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What We're Reading: Juul Sued by School Districts; Virus Linked to Acute Flaccid Myelitis; HIV Prevention Drugs


E-cigarette manufacturer Juul is being sued by 3 school districts; virus linked as potential cause of acute flaccid myelitis; HIV prevention drugs will be available without prescription in California

Juul Sued by School Districts for Endangerment of Students

Juul, the e-cigarette manufacturer, is being sued by 3 school districts on accusations of student endangerment and forcing educators to divert time and money to combat an epidemic of nicotine addiction, The New York Times reported. School systems in Saint Charles, Missouri; Olathe, Kansas; and Long Island, New York are believed to be the first districts to sue Juul, which has been highly scrutinized for its role in contributing to the vaping epidemic and additionally spreading misinformation in its marketing practices. Juul was warned by the FDA amid claims by the e-cigarette manufacturer that its devices were safe. Both the FDA and CDC are undertaking extensive investigations into Juul, as well as, other contributors in the vaping-related epidemic occurring nationwide.

Virus Cited as a Potential Cause of Acute Flaccid Myelitis

Researchers uncovered that a virus called enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is a potential cause of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), according to NPR. AFM is a debilitating illness that affects children and causes them to lose control of their limbs, have trouble swallowing or breathing, or possibly end up paralyzed. Since 2014, 570 families have reported cases of AFM, which starts with a fever and an ear infection, and exponentially grows more severe. Scientists used surveillance data to investigate the illness and found that during instances in which there is a lot of EV-D68 circulating in the United States, there are spikes in cases of AFM. Lab results from patients diagnosed with AFM confirmed these associations as a large proportion of participants were positive for enterovirus.

HIV Prevention Drugs to be Available Without Prescription in California

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 159 yesterday, which allows pharmacies in the state to offer HIV prevention drugs without a prescription, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill, written by senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, will allow pharmacists to dispense pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis in a way similar to birth control and emergency contraceptives. Additionally, the bill will disallow insurance companies from requiring prior authorization before HIV prevention drugs are provided.

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