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Posted by On August 17, 2018

Florida urges vaccinations after 3 measles cases reported

Health officials are urging parents to make sure their children are vaccinated against measles after three cases of the disease were reported in a Florida county, among more than 100 cases throughout the U.S. this year.

Federal officials declared the contagious virus had been eliminated in the U.S. in 2000; however, infections periodically occur nationwide, as the virus is still common in many other parts of the world. Travelers can bring measles into the country, where it can spread among people who are not vaccinated.

The cases in Florida's Gulf coast county of Pinellas are the first there in 10 years.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles infections have been reported in over 100 people in 21 states and Washington, D.C., so far this year. Last year, 118 cases were reported nationwide, including an outbreak involving 65 patients in Minnesota. According to a CDC report, nearly all those cases lacked immunizations, and the incorrect perception that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine was linked to autism had contributed to the low level of vaccinations in the affected communities.

In the last month, health officials have issued warnings about measles exposure in Minnesota, Boston and Michigan after isolated cases linked to international travel were confirmed. Health officials are encouraging parents to get the recommended vaccinations for their children.

One of the Florida cases being investigated involved an unvaccinated child who was infected in the state, according to the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County. It was not known whether the child had an exemption to Florida's requirement for immunizations for all children attending school, Maggie Hall, spokeswoman for the Pinellas County health department, said Thursday.

Two other measles infections are being investigated i n a separate Pinellas County household. The ages of those patients were not available, Hall said. They were infected in Florida and live in the same home, and neither had been immunized.

The source of the infections has not been identified, according to the health department.

"We are continuing to investigate, but we would like families to know that their children could be exposed to diseases like measles anywhere and unless they're protected with vaccination they are risking potentially serious health effects for their child," Dr. Ulyee Choe, an infectious disease specialist and the county's health director, said in a statement Monday.

In July, measles infections were confirmed in two Florida residents and one visitor who were exposed to the virus while traveling in Brazil and France. Health officials said the residents had not been vaccinated and the visitor's vaccination status was unknown.

Measles is easily spread by air d roplets when infected people breathe, cough, or sneeze. Symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes, followed by a blotchy rash.

Source: Google News US Health | Netizen 24 United States

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Posted by On August 17, 2018

Scientists are zeroing in on the right amount of carbs to eat for a long life â€" here's how much should be in your diet

eating bread bagel breakfast Flickr

  • New evidence from a long-term study suggests that neither high-carb nor low-carb diets are necessarily great for your health.
  • Scientists studied more than 15,000 people in the US and another 400,000-plus around the world, and found that getting about 50-55% of a day's energy from carbohydrates might be ideal.
  • People who ate significantly more or less carbs than that were more likely to die, according to the study.

For years, dieters have had to deal with a lot of conflicting advice on how to eat.

First, fat was the bad guy. Then it was considered ideal to avoid sugar and go low-carb.

Lately, dieters trying the trendy ketogenic diet have discovered that if they replace carbs with fat, they can trick their bodies into a natural starvation mode and lose weight, while still enjoying bacon and slurping heavy cream.

But a new, long-term study published Thursday in The Lancet suggests there may be a winning formula for the amount of carbohydrates to eat every day. It relies on some very unsexy, old advice: everything in moderation.

Lead researcher Sara Seidelmann, a cardiologist and nutrition researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told Business Insider that her results suggested a diet "rich in plant based whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts is associated with healthy aging."

That usually means about half of the calories you eat in a day should come from carbohydrates.

A Goldilocks rule for carbs

For the study, Seidelmann looked at the diets of more than 15,400 adults in the US and another 432,000 people in more than 20 countries around the world. She and her team of researchers analyzed that information in relation to how long the study participants lived.

They found that people who ate a moderate amount of carbohydrates â€" around half of their daily calories â€" tended to live the longest.

Conversely, people who derived more than 70% of their energy from carbs or got less than 40% of their daily calories from carbohydrates were more likely to die than people who ate something in between.

It's a kind of Goldilocks finding: we should eat not too many carbs, not too few, but just the right amount.

On one end of the spectrum are people who suffer health consequences from eating too many carbs, like in some lower-income countries where people tend to rely on white rice for sustenance without much else on their plate.

On the other end are people who consume to few carbs. Surprisingly, the group at highest risk of death in the US study were those who didn't eat carbs, since those people tended to replace carb-heavy foods with animal fats and proteins: "beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and cheese," as Seidelmann put it.

"Clearly, filling your plate with those things increased mortality," she said.

In fact, the researchers concluded that a 50-year-old who eats within the 50-55% carbs margin could expect to live for another 33.1 years, while someone the same age who gets just 30% of their calories from carbs would be expected to live roughly 29.1 more years.

The important part is getting as many whole, healthful foods onto your plate as possible

There is a way to do a low-carb diet and age well: people who ate small amounts of carbohydrates but more pl ant-based proteins like veggies, beans, and nuts were found to be less likely to die and tended to live to a ripe old age.

This might be because eating large amounts of animal fat and protein but few fresh plant-based foods can increase inflammation in the body.

"Try to make choices that fill your plate with plants," Seidelmann said.

She agrees there's a short-term link between low-carb diets and weight loss, but cautions that diets like keto and Atkins might not be great long-term strategies.

