Sometimes Dirtier Is Better: How Our Sanitized Lives Are Wreaking Havoc On Our Immune System
Can a clean environment be too clean? Experts say absolutely. Our immune system evolved to have a job and interact with the world around our bodies. In other public health news: HIV, gun safety, breast cancer, the flu, school nurses, and more.
The New York Times:
Your Environment Is Cleaner. Your Immune System Has Never Been So Unprepared.
Should you pick your nose? Don’t laugh. Scientifically, it’s an interesting question. Should your children pick their noses? Should your children eat dirt? Maybe: Your body needs to know what immune challenges lurk in the immediate environment. Should you use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizers? No. Are we taking too many antibiotics? Yes. (Richtel, 3/12)
Kaiser Health News:
‘Medieval’ Diseases Flare As Unsanitary Living Conditions Proliferate
Jennifer Millar keeps trash bags and hand sanitizer near her tent, and she regularly pours water mixed with hydrogen peroxide on the sidewalk nearby. Keeping herself and the patch of concrete she calls home clean is a top priority. But this homeless encampment off a Hollywood freeway ramp is often littered with needles and trash, and soaked in urine. Rats occasionally scamper through, and Millar fears the consequences.“I worry about all those diseases,” said Millar, 43, who said she has been homeless most of her life. (Gorman, 3/12)
The Washington Post:
This HIV Pill Saves Lives. So Why Is It So Hard To Get In The Deep South?
Even in a tiny town in the Mississippi Delta, Robert Rowland, an openly gay, single, middle-aged man, has no problem finding sex partners. What he can’t find is PrEP, the once-a-day pill that protects users against HIV infection, or a doctor who knows much about it, or a drugstore that stocks it. So every few months, he said, he drives three hours to Open Arms, the health center here that distributes an estimated 80 percent of these pills in the state. He refills his prescription, updates a nurse on his recent sexual history and gets a quick physical exam. (Bernstein, 3/11)
The New York Times:
Incendiary N.R.A. Videos Find New Critics: N.R.A. Leaders
The flash point was Thomas the Tank Engine. Last September, the National Rifle Association’s famously combative spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, provoked widespread outrage when she took to the gun group’s streaming service to mock ethnic diversity on the popular children’s program “Thomas & Friends,” portraying the show’s talking trains in Ku Klux Klan hoods. Now, growing unease over the site’s inflammatory rhetoric, and whether it has strayed too far from the N.R.A.’s core gun-rights mission, has put its future in doubt. (Hakim, 3/11)
The Wall Street Journal:
Can Breast Cancer Be Treated Without Surgery?
When Sabrina Jones was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, she expected to have surgery to remove the tumor—and her entire breast. “My first instinct was ‘Get it out, get the cancer out,’” Ms. Jones said. But the 52-year-old manager at an educational-tech company responded so well to chemotherapy, her surgeon at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston informed her that the cancerous tumor was completely gone. He asked her to participate in an experiment in which she skipped surgery altogether. (Lagnado, 3/11)
World Must Prepare For Inevitable Next Flu Pandemic, WHO Says
The world will inevitably face another pandemic of flu and needs to prepare for the potential devastation that could cause, and not underestimate the risks, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. Outlining a global plan to fight the viral disease and get ahead of a potential global outbreak, the WHO said the next influenza pandemic "is a matter of when, not if." (3/11)
Healthcare Workers Face Violence ‘Epidemic'
It's a problem that happens at far greater rates in the healthcare sector than it does in the private sector overall, according to federal data. In fact, between 2002 and 2013, incidents of serious workplace violence were four times more common in healthcare than in private industry on average, according to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA counts serious workplace violence as incidents requiring days off. (Johnson, 3/11)
Full-Time School Nurses In Short Supply
According to the CDC, rates of diseases like diabetes and epilepsy have surged in children over the past few decades. Mental health needs have increased. Despite this, a 2018 study in the Journal of School Nursing found that fewer than 40 percent of schools employ full-time school nurses. (Feinberg, 3/11)
Whites Contribute More To Air Pollution — Minorities Bear The Burden
Pollution, much like wealth, is not distributed equally in the United States. Scientists and policymakers have long known that black and Hispanic Americans tend to live in neighborhoods with more pollution of all kinds, than white Americans. And because pollution exposure can cause a range of health problems, this inequity could be a driver of unequal health outcomes across the U.S. (Lambert, 3/11)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
One In Three Kids With ADHD Get No Support Services, New Study Finds
One in three students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not receive any support services at their schools, according to a national study of U.S. schoolchildren. The study — described as the largest of its kind — found that at least one in five students with ADHD receive no school-based services even when they experience significant academic and social impairment. (Giordano, 3/11)
Tattoo Therapy: How Ink Helps Sexual Assault Survivors Heal
For Olivia Adamson, her body art "is a visual reminder I am still alive. And still OK." What she particularly likes is the ability to touch it: the words "unbreakable" on the right side of her left foot and "survivor" in her aunt's handwriting on the inside of her left wrist. "If I am having a hard time, as soon as I touch my wrist and I run my finger over my word 'survivor,' it helps." Adamson, 24, of Austin, Texas, was sexually assaulted in November 2015 and in January 2016. In both cases, she knew the perpetrator. (Avramova, 3/12)
The Washington Post:
New Concern On College Campuses: ‘Drunkorexia,’ A Combination Drinking And Eating Disorder
My college experience included this life-skills lesson: Drink alcohol on a full stomach, so you don’t get inebriated too quickly. Of course, most college students shouldn’t be drinking at all, but we know from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism that close to 60 percent of college students ages 18 to 22 do consume alcohol, which makes harm-reducing approaches important. Unfortunately, campus authorities and researchers are reporting a practice that turns the full-stomach drinking strategy on its head: Rather than filling up before a night of partying, significant numbers of students refuse to eat all day before consuming alcohol. (Rosenbloom, 3/11)
Smoking During Pregnancy Doubles Risk Of Sudden Death For Baby, Study Says
Smoking even one cigarette a day during pregnancy can double the chance of sudden unexpected death for your baby, according to a new study analyzing over 20 million births, including over 19,000 unexpected infant deaths. The study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, analyzed data on smoking during pregnancy from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's birth/infant death data set between 2007 and 2011 and found that the risk of death rises by .07 for each additional cigarette smoked, up to 20 a day, a typical pack of cigarettes. (LaMotte, 3/11)
Dallas Morning News:
Ethiopians Didn't Have A Term For 'Stroke,' So This Dallas Doctor Created One
When Hareg Wolde arrived in the emergency room to see her mother, doctors gave her grave news. Her mother had suffered a massive stroke, they said, and she might not live through the night. Wolde was shocked. Just the day before, her mother, 68, had been strong and limber. She had climbed up and down the stairs of their Garland house with ease, cooked meals and cared for Wolde’s two young children. Now she lay unconscious, her right side paralyzed. (Kuchment, 3/11)