Abstinence-Only Texas High School Hit By Chlamydia Outbreak; 1 In 15 Students Affected
May07

Abstinence-Only Texas High School Hit By Chlamydia Outbreak; 1 In 15 Students Affected

The Huffington Post An outbreak of chlamydia at a high school in Texas has forced administrators there to send a warning note home to parents. District officials confirmed to CBS7 last Friday that the Crane Independent School District has seen 20 cases of the sexually transmitted disease in its high school, adding that letters have also been sent to the district’s junior high school as a precaution. The station estimates 1 in 15 students at the school has contracted chlamydia. The high school offers a three-day sexual education course once a year that emphasizes abstinence. Per the school’s 2014-2015 handbook, Crane ISD “does not offer a curriculum in human sexuality,” but the handbook does lay out state-mandated stipulations should a curriculum be needed in the future: In a conversation with the San Antonio Express-News on Monday, school superintendent Jim Rumage defended the abstinence-heavy course. “That’s not a bad thing,” said Rumage, “because if kids are not having any sexual activity, they can’t get this disease. That’s not a bad program.” Diana Martinez, a Crane resident and parent, told NewsWest 9 her kids are too young for her to worry about; otherwise, she’d sit them down and have a talk. “Honestly this happens in any town,” Martinez said. “Parents need to be aware of the situation and make sure they tell their kids to be safe and practice safe sex.” The school’s health advisory committee met Monday to discuss the outbreak and formulate a response, which it will present to the school board on May...

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Pot For Pets: Marijuana Cookies For Ailing Dogs Hit Market
Apr20

Pot For Pets: Marijuana Cookies For Ailing Dogs Hit Market

  ABC News   With medical marijuana now legal in 23 states, and recreational use permitted in four states as well as Washington, D.C., a burgeoning cannabis industry is blooming in America. The latest crop of potentially lucrative products? Pot for pets. Biscuits, edibles and capsules containing cannabis compounds are being marketed to owners of ailing and elderly animals as natural pain relievers and anti-inflammatory supplements. But these products aren’t getting Fido stoned, claim proponents. “The cannabis plant has many compounds in it,” said Matthew J. Cote, brand manager at San Francisco bay area edibles manufacturer Auntie Dolores, which launched its pet-focused line Treatibles in 2014. “Most people breed cannabis for the euphoric experience of THC. But they’ve been overlooking cannabidiol — commonly known as CBD — which is non-psychoactive.” Citing studies in Israel that suggest CBD can be used to treat epilepsy, inflammation and pain relief, Auntie Dolores decided to infuse dog biscuits as animals suffer from some of those same ailments, said Cote. Sold online for $22 per bag of 40 treats, Treatibles contain 1 milligram of CBD per treat. The company’s recommended dose is 1 milligram per 20-pound animal. “What we’ve seen is that some of these dogs respond very rapidly,” said Cote. “One woman from Fort Bragg was ready to put down her dog due to how sick and in pain he was, but the day before he was scheduled to go under, she administered our treats and just like that the dog was up, walking around and acting normally again.” Canna Companion, a Sultan, Washington-based producer of pet capsules that combine strains of dried, powdered hemp, received similar success stories and testimonials from its customers. “Just want to say how much this product has helped my animals,” writes one pet owner on the brand’s Facebook page. “Bug, [my] 18-year-old cat, is playing, sleeping next to me at night, being curious and exploring… her back pain is nearly gone. I can pet her all over and she purrs! She has NEVER, until being on hemp, enjoyed being petted.” Co-owner of Canna Companion and licensed veterinarian Dr. Sarah Brandon, developed her product after a decade of trials and formula refinements with her own pets and strays. But that didn’t prevent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from sending her a notice last month, warning that the capsules were an “unapproved new animal drug and your marketing of it violates the [Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic] Act.” Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, veterinarians are not empowered to prescribe cannabis products to pets. Similarly, producers of hemp-based edibles, treats and capsules are limited in how they may advertise the...

