FROM Phil Lounibos
A public health scare and congressional inaction For the first time ever, the CDC has issued a travel warning inside the United States, as the Zika virus has broken out in Miami, and some public health experts are warning of an epidemic. Anxiety is growing among pregnant women at risk of giving birth to babies with deformed skulls and brains. Mosquitos that carry the virus don't travel far, but insecticide spraying will have limited value because Zika is also sexually transmitted. A possible vaccine is being developed, but money is running out, and Congress has failed to resolve political differences and appropriate $33 million in funds.
The Zika Virus: The Knowns…and the Unknowns The World Health Organization says, "alarm is high." But so is "uncertainty." In the next year, the Zika virus might infect three to four million people. But nobody knows for sure if the mosquito-borne illness really is responsible for birth defects in South American babies. Women there are being warned about pregnancy, and the WHO today called an emergency . US health officials say an outbreak here is unlikely. We hear from Brazil, where fear is on the rise, and get the latest on controlling mosquitos.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.