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California Dept. of Public Health Calls E-Cigarettes a 'Community Health Threat'

scyther5/iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — A report issued by the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health on Wednes­day calls elec­tronic cig­a­rettes a “com­mu­nity health threat.”

CDPH Direc­tor and State Health Office Ron Chap­man wrote the intro­duc­tion to the report, high­light­ing his con­cerns regard­ing mar­ket­ing meth­ods that “may…mislead con­sumers into believ­ing that these prod­ucts are harm­less and safe for con­sump­tion.” Chap­man noted that there were 154 e-cigarette poi­son­ings among chil­dren age five and under in 2014 — well up from the seven such poi­son­ings in 2012.

Chap­man also men­tioned the $2 bil­lion, 25-year invest­ment in efforts to pre­vent and reduce tobacco use in California.

Accord­ing to the report, e-cigarettes con­tain prod­ucts that pro­duce aerosol — not just water vapor — to be inhaled by the user. That aerosol can con­tain chem­i­cals like formalde­hyde, lead, nickel and acetalde­hyde, which are found on California’s list of chem­i­cals known to cause can­cer, birth defects and repro­duc­tive harm.

The CDPH made sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions to restrict the sale and use of e-cigarettes, among them were the pro­hi­bi­tion of e-cigarette sales to minors around the U.S., pro­hi­bi­tion of free sam­ples or e-cigarette vend­ing machines in facil­i­ties where minors may spend time, and required reg­is­tra­tion of e-cigarette prod­ucts with the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion. The CDPH also aims to require a nico­tine health warn­ing on all e-cigarette prod­ucts, while also man­dat­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers dis­close the ingre­di­ents of their product.

The CDPH fur­ther says it will cre­ate an edu­ca­tions cam­paign to impart the health dan­gers of e-cigarettes.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

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How Doctors, Parents May Be Contributing to Rise of Measles

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Med­ical experts con­sid­ered measles essen­tially erad­i­cated in this coun­try thanks to large scale vac­ci­na­tion. But with at least 64 con­firmed cases of measles this month, the dis­ease seems on pace to have its worst year in nearly two decades.

Many young doc­tors are slow to rec­og­nize measles and may not real­ize its poten­tial dan­gers, said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and med­ical edi­tor. This may have con­tributed to the cur­rent out­breaks at Dis­ney­land in Cal­i­for­nia and in 11 other states and Mex­ico, he said.

Pedi­a­tri­cians who have never seen the measles tend to under­value the vac­ci­na­tion and it’s con­cern­ing they may miss a child with measles,” Besser said, adding that he, him­self, hasn’t seen a case in more than 20 years.

Ear­lier this week, an infec­tious dis­ease spe­cial­ist at Children’s Hos­pi­tal of Philadel­phia echoed that thought in an essay in the jour­nal Annals of Inter­nal Med­i­cine. In the opin­ion piece, Dr. Julia Shak­lee Sam­mons implored doc­tors to become more famil­iar with measles symp­toms now that infec­tions from the virus are on the rise.

It is essen­tial that providers main­tain a high level of sus­pi­cion for measles…and are able to rec­og­nize its clin­i­cal fea­tures,” she wrote.

Peo­ple infected with measles are highly con­ta­gious for at least four days before symp­toms includ­ing fever, pink eye and a tell­tale rash appear. Unfor­tu­nately, these are also symp­toms of many other com­mon dis­eases, Besser said, which is why it’s so hard to diag­nose — and why it’s essen­tial to rec­og­nize it early.

Par­ents who delay or refuse vac­ci­na­tions for their chil­dren may also con­tribute to the rise of measles infec­tions, Besser said.

Many coun­ties in Cal­i­for­nia, for exam­ple, are below the 92 per­cent vac­ci­na­tion rate required for “herd immu­nity” the thresh­old of vac­ci­nated indi­vid­u­als needed to pro­tect even those who don’t receive the vac­ci­na­tion, accord­ing to state health offi­cials. The opt-out rate for vac­ci­na­tions has dou­bled in the past seven years.