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Delaware Family Seriously Ill After Possible Pesticide Poisoning At Caribbean Resort
Apr06

Delaware Family Seriously Ill After Possible Pesticide Poisoning At Caribbean Resort

ABC News WPVI An entire Delaware family fell seriously ill while on a Caribbean vacation, and a dangerous chemical allegedly used at their hotel may be to blame. What happened: In March, school administrator Steve Esmond, his wife Dr. Theresa Devine and their two teenage sons may have been exposed to the pesticide methyl bromide at the Sirenusa Resort on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a report on ABC station WPVI-TV. The day the family arrived at their second floor condo, the apartment below them was sprayed with methyl bromide to “deal with an indoor bug,” according to Judith Enck, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 2 Office, which covers the U.S. Virgin Islands. The pesticide was applied during the day of March 19, Enck said, and by that night, the entire family “started having adverse health effects.” Both boys had seizures, according to Enck. Paramedics responded and took the family to a hospital on neighboring island St. Thomas. The boys were then airlifted to a hospital in Philadelphia, Enck said, while the parents were airlifted to a hospital in Delaware. According to the EPA, methyl bromide exposure can have short-term and long-term effects include severe lung injuries and neurological impairment. The EPA banned methyl bromide for indoor residential use in 1984, Enck told ABC News today, but the product is still on the market for agricultural use. The family: Steve Esmond and his sons remain in very critical condition, Enck said today, adding that Devine is not in critical condition. Steve Esmond is the head of the middle school at the Tatnall School in Wilmington, Delaware, according to the school’s website. Theresa Devine is a dentist in Broomall, Pennsylvania, according to the company website. “They’re just one of those families that everyone loves to be around,” Oliver Campbell, a peer of one of the boys, told WPVI-TV. “It’s just horrible.” “It’s terrifying,” another peer, Carl Marvin, said to WPVI-TV. “It’s really scary to think that this could happen to somebody that you know.” The investigation: The EPA has launched a “comprehensive investigation,” Enck said. Officials were sent to sample and monitor the apartments to see if any of the pesticide was left. “We’re looking at what happened here, which we consider an illegal application of methyl bromide,” Enck said. The EPA also issued a pesticide warning in the Caribbean and is examining if methyl bromide was used in other locations in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Department of Justice is investigating Terminix, the company that applied the pesticide, Enck confirmed. Terminix has halted all fumigation in the Virgin Islands as part of the...

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The Skinny On ‘Hidden Fat’: Why Being Thin Is Not Equal To Being Healthy
Mar13

The Skinny On ‘Hidden Fat’: Why Being Thin Is Not Equal To Being Healthy

ABC News In the ongoing war on obesity, health officials have consistently focused on Body Mass Index, or BMI, as a measure of weight appropriate to a certain height. The bad news is that more than a third of Americans, 34.9 percent, are obese, with a BMI of over 30, according to 2014 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Another third of Americans are overweight, according to the CDC, with a BMI of between 25 and 30. But that’s not where the bad news ends. Many health experts have long been concerned that BMI does not properly account for people who look svelte but have fat hidden away, making them “normal weight obese.” Those people can still store away reservoirs of fat in the body or even in the organs or muscles, leading to serious health consequences similar to those of a person whose BMI indicates they’re overweight, experts note. A 2010 study published in the European Heart Journal found that as many as 30 million Americans are suspected of having normal weight obesity. “It’s absolutely true there are some people who seem like no matter what they’re doing, they look really good but looks can be deceiving,” Carol Garber, a professor of Movement Science at the Teacher College at Columbia University, told ABC News. Garber said she has seen first hand how even skinny patients can be at risk for heart disease. “We would regularly see people who had heart attacks come to [our] rehab program and look perfectly fine,” Garber said. But “if you measured their body fat, they had a greater proportion of fat than they would have thought.” It’s key to be clear that apparent thinness does not always equal health and that even a skinny person with a low BMI can be unhealthy if fat has built up around their organs, Garber said. “[Fat] affects different kinds of inflammatory substances that have been implicated in heart disease and diabetes,” Garber said. “They can cause damage to blood vessel walls and affect how your blood vessel works.” Some body fat is essential to stay healthy, Garber emphasized, with a range stretching up to 25 percent of body weight for women and around 15 percent for men. People who are thin and active likely don’t need to be afraid that they have normal weight obesity, she noted. “The bottom line is think about your lifestyle … no matter what your weight is,” said Garber. “Irrespective of your weight, everyone is going to benefit to shift your diet and eat more fruits and vegetables, and not smoking and not over-drinking.” People who...

