health

insurancemarketplace.org

The new open enrollment period for Michigan's Health Insurance Marketplace has begun, and efforts in Washtenaw County are off to a good start.


Tooth Decay
Wikimedia Commons / Coronation Dental Specialty Group

  An organization based in Ann Arbor will use $9.4 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help prevent tooth decay among Michigan's children.

The Altarum Institute will team up with Delta Dental, the University of Michigan school of Dentistry and the Michigan Department of Community Health to improve access to dental screenings and preventative care to the uninsured children of Michigan's working families. 

HealthyStuff.org Tests Walgreens Products

Apr 17, 2014
healthystuff.org

The Ecology Center says many of the products it tested from Walgreens contained potentially harmful chemicals.

Healthy Stuff Dot Org Research Director Jeff Gearhart says plasticizers were found in 13 flexible vinyl products.  He says the substance has been linked to asthma and liver toxicity.

"So what we're asking is for Walgreens to actuall implement a comprehensive chemical policy," Gearhart says, "get these hazardous products off the shelves and sell products that are healthier and safer for consumers."

Josef Muellek/iStockphoto.com / NPR/ SHots/ Health News

Washtenaw Public Health confirms two deaths from influenza-related illness.  

Officials are urging residents to get vaccinated and a potent flu strain makes the rounds in the county.

Susan Cerniglia is the Public Information Officer for Washtenaw Public Health. She says seniors and children are not the only ones getting hit hard with the flu - younger people are also getting very sick.

Cerniglia says vaccinations are still available at Public Health, and through health care providers. She says some pharmacies are running out of the vaccine, so people should call ahead before going to a local pharmacy for a flu shot.

A report dated January 10th from the county:

 Influenza is circulating at peak levels in Washtenaw County.  Influenza A is dominant so far this season, with A/H1N1 subtyped in the majority of cases.  A few influenza B cases have been diagnosed. Respiratory illness rates in schools and child care centers are currently unknown due to the holiday/weather break.   Hospitalizations associated with inflluenza infection continue to climb.  The age range of hospitalizations in Washtenaw residents to date is 10 to 91 years, with almost half under the age of 50 (this is typical for A/H1N1). The first local flu-related deaths were reported this week in older adults with underlying high-risk health conditions. 

Influenza Activity for Current Season 

Local flu activity in 2013-14 season (pdf)

Hospitalizations for 2013-14 (pdf)

Accugenix

A brand new bacterium in the same family as E. Coli and Klebsiella Pneumonia has been identified by the NSF International's Applied Research Center in Ann Arbor, and you're not going to like where it can be found.

The bacteria is called Klebsiella michiganensis, and it grows in the bottom of your toothbrush holder.

Dr. Robert Donofrio is the Director of the Applied Research Center at the NSF.

He says more research is necessary to identify the exact source of the bacterium, but what is known is that saliva and toothpaste mixed with fecal matter can fester, creating a sludge that could potentially cause a drug-resistant infection.

Dr. Donofrio also says that the bacterium is unique because it is in capsule from, and is hard to break down due to a slimy surface that helps it attach to mucus membranes and evade immune system responses.

He suggests closing the lid of your toilet before flushing as a way to help prevent cross-contamination.

Science Photo Library

Many factors play into whether a woman considered at low risk for developing cervical cancer will be tested for the virus that causes the disease, such as the gender of the woman's doctor and his or her status as a resident or seasoned physician. 

That's according to a study from the University of Michigan Health System, where senior author Dr. Mack Ruffin says procedures at individual clinics can also make a difference.

The study found that female doctors were twice as likely to order H-P-V testing for a low-risk patient than male doctors. 

Seasoned physicians were less likely to order the test than Residents and other less-senior doctors.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

AJC1 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The Michigan Department of Community Health has confirmed two cases of measles in Michigan this year with one more possible case they are currently investigating. Michigan is one of 16 states with confirmed cases of the highly contagious, viral disease.  

Washtenaw County Public Health Epidemiologist Laura Bauman says there have been no reported cases of measles in Washtenaw County so far. She says the two infants who came down with the disease were not vaccinated:
 

A new study by the University of Michigan's Frankel Cardiovascular Center finds the two most common factors linked to obesity in middle school children are school lunch consumption and watching two or more hours of television a day.

Jean DuRussel-Weston is the Program Manager of Project Healthy Schools.  She says they found some gender-specific habits that influence body weight.
 


fotosinteresantes / Foter / CC BY

New research from the University of Michigan shows promise in someday being able to help the human body better withstand the rigors of chemotherapy and radiation.

Jian-Guo Geng is an associate professor in the University of Michigan  School of Dentistry.  He's found that in mice, injecting stem cells into the intestinal tract makes the mice much better able to survive high doses of chemo-radio therapy.

Geng says the discovery may someday make it possible to cure late-stage, metastasized cancers.  He says "People will not die of cancer, if our prediction is true." 

The study found that 50 to 75 percent of mice treated with a stem cell injection survived what should have been lethal doses of chemotherapy. 

Results of the research appear in the journal, Nature.

Request goes out today asking stores to stop

selling K2 and other 'designer' drugs.