There’s dis­cred­ited sci­ence link­ing vac­cines to autism. As a par­ent and pedi­a­tri­cian, there’s no con­cern with the vac­cine. What hap­pens is that when a vac­cine works really well, like the measles vac­cine, peo­ple think they don’t need it and then it comes back and we see these kinds of cycles,” he said.

Besser noted that one year before the intro­duc­tion of the measles vac­cine in 1962, there were 481,530 reported cases nation­wide. In 2004, there were 37 cases, accord­ing to the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. That num­ber has been creep­ing up steadily each year.

The CDC rec­om­mends all chil­dren get two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vac­cine, start­ing with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the sec­ond dose at 4 through 6 years of age. The agency and most other med­ical orga­ni­za­tions state that the vac­ci­na­tion has led to a 99 per­cent reduc­tion in cases of the measles in the U.S.

Measles can be a deadly dis­ease, Besser stressed.

Before we began vac­ci­nat­ing, 500 peo­ple died a year from measles and it’s still one of the biggest global killers of chil­dren,” Besser said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Girl Dies After Catching the Flu, Even After Getting Vaccine

Cour­tesy Patrick Driscoll(LAS VEGAS) — A Las Vegas kinder­gart­ner who died days after com­ing down with the flu felt well enough to play out­side 24 hours before she col­lapsed, her father told ABC News.

Kiera Driscoll, 5, had a slight fever on Sun­day morn­ing, but she seemed to be feel­ing bet­ter after tak­ing some children’s ibupro­fen, said her father, Patrick Driscoll.

In fact, she was play­ing out­side that after­noon with my wife and even made a com­ment that it was ‘the most fun time ever,’” Patrick Driscoll said.

But then Kiera’s slight fever returned and her cough wors­ened and included phlegm, Driscoll said. At about 4 a.m., her par­ents gave her med­i­cine to help expand her air­ways by way of an albuterol neb­u­lizer. She didn’t have asthma but occa­sion­ally had a bark­ing cough as a baby, Driscoll said. After­ward, he stayed up with her watch­ing car­toons until she fell asleep again at 8 a.m.

The next morn­ing, the Driscolls took her to an urgent care cen­ter, where she got another albuterol treat­ment and was given a steroid to help her breathe, Driscoll said. He went to work, and his wife stayed home to take care of Kiera.

Kiera’s mother tucked her into bed a few hours later for a nap, and turned away to turn on a vapor­izer when Kiera said, “I can’t breathe. It’s hard to breathe,” Driscoll said. Then, the lit­tle girl col­lapsed and passed out.

Kiera’s mother is trained in CPR and jumped into action, clear­ing Kiera’s air­ways, per­form­ing res­cue breath­ing and call­ing 911, Driscoll said. Kiera’s pulse went away and came back in the emer­gency room. But her brain wave activ­ity dimin­ished, Driscoll said, and she devel­oped an irreg­u­lar heart beat and went into car­diac arrest. She died the fol­low­ing day, on Tues­day, Jan. 20.

Their work­ing diag­no­sis was that a mucus plug of thick mucus got coughed up and clogged, lodged in her tra­chea, pre­vent­ing her from being able to breathe,” Driscoll said.

The lit­tle girl’s ele­men­tary school cel­e­brated her life last week by dress­ing in pur­ple, releas­ing pur­ple bal­loons and eat­ing frozen yogurt, accord­ing to KNTV, ABC News’ affil­i­ate in Las Vegas. Frozen was Kiera’s favorite movie, and a stuffed Olaf doll sat in her seat at school after her death, accord­ing to the station.

Lau­rel Beck­stead, the head­mas­ter of the Amer­i­can Her­itage Acad­emy, where Kiera went to school, told KNTV the death was shock­ing. Beck­stead is also Kiera’s aunt.

