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Health in the News

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Welcome to the Go Ask Alice! Health in the News section!  We hope you will stay awhile.

To help you stay connected to the latest research findings and breakthroughs in the field of health, the health promotion specialists at Alice! will be posting relevant and timely news stories to this section.  Browse the page to stay current on health developments or click the links to find out more.  Alice! will be sure to keep you posted! Please come back often.

Date: April 21, 2015 — Updated Mammogram Recommendations

In 2009, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force has recommended against routine screenings for women age 40 to 49 who are at average risk. Latest studies show that breast cancer screening in younger women “should be an individual one” and based on personal values, preferences, and health history. Routine mammography screening, every two years, is most beneficial for women ages 50 to 74. The Task Force states that most women in their 40s will not benefit from mammographies.

Date: April 21, 2015 — Bird Flu Spreads to Chicken Farms

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported the deadly H5N2 bird flu virus was found at a farm in northwest Iowa’s Osceola County. Up to 5.3 million hens must be destroyed in the state that produces one in every five eggs consumed nationwide. Seven other Midwestern states have reported bird flu virus causing the death of over 7.8 million turkeys and chickens since mid-March.

Date: April 20, 2015 — Potential New Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis Available

A currently available antifungal (miconazole) and steroid (clobetasol) may be used as a new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers have discovered that these drugs may activate stem cells in the brain to stimulate myelin producing cells and repair white matter. The breakdown of myelin leads to the symptoms commonly associated with MS including muscle weakness, numbness, and problems with vision, coordination, and balance. Current treatments for MS include anti-inflammatory drugs which prevent episodic relapses but are less effective at preventing long-term diability.

Date: April 18, 2015 — Measles Outbreak Over in California

The California measles outbreak has officially been declared as over by the California Department of Public Health on Friday, April 17, 2015. This outbreak has caused a total of 131 diagnoses with measles which was linked to two Disney parks in December 2014, caused more than 70 percent of measles cases nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 80 percent of the cases occurred among those who were either unvaccinated and/or unknown vaccination status.

Date: April 14, 2015 — New Experimental Drug for Multiple Sclerosis

An experimental drug for Multiple Sclerosis has shown to repair nerve damage in the brain in early trials. The drug, known as anti-LINGO-1 is in the second out of third approval phase for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and results are to be released on April 22, 2015 at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.

Date: March 27, 2015 — HIV Epidemic in Indiana Declared a Public Health Emergency

Indiana Governor Mike Pence declared a public health emergency for the growing HIV epidemic in Scott County. Seventy-nine cases of HIV have been confirmed since mid-December. All cases of the HIV epidemic are linked to injection drug use (IDU) of prescription opioids. A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention recommends including a short-term needle exchange program and public awareness campaign focusing on safe sex, needle disposal, addiction services, and HIV testing and treatment.