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Showing posts from February 7, 2016

Zika Sexual Transmission in US Prompts Health Warning

After a person in Dallas was confirmed to have contracted the Zika virus through sex, U.S. health officials are warning men who travel to countries where Zika is spreading to take steps to prevent spreading the virus through sex. If a man has a pregnant partner, and has traveled to any of the more than 20 countries where Zika virus is spreading, he should either abstain from sex, or use condoms, until the end of his partner's pregnancy, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today (Feb. 5). The warning comes because health officials are concerned about a strong link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and a birth defect called microcephaly, in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and face lifelong cognitive impairments.

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Super Bowl Teams' Cities See Spike in Flu Deaths

Football fans in Denver and Charlotte might want to be extra vigilant about hand washing during the Big Game this Sunday — a new study finds that cities whose teams play in the Super Bowl have an increase in deaths due to flu that year. It found that counties that had teams advance to the Super Bowl had an 18 percent increase in flu deaths among people over age 65, compared to counties that didn't have a team in the Super Bowl that year. The researchers suspect that Super Bowl parties and other social events that bring people together for the game lead to an increase in flu transmission, particularly for those areas that have teams playing.

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Electric Patch Helps Some People with PTSD in Small Study

People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could someday be treated with the help of an electric patch worn on their head when they are sleeping, researchers say. In the small new study, 12 people who had been suffering from PTSD and depression for an average of 30 years — and were already being treated with psychotherapy, medication or both — wore the patch each night while sleeping, over an eight-week period. The researchers found that the severity of the participants' PTSD decreased by an average of more than 30 percent, and the severity of their depression dropped by an average of more than 50 percent, over the study period.

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