Health Highlights: Aug 17, 2015
Federal Grants Target Heroin Epidemic No New Ebola Cases in Sierra Leone Last Week: WHO Many Young Children Show Signs of Stress: Survey Civil Rights Leader Julian Bond Dead at Age 75 New York Latest State to Ban Powdered Alcohol Britax Car Seats Recalled
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Federal Grants Target Heroin Epidemic
The Obama administration will provide millions of dollars in federal grants to help counties hardest hit by a heroin epidemic in the eastern United States.
The grants will fund the hiring of public health coordinators in each region to help track heroin overdoses and issue warnings about dangerous batches of heroin, as well as public safety coordinators to monitor intelligence about heroin trafficing, USA Today reported.
The grants will also be used to train police officers and medical personnel who have little experience dealing with heroin.
The new strategy focuses on certain counties in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia, USA Today reported.
No New Ebola Cases in Sierra Leone Last Week: WHO
Last week was the first time since the Ebola outbreak began in Sierra Leone that the country had no new cases of the deadly disease, the World Health Organization says.
At the peak of the epidemic, Sierra Leone had more than 500 new cases a week, BBC News reported.
Despite the good news about no new cases, officials warned against complacency.
"This does not mean Sierra Leone is suddenly Ebola free," OB Sisay, director of the National Ebola Response Center, said, BBC News reported.
"As long as we have one Ebola case we still have an epidemic. People should continue to take the public health measures ... around hand-washing, temperature checks, enhanced screening," Sisay said.
Many Young Children Show Signs of Stress: Survey
Many young children in the United States exhibit signs of stress, but parents often overlook those symptoms, according to a new survey.
The WebMD nationwide survey of parents of children ages 5-13 found that 72 percent of the children displayed stress-related negative behaviors more frequently over the previous 12 months.
Forty-three percent of parents said their children were arguing more, 37 percent reported increased crying/whining among their children, and 34 percent said their children seemed to be worried and anxious.
The survey also found that stress-related physical symptoms were more common among children, WebMD said. Forty-four percent of parents said their children had headaches, 44 percent reported stomachaches, 38 percent said their children had nightmares or sleeping problems; and 20 percent reported decreased appetite or other changes in children's eating habits.
About 20 percent of parents said their child had received behavioral counseling or therapy.
Many parents said they had high levels of stress, but many fail to recognize signs of stress in their children. Sixty percent of parents rated their youngsters' stress at 4 or below on a scale of 10, according to WebMD.
"Parents seem to be recognizing their own stress, but they are not necessarily recognizing the link between what's happening in the family and how it's affecting their children," Dr. Sandra Hassink, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said.
"A child's stress increases along with family stress," she noted.
"Younger children don't talk about being 'stressed' in those terms. So parents might not be hearing their children articulate that they're under stress, but I wonder if some of it might be coming out in physical and behavioral issues," Hassink said.
Civil Rights Leader Julian Bond Dead at Age 75
Julian Bond, a major figure in the U.S. civil rights movement, died Saturday at age 75.
His wife Pamela Horowitz said Bond died Saturday in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. She did not yet know the cause of death, but said Bond had circulatory problems, The Associated Press reported.
Bond first became involved in the civil rights movement when he formed a student protest group, and had a long career in politics, serving in the Georgia House until 1975 and then six terms in the Georgia Senate until 1986.
He was elected board chairman of the NAACP in 1998 and served in that position for 10 years. After leaving that role, Bond remained active in Democratic politics, taught at several universities, went on the lecture circuit, and made regular television appearances.
Bond "never took his eyes off the prize and that was always racial equality," Horowitz told the AP.
Bond was "a hero," according to President Barack Obama. "Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life," Obama said in a statement. "Julian Bond helped change this country for the better."
"You can use the term giant, champion, trail blazer -- there's just not enough adjectives in the English language to describe the life and career of Julian Bond," Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney in Birmingham, Alabama, said.
"A voice that has been silenced now is one that I just don't think you can replace," Jones added.
Bond was born Jan. 14, 1940 in Nashville, Tennessee. Along with Horowitz, he is survived by five children. Funeral plans have not been finalized, but Bond will be cremated and his ashes scattered over the Gulf of Mexico, Horowitz told the AP.
New York Latest State to Ban Powdered Alcohol
New York is the latest state to ban powdered alcohol, even though it isn't even available on the open market yet.
So far, nearly two dozen states have implemented either temporary or outright bans on the powdered alcohol product called Palcohol. It's freeze-dried alcohol that can be consumed in its powdered form or mixed with water to create a drink, the Washington Post reported.
Earlier this year, the product received U.S. government approval for the last regulatory step before Palcohol could be sold in stores.
On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation banning powdered alcohol sales in New York. In a statement, Cuomo noted that powdered alcohol can lead to unsafe levels of intoxication if it is mixed incorrectly or consumed in its powdered form, the Post reported.
The number of states with permanent bans on powdered alcohol now stands at 21. As of June, two states had temporary bans on that form of alcohol.
Britax Car Seats Recalled
Thirty-seven models of Britax child car seats are being recalled due to a possible defect that could prevent the harness from locking.
The company said the recalled seats may have a defective harness adjuster button that stays in the "release" position when the harness is tightened, NBC News reported.
All registered seat owners have been been sent emails to warn them of the potential problem. So far, no injuries associated with the defect have been reported, according to Britax.
For more information, consumers can go to the company's website or phone 1 (888) 427-4829 in the U.S. and Canada or (704) 409-1699 in all other countries, NBC News reported.