What We’re Reading: Outbreak Tracking Weakness; Teen Social Media Guidelines; Safe Injection Site Study

The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency spotlights US outbreak tracking weakness; the American Psychological Association released guidelines to guide teen social media use; the first study funded by the US government to measure safe injection site effectiveness was announced Monday.

COVID-19 Emergency End Emphasizes Outbreak Tracking Weakness

Following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, United States laboratories will no longer required to report coronavirus test results to the CDC, according to The Washington Post. Hospitals and state health departments will report less extensive data, making it more difficult to detect and respond to American health threats. The tapering of the Biden administration’s coronavirus response and changes to reporting requirements emphasize established vulnerabilities of a broken public health surveillance system, experts said.

Psychologists Release Teen Social Media Guideline

For the first time, the American Psychological Association has released recommendations for guiding teen social media use intended for teens, parents, teachers, and policy makers, reported NPR. The release comes as teenagers face high levels of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, with increasing evidence that social media can worsen or cause these issues. The report contains 10 recommendations that summarize recent scientific findings and recommended actions.

US Supports Safe Injection Site Study

The first study funded by the US government to measure weather overdoses can be prevented by safe injection sites will take place over 4 years at 2 sites in New York City and one opening in 2023 in Providence, Rhode Island, according to the Associated Press. The grant, announced Monday, will provide over $5 million to New York University and Brown University to study the sites. Researchers wish to enroll 1000 adult drug users to study the sites’ impact on overdoses, estimate costs, and to gauge possible savings for the health care and criminal justice systems. The funds will not be used to operate the sites.

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