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Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014

Health

Virus probed in paralysis cases in 9 kids (09/30/14)
NEW YORK -- Health officials are investigating nine cases of muscle weakness or paralysis in Colorado children and whether the culprit might be a virus causing severe respiratory illness across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday sent doctors an alert about the polio-like cases and said the germ -- enterovirus 68 -- was detected in four out of eight of the sick children who had a certain medical test. The status of the ninth case is unclear...
Recovery time after surgery being studied (09/30/14)
WASHINGTON -- One of the big frustrations of surgery: There's little way to know if you'll be a fast or slow healer, someone who feels back to normal in a week or is out of work for a month with lingering pain and fatigue. Now Stanford University researchers have discovered that right after surgery, patients' blood harbors clues about how fast they'll bounce back -- and it has to do with the activity of certain immune cells that play a key role in healing...
New mosquito-borne virus spreads in Latin America; some cases seen in U.S. (09/30/14)
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- An excruciating mosquito-borne illness that arrived less than a year ago in the Americas is raging across the region, leaping from the Caribbean to the Central and South American mainland, and infecting more than 1 million people. Some cases already have emerged in the United States...
CDC: Don't forget flu vaccine (09/23/14)
WASHINGTON -- It's time for flu vaccine again, and while it's important for the whole family, this year health officials have some different advice for different ages: Certain children should opt for the ouchless nasal spray. Seniors, expect to get a new kind of pneumonia shot along with that flu jab...
Study: Americans endure unwanted care near death (09/23/14)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Americans suffer needless discomfort and undergo unwanted and costly care as they die, in part because of a medical system ruled by "perverse incentives" for aggressive care and not enough conversation about what people want, according to a report released Wednesday...
Artificial sweeteners may change how bodies process sugar, promoting diabetes, study says (09/23/14)
NEW YORK -- Using artificial sweeteners may set the stage for diabetes in some people by hampering the way their bodies handle sugar, suggests a preliminary study done mostly in mice. The authors said they are not recommending any changes in how people use artificial sweeteners based on their study, which included some human experiments. ...
Small boy fights tall list of cancer-related ailments (09/16/14)
Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of stories in conjunction with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. As Marshall Pullen climbs the stairs, determined to make it to the slide, his mother, Stephanie, can't help but be proud. He slides to the floor with a little help from his physical therapist and is quickly on his feet heading to the next slide. ...
U.S. works to step up Ebola aid (09/16/14)
WASHINGTON -- The American strategy on Ebola is two-pronged: Step up desperately needed aid to West Africa and, in an unusual step, train U.S. doctors and nurses for volunteer duty in the outbreak zone. At home, the goal is to speed up medical research and put hospitals on alert should an infected traveler arrive...
Skin shocks used at Mass. school draw FDA look (09/16/14)
CANTON, Mass. -- Some cut themselves. Others slam their heads against walls or desks -- so hard that one girl detached both retinas and a young man triggered a stroke. Another pulled out all his teeth. Self-injury is one of the most difficult behaviors associated with autism and other developmental or intellectual disabilities, and a private facility outside Boston that takes on some of the hardest-to-treat cases is embroiled in a major debate: Should it use electrical skin shocks to try to keep patients from harming themselves or others?. ...
Local school lunches skew more healthful (09/09/14)
What schoolchildren eat and drink not only helps determine their health and success in school, but it also influences their long-term well-being. So it's no mystery why the topic gets the attention of everyone from Congress to schools and parents. Supervisors at the Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Scott City school districts say the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 wrought some changes for the better, taking sodas and candy out of vending machines and putting healthier menus in cafeterias...
Respiratory illness hits hundreds of children (09/09/14)
CHICAGO -- Hundreds of children in more than 10 states have been sickened by a severe respiratory illness that public health officials say may be caused by an uncommon virus similar to the germ that causes the common cold. Nearly 500 children have been treated at one hospital alone -- Children's Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri -- and some required intensive care, according to authorities...
Heart group: E-cigarettes might help smokers quit (08/26/14)
The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit. The American Cancer Society has no formal policy but quietly took a similar stance in May. Both groups express great concern about these popular nicotine-vapor products and urge more regulation, especially to keep them away from youth. They also stress that proven smoking cessation methods should always be tried first...
Health beat: Prevent shingles (08/26/14)
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, causes a painful, blistering skin rash that can last two to four weeks. For some people, the pain can last for months or even years after the rash goes away. This is called postherpetic neuralgia or PHN. It is the most common complication of shingles. The risk of shingles and PHN increases as a person gets older...
