Health Buzz: nCoV Infects Two Health Care Workers

Diet changes that might cut breast cancer risk; mastering food obsession

The best approach to improving outcomes is to understand the behavioral changes and social aspects that lead to improved health, says Dr. Fauzia Khan of Alere Analytics.

The best approach to improving outcomes is to understand the behavioral changes and social aspects that lead to improved health, says Dr. Fauzia Khan of Alere Analytics.

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WHO: SARS-like Virus Infects Health Care Workers After Exposure to Patients

Two health care workers have been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to a World Health Organization update released Wednesday. These two incidents mark the first times health care workers have been diagnosed with nCoV after exposure to patients. In its update, WHO urges health care facilities to continue taking measures to decrease risk of virus transmission through both workers and patients, and to practice the "systematic implementation of infection prevention and control." Additionally, health care providers must remain alert to patients with acute respiratory infections – especially those who had recently travelled to areas affected by the virus.

The two infected health care workers are a man, age 45, who became ill on May 2 and is in critical condition, and a woman, age 43, who became ill on May 8 and is in stable condition. Since September 2012, WHO reports 40 confirmed cases of nCoV human infections, including 20 deaths spread among six countries.

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  • Diet Changes That Might Cut Breast Cancer Risk

    By now, we all know that Angelina Jolie quietly underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a genetic mutation that sharply increased her risk of breast cancer. Women with a faulty BRCA1 gene typically have a 45 to 90 percent risk of getting breast cancer during their life, compared to a 12 percent risk for the average woman. "My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent," Jolie wrote in a New York Times op-ed on Tuesday. "I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer."

    Jolie's surprise announcement shines a spotlight on breast cancer and women's health, bringing intense public attention to issues like prevention and treatment. While her condition is rare – mutations in BRCA1 and another gene, BRCA2, only cause 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers in the United States – all women can take steps to protect themselves against the disease. While you can't do anything about the genes you were born with, committing to a sound diet can help protect against breast cancer. "Researchers estimate that in the U.S., we can prevent about 38 percent of breast cancers with some basic healthy steps," says registered dietitian Karen Collins, a nutrition advisor for the American Institute for Cancer Research. "We can make a difference without doing anything extreme."

    While no food or dietary approach can flat-out prevent breast cancer, the risk of developing the disease could be reduced. Here's a roundup of findings. [Read more: Diet Changes That Might Cut Breast Cancer Risk]

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    • Mastering Food Obsession

      I was privileged last week to join Mika Brzezinski, along with her co-host Joe Scarborough, on MSNBC's Morning Joe program, to talk about Mika's new book, "Obsessed," writes U.S. News blogger David Katz. I am further privileged to appear throughout the book, in very good company, apparently as something of a vicarious consigliore. Mika and I met face-to-face for the first time on the set of the show.

      Mika's book is all about food obsession. But more particularly, it is about the intensely personal side of food obsession. Mika tells her own story, and her struggle to maintain the perfect, slender, on-air appearance for which she is known.

      The gist of "Obsessed" is that Mika has struggled with a sort of food obsession while always looking thin (too thin, if anything) and beautiful. The book chronicles her efforts to confront and admit the truth, to herself and others, and shift her focus from our often distorted cultural version of beauty to health. Mika tells of her efforts to get to a healthy relationship with food, which in her case meant gaining some weight, in tandem with the efforts of her friend, Diane Smith, for whom it meant losing over 70 pounds. Mika emphasizes that her struggle has been much the same as Diane's, and certainly no less hard. [Read more: Mastering Food Obsession]