancing. Now, of course, the possibility of asymptomatic spread with such viruses is well known.

In one case in 2016, for instance, a researcher in the university’s biosafety level 3 lab was bitten

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Sacramento health officials order Capital Christian to shut down for violating COVID-19 rules

Sacramento County health officials on Tuesday ordered Capital Christian School to stop on-campus instruction, saying the school was violating state and local coronavirus orders by claiming to be a day care center.

Under emergency orders issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sacramento County schools are not yet allowed to open for in-class learning. Child care centers are, however, allowed to be open with restrictions.

Given those restrictions, Capital Christian Head of Schools Tim Wong told The Sacramento Bee the school used its elementary-school program as a model, in effect classifying the classroom as a day care session, allowing it to open.

Students returned to classrooms last week. Kindergarten through fifth-graders are required to attend in person, according to the school website. Older students and their families are allowed to choose whether to attend in person or to participate online from home.

Capital Christian is one of the largest private schools in

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Australia ODI captain Aaron Finch warns of mental health concerns for players confined to bio-secure bubbles

Cricket Australia will closely monitor the mental health of players living inside a bio-secure bubble during the upcoming limited-overs tour of England, captain Aaron Finch said Tuesday.

The team departs Sunday for a tour originally scheduled to take place in July but postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to play their first internationals in almost six months, the Australians have agreed to strict biosecurity plans which include playing at venues with on-site accommodation.

The arrangements raise the prospect of long periods isolated in hotel rooms, and Finch said Cricket Australia wanted to ensure the players’ mental wellbeing.

“That’s going to be something that’s going to be a real issue, it’s going to be something to monitor heavily,” he told reporters in an online conference.

“I know from an Australian point of view that there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make sure there’s checkpoints

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Mental health focus as Aussie cricketers head into virus bubble

Cricket Australia will closely monitor the mental health of players living inside a bio-secure bubble during the upcoming limited-overs tour of England, captain Aaron Finch said Tuesday.

The team departs Sunday for a tour originally scheduled to take place in July but postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In order to play their first internationals in almost six months, the Australians have agreed to strict biosecurity plans which include playing at venues with on-site accommodation.

The arrangements raise the prospect of long periods isolated in hotel rooms, and Finch said Cricket Australia wanted to ensure the players’ mental wellbeing.

“That’s going to be something that’s going to be a real issue, it’s going to be something to monitor heavily,” he told reporters in an online conference.

“I know from an Australian point of view that there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make sure there’s checkpoints

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‘Emotional support K-pop boys’ help fans with their mental health

‘Emotional support K-pop boys’ help fans with their mental health
‘Emotional support K-pop boys’ help fans with their mental health

“Every time I see him I feel like the sun is shining on my face.”

L. Gissele has three emotional support K-pop boys: Kim Namjoon aka RM from BTS, Bang Chan from Stray Kids, and Johnny Suh from NCT 127.

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“[Namjoon’s] words speak to me and he motivates me to always do better and to aim big. To always challenge myself,” the 18-year-old Panamanian told Mashable via DM. “[Chan] has been there for me at my lowest point in life. He makes me remember that depression does not define me and that I can get through everything.”

And Johnny? “Seeing him smile makes me happy.”

Feeling a strong attachment to or drawing strength from a specific idol isn’t unusual in K-pop fandom. Commonly called “emotional support K-pop boys,” these artists inspire and reassure people through their music, livestreams,

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NHS braces for increased demand for mental health support in wake of coronavirus pandemic

The country has undergone many changes as it tackles the pandemic - REUTERS/Simon Dawson
The country has undergone many changes as it tackles the pandemic – REUTERS/Simon Dawson

More health staff are being trained to treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder in preparation for a potential spike in demand for mental health services after the coronavirus crisis.

Almost 3,000 trainees are expected to start courses in psychological therapies and former staff are also being asked to consider returning to frontline roles in preparation for growing numbers of people suffering from anxiety and depression and related conditions.

NHS England said it hoped to boost the number of advanced clinical practitioners, psychiatrists and mental health nurses over the next few months.

As part of the NHS People Plan this includes up to 300 peer-support workers, more than 100 responsible clinicians, 50 community-based specialist mental health pharmacists and 245 children and young people’s psychological wellbeing practitioners.

Around 2,900 trainees – which NHS England said was a record

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Dentist: Closure of practices impacts patients’ oral health

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A Johnston dentist believes dentistry is an essential business, but argues that it hasn’t been treated as such throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Rupesh Udeshi, dentist and co-owner of Dental Associates of Rhode Island, said the months his practice was closed had a big impact on the health of many of his patients.

“We’ve had a great backlog and problems that were minor, that have become major. The patient may have just had a cavity or needed a filling, but we haven’t seen them and it’s now more severe and it’s a root canal, and some people who maybe needed a root canal ─ now they need to have the tooth out,” he said.

The World Health Organization recently recommended delaying routine dental care because of the pandemic. But the American Dental Association says they “respectfully yet strongly disagrees.”

“Oral health is integral to overall health. Dentistry

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Latinos’ health threatened by coronavirus misinformation and distrust

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When Claudia Guzman suspected she had caught the coronavirus, her friends and family were full of advice: Don’t quarantine. Don’t get tested. A homemade tea will help cure you.

“They were saying, ‘Don’t go to the hospital,’ because supposedly, if you are admitted into the hospital, they administer the virus into your body,” said Guzman, who was born in Chicago to parents from Mexico and now lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

False claims and conspiracy theories, ranging from bogus cures to the idea that the virus is a hoax, have dogged efforts to control the pandemic from the beginning. While bad information about the virus is a problem for everyone, it can pose a particular threat to communities of people of color who already face worse outcomes from the virus.

Among Latinos in the U.S., misinformation around the coronavirus has found fertile ground because many in their communities

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Indonesia president urges economic ‘reboot’, boost to health care

By Gayatri Suroyo and Tabita Diela

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia must use the coronavirus pandemic to reboot Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, President Joko Widodo said on Friday, as he proposed a $187 billion 2021 budget that includes spending more on healthcare, including vaccines, and infrastructure.

Widodo made the remarks in his annual state of the union and budget speeches to parliament. Due to coronavirus precautions, less than half of the lawmakers were present for his address, with the rest watching online.

Likening the current economic situation to “a computer crash”, he said Indonesia, along with other countries, must “shutdown, restart and reboot”.

“We must capitalize on the crisis as a momentum to make a big leap,” he said.

Widodo proposed a 2,747.5 trillion rupiah ($186.65 billion) 2021 budget, up 0.3% from this year.

He said the fiscal deficit should dip to 5.5% of GDP, from 6.34% in 2020, the highest

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