Health Highlights: April 25, 2017
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
No Answers Yet in Child Paralysis Disease Outbreak: CDC
The cause of an outbreak of a rare, polio-like paralyzing condition that's affected hundreds of children in 37 states is still unknown, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say.
There were 138 reported cases of acute flaccid myelitis in 2016 and five more have been reported so far this year. Patients have been tested for more than 250 viruses but no single one appears to be a major cause of the condition, NBC News reported.
Officials also don't know who might be more at risk or how cases of the disease tend to progress, the CDC's Tracy Ayers said at a meeting of the agency's Epidemic Intelligence Service.
Symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis, which can leave patients disabled for months, include sudden onset of arm or leg weakness, drooping facial muscles, including the eyelids, and difficulty moving the eyes, NBC News reported.
Most patients require hospitalization and a few have been completely paralyzed. The CDC does not know of any deaths. There is no specific treatment for the condition.
"This is such a brand-new disease that we don't know what the long term outcomes are," Ayers said, NBC News reported.
The CDC is asking physicians to collect blood and spinal fluid samples from patients believed to have acute flaccid myelitis. "We need as much information as possible," Ayers said.
University Vending Machine Offers Morning-After Pill
The morning-after pill is being sold in a vending machine at the University of California, Davis and many people support this type of availability.
Along with condoms and pregnancy tests, the Wellness-To-Go Machine in a study lounge also dispenses the Plan B pill for $30 a box, CBS News reported.
It took economics major Parteek Singh nearly two years to get the vending machine into the lounge.
"There was an incident where my friends went to the one pharmacy in town on a Friday night and they were all out of emergency contraception," said Singh, CBS News reported.
Along with being popular at UC Davis, Singh is getting calls from student across the country who want the same type of vending machine. "I want to see this on every college campus," he said.
A school spokeswoman told NBC News the school senate worked with administration and health care officials in establishing the Wellness Machine.
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Posted: April 2017