Health News Florida
11:12 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Man Dies From Spider Bite

A 62-year-old Lakeland man bitten on the neck by a spider six months ago has died from complications, the Lakeland Ledger reports.

In August, Ronald Reese was performing construction work in an old house when he was bitten by a brown recluse spider, his father told the Ledger. Reese later collapsed, and over the course of six months, endured a series of hospitalizations and a great deal of pain, his father said.

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10:47 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Advice for Single Retirees: Buy Condoms

Steve Dorfman of the Palm Beach Post

Seniors looking for love need to remember they aren’t immune from sexually transmitted disease, Palm Beach Post columnist Steve Dorfman writes.


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Health News Florida
9:36 am
Fri February 14, 2014

City Wants to Keep E-Cigarettes from Kids

Miami’s city commission voted unanimously Thursday to ban e-cigarette sales to minors.  The measure, which would also prohibit vending machine sales of e-cigarettes, would become law in Miami in 30 days if the commission backs it during a second reading, the Miami Herald reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports e-cigarette use among high school and middle school students more than doubled in 2012, from 3.3 to 6.8 percent.  

4:37 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

So Are 2 Drinks A Day Really Too Many?

This looks like way more than one too many.
Chris Gramly iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 6:33 pm

A lot of us are drinking too much, and on Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called us on it.

More than eight drinks a week for women and 15 drinks a week for men can get you into trouble, the CDC warned.

But that doesn't seem to jibe with other studies that found that drinking alcohol makes for better heart health, several Shots commenters noted. Shana Cuddy wrote:

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Health News Florida
9:48 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Accidents 40% of ER Gun Injuries

Across the state, four out of 10 people who come to hospital emergency rooms with nonfatal gunshot wounds were shot by accident, according to the Orlando Sentinel (paywall alert). The rate is even higher in Orange County, with accidents accounting for more than half of firearm-related ER visits.

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Health News Florida
10:39 am
Tue December 10, 2013

FL Called Model on Teen Smoking

The teen smoking rate in Florida is at a record low, according to a new national report. As the Orlando Sentinel reports, the national rate is 15.8 percent; Florida’s is much lower at 8.6 percent. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says Florida’s anti-tobacco campaign is so effective they point to as a “model.” 

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Health News Florida
12:09 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

‘Major Outbreak’ Includes FL

A salmonella outbreak from undercooked chicken that has affected 18 states including Florida appears to have struck just at the worst time: when most epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control are on furlough.

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4:36 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

CDC: Deadliest Drug Resistance Comes From Hospitals, Not Farms

These pigs in Iowa, newly weaned from their mothers, get antibiotics in their water to ward off bacterial infection.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 5:29 pm

Here at The Salt, we've been following the controversies that surround antibiotic use on the farm. Farmers give these drugs to chickens, swine and beef cattle, either to keep the animals healthy or to make them grow faster. Critics say it's contributing to an epidemic of drug-resistant bacteria not just on the farm, but among people, too.

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HNF Stories
11:32 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Efforts to Reduce Childhood Obesity Working (VIDEO)

From Cover of 'A Community Call to Action to Address Childhood Obesity in Sulphur Springs.'
Tampa Metropolitan YMCA

For the first time in a long time, Florida's children aren't getting heavier.

The Centers for Disease Control credits the drop, at least in part, to First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign. 

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11:46 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Science, Stats Back Up Marijuana Claim


A TV ad from the Marijuana Policy Project that says marijuana is less toxic than alcohol is mostly true, according to PolitiFact. The Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics doesn’t have any records of deaths caused by marijuana, but attributes 41,682 deaths to alcohol in 2010. 

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HNF Stories
10:21 am
Mon August 26, 2013

MRSA Infections Common: CDC

Credit NIAID / Flickr

Two Tampa Bay Buccaneers football players are fighting MRSA infections, a type of staph infection that's resistant to some antibiotics. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, athletic facilities are especially risky for MRSA infections, given the close physical contact and the likelihood of cuts and scrapes during practices. 

