Ebola Warning: CDC Issues Travel Advisory for West Africa

Ebola Warning CDC Issues Travel Advisory for West Africa

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upgraded its travel advisory for West Africa Thursday because of the raging Ebola outbreak, saying people should avoid nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

“This Level 3 travel warning is a reflection of the worsening Ebola outbreak in this region,” CDC said in a statement.

““This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history. Far too many lives have been lost already,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. “It will take many months, and it won’t be easy, but Ebola can be stopped. We know what needs to be done. CDC is surging our response, sending 50 additional disease control experts to the region in the next 30 days.”

Source: nbc news

50% of American adults have chronic diseases: Study

American adults have chronic diseases

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that half of all adults in the USA have at least one chronic condition, such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity.

The study published in the medical journal ‘The Lancet’ also shows that over a quarter of adults have two or more of these conditions.According to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the

majority of these chronic conditions are largely preventable through the reduction of risk factors that falls within individuals’ control such as – tobacco use, poor diet, and physical inactivity (both strongly associated with obesity), alcohol consumption, and uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Compared with other high-income countries, USA is less healthy in areas such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases.

The study also found that Medicare enrollees (the majority of whom are over 65) accounted for 300 billion dollars in healthcare spending. And over 90 percent of this healthcare expenditure was accounted for by people with two or more chronic conditions.

Source: zee news

Tips for tackling asthma during pregnancy

Expecting a child is the most exciting and happy phase in a woman’s life, but suffering from an asthma attack is the worst nightmare a pregnant lady can face.

As per National Asthma Education Group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asthma is one of the most common diseases that can complicate a pregnancy.

It is advisable for pregnant women to identify the early asthma symptoms as the disease’s effects on pregnant women are appalling, Parents India magazine reported.

If asthma becomes uncontrolled, it can bring about a risk for the mother’s as well as for the baby’s health. This situation can even lead to further complications like oxygen deprivation for the baby, morning sickness, vaginal bleeding, high blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy (preeclampsia), restricted fetal growth, complicated labor, need for a C-section, premature birth, low birth weight and in extreme cases, the baby’s life might be in jeopardy.

Since the fetus gets its oxygen from the mother’s blood, this condition leads to decreased oxygen in the fetal blood.

Swimming is known to be a particularly good exercise for women suffering from asthma. Using an inhaled bronchodilator ten minutes before you exercise may help you better tolerate your recommended exercise during pregnancy.

It is also advisable for the pregnant women who have asthma to get their condition monitored on a regular basis. A check-up once in three weeks is recommended by expert doctors worldwide.

Source: DNA India

First-Time Cesarean Rates Dipped in 2012: CDC

Efforts to curb cesarean birth rates in the United States might be working, with health officials reporting a 2 percent decline in the number of first-time surgical deliveries between 2009 and 2012.

Cesarean delivery rates in 19 states reporting to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention averaged 21.9 percent in 2012, the CDC said in a report released Thursday. This represented a return to the rate last recorded for those states in 2006.

Report co-author Michelle Osterman, a statistician at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, said the turnaround was significant. “The rates had been going up every year, but in 2009 they either stabilized or started to come down,” she said.

The real impact might be felt in the overall cesarean rate, Osterman said.

“Because primary cesareans are starting to decline, the overall cesarean rate will be impacted because there is only a 10 percent chance that a woman who has had a cesarean is going to have a vaginal birth afterward,” she said. The overall rate has stabilized at about 33 percent of all births in the United States, Osterman said.

One expert said the report indicates slight progress.

“At least the rate stopped going up,” said Dr. Mitchell Maiman, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City. “After decades of climbing, there seems to be a hold to it. But we could do a lot better.”

The risks to the mother and baby are much higher in a cesarean birth than in a vaginal birth, Maiman said.

“Once you have the first cesarean, you’re overwhelmingly likely to have repeat cesareans,” he said, noting the odds for complications and death rise dramatically with each additional C-section. “It’s also worse for the baby as multiple studies have proven.”

Risks to the mother include infection, excessive bleeding and blood clots traveling to the legs or lungs. Risks to the baby include injury during delivery, breathing problems and the potential need for intensive care.

“Vaginal delivery is the preferred method for having a baby,” Maiman said. “Cesarean should only be resorted to when it’s absolutely necessary.”

Maiman said the cesarean rate is so high because doctors fear malpractice lawsuits.

