Warnings About Flesh-Eating Ocean Bacteria Issued by Florida Health Officials

Categories: Health

Wikimedia Commons
So apparently there's a flesh-eating bacteria that thrives in warm saltwater and is living in our oceans, according to Florida health officials.

The bacteria, known as vibrio vulnificus, has caused 32 people to be hospitalized and killed ten in Florida. That was through a period of years, not all at once. Since 2013, there have been five cases of vibrio and two deaths in Broward County.

Still, it's enough of a risk that the Florida Department of Health issued new warnings on Monday. So if you plan on heading out to the beach for a swim, be aware that a flesh-eating bacteria is floating around out there.

Here's what you need to know about vibrio.

See also: South Florida Sees the First Local Cases of the Mosquito Virus Chikungunya

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South Florida Sees the First Local Cases of the Mosquito Virus Chikungunya

Categories: Health

tompiast via wikimedia commons
So it begins. All summer, scientists and health officials have been biting their nails over a rare mosquito-borne virus that has begun showing up stateside from the Caribbean. So far, the 80 or so cases diagnosed of chikungunya have been found in people who were traveling abroad.

Now, it looks like our very own red, white, and blue bloodsuckers are also carrying. The health department confirmed yesterday that the first two locally acquired cases of chikungunya have been reported -- right here in South Florida.

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Florida Mosquito Virus Expert: "The Threat Is Greater Than I've Seen in My Lifetime"

Wikimedia Commons, via ProjectManhattan
More than 100,000 cases have been reported in the Caribbean. About 53,000 have cropped up in the Dominican Republic. And South Floridians traveling to those two places might be responsible for bringing an epidemic home.

Chikungunya, the oddly named disease that's spread through mosquitoes, has infected 18 people in Florida so far. But with every victim, the likelihood of the virus going viral increases. Although it's rarely fatal, the symptoms of the disease can drag on like The English Patient or Jennifer Lopez's career. Some people experience joint pain and depression for years after a single bite.

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Jamaican University Fires HIV Researcher for Defending Anti-Sodomy Law in Court

Categories: Health, LGBT News

via YouTube
Part of a bat-shit insane ad against legalizing homosexuality in Belize.
Although Belize is best-known as the birthplace of chewing gum, it's really similar to Jamaica in a lot of ways. Both are English-speaking Caribbean countries that used to be British colonies. And even though Great Britain legalized homosexuality in 1967, both have anachronistically retained their former oppressor's anti-sodomy laws. According to section 53 of Belize's penal code, which was written in 1988, sodomy is punishable by ten years in jail.

But in a case that hasn't gotten much attention in the U.S. media, Belize might be in the process of changing its stance. Activist Caleb Orozco took on the country's supreme court last year to overturn the law. He's still in the process of fighting the Catholic, evangelical, and Anglican churches, not to mention one very vocal pastor from Texas.

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Florida Woman Sets Record for Oldest Eggs Used to Give Birth Through In Vitro

Categories: Health

SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, via Wikimedia Commons
Belinda Slaughter's doctor set her chances at around 1 percent. The 46-year-old Orlando woman still harvested her eggs and fertilized them with her husband's sperm. Miraculously, one of the embryos is now a baby boy.

Jackson Slaughter was born last September. But an article just published in a journal for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine states that the dental assistant is the oldest woman to ever give birth through IV using her own eggs.

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Florida Ranks Tenth in States That Won't Shut the Hell Up About CrossFit

Categories: Health

Via Wikimedia Commons
We all have at least one Facebook friend who is all about CrossFit. They post sweaty pictures of themselves lifting heavy shit and hitting tires with a giant hammer and making strained faces that, if they're not popping veins in their foreheads, they are -- at the very least -- causing some serious hemorrhoids.

And they are really, really devoted to it.

How devoted? They won't shut the fuck up about it. That's how.

And now, thanks to estately.com, all 50 states (and D.C.) have been ranked in terms of how much they won't shut the fuck up about it.

And, not surprisingly, the Sunshine State comes in at number ten.

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South Florida Kava Bars Unworried about Two-Day Kava

Categories: Health

Jess Swanson
A shell of kava from Mystic Water Kava Bar. Bula!
At a kava symposium held in Fiji last week, a main concern was Vanuatu's export of a specific variation of the intoxicating pepper root called tudei (or as commonly spelled, "two-day") kava. Experts said they fear countries could ban all kava and destroy the industry because some exporters were selling "two-day" kava as traditional kava. The two-day strain is reportedly stronger (resulting in a "two-day" buzz) but also, experts said, could lead to bad experiences for some users.

But at least two South Florida kava sellers say they aren't worried. Both Mystic Water Kava Bar and Nakava import kava (including two-day kava) from Vanuatu. No one at either location had heard about a potential export ban or feared one, since there have been no customer complaints about the kava since either have opened.

See also: Plant Being Sold as Kava Could Make People Sick

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UM Student With Muscular Dystrophy Loses Medicaid Benefits at Age 21

Categories: Health, Politics

For most students, turning 21 is a joyous occasion. It wasn't for Audrey Winkelsas.
Audrey Winkelsas is a junior at the University of Miami. She was just 7 months old when she was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy. She studies biochemistry and helps conduct research for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. She hopes one day to find a cure for her condition. Until then, Winkelsas' condition requires 24-hour care.

Originally from Apopka, a suburb outside of Orlando, Winkelsas received 24-hour attendant care for the past two and a half years while she studied at UM. However, as of her 21st birthday on October 16, 2013, Winkelsas' Medicaid care was taken from her since she is no longer considered a child or young adult. After appealing, Winkelsas was granted only three one-hour visits per day (none of which can be consecutive). She wishes her condition required only such minimal aid, but since turning 21, Winkelsas' mother, Keely Winkelsas, has had to leave her work behind to provide the care her daughter desperately needs to receive an education.

See also: Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief Settles in Medicaid Overbilling Case; Faces Second Case

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Couch Potato Dares Himself to Run From Los Angeles to Miami

Categories: Health

Milton Miller
Day 13: Parker, Arizona
Sure, running across the country is the kind of thing everyone hopes to do at some point in his or her life, like cleaning the leaves out of the gutter and crossing off some of those New Year's resolutions.

But on July 26, 2010, Milton Miller was lounging on his couch and watching TV, as he normally did, when he suddenly and quite randomly decided to run from Miami to Los Angeles. That's right. The Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. With his feet. Just the two of them.

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Dentist Punched 4-Year-Old, Pinched Kids, and More

Categories: Health

Flickr cc/ soxophone player
On August 9, 2011, Benjamin and Madeline Rodriquez sat in the waiting room of a West Palm Beach dental office. The couple's 5-year-old daughter, Briana, was inside for a cleaning.

When the little girl appeared, her eyes were streaming tears. Blood ringed her lips. Instead of a simple brushing, three teeth had been yanked from her small mouth, and eight fillings had been drilled into the remaining teeth.

"They were absolutely shocked and terrified," the couple's attorney, Casey Shomo, tells New Times. "As best as we can tell, the dentist thought my client was actually another patient with a similar name."

A mistake, maybe -- but the incident was just another entry in the long and twisted saga of Thomas Floyd.

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