Make this year a Healthy One
Did you know: According to PNP Daily News:
The Wall Street Journal (2/10, McKay, Subscription Publication) reports that a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine provides new evidence of a link between the Zika virus and microcephaly. Researchers found Zika in the brain tissue of a microcephalic fetus that had been carried by a European woman who had symptoms of the virus in the 13th week of her pregnancy while living in Brazil; the woman terminated the pregnancy after ultrasounds of the fetus began to show microcephaly symptoms in the 29th week of gestation.
USA Today (2/10, Szabo) reports, “Ultrasounds performed at 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy showed normal fetal growth and anatomy, according to the study.”
The Los Angeles Times (2/10, Healy) reports that an autopsy of the aborted fetus “revealed a brain that had virtually none of the folds and convolutions that would usually be seen on the brain’s surface in a fetus at that point in its development.” Researchers also found calcium deposits throughout the brain’s white matter. The new study comes “just a day after researchers at a Brazilian hospital reported” in JAMA Ophthalmology that “they had found ocular abnormalities in 35% of 29 infants born with microcephaly.” In that study, “four in five of the newborns’ mothers reported having suffered symptoms during pregnancy consistent with Zika infection.”
Reuters (2/11, Steenhuysen) reports that in an accompanying editorial, Drs. Eric Rubin, Michael Green, and Lindsey Baden wrote that the new findings don’t provide concrete proof that Zika causes the birth defect, but do help “strengthen the biologic association” between Zika virus infection and microcephaly.
Also covering the story are the AP (2/10, Neergaard), the NBC News (2/10, Fox) website, HealthDay (2/10, Thompson), and another AP (2/10, Tanner) article.
WHO Urges Protection From Mosquitoes, Safe Sex For Women In Zika-Affected Areas. Reuters (2/10, Nebehay) reports the WHO on Wednesday advised women in Zika-affected areas, especially pregnant women, to protect themselves from mosquitoes and practice safe sex, though the organization conceded there is still much unknown about the virus. The WHO also indicated most women in Zika areas will give birth to normal infants. Meanwhile, the UN did not recommend travel restrictions, but did advise women to “determine the level of risk they wish to take” and consult their physicians if traveling to or from Zika-affected locations. Another Reuters (2/11, Nebehay, Kelland) article also covers the story.
MSSA And MRSA Have Nearly Equal Death Rates Following Infection Among Newborns, Study Finds.
NBC News (10/20) reports on its website that new research shows that “ordinary staph infections are just as likely to kill newborn babies as infections caused by a superbug.” Investigators surveyed 48 neonatal intensive care units across the United States between “1997 through 2012 and found most staph infections — 72 percent of them — caused by ordinary Staphylococcus aureus germs,” while only “28 percent were caused by the headline-generating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.”
No Amount Of Alcohol Consumption Is Safe For Pregnant Women, AAP Says.
David Muir reported on ABC World News (10/19, story 8, 1:40, Muir), “Contrary to what millions of expectant moms may have been told – that a small amount of alcohol is okay – now the nation’s top pediatricians” from the American Academy of Pediatrics are “saying no amount of alcohol is safe for unborn babies.” ABC News Correspondent Lindsey Davis added that the new AAP guideline “identifies prenatal exposure to alcohol as the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual disabilities in children.” Davis noted that a recent study from the CDC found that “ten percent of pregnant women reported drinking alcohol during pregnancy.”
CBS Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jon Lapook added on the CBS Evening News (10/19, story 11, 1:05, Pelley), “Even though these recommendations have been in place for 30 years, roughly 30 percent of women drink during pregnancy and three percent binge, four or more drinks at once.”
HealthDay (10/20, Dotinga) reports that Dr. Janet Williams, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center and co-author of the new statement and report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), said that future studies will likely continue to show that “alcohol has subtle yet important lasting effects on academic performance, attention, behavior, cognition, memory, language skills, and visual and motor development.” The new report was published online in Pediatrics.