The Health News USA January 8 2018

  • A group of Indiana health and business organizations is pushing for a repeal of some legal protections given to smokers. The Indianapolis Business Journal reported that The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana hopes to get rid of a state law that bans employers from screening job candidates for tobacco use. A bill introduced by Republican state Senator Liz Brown of Fort Wayne would repeal the nineteen ninety one law and has the alliance’s support.
  • California is reeling from a particularly severe surge in cases of the flu—with pharmacies running out of medicine, packed emergency rooms and a rising death toll. State health officials say that 27 people younger than 65 have died of the flu in California since October. That’s compared to three the same time last year. According to health officials, there’s no region of the state where people were being spared from the flu.
  • The Los Angeles Times has reported that evidence from a new National Health Interview Survey indicates the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders has reached a plateau in the United States. The question was answered for 30,502 children from three to seventeen years old between two thousand fourteen and two thousand sixteen, according to the Times, and in seven hundred eleven instances, the answer was yes.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/article193423034.html

A group of Indiana health and business organizations is pushing for a repeal of some legal protections given to smokers. The Indianapolis Business Journal reported that The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana hopes to get rid of a state law that bans employers from screening job candidates for tobacco use. The alliance includes the Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana State Medical Association, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana and the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health.

A bill introduced by Republican state Senator Liz Brown of Fort Wayne would repeal the nineteen ninety one law and has the alliance’s support. The measure would allow businesses to require employees to stop using tobacco products, even when not on the clock. It has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor.
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Some Indiana employers have complained that smokers raise their insurance costs.
Previous attempts to repeal the law have failed to advance in the General Assembly. Smoking is the only voluntary action that state law protects during the hiring process, according to the Indiana Chamber.
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Indiana is among more than twenty states that have smoker-protection laws.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/01/07/severe-flu-in-california-brings-medicine-shortages-kills-27.html

California is reeling from a particularly severe surge in cases of the flu—with pharmacies running out of medicine, packed emergency rooms and a rising death toll. State health officials say that twenty seven people younger than sixty five have died of the flu in California since October. That’s compared to three the same time last year. According to health officials, there’s no region of the state where people were being spared from the flu. At the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center in Santa Monica, the emergency room saw more than two hundred patients on at least one day, mostly because of the flu.

In San Bernardino and Riverside Counties east of Los Angeles, emergency rooms are so crowded that ambulances aren’t immediately able to unload their patients, preventing them from responding to incoming nine one one calls, said Jose Arballo Junior, spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

The flu has hit California so hard this year, pharmacies have run out of medicine to treat it, emergency rooms are packed and the death toll is rising. The Los Angeles Times reported that twenty seven people younger than sixty five have died of the influenza in California since October.  And some hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area are limiting visitors under the age of sixteen as a precaution, since young people can be more vulnerable to effects of the flu.
Medical experts say this year’s flu season may be outpacing last year’s because it’s peaking earlier. The flu season is typically at its worst around February.

National health officials predict the flu vaccine may only be about thirty two percent effective this year. But most people in California and the rest of the country are catching a particularly dangerous strain of influenza that the vaccine typically doesn’t work well against.

https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2018-01-02/autism-spectrum-disorders-in-us-kids-hit-apparent-plateau

The Los Angeles Times has reported that evidence from a new National Health Interview Survey indicates the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders has reached a plateau in the United States. The survey asks American households with children if a health professional has ever told them that a child has “autism, Asperger’s disorder, pervasive developmental disorder or autism spectrum disorder.”

The question was answered for thirty thousand five hundred two children from three to seventeen years old between two thousand fourteen and two thousand sixteen, according to the Times, and in seven hundred eleven instances, the answer was yes. Analyzing and weighting the responses, researchers from the University of Iowa found that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders rose from two point twenty four percent in two thousand fourteen to two point forty one percent in two thousand fifteen and two point fifty eight percent in two thousand sixteen.

According to the letter, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders varied among demographics. Among girls, prevalence was one point twenty two percent, compared with three point fifty four percent among boys. Hispanic children and adolescents had a one point seventy eighty percent prevalence, lower than the prevalence among non-Hispanic whites (two point seventy one percent) and non-Hispanic blacks (two point thirty six percent).

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