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A school in California deals with two alleged leprosy cases.

(Mirror Daily, United States) Leprosy is a horrible disease, which dates back to the Middle Ages when epidemics had damaging effects on the European population. Now the disease can be found in small areas in countries in the Third World. However, alleged leprosy cases have been recently reported in the United States, too.

Health authorities couldn’t ignore the news, and went on to investigate the alleged leprosy cases. They were related to children in a Jurupa Valley school, in California. Two of the students are suspected to be infected with the now rare disease.

The school authorities announced the parents about the situation of the students.

According to specialists, leprosy, or Hansen’s disease (HD) is caused by M. leprae bacteria. They also say that most people are immune to this microbe. They assure the parents that the disease can’t further spread if identified and treated in due time.

Soon after the announcement of the alleged leprosy cases was made, parents didn’t sent their kids to school. Officials from the educational institution stated that approximately ten percent of their total number of registered students missed classed the next day after the announcement. There are six hundred children registered at the school.

Parents and officials from others schools are concerned about the situation too. Some of the parents also admitted that they didn’t know much about leprosy, but that they were still worried about their children and understand that it was a bad situation.

The school is trying to keep the situation under control. They assure parents at other schools too that they have nothing to worry about. Even if the diagnosis of leprosy is confirmed, the other students are not exposed to risks. Doctors inform them that there is a small chance for the other kids to get the infection.

As there is no threat for students, parents are advised to send their children back to school. If the leprosy cases are confirmed, treatment will keep the disease under control. There is no risk for the infection to spread among other children or teachers. As an extra safety measure, the classrooms of the two children were disinfected.

Although the two children were already seen by a doctor, their disease has not been officially confirmed yet. Their parents were the ones who announced the school authorities on their children’s health problems.

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Vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of asthma attacks

(Mirror Daily, United States) Asthma is a respiratory disease that you have to live with. If you suffer from asthma, then you know how difficult and bad are asthma attacks. However, doctors thought of a way of helping asthma patients. Vitamin D supplements should be added to their usual treatment.

The new study on treating asthma attacks was led by Adrian Martineau (Queen Mary University of London). According to his findings, vitamin D supplements are the key to lowering the number of asthma attacks which a patient can have. However, patients are highly advised to stick to the prescribed treatment.

The lead author also added that further analyses need to be carried out in order to make sure that these supplements are what asthma patients need.

The results are based on several trials. Researchers studied the cases of more than one thousand patients, children among them. They also took into consideration several stages of the disease, from mild forms to severe ones. American and British patients helped the researchers with their studies, as well as patients from Japan, Poland, and India.

What the scientists observed when analyzing these cases was that the disease takes advantage of the low level of vitamin D in the organisms of patients. This is how they came up with the idea of increasing the vitamin D level of asthma patients. There is a high possibility that the supplements should help them with the nasty asthma attacks.

The members of the research team observed yet another advantage of vitamin D supplements. It seems that the substances are enough for patients so that they can now reduce the level of steroids they are on.

These are the only improvements that vitamin D supplements can provide the asthma patients with. The doctors also noted that besides reducing the asthma attack, the medication couldn’t further help the patients with other symptoms.

Researchers observed that the best results were with mild and moderate asthma patients. They still need to investigate and develop further formulas for people who suffer from severe forms of the disease. However, scientists also intend to revise all of their results before making a public statement of the vitamin D supplements being added to the regular treatment of asthma patients.

A paper on vitamin D supplements was published in the journal Cochrane Library on September 6.

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The new Gatorade is organic.

(Mirror Daily, United States) With people being so concerned about their health, some of the beverage and food companies tend to keep up with their customers’ desire. Gatorade is one of these companies, which has recently announced they will deliver a new, organic product. However, how healthy is the new Gatorade?

Gatorade products are popular among sports enthusiasts. The new Gatorade has already been tested on customers on some of the supermarkets in the Unites States. According to officials, it comes in three flavors, namely lemon, strawberries, and berries.

Specialists at the United States Department of Agriculture stated that the new Gatorade would be better than the old products. However, it is not among the most healthy beverages that people can consume. It will still contain sugar. Doctors have always advised people to reduce the amount of sugar they consume.

According to the label of the products, it seems that the new Gatorade is healthier because it doesn’t contain sucralose, which is a sugar’s substitute. The previous products contained both sugar and sucralose, so the organic beverage comes, indeed, with improvements.

The natural flavors the beverage used to contain have now been replaced by organic natural flavors. The nutritionists also mentioned that this is a good change, as the other substances stood as potential factors which could trigger diseases.

