Friday, December 26, 2014

It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials are celebrating some important victories in 2014, and Time magazine even named Ebola fighters the persons of the year. Nevertheless, this was a black-eye year for public health. Some vital vaccines did not work well. Federal laboratories were careless with dangerous pathogens. And international health officials failed to stop […]

E-cigs surpass regular cigarettes among teens

WASHINGTON (AP) — Electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens, the government’s annual drug use survey finds. Even as tobacco smoking by teens dropped to new lows, use of e-cigarettes reached levels that surprised researchers. The findings marked the survey’s first attempt to measure the use of e-cigarettes by people that young. […]

Pregnant women to get better info on drug risks

By Lauran Neergaard WASHINGTON (AP) — Pregnant women are about to get easier-to-understand information on how safe their medicine is for baby. The Food and Drug Administration is revamping how lists any risk, scrapping a system that confused both doctor and patient in favor of spelling out what’s known and what’s not on the multi-page […]

Dodging the flu

By Richard Fleming, M.D. If I am not mistaken, it has been getting colder outside lately. Strangely, it has also been raining. While I am no weather forecaster, it seems winter may be looming on the near horizon. Winter brings a variety of nice developments, including holidays and family get-togethers. It also carries in a […]

Google’s latest: a spoon that steadies tremors

By Martha Medoza MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) — Google is throwing its money, brain power and technology at the humble spoon. But these spoons (don’t call them spoogles) are a bit more than your basic utensil: Using hundreds of algorithms, they allow people with essential tremors and Parkinson’s disease to eat without spilling. The technology senses how a […]

Watch out for holiday weight gain

By Richard Fleming, M.D. Though it seems hard to believe, winter is a few weeks away. Some animals put on a lot of weight in the fall so they can hibernate through the winter months. Bears can add on as much as 100 pounds to get ready for cold weather. Other animals can increase their […]

E-cigarette use rising in high school kids

NEW YORK (AP) — Use of electronic cigarettes by high school students tripled over three years, according to a new government report released Thursday. In a large national survey last year, 4.5 percent of high school students said they had used e-cigarettes in the previous month. That’s up from 1.5 percent in 2011 and 2.8 […]

Vaccine spray may not work for swine flu in kids

NEW YORK (AP) — The nasal spray version of the flu vaccine did not protect young children against swine flu last winter and might not work again this year, health officials said Thursday. Preliminary results from three studies found that AstraZeneca’s FluMist had little or no effect in children against swine flu. That was the […]

Fearing Ebola? Doctors say get a flu shot

By Lindsey Tanner, AP medical writer Fever? Headache? Muscle aches? Forget about Ebola — chances are astronomically higher that you have the flu or some other common bug. That message still hasn’t reached many Americans, judging from stories ER doctors and nurses swapped this week at a Chicago medical conference. Misinformed patients with Ebola-like symptoms […]

Get the flu vaccine for your child

By Michael Vovakes, M.D. The American Academy of Pediatrics just released this year’s policy statement on influenza vaccination for children. All public health officials recommend that all people 6 months of age or older get a flu vaccination every year. Because the protective effect of vaccination decreases with time, yearly vaccination is always recommended. There […]

A bionic hand with feeling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists are moving closer to an artificial hand that can feel: Implanted electrodes allowed some amputees to tell by touch how gently to grasp, letting them pluck fruit without crushing it. The two men told researchers at Case Western Reserve University that wiring some of their remaining nerves to a robotic arm […]

Let the teens sleep!

By Jeff Ribordy For those of us who currently have or have raised teenagers, it is not surprising that studies have shown U.S. teens to be chronically sleep deprived. A National Sleep Foundation poll found 59 pecent of middle-schoolers and 87 percent (!) of high-schoolers were not getting the recommended 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep per night. The average was […]

Things to know about respiratory bug plaguing kids

NEW YORK (AP) — A wave of severe respiratory illnesses has swept the country in the last two months, propelled by what was long considered an uncommon germ. The enterovirus 68 has caused serious breathing problems in many children, and now is being eyed as possible factor in at least four deaths, and muscle weakness […]

There’s no pill to get younger

By Richard Fleming, M.D. It is impossible to watch TV or listen to the radio these days without hearing the ads about “low T (low testosterone).” From listening to the commercials, you would think the country is facing a dangerous epidemic. From coast to coast, middle aged men are getting tired, gaining weight, and being […]