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Many Americans Unaware of This Year's Heavy Tick Season: Poll

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 17, 2017 – Most Americans know that ticks can make them sick, and many take steps to avoid them. But few know that this summer could be a particularly bad one for tick bites, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll shows. Scientists have predicted an upswing in the tick population this summer, which could potentially mean more tick-borne infections. Lyme disease is the most common of those illnesses, but the bugs can transmit a host of other, sometimes deadly, infections. One example is Powassan virus. It's rare, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: There have been about 75 cases reported in the United States in the past decade – mostly in the Northeast and in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Often, Powassan causes no symptoms, the CDC says. When symptoms do strike, they include fever, vomiting, confusion and seizures. The infection can also cause potentially ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Viral Infection, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Insect Bites, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Lyme Disease - Carditis

Experimental Vaccines Might Shield Fetus From Zika

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Two experimental vaccines might help protect human fetuses against the Zika virus, a new mouse study suggests. Researchers found female mice that were vaccinated before they got pregnant had babies with no sign of Zika infection. "There are several vaccines in human trials right now, but to date, none of them has been shown to protect during pregnancy. We tested two different vaccines, and they both provided substantial protection," said co-senior study author Dr. Michael Diamond, a professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Though Zika doesn't make most people seriously ill, it can be devastating for fetuses, causing problems with brain development, including an abnormally small head. Zika can also restrict babies' growth in the womb or trigger a miscarriage, researchers said. The team tested the ability of two experimental vaccines ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Zika Virus Infection

How to Keep Your Kids Out of the ER This Summer

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 4, 2017 – Make sure safety is part of kids' summer fun. "With kids spending more time outdoors, there is more opportunity for everything from broken bones, sprains, strains and lacerations, to tick bites and heat stroke," said Dr. James Dwyer, director of emergency medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. "Accidents will happen, but there are many steps parents can take to help prevent injuries without spoiling the fun," he added in a hospital news release. Children should always wear shoes. "When kids shed their shoes, they are at risk for splinters and cuts from broken glass as well as tick bites," Dwyer said, adding that foot cuts are among the most common summer injuries his hospital treats. When bicycling, skateboarding or inline skating, children should wear proper safety gear. That includes a helmet as well as wrist, elbow and knee pads. ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Heat Stress, Prevention of Fractures

Protect Yourself Against Reactions To Insect Stings

Posted 29 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 29, 2017 – For most of us, an insect bite means an annoying itch and some minor discomfort. But more and more people are having serious – and even potentially deadly – reactions to bites and stings, researchers report. Up to 7 percent of the adult U.S. population now appears to be allergic to insect stings. Reactions can vary from a large, long-lasting swelling just at the site of the bite to a body-wide response that can even interfere with breathing. And once you have an allergic reaction, you stand a good chance of having another one, even 10 or 20 years later. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), the most serious allergic reactions come from yellow jackets, honeybees, paper wasps, hornets and fire ants. Experts suggest that if you've ever had an allergic reaction to a sting, schedule a visit with a board-certified allergist. ... Read more

Related support groups: Allergic Reactions, Allergies, Benadryl, Hydroxyzine, Zyrtec, Promethazine, Claritin, Loratadine, Allegra, Diphenhydramine, Phenergan, Vistaril, Cetirizine, Cyproheptadine, Atarax, Fexofenadine, Claritin-D, Xyzal, Periactin, Chlorpheniramine

How to Dodge Summertime Threats

Posted 26 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 – During the summer, poison centers get an increase in the number of calls about bites, stings, plants and pesticides. The Nebraska Regional Poison Center offers these tips on how to avoid poisonings – and other hazards – this summer. "If you are stung, call the poison center. Close observation for allergic reaction is important, especially in the first hour after a sting," the center said in a news release. Use only insect repellents that are meant to be used on skin. Products containing DEET should be applied sparingly to exposed skin and clothing – and repellents with less than 10 percent DEET are as effective as stronger ones. Wash thoroughly once you go indoors. A seasonal threat to kids is exposure to gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluids and torch fuels. These products are among the top 10 causes of childhood poisoning deaths in the United States, according ... Read more

