Tag Archive | "disease control and prevention"

1 out of 4 High School Students Drink Soda Every Day

A recent study shows that only one out of four high school students drink soda every day. The study suggests that this ratio shows fewer teenagers are drinking that much sugary drink anymore. Also, the researchers discovered that many high school students actually drink milk, water, and fruit juices very often.

Nance Bener, the study’s lead author, said that they were extremely pleased with what they discovered. Bener is also a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brener, however, said that they still acknowledge the fact that a quarter of American teenagers are still drinking sweetened drinks every day.

The consumption of soda is considered as one of our biggest public health problems and has been directly linked to the increase in childhood obesity rate in the United States. A study including schoolchildren in Massachusetts show that for every additional soda one takes per day, the chances of becoming obese increases by 60%. To help ease the problem, many schools voluntarily stopped selling sweetened drinks in school cafeterias.

Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity of Yale University, Kelly Brownell, said that it really looks like the rate of high school students drinking sweetened drinks on a regular basis is going down. In 2010, the rate dropped from 29% from the previous year to 24%.

Brownell, however, said that the results of the current study are still a bit depressing. He pointed out that even though the rates have gone down; a quarter of all high school students is still a huge number.


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CDC Encourages Repeat Flu Shot for Everyone

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages everyone to get repeat flu shots for the coming flu seasons. However, vaccine makers suggest that some people may not necessarily need another flu vaccine this year.

Makers of flu vaccine say the shots this year will be the same as last year’s since identical strains of the virus are still going around the environment. Some experts say young and healthy people may still have adequate protection from the flu shot obtained last fall. Thus, they may skip getting it once more for this season.

However, health officials from the government say the protection offered by flu vaccines can significantly fade after some months, particularly in weak and elderly people. In fact, they are persuading everyone to get their repeat shots this year.

Vaccine makers announced that there will be plenty of flu shots coming in 2011. They said there will be enough for more than 50 percent of the population. Five manufacturers announced a couple of weeks ago that they are planning to make 166 to 173 million flu doses this year.

In the United States, the demand for flu shots has been increasing as well. Over 40 percent of the U.S. population received flu vaccines in the past 10 months, leading to a successive year when vaccinations were at a very high level.

While it is not clear whether repeat shot is needed or not, other experts believe that the position of CDC is the best possible course. Dr. Arnold Monto, a flu expert from University of Michigan, said that getting another flu vaccine is definitely not going to harm everybody.

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CDC Says Cancer Survivors Are Increasing

Cancer survivors in United States are growing by number each year, health officials informed on Thursday. At the moment, about one out of 20 adults is afflicted with the disease.

Officials explained why more individuals are surviving cancer, and that is partly because of earlier detection and enhanced treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about 11.7 million residents in United States have history of cancer in 2007. Forty years ago, there were only around 3 million individuals who survived cancer. However, that has grown to 10 million survivors in 2001 and to 11.4 million survivors in 2006.

Health officials said eating healthy foods, decreased smoking and other steps to prevent the disease may have also played a part in the increase.

Also, demographics are a factor that could affect the increase of survivors. Cancer is an illness that is usually common in older people from 65 years old. According to the CDC, 7 million or about 60 percent of the total survivors were aged 65 years and older.

Most of the cancer survivors came from women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. They made up about 22 percent of the survivors. Meanwhile, 19 percent were made up by men who survived prostate cancer.

The estimated number of people who survived cancer came from the National Cancer Institute, as well as CDC. They based their information from nine cancer patient registries located in United States.

Anyone who was diagnosed with cancer, successfully treated, or still getting treated are included in the survivor count. Those people who might be dying from the disease are also included.

Based on the acquired information, there were about 65 percent who had survived cancer for at least five years while about 40 percent had survived it for 10 years or more.

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Legionella Bacteria Identified at Playboy Mansion

Public health officials said on Tuesday that they have identified Legionella bacteria in a source of water at the famed Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.

The health officers discovered the bacteria in its investigation into the cause of a respiratory infection that had affected several people after a social event was held in the area earlier last month.

However, the LA County Department of Public Health said it was still uncertain if the bacteria had caused the outbreak of infection.

Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the director of the department, said in a written statement that they are still considering numerous possible causes of the illness.

The department of health said that around 200 people have reported being sick with chills, coughs, general malaise and fever since the last day of the DOMAINfest conference, which was culminated with a fundraiser.

To investigate the suspected outbreak, Public Health is working with other county health departments such as California Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A spokesperson for the department refused to give additional comments, yet it was not clear if any of the people who attended the event were admitted in the hospital.

