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Health

3 US airports will screen passengers from Chinese city for new virus

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anyaberkut/iStock(NEW YORK) — Three airports in the United States will screen passengers arriving from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of an outbreak of a new coronavirus that’s in the same family as SARS, MERS and the common cold, health officials said Friday. Starting Friday, travelers passing through San Francisco International, New York’s John F. Kennedy and Los Angeles International airports will be screened for the pneumonia-like symptoms associated with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “To further protect the health of the American public during the emergence of this novel coronavirus, CDC is beginning entry screening at three ports of entry,” Dr. Martin Cetron, director of global migration and quarantine, said in a statement. “Investigations into this novel coronavirus are ongoing and we are monitoring and responding to this evolving situation.” CDC will send 100 additional staffers to those airports. The outbreak in Wuhan, China, began in late December, with many cases linked to a large seafood market. Since then, at least 45 people have been sickened by the disease, and two have died. Although the

Risque condom packaging leads to HIV campaign suspension

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CatLane/iStock(SALT LAKE CITY) — An HIV campaign in Utah was suspended over raunchy condom packaging it featured, according to the state’s health department. Condom wrappers had taglines that Gov. Gary Herbert deemed inappropriate, prompting him to urge the Department of Health to stop distributing them, spokeswoman Jenny Johnson, of the health department, told ABC News on Friday. The taglines included quips such as “Explore Utah’s caves,” “This is the place” and “Enjoy your mountin.'” Herbert’s office said in a statement to ABC News the Republican governor understands the importance of a campaign aimed at educating the public on HIV awareness. “He does not, however, approve the use of sexual innuendo as part of a taxpayer-funded campaign, and our office has asked the department to rework the campaign’s branding,” the statement read. Johnson told ABC News that the campaign is currently on hold while organizers examine all of the featured branding. The condoms were sent out to local partners, who would then give them out to individuals at a high-risk for HIV, according to Johnson. She and her team are now

Flu shot isn't an exact match, but you should still get it

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Pornpak Khunatorn/iStock(NEW YORK) — This year’s flu shot isn’t an exact match for the flu strain that’s been circulating most widely, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it, health experts say. “The influenza vaccine protects against various strains, three or four, depending on which vaccine you receive,” said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Early 2019-2020 flu activity was primarily driven by influenza B/Victoria viruses, which the vaccine is not a great match for. Now that flu activity is changing, “We’re now experiencing an increase in A/H1N1,” Schaffner said. “It looks like we’re having a second wave. The vaccine is exactly on target against this strain,” he added. In general, influenza B is more common in children, while influenza A, also known as H1N1, is more commonly seen in older adults, according to Dr. Jessica Grayson, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. So far, 6,600 people have died and 120,000 people have been hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season, according to preliminary estimates the Centers for Disease Control and

Binge drinking is on the rise: What to know about the risks

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Peopleimages/iStock(ATLANTA) — The number of drinks Americans are consuming per bingeing episode has increased dramatically, according to a new study. The annual number of binge drinks among adults who reported binge drinking jumped on average from 472 in 2011 to 529 in 2017, a 12% increase, according to the study published Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Binge drinking is defined by the CDC as a “pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 grams percent or above.” That typically means consuming five or more drinks in a two-hour period for men and four or more drinks in a two-hour period for women, according to the CDC. One in six adults in the U.S. binge drinks about four times a month, consuming about seven drinks per binge, and binge drinking is twice as common among men than among women, according to the CDC. In the latest study, the CDC found that increases in binge drinking were most prominent in people over the age of 35 and those with lower educational levels

Already forgot your New Year's resolutions? Here are four tips to reset 2020

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HAKINMHAN/iStock(NEW YORK) — A few weeks into January can be a time New Year’s resolutions starts to die. Jan. 17 has even become known as “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day” because it’s such a common time for resolutions to slowly fade away. If you find yourself in that grind, it’s not too late to reset, according to Dana Cavalea, author of Habits of a Champion. Cavalea trained some of the world’s top athletes, including Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera, in the 12 years he spent as the New York Yankees’ performance coach. Here, in his own words, are Cavalea’s four tips to keep your resolutions going and make this your best year yet.Tip #1: Connect your goal to something bigger Resolutions almost never work without a true commitment to something greater than vanity goals like making X more money or losing that 10 to 20 pounds you most desire. You must create links and associations to those goals you desire. Meaning: I am sluggish and tired most days. I am tired of being sluggish and tired since I