Related support groups: Skin Rash, Gastroenteritis, Poisoning, Hangover, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Insect Bites, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Tissue Testing Can Spot Zika at Birth: CDC

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – Exposure to the Zika virus in pregnancy can wreak havoc on babies, but diagnosing the infection before birth remains a challenge. Now, there's some good news: U.S. health officials say testing placental and fetal tissue after a child is born can confirm or rule out infection. Such testing found that only 1 in 10 who were in danger of being infected actually were, and infection didn't automatically mean birth defects, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. "Testing of placental tissues from live births can continue to be considered when results of maternal Zika virus testing are not definitive or testing is not performed within the optimal time," said the researchers led by Dr. Sarah Reagan-Steiner, of the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. Zika infection is most often spread by ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Infections, Contraception, Delivery, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Cesarean Section, Zika Virus Infection, Wound Infection

Health Tip: Preventing Tick Bites

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

-- A bite from an infected tick can cause a number of ills, including Lyme disease. But taking precautions before going outside can help protect you. Here are suggestions from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Know where ticks are likely to gather, and try to avoid them. Steer clear of tall, thick vegetation. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and spray clothing with .5 percent permethrin insect repellent. Use repellent that contains at least 20 percent DEET, picaridin or IR3535 on any uncovered skin. Check yourself and your children for ticks daily. Favorite hiding spots include the armpits, ears, belly button, waist, head, hair, between the legs and behind the knees. If you find a tick, remove it quickly with fine-tipped tweezers. Look for warning signs of Lyme disease, such as rash or fever. Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Permethrin, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Elimite, Insect Bites, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Nix, Nix Lice Control, Acticin, Lyme Disease - Carditis, Lice Bedding Spray, Nix Cream Rinse, Permethrin/Piperonyl Butoxide/Pyrethrins, Pyrifoam Lice Breaker, Lyclear, Diethyltoluamide, Lice Solution

Zika-Bearing Mosquitoes More Widespread in U.S. Than Expected

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – The latest buzz from federal health officials is that mosquitoes that can spread Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses are in more counties in the southern United States than previously thought. After a Zika outbreak in Florida last summer, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded mosquito-collection measures across the South. The new study revealed a 21 percent increase in the number of counties with Zika-carrying mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti). There was also a 10 percent increase in counties with dengue-spreading mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus). The results don't mean these mosquitoes are abundant or madly transmitting the viruses. But the "findings highlight the need for continued and improved mosquito surveillance," wrote the team led by Micah Hahn. Hahn is with the CDC's division of vector-borne diseases in Fort Collins, ... Read more

Related support groups: Varicella-Zoster, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever, Varicella-Zoster - Prophylaxis

Could You Spot Bed Bugs in a Hotel Room?

Posted 14 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 14, 2017 – While many travelers think that finding bed bugs in their hotel room would be the stuff of nightmares, very few know what one looks like, a new survey shows. Just 16 percent were able to spot bed bugs in a lineup of five bug illustrations. Ticks and lice were most often mistaken for bed bugs, while ants or termites were least likely to be confused with the pesky blood suckers. Study co-author Michael Potter, a professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky, said the findings suggest that plenty of travelers are in the dark about these night-time nuisances. "Considering all the media attention paid to bed bugs in recent years, the fact that most travelers still have a poor understanding of them is troubling," he said. Most travelers who took the survey also said they'd seek different lodgings if they saw a single online report of bed bugs, even if it ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Skin Rash, Insect Bites, Minor Skin Irritation, Minor Skin Conditions

