Health in the Headlines: February 17, 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.



Health Departments in the News

Herald and Review: Flu Spreads Through Central Illinois
Since October, nearly 1,800 patients experiencing flu symptoms have visited the Macon County Health Department. 

The Register-Mail: Warren County Receives a Clean Audit
The Board heard a report from Warren County Health Department Administrator Jenna Link, who said they were behind about $65,000 in state payments, but most of their funding is federal and unaffected by the state's budget problems. They expect to reach over 1,000 school children and teach brushing and flossing methods with their outreach on dental hygiene program.


Other Health News

Chicago Tribune:  NYC Officials Say 1 Person Died, 2 Ill From Rat Related Disease
New York City health department officials are targeting a Bronx neighborhood after one person died and two others became severely ill from contracting a rare disease transmitted by rats.

CNN News: Flu Vaccine is 48 Percent Effective This Season
The flu shot has been reducing the risk of infections in the United States by about half this season, according to reports issued Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the season is expected to continue for several more weeks.

Food Safety News: Imported Food Sickens More Americans Than Ever
Increasing demand in the U.S. for year-round access to all foods means more foreign food in grocery stores and that means more foodborne illness outbreaks from imported food.

Fox Health News: Weak thigh muscles tied to knee osteoarthritis in women
When women had less strength in muscles known as the knee extensors, or quadriceps, which help straighten the leg for standing, climbing and kicking, they were 47 percent more likely to develop knee arthritis than women who had stronger knee extensors, the study found.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:
Cohousing can benefit both older adults, young families
Intergenerational cohousing in which residents share meals and chores not only can benefit older adults but also aid young families who may need help from their neighbors when juggling work and family, said Lisa Berkman, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population and director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Berkman was interviewed on PBS NewsHour Weekend on February 12, 2017.

Health Day: Dealing With Diabetes Distress
"Diabetes distress" isn't the same as depression, however, diabetes experts note. It's a condition unique to the 24/7 demands that come with diabetes, particularly for people dependent on insulin.

Kaiser Health News:
How long you stay on Opioids may depend on the Doctor you see in the ER
Within the same hospital, some doctors are three times more likely to prescribe an opioid than other doctors, and patients treated by high-prescribing doctors are more likely to become long-term opioid users, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Live Science Health News: Opioids May Be Causing Increase In Cocaine Overdoses
The number of people dying from cocaine overdoses in the United States is on the rise, and a new study suggests why: People are using cocaine and opioids together.

Medical Daily: What your blood type says about whether you’ll survive disease
Red blood cells have certain sugars on their surfaces, known as antigens. You can have A or B antigens for Type A or Type B blood, both for Type AB, or neither for Type O. They are involved in how your immune system responds to foreign invaders because they tell it which cells are your own and which are different from the rest. But SciShow host Olivia Gordon explains that they do things other than signal antibodies.

Medical News Today: Gluten free diet may have unintended consequences
A gluten-free diet excludes foods that contain gluten - a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, as well as the byproducts of these grains.

National Institutes of Health: Survival Rate For Extremely Preterm Infants May Be Improving
Very early preterm infants are more likely to survive than in previous years, and the survivors are less likely to have neurological problems, according to an analysis of records from a National Institutes of Health research network.

NBC News: Psychiatrist Says Stop Calling President ‘Mentally Ill”
Reports speculating that President Donald Trump has narcissistic personality disorder are misguided and incorrect, a leading psychiatrist argues this week.

New York Post: Would you let someone who is not a dentist pull your tooth?
In dozens of countries and a handful of U.S. states, dental therapists also sometimes called advanced dental hygiene practitioners help fill gaps in access to oral care for low-income, elderly and disabled people, and in rural areas where few dentists practice, according to many public health advocates.

Reuters Health News: Government says US Healthcare Costs To Escalate Over Next Decade
A report by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cited the aging of the enormous baby boom generation and overall economic inflation as prime contributors to the projected increase in healthcare spending.

STAT Health News: China Bans Carfentanil, possible ‘game changer’ in US opioid epidemic
So deadly it’s considered a terrorist threat, carfentanil has been legal in China — until now. Beijing is banning carfentanil and three similar drugs as of March 1, China’s Ministry of Public Security said Thursday, closing a major regulatory loophole in the fight to end America’s opioid epidemic.

Time Health News: How To Avoid Colds And Flu
Vitamin D—the“sunshine vitamin”—is best known for its role in bone and brain health. But a collection of evidence suggests that it can also protect against cold and flu, according to a new scientific review of 25 published studies. The new research supports the theory that it also boosts immunity and helps fight acute respiratory infections.

United Press International: B Vitamins May Reduce Schizophrenia Symptoms
The study examined the effect of vitamin and mineral supplements on symptoms of schizophrenia by analyzing previous worldwide studies. Schizophrenia, usually treated with antipsychotic drugs, affects about 1 percent of people in the world and is one of the most disabling and costly long-term mental health conditions.

US News and World Report: Revisiting E Cigs To Discuss If Harmful
To some public health experts who've seen adult smokers hooked on tobacco despite its death toll from cancer and heart disease, e-cigarettes have the potential to reduce harm by helping them quit. But others who see kids pick up vaping and potentially developing nicotine habits are less hopeful and more concerned.

Washington Post: How efficient or sluggish is your kids’ digestion
There is an experiment that I have not yet tried with my kids, mostly because they are not huge fans of beets. The experiment measures the health of their digestion, which might appear uninteresting, but because boys (no matter what age) seem to love potty talk, I actually think it could be a big hit. The experiment asks kids to eat a big bowl of beets and then see how long it takes for the pink color to show up . . . you know where. The goal is to tell how efficient or sluggish their digestion is.

World Health Organization: Nine countries commit to have maternal and newborn deaths in health facilities
Through a new Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, supported by WHO, UNICEF and other partners, the countries will work to improve the quality of care mothers and babies receive in their health facilities.



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