Health in the Headlines: June 22, 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, Cook and DuPage County Health Departments

My Suburban Life

Health officials offer steps to combat West Nile virus

Chicago woman is 1st reported human case in Illinois

Vermilion County Health Department
Fox Illinois
2 Confirmed Cases of Meningitis in Vermilion County
Vermilion County Health Department has confirmed 2 cases of viral meningitis. Local health officials are now warning community members to take simple precautions to reduce their risk. “We’re lucky to be working with the Illinois department of health and health officials in our two hospitals, Carle and OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center,” public health administrator, Doug Toole said.

St. Clair County Health Department
Belleville News Democrat
West Nile Virus found in St. Clair County, Health Department Says
The first group of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus were found in St. Clair County, according to the county health department.  The virus, which is spread through mosquito bites, is rare for humans to contract, but it can be deadly. In 2017, 90 people in Illinois were infected with it, one of whom was in St. Clair County.  The Illinois Department of Public Health reported its first confirmed human case for 2018 in Illinois, according to the health department. A Chicago resident in her mid-60s became ill in mid-May.


Other Health News


Study finds disturbing tends in vaccination exemptions

A new study shows that numerous states and large metropolitan centers have seen an uptick in the number of nonmedical exemptions (NMEs) from childhood vaccinations granted. The study, published in PLOS Medicine,( found that in the past decade, the number of philosophical exemptions to vaccination has increased in two-thirds of the states that allow such exemptions. As a result, researchers suggest that these areas are becoming increasingly vulnerable to vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.

ABC News
Increased Stress Could Lead to Immune System Disorders
Stress may not just affect the mind, but may actually affect the physical immune system, a new study found.  Everyone will experience a significant life stressor at some point in their lives, such as the loss of a loved one or exposure to violence. While most people exposed to hardships gradually recover, a significant percentage develop severe psychiatric reactions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress reactions or adjustment disorder. But the study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, asked: Do psychiatric reactions to life stressors result in the physical dysfunction of the immune system?

ABC 7 Health News
Gaming Disorder Classified as Mental Health Condition By WHO
Watching as a video game ensnares their child, many a parent has grumbled about "digital heroin," likening the flashing images to one of the world's most addictive substances.

Associated Press
Utah Man Dies After Exposure to Industrial Pesticide
Officials say a Utah man died following exposure to an industrial pesticide material, leading to the temporary closure of a medical clinic. The Deseret News reports Wayne County spokeswoman Kassidee Brown says 70-year-old George Coombs, of Teasdale, encountered what officials say was aluminum phosphide Sunday at a Teasdale home. He was taken to the Wayne Community Health Center in Bicknell, where he died.
How will Massachusetts deal with marijuana impaired driving?
Marijuana may now be legal in Massachusetts, but driving under its influence is still strictly prohibited. Some states that years ago legalized the drug for recreational use, such as Colorado and Washington, have seen increases in auto fatalities involving marijuana-impaired drivers, but the problem and data are complex.

Boston Herald
Smoking Hits New Low; About 14 Percent of US Adults Light Up
NEW YORK — Smoking in the U.S. has hit another all-time low. About 14 percent of U.S adults were smokers last year, down from about 16 percent the year before, government figures show. There hadn't been much change the previous two years, but it's been clear there's been a general decline and the new figures show it's continuing, said K. Michael Cummings of the tobacco research program at Medical University of South Carolina.

CBS News
Giant Hogweed, Plant that causes blindness and third degree burns, discovered in Virginia
"Giant Hogweed" sounds like a mythical plant that the students of Hogwarts may study, but it's real -- and it's dangerous. The plant grows in the wild and touching it can cause third-degree burns and even blindness. Giant hogweed was recently spotted in Virginia for the first time and may also grow in other states. Warnings have been issued in previous years after discoveries in MichiganNew York and elsewhere in the Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest..

CBS 2 News
Slap on our Own Backs: Health Officials to end industry funded study of alcohol’s possible health benefits
Some of those interactions “appear to intentionally bias” the study so that it would have a better chance of showing a benefit from moderate alcohol consumption, said NIH Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak.

Food Safety News
Researchers warn against raw milk, cheese after testing dairies
Research recently published by scientists in The Netherlands shows that E. coli and Campylobacter bacteria are so common on goat and sheep dairy farms that pasteurization is necessary to prevent contamination of raw milk and products made with it. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority joined forces for the project. The government agencies annually investigate how common pathogens of zoonoses are on different types farms. Cattle, meat pig and laying hen operations have already been examined.

Fox Health News
Google A1 can predict when you’ll die with 95 % accuracy
The proof-of-concept study found that the algorithm could accurately predict risk of mortality, hospital readmission, prolonged hospital stay and discharge diagnosis. “In all cases, the method proved more accurate than previously published models,” it said. The AI was 95 percent accurate at predicting patient mortality based on data from the University of California, San Francisco health system and 93 percent accurate using data from the University of Chicago Medicine system, according to the research.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Graphic Warning Labels Linked to Reduced Sugary Drink Purchases
“Warning labels have been around a long time for tobacco products, but they’re a new concept for sugary drinks,” said study co-lead author Grant Donnelly, assistant professor of marketing at Ohio State University and former doctoral student at Harvard Business School. “Text warning labels have been passed in San Francisco and are being considered in many jurisdictions in the U.S. and around the world. Ours is the first study to evaluate the effectiveness of sugary drink warning labels in the field.”

Scientists studying brain stimulation as possible diabetes treatment
While type 2 diabetes has always been treated through changes in lifestyle habits and medications, a treatment using the brain may provide additional help to improve blood sugar levels.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Bans e-Cigs in Public Spaces
Since lawmakers passed a statewide ban on smoking in 2010, cigarettes have all but vanished from Milwaukee's enclosed public spaces. On Wednesday, e-cigarettes joined the club. The Common Council unanimously passed a resolution that prohibits the use of e-cigarettes on city property and in public spaces. The legislation was sponsored by Ald. Michael J. Murphy and co-sponsored by Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Ald. Cavalier Johnson and Ald. Milele Coggs. 

NBC News

Suicide More Likely for Veterans Says VA
Veterans are twice as likely as civilians to die by suicide, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday in its latest report on suicide. Veterans make up more than 14 percent of all suicides, although they account for only 8 percent of the total population, the VA report said.

New York Post
More Kids Than Ever Taking ‘Alternative Medicines’
Children’s use of herbal products and nutritional supplements nearly doubled between 2003 and 2014, a study published Monday by the Journal of the American Medical Association found. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago analyzed national health surveys of more than 4,400 young people and found that 6.7 percent took alternative medicines in 2014, compared to 3.7 percent in 2003. Some 33.2 percent of children and teens took a dietary supplement of some kind in 2014, including multivitamins.

One Green Planet
Investigators link raw milk cheese to E. Coli Outbreak in France
A recent investigation of cases concerning children who developed a disease that causes kidney failure, low red blood count, and destroys blood-clotting cells has been linked to the consumption of raw milk cheese. This disease called hemolytic uremic syndrome is most commonly caused by the consumption of the bacteria, E.coli, which plants itself in the digestive tract and produces harmful toxins in the bloodstream.

UF News
As Venezuela’s Public Health System Collapses Mosquito Borne Viruses Re-Emerge
A UF environmental and global health research professor and a postdoctoral research associate explain how the collapse of Venezuela’s public health system is giving rise to mosquito-borne viruses that could spread to nearby countries.


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