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CouplesExposedtoZikaShouldWaitonPregnancy

March 25, 2016 -- Couples who are trying to have a baby should wait a few months to get pregnant if either partner has been exposed to the Zika virus through travel, the CDC said today.

That’s true whether they’ve had symptoms or not.

Women who’ve been to an area where mosquitos carry the virus and have had at least one symptom of Zika infection should wait for at least 2 months to conceive; men who’ve had Zika should wait for 6 months.

Even if they haven’t had any symptoms, men and women should wait at least 2 months to get pregnant, the new guidelines say.

Denise Jamieson, MD, co-lead of the CDC’s Pregnancy and Birth Defects Team, said experts had arrived at those time frames by taking the longest known survival of Zika virus in the body and tripling it out of caution.

“These recommendations are our best attempt to try to provide reasonable time frames based on how long the virus persists in the blood and how long the virus persists in semen,” Jamieson said. But she admitted that there was still a lot that was not known about how long the virus may stay in the body.

Symptoms of Zika infection include fever, rash, red eyes, and joint pain. Most people who are infected never have symptoms, though, so the CDC said a blood test that’s positive for Zika would be another reason people should put pregnancy plans on hold.

People catch the virus mainly through mosquito bites, but it can also be passed through sex.

For most people, the infection is mild and goes away after a week or so, but it can be very dangerous for pregnant women. Recent studies have strongly linked the virus to an increased risk for miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects -- particularly microcephaly, where a baby is born with a smaller-than-normal head and brain.

In rare cases, Zika, like other infections, can trigger a rare disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), where the body turns on itself, attacking its own nerves. The condition causes paralysis, and patients may need months of care to fully recover. In at least one other person, the virus was linked to brain swelling that put an elderly man in a coma.

日期:2016年3月26日 - 来自[Health News]栏目
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Zika Virus: What You Should Know

Jan. 7, 2016 -- The mosquito-borne Zika virus has caused panic in Brazil since it first appeared there in May. Nearly 3,000 babies in Brazil have been born with microcephaly, which causes devastating brain damage. Although a link between the two isn’t definitely established, the Brazilian government has taken the unprecedented step of advising women to avoid pregnancy until the crisis has been solved.

“There’s a lot of fear in Brazil. People are really scared of this virus,” says Zika researcher Scott Weaver, PhD, director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “I have colleagues working there who see four to five births a day of infants with microcephaly.”

Late last month, Zika was diagnosed for the first time in Puerto Rico, and officials believe it’s likely to spread to the U.S.

To better understand the disease, its risks, and what it may mean for Americans, WebMD turned to infectious disease researchers such as Weaver as well as experts at the CDC and elsewhere.

What is the Zika virus? How do you catch it?

Zika virus, first identified in Uganda in 1947, is transmitted by the same type of mosquito that carries dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya virus. A mosquito bites an infected person and then passes those viruses to other people it bites. Outbreaks did not occur outside of Africa until 2007, when it spread to the South Pacific.

What are the symptoms of Zika virus?

The disease can cause fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis, also called pinkeye. But most people won’t know they have it.

“Only about 1 in 5 people with the virus will exhibit symptoms,” says Amesh Adalja, MD, a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “The vast majority have no symptoms at all.”

Adalja also says the virus rarely causes major complications. “It’s never been thought of as a severe infectious disease until now.”

But in rare cases, Zika has been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can cause partial or complete paralysis, most often temporary.

日期:2016年1月8日 - 来自[Health News]栏目

What You Should Know About ‘Superbug’ CRE

Feb. 20, 2015 -- The ''superbug'' infection at the heart of an outbreak at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles is sometimes called “the nightmare bacteria” because it’s so resistant to antibiotics.

Two deaths at the California medical center are linked to the bacteria, known as CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Five other patients are infected and nearly 200 may have been exposed, the center says. Exposure stemmed from two contaminated instruments used during procedures done over the past few months at the facility.

WebMD turned to two experts and the CDC to find out more about CRE.

What is CRE and how does it spread?

CRE is in a family of bacteria that are normally found in the gut and have become resistant to antibiotics. They are resistant to most of the available antibiotics, says Stephen Calderwood, MD. He's the president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and chief of the infectious disease division at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

The devices linked with the UCLA outbreak, known as duodenoscopes, are used in more than 500,000 procedures a year in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The scope is inserted into the mouth and through the throat, stomach, and the top of the small intestine. It helps doctors diagnose and treat diseases of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas. The FDA warned that the scopes might still carry a risk of infection even after proper cleaning procedures.

