Secondhand Drinking in America Harms One in Every Five Adults

Secondhand Drinking in America Harms One in Every Five Adults

A new study highlights the negative effect that alcohol consumption can have on other people. A recent study states that one among every five people in America is hurt by other people’s drinking. A new study sheds light on how easily these harms are overlooked. The study was published on Monday in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs. The research analyzed data that it received from two national level surveys.

More than 8,000 adults participated in the surveys conducted in 2015. The information revealed that at least one-fifth of the volunteers were in some way harmed from someone else’s drinking. Of these, 23% of men and 21% of women affirmed that they have been in such situations in the last year. However, the kind of harms that the two genders received was varying. While men were more susceptible to be harmed by unknown people, women were prone to be harmed by the people that they already know or are related to.

The study also noticed the impact that second-hand drinking had on young people. Even people who themselves drank heavily were increasingly found to have been harmed by other such people. This effect increases dramatically if the person is a woman. They might be open to threats such as sexual harassment or physical assault by other drinkers.

Karriker-Jaffe, an expert in this area and a lead researcher in the study said,”In addition to strong alcohol policies that would improve public health, we should continue to screen people for heavy drinking when they are receiving healthcare, and we also should consider adding screening for social risk factors, like living with a problem drinker, to make sure people get the help they need both for their own drinking and to provide support or protect them from heavy-drinking loved ones, if necessary.”

Infection Caused by a Flesh-Eating Bacterium Claims One Life in Florida

Infection Caused by a Flesh-Eating Bacterium Claims One Life in Florida

A woman named Carolyn “Lynn” Fleming succumbed to an infection she contacted at Anna Maria Island, Florida. The flesh-eating bacteria that caused her death is known as necrotizing fasciitis. The death occurred after two weeks of her first contact with the bacteria.

Fleming and her family were originally from Pittsburgh. She had recently moved to Ellenton, Florida. Her son, Wade Fleming, and his family went to meet Fleming to spend a vacation together. They had been on a short trip to Coquina Beach on June 14. While walking along the coast, she tripped over and injured herself. She sustained a cut on her left leg which was smaller than an inch. She was given first aid by a lifeguard present at the coast. The injury was not taken very seriously initially as it didn’t show any serious symptoms.

The first symptoms started to show within the first week. Fleming faced pain and the condition of her wound worsened. After a few days of her visit, Fleming’s leg had swollen and reddened. She was taken to a healthcare facility where she was injected with a shot of tetanus. She was discharged with a prescription for an antibiotic. While on a visit to her home to deliver the prescription, her friend found her lying unconscious in her home. The area around her injury had turned black in color. She was rushed into hospital where she was diagnosed with the flesh-eating bacteria. Her condition worsened over the next few days following strokes and kidney failure. She ultimately died while living on life support.

Open wounds when exposed to such contaminated water bodies easily get affected by the bacteria. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that between 700 to 1,200 cases of such infections are reported every year in the US. People who have a weak immune system are more susceptible to health risks caused by the bacteria.

Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Traced Back to Backyard Poultry

Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Traced Back to Backyard Poultry

A multistate salmonella outbreak is affecting the United States region in the past month and CDC has realized the origin. This outbreak has been linked to backyard poultry. According to the analysis report from the Center for Disease Control, contact with backyard poultry could be a reason for the salmonella outbreak. One thing to be noted is that poultry containing the salmonella bacteria would look as healthy as a normal chick.

CDC has warned that people should be cautious when they come to contact with backyard poultry including chicks, dumplings and others. Spread across 41 states in the US, a total of 279 salmonella cases were added to the record as of June 13. It should be noted that more than 30% of the infected people were under the age of 5 and had potential contact with backyard poultry. This was CDC’s main reason to conclude so.

Of course, the Center for Disease Control has released a few guidelines on how to deal with the outbreak. In the first place, whenever someone has close contact with poultry, they should wash hands using soap and water. Adults should be supervising the handwashing process since a noticeable amount of infections seem to be targeting kids.

In general, close contact with backyard poultry should be avoided, at least until the issue is sorted out. For instance, kissing the poultry is something to stay away from. People should also pay attention to major symptoms of salmonella to understand how they can distinguish the disease and get medical attention at the right time.