Health Tip: Keep Mosquitos Out of Your Yard

Posted 12 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

-- In addition to being a nuisance and a source of itch, mosquitos can carry a host of serious diseases, including Zika and West Nile. So how do you rid them from your yard? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests: Every week, empty and clean any outside containers that may hold water. These may include trash cans, bird baths or planters. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. If your outside container doesn't have a lid, cover with a wire mesh. Make sure the mesh is smaller than the size of an adult mosquito. If you have a large container that you can't empty, treat it with larvicide (but don't let any person or pet drink the water). Repair any cracks or holes in your septic tank, and cover any plumbing or vent pipes with fine wire mesh. Apply insecticide in your yard. Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide

1 in 20 Pregnant Women Infected With Zika Have Babies With Birth Defects: CDC

Posted 9 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – One in 20 women in the U.S. territories who were infected with Zika during pregnancy had babies with serious birth defects, officials reported Thursday. The exact percentage of infants born with these Zika-linked defects depended on when during pregnancy the woman was infected, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Among women infected in the first trimester, 8 percent had a baby with defects; 5 percent in second trimester, and 4 percent in third trimester. The findings also showed that birth defects could occur even in women who had no symptoms of Zika infection, CDC officials stressed. In fact, 5 percent of those with symptoms gave birth to an infant with a birth defect, while 7 percent of those who had no symptoms had a baby born with a birth defect, said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat. "Just because you don't have ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Zika Virus Infection

Zika's Set to Return to Mainland U.S., But Budget Cuts Threaten Response

Posted 2 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 – The Zika virus will strike the continental United States again this summer, and looming federal budget cuts will make it hard for local officials to curb its spread, public health experts said Wednesday. The experts believe it's a foregone conclusion that more local Zika outbreaks will occur on the U.S. mainland in the coming months, much like what happened in Miami and Brownsville, Texas, last summer. "We can virtually guarantee there will be activity, particularly along the Gulf region," said Michael Osterholm. He directs the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Local health departments will shoulder the burden of any response to a local Zika outbreak, infection control experts said during a media briefing hosted by the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO). Funding authorized by Congress last ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Getting Bedbugs Out of Nursing Homes, Apartment Buildings - for Good

Posted 31 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 31, 2017 – Preventing bedbugs in multi-unit housing is cheaper and more effective than dealing with the pests after they've settled in, a new report says. The authors looked at dozens of field studies on bedbug management. They concluded that "programs that consider the residents, housing managers and staff and attempt to detect infestations before they are reported and before populations spread to multiple units stand the best chance at succeeding." "We consider early detection and regular monitoring to be the most important components of successful integrated pest management [IPM] programs for bedbugs in multi-unit housing," lead author Alvaro Romero said. Romero is an assistant professor of urban entomology at New Mexico State University. Multi-unit housing such as assisted living facilities and affordable housing communities are particularly vulnerable to bedbug ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites

Zika Arrived in Florida at Least Four Different Ways

Posted 24 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 – The 2016 Zika outbreak in Florida wasn't due to a single introduction and spread of the virus, but rather at least four separate events, researchers report. By analyzing the genetic material of Zika viruses found in people and mosquitoes in Florida, the scientists also concluded that local transmission of the Zika virus likely began in spring 2016 before the first local case was confirmed. The researchers said they also discovered that three of the Zika strains that affected Florida spread through the Caribbean islands first before reaching the state. The fourth spread through Central America, the study authors said. Based on their findings, the researchers believe that a similar Zika transmission pattern could happen again this year in Florida. There are a number of reasons why Florida is a likely hotspot for Zika outbreaks in the United States, study ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Zika Virus Infection

Health Tip: Keep Fleas Out of Your Home

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

-- If Fido or Fluffy have an unwelcome band of fleas on them, there are things you can do to control the problem. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests: Vacuum your home each day. Steam clean carpets, especially places where pets sleep, to kill fleas and flea eggs. Every two or three weeks, wash all family and pet bedding in hot, soapy water. Throw away and replace bedding if there's a severe infestation. Brush pets with a flea comb, particularly around the neck and tail. Dip the comb and any fleas you find in a bowl of soapy, hot water Keep pets indoors more often. Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites

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