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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"In the past 3 months, how often did you feel very tired or exhausted? Would you say never, some days, most days, or every day?" the CDC asked. People who said they were tired or exhausted on most days or every day were categorized as often feeling very tired or exhausted. Those percentages and error bars are plotted by age.
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.
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.
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 these 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.
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.
A 20-year-old airman in Pensacola died two years ago of what doctors thought was food poisoning, so his organs were offered for donation. It turns out that he died of rabies, and now, so has one of those who received an organ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 4:34 pm
U.S. drivers are much more likely than Europeans to drive while distracted, federal health officials report Thursday.
Nearly 69 percent of Americans who drive say that they talked on their cell phones while driving at least once in the previous month, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That's a lot higher than what was reported by Europeans in another survey. Only 21 percent of British drivers reported chatting on their cell phones while behind the wheel, for example. In Germany and France it was about 40 percent.
In the wake of a CDC alarm about a drug-resistant bacteria called CRE, Florida nursing homes are gearing up to fight it. Since 2008, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports, health officials have investigated seven Florida outbreaks involving 285 people. CRE is believed responsible for a Broward outbreak responsible for 17 deaths.
The CDC is sounding alarm bells over the rise of a drug-resistant “superbug” in hospitals across the country; only six states require hospitals to report the infections, and Florida isn’t one of them, McClatchy Newspapers reports.
The Hallmark card from Gov. Rick Scott and his wife won’t just welcome a new baby -- it also has a tear-off growth chart and the CDC’s immunization schedule to remind parents to get their child vaccinated.
If you bring someone kicking and screaming into Florida, expect a nice note from Gov. Rick Scott and wife Ann. "Congratulations on the birth of your new baby!" says a greeting card signed by the Scotts. "As you grow together in family and community, we encourage you to build your baby's healthy imagination through reading and your baby's healthy life through immunizations."