Health Front: Four New Ebola Treatment Facilities in Bay Area
By DR. JERRY DeCAPUA, TRT Contributing Writer
• There are now 35 hospitals in the United States that are designated as Ebola treatment centers, states the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An increasing number of hospitals are now equipped and ready to treat Ebola patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state health officials have updated, trained and prepared 35 hospitals for Ebola, with more expected in the next month.
More than 80 percent of returning travelers from Ebola-stricken countries live within 200 miles of an Ebola treatment facility. During their active monitoring, state and local public health authorities communicate every day with potentially exposed individuals to check for symptoms and fever for the 21 day incubation period of the Ebola virus.
The additional facilities supplement the three bio-containment facilities at Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center, and the National Institute of Health, which continue to play a major role in our overall national treatment strategy. New facilities will continue to be added in the next months to further broaden geographic reach.
The San Francisco Bay Area is well represented with four of the latest 35 facilities. They include Kaiser Oakland Medical Center, Kaiser South Sacramento Medical Center, University of California Davis Medical Center, and University of California San Francisco Medical Center.
• A consumer watchdog group reports that there is “trouble in toyland” due to many hazardous gifts that are available for kids. There are toys with toxic chemicals, small toys that are choking hazards, toys that are so loud that they can damage hearing, and toy magnets that could cause serious damage if swallowed. The annual report from the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group says “watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys.”
Laboratory tests reveal that some toys contained toxic chemicals, including lead, chromium and phyhalates. All these chemicals can cause serious harm to children’s health. A badge play set and a toy tambourine were among the items with high toxic chemicals, the report said. Despite a federal ban on small parts on toys for children under 3 years of age, toys that pose a choking hazard are still being sold.
And while some stores adhere to national safety guidelines, many others do not. “Our report includes unsafe toys found in dollar stores, big box stores and online,” notes the Connecticut watchdog group.
More than 250,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries last year, notes Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The most deadly injuries are usually due to choking hazards like small toy accessories intended for older children.
• Longer breast-feeding may protect infants from gaining extra weight or becoming obese. For babies at high risk for obesity, the longer they breast-feed, the less likely they may become overweight, a new study suggests. Researchers at Cornell University followed 595 children from birth to the age of two. They tracked the children’s weight over this time, and compared individual children’s growth trajectories to how long the children breast-fed.
Children at the highest risk for being overweight included those with overweight mothers, mothers with lower education levels and mothers who smoked during pregnancy. Among those children with a higher risk for obesity, babies who breast-fed for less than two months were more than twice as likely to gain extra weight than those who breast-fed for at least four months.
The research article was published in the medical journal Pediatrics this month. The article goes on to add that “breast-feeding, especially on demand, versus on schedule, allows an infant to feed when he or she is hungry, thereby fostering an early development of appetite control…When a baby breast-feeds, she can control how much milk she gets and how often, naturally responding to internal signals of hunger and satiation.”