Health in the Headlines: September 6, 2017

These daily health updates are provided to you as a courtesy from IPHA member Dennis Brennan and affiliate IPHA member DuPage County Health Department.  We thank them for their contribution.




Local Health Departments in the News

Pekin Daily Times
West Nile Risk May Be Lower This Year; Precautions Still Needed
Positive tests of mosquito traps in the county this year mean West Nile is “in our community,” said Jim Stone, director of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health. The county has treated places where mosquitoes breed, and also supplied larvicide to municipalities in the county, to reduce the mosquito population, Stone said.



Other Health News

ABC News
Millions who buy health insurance brace for sharp increases
What they pay is tied to the price of coverage on the health insurance markets created by the Obama-era law, but these consumers get no protection from the law's tax credits, which cushion against rising premiums. Instead they pay full freight and bear the brunt of market problems such as high costs and diminished competition.

ABC 7 Eyewitness News
Research Shows Running is Good For Your Brain
"By looking at these scans, we were able to tell that the endurance athletes who engaged in a lot of physical activity had areas in the brain that were more active and more connected than the non-athletes," Alexander said.

Associated Press
Obstacles Await As Congress Resumes Health Care Discussion
Republican hopes for repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's health care law are still twitching in Congress, though barely.

BBC Health News
Tenth of men aged 50 have heart that’s ten years older
The Public Health England analysis is based on responses from 1.2 million people to its Heart Age Test - 33,000 of whom were men aged 50.

Chicago Sun-Times
Doctors Say No Matter the Activity, Water the best Choice
The pH of water can range from acidic to basic on a scale of 1 to 14, with the pH of pure water at about 7. A pH less than 7 makes the water more acidic, while one greater than 7 makes water more alkaline (basic). The danger of more acidic water — when the pH is less than 6.5 — is that it can leach metals from the well and from the pipes that bring you water. These metals include lead, manganese, copper and iron, and they can be toxic in large amounts. So acidic water obviously poses a health risk. Fortunately, the same is not true of more alkaline water.

Chicago Tribune
Combining Diet and Behavioral Changes to Lose Weight
Over the years, Robert Kushner has seen many obese patients get "tripped up" trying to keep pounds off because they rely on fast food, juggle too many tasks and dislike exercise.

CNN Health News
What Australia’s bad flu season means for US
Australia is having a worse flu season than usual this year, with 93,711 laboratory-confirmed cases reported to its National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System as of August 18, government data show.

Daily Herald
American Academy of Pediatrics Sets Forth Reason for Flu Shot
Last flu season, more than 100 children in the U.S. died of the flu, and thousands more were hospitalized for severe illness. More than half -- 54 percent -- of the children who died did not have any underlying chronic conditions that make them more vulnerable; they were healthy kids.

Food Safety News
Hawaii revises food safety regs a year after Hep A outbreak
“This will ensure a minimum baseline of food safety knowledge for all facility owners and managers,” according to a news release from the Hawaii Department of Health.

Fox Health NEWS
Girl dies of malaria in Italian region free of disease for decades
Sofia Zago, of Brescia, was rushed to the hospital on Saturday with a high fever and died sometime between Sunday and Monday. Her death has puzzled Italian doctors, who are trying to pinpoint exactly how she contracted the disease in a malaria-free country.  

Health Day
Rand study says Later school bell could boost US economy
Delaying the start of the school day until 8:30 a.m. and letting students sleep a little longer would contribute $83 billion to the U.S. economy within 10 years, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation.

Kaiser Health News
The secret to chronic happiness as you age
At 76, the retired trade association manager has endured three heart attacks and eight heart bypass operations. He’s had four stents and a balloon inserted in his heart. He has diabetes, glaucoma, osteoarthritis in both knees and diabetic neuropathy in both legs. He can’t drive. He can’t travel much. He can’t see very well. And his heart condition severely limits his ability to exercise. On a good day, he can walk about 10 yards before needing to rest.

Medical Daily
Odd Trick Gets 70 Percent of Smokers to Cut Down
For smokers, breaking the habit can seem impossible, but where patches and gum fail, undergoing plastic surgery may succeed. A recent study has found that people who are advised to give up smoking in the weeks leading up to a plastic surgery operation are more likely to stay quit far past the operation. Plastic surgery may not be realistic for most smokers, but the finding suggests that quitting is possible for people who understand the health risks involved. 

Medical News Today
Protein Shake Diet For Weight Loss?  
A protein shake diet encourages weight loss by curbing appetite and reducing the total calories consumed. While these diets can be effective in the short term, it is unwise to live solely or primarily on meal replacement shakes.

National Institutes of Health
Drug combination reduces risk of HIV among teen males
The study was conducted by researchers in the NICHD-funded Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. When the study began, participants ranging in age from 15 to 17 years old were not infected with HIV, and were considered at-risk for HIV because of factors such as having unprotected sex with a male partner who had HIV or whose HIV status was unknown, having at least three male partners, or having a sexually transmitted infection other than HIV. Youth with poor kidney function and a history of bone fractures were excluded from the study because the drug combination may sometimes stress the kidneys and cause bone loss.

NBC News
Opioid Addicts Getting Fix Through Pets
Veterinarians don't typically prescribe some of the most commonly abused opioids, like oxycodone and fentanyl, but do dispense other heavy drugs like hydrocodone, a semi-synthetic opioid often used to treat nagging coughs in dogs, and alprazolam (Xanax), an addictive benzodiazepine used to treat household animals for anxiety stemming from thunderstorms, fireworks and vacuum cleaners.

New York Daily News
Use of Ketamine for Depression Shows Rapid, Long Lasting Effects
In by far the largest scale research study yet, Ketamine Treatment Centers studied the effectiveness, safety, frequency, dose, and pattern of long-term treatment with intravenous (IV) ketamine for clinical depression that has not responded to other treatments.

New York Post
San Diego Declares Emergency Over Massive Hepatitis Outbreak
Infections have killed 15 people and hospitalized nearly 400 more, with the homeless population hit hardest since the outbreak started last November.

Yemen’s Cholera Epidemic Hits 600,000 Confounding Expectations
Yemen’s cholera outbreak has infected 612,703 people and killed 2,048 since it began in April, and some districts are still reporting sharp rises in new cases, data from the World Health Organization and Yemen’s health ministry showed on Tuesday.

Time Health News
Here’s why sugar makes you sooooo thirsty

Once the sugar particles reach your blood, water moves out of your cells and into your blood, to restore balance in your blood. As your cells lose water, they send signals to the brain indicating that they need more H2O. The result? You feel the urge to sip on something.

United Press International
Dog walking benefits humans as much as dogs
"It's clear from our findings that dog walking is used to meet the emotional needs of the owner as well as the needs of the dog," said study author Carri Westgarth, a research fellow at the University of Liverpool.

US News and World Report
Can marijuana help with breast cancer?  
In 1996, when California became the first state in the Union to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, a trend was started. Twenty years later, marijuana, also called cannabis – referring to the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant – can legally be used as a medication in 29 states and the District of Columbia, Governing magazine reports. In addition, seven states and the District have gone a step further and “have adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Most recently, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all passed measures in November [2016] legalizing recreational marijuana,” the magazine reports.

World Health Organization
Soaring toward a rabies free Thailand by 2020
Rabies is a fatal but preventable zoonotic disease that predominantly affects poor and rural populations in Africa and Asia. The disease is transmitted via bites and scratches from infected animals, and dogs are responsible for around 99% of human cases.


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