She went home happy, healthy, and then to get a phone call that Mon­day that she had gone to Quick Care Mon­day morn­ing, released and went home and then later col­lapsed, was almost a shock­ing dis­be­lief,” Beck­stead told the sta­tion. “How can this be hap­pen­ing to Kiera?”

As of the week end­ing Jan. 17, 56 pedi­atric flu-related deaths had been reported to the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention.

Kiera’s offi­cial cause of death was that she went into car­diac arrest after com­ing down with influenza A and pneu­mo­nia, accord­ing to the Clark County coroner’s office in Nevada, which did not exam­ine her body after her death.

Dr. Frank Esper, a pedi­atric infec­tious dis­ease physi­cian at UH Rain­bow Babies and Children’s Hos­pi­tal in Cleve­land, said deaths like Kiera’s can be con­fus­ing, and some states require autop­sies when the expla­na­tion is unclear. He said it’s impor­tant to remem­ber that influenza can cause death, espe­cially in peo­ple with under­ly­ing lung and heart con­di­tions — which may not be diagnosed.

Peo­ple at risk for com­pli­ca­tions, includ­ing young chil­dren, preg­nant women, peo­ple with asthma, and the elderly, should con­tact their physi­cian at the first sign of flu, he said. They may be pre­scribed antivi­ral med­ica­tions to shorten their ill­ness and pre­vent it from worsening.

Though Kiera’s pass­ing has shat­tered the world her birth cre­ated for me, the joy of rais­ing her was worth it,” Driscoll said at her funeral, accord­ing to the family’s fundrais­ing site.

Driscoll told ABC News that Kiera got a flu shot, and they still want other par­ents to vac­ci­nate their children.

Vac­cines help save lives, and they help keep other peo­ple from get­ting infected as well,” he said. “We always want peo­ple to be vaccinated.”

He said his fam­ily has taken com­fort in the fact that his wife knew CPR and did every­thing she could. And he knows he’ll see his lit­tle girl again some­day, he said.

If there’s some­thing we can say to some­one going through some­thing sim­i­lar,” he said. “Hold on to your faith. Rely on fam­ily and com­mu­nity, and never take a moment for granted.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Some Commonly Used Drugs Could Spur Alzheimer's and Dementia

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — Seniors are being warned to cut back on the use of cer­tain over-the-counter med­ica­tions as well as older anti­de­pres­sants as they may has­ten the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

A study pub­lished in the jour­nal JAMA Inter­nal Med­i­cine says that the sleep-aid Nytol and anti-allergy drugs Benadryl and Piri­ton con­tain ingre­di­ents that block the key chem­i­cal mes­sen­ger acetyl­choline, which is essen­tial to healthy cog­ni­tive functions.

Study leader Shelly Gray of the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton School of Phar­macy says the anti­de­pres­sant dox­epin also falls into this cat­e­gory of anti­cholin­er­gic drugs, which can cause sleepi­ness and poor memory.

After study­ing 3,434 men and women age 65 and older, those tak­ing high dosages of these drugs com­pared to those who didn’t had a 63 per­cent risk of devel­op­ing Alzheimer’s and a 54 per­cent higher risk of devel­op­ing dementia.

Still, Gray cau­tions seniors who might be on these meds to con­sult their physi­cians before they stop tak­ing these drugs.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Meghan Trainor Was ‘Addicted to Diets’ Before Embracing Her Curves

Epic Records(NEW YORK) — Before she was singing about “bring­ing booty back” and embrac­ing her curves, Meghan Trainor had to fight low self-esteem just like the rest of us. The 21-year-old singer admit­ted to U.K.’s Reveal that she used to be “addicted to diets,” and tried to fol­low Beyonce’s weight-loss secret.

Meghan tells the pub­li­ca­tion that her inse­cu­ri­ties began in school when her best guy friend told her she’d be “so hot” if she lost ten pounds. She said she rushed home and told her mom she was “never eat­ing again.” That’s when she started research­ing fad diets online.