Another good call from the company was to use potassium chloride for the new Gatorade instead of substances such as monopotassium phosphate and acesulfame potassium. The previous variant of the beverage did contain these substances. Some of the specialists consider them to be dangerous, as they could increase the risk of cancer on people who consume them in any form.

The new Gatorade seems to be an improved version of the beverage. Nevertheless is it not a healthy product, as specialists suggest so. Their analyses show that there are almost thirty grams of sugar in each organic Gatorade bottle. This is a concerning amount of sugar, nutritionists say. It is even worse because the beverage addresses sports enthusiasts. Specialists do not advise people who work out to use sugary beverages after their exercises.

Nutrition experts state that people shouldn’t consume excessive sweet products in any circumstances. Their health depends on their eating habits.

The new, organic beverage from Gatorade will be available for buyers starting this autumn.

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Antibiotics cause food allergies to children

(Mirror Daily, United States) Antibiotics, or antibacterials, are not recommended for children. This is a piece of advice coming from doctors. Although it may be hard for parents to see their children in pain, it seems like other means of treating them are more adequate. New research documents on the negative effects of antibiotics administered to children at an early age.

A new study was carried out by specialists at the University of South Carolina. The study points out that antibiotics administered to children under one year of age can cause them food allergies.

The researchers at the University of South Carolina investigated the cases of more than six thousand children. Some of them had food allergies, and some of them didn’t. The results pointed out the fact that children who were treated with antibiotics had 1.21 chances to develop food allergies.

Researchers were very careful while analyzing the data. They took into consideration factors such as the child’s current age and the mother’s age, breastfeeding, race, and residence, among others.

Statistics show that antibiotics are prescribed to children aged two months in the United States. Cephalosporin and sulfonamide were detected as two of the riskiest substances which can trigger food allergies at an early age.

The new study addresses parents, doctors, and health providers alike.

The leader of the team of researchers at the University of South Carolina is doctor Bryan Love. He is aware of the fact that more elaborate studies should determine which of the ill children really need antibiotics. Excessive use of medicine doesn’t only determine the organism to get used to the drug, but also can have other long-term effects, like triggering food allergies later in life.

Researchers were not able to identify the exact relation between how the medicine works and the later developed food allergies. They think that the process has to do with damaging the gut flora.

Previous studies documented the negative effects of antibiotics too. According to them, the drugs were responsible for obesity in children, or even for the developing of respiratory diseases, such as asthma.

Parenting can be difficult, but one of the most important things is to take care of your child’s health. Further studies will investigate the issue. Researchers hope to come up with solutions of properly diagnosing children, as well as alternative solutions to antibiotics.

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Culex mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus

(Mirror Daily, United States) Although autumn is here, mosquitoes don’t seem to have any plan to go away. Their season appears to continue, as populations in  McLennan County are still to be found in the area. What’s more, recent analyses from researchers confirmed that the nagging insects carry the West Nile virus.

Even more concerning news comes from public health authorities of the district. They have recently announced that the West Nile virus made its first victim in 2016. The patient was a man and he died on Friday, September 2.

The McLennan County resident, whose identity remains unknown, is the first victim of the virus since the deaths in 2012. The virus has symptoms such as headaches, rashes, fever, and vomiting, which lead to an unfortunate outcome for the patient. Doctors say that the virus affects the brain, which can result in meningitis or encephalitis.

Authorities and health specialists suggest that people should stay away from mosquitoes and their bites, although their season should be coming to its end. Officials have been concerned about the Zika virus lately, while other diseases, such as the West Nile condition, took them by surprise. This is why they advise the population not to let their guard down.

Culex mosquitoes are the kind of mosquitoes which carry the West Nile virus. They are the most prone to the virus, which it transmitted to them by birds. The insects further transmit it to humans through their bites, infecting humans’ blood.

Apart from the lethal West Nile virus case, there are other four people infected in  McLennan County. However, no Zika virus infections were reported to the health district this year.

On the other hand, in Lake County, Illinois, researchers have recently analyzed mosquito individuals. The testings showed that the insects were infected with the West Nile virus. Specialists consider themselves lucky for not having human cases of West Nile virus in their district so far. However, they are aware that such news can drop any time this month.

Authorities took actions such as spraying pesticides against the virus carrier mosquitoes. They advise people to wear sleeves when they go out. They also should get rid of items in their backyard which can retain warm water, which would attract the insects.

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A New Jersey dentist is accused of malpractice

(Mirror Daily, United States) A malpractice case was detected in New Jersey. A dentist is suspected to having caused infections on several of his patients, who needed further surgery because of the complications. One of the infections led to the death of the patient. The Department of Health confirmed all the cases.