Just because it's almost fall doesn't mean allergies aren't lurking (08/19/14)
Allergy sufferers may note the change of seasons with their eyes and noses, and people lucky enough not to be allergic need only watch the sneezing, nose-blowing, red-eyed ones who are. Doctors with SoutheastHEALTH Primary Care and Saint Francis Medical Center say pollen always blows through Southeast Missouri -- from trees in the spring, grasses in the summer and weeds in the fall...
Study questions need for most people to cut salt (08/19/14)
A large international study questions the conventional wisdom that most people should cut back on salt, suggesting the amount most folks consume is OK for heart health -- and too little may be as bad as too much. The findings came under immediate attack by other scientists...
Health beat: Child passenger safety (08/19/14)
In 2012, more than 1,100 children 14 and younger died in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 176,000 were injured. But parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference. Whenever on the road, make sure child passengers are buckled in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats or seat belts. The safest place for children of any age to ride is properly restrained in the back seat. Data show that:...
Health beat: Six tips for college health and safety (08/12/14)
Going to college is an exciting time in a young person's life. It's the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. College is a time for new experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. Here are a few pointers for college students on staying safe and healthy...
Study ties new gene to major breast cancer risk (08/12/14)
It's long been known that faulty BRCA genes greatly raise the risk for breast cancer. Now scientists say a more recently identified, less common gene can do the same. Mutations in the gene can make breast cancer up to nine times more likely to develop, an international team of researchers reports in last week's New England Journal of Medicine...
USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspection procedures (08/05/14)
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year. Final rules announced Thursday would reduce the number of government poultry inspectors. ...
Despite cost, $1,000 Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice among patients (08/05/14)
WASHINGTON -- The price is sky-high, but so is demand. A new $1,000-per-pill drug has become the treatment of choice for Americans with hepatitis C, a liver-wasting disease that affects more than 3 million. Even with insurers reluctant to pay, Sovaldi prescriptions have eclipsed those for all other hepatitis C pills combined in a matter of months, new data from IMS Health indicate. The promise of a real cure, with fewer nasty side effects, has prompted thousands to be treated...
Decade on, separate lives for once-conjoined twins (08/05/14)
SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- One twin uses an iPad, plays video games and dances to Michael Jackson tunes. The other has significant, possibly permanent, problems walking and talking. The delicate separation 10 years ago of conjoined twins from the Philippines wasn't perfect, but the boys' mother says their very survival is reason enough to celebrate the anniversary...
Cape Girardeau support group available for those recovering from brain injuries (08/04/14)
Liz Schott was only 15 when she was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation. She had two successful surgeries to shrink the mass in her brain, but during the third surgery, she suffered a stroke. She survived and learned to walk, talk, feed and dress herself all over again. Now 28, Liz still has some paralysis on her left side and short-term memory loss, but she's striving to improve...
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Health news
  • Gov't to reveal drug company payments to doctors
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Striving to shine a light on potential ethical conflicts in medicine, the Obama administration is releasing data on drug company payments to tens of thousands of individual doctors.
  • Johnson & Johnson buying Alios for $1.75B
    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson is buying the biopharmaceutical company Alios BioPharma Inc. for about $1.75 billion.
  • Families wait in agony for word on Ebola patients
    MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) -- First the ring tone echoed outside the barbed-wire-topped walls of the Ebola clinic. Then came the wails of grief, as news spread that 31-year-old Rose Johnson was dead just days after she was brought here unconscious by relatives.
  • Pediatricians urge IUDs or implants for teen girls
    CHICAGO (AP) -- Teen girls who have sex should use IUDs or hormonal implants -- long-acting birth control methods that are effective, safe and easy to use, the nation's most influential pediatricians' group recommends.
  • Who's a seaman? Supreme Court may chart the waters
    EWELL, Md. (AP) -- William Smith Dize's life revolved around water.
  • US doctor exposed to Ebola virus admitted to NIH
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- An American doctor who was exposed to the Ebola virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone was admitted Sunday to a hospital at the National Institutes of Health near the nation's capital.
  • Ebola clinics fill up as Liberia awaits aid
    MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) -- Doctors are in short supply. So are beds for patients. Six months after the Ebola outbreak emerged for the first time in an unprepared West Africa and eventually became the worst-ever outbreak, the gap between what has been sent by other countries and private groups and what is needed is huge.