It should be noted that the salmonella infection can become really serious and even cause death if not given the required medical attention and treatment. CDC document also added that people under the age of five and above the age of 65 are more likely to acquire this infection.

CDC Warns Against Fecal Parasites that Can Live in Swimming Pools

CDC Warns Against Fecal Parasites that Can Live in Swimming Pools

A parasite that can cause diarrhea is being transmitted through contaminated swimming pools. The disease-causing parasite is known as cryptosporidiosis. It normally lives in the gut of its hosts. The individuals affected by the parasite can have watery bowel movements for long periods. The illness has been recorded to last as long as 3 weeks in some cases.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that “The number of treated recreational water-associated outbreaks caused by cryptosporidium drives the summer seasonal peak in both waterborne cryptosporidiosis outbreaks and cryptosporidiosis outbreaks, overall.” The number of this parasite is growing rapidly. The citizens of the United States have been asked by health officials to be careful about the transmission of the parasite.

According to the CDC, a total of 7,465 recorded cases of illness have been found between 2009 and 2017 in 40 states of the US and Puerto Rico. There has been over 444 such outbreaks, leaving 287 people hospitalized and causing one death. This solitary death was caused by the patient contacting the parasite in a hospital. There has been a 12.8% increase in the number of recorded cases within this period.

The statistics released by the CDC suggest that an increasing number of adults and children contracted the illness through contaminated swimming pools and lakes. The parasites can enter the human bodies through the swallowing of this water. The parasites can at the same time be excreted in large numbers from an infected individual in the water bodies. The parasite can easily tolerate chlorinated water in the pools. They can survive for about a week in such stagnant water bodies, says CDC. A number of preventive measures against the spread of the disease have been suggested by the CDC.

The Trial of Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Set for Next Year

The Trial of Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Set for Next Year

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes will face the trial next year. The San José federal court on Friday’s hearing ruled that the trial case will be commenced on August 4, 2020. The Jury selection for the trial is set for July 28 according to CNBC report.

Elizabeth Holmes along with biotech company’s former Chief Operating Officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were indicted by a grand jury in June last year. Two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud are filed against Holmes and Balwani. If found guilty, both of them will have to face penalties including imprisonment up to 20 years and fine of $250,000 plus restitution, for each count of wire fraud and for each conspiracy count.

The silicon valley based startup company claimed that by a pinprick of blood from the finger it can produce reliable and accurate results which surpass the conventional methods. The biotech company fell under scrutiny in October 2015 after the investigative stories of John Carreyrou regarding the efficiency of Theranos published in The Wall Street Journal.

On March 2018, Securities and Exchange Commission charged Holmes, Theranos and Balwani under civil fraud charges. While Balwani still fights the charge, Holmes settled with the SEC by agreeing to pay $500,000 in fines and penalties. She was also barred from being a director or officer of a publicly traded company for a decade.

Both Holmes and Balwani are charged with felony conspiracy and fraud for allegedly misleading the investors, patients and doctors about their blood checking technology. The indictment says that the defendants used advertisements and solicitation to induce doctors and patients to use their blood testing laboratory services. The legal team of defendants, as per Bloomberg report, is planning to sue The Wall Street Journal reporter who they argue has undue influence on the federal regulator and went beyond reporting the Theranos story.

Study Finds that HPV Vaccination Prevents Cervical Cancer

Study Finds that HPV Vaccination Prevents Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is preventable through HPV vaccination. The recent study reveals that HPV vaccine can prevent cervical cancer what World Health Organization identifies as the fourth most common cancer in women. The study published in The Lancet found that the vaccination can reduce the rate of HPV infection and the presence of precancerous cells in the cervix in people. It can also reduce the rate of HPV related diseases in unvaccinated people since it leaves fewer HPV hosts according to the report of CNBC.