"There's absolutely nothing more important for our health than what we eat each and every day," she said. "I really would like individuals to realize the power that they have over their own health," she said.

Source: Google News US Health | Netizen 24 United States

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Posted by On August 17, 2018

A Grand Noodle Riddle, Cracked: Here's How To Snap Spaghetti Into Just 2 Pieces

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A little food for thought. Gregor Schuster/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Gregor Schuster/Getty Images

A little food for thought.

Gregor Schuster/Getty Images

Perhaps you've heard that classic anecdote about Richard Feynman, the Nobel-winning theoretical physicist, who famously spent hours with a buddy puzzling over why u ncooked spaghetti always breaks into more than two pieces.

Perhaps you're one of those incorrigible monsters who break their pasta before boiling it (how dare you) and wonder why you end up having to vacuum afterward.

Or perhaps you have no idea what we're talking about. In which case, just watch this slow-motion video of spaghetti snapping, set to some truly moving piano music.

Douglas Stith YouTube

Whatever the case may be, you've probably noticed there's a mystery here: Why the hell doesn't spaghetti just snap in half â€" and is there anything in this wide world that can make it actually do so?

As it turns out, a pair of scientists figured out the answer to that first question more than a decade ag o: Essentially, the dry noodle bends before it breaks, so that when it breaks, it does so with more power, sending vibrations racing back through the remaining pieces, bending and breaking them in turn. The discovery won them an Ig Nobel for silly or surprising research â€" but it did not, in fact, answer how anyone can overcome this effect and make a single clean break.

The answer to that grand riddle had to wait years for a new pair of heroes: mathematicians Vishal Patil and Ronald Heisser. In a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the two graduate students and their three co-authors explain that the key to breaking a noodle cleanly in two rests in twisting it.

"When you twist it, you don't have to bend it as much before it breaks," Patil tells NPR's Rebecca Hersher. "When there's less bending in it, the snap-back â€" as the spaghetti tries to become a straight rod again â€" is wea kened, so that no more fractures can occur. Ordinarily, when the spaghetti breaks, the snap-back is strong enough to create more fractures along the rod."

So far, so good. But they ran into a problem: They found that the amount of twisting necessary to do this was just beyond the abilities of their bare hands.

So Heisser built a device to do it for them.

Enlarge this image

The device they created is a bit "like a little metal screw with a hole in the top," Vishal Patil, one of the researchers, tells NPR's Rebecca Hersher. "You put the spaghetti into that and then push that screw into another dial until it locks. Then you rotate the dial to twist the spaghetti." Courtesy of the researchers hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the researchers

The device they created is a bit "like a little metal screw with a hole in the top," Vishal Patil, one of the researchers, tells NPR's Rebecca Hersher. "You put the spaghetti into that and then push that screw into another dial until it locks. Then you rotate the dial to twist the spaghetti."

Courtesy of the researchers

Sadly, this means our puny human hands are probably incapable of the amount of twisting, plus the firm but gentle grip, needed to achieve the feat on their own.

Still, it's comforting to think something out there can manage what we on ce thought impossible. And their discovery also may have applications outside the kitchen.

"It should happen to any brittle elastic rod. My favorite example is pole vaults. Sometimes pole vaults break, and when they do, you'll often see more than three pieces," Patil tells Hersher.

"In general, the principle of dividing up the fracture energy into different modes â€" like dividing it up into bending and twisting to control the fracture â€" that's something which could be applicable to more complicated materials. We hope."

In the meantime, though, he plans to lay off the pasta for awhile.

"I think after the hours we spent in the lab," he laughs, "it's going to be some time before I want to eat spaghetti again.

Source: Google News US Health | Netizen 24 United States

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Posted by On August 17, 2018

Woman Gets Contact Lens Stuck In Eye For 28 Years

  1. Woman Gets Contact Lens Stuck In Eye For 28 Years HuffPost
  2. Woman's painful cyst turns out to be contact lens embedded in eyelid for 28 years Fox17
  3. Contact lens found lodged in woman's eyelid 28 years after she 'lost' it, doctors report USA TODAY
  4. Retained contact lenses | The BMJ The BMJ
  5. Doctors find 27 contact lenses in woman's eye CNN
  6. Full coverage
Source: Google News US Health | Netizen 24 United States

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Posted by On August 17, 2018

York County's first human case of West Nile virus confirmed

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Wednesday reported the first human case of West Nile virus in York County, according to a news release.

No other information about the individual was provided.

It's the second patient to receive a West Nile virus diagnosis in the state this year; the other one was in Allegheny County a couple weeks ago.

Heavy rains and receding floodwaters over the past couple weeks have increased the urgency this year. That stretch of bad weather came within a couple weeks after Pennsylvania's state Legislature approved an $140,000 increase to support the Department of Environmental Protection's West Nile Virus and Zika Virus control program.

READ MORE: Mosquito boom could follow flood conditions

Certain species of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile enc ephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis.

The following precautions are recommended:

  • Buy products with Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis)--a naturally-occurring bacteria that kills mosquito larvae but is safe for people, pets and plants--for stagnant pools of water in the lawn and garden.
  • Remove any standing water in pots, containers, pool covers, tires, wheelbarrows, wading pools, roof gutters and other containers that hold water.
  • Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.
  • Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes.
  • Reduce out door exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October.
  • Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer's instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.
Source: Google News US Health | Netizen 24 United States