A summary of important news items from the previous week.
Average Age Of First-Time Moms Keeps Climbing In The U.S.
A recent report published by the National Center for Health Statistic showed that the mean age of a woman's first child has risen from 24.9 in 2000 to 26.3 in 2014. This increase occurred in all geographic, ethnic, and racial categories. The largest influence to this change is a reduction in teen pregnancies (i.e., maternal age is under 20 years), which has dropped from 20% to 13% of all births over the same time period.
Heartburn Drugs Tied to Kidney Problems
Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec are commonly used Proton Pump Inhibitors (P.P.I.s) that help manage heartburn, but recent research has shown side effects that can increase the risk of kidney disease. The risk does not go up slightly--it goes up by an astonishing twenty to fifty percent. The study's correlation is alarming, but P.P.I.s still carry tremendous benefits and if a patient's kidney function is consistently monitored during long term use of the drugs, much of the risk can be avoided.
Hawaii Baby With Brain Damage Is First U.S. Case Tied to Zika Virus
The Zika virus, spreading fast across Latin America, was reported for the first time in the United States. In Hawaii, a baby, born with microcephaly, was infected with the virus, causing brain damage. The mother lived in Brazil last year and probably encountered the virus, transferred by mosquitoes. The CDC has issued that pregnant women reconsider traveling to countries with Zika virus transmission.
Overdose fears spark recall of children's cough syrup
Two groups of generic children's cough syrup have been recalled. Although no overdoses have been reported, the recall was sparked after it was discovered that the plastic cups included in the medication had incorrect markings, prompting concern that children may be given too much of the liquid. The FDA urges parents throw away both the medication and the cup included. The recall has been issued on two products: guaifenesin grape liquid (100mg/5 mL) and children's guaifenesin DM cherry liquid (100mg guaifenesin and 5mg dextromethorphan HBr/ 5 ml) sold in 4 oz., which are sold with different brand names across the nation, including, but not limited to: CVS, Kroger, Rite-Aid, and Dollar General.
Day After a Victory Over Ebola, Sierra Leone Reports a Death
A day after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared West Africa free from Ebola, official in Sierra Leone reported a new Ebola death. The victim, a 22-year-old student, died on January 12. There is no information as to how the student contracted the virus, thought the WHO has been warning about flare ups as a result of the virus' ability to persist in bodily fluids of survivors.
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