Storm Deaths Often Result From People Ignoring Too-Familiar Emergency Warnings. So How Do Officials Combat ‘Response Fatigue’?
Social scientists are on the hunt for answers, and are interviewing storm survivors trying to piece together ways to get through to people who have gotten used to ignoring emergency warnings. In other public health news: stem cell treatments, autistic travelers, internet addiction, silent heart attacks and more.
How Disaster Warnings Can Get Your Attention
Gerardo Ramirez, a central Texas dairy worker, was near his home but taking an unusual route to a children’s hospital in April when he drove his Volkswagen Jetta into a flooded section of road, not seeing in the pre-dawn dark that heavy rains had turned a tiny creek into a death trap. Ramirez survived, but his wife and two children drowned.In March, 800 miles away in Lee County, Alabama, 23 people ranging in age from 6 to 93 were killed in a 170 mph tornado — despite an evacuation warning by local authorities just like ones that many residents had heeded in previous storms this year. (Henderson, 7/9)
Case Highlights The Risks Of Experimental Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapies have the potential to treat many conditions, but so far there’s little proof that they do. Even so, clinics around the world offer stem cell-based treatments for a host of medical problems. New research warns that some of these treatments might not be effective and can, in fact, cause harm — sometimes many years down the line. (Flaherty, 7/11)
The New York Times:
Rolling Out The Welcome Mat For Travelers With Autism
When Nicole Thibault had her first child, she imagined traveling everywhere with him. But by age 2, he would become upset by simply passing a restaurant that smelled of garlic. Waiting in line elicited tantrums and crowded places overwhelmed him. Autism was diagnosed within the year. “I thought maybe our family dream of travel wouldn’t happen,” said Ms. Thibault, 46, of Fairport, N.Y., who now has three children. But she spent the next three years learning to prepare her son for travel by watching videos of future destinations and attractions so that he would know what to expect. (Glusac, 7/11)
Addicted To The Internet? Behavioral Therapy Could Work, Researchers Find
Many people spend hours on the internet every week -- but some people can't pull away. For individuals with internet addiction, there's a type of short-term therapy that can be an effective treatment, according to a small study published Wednesday in medical journal JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers found that 69.4% of men with internet addiction entered remission if they received short-term cognitive behavioral therapy, compared to 23.9% of men who entered remission while being on a waitlist to receive therapy. (Nigam, 7/10)
Many Sudden Cardiac Deaths Linked To Prior Silent Heart Attacks, Study Says
Many people who die of sudden cardiac arrest may have had a heart attack earlier in life without ever realizing it, according to a new study. In the study, almost half -- 42.4% -- of people who had no prior knowledge of coronary artery disease, but died of sudden cardiac arrest, showed signs of having had a prior silent heart attack. The study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Cardiology. (Howard, 7/10)
Lexington Herald Leader:
The Coal Industry Is Dying But Still Hurting Miners On The Way Out.
President Donald Trump promised that he would renew the coal economy, but we can see that he’s no match for the free market. And now politicians should turn their attention back to what they will do to help coal miners through these last painful throes of a post-coal economy. (Blackford, 7/10)
The New York Times:
Even Moderate Air Pollution May Lead To Lung Disease
Even moderate levels of air pollution can cause lung function impairment that rivals the damage caused by smoking, a new study found. Researchers studied 303,887 British men and women, with data on lung health gathered by physical examination and air pollution statistics geographically coded to the participants’ home addresses. (Bakalar, 7/10)