I Googled, ‘What does Bey­once do?’ and decided I’d try the detox diet with cayenne pep­per,” Meghan recalled. “Do you know how much I had to drink to get used to it? It was so gross. I stopped straight away. I was like, ‘This is not normal.’”

Meghan said she’s since met Bey­once, who’s a fan of her music, and cred­its her for hav­ing a “real fig­ure” in a busi­ness where many women feel they have to be skin and bones.

I def­i­nitely feel like I’m 30 and I’ve been through a lot,” the 21-year-old singer said. “I haven’t expe­ri­enced any­thing cru­cial or dev­as­tat­ing. But I got addicted to weird lit­tle diets and I quickly real­ized how stu­pid it was.”

Meghan said that when she first wrote her #1 Grammy-nominated hit “All About That Bass,” it was more about how she wished she felt, rather than how she actu­ally felt, about her body. But once she started per­form­ing and get­ting pos­i­tive feed­back, she says, she started to feel more con­fi­dent.  Now, she encour­ages her friends to love their bodies.

I’m just 100 per­cent hap­pier than I was,” she said. “The trick I tell my girl­friends now is that you have to say it out loud. You haven’t got to nearly kill your­self on these diets. You just have to look in the mir­ror and tell your­self, ‘Damn I look good today!’”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Stories from Moms Who Delivered Blizzard Babies

Pati­cia Strick­land holds twins born in Mass­a­chu­setts dur­ing Mon­day night’s bliz­zard. (Cour­tesy UMass Memo­r­ial Med­ical Cen­ter)(NEW YORK) — At 35 weeks preg­nant, Pati­cia Strick­land was jok­ing with a friend about what would hap­pen if she went into labor dur­ing the storm bar­rel­ing toward the East Coast this week.

An hour later, she was on all fours as con­trac­tions came one after another for 20 min­utes until an ambu­lance could arrive at her home in Worces­ter, Massachusetts.

Con­trac­tions came out of nowhere,” she told ABC News. “There was no warn­ing at all. They were so strong, I just got the sud­den urge to push.”

Strickland’s 5-year-old daugh­ter cried as Strick­land left in an ambu­lance alone after get­ting a few hugs and well-wishes from her fam­ily. All the roads were closed to non-essential traf­fic because of the snow emer­gency, so Strickland’s hus­band couldn’t fol­low her to the hos­pi­tal. Worces­ter was expect­ing 18 to 20 inches of snow by the time the storm is over.

I was so scared,” said Strick­land, 28, a home­maker with three other children.

As Strick­land was sit­ting up in the back of an ambu­lance on the way to UMass Memo­r­ial Med­ical Cen­ter, her water broke, she said. Sec­onds later, her son Gabriel was born. But that wasn’t the end of it.

When they pulled up to the hos­pi­tal, Strick­land was rushed to the oper­at­ing room, where she then deliv­ered baby Aliyah.

I was only in labor for maybe 40 min­utes,” she said. “My first call was to my children’s father to let him know that his chil­dren made it into the world.”

When she told him Gabriel was born in the back of an ambu­lance, she said it sounded like he stopped breathing.

Strick­land said she can’t wait to take her “lit­tle min­ions” home. They were born pre­ma­ture, but they’re expected to stay in the hos­pi­tal only about 10 days, she said.

Mean­while, in Nan­tucket, Mass­a­chu­setts, Danielle Smith went into labor at the height of the storm — just as the power went out.

She wasn’t up to talk­ing to ABC News on Tues­day, but she gave birth to baby Cay­den Moore at 3:35 a.m. at Nan­tucket Cot­tage Hos­pi­tal, a hos­pi­tal offi­cial said.

Cay­den was born at the height of the bliz­zard just after the island had lost power, forc­ing the hos­pi­tal to rely on its gen­er­a­tor for power,” said hos­pi­tal spokesman Jason Graziadei.

