Puzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that a series of rare and difficult to treat cases of paralysis are being seen in otherwise healthy children since 2018. This outbreak is 2018 may soon make a comeback in 2020 the organization warns doctors and pediatricians. The report was published in the CDC’s Vital Signs this week.

The experts have called this acute flaccid myelitis or AFM that is typically manifested as a sudden onset of weakness especially of the upper limbs followed by paralysis and lesions in and around the spinal cord as detected by MRI scans. The cause of this paralysis is unknown and is commonly seen in children.

Researchers believe that the paralysis which is similar to AFP (acute flaccid paralysis) seen with polio virus infections could be caused by a relative of the same virus.

At present the disease remains incurable and difficult to treat. For most patients the paralysis is self-limiting and often goes away on its own and many regain their muscle strength and recover the complete use of their paralyzed limbs with time. In some however the paralysis may remain constant and residual weakness may continue. In a small fraction, the paralysis may affect the respiratory muscles and lead to respiratory failure and even death, explain the researchers.

Full story at news-medical.net

Can exercise lower blood pressure as effectively as drugs?

Millions of people live with high blood pressure, which can place them at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. For this condition, doctors typically prescribe blood-lowering drugs, but could exercise help just as well?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 75 millionadults in the United States have to manage high blood pressure, where it exceeds the threshold of 140 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

The condition can increase their risk of developing heart disease or experiencing a stroke, both of which are leading causes of death in the U.S.

Full story at Medical News Today

New Pediatric mTBI Guidelines from CDC Take Comprehensive Approach

In light of what it describes as a “significant public health concern,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued what it says are the first-ever comprehensive clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in children. The 19 sets of recommendations address the condition from diagnosis through management and treatment, and cover settings including primary care, outpatient settings, inpatient care, schools, and emergency departments.

The resource, published in JAMA Pediatrics and available for free, is organized into 3 main areas—diagnostic recommendations, prognostic recommendations, and recommendations related to management and treatment—with each area containing several recommendations based on extensive literature reviews. The 46 discrete recommendations are organized into 19 topic areas, and include do’s and don’ts that cover the gamut from the use of serum testing to diagnose mTBI to the best approaches for talking with families about the injury.

Full story at APTA

Experts Reveal How Many Steps You Need to Take in a Day to Lose Weight

Whether you track your steps with a wearable device or through your phone, knowing how much you’ve walked in a day can be an extremely useful tool for weight loss. Many of our jobs entail sitting for a majority of the day, which can be bad for your body and your brain. However, simply walking and tracking your steps every day can reduce health risks and may even help you lose weight. But how much do you actually need to move around to reap the benefits?

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns against a sedentary, inactive lifestyle and recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes a week of high-intensity activity. In other words, you need to be active for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. For additional health benefits, the CDC recommends doubling your goal and fitting in up to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes of high-intensity physical activity.

Laura Arndt, a certified personal trainer and the CEO of Matriarc, a health and wellness app for moms, helped us break the CDC’s recommendations into steps. Arndt says a 30-minute brisk walk can get most of her clients “between 3,000 and 5,000 steps, depending on their speed and their gait. However, we shouldn’t be sitting the remainder of the day, so the goal is to achieve another 5,000 steps through everyday activity.”

Full story at Pop Sugar

CDC: 40% of Patients With Arthritis Don’t Receive Exercise Counseling From Providers

Better, but still plenty of room for improvement—that’s the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) take on a recent analysis of the rate at which health care providers are counseling patients with arthritis to engage in physical activity (PA). The good news: the percentage of individuals with arthritis who received provider counseling for exercise grew by 17.6% between 2002 and 2014. The bad news: even after that growth, nearly 4 in 10 patients with arthritis still aren’t receiving any information from their providers on the benefits of PA.

