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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014


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...
National Alliance on Mental Illness to establish presence in Cape Girardeau (07/29/14)
A long-established Cape Girardeau-based depression and bipolar assistance group is joining with the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Jefferson City, Missouri, to provide services to the family members of people who struggle with mental illness...
Poor teens' health may benefit from top schools, research suggests (07/29/14)
CHICAGO -- Disadvantaged teens may get more than an academic boost by attending top-notch high schools -- their health may also benefit, a study suggests. Risky health behavior including binge-drinking, unsafe sex and use of hard drugs was less common among these students, compared with peers who went to mostly worse schools. ...
Health beat: Leptospirosis risk in outdoor activities (07/29/14)
People who enjoy outdoor activities such as freshwater kayaking, rafting, canoeing or swimming may be at risk for leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria. These bacteria are carried in the urine of infected animals. If an infected animal urinates in a body of fresh water -- such as a lake, river or stream -- or soil, the disease can live there for weeks to months...
Study: Fist bumps less germy than handshakes (07/29/14)
NEW YORK -- When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps. The familiar knocking of knuckles spreads only one-twentieth the amount of bacteria that a handshake does, researchers report. That's better than a high-five, which still passes along less than half the amount as a handshake...
Before doctors check your vitals, check theirs (07/22/14)
WASHINGTON -- Americans consider insurance and a good bedside manner in choosing a doctor, but will that doctor provide high-quality care? A new poll shows that people don't know how to determine that. Being licensed and likable doesn't necessarily mean a doctor is up to date on best practices. ...
Diagnosis rate for HIV fell by third in U.S. over decade (07/22/14)
NEW YORK -- The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States each year fell by one-third over the past decade, a government study finds. Experts celebrated it as hopeful news that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing in the U.S. "It's encouraging," said Patrick Sullivan, an Emory University AIDS researcher who was not involved in the study...
Nickel in iPads, other devices might be the cause of skin rash (07/15/14)
CHICAGO -- Unexplained rash? Check your iPad. It turns out the popular tablet computer may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals. Recent reports in medical journals detail nickel allergies from a variety of personal electronic devices, including laptops and cellphones. But it was an Apple iPad that caused an itchy body rash in an 11-year-old boy recently treated at a San Diego hospital, according to a report in Monday's Pediatrics...
Health beat: Travel smart: Get vaccinated (07/15/14)
Before traveling internationally, ensure all routine and travel vaccines are up to date. More and more Americans are traveling internationally each year. In fact, more than a third of Americans have a passport -- an increase from only 10 years ago. It is important to remember that some types of international travel, especially to developing countries and rural areas, have higher health risks. These risks depend on a number of things including:...
Spoonfuls can lead to medicine errors, study finds (07/15/14)
CHICAGO -- The song says a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but a study says that kind of imprecise measurement can lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes. The results, published online Monday in Pediatrics, underscore recommendations that droppers and syringes that measure in milliliters be used for liquid medicines -- not spoons...
Steps can prevent child deaths in hot cars (07/15/14)
More than three dozen children die of hyperthermia in cars annually in the United States, and since 1998 more than 500 children have died in hot cars. Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees, and car interiors can reach well over 110 degrees even when the outside temperature is in the 60s...
Second probe details more CDC anthrax lab problems (07/15/14)
NEW YORK -- A second investigation has detailed additional safety problems at federal health laboratories in Atlanta, including the use of expired disinfectants and the transfer of dangerous germs in zip-top bags. The new findings were disclosed Monday in a congressional committee's summary of a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention anthrax incident...
A few steps can help keep bugs at bay this summer (07/08/14)
As summer goes, the warm, wet weather is ideal for pests to invade people's daily lives. Among the most abundant pests this time of year are mosquitoes, ants, wasps, spiders, ticks and chiggers, but there are ways to keep them from infesting homes. Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association, said pests need three things for survival: food, water and shelter. ...
New doctors practice before seeing patients (07/08/14)
CHICAGO -- First-day jitters come with any new job, but when the work involves pushing needles into strangers' bellies, stitching up gaping wounds or even delivering babies, that debut can be especially nerve-wracking -- for everyone involved...
Health beat: Keep cool in hot weather (07/08/14)
Getting too hot can make people sick. People can become ill from the heat if their body can't compensate for it and properly cool off. Heat exposure can even kill: It caused 7,233 heat-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2009. Health Beat is a weekly spotlight on a wide range of health issues. The information contained here was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. View the CDC features online at www.cdc.gov/features...
Better eating habits stressed for weight loss, overall health (07/01/14)
Lifestyle changes are the newest craze sweeping the nation when it comes to health and fitness. At least that's what Janet Anders, a registered dietitian at Saint Francis Medical Center thinks. "They're not called fad diets anymore or even diets, they're seen as lifestyle changes, they're advertised as lifestyle changes, so people kind of maybe think about them a little bit differently," she said...
Guideline: Most healthy women can skip annual pelvic exam (07/01/14)
WASHINGTON -- No more dreaded pelvic exam? New guidelines say most healthy women can skip the yearly ritual. Routine pelvic exams don't benefit women who have no symptoms of disease and who aren't pregnant, and they can cause harm, the American College of Physicians said Monday as it recommended that doctors quit using them as a screening tool...
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Events: Health and community
August 2014

Health news
  • New Obama birth control fixes for religious groups
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Seeking to quell a politically charged controversy, the Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception.
  • CDC director to visit Ebola outbreak countries
    NEW YORK (AP) -- A top U.S. health official plans to travel to West Africa to see firsthand how the Ebola outbreak is unfolding.
  • Democrats reframe debate on health care
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's unpopular health care law is losing some of its political punch as vulnerable Democrats see it as less of an election-year minus and Republicans increasingly talk about fixing it instead of repealing.
  • Dentist at center of hepatitis scare cedes license
    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma oral surgeon whose filthy clinic conditions led to the testing of thousands of patients for HIV and hepatitis permanently surrendered his professional license on Friday.
  • American Ebola doc urges help fighting outbreak
    ATLANTA (AP) -- As one of few Ebola survivors with medical expertise, Dr. Kent Brantly seems keenly aware of the position his painful experience has put him in. He hasn't spoken yet about his plans, but spent much of his first public appearance pleading for help for countries still struggling with the virus.
  • Ebola spreads in Nigeria; Liberia has 1,000 deaths
    ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- Two alarming new cases of Ebola have emerged in Nigeria, widening the circle of people sickened beyond the immediate group of caregivers who treated a dying airline passenger in one of Africa's largest cities.
  • Big Apple doctor-in-chief seeks community approach
    NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City's new health boss doesn't want to be your nanny. Think of her more as a tutor.