- Vogue Pledges to Only Use Healthy-Looking Models
- Federal Funding for Oregon Preventive Health Program
- Helmet Use in Tornado Okay, But Still Need Safe Shelter: CDC
- Electronic Implants Restore Men's Vision
- Bacterial Infection Killed California Researcher
- U.S. Health Officials Link Outbreak of Rare Eye Infection to Florida Pharmacy
- Ex-NFL Star's Death Likely to Spur Questions About Concussions
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Vogue Pledges to Only Use Healthy-Looking Models
The fashion magazine Vogue will no longer use models who appear to have an eating disorder or models under the age of 16.
The pact, made by the editors of the 19 international editions of the magazine, was announced Thursday, CBS News reported.
"Vogue editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers," Conde Nast International chairman Jonathan Newhouse said.
The change will take effect in the June issues of all the international editions of Vogue, CBS News reported.
Federal Funding for Oregon Preventive Health Program
The Obama administration says it's willing to provide $1.9 billion over five years to help Oregon launch a new health care plan to promote preventive care in order to reduce health care costs.
State officials believe the program could save $11 billion in state and federal health care spending over the next decade by reducing duplicated treatments and preventable hospitalizations, the Associated Press reported.
Using this approach to save Medicaid billions of dollars can be achieved without sacrificing the quality of health care, according to Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat and former emergency room doctor.
He said the federal government could save $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years if all 50 states adopted similar programs, the AP reported.
Helmet Use in Tornado Okay, But Still Need Safe Shelter: CDC
Wearing a helmet during a tornado is okay but you still need to find safe shelter, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
Head trauma is a common among people who die or suffer serious injuries in tornadoes. Some safety advocates have started telling people to wear helmets when there is a tornado warning, USA Today reported.
While there is no good research on the effectiveness of helmets in tornadoes, "we do know that head injuries are common causes of death during tornadoes, and we have long made the recommendation that people try to protect their heads," the CDC said in a statement Thursday.
However, the CDC said if you decide to wear a helmet during a tornado warning you need to make sure that looking for it won't delay you from getting to the basement or other types of shelter, USA Today reported.
The CDC also emphasized that helmets "should not be considered an alternative to seeking appropriate shelter."
Electronic Implants Restore Men's Vision
Small wireless devices restored useful vision in two British men who had previously been totally blind due to the genetic eye condition retinitis pigmentosa.
The implants, which contain 1,500 tiny electronic light detectors and are fitted behind the retina, send electronic signals to the optic nerve, CBS News reported.
Chris James, 54, and Robin Millar, 60, were able to detect light and locate objects on a dark background immediately after the devices were activated.
The devices are made by German company Retina Implant AG and the clinical trials on the two men were conducted at Oxford University Hospital NHS Trust in the U.K.
"What makes this unique is that all functions of the retina are integrated into the chip," surgical team leader Professor Robert MacLaren said in a university news release, CBS News reported.
Bacterial Infection Killed California Researcher
The death Saturday of a 25-year-old researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center was caused by a meningococcal infection he may have acquired at the hospital.
The man, whose name has not been released, developed headache, fever and chills on Friday about two hours after he left the lab where he was helping to develop a vaccine for Neisseria meningitidis, a bacterium that causes life-threatening blood infections and meningitis, ABC News reported.
"It looks like he took all the appropriate precautions," said Dr. Harry Lampiris, chief of infectious diseases at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, who described the ventilated workspace in the lab that sucks air up and any from the person handling the bacteria. "But this is under investigation by Cal-OSHA [California Occupational Health and Safety Association]."
Neisseria meningitidis is transmitted person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Ten people who had close contact with the researcher, including his girlfriend and roommates, have been given antibiotics, San Francisco Department of Public Health spokeswoman Eileen Shields told ABC News.
Another 60 people at the San Francisco VA Medical Center have received antibiotics, including the researcher's coworkers and medical staff involved in his treatment.
U.S. Health Officials Link Outbreak of Rare Eye Infection to Florida Pharmacy
Thirty-three cases of a rare eye infection spanning seven states were reported Thursday by U.S. health officials, who say they have traced the products linked with the outbreak to a Florida pharmacy.
Many of the eye infections have been traced to a dye and an injection including the corticosteroid triamcinolone from Franck's Compounding Lab, in Ocala. According to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was published Thursday, 20 of the cases appear to be linked to the dye and 13 are connected with triamcinolone. All the products involved were bought from Franck's, the report stated.
Some type of eye procedure that included surgery or injections was involved in all 33 cases; 23 of the patients suffered vision loss and 24 had to have another surgical procedure, the CDC report indicated. California health officials first alerted the CDC in March after nine patients treated at one center in that state developed the rare eye infection late last year. Meanwhile, Franck's recalled the dye lots and a single lot of triamcinolone in March.
The ongoing investigation has involved numerous state and local health departments, the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. When FDA officials tested unopened bottles of dye and unused syringes at Franck's, numerous species of bacteria and funguses were found, according to the CDC report.
Officials from Franck's said in a statement that several changes have been made at the lab to assure product safety, including hiring a pharmacist to oversee quality assurance, the Associated Press reported.
While the investigation is continuing, federal health officials advise doctors and patients to avoid "compounded products labeled as sterile from Franck's," the CDC report stated.
According to the AP, health officials noted that Franck's had mixed supplements in 2009 that wound up killing 21 elite polo horses. The owners of the ponies have since filed a lawsuit against the company, which admitted to putting too much selenium in the horse supplement mix, the wire service reported.
Ex-NFL Star's Death Likely to Spur Questions About Concussions
The apparent suicide of retired NFL star linebacker Junior Seau is likely to raise questions about the possible role of a brain disorder that results from repeated concussions, according to Scientific American.
Seau, 43, was found dead Wednesday in his California home after reportedly shooting himself in the chest. It's unknown what may have prompted him to commit suicide, authorities said.
Repeated concussions can cause a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can produce dementia and other types of cognitive dysfunction. The National Football League has had to contend with a growing incidence of CTE, Scientific American noted.
In 2011, former NFL safety Dave Duerson committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest and left instructions that his brain be used for research on CTE.
No reports have emerged so far that Seau suffered from dementia-like symptoms. Tests will be needed to determine if he had CTE, Scientific American reported.
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