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Patients In Your Community Need Your Blood Type
Mar09

Patients In Your Community Need Your Blood Type

Special to the Laredo Sun March is recognized as Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month and Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Every day, patients suffering from illnesses such as these are faced with challenging medical procedures such as chemotherapy. One in seven patients entering a hospital will require transfusions of red blood cells, platelets or other blood components.  With one blood donation from a volunteer donor, up to three patients can benefit. Without blood donations from the community, many medical and surgical procedures could not be possible.  Join us at a South Texas Blood & Tissue Center blood drive in your community and help patients in need. Laredo AEP 1519 Calton Rd. Tuesday, March 10, 1p.m. – 5 p.m. Laredo Medical Center 1700 E. Saunders Wednesday, March 11, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. US Border Patrol 9001 San Dario Ave. Tuesday, March 17, 2015 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo North 11119 McPherson Wednesday, March 18, 2015 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. U.S. Customs Bridge II 700 Zaragoza Monday, March 23, 2015 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cigarroa High School 2600 Zacatecas Tuesday, March 24, 2015 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Texas A&M International University 5201 University Blvd. Tuesday, March 24, 2015 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Cigarroa High School 2600 Zacatecas Wednesday, March 25, 2015 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Texas A&M International University 5201 University Blvd. Wednesday, March 25, 2015 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Texas A&M International University 5201 University Blvd. Thursday, March 26, 2015 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. H&R Block 7807 McPherson Ste. 203 Friday, March 27, 2015 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Donors must present identification. Anyone who is 16 years old and weighs at least 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or 17 years old and weighs at least 110 pounds and is in good general health may donate blood.  All donors receive a T-shirt, refreshments, a mini-physical and are encouraged to eat before and after donation. Learn more about blood donation...

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Dog Who Was Homeless For 10 Years Moves Into A Warm, Loving Home
Mar04

Dog Who Was Homeless For 10 Years Moves Into A Warm, Loving Home

The Huffington Post Donations are pouring in to make sure that a dog who spent the last decade outside in a New York City park will never want for anything, ever again. Charlie — who is also known as Ricky — had been seen around Highbridge Park in upper Manhattan for about 10 years before a group of residents banded together to save him this month. Neighbors like Yuliya Avezbakiyeva and her mother, who’d been bringing Charlie food for years, thought the dog seemed more vulnerable after the pack he used to spend time with disappeared over the last half-decade. Dog walker Denise Lauffer told The Huffington Post that recently, she’d felt Charlie seemed to be having trouble with his hips, too. They and and others grew even more concerned this winter after noticing their favorite wild canine wasn’t eating the food that folks in the area left out for him. With the weather growing harsher — the average minimum temperature in New York was 9 degrees the week that Charlie was finally rescued — this group of neighbors stepped up efforts at getting him inside. “I knew he wasn’t doing well,” Lauffer said. “He was clearly injured.” But getting Charlie inside would require gaining his trust. Lauffer thought the best way to do that was to give him a place where he could sleep warm and safe near her. She spent hours outside in a makeshift hut over the course of several of this year’s coldest nights. “He needs to associate me… [with] food and companionship and heat and warmth,”she told DNA Info, the first of many news outlets to report on the community’s rescue efforts. “I was able to line the bottom of his bed with hand warmers … He loved it.” Finally, on Feb. 15, Charlie let Avezbakiyeva slip a leash around his neck. She and about a half-dozen of Charlie’s other fans got the dog into a car and to the emergency vet. It was an emotional event for those involved. They felt conflicted removing Charlie from the park that had been his home. But they also believed that doing so was necessary to save his life. “I cried,” said Avezbakiyeva. “We all cried.” Photo credit: Denise Lauffer Charlie was quickly sent home from the first vet, but he still seemed unwell to those who’d been keeping tabs on him for so long. Avezbakiyeva and another neighbor, Tiina Imlet, drove Charlie to another Manhattan veterinary clinic where he was given a battery of tests. Charlie was found to have worms, and doctors discovered a tumor on one of his testicles. “The rest of his tests — MRI, ultrasound,...

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