Fluoridated water remains large component of healthy teeth and gums
The multifaceted issue of children's dental health raises questions about the benefits of water fluoridation, dentists' use of tooth sealants and the involvement of parents and schools. And considering the importance of healthy teeth and gums to a child's physical well-being, the subject prompts a quick precision in the responses of dentists, parents and public officials...
Gay-rights group backs use of HIV-prevention pill
NEW YORK -- The largest U.S. gay-rights organization Saturday endorsed efforts to promote the use of a once-a-day pill to prevent HIV infection and called on insurers to provide more generous coverage of the drug. Some doctors have been reluctant to prescribe the drug, Truvada, on the premise that it might encourage high-risk, unprotected sexual behavior. ...
Wellness Fair set for Wednesday
The Southeast Missourian's first Wellness Fair is set for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the J.C. Penney court of West Park Mall, 3049 William St. Directed toward adults and seniors, 15 participants are expected, said Paul Walker, medical marketing strategist at the Missourian. A variety of specialties and screenings will be available -- from a firm that offers a personal emergency response system to answering dental questions and grip testing...
Misconceptions, assumptions plague understanding of children with Down syndrome
Sarah Kuntze taught early childhood special education for years before her son Carter was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth in 2005. Even so, she says the immediate impression she and her husband had was probably similar to that of most other people: largely clouded by assumptions and popular misconceptions...
Officials to hospitals: 'Think Ebola'
DALLAS -- Federal health officials on Monday urged the nation's hospitals to "think Ebola" and launched a review of procedures for treating infected patients, while the World Health Organization called the outbreak "the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times."...
Mother seeks to dispel some myths about Down syndrome
The following was written by Hillarie Mueller, lead project manager at rustmedia. I'm a mom of two wonderful boys, Colt Bentley, who will be 2 in October, and Lincoln Matthew, who will be 5 months old in October. October is a very special month for our family. It's the month we celebrate another year in Colt's extraordinary life and a month we celebrate awareness for our second extraordinary child, Lincoln...
Americans living longer as most death rates fall
NEW YORK -- Americans are living longer than ever before, according to a new government report filled mostly with good news. U.S. life expectancy inched up again and death rates fell. Rates also dropped or held steady for nearly all the leading causes of death. ...
Flu season has arrived
A long-known virus has sickened hundreds throughout the country, including Southeast Missouri, although it hasn't been confirmed. Meanwhile, flu season is starting. Dr. Andrew Sledd, a pediatrician at Saint Francis Medical Partners, said there are definitely cases of enterovirus D68 here, but there is no way to test for it locally. Generally, Sledd said the illness has not been fatal -- just like a bad cold with wheezing...
Speech, hearing center attracts clients from wide geographic area
The Center for Speech and Hearing at Southeast Missouri State University is a hub for adults and children in need of affordable and sometimes difficult-to-find services, which is why it plans to expand in the future. Usually the center has between 50 and 60 clients a semester, plus an additional 25 or 30 for evaluations...
Mother with womb transplant says risk paid off with birth of son
LONDON -- For the world's first baby born to a woman with a transplanted womb -- a medical first -- only a victorious name would do. Which is why his parents named him "Vincent," meaning "to conquer," according to his mother. The 36-year-old Swedish mother learned she had no womb when she was 15 and was devastated, she said Saturday...
Free birth control cuts teen pregnancy and abortions, study finds
Giving teens free birth control encourages them to use long-acting methods and greatly cuts the chances they will become pregnant or have an abortion, a new study finds. The average annual pregnancy rate was 34 per 1,000 girls in the study -- far below the national average of 158.5 for sexually active teens...
Virus probed in paralysis cases in 9 kids
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...
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