Health in the Headlines: June 21, 2018


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

Kane County Health Department
Bloomington Pantagraph
Illinois Officials Warn of Increase in Ticks

The Kane County Health Department has worked with the county's Forest Preserve District to put up displays at forest preserve locations to warn residents about ticks, The Courier-News reported.

Effingham County Health Department
97.0 XFM
Prevention Initiative Grant Awarded to Effingham
The Effingham County Health Department received notice from the Illinois State Board of Education of its funding award for a new Prevention Initiative (PI) Program that will serve 140 children and 120 families in Effingham County year-round. PI is a home visiting program that serves children birth to age 3 and pregnant mothers. It uses the Parents as Teachers Curriculum (PAT) which empowers and educates parents in best practices for being their child’s main teacher. This program will work closely with the following schools in Effingham County: Effingham, Altamont, Teutopolis, Dietrich, Beecher City, Sacred Heart, and St. Anthony. The Prevention Initiative Program is committed to delivering exceptional services to prenatal women and at-risk children birth to age three years old in Effingham County ensuring all babies and toddlers have a strong and healthy start at life. The program values the family’s primary relationship with their child and works to enhance the child’s development. PI supports the family’s knowledge, skills, and abilities as they interact with and raise their child.


Other Health News

Baltimore Sun
Baltimore biotech company raises $32.5 million to continue pursuing cancer immunotherapy treatment
A Baltimore company in the second phase of a clinical trial for a cancer immunotherapy treatment, one that taps the body’s own immune system to fight disease, has secured $32.5 million in financing to continue developing its products. WindMIL Therapeutics, a Johns Hopkins spinoff company based in Hopkins’ Fast Forward incubator, said it completed a Series B financing round led by Qiming Venture Partners USA, the U.S. arm of a Chinese-based venture capital firm. Other new investors in this second round of financing included Medivate Partners, the Kinneret Group and Camden Partners Nexus, a Baltimore-based early stage venture fund, the company said. All existing investors, including Domain Associates, Fox Kiser and Silver Rock Financial also participated in the financing.

CBS Health News
Trump Administration to Propose “Association Health Plans”
The Trump administration is close to finalizing a health insurance option for small firms and self-employed people that would cost less but could cover fewer benefits than current plans, congressional officials and business groups said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the pending announcement. The Labor Department scheduled an announcement Tuesday morning. As originally proposed, the new "association health plans" would have to cover people with pre-existing health conditions. However, they could offer narrower benefits than required under the Obama-era health law. They could be marketed across state lines to businesses in a common industry — auto repair shops, for example — or they could be sold to self-employed people like musicians. President Donald Trump has long asserted that promoting the sale of health insurance across state lines can bring down premiums without sacrificing quality. But many experts aren't convinced, because medical costs vary greatly according to geography. Like real estate, health insurance is a local business.

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
MERS In Saudi Arabia This year Includes Hospital and Household Clusters
In a profile of MERS-CoV activity in Saudi Arabia since Jan 12, the country has reported 75 cases, including 10 from two small hospital clusters and 11 from two household clusters, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today. The most recent MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cluster involves a household in Najran, which an assistant Saudi health minister reported in a May 31 post to ProMED Mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. Since then, one more related illness was reported, raising the number of people infected in the cluster to eight, according to the WHO's report today.

Food Safety News
High Pressure Pasteurization Facility Focuses on Food Safety
A Michigan couple is killing foodborne pathogens and extending the shelf life of foods while making their state home to one of the largest high-pressure processing machines in the world. Garden Fresh Gourmet’s founders have the Great Lakes HPP Food Innovation Center officially up and running. High-pressure pasteurization (HPP) can kill a variety of pathogens in food. The process, which can be applied to food after packaging, also extends shelf life. Co-founders of Garden Fresh Gourmet, Jack and Annette Aronson, opened the center with public tours and demonstrations. The high-pressure process kills yeasts, bacteria and pathogens such as E.coli, Aronson said. “Single cell organisms can’t live under the pressure — 87,000 pounds of pressure,” he said. “The 220,000-pound machine is wrapped with 200 miles of cable so it can’t explode, and it doesn’t smash the food because the pressure is equal on all sides.”

Fox Health News
House Advances Dozens of bills to combat nation’s opioid crisis
The House moved last week to push through dozens of bills aimed at curtailing the nationwide opioid epidemic – and lawmakers said they’re not done yet. In what Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ohio, called a “suite” of opioid-related legislation, the House passed through 38 bills last week that tackled addiction and recovery efforts, research on non-addictive pain medications and other modalities of treatment. This week, they have 21 more on the calendar. “It’s just one story after another of crisis and death and addiction. It’s swept across the country,” Walden, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told Fox News. “People didn’t really get its depth and scope and breadth until it was too late.” Most of the already passed bills are modest – and bipartisan.