The problems can start when the bacteria leave the intestine and live in other areas, such as the urinary tract, lungs, skin, and on medical equipment, Calderwood says. "They mainly cause infections when they get to a certain number and the ability of the body to fight off infection breaks down."

Who is most at risk?

"Most healthy people don't get these infections," says Robert Glatter, MD. He's an emergency medicine doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York. "It's the people living in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or who have long hospital stays."

Those who get infected often have other diseases, are on antibiotics, and have had a procedure involving a medical device, Calderwood says.

日期:2015年2月21日 - 来自[Health News]栏目
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Measles at Disneyland: What You Should Know

Jan. 20, 2015 -- At least 42 people have caught measles in an outbreak linked to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park over the Christmas holidays, health officials say.

The number includes 36 people in California and six from other states and Mexico, according to the California Department of Public Health.

While the contagious period is over, concerns about measles and future outbreaks remain.

Here, experts address what you need to know.

Q: How widespread is measles now?

The United States declared measles eliminated in 2000, according to the CDC. But outbreaks in recent years have been reported in Western Europe, Pakistan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Travelers from those areas can bring the disease back to the U.S. when they visit.

U.S. measles cases in 2014 hit a record number since the 2000 declaration, according to the CDC -- 644 cases were reported in 27 states.?

Q: Who brought the measles to the amusement parks?

Public health experts haven't yet found the first patient, and doing so can be "almost impossible," says Aaron Glatt, MD. He's an infectious disease specialist and spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Q: How is measles spread, and does it spread easily?

"You can catch it from anyone who has measles," Glatt says. The virus lives in the nose and throat mucus of the person affected, according to the CDC. When the infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus can be spread.

The virus is capable of living for up to 2 hours on a surface or in airspace, the CDC says. When others touch an infected surface, then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes -- or, when they breathe the air with the virus -- it can be spread and an infection can happen.

Measles is highly infectious. According to CDC estimates, 90% of those who aren't immune to the measles virus and are close to an infected person will also get measles.

Q: What are the first symptoms and how quickly do they usually show up?

Typically, people infected have a fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Within a few days, the hallmark red rash usually appears, usually first on the face. It then can spread to the rest of the body.

日期:2015年1月22日 - 来自[Health News]栏目

Should You Monitor Your Teen’s Online Activity?

When your teen goes online, where does she go and what does she do? The Internet makes information accessible in ways previous generations never imagined. Social networking has all but replaced the telephone as teens’ preferred way to communicate. And online videos are putting television programmers on alert in the quest for American teens’ attention.

The Internet is also a place where anyone can say anything, where knowing the difference between fact and fiction is harder than most teens or adults realize. For parents worried about their teenager’s possible substance abuse, online activity can seem as hazardous as a boozy, unsupervised party.

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Online safety experts advise parents to stay on top their teens’ activities. Easier said than done. “As a parent, it’s very easy not to know what’s going on, especially if your kid is smart or creative about hiding things from you,” says John Rodolico, PhD, director of adolescent addictions training at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

Tracking teens’ online activities is even harder if parents feel lost in the online universe. This article explores teen Internet use, drug information they may find, and low and high-tech ways parents can watch out for their kids’ well being.

Teens Are Teens, Online or Off

The Internet is the way most kids communicate with the world today. About 93% of kids aged 12 to 17 go online, with 73% of these teens using social media such as Facebook or MySpace, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. ??

“The fact is, kids are online, and most of them are smarter than we realize.” Larry Magid, co-director of ConnectSafely.org, tells WebMD. Even if they want to, parents cannot effectively ban kids from using the Internet, and often there’s no good reason to do so.

Typically, teenagers use the Internet to be teenagers. Researchers at California State University reviewed teen blogs and chat groups and found what many experts suspected, that standard teen issues -- family, peers, romance, and identity -- constitute the bulk of the online discussions. Besides communicating, teens typically use the Internet to get news about current events; purchase books, clothing, or music; or get information about health, weight loss, and fitness.

Teens Can Learn About Drugs Online

Nonetheless, if a teenager is using drugs or leaning in that direction, the Internet provides ample reinforcement. A motivated teen can find a mountain of drug information online, including YouTube videos of teens tripping on cough medicine and information about drugs that defy standard urine tests.