The careless dentist’ name is John Vecchione. He worked as a dentist at the North Jersey Oral Maxillofacial and Reconstructive Surgery. He signed his suspension agreement earlier this week. Fifteen of his patients reported infections which actually caused heart conditions to them, and they had to undergo heart surgery. Unfortunately, one of the patients died because of the complications.

The fifteen patients requested  John Vecchione’s services between 2012 and 2014. Although the dentist has already signed the suspension, he still doesn’t admit having done something wrong, or the malpractice accusations.

The patients who went to the dentist’s needed their teeth removed or another sort of dental intervention. The male patient who died had never had heart problems before, as reports show. He was 54 years old when he had his tooth removed at the a North Jersey Oral Maxillofacial and Reconstructive Surgery cabinet by John Vecchione in January, three years ago.

The complaint informs that the man died within less than a year after the stated procedure made by John Vecchione. He was diagnosed with a heart condition which required surgery and post-operative treatment. Complications after surgery led to his death.

Apart from the 54 years old man, other eleven patients need to be hospitalized because of the infection at the North Jersey Oral Maxillofacial and Reconstructive Surgery cabinet. They were also diagnosed with heart diseases and needed to undergo surgery.

It is believed that the dentist didn’t manage properly the safety measures against infection.

Complaints on the professional activity of John Vecchione started to emerge in 2014. Authorities also made visits at the dentist’s workplace. Reports show that there is evidence of breaking the rules of sterilization, as well as reused syringes and alcohol pumps, expired medication, and other substances which might have been key factors in triggering the infections.

John Vecchione is now waiting for his hearing scheduled next month, on October 5. The judges will decide whether he has the right of regaining his license and going back to work, or not.

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Volunteer at blood drives

(Mirror Daily, United States) Now that the summer is drawing to its end, hospitals prepare for a new session of blood drives. The summer is always the worst season from this point of view, because blood donors are away, spending their holiday, while hospitals use up their blood supplies.

September can be considered the month for blood drives. The American Red Cross has already planned two such events in East Central Indiana because of the National Preparedness Month in September.

According to The Star Press, the schedule for blood drives in September is the following:

   “ 3:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 1., YMCA Northwest, 3500 N. Chadam Lane, Muncie.

Noon-4 p.m. Sept. 2, Church of the Nazarene of Hartford City, 1402 W. Water St., Hartford City.

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 22, Pruis Hall, McKinley Avenue, Ball State University, Muncie.”

The American Red Cross also made a partnership with Sport Clips Haircuts in order to offer blood donors a gift. All those who sign up to donate blood between September 1 and September 30 will receive a coupon which will allow them to get a free haircut at Sport Clips Haircuts. The coupon will by available for two months, until November.

Amanda Palm declared on behalf of Sport Clips Haircuts:

“The need for blood touches so many lives – not just those who need blood, but their family members and loved ones too.”

Another gift that blood donors can receive is a  branded duffel bag. The American Red Cross is trying to find ways of attracting as many volunteers as possible because hospitals need to refresh their blood supplies in order to treat, cure and save patients.

Officials remind people that all types of blood are needed. Nevertheless, there also some requirements that blood donors have to meet before coming at blood drives: they must be more than 16 years old, weigh 110 pounds and have a good health status. Also, there must have past at least 56 days since their last donation, because blood cells in their organism need to recover.

Blood donors should also remember to bring identification documents, such as their blood donor card. Officials also ask people to register before going to blood drives, as well as to fill in a form which is available online. This is a good method which assures them there will be no waiting in line.
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(Mirror Daily, United States) Coma patients have a very delicate situation and few chances of being again like they used to be. It is only possible through surgery, which is a riskful procedure. Now a recent discovery in the medical field gives new hope to patients, their families and doctors alike: it is an ultrasound technique which can revive patients brains.

UCLA doctors have recently discovered the ultrasound technique, which helps them “jump-start” the brain of coma patients. They have already tested it with a 25 years old patient, and the results were visible within only three days. The young man woke up and communicated with his doctors. He was able to understand and perceive the messages around him, and answer with “yes” or “no” by nodding and shaking his head.

According to TechTimes, this is how the ultrasound technique works:

“The technique involves exciting the neurons of thalamus with the help of sonic stimulations. Thalamus is a small oval shaped structure in the brain that is crucial for processing variety of information. The brain stimulation of patients in vegetative state or those recovering from coma is usually done by implanting electrodes inside thalamus surgically.”

