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
Heroin Epidemic May Be Plateauing in Central Illinois
The good news is the heroin problem — after worsening for several years — may have started to plateau, say Central Illinoisans working to stem the opioid epidemic.
Cass County Star-Gazette
Health Department Collects Birds
The Cass County Health Department has started collecting dead bird specimens as of May 1. Results of these tests help determine the extent of West Nile virus activity. Because the virus generally appears and grows in Illinois bird and mosquito populations before it is transmitted to humans, monitoring bird and mosquito populations helps predict when and where humans will be at risk for West Nile virus infection as well as where and when additional precautions and control measures should be taken. The public is asked for help with the collection of dead birds.
Kane County considering Tobacco 21 Law
The county board's public health committee gave a preliminary thumbs-up to the idea Wednesday. Michael Isaacson, the county's assistant director of community health, said raising the age to 21 would help prevent residents from becoming addicted to tobacco products. Studies show most people don't start smoking after age 18. Raising the age to 21 can help further limit that number by, in part, making it less likely younger teens will have access to tobacco through older siblings still living at home.
Other Health News
ABC 7 Eyewitness News
Oucho! Botulism strikes 5 who ate gas station nachos
Botulism, caused by a bacteria-produced toxin, can cause a range of serious symptoms including muscle weakness and slurred speech related to muscle paralysis and can be fatal, according to the CDC.
CNN Health News
Superbug C. Auris Identified in 122 People Across 7 States
The number of cases of an emerging and often multidrug-resistant fungus in the United States has grown from seven to 122 over the past nine months, according to a field report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report issued Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Food Safety News
Pasteurization equipment failure spurs Wisconsin cheese recall
No illnesses had been reported as of Tuesday when the Kiel, WI, company posted its recall notice with the Food and Drug Administration. However, because of the equipment malfunction, the company could not verify that the cheese was properly pasteurized, which kills pathogens such as Listeria, E. coli and Salmonella.
How much water do we need?
Doctors know that drinking water and other fluids is important for kidney health. In fact, it may lower your risk for kidney disease. An Australian study found that people who drank the most water -- about 13 cups a day -- decreased their risk considerably.
Illinois Department of Health
Protect yourself this mosquito season
As we enter mosquito season, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reminding Illinoisans of the best ways to avoid being bitten. Different types of mosquitoes can carry different types of diseases, like West Nile virus and Zika virus, but steps you can take to protect yourself from mosquito bites are essentially the same.
Kaiser Health News
Like Hunger or Thirst, Loneliness in seniors can be eased
Only 30 percent of older adults feel lonely fairly frequently, according to data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, the most definitive study of seniors’ social circumstances and their health in the U.S.
Study says poverty and not liquor stores influence alcohol consumption
Communities often worry that opening bars and liquor stores may lead to more widespread drinking problems, but new research suggests that disorganization and poverty in a neighborhood play bigger roles in local drinking levels than the availability of alcohol. The researchers hope these findings, published in the Journal of Urban Health, may lead to more informed intervention methods to help prevent alcohol abuse.
Medical News Today
Study suggests drug criminalization undermining global HIV/Aids efforts
The criminalization of drugs is a leading factor in the world's HIV epidemic and a potential barrier to eradicating HIV/AIDS, say researchers who've undertaken a sweeping review of research on laws and policies prohibiting drug use. Assistant professor Kora DeBeck of SFU's School of Public Policy, who is a research scientist with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, is co-lead of the study, published in The Lancet.
What you should know if you love someone with high-functioning depression
Experts say the condition often isn’t noticeable to most people, because those who experience it tend to mask it well. This arguably makes the disorder difficult for partners to detect and the people who deal with it hesitant to speak up in the first place.
Obamacare premiums going up. Whose fault is it?
Another year of big premium increases and dwindling choice is looking like a distinct possibility for many consumers who buy their own health insurance — but why, and who's to blame?
NBC 5 Chicago
Vaccine may cut HPV infections, an oral cancer risk in men
The HPV vaccine that helps prevent cervical cancer in women also might lower the risk in young men of oral infections that can cause mouth and throat cancers, a new study finds.
Reuters Health News
Phillippines’ Duterte Gets Tough On Tobacco Ban
The ban, which carries a maximum penalty of four months in jail and a fine of 5,000 pesos ($100), covers both indoor and outdoor smoking, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said on Thursday.
STAT Health News
Can cashews help cancer patients survive?
Surprising new research scheduled to be unveiled at a major cancer meeting next month suggests that cashews and other tree nuts might be as effective as some of oncology’s most effective treatments at keeping colon cancer from recurring after surgery — and even keeping patients from dying.
Time Health News
Zinc really works for that little cold
Zinc lozenges may triple the rate of recovery from the common cold, according to a new meta-analysis of three studies. However, the promising results come with a caveat: the studies looked at doses much higher than are commonly recommended by doctors, and the authors say that not all zinc lozenges on the market are effective.
United Press International
Computer game helps kids make healthy choices
Children were instructed to hit the space bar when they saw a happy face and do nothing if they saw a sad face. The children then played a shopping game where they were asked to choose a limited number of food items in one minute.
That may not be a Baby Ruth in the pool!
Some icky news just in time for pool season: Reports of diarrhea outbreaks linked to cryptosporidiosis parasites in pools and water parks increased at least two-fold in two years, federal health officials reported Thursday.
US News and World Report
How much fat should people with diabetes eat?
Do you remember playing the game "telephone?" It's when someone whispers a message to the person next to him, that person whispers the same message to the person next to him, and the chain continues until reaching the last person in line, who repeats the message out loud. Everyone laughs because, without the fail, the original message has drastically changed.
Women with advanced breast cancer are surviving longer
The study found that between 1992 and 1994, and 2005 and 2012, the five-year survival rate among women under age 50 initially diagnosed with advanced disease doubled from 18 percent to 36 percent. The median survival time for that group increased from 22.3 months to almost 39 months. For women ages 50 to 64, the survival time grew from a little more than 19 months to almost 30 months.
World Health Organization
New Standards For Clinical Trials Disclosed
In a joint statement, the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Norwegian Research Council, the UK Medical Research Council, Médecins Sans Frontières and Epicentre (its research arm), PATH, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Institut Pasteur, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust agreed to develop and implement policies within the next 12 months that require all trials they fund, co-fund, sponsor or support to be registered in a publicly-available registry. They also agreed that all results would be disclosed within specified timeframes on the registry and/or by publication in a scientific journal.
Yahoo Health News
Weight Loss Side Effect Nothing To Toast To
According to a new study published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, one in five patients who had bariatric surgery showed symptoms of alcohol-use disorder within five years of undergoing the procedure. For the study, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences analyzed data from 2,348 men and women who underwent either gastric bypass surgery, which makes a person’s stomach smaller, or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, where a band is used to create a small pouch in a person’s stomach to hold food.