A number of web sites (erowid.org, lycaeum.org, and dancesafe.org, to name a few) claim to provide a balanced picture of drug use. Some include “trip” or “experience” reports, in which individuals describe the highs they’ve achieved using recreational drugs. These sites could influence teens who are already using drugs and others looking to justify their decision to experiment with drugs.

“I have had kids insist vehemently that there is nothing wrong with marijuana and that you can’t become dependent on it because they found that information online,” says Rodolico. After 30 years of working with kids, Rodolico knows that trying to convince teens of nearly anything is a losing battle. “We can’t ban kids from the Internet, but in groups we do tell kids if they don’t want to relapse, they should stay away from those (drug reinforcing) sites,” he says.

With such online perils, tried and true parenting skills, such as letting children know you love them and setting clear, consistent guidelines, may be more important than ever. “Parents should be proactive and fold the Internet into engaged parental activity,” says Anne Collier, executive director of Net Family News Inc. Collier advises parents to talk to their kids regularly about their online activities: what sites they visit most often and if they ever see things that make them uneasy.

Parents can also use the Internet to help kids develop critical thinking skills. “There’s a difference between credible, reliable sources and those that aren’t,” says Magid. You may illustrate this point by sitting down with your child to compare drug information on a variety of sites. If your child pulls up a pro-drug site, have her compare the information to clubdrugs.gov, hosted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and www.drugfree.org, hosted by the Partnership at Drugfreee.org.

'Friend' Your Teen on Social Media

Lack of experience does not have to stop you. If your teen knows more than you do, and most teens do these days, you have a social media expert in your home. Ask him to show you the social networking ropes. If you do not have an account, ask your teen to help you set one up, preferably on the same network he frequents.

According to a recent survey, in households where both kids and parents have a Facebook account, one-third of parents got help from their kids in setting up their accounts. The vast majority (86%) of these parents are Facebook friends with their kids. Being your teen’s friend provides a window into what she and her friends are saying on her profile page. Some parents go a step further and have their teens give them their usernames and passwords. Given that 60% of teens report setting up controls to block certain content from their parent’s view, logging on as your child may give you a more complete picture.

Consider the Pros and Cons of Online Monitoring

Browser histories provide a record of the sites visited on that computer. Whether or not you monitor your teen’s browser history comes down to personal choice. Rodolico, who works with teen addicts, advises parents to “go ahead and monitor, as long as you monitor all of your kids’ activities, not just one.”

Meanwhile, Collier and Magid, who work with parents of non-addicted teens, warn of the pitfalls of online monitoring. “If you find something suspicious, you’ll need to talk to your child about it,” says Collier. If you’ve been monitoring your teen’s online history without her knowing, the discussion will likely go off topic. “It will turn into a conversation about trust, with your child feeling like you don’t trust her, and she can’t trust you.”

All three experts agree that kids can and do find workarounds to their parent’s investigative efforts. For instance, kids can easily clear a browser’s history, or even remove certain sites and leave others. Parents should therefore not get a false sense of security if their monitoring efforts turn up a squeaky clean slate. Monitoring your teen's online activities is a poor substitute for parent-child communications.

Different Internet browsers have slightly different ways of pulling up the history. Below are step-by-step guides for three of the most popular Internet browsers. If your child uses a different browser, go to the online support page for that program and search for “Browser History.”

  • In Internet Explorer, select the Favorites menu and select History. You will see a listing that can be sorted by date, site name, sites visited most often or most frequently.
  • In Safari, select the History menu and then select Show All History. If you want to see further back into the browser’s history, go to the Safari menu and select Preferences. In the General preferences, look for Remove History Items and select a time frame.
  • In Firefox, select the History menu and then select Show All History

A number of software programs are available to help parents keep a watchful eye on their kids’ online activities. Some, such as SafetyWeb and SocialShield, will send an alert to parents if language or photos in their child’s social networking activities signal possible trouble.

Keep in mind, your child can probably get around your monitoring efforts. Further, if you monitor without maintaining an open dialogue with your teenager, you may miss the opportunity to help him develop safe Internet skills that will serve him well, no matter what new technology comes along next.

日期:2011年8月18日 - 来自[Parenting]栏目
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Should Adults Allow Supervised Teen Drinking?

