By: Michelle Roberts
A summary of important health news from the past week.
Vegetative-State Patient Regains Consciousness From Vagal Nerve Stimulation Therapy
By: Michelle Roberts
Doctors in Lyon, France, treated a 30 year-old man, who was injured in a car accident 15 years ago and in a vegetative state since, with an experimental therapy. In an effort to facilitate some degree of consciousness, this intervention involved implanting a nerve stimulator into his chest. Following one month of vagal nerve stimulation, the patient was reported to have an improved ability to stay awake and respond to threat. Further implications of this are unknown, as a single case is not predictive of the larger population.
CVS to Limit Opioid Prescriptions to 7-Day Supply
A major step was taken by CVS to limit opioid prescriptions for patients to a seven-day supply. The retail pharmacy chain is also requiring its pharmacists to talk to patients about the risks of addiction, all to combat the prescription opioid epidemic that is currently plaguing the United States. CVS was the first large retail pharmacy chain to stop selling cigarettes in 2014 and also the first to put restrictions of this magnitude on opioid prescriptions.
New STD cases hit record high in US, CDC says
In 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans were infected with the highest number of cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and gonorrhea ever reported. There were altogether more than 2 million cases of these sexually transmitted diseases. More than 1.6 million cases can be attributed to chlamydia, 470,000 resulted from gonorrhea, and approximately 28,000 cases were from primary and secondary syphilis.
For People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, More Exercise Isn't Better
Chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a physical, not a psychological, disorder and so health organizations are asserting that exercise can actually harm rather than help. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.K. based National Health Services (NHS) are revising and reassessing, respectively, guidelines for those with the condition. Exercise based recommendations can be tracked to a controversial 1989 study, which experts are now saying exert inaccurate findings.
'Unprecedented' cholera outbreak could reach 1 million in Yemen
According to the International Red Cross, there is an estimated 750,000 reported cases of cholera in Yemen, and that number is projected to reach 1 million by the end of the year. The World Health Organization states that this outbreak is "the worst cholera outbreak in the world". Due to its civil war, beginning in March of 2015, Yemen's health care system is damaged and access to water, sanitation and basic needs are limited, thus creating the perfect breeding ground for a major cholera outbreak.
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