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Health Highlights: Aug. 7, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Teen Hospitalized After Sea Bug Attack

An Australian teen was hospitalized after what experts believe were sea fleas left his ankles and feet covered in blood from multiple bites.

After a soccer game on Saturday evening, 16-year-old Sam Kanizay soaked his legs in Melbourne's Brighton Beach. He stood still waist-deep in water for about half an hour and didn't feel a thing, but was "bleeding profusely" when he returned home, his father, Jarrod Kanizay, told BBC News.

"It looked like a war injury ... like a grenade attack. It was really bloody," he said.

"We got him in the shower but as soon as we did that the blood kept re-appearing," Jarrod told BBC News. "It wasn't clotting at all. It just kept bleeding and bleeding."

Sam is expected to make a full recovery.

Jarrod collected samples of the tiny water bugs and sent them to experts. One of them was marine biologist Genefor Walker-Smith. She told Australia's Herald Sun newspaper that the bugs were likely sea fleas, BBC News reported.

"It's possible he disturbed a feeding group but they are generally not out there waiting to attack like piranhas," Walker-Smith said.

Such cases are very rare and there is no reason for alarm, according to experts, BBC News reported.

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U.S. Teen Suicide Rates Continue to Rise

Teen suicide rates in the United States continue to rise, particularly among females, a new government report shows.

In fact, the suicide rate for females aged 15 to 19 in 2015 was the highest seen in 40 years, the researchers noted.

Among males aged 15 to 19, suicide rates increased from 12 per 100,000 to 18 per 100,000 between 1975 and 1990, fell between 1990 and 2007, and then reached 14 per 100,000 by 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, NBC News reported.

"Rates for females aged 15-19 were lower than for males aged 15-19 but followed a similar pattern during 1975-2007," they wrote. "The rate in 2015 was the highest for females for the 1975-2015 period."

Between 2007 and 2015, suicide rates doubled among females aged 15 to 19 and increased more than 30 percent among males aged 15 to 19, NBC News reported.

It's part of an overall rise in suicides in the United States, which have increased 28 percent since 2000, according to CDC suicide expert Thomas Simon.

"Nationally overall we have been seeing an increase in suicide rates that is pretty pervasive among all age groups," said Simon.

In 2007, 4,320 U.S. children and young adults up to age 24 committed suicide, according to the CDC, making suicide among the four leading causes of death among Americans aged 10 and older. In 2015, 5,900 children and adults aged 10 to 24 committed suicide, separate CDC data reveals.

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Posted: August 2017


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