Health Highlights: Aug 25, 2015
Texas Teen May Be Infected With Brain-Eating Amoeba Late Tax Filers Could Lose Health Insurance Subsidies Dementia Affects Nearly 47 Million Worldwide: Report
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Texas Teen May Be Infected With Brain-Eating Amoeba
A Junior Olympian in Texas believed to be infected with a brain-eating amoeba is fighting for his life, his family says.
It's thought that 14-year-old Michael Riley was infected with the naegleria fowleri amoeba on Aug. 13 while swimming in a lake, ABC News reported. The amoeba occurs naturally in fresh water and enters the body through the nose, then travels to the brain.
About a week after going swimming, the teen developed a headache and fever. Within 24 hours, he was confused and disoriented, according to his family's website.
A suspected case of naegleria fowleri infection was reported to the Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services on Aug. 22, but officials could not confirm that Michael Riley was the patient due to privacy reasons.
Texas Children's Hospital doctors put Michael in an induced coma, drilled a hole in his skull to ease pressure, and cooled his body in an effort to preserve his body functions, his father, Mike Riley, told ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV.
Michael qualified for the Junior Olympics three times.
Late Tax Filers Could Lose Health Insurance Subsidies
More than a million late tax filers are at risk of losing their health insurance subsidies when they renew their coverage for next year.
About 1.8 million households that received health insurance premium subsidies last year did not file a 2014 tax return as required by law, or left out important paperwork, the Associated Press reported.
Those who don't make tax amends by the fall are putting their financial aid for health insurance in jeopardy and could face a huge premium increase. For example, someone currently paying a monthly premium of $90 could see it rise to $360.
While federal government officials say they have a plan to help many tax procrastinators, experts say the best way for these people to avoid trouble is to file their taxes correctly by Aug. 31, the AP reported.
Sign-up for 2016 begins Nov. 1 and insurers typically send bills for January in mid-December.
Dementia Affects Nearly 47 Million Worldwide: Report
Nearly 47 million people worldwide have dementia, compared with 35 million in 2009, according to a report released Tuesday by Alzheimer's Disease International.
The group said if there are no major medical advances, the number of people with dementia will likely double every 20 years, the Associated Press reported. There is no known cure for the disease.
About 58 percent of people with dementia live in developing nations and by 2050, nearly half of all those with the disease will live in Asia, according to Alzheimer's Disease International.
The cost of treating dementia could rise to $1 trillion in three years, experts say. They urged governments to take steps to ensure better treatment for people with dementia, the AP reported.