Researchers analyzed data from 14 high-income countries and looked at HPV rates, cases of genital warts and pre-cancerous cells in the cervix. The research finds that among all countries studied after five to eight years of vaccination, there was a significant decrease in the prevalence of two strains of HPV that cause 70 percentages of cervical cancers, HPV 16 and 18. The research also found a decrease in genital warts diagnoses among the vaccinated boys and older women. The research was funded by WHO along with the grants from Fonds de recherche du Quebec-Sante and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

According to WHO,  human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of cancers including cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancers as well as genital warts. HPV vaccine was first introduced in 2006. More than 115 countries have implemented in their vaccination programs. WHO recommends that girls of age 9 to 13 receive two doses of vaccination.

From the findings of the study, it has proved that WHO calls for action to eliminate cervical cancer may be possible in many countries if sufficient vaccination coverage is possible. Marc Brisson, a professor at Canada’s Laval University and one of the authors of the study said in an official statement. The authors note that the findings are not conclusive since the analysis is based on ecological studies. But the results suggest that HPV related diseases decreased in countries with higher vaccination rates.

Absence of Beneficial Bacteria from the Guts of Children May Lead to Food Allergy

Absence of Beneficial Bacteria from the Guts of Children May Lead to Food Allergy

Scientists have found a link between food allergy and there being a lack of beneficial bacteria in the intestines in a recent research. The scientists who worked on the research are from Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The research was published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Medicine.  A senior author working on the study, Talal Chatila, in the paper said, “The loss of these bacteria acts as a switch that makes children susceptible to food allergy.” She is the director of the Food Allergy Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Lab mice were being tested in the primary stage of the research. The research however also examined the human gut for signs of bacteria and their role in it. The research team examined samples of stools from 56 such children suffering from food allergy. The samples were tested against stools from the ones that didn’t have a food allergy. Lab mice were injected with fecal matter from these two sources. The ones that had the beneficial bacteria in their guts survived the subsequent tests involving allergens. However, the ones that didn’t have them, developed a fatal condition called anaphylaxis.

In subsequent tests, the mice were injected with six species of bacteria from the clostridial order. Clostridia have been known to provide resistance against food allergies by previous studies. The bacteria helped the mice in resisting signs of allergy. However, the ones that were given other strains of bacteria remained unprotected.

A weakened immune system is reportedly the reason children become prone to such allergies. An increased absence of beneficial bacteria from children’s guts is credited to an unbalanced way of living. An increase in insufficient breastfeeding, caesarian births, use of antibiotics, etc., have contributed in harming the good bacteria in the children’s guts.

The cases of the allergy have been rapidly growing among children in the United States. Not less than 32 million American children have been affected by food allergy in the last ten years. The number amounts to approximately 8% of the population of children in the country.

Certain Anticholinergic Drugs can Increase the Risk of Dementia in Old Adults by 50%

Certain Anticholinergic Drugs can Increase the Risk of Dementia in Old Adults by 50%

Old adults face a 50% increased chance of dementia due to some anticholinergic drugs, says a new study. The new study was published on Monday, in the peer-reviewed medical journal, JAMA Internal Medicine. The study was done by a group of researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

The lead author of the study and a professor of medical statistics in primary care at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, Carol Coupland said that “The study is important because it strengthens a growing body of evidence showing that strong anticholinergic drugs have long term associations with dementia risk.” Doctors can now be aware of the drugs that posses increased chances of causing dementia.

The anticholinergic drug works by blocking the action of acetylcholine. Antidepressants, bladder antimuscarinics, antipsychotics and antiepileptic drugs are a few of the drugs that are commonly prescribed by doctors and found with risk of causing dementia. These drugs are used in cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bladder conditions, certain allergies, stomach disorders and in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

The research was based on data collected from 284,343 adults aged 55 or more in the UK between the years 2004 and 2016. A total of 58,769 old adults were diagnosed with dementia. Not all anticholinergic drugs were linked with an increased risk of dementia. Antihistamines, skeletal muscle relaxants, gastrointestinal antispasmodics, antiarrhythmics, etc., were among the types of anticholinergic drugs that didn’t show significant effects.

The research is still at a preliminary level and the findings mentioned still need to go through various tests to be proven for sure. The researchers urged patients not to discontinue their prescribed drugs without referring to their doctors. The drug has been for long considered a possible risk of dementia among old adults. In the United States alone, 5.7 million people have Alzheimer dementia, says the study. More than 47 million people were diagnosed with cases of dementia all over the world.