“The pressure is on physician practices because it takes so much time and energy to stay with a patient for hours for a vaginal delivery, compared to the quickness of a cesarean,” he said. “Most of the lawsuits are for the failure to do a cesarean in a timely fashion.”

In a separate reporting region, the researchers found that in 28 states and New York City, the first-time cesarean rate dropped from 22.1 percent in 2009 to 21.5 percent in 2012.

Source: news.nom

CDC issues warning about painful virus from mosquitoes

A virus that causes pain so severe that patients lie groaning in bed for days has come to the Western Hemisphere and travelers should take precautions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions.

Chikungunya virus has been confirmed in 10 people on the French side of St. Martin in the Caribbean, and it’s very likely to end up in the United States, CDC says. The virus is carried by the same mosquitoes that spread dengue virus — Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, more commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito. Both have been making inroads into the U.S.

“Microbes know no boundaries, and the appearance of chikungunya virus in the Western hemisphere represents another threat to health security,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement. “CDC experts have predicted and prepared for its arrival for several years and there are surveillance systems in place to help us track it.”

Chikungunya is not usually deadly, but it can cause a very bad headache, joint pain, rash and fever. Its name in the Makonde language, spoken in Tanzania and Mozambique in Africa, means “that which bends up,” because patients are often contorted with pain.

Chikungunya has been spreading out of Africa into the Indian Ocean region, Asia and Europe in recent years. So far, only 109 travelers have carried it into the U.S. and it hasn’t spread. But West Nile virus, also carried by mosquitoes, came to the U.S. in 1999 and is now established across North America.

A study last year predicted that it’s possible a single, infected person could start an outbreak of Chikungunya in New York once Asian tiger mosquitoes become more common in the city.

“CDC estimates that about 9 million U.S. residents travel to the Caribbean each year. Given that volume of travelers, chikungunya could occur more frequently in returning U.S. mainland travelers if the virus expands in the region,” the agency said in a statement.

“Infected travelers could then cause local transmission of the virus in the United States if mosquitoes bite infected people and then bite other people.”

Travelers to St. Martin should take extra care to protect themselves from mosquito bites, CDC says. They should use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and use air conditioning and screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

“Travelers returning from the Caribbean who experience fever and joint pains as well as other symptoms of chikungunya (e.g., headache, muscle pains, or rash) should seek medical care, and health care providers should be on the alert for possible cases,” CDC says. And any patients should take care not to get bitten by more mosquitoes—which could carry the virus to other people.

There’s no vaccine and no specific treatment for chikungunya.

Source: Nbc news

New guidance limits antibiotics for common infections in children

Every year, as many as 10 million American children are at risk for side effects from prescribed antibiotics that most likely won’t help them get over an upper respiratory infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Many of these upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses, which are not helped by antibiotics.

“Our medicine cabinet is empty of antibiotics to treat some infections,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. in a press release. “If doctors prescribe antibiotics carefully and patients take them as prescribed we can preserve these lifesaving drugs and avoid entering a post-antibiotic era.”

The overuse of antibiotics, a significant factor fueling antibiotic resistance, is the focus of a new report Principles of Judicious Antibiotic Prescribing for Bacterial Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Pediatrics by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in collaboration with the CDC.

The new report was released to coincide with Get Smart About Antibiotics Week which runs from November 18 – 24.

The AAP has outlined responsible antibiotic prescribing for three common upper respiratory tract infections in children:

• Ear infections
• Sinus infections
• Sore throats

“Many people have the misconception that since antibiotics are commonly used that they are harmless,” said co-author of the report Dr. Lauri Hicks in a press release. “Taking antibiotics when you have a virus can do more harm than good.”

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria evolve and are able to outsmart antibiotics, making even common infections difficult to treat.

Each year more than two million Americans get infections that are resistant to antibiotics and 23,000 die as a result, according to a CDC report from September 2013.

AMA recommendation for clinicians: 3 Principles of Responsible Antibiotic Use

1. Determine the likelihood of a bacterial infection: Antibiotics should not be used for viral diagnoses when a concurrent bacterial infection has been reasonably excluded.

2. Weigh benefits versus harms of antibiotics: Symptom reduction and prevention of complications and secondary cases should be weighed against the risk for side effects and resistance, as well as cost.

3. Implement accurate prescribing strategies: Select an appropriate antibiotic at the appropriate dose for the shortest duration required.

Source: health2fit