According to a statement posted by the event organizers on their website, DOMAINfest had been helping with the health officers in the investigation.

However, Playboy Enterprises representatives had no immediate response on the discovery of the bacteria at the manor. But, a spokeswoman said that Playboy is also cooperating with the investigation.

Legionella bacteria can cause a severe infection called Legionnaires’ disease or a milder kind called Pontiac Fever. Around 8,000 to 18,000 people have been hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease each year in United States.

Although 30 percent of the Legionnaires’ disease cases can lead to death, most healthy people often recover with the help of antibiotic treatment.

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Measles Exposure Tracked at Four Major U.S. Airports

Health officials announced on Monday that they are launching a cross-country alert for travellers who may have been exposed to measles after a contagious passenger passed through four major airports in the United States.

A confirmed case involves a 27-year-old woman, who did not receive immunization against the contagious disease, from New Mexico. Officials said she came from Europe, but was at airports in Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico and Virginia from Feb. 20 to Feb. 22.

Other measles cases have not yet emerged. However, health officials from all four states said it is still early since the incubation period of measles takes 10 to 14 days after exposure to the extremely contagious virus.

Measles is an airborne virus. It can spread from one person to another. It can also remain in the air up to two hours from the time an infected person coughed or sneezed.

Initially, the viral disease resembles a cough, but rashes will soon develop on the face and spread all over the person’s body. People infected with measles are highly infectious for days before and after the rashes appear.

State authorities are trying to get in touch with the passengers who were potentially exposed to the measles case with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jeff Dimon, CDC spokesman said they are calling to ask if the passengers have already been immunized.

Dimon said they are trying to contact hundreds of passengers, which includes passengers seated in the first five rows nearest the confirmed case in one particular flight, and nearly every single traveler on the Southwest flights since they do not allocate seating.

Measles have been the leading cause of child mortality in emerging countries. However, it is rarely seen in United States where vaccination is compulsory for all children attending school.

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CDC Says 105 Million Americans Have Diabetes or Prediabetes

Almost 26 million Americans of all ages now have diabetes and 79 million people have what doctors call “prediabetes.” This is according to 2011 estimates released by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.

Prediabetes affects 35 percent of the adult population. According to CDC, it is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but it is not high enough to be considered as diabetes. Prediabetes increases a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The large majority of diabetes cases are type 2. This occurs when the cells in the body gradually lose sensitivity to insulin.

Experts believe that weight gain is one major reason why type-2 diabetes is continually rising among Americans. Dr. Christine Resta, an expert on diabetes said that the increasing rates of obesity are linked to the increasing rates of diabetes.

But, another expert said that changes in the way doctors diagnose the illness may have also played a role in the increasing cases of diabetes. This is because American Diabetes Association lowered the guidelines for diabetes diagnosis, said Dr. Jacob Warman, the chief of endocrinology at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City.

The CDC agreed in their report that the shift to hemoglobin A1c testing could help explain for at least some of the increasing numbers. The test measures the sugar levels of a person for a period of two to three months.

The CDC’s National Diabetes Fact Sheet for 2011 also noted that about 27 percent of diabetic Americans, or about 7 million people, still do not know that they have the diseases.

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Chickenpox Hospitalization Declined Since Vaccination

Since the United States started the routine of vaccinating citizens against chicken pox in 1995, the number of Americans hospitalized each year because of the infection has decreased by more than two-thirds according to a government researchers report on Monday.

Studies revealed that after giving vaccinations to produce immunity against the Varicella virus that causes the illness, the annual rates of chickenpox infections in the country dropped by 80 percent to 90 percent by the succeeding decade.

A new study done by the researchers of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tried to look at how the rates of chickenpox-related hospitalizations have been modified.

Most chickenpox cases may pose mild symptoms such as itchy blisters and fever. However, there are some people that develop potentially life-threatening complications such as dehydration, pneumonia and inflammation of the brain, which is also known as encephalitis.

The researchers found out that there were one in 100,000 Americans that had chickenpox complications during the year 2000 and 2006 in comparison to the yearly rate of 4 out of 100,000 people between 1988 and 1995, the period before chickenpox vaccinations were introduced.

As a whole, chickenpox hospitalizations fell by 71 percent during the study period. The CDC researchers suppose that vaccinations against chickenpox prevented an estimated number of 50,000 hospitalizations in the year 2000 until 2006.

These results further support the great decline in severe cases of chickenpox disease, the lead researcher Adriana S. Lopez explained. She also reminded the parents that it is still important to have their children vaccinated against the disease.

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