Japan reports latest case of SARS-family virus that's sickened dozens in China

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smolaw11/iStock(TOKYO) — Japan on Thursday reported its first case of a new coronavirus, which has infected 41 people in China, sparking concern about the virus’s potential to spread during Chinese New Year next week, when millions are expected to be traveling. “Considering global travel patterns, additional cases in other countries are likely,” the World Health Organization said. The patient in Japan, a man in his 30s, had traveled to Wuhan, China, but had not visited the city’s large seafood market that’s been linked to many coronavirus cases. The patient was treated and discharged from the hospital, Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said at a news conference Thursday. It’s the second case of the new virus that’s been reported outside of China this week. The virus, which has not previously been identified in humans, is part of the same family of viruses as SARS, MERS and the common cold. On Monday, Thailand reported a case of the new coronavirus in a Chinese tourist from Wuhan in her 60s who was hospitalized Jan. 8. The market in Wuhan was shut down

Women's blood vessels age faster than men's: Study

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FatCamera/iStock(NEW YORK) — New research shows for the first time that women’s blood vessels, both large and small arteries, age at a faster rate than men’s. The findings, published Wednesday in JAMA Cardiology, challenge the long-held belief that vascular disease and cardiovascular risk in women lags behind men by up to 20 years, concluding that certain vascular changes in women actually develop earlier and progress faster in women compared to men. “We were inspired to take a much closer look at blood pressure trajectories over the life course in women compared to men because, at the end of the day, the vast majority of cardiovascular disease processes tend to start with blood pressure elevation as a major driving risk factor,” said Dr. Susan Cheng, director of public health research at the Smidt Heart Institute at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and senior author on the study. The study looked at nearly 145,000 blood pressure measurements from more than 32,000 people, ranging in age from 5 to 98, over the course of four decades. Researchers found that blood pressure

What women should know about their reproductive system as they age

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Motortion/iStock(NEW YORK) — We’re taught the basics about the female body in sex ed. But after milestones for women like getting your period and giving birth, many women feel uninformed about the basics of their reproductive system — especially as they age. Just like aging is visible outside of your body, many don’t realize their internal organs are also going through a transition. Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ chief medical correspondent, breaks down four things all women should know about their reproductive system. “When we look down the road, it should be with optimism and understand that everyone will get through it,” Ashton said. “Just like we all got through puberty.”Beyond the basics of the female reproductive system First, it’s important to understand that the full female reproductive system is more than just the vagina and ovaries. “We’re talking about the whole external and internal urogenital system,” Ashton explained, which also includes the bladder, urethra and vulva.Hormones cause the changes The ovaries are responsible for the production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone and a portion of the body’s testosterone, all

Sexual activity may help delay menopause: Study

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Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock(NEW YORK) — Women with more active sex lives may experience menopause later in life, according to the results of a 10-year study. Published by the Royal Society Open Science, the study showed that women who reported weekly physical intimacy over a decade were about 28% less likely to experience menopause than women who reported less-than-monthly sexual activity. The reason may be because “ovulation requires a lot of energy, and it has also been shown to impair your immune function. From an evolutionary standpoint, if a person is not sexually active it would not be beneficial to allocate energy to such a costly process,” said Megan Arnot of the University College of London, the study’s lead author. “Doctors have long known that there were many benefits from continued sexual activity,” said Dr. Jennifer Wu, a New York-based OBGYN who didn’t participate in the project. “This study highlights a new finding: Women who do not engage in regular sexual activity go through menopause at an earlier age. With the earlier onset of menopause, patients experience more loss of bone and

Progress stalled on closing racial gap in health insurance since Trump took office

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Valeriya/iStock(NEW YORK) — While the Affordable Care Act ushered in huge improvements in access to health care for black and Hispanic adults in the United States, that progress appears to have stalled, according to new research. Between 2013 and 2016, the uninsured rate dropped from 24.4% to 13.7% among black adults, and from 40.2% to 25.5% among Hispanic adults, according to a report published Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research foundation. Uninsured white Americans dropped from 14.5% to 8.2% during the same period. Those gains narrowed the gap in insurance coverage between Americans of color and white Americans until 2016. Beginning that year, that progress came to a halt, with the gap increasing slightly for blacks and only decreasing slightly for Hispanics by 2018. The study examined federal survey data between 2013 and 2018 from adults ages 18 to 64, to determine how the ACA affected racial and ethnic disparities in health care. “Historically, black and Hispanics in the U.S. have been far less likely to have health insurance,” said Sara Collins, vice president of health care coverage