Researchers at UCLA are very pleased with the results. Martin Monti, who is psychology and neurosurgery professor, was also the leader of the team of researchers. In a press release, he stated the following:

“It’s almost as if we were jump-starting the neurons back into function. “Until now, the only way to achieve this was a risky surgical procedure known as deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are implanted directly inside the thalamus. Our approach directly targets the thalamus but is noninvasive.”

Another member of the team was co-author Alexander Bystritsky.

As stated above, the ultrasound technique is a massive breakthrough in the medical field, as there is no need for surgery for coma patients anymore.

Professor Martin Monti further added:

“It is possible that we were just very lucky and happened to have stimulated the patient just as he was spontaneously recovering. The changes were remarkable.”

The recovery of the 25 years patient through this technique was a premiere for doctors. As it was a success, they intend to use it with other patients as well.

A study was also written, documenting on the ultrasound technique destined to reactivate the brains of coma patients. It can be found in Brain Stimulation (journal).

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Wild duck is responsible for avian flu in Alaska

(Mirror Daily, United States) Despite the epidemic that happened years ago, avian flue does not belong in the past. A new case of the influenza was detected with a wild duck in Alaska, and specialists inform that it is a severe form of the virus. Wild birds can be carriers of the disease and spread it among local birds.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture made the announcement of the wild duck infected with avian flu Friday, on August 26. It was only last year when the disease affected over 50 million birds in the United States.  In 2015, it was the wild birds such as ducks and geese the ones that spread the virus among hens and turkeys at local farms, causing the death of thousands of birds.

The previous cases of avian flu also started in Alaska.  Researchers believe a form from other continents mixed with an already existing virus, thus creating a lethal version of the avian flu.

Avian influenza is scientifically known as H5N2, and it is concerned with influenza A virus. There are similar types of influenza for pigs, dogs, and humans. It spreads rapidly from an infected individual to the healthy one.  Nevertheless, there have never been reported cases of avian flu in humans. Hence the risk of such contamination is extremely low.

Avian flu is always bad news for farmers and poultry producers alike. If poultry (such as chickens, ducks and turkeys) are infected, then the whole population must be isolated and, eventually, must be euthanized. These measures must be applied in order to prevent the disease from spreading further. There are many negative effects of the virus, such as the death of the birds and the collapse of the industry.

Back in 2015, buyers and consumers of chicken and poultry related products (such as eggs) also felt the damages of the flu, because prices for these products were much higher than before. Providers were also forced to be extremely cautious about their products and to assure buyers they were safe.

There are also financial losses from the government, which must pay for treatment and other damages. In 2015, the avian flu required from the United States’ government more than $330 million.

Officials say that further investigation will be carried out in Alaska, where the wild duck was identified as a carrier of the bird flu.

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Doctor preparing one of the breast cancer patients for consultation

(Mirror Daily, United States) Cancer is a terrible condition which can strike out of the blue, and for which no remedy stands as the ultimate cure. What’s more, chemotherapy is also a drag for patients, because it causes them pain and hair loss, among other disadvantages. This is why researchers try to find an alternative solution to chemo, and they think they might have found one for breast cancer patients.

Researchers discovered that women who are diagnosed with early stages of breast cancer could give up chemotherapy thanks to a new test. It is called MammaPrint, and it implies no medication, and patients are free from following any painful treatment as the risk of the disease to come back is low.

Although chemotherapy is good at destroying cancer cells, it also destroys healthy cells, which leads to several complications in women’s lives.

The new method, MammaPrint, has been tested in hospitals in several European countries for the past five years, and had good results. 6.600 women enjoyed the results, and many of them had a normal life after cancer surgery and no chemotherapy.

In the United Kingdom, there are more than 50 thousand diagnoses of breast cancer each year, and approximately 70% of the cases turn out to be early stages of the disease. Usually, all breast cancer patients would follow chemotherapy, which assured a higher level of safety, but the new test can predict which patients really need the treatment and which could skip it, being out of danger.

Doctor Laura van ‘t Veer is the one who developed this project. She told The Telegraph about the success of the test:

“The trial has proved with the highest level of evidence that, by evaluating the expression of 70 key genes, MammaPrint provides an accurate, definitive assessment of the risk of breast cancer recurrence, empowering physicians to make confident, informed treatment decisions with their patients.”

Even if breast cancer patients had their surgery and the test allowed them to skip chemotherapy, the doctors are still interested in their evolution and health status.

If Europe uses MammaPrint, in the United States there is another test which can be used, namely Oncotype DX.

A study was written based on the results of the trail and it was published in New England Journal of Medicine.

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