The CDC analysis, which appeared in a recent edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, uses data from the National Health Interview Survey gathered in 2002 and 2014. In those years, the survey included a question on whether respondents had been told they have “arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia,” as well as a question asking whether “a doctor or other health professional [has] ever suggested physical activity or exercise to help your arthritis or joint symptoms?”

Full story at APTA

The Good With the Bad: Reports Show a Drop in Opioid Prescriptions and Dosage Strength, Rise in Prescription Duration and Opioid Hospitalizations

The latest news on the opioid crisis is decidedly mixed. Reports show some reduction in prescription rates and dosages, but an overall increase in prescription length, wide variation in prescribing across the US, and prescription prevalence in 2015 that was 3 times as high as it was in 1999 and 4 times higher than in Europe in 2015. CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat told National Public Radio that the 2015 per capita prescription opioid rates are enough for “every American [to] be medicated around the clock for 3 weeks.”

The analysis, from the US Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), came on the heels of another report from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) showing that opioid-related inpatient stays and emergency department (ED) visits more than doubled between 2005 and 2014.

Full story of a drop in opioid prescriptions and dosage strength at APTA

Low physical activity increases risk of bladder, kidney cancer

Most of us know that physical activity is good for us. But a new study shows that a chronic lack of physical activity can drastically increase the chance of developing cancer in the bladder and kidneys, and it suggests that engaging in more physical activity may reduce this risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that, every year, almost 57,000 adults have kidney and renal pelvis cancers in the United States. Additionally, almost 14,000 people per year die from these cancers.

Bladder cancer is also widespread. According to the CDC, around 71,000 U.S. individuals developed bladder cancer in 2013, and almost 16,000 people died as a result.

Full story of physical activity and bladder cancer at Medical News Today

CDC: 1 in 3 Rural Residents Has Arthritis; Over 50% of Those Experience Activity Limitations

America has an arthritis problem, and rural America is being hit especially hard—that’s the finding of a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimates nearly 1 in 3 rural residents in the US has some form of arthritis, with more than half of those with arthritis experiencing activity limitations.

The latest study, which appears in CDC’s May 25 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, describes the results of a detailed study of the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a survey of 426,361 noninstitutionalized adults across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Researchers asked respondents, “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia?” If the answer was “yes,” respondents were then asked, “Are you now limited in any way in any of your usual activities because of arthritis or joint symptoms?”

Full story of arthritis and activity limitations at APTA

New Canadian Guidelines Seek to Move Physicians Toward Nondrug Treatments for Pain

Add the Canadian Medical Association to the list of organizations shifting guidelines away from opioids in the treatment of chronic noncancer pain. In a set of updated recommendations that authors describe as consistent with US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Canadian physicians are being urged to pursue nonopioid and nondrug treatments as a firstline approach.

The guidelines, published in the May 8 edition of CMAJ, are an update to opioid prescription guidelines released in 2010, in which “almost all supported the prescribing of opioids,” according to the new guidelines’ authors. The new recommendations take a markedly different position, advocating not just for nondrug approaches but also for lower dosages when opioids must be used, as well as for tapering programs for patients receiving high-dosage therapy of 90 milligrams or more daily.

Full story of Canadian PT moving towards non-drug treatment for pain at APTA

CDC: 2 in 10 Health Care Workers Didn’t Get Flu Vaccines; 3 in 10 in Long-Term Care Settings

About 20% of health care personnel didn’t receive influenza vaccines during the 2015-2016 flu season, with employees in long-term care settings reporting an even higher—albeit improved—rate of non-vaccination, according to new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, based on an opt-in Internet panel survey of 2,258 health care personnel during March and April 2016, found that the overall rates didn’t change much between the 2014-2015 and most recent flu season, with the most recent 79% rate more or less unchanged from the previous year’s rate of 77.3%. Among settings, personnel working in hospital settings reported a higher rate of vaccination (91.2%) compared with those working in ambulatory care (79.8%) and long-term care (69.2%) settings.

Full story of health care workers and flu vaccines at APTA