With the presence of autochthonous, or locally transmitted Zika virus infection in nine countries in South and Central America and Mexico in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued travel notices for people traveling to the following countries: Mexico, ZikaEl Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Brazil. Columbia, Suriname and Venezuela today.  Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people.

CDC recommends that travelers to these countries protect themselves from mosquito bites. The Ministry of Health of Brazil is concerned about a possible association between the Zika virus outbreak and increasedZika 1.png numbers of babies born with birth defects. For this reason, pregnant women should take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent Zika virus infection. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites by covering exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants; use an insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as directed such as products containing DEET, Picaridin and Oil of lemon eucalyptus and staying and sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.

Source: Outbreak News Today

The Center offers  travel vaccinations and advice.

Ovarian tumors are often deadly as they are caught too late.

A 14-year study on 200,000 women, published in the Lancet, has been welcomed as a potentially landmark moment in cancer screening.

But the researchers and independent experts say it is still too soon to call for mass screening because of concerns about the analysis.Ovary 2

Ovarian cancer is difficult to pick up as symptoms, including abdominal pain, persistent bloating and difficulty eating, are common in other conditions.

The UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening is one of the biggest clinical trials ever conducted and is supposed to give the definitive verdict on screening.

It monitored levels of a chemical called CA125 in women’s blood.

Doctors tracked changes in the levels of CA125, which is produced by ovarian tissue, over time and if levels became elevated then the women were sent for further tests and ultimately surgery.

The results are now in, but the interpretation is a bit messy and the Ovary 1.pngresearchers admit it is “controversial”.

Their initial statistical analysis of the data showed no benefit to screening. But there was a benefit when they removed the data from any women who may have already started to develop ovarian tumors.

The researchers then performed a more forgiving statistical analysis, which also showed a benefit.

Source: BBC

chikon 3.pngRegions in the Americas and Caribbean reported 17,398 recent cases of chikungunya, bringing the outbreak total to 1,788,058, according to a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) update late last week.

The agency’s previous two updates included 4,370 and 2,556 new cases, respectively, but last week’s update, on Dec 4, included 2 weeks of data. The new infections bring the total this year to 641,289 suspected and confirmed cases. PAHO also reported 1 death, raising that total to 77. chikon 1.jpg

Honduras, reporting on 12 weeks of data, had the most cases, 10,168, to raise its 2015 total to 82,008. Colombia, which often has the most cases, was next, with 3,450 new cases to bring its 2015 total to 354,298 cases. Brazil, reporting 6 weeks of data, had 2,506 new cases and 15,650 for the year. Many countries, however, have not reported on chikungunya for weeks.

The epidemic began in December 2013 with the first locally acquired chikungunya case ever reported in the Americas, on St. Martin in the Caribbean.

Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy

The U.S. infant mortality rate declined 2.3% from 2013 to 2014, reaching a record low of 582.1 per 100,000 live births, according to data released on Wednesday by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. At the same time, deaths from Alzheimer disease rose 8.1%, to 25.4 per 100,000 population.  As in 2013, Alzheimer’s was the sixth leading cause of death in 2014.Since 2012, life expectancy at birth has held steady at 78.8 years — the highest it’s ever been. Infant 1

Life expectancy at birth represents the average number of years that a group of infants would live if the group was to experience, throughout life, the age- specific death rates present in the year of birth. In 2014, life expectancy at birth was 78.8 years for the total U.S. population – 81.2 years for females and 76.4 years for males, the same as in 2013. LifeInfant 2 expectancy for females was consistently higher than life expectancy for males. In 2014, the difference in life expectancy between females and males was 4.8 years, the same as in 2013.

Life expectancy at age 65 for the total population was 19.3 years, the same as in 2013. Life expectancy at age 65 was 20.5 years for females, unchanged from 2013, and 18.0 years for males, a 0.1-year increase from 2013. The difference in life expectancy at age 65 between females and males decreased 0.1 year, to 2.5 years in 2014 from 2.6 years in 2013.

Source: CDC

A new review—the largest and most comprehensive of its kind—reports that daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is associated with a 35% increased risk of heart attack or fatal heart disease.Soda 1

The report also examines the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and stroke associated with SSB consumption, and the role of fructose in the development of these conditions and obesity.

In order to explore effects of added sugars, researchers conducted a review of data from recent epidemiological studies and meta-analyses.

They found that consumption of 1-2 SSBs per day was linked to a 26% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a 35% increased risk of heart attack or fatal heart disease, and a 16% increased risk of stroke.

After examining the role of fructose in weight gain and the development of metabolic conditions, researchers explained that “part of the problem is how fructose behaves in the body.” Unlike glucose, which is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, fructose is metabolized in the liver and converted into triglycerides, which can lead to fatty liver disease and insulin resistance.Soda 2

“Since we rarely consume fructose in isolation, the major source of fructose in the diet comes from fructose-containing sugars, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, in sugar-sweetened beverages,” they wrote.

“Although reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or added sugar alone is unlikely to solve the obesity epidemic entirely, limiting intake is one simple change that will have a measurable impact on weight control and prevention of cardio-metabolic diseases,” they concluded. 

Source: Consultant 360 


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