Florida Health Officials Issue Warning of Brain-Eating Amoeba

Categories: Health, News

The Florida Department of Health issued a warning this week of a rare brain-eating amoeba that feeds off brain cells.

The warning comes off the news of a 12-year-old boy affected with the parasite, currently fighting for his life in the intensive care unit at the Miami Children's Hospital.

Health officials have made the warning specifically for lakes and natural freshwater, where the amoeba can find the perfect temperature to thrive. The parasite travels through the nose and into the brain, where it devours cells.

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Sunscreen Regulated Like a Drug in Schools

Photo by Steve Hankins via Flickr CC
Students may return to school in the fall, but that doesn't mean much in South Florida. It's very much summer almost year round here, a state of affairs which should make protection from the sun an important part of our daily health regimen.

But many school districts treat sunscreen as an over-the-counter drug, like Tylenol or Motrin, and require parents, sometimes even doctors, to authorize use.

Florida guidelines from 2007 suggest schools require a physician's signature.

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Broward Man Inducted Into Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence

International symbol for breastfeeding
Lighthouse Point resident David Duresky is a breastfeeding champion. No, really, there's a a breastfeeding awareness month: August, and a "Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence," into which Duresky has been inducted.

Duresky was awarded $5,000 to "fund research, sponsor continuing education, purchase equipment" and/or "donate to the breastfeeding charity of [his] choice."

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Boy Scouts Not Allowing Obese Kids to Take Part in National Jamboree

Categories: Health, News

boy scouts.jpg
The Boy Scouts of America is currently holding its 2013 National Jamboree, where scouts from all over the country converge in West Virginia to whitewater raft, climb mountains, zip lines, mountain bike, and participate in other Boy Scouty things.

But, apparently the scouts' body mass index criteria to take part in the jamboree excludes scouts with a BMI of 40 or higher.

So, basically, no fat kids.

But the the Obesity Action Coalition (or OAC) is calling on the BSA to change that.

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European Pediatricians: American Academy of Pediatrics' Recommendation to Circumcise Baby Boys Is "Questionable, Weak"

Categories: Health
Deirdra Funcheon
After years of studying all the studies about circumcision, the American Academy of Pediatrics last year updated its policy about circumcision of infant boys. Whereas it had previously been neutral on the matter, the organization started recommending the procedure, advising that the benefits outweigh the risks.

This put the AAP at odds with pediatric groups in other countries, especially European ones.

See also:
- Interview With Dr. Doug Dietkema of the American Academy of Pediatrics

- Anti-circumcision Activists: Trimming a Bit off the Top Is Too Much

Yesterday, European doctors struck back in a scientific journal article, saying that "only 1 of the arguments put forward by the American Academy of Pediatrics has some theoretical relevance" and that the other claimed health benefits "are questionable, weak, and likely to have little public health relevance in a Western context, and they do not represent compelling reasons for surgery before boys are old enough to decide for themselves."

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Fort Lauderdale Wants Your Pills

Categories: Health, News, News

Bring out your pills! Leave no injectable behind! Think that two-year old bottle of codeine isn't safe to mix with Sprite? Ditch it!

Fort Lauderdale is hosting a no-questions-asked medication take back on Jan. 27 at 301 N. Andrews Ave. from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The city and much Broward County has long held the distinction of being the capital for illicit distribution of prescription pain medication.

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29-Year-Old With AIDS Launches Kickstarter-Type Campaign to Pay for Health Care

Categories: Health
Valyn Calhoun
Valyn Calhoun posted a photo of himself, looking pale and weighing 95 pounds. "I put up a picture of my body," the 29-year-old wrote. "It may scare some, but this is something I see everyday."

Calhoun, a photographer who runs in Fort Lauderdale's music and art scenes, contracted HIV and hepatitis C, and after his insurance refused to pay for his care, he began soliciting donations on GiveForward.org, a website that enables online fundraising and is geared toward people needing help with medical expenses. It's a lot like the better-known Kickstarter, though Kickstarter's focus is on artistic projects.

According to GiveForward, the website has enabled more than $31 million in transactions. At presstime, Calhoun had raised just over $5,000 of his $20,000 goal.

Now that's he's had access to medication for a week and a half, Calhoun, who says he's "not shy about anything," agreed to an email interview about his disease and his experience.

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Beyond Tumescence: Four Other Uses For Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

Categories: Health
It's been a marquee week for boner pills.

First, a University of Florida professor and colleagues published a study showing that Cialis, the blockbuster erectile dysfunction drug, can help treat Becker muscular dystrophy, a rare and debilitating disease that often cripples people by age 30 and for which there's no known cure. Then Brandon Marshall, former Miami Dolphins receiver and all-around maniac, blurts out that some NFL players pop Viagra to gain a competitive edge.

That got us wondering: What else can these little lascivious pills do? It turns out a whole lot.

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UF Researcher Helps Show That Boner Pill Cialis Can Help Treat Rare Form of Muscular Dystrophy

Categories: Health
You probably know Cialis as that boner drug with the annoying commercial of a sex-deprived couple sitting in separate bathtubs gazing toward the horizon. The announcer says something about the dangers of erections lasting more than four hours and viewers get grossed out thinking about baby boomers with raging hard-ons. 

But this week, a gaggle of researchers, including Barry Byrne of the University of Florida, published a new study showing that the drug might have far less lascivious applications. According to the findings, Cialis might be able to reverse the effects of Becker muscular dystrophy, a rare and debilitating disease for which there's no known cure. 

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"Designer Vagina" Procedures Often Misleading and Poorly Described, New Study Says

Categories: Health
There's a veritable menu of weird-sounding vagina-focused procedures offered by local chop shop plastic surgery chain Strax Rejuvenation.

G-spot amplification is a "lunch time procedure" that results in "enhanced sexual arousal" for 87 percent of "normally sexually functioning women." Hymenoplasty can "repair the hymen as if nothing ever occurred." And augmentation labioplasty makes for a more "youthful" labia courtesy of a fat transplant.

But a new study out this week blasts these types of descriptions for being misleading, unsubstantiated, and just plain confusing.

See also
- Strax CEO Has Criminal Record
- Strax Surgeon Had License Suspended
- Fifth Strax Patient Dies in Eight Years
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