April 28, 2011 -- Letting younger teens drink alcohol with supervision from mom and dad may lead to higher drinking rates and more alcohol-related problems as kids get older than a “zero tolerance” approach, a new study suggests.

The research offers an international perspective on underage drinking and parental supervision since it looked at two countries on opposite sides of the globe with different attitudes toward it.

In the study, published in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, scientists compared the opinions of 1,945 seventh-grade students and their parents over a three-year period. Slightly less than half the group came from Washington state while the rest were from Victoria, Australia.

Many parents in Australia gradually introduce teens to alcohol in supervised settings with adults monitoring them. This "harm-minimization" approach views alcohol as a normal part of growing up and involving parents in overseeing this behavior helps teens learn responsible drinking later on.

In the U.S., on the other hand, many parents have a "zero-tolerance" approach that frowns on all youth drinking.

Supervised Teen Drinking

Students completed a written survey each year from seventh through ninth grade, and parents did a one-time phone survey during the first year of the project.

Seventh-graders in Australia reported more alcohol use (59%) than their U.S. peers (39%). By eighth grade, two-thirds of the Australian teens had tried alcohol with adult supervision, but little more than a third of the American adolescents had.

In ninth grade, 71% of the teens from Australia drank, compared to 45% in Washington. Besides higher usage, more than one-third of the Australian youngsters reported having a drinking-related problem, such as getting sick, passing out, or losing control, while roughly one-fifth of the American teens did.

Later Problems With Alcohol

Researchers found that the younger students were when they first started drinking, the more likely they were to continue drinking by ninth grade and have a negative experience with alcohol. This was true in both countries. But drinking at an earlier age under the watch of parents seemed to lead to higher rates of alcohol-related problems in Australian youths. A more permissive parenting approach to alcohol appeared to encourage drinking but didn't necessarily teach safe, responsible drinking.

"Kids need parents to be parents and not drinking buddies," says study researcher Barbara J. McMorris, PhD, a senior research associate in the department of adolescent health and medicine at the University of Minnesota, in a news release.

McMorris also advises that parents enforce a "no-use" policy to teen drinking. "Kids need black and white messages early on," she says, and setting and reinforcing these limits when teens are younger may help reduce harmful alcohol use as they get older.?

日期:2011年4月30日 - 来自[Parenting]栏目

Facts of Cyberlife: Should You Invade Your Tween‘s Privacy?

Back in the early 1980s, in the evening after dinner, you could often find my 11-year-old self looking for privacy under my father's desk -- the looped phone cord stretched taut -- talking to one of my girlfriends, Jenny, Amy, or Caitlin.

What we talked about -- crushes, clothes, classes -- is much like what our daughters are "talking" about today. But they're doing it with their fingers as they engage in text messaging, IMs, taking and sending photos, and online chatting. And, like many parents I know, I often feel intimidated by these tools, even a touch afraid. Who might be trying to communicate with my kid? Will my children's private texts and emails be forwarded? How exactly is IM used?

Helping young people navigate these new social landscapes requires a rational head and engaged parenting, says Nancy Willard, MS, JD, director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use and author of Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to Use the Internet Safely and Responsibly. That said, the risk of predators and other dangers is wildly overestimated in the public's imagination, she says.

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Teaching Your Kids On-Line Values

While it is true that today's parents are "technological immigrants" -- accommodating but not fully at home in new communication methods? -- Willard says the core values parents strive to teach children about social interactions remain the same: consideration, respect, and kindness.

Staying involved within your tween's communications is step one, Willard says. "If your daughter is texting, you need to be one of the people she's texting," she says. By being in the mix, parents are better situated to know whom their kids are communicating with and what they're communicating about. And parents will be more likely to be aware of a bullying text or an intrusive IM.

"It's all about teachable moments," Willard says, helping children learn how to handle a bully's email, just as you would offer them strategies for dealing with a bully on the school bus.

Another important element is to avoid overreacting if something goes wrong -- if your child forwards a gossipy email, say, or posts an inappropriate picture.?"Your child needs to know that he or she can come to you and you're going to work together to solve problems," Willard says.?

Three Digital Do's for Parents

Think, then send . "The more embarrassing or damaging the material you post, the greater the likelihood it will spread widely," Willard says. Parents need to teach kids not to write or type anything they wouldn't say to someone face to face.

