Zika “Spreading Explosively” Through Americas, but Reach into U.S. “Will Likely Be Limited”
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said on Thursday that the Zika virus is “spreading explosively” through the Americas, affecting 23 countries and territories. “The level of alarm is extremely high,” Chan said.
However, in the continental U.S., Zika outbreaks “will likely be limited,” said Anne Schuchat, CDC Principal Deputy Director. Local transmission will likely occur in the southeast, particularly along Florida’s Gulf Coast, based on experience with dengue and chikungunya viruses, which are also spread through the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
From 2015 to present, the U.S. has seen 31 travel-related cases of Zika in 11 states and the District of Columbia but no domestic transmissions.
Officials are still investigating whether Zika causes microcephaly in newborns, but the link is “strongly suspected,” according to the WHO.
Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said that phase I trials of a possible Zika vaccine may begin before the end of the year. He cautioned that a vaccine wouldn’t be widely available for several years.
Women With Chronic Sleep Problems Have An Increased Risk For Type two Diabetes
A study was published in Diabetologia found that in a 133,252-woman study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, reveals that “after adjusting for diabetes risk factors, having any sleep difficulty was associated with a 22% to 45% increase in risk, and women in the study with sleep apnea, frequent snoring, sleep difficulty, and short sleep duration (<6 hours) had a fourfold greater risk for type 2 diabetes than women who reported no sleep problems.”
Teen e-cigarette users more likely to subsequently smoke
A study led by Thomas Wills, a cancer-prevention expert at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, concluded that “teens who said they had used…vaping devices were far more likely than their peers to try regular cigarettes over the next year.” The study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, showed that “among nonsmoking students who had vaped when they took an initial survey, 20% said they had smoked their first regular cigarette by the time they took the survey again one year later.” Meanwhile, “among nonsmokers who hadn’t used e-cigarettes when they took the first survey, 6% had tried regular cigarettes a year later.”
Study finds insignificant differences in various Nicotine Replacement Therpay quit rates!
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that smoking cessation rates for various nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) “did not differ significantly at either six months or a year.” The study found that “the nicotine patch, the drug Chantix [varenicline], or a combination of the patch and lozenges all appear to work equally well,” with six month quit rates of 23%, 24%, and 27%, respectively, which declined to 21%, 19%, and 20% after one year.
Second Case of MERS in Thailand
Health officials in Thailand on Sunday confirmed the country’s second case Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS.
The patient was a 71-year-old Omani national.
Ministry officials said they have quarantined, and are monitoring, 37 people who had close contact with the man, including family members who traveled with him, as well as a taxi driver, passengers who sat near him, flight attendants and hospital personnel.
MERS belongs to the same family of viruses as the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and kills more than one-third of the people it infects, largely through respiratory infections. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. No vaccine exists.
Last year, South Korea struggled with an outbreak that killed 36 people.
What should I do to protect myself from flu this season?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, if possible by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating in the community, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. It is NOT LATE TO BE VACCINATED FOR FLU NOW AT THE END OF JANUARY
LUNG CANCER SCREENING: WHERE ARE WE TWO YEARS LATER?
In December 2013 USPSTF released a very important step towards fighting lung cancer however the hurdles by CMS and private insurance agencies are still in the way of fighting this big monster!
Please ask your doctor if you are a candidate for lung cancer screening. Our staff are ready to answer any questions you might have.
||The USPSTF recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.