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Avian flu spreads; stairway to health; protecting health data – Morning Medical Update

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The top news stories in medicine today.

physician in uniform holding morning coffee: © meeboonstudio - stock.adobe.com

© meeboonstudio - stock.adobe.com

Bird flu fears

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is contagious and deadly in poultry, and sporadic human infections have occurred. Federal regulators in March announced HPAI was detected in cow herds in Texas and Kansas. This month, viral fragments of HPAI were found in milk samples, but analysis found no live, infectious virus. Here’s the latest from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Stairs up, health risks down

Taking the stairs instead of an elevator “is a practical and easily accessible form of physical activity which is often overlooked,” and can play a role in reducing risk of heart disease. How much of a role? Stair climbing was associated with a 24% reduced risk of dying from any cause and 39% lower likelihood of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to findings presented this month at the European Society of Cardiology Preventive Cardiology 2024 conference.

Health Breach Notification Rule

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced changes to the Health Breach Notification Rule, which covers vendors of personal health records not covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. In some cases, vendors must notify consumers, the FTC and the media about breaches of unsecured personally identifiable health data. Enforcement actions have involved companies such as GoodRx and Easy Healthcare, publisher of the Premom app.

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