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HNF Stories
6:03 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Florida Still Fat, Report Says

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:54 am

According to the latest "F as in Fat" report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Florida still has a serious obesity problem. 

Although the rate decreased slightly from 26.6 percent in 2011 to 25.2 percent in 2012, researchers say the lower numbers aren't statistically significant. They call the changes a "leveling off," not a decrease.

Across the country, every state except for Arkansas had a slightly lower adult obesity rate. Researchers caution there's still a long way to go, and note people who are obese are at risk for much worse health outcomes and higher health costs. 

"The numbers were essentially flat from last year," said Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health. "That's the first time  in the 10 years we've been doing this report, and in the many years the CDC has been following theses trends, that we've seen that kind of leveling off, so that's a very hopeful sign."

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Health News Florida
9:45 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Boy, 12, Infected with Deadly Amoeba

Credit CDC

A 12-year-old Southwest Florida boy is fighting for his life in Miami Children’s Hospital after playing in water that was contaminated with Naegleria fowleri, a rare and deadly organism that attacks the brain, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. According to the CDC, just one person has recovered from primary amebic meningoencephalitis out of the 128 who were infected in the U.S.

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10:17 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Marijuana Should Be Legal if Alcohol, Tobacco Are

While alcohol- and tobacco-related deaths have been documented, both substances remain legal, providing a source of tax revenue.  In his column in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Kingsley Guy writes that while marijuana may not be entirely benign, data indicate that it is no worse than alcohol and tobacco, and may be less harmful.  He goes on to argue the benefits of legalization.

Health News Florida
10:35 am
Wed August 7, 2013

FL Leads in Fighting Kids' Obesity

Lasandra Garcia-Valencia is enrolled in Florida KidCare.
Credit FL KidCare

A report released by the CDC Tuesday shows that the rates of childhood obesity are declining in 19 states and that Florida is one of the five states showing the best results, a full percentage point drop.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s study focused on low-income children, a group at high risk for obesity, according to the

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12:10 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

More Moms Are Breast-Feeding, But Many Babies Still Miss Out

More than three quarters of new babies get at least a start at breast-feeding, according to the CDC.

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:28 pm

Three quarters of new mothers gave breast-feeding a try in 2010, and mothers are sticking with breast-feeding longer, according to federal data.

Almost 50 percent of babies are still being breast-fed at least sometime at 6 months of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's up from 35 percent in 2000.

The number of babies breast-feeding at 12 months also rose, from 16 percent in 2000 to 27 percent in 2010. Go moms!

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Health News Florida
11:27 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Bagged Salad Suspected in Severe Stomach Bug

Credit Joe Buckingham

Hundreds of people, including 24 in Florida, contracted a severe stomach bug that health officials suspect may have been caused by a bagged salad mix, the Associated Press reports.  One of the Florida patients was hospitalized, the health department reports, but none have died. The CDC has confirmed 372 cases of of cyclospora infections in 15 states. 

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Health News Florida
10:57 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Low HPV Vaccination Rate Persists

Lakeland mom Lauren Johnson says she won't let her kids get the HPV vaccine.
Credit Michael Wilson / Lakeland Ledger

Even though the CDC says the HPV vaccination is even more effective than expected, many parents still aren’t getting their children vaccinated. Doctors say cost can be issue, since insurance doesn’t always cover the series of the three shots, the Lakeland Ledger reports. Other parents simply opt out of all vaccines for their children. Meanwhile, doctors insist the vaccine is safe, and is the key to preventing thousands of cases of cervical cancer. 

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2:56 am
Mon June 10, 2013

African-Americans Remain Hardest Hit By Medical Bills

Mike Jackson has diabetes and high blood pressure. His eye was damaged after he cut back on insulin because he couldn't afford it.
Bryan Terry for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 8:37 am

For many years, high medical bills have been a leading cause of financial distress and bankruptcy in America. That pressure may be easing ever so slightly, according to a survey released earlier this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But 1 in 5 Americans still face hardships due to medical costs — and African-Americans continue to be the hardest hit.

