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Health Highlights: Sept. 7, 2016

Two Suspected Leprosy Cases in L.A.-Area School Paperwork Consumes Half of Doctors' Time: Study

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Two Suspected Leprosy Cases in L.A.-Area School

Two students at an elementary school near Los Angeles may have leprosy, officials say.

The diagnosis hasn't been confirmed, but parents of students at Indian Hills elementary School in Jurupa Valley were alerted Friday about the possible cases of leprosy, United Press International reported.

Some parents kept their children home from school on Tuesday, while other students wore medical masks to school.

An official diagnosis will take weeks, according to Barbara Cole, director for disease control, Riverside County Department of Public Health, UPI reported.

Jurupa Unified School District Superintendent Elliott Duchon would not confirm if the two affected students were from the same household.

Leprosy, also called Hansen's disease, can be transferred between people living in close contact, but antibiotics will prevent transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Paperwork Consumes Half of Doctors' Time: Study

Doctors spend about half their time on paperwork, researchers say.

Their study of 57 doctors in various sub-specialties found that they spent 29 percent of their total work time talking with patients or other staff members, while 49 percent was spent on desk work and electronic record keeping, ABC New reported.

When the doctors were in the exam room with patients they spent about 53 percent of their time interacting with the patients and 37 percent on electronic health records or other desk work.

The study by American Medical Association researchers was published in the journal Annals of Medicine.

The findings provide insight into how doctors spend their time and may point to solutions to make both both doctors and patients happier, Dr. Tom Payne, medical director for IT services at University of Washington Medicine, told ABC News.

He was not involved with this study, but has done research on the issue.

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