ABC News’ Boston sta­tion WCVB-TV reported on sev­eral other New Eng­land bliz­zard babies who just couldn’t wait to make their arrival.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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SpongeBob SquarePants Turns Up in Child's X-Ray

Fuse/Thinkstock(JEDDAH, Saudi Ara­bia) — A doc­tor in Saudi Ara­bia was astounded to find car­toon icon Sponge­Bob SquarePants in a child’s x-ray.

Dr. Ghofran Ageely, a radi­ol­ogy res­i­dent at the King Abdu­laziz Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal in Jed­dah, Saudi Ara­bia, told ABC News he was sur­prised the car­toon char­ac­ter looked so clear in the x-ray. The item the child swal­lowed, which appears to be some kind of tiny pen­dant, looked like a “pin” when he first saw it.

I thought it is just a pin,” Ageely said in an email. “But when I opened the frontal view I was shocked to see Sponge­Bob look­ing at me with a big smile. Its angle and rota­tion are just perfect.”

Ageely said the tiny Sponge­Bob was safely removed from the 16-month-old child through a scope.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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E. Coli Found in Winnipeg, Boil Water Advisory Issued

Tomjac80/iStock/Thinkstock(WINNIPEG, Man­i­toba) — Health offi­cials insti­tuted a boil water advi­sory for the city of Win­nipeg on Tues­day after two clus­ters of E. coli were located.

Offi­cials at the Win­nipeg Regional Health Author­ity say that no source for the con­t­a­m­i­na­tion was located as of Tues­day after­noon. Still, res­i­dents east of the Red River were being urged to boil all water used for drink­ing, ice mak­ing, food and bev­er­age prepa­ra­tion and teeth brush­ing. Offi­cials say the advi­sory was issued as a pre­cau­tion­ary measure.

The WRHA expects addi­tional infor­ma­tion to be avail­able on Wednesday.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Study: 'Targeted' Biopsy May Help Detect High-Risk Prostate Cancer Early

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers at the National Insti­tutes of Health have found a new method that may help detect high-risk prostate can­cer early.

Accord­ing to a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion, researchers looked at 1,000 men with either ele­vated test results or sus­pi­cious results from rec­tal exam­i­na­tions with an MRI to iden­tify sus­pi­cious areas of prostate can­cer. The patients were then biop­sied twice, includ­ing once with a stan­dard biopsy method and once with a new “tar­geted” method.

The results of the study deter­mined that the “tar­geted” method may be bet­ter for dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing between low-, inter­me­di­ate– and high-risk cancers.

The pro­ce­dure for the “tar­geted” biopsy is the same as the stan­dard biopsy, researchers say, mak­ing pro­ce­dural risks more tol­er­a­ble. Nonethe­less, the study did not fol­low the par­tic­i­pants for an extended period of time, mak­ing it impos­si­ble to deter­mine the pre­dictabil­ity of “tar­geted” biop­sies for long-term out­comes, such as recur­rence and mortality.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Sugary Drinks Could Be Linked to Earlier Onset of Menstruation

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers at Har­vard Med­ical School say that sug­ary drinks may be linked to the ear­lier onset of menstruation.

Accord­ing to a study pub­lished in the jour­nal Human Repro­duc­tion, researchers sur­veyed girls between the ages of 9 and 14 who had not yet begun to have their peri­ods, to cal­cu­late the amount of sug­ary drinks they con­sumed. They found that girls who drank more than 1.5 sug­ary drinks each day had their first peri­ods about 2.7 months ear­lier, on aver­age, than those girls who drank two or fewer sug­ary drinks each week.

Researchers say the results of the study held up even when account­ing for other fac­tors, such as eth­nic­ity and BMI, which are believed to affect the onset of menstruation.

Ear­lier onset of men­stru­a­tion has been linked to health risks includ­ing an increased life­time risk of breast cancer.

The study shows only a link, not a cause, between con­sump­tion of sug­ary drinks and early men­stru­a­tion. Researchers note that girls who drank more sug­ary drinks may also have other dietary habits con­tribut­ing to the results of the study.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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