Friday, August 5, 2016

Mutant 'Super Lice' Outbreak Has Now Spread to Nearly Every State

From Country Living:

Back to school season is upon us, which means it’s time for new school supplies, first day of school pictures, and that dreaded four-letter word: lice. But this year, it’s not just exposure to regular lice that parents have to worry about: There’s now a treatment resistant “super lice” that’s spreading across the United States.

 A whopping 42 out of 48 states tested are overrun by this so-called super lice, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. In these 42 states, according to NBC’s Today show, 100 percent of the lice tested were resistant to over-the-counter treatments.

In six other states - New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Oregon, New Mexico, and North Dakota - some, but not all, the lice tested were resistant to over-the-counter treatments.

 Alaska and West Virginia were not part of the study.

The problem, according to the Today show, is that lice have mutated, making it more difficult for the chemicals in over-the-counter treatments to lock on to the lice and eliminate it.

Last August, a study made waves when it found that at least 25 states had developed treatment resistant lice. Kyong Sup Yoon, Ph.D., who worked on that study and this latest one, suggests that the only way to effectively treat these lice are with different chemicals, ones that are typically available through a prescription.

“If you use a chemical over and over, these little creatures will eventually develop resistance,” Yoon said last year. “So we have to think before we use a treatment. The good news is head lice don’t carry disease. They’re more a nuisance than anything else.”

Dr. Robin Gehris, the chief of pediatric dermatology at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg, told Today that if your child has head lice, it is more likely resistance lice than not. Gheris recommends that parents try to get rid of the infection by using over-the-counter treatment twice.

“Treat the entire head and leave it on for a few hours and then repeat a week later,” she told Today. “If you still see things moving after the second treatment it’s time to call the doctor.”

There are countless home remedies to treat lice, including putting mayonnaise, olive oil, and lotion on the scalp, but Dr. Gehris cannot guarantee their effectiveness.

To parents gearing up to send their kids back to school, keep the suggested plan of action in mind: use over the counter treatment twice, and if the problem persists, pay a visit to your doctor for a prescription treatment.


Rio 2016: Zika epidemic making Brazil a 'health mess' for Olympics

From Fox News Latino:

With more than 10,000 athletes participating at this year’s Rio Games and an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people traveling to Brazil for the Olympics, the city is set to see record numbers of people descend on it in the next two weeks. What sort of precautions should all those people take while travelling to an area that's been designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being on high alert because of Zika?

Fox News Latino spoke with Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News Health’s senior managing editor, who says, in short, that Brazil is a "health mess.”

In February of 2016, the World Health Organization declared an international public emergency as evidence was confirmed that Zika can cause birth defects and neurological health problems in infants.

Brazil is the epicenter of the Zika virus. The virus is usually transmitted by infected mosquitos but it can also be sexually transmitted.

“Zika is a global problem, a global pandemic,” Alvarez told Fox News Latino.

“It's been a very fast spread of the virus among large populations, through the mosquitoes primarily. When you look at the effects, especially of pregnant women from this virus and the high affinity to attack the unborn child, and if it attacks in the first or second trimester, then you can see lethal and severe neurological complications. This is basically what we’re facing today,” Alvarez said.

He suggested that women who are thinking of having children in the near future or men with sexual partners who might be should reconsider traveling to Brazil.

Despite the 166,000 suspected and confirmed cases of Zika in Brazil, resulting in the births of nearly 1,800 infants with microcephaly, the Olympic show will indeed go on.

Ana Virela, 22, came to Rio for the games from Minas Gerais, in southwestern Brazil.

"I was really scared in the beginning, since we didn't know the virus was transmitted [sexually] as well as from the mosquito. We don't know how long the virus stays in our body, and I'm afraid of affecting a possible pregnancy," Virela told Fox News Latino. "But since it's winter, and mosquitos aren't that active, I chose to come."

She added, "We can't lock ourselves in the house."

"I am taking so many precautions, because I'm scared to death," Vanessa Ortis, 39, a California TV producer, told Fox News Latino. "I came because I spent so much money on tickets and the flight. It has always been my dream to come to Brazil. But I’m using a lot of repellent and praying."

In May, 150 doctors and scientists signed a letter urging the World Health Organization to move or postpone the Games. Before the letter was even posted, the International Olympic Committee announced the Games would proceed.