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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A bill that would allow families in a U.S. government assistance program to buy whatever brand of baby formula they can find is on the way to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

FRIDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- From 1999 to 2019, the overall cancer death rate decreased significantly among Black men and women, but in 2019, cancer death rates were still highest for Blacks versus other racial and ethnic groups, according to a brief report published online May 19 in JAMA Oncology.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence continues to mount that a specific strain of adenovirus could be implicated in a wave of American children who've developed acute hepatitis of unknown origin, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Friday.

Oklahoma is only days from enacting the toughest U.S. state ban on abortion and providers are preparing to stop terminating pregnancies. Meanwhile, questions remained Friday about how the law’s limited exceptions would be enforced. The law allows abortions to save a pregnant patient’s life “in a medical emergency” and in cases of rape, sexual assault or incest that have been reported to law enforcement. It doesn’t spell out who decides what is considered a medical emergency, and the rape and incest exception won’t help victims who don’t report the crimes. Abortion providers said they are likely to be cautious and are planning to refer some patients to states like Colorado or Kansas.

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A Former Georgia insurance commissioner has been indicted on federal charges related to an alleged health care scheme. A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted John Oxendine on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Online court records show that he entered a not guilty plea during an initial court appearance Friday. Prosecutors say Oxendine conspired with a doctor and others to obtain kickbacks for unnecessary genetic and toxicology lab tests and used his insurance business to hide those kickbacks. Lawyers for Oxendine say he is innocent and has not broken any laws.

Hoosier children ages 5-11 can now receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine following authorization this week from federal health officials. The Indiana Department of Health on Friday advised vaccine providers they can begin administering boosters of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine to children in this age group whose last dose was administered at least five months ago. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently authorized for children ages 5-11. Booster doses have been shown to increase protection from hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and the Omicron variant of the virus. To find a vaccine location, go to www.ourshot.in.gov or call Indiana 211.

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Pennsylvania’s payrolls and workforce grew in April as the state’s unemployment rate sank to a post-pandemic low. That's according to new state figures released Friday that show Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8% from March’s rate. The national rate was 3.6% in April. In a survey of households, the labor force grew by 23,000 to pass 6.4 million, but still remains below 2008′s levels. In a separate survey of employers, non-farm payrolls in Pennsylvania grew in April by 11,400. At just above 5.9 million, payrolls are at their highest point since hitting a record high of 6.1 million just before the pandemic.

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COVID-19 emergency declarations for Nevada ended Friday. The public health agency for metro Las Vegas says it will continue to monitor spread of the virus and provide assistance with vaccinating and testing as the pandemic continues. Most of Nevada's pandemic measures, including business restrictions and mask mandates, have already been lifted, but the Southern Nevada Health District said it was important to remind the public that the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to circulate. Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday signed a proclamation ending the emergency Friday, a planned action he announced two weeks ago. His administration is now focused on the state's recovery.

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North Carolina’s unemployment rate for April fell further below pre-pandemic levels and could be the lowest since the late 1990s. The state Commerce Department announced Friday that April's rate is 3.4% compared to 3.5% in March. Department historical data shows it’s the lowest since the jobless rate reached 3.3% in June 1999. Current rates are subject to future alterations. A General Assembly staff economist wrote last week that state employment had returned to pre-pandemic levels last summer and had exceeded them. The Commerce Department reported 30,260 more people were employed in April compared to March, while the number of unemployed fell by over 3,900.

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Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: A photo identified as showing a “doorway” cut into a mountainside on Mars actually captures a tiny crevice in the rocky, barren terrain. U.S. proposals to the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations would not transfer U.S. sovereign authority over health care decisions to the WHO director-general. There were several combat deaths among U.S. service members in Afghanistan during Trump's presidency, and an investment by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ firm did not cause the recent baby formula shortage.

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The loudest voices in the abortion debate are often characterized along a starkly religious divide, the faithful versus not. But the reality is much more nuanced, both at an Alabama abortion clinic and in the nation that surrounds it. The clinic’s staff of 11 — most of them Black, deeply faithful Christian women — have no trouble at all reconciling their work with their religion. And as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to dismantle the constitutional right to an abortion, they draw on their faith that they will somehow continue. God is on our side, they tell each other. God will keep this clinic open.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In 2019, most violent deaths were suicides, which occurred more often in males than females, according to research published in the May 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A panel of science advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Thursday that a single booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be given to 5- to 11-year-olds.

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has continued to speak with Olympic officials since the Beijing Winter Games. IOC president Thomas Bach says Peng wants to visit Europe soon though COVID-19 outbreaks in China could complicate travel plans. The fallout from Peng’s allegations last November of being sexually assaulted by a Chinese Communist Party official was a serious distraction for Olympic organizers in February. Peng's interview with a French journalist in Beijing to retract her own claims and later visits to watch medal events including with Bach did not erase all doubts about her personal safety.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of risk factors for Alzheimer disease and related dementias varies and is highest for high blood pressure and not meeting aerobic physical activity guidelines, according to research published in the May 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, psychological distress prior to the diagnosis is associated with hospitalization for COVID-19, according to a study published online May 19 in Psychological Medicine.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A perioperative medication-related clinical decision support (CDS) software prototype may reduce the time taken to complete tasks, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with severe asymptomatic aortic stenosis, early intervention may reduce the risk for all-cause mortality compared with conservative management, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online May 17 in Open Heart.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Tezepelumab treatment is associated with higher levels of on-treatment clinical responses than placebo among individuals with severe, uncontrolled asthma, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2022 International Conference, held from May 13 to 18 in San Francisco.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A growing number of U.S. teenagers are vaping marijuana -- a habit that in some ways may be more risky than old-fashioned pot smoking, a new study finds.

FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A baby formula plant closed in February at the heart of the current U.S. shortage of the product could reopen as soon as next week, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D., told House lawmakers on Thursday.

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