Will This Year’s Flu Vaccine Mix Protect People From The Coming Season?
Evidence emerges that lead some to worry that two of the four selections made last winter for this upcoming season’s flu vaccine could be off the mark, Stat reports. In other public health news: social media's impact on kids; good Samaritans who donate organs twice; asthma; and dangerous cosmetics.
Flu Vaccine Selections May Be An Ominous Sign For This Winter
Twice a year influenza experts meet at the World Health Organization to pore over surveillance data provided by countries around the world to try to predict which strains are becoming the most dominant. The Northern Hemisphere strain selection meeting is held in late February; the Southern Hemisphere meeting occurs in late September. The selections that officials made last week for the next Southern Hemisphere vaccine suggest that two of four viruses in the Northern Hemisphere vaccine that doctors and pharmacies are now pressing people to get may not be optimally protective this winter. Those two are influenza A/H3N2 and the influenza B/Victoria virus. (Branswell, 9/30)
The Washington Post:
The Big Number: 3 Or More Hours A Day Of Social Media Use Hurts Youths’ Mental Health
Might time spent on social media — YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like — affect young people’s mental health? Yes, says a report by Johns Hopkins and other researchers, published in JAMA Psychiatry. For instance, they found that 12- to 15-year-olds who typically spent three or more hours a day on social media were about twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety, loneliness, aggression or antisocial behavior as were adolescents who did not use social media. As the youths’ social media time increased, so did their risk, making them four times more likely than nonusers to have these problems if they spent more than six hours a day on social media. (Searing, 9/30)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Rare Good Samaritans Who Donated Organs Twice
It’s hard enough for most people to imagine what it takes for a living donor to give an organ to a friend, family member or stranger. What about those who have done that good deed twice? Only 47 people in the U.S. have donated more than one organ to two different people over the past 25 years, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the nonprofit that runs the nation’s transplant system. (Another 17 people have donated two different organs to the same recipient on different dates.) Of those who donated to two different people, 43 out of 47 donated a kidney and part of their liver. (Reddy, 9/30)
The New York Times:
Asthma 3-In-1 Therapy May Improve Lung Function, Study Shows
Many people with asthma use inhalers to control the chronic inflammation in their lungs. But for those with more severe forms of the disease, the standard inhaled medication may not be enough to keep the wheezing, chest tightness and attacks at bay. Now, a new combination-therapy — using three drugs in a single inhaler — may provide some relief, according to doctors presenting the results of two clinical trials on Monday at the annual conference of the European Respiratory Society in Madrid and published in The Lancet. (Sheikh, 9/30)
Kaiser Health News:
Skin-Lightening Cream Put A Woman Into A Coma. It Could Happen Again.
A Sacramento woman is in a coma after using a face cream from Mexico. It is the nation’s first case of methylmercury poisoning from a cosmetic, and public health officials can do almost nothing to prevent other contaminated cosmetics from hitting the shelves. (Almendrala, 10/1)