Face your own fear . Being hyper-concerned about kids' texting and instant messaging can be dangerous. "Fear is interfering with the positive relationship we need to have between parents and kids to protect them," says Willard. "It's causing kids not to report because parents overact."

Get involved . "One time some boys were sending my daughter sexually harassing messages," says Willard. "I told her, 'If you get a message from any of these people or about the situation, I need to see it so we can look at it and make sure you're resolving it.'" When your child needs help negotiating a situation, be there.

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日期:2010年9月3日 - 来自[Parenting]栏目
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Parents, Schools Should Talk to Kids About Sex

Aug. 30, 2010 -- Kids spend more than seven hours a day glued to the TV or online, where they are bombarded with mixed, unrealistic, and confusing messages about sex, sexuality, and contraception. Parents, pediatricians, and educators need to step up efforts to buck these trends, according to a revised policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The new recommendations appear in the September issue of Pediatrics.

"Parents need to realize that the media are teaching their kids about sex. And if they don't encourage schools to teach comprehensive sex education then their kids will learn a whole lot that parents are not happy with," says Victor C. Strasburger, MD, chief of the division of adolescent medicine at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.?

Many schools have an abstinence-only curriculum, while the media portray casual sex and sexuality without lasting consequences, Strasburger writes. And, he adds, society is paying the price: kids are having sex earlier, one in four U.S. teens has had a sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and the U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the Western Hemisphere.

Parents can start taking sex ed back by limiting TV time to less than two hours a day and keeping the TV or Internet out of kids' bedrooms, Strasburger says. In addition, "watching TV and movies with your child or teenager can be a great way of talking about controversial subjects," he suggests.

"Sex education starts from the minute they change their baby's diaper and what they refer to babies' genitalia as, whether the parents leave the door open while they are in the bathroom, run around the house naked or half naked, or blush when something sexy comes on TV," he says. "This is all sex education, and kids are little sponges that soak it all up."

Media Responsibility Urged

The new recommendations, which were last updated in 2001, also call on the entertainment industry to produce more responsible sexual content and focus on relationships, not just sex. They also urge advertisers to stop using sex to sell, and specifically stress that ads for erectile dysfunction (ED) should not be broadcast until after 10 p.m.

These ads are confusing, he tells WebMD. "It is hypocritical to spend half a billion dollars on drugs for ED, but not be able to advertise for birth control pills, condoms, or emergency contraception," he says. While there are ads for oral contraceptives, most focus on benefits beyond pregnancy prevention such as premenstrual syndrome. And condoms are only advertised as a means to prevent sexually transmitted disease, not pregnancy, he says.

"We need to take back the agenda," agrees Diane Levin, PhD, a professor of education at Wheelock College in Boston and the author of So Sexy, So Soon. "The media is providing an incrediblydestructive sex education for our youth, and then we are fighting over what we teach them in schools. It's a horror show," she says. "Parent and schools must work together."

Kimberly Spector, an adolescent-health educator in Los Angeles, says that parents and teachers must also figure out how to partner with the media. "We need to figure out how to work with mass media to educate young people," she says. "Maybe during sex scenes, they would be willing include information in a news ticker pointing viewers to educational web sites. Maybe music sites can incorporate sexual health advisories and resource lists into music downloads containing sexually explicit lyrics."

"As a community, we need to take every opportunity to infuse young peoples' favorite media experiences with the information they need to round out their understanding of sex and sexuality," she says. "If we can get the hang of it, celebrities, pop music, and the Internet will be our greatest allies in raising a new generation of more informed, empowered, and sexually responsible young people."

Teens Need Accurate Information

"Teens should have access to complete and medically accurate information about sexual and reproductive health, which includes responsible programming from the entertainment industry and comprehensive sex education in schools," adds Rachel Jones, PhD, a senior research associate at the Allen Guttmacher Institute, a group that promotes research and awareness on sexual and reproductive health issues.

If parents and doctors speak about sex, kids will listen, she says.
"Teens obtain sexual health information from a wide range of sources -- including media sources such as television, movies, magazines, and the Internet, but teens typically view this information as superficial or untrustworthy," she says. "Teens' most common and most trusted sources for sexual health information are educators and family members. And while many teens do not have in-depth conversations with health professionals about these issues, they place a great amount of trust in what their health care providers say when it comes to sexual health."

日期:2010年8月31日 - 来自[Parenting]栏目
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