CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The nation seems to be kicking its smoking habit faster than ever before.

The rate of smoking among adults in the U.S. fell to 15 percent last year thanks to the biggest one-year decline in more than 20 years, according to a new government report.

Too many preschoolers with ADHD still are being put on drugs right away, before behavior therapy is tried, health officials say.

Officials: Zika-Infected Couples Should Postpone Pregnancy

Mar 28, 2016
Associated Press

Federal health officials on Friday issued first-time guidance for couples planning a pregnancy if either partner may have been exposed to Zika, the tropical disease linked to birth defects.

CDC Guidelines Aim To Curb Painkiller Prescribing

Mar 16, 2016
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Prescription painkillers should not be a first choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin.

CDC: Zika Infections Confirmed In 9 Pregnant Women In US

Feb 29, 2016
James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Zika infections have been confirmed in nine pregnant women in the United States, including one who gave birth to a baby with a rare birth defect, health officials said Friday.

CDC Sends Zika Test Kits To Florida

Feb 10, 2016
Lottie Watts / WUSF

Federal health officials have sent the state of Florida an additional 950 kits to test for viral antibodies in people who have shown Zika symptoms after traveling to affected countries.

Gov. Rick Scott’s office released a statement Tuesday saying none of the 16 Zika cases confirmed in Florida were contracted in the state, and none involve pregnant women.

There's growing concern about the risks of concussions in young athletes. For years, high school coaches have had to take courses on the dangers of head injuries. This year, for the first time, all high school athletes in Florida are required to educate themselves about concussions before they can compete.

Flu.gov

Some new evidence this is a particularly bad flu season: Flu-related hospitalizations of the elderly are the highest since the government started tracking that statistic nine years ago.

  CDC officials released the new flu season numbers on Friday.About 198 out of every 100,000 people 65 and older have been hospitalized with flu-related illness this flu season. That's roughly 86,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preven­tion.

The Associated Press

In the midst of a worrisome flu season, health officials are pushing doctors to prescribe antiviral medicines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday sent a new alert to doctors, advising prompt use of Tamiflu and other antivirals for hospitalized flu patients and those at higher risk for complications like pneumonia.CDC research suggests doctors prescribe antivirals to one in five high-risk flu patients. CDC officials say the number should be higher.

The flu vaccine may not be very effective this winter, according to U.S. health officials, who worry this may lead to more serious illnesses and deaths.

Flu season has begun to ramp up, and officials say the vaccine does not protect well against the dominant strain seen most commonly so far this year. That strain tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations, especially in the elderly.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Health experts say changing your eating habits is one way to avoid becoming overweight or obese.

But anyone who has tried a new diet knows it can be really tough -- even when you're facing serious health consequences. So some people are trying out free cooking classes with a professional chef to help make better choices about what they eat.

Associated Press

Gov. Rick Scott defended his decision to monitor anyone coming from Ebola-affected countries, saying Monday it's "the right thing to do" to protect Floridians. 

Appearing beside New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a campaign event in Wellington, Scott said his executive order would ensure that the state wards off an outbreak and goes beyond actions by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I want to make sure that ... we don't do what CDC did — they got behind," he said. "We're not going to get behind. We're going to be prepared."

Most Americans have some confidence that the U.S. health care system will prevent Ebola from spreading in this country, but they're not so sure their local hospital can safely handle a patient, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

Amid worry here, most Americans say the U.S. also should be doing more to stop Ebola in West Africa. Health authorities have been clear: Until that epidemic ends, travelers could unknowingly carry the virus anywhere.

Orlando Woman Shares Anti-Smoking Message (VIDEO)

Sep 24, 2014

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a new ally in its graphic anti-smoking campaign.

Even though the CDC's “Tips from Former Smokers” ads are aimed at adults, Felicita Soto of Orlando says she hopes kids will get the message.  She started smoking when she was in the sixth grade. 

Mary Shedden/WUSF

Florida lags behind the rest of the country in vaccinating children for the human papillomavirus. 

Part of the problem started eight years ago, when the HPV vaccine was introduced as a way to prevent a sexually transmitted infection that researchers knew was a major cause of cervical cancer and other disease.

But the shots are recommended for 11- and 12-year-old children. And talking about a vaccine tied to sexual activity made some parents and pediatricians squirm.

Wikimedia Commons

Health officials say a mosquito-borne illness that had afflicted Floridians who traveled to the Caribbean has now been transmitted within the state.

The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported the first locally acquired cases of Chikungunya. A 41-year-old woman in Miami-Dade County and a 50-year-old man in Palm Beach County are out of the hospital and recovering from the illness, which is serious but rarely fatal.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports prescription pill related deaths in Florida fell sharply in the past few years.

State officials have said it’s a sign laws aimed at cracking down on “pill mills” in the Sunshine State are working. But, addiction specialists say the crackdown has had some unintended consequences. 

CDC

Lethal forms of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have struck hundreds of patients in a dozen health-care facilities in Florida since 2008,  but state health officials have not required them to share their information and have not alerted the public, the Palm Beach Post reports.

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.

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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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.  

So Are 2 Drinks A Day Really Too Many?

Jan 8, 2014

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:

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.

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.” 

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.

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.

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. 

PolitiFact.com

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. 

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. 

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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