Trending News Today: Fifth Confirmed Death in California Caused by Hepatitis A Outbreak

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

California’s largest hepatitis A outbreak in 20 years claimed the life of a fifth individual yesterday, public health officials said. According to the Los Angeles Times, the outbreak began in November 2016 and continues to spread among the homeless population. Thus far, 228 infections have been confirmed, with 161 patients hospitalized. Although the source of the outbreak is unknown, health investigators believe it is likely due to poor sanitation. They encourage individuals to get vaccinated, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating, avoid directly touching bathroom door handles, and sustain from sharing food, beverages, or smoking materials.

New study findings reveal that medication errors among patients and pharmacists are on the rise, according to NPR. The FDA estimates approximately 1.3 million people are injured each year from medication errors. In a study published in Clinical Toxicology, investigators analyzed data from poison control centers across the United States, only including errors that occurred outside health care facilities and resulted in serious medical outcomes. The results of the study showed that the number of cases doubled from 3065 in 2000 to 6855 in 2012. Over a 13-year period, more than 67,000 medication errors occurred, causing 414 individuals to die. The authors noted that a majority of the mistakes were preventable.

Men who forgo immediate surgery for early-stage prostate cancer have the same odds of living another 10 to 20 years as patients who had their tumors surgically removed, the Los Angeles Times reported. Although each approach offers a mix of benefits and risks, neither is likely to result in mortality caused by prostate cancer, according to the authors. Findings from the long-term study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.