Health And Fitness Cheat Sheet
The States That Experience The Most Food Poisoning Outbreaks
If you’re worried about food poisoning, you aren’t the only one. In 2018 alone, salmonella has infected many who’ve eaten pre-cut melon, eggs, and dried coconut all across the U.S. And we’re all still a bit untrusting of Romaine lettuce after the E. coli scare. It turns out there are some states that historically experience worst food poisoning outbreaks than others. Here are the states that are the most and least likely to poison you, as well as the one state with the worst record of illness to date.  Illinois?  Whether you’re heading to a trip to Chicago or you live in this state, it seems food poisoning has run rampant here in the past. The CDC shares that there have been 1,289 outbreaks from 1998 to 2016 —  over 10 times more than Vermont. A variety of ailments have affected Illinois residents over the years, including norovirus and salmonella, says CSPI. Additionally, they’ve all seen a number of illnesses from Clostridium, which can cause botulism.

Health Day News
One Blood Test Might Be Enough To Diagnose Diabetes
Currently, it's recommended that a blood test focused on elevated fasting levels of blood sugar (glucose) or a blood component called glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) be confirmed with a second blood test at a follow-up visit. But taking the test twice takes up time and money and could still result in missed diagnoses, said a team from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. In the new study, researchers led by Hopkins epidemiologist Elizabeth Selvin looked at data on more than 13,000 people in a long-running U.S. heart disease study. The study began in the 1980s, and along the way has recorded valuable data from participants, including diabetes test data.Selvin's group analyzed that data, and reported that a positive result for glucose and HbA1c from just a single blood sample can confirm type 2 diabetes.

Kaiser Health News
After Opioid Overdose Only 30 Percent Get Medicine to Treat Addiction
More than 115 Americans die every day of opioid overdose. Many more survive thanks to the antidote medication, naloxone. But a study out Monday finds that just 3 in 10 patients revived by an EMT or in an emergency room received the follow-up medication known to avoid another life-threatening event. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, followed 17,568 patients who overdosed on opioids between 2012 and 2014 in Massachusetts. It looked at survival rates over time and whether patients received medicines that treat addiction.

Kansas City Star
Don’t Touch Bunnies. Illinois Residents Warned About Rabbit Fever
Cook County, Illinois, health officials are warning residents of a Chicago suburb to keep themselves and their pets away from wild rabbits after a dead one found there last week had the disease tularemia, also known as rabbit fever. The bacteria that cause the disease are typically spread through the bite of infected ticks and biting flies, according to health officials in Wisconsin, where two dead muskrats in a nature area were also found to have the disease last month, reported WBAY in Green Bay.

Live Science
How Marijuana could Make Trauma Injuries Worse
Marijuana use may affect how much pain people feel and the dose of painkillers they need following a traumatic injury, such as an injury from a car accident, a new study suggests. The study found that, after experiencing a traumatic injury, marijuana users reported higher levels of pain, and needed higher doses of opioid painkillers, compared with patients who didn't use marijuana.

Medical Daily
Left Handed People’s Mental Health Troubles May Require Different Treatments. That’s Right!
Researchers from Cornell University, New York, may have identified a new model of emotion in the brain, which can explain why a form of treatment for mental health problems may not work on left-handed people. The study titled “Approach motivation in human cerebral cortex” was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B on June 18.

Medical News Today
Are E-Cig Flavorings Toxic To the Heart?  
Despite their popularity, little is known about the health impacts of electronic cigarettes. New research investigates the chemicals used to flavor these products and their effects on cardiovascular health.

Sea Coastal Online
Whooping Cough Outbreak in NH With 22 Cases

The spell of whooping cough at Exeter High School has reached an “outbreak” level, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Jake Leon, director of communication for New Hampshire DHHS, confirmed Monday there are currently 22 diagnosed cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, associated with Exeter High School. “This is considered an outbreak because there are more cases than what would normally be observed. New Hampshire typically sees 50 to 150 pertussis cases per year,” Leon said. “DHHS continues to investigate possible cases and instructs people with pertussis cases to take a 5-day course of antibiotics and to stay home or otherwise avoid communal settings for the 5-day duration to prevent further exposure.” Associate Superintendent Esther Asbell said when reached for comment on Monday morning, the school district had not yet been informed of the more than 20 confirmed cases.


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