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HNF Stories
4:14 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Bacteria, Fungus Found in Vials

Main Street Pharmacy in Newbern, Tenn.
Credit Tennesseean

Microbial contamination has been verified in two batches of drugs from a Tennessee compounding pharmacy that were shipped into Florida and other states, federal health officials say.

The Food and Drug Administration reported Thursday that vials of injectable steroids from separate batches contained both bacterial and fungal contaminants. The drugs were a type of steroids, prepared for injections, and were subject to contamination because they were free of preservatives.

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Health News Florida
10:13 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Infant Dies of Whooping Cough

A six-week-old Orlando infant died of whooping cough last month, becoming the first such death in Orange County in over 20 years, The Orlando Sentinel reports.  


1:48 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Suicide Rate Climbs for Middle-Aged Americans

Adam Alvarado, Ashley Priest and Jimmy Garcia create a stone cross near the home of former NFL star Junior Seau's beach home in Oceanside, Calif. Seau killed himself with with a gun in May 2012.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 2:17 pm

It may be time to change the benchmark for discussion of public health problems in the U.S.

For quite a while, the annual number of fatalities from auto accidents has been a kind of shorthand for health issues that are big and important.

Starting in 2009, though, suicides surpassed deaths from crashes. In 2010, there were about 38,000 suicides compared with about 35,000 deaths from motor vehicle crashes.

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10:05 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Consensus Builds For Universal HIV Testing

Katherine Tapp, 26, tries a rapid HIV test offered at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington, D.C., in June 2012. It's part of an effort to get more people screened.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:02 pm

Everybody needs an HIV test, at least once.

That's the verdict from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which has just joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a scrum of professional medical societies in calling for universal testing for the virus that causes AIDS.

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Health News Florida
11:58 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Autism Defined by Those with the Diagnosis

Barcellona family.

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 11:58 am

Instead of going to the experts to define autism we asked people who had been diagnosed with neurological disorder to explain it.

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8:57 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Scientists Race to Stay Ahead of New Bird Flu Virus

Workers prepare an H7N9 virus detection kit at the Center for Disease Control in Beijing on April 3.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 9:01 am

A precious package arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday afternoon.

Inside, packed in dry ice to keep it frozen, was a vial containing millions of viruses derived from a 35-year-old Chinese housewife who died last Tuesday of respiratory and kidney failure.

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10:45 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Annals of the Obvious: Women Way More Tired than Men

DRB Images LLC

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 9:00 am

Feeling run down? Dog-tired?

Who isn't, right?

But who's more exhausted: men or women?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the answer, though it's one that you probably could have arrived at without a second's thought.

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10:38 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Antibiotics Overused, Especially in the South

Credit Getty Images

The CDC says antibiotics are being used way too much, especially in southern states, the Associated Press reports. The study found doctors are prescribing antibiotics at a rate high enough to give them to 4 out of 5 Americans every year. 


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3:08 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Number Of Early Childhood Vaccines Not Linked To Autism

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds no link between the number of vaccinations a young child receives and the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:33 pm

A large new government study should reassure parents who are afraid that kids are getting autism because they receive too many vaccines too early in life.

The study, by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, found no connection between the number of vaccines a child received and his or her risk of autism spectrum disorder. It also found that even though kids are getting more vaccines these days, those vaccines contain many fewer of the substances that provoke an immune response.

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5:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Survey: Parents Risk Babies' Health By Feeding Them Solid Food Too Early

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm



It's a big moment for any parent when your infant begins eating solid food. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that transition shouldn't happen until your baby is six months old. But a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 40 percent of mothers are giving their babies solid food far earlier, even before the four-month mark. To tell us why this matters and why it's happening, we're joined by Kelley Scanlon, one of the study's authors and an epidemiologist at the CDC. Kelley, welcome to the program.

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9:01 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Tuberculosis Cases In The U.S. Keep Sliding

About a third of the world's population is thought to be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but only a small fraction of people get the disease.

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 12:02 pm

The U.S. is slowly but steadily closing in on tuberculosis.

For the first time since the government started tracking the disease in the 1950s, the number of annual TB cases has dropped below 10,000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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