- A new study has found active ingredients from antidepressant medications, including Zoloft and Prozac, in the brains of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rudd, rock bass, white bass, white perch, walleye, bowfin, steelhead and yellow perch fish in the Niagara River.
- Despite having a new law that has boosted kindergarten vaccination rates to record highs, hundreds of schools across California still have so many children lacking full immunization that they pose an increased risk of disease outbreaks.
- The US government said mysterious incidents affecting the health of American diplomats in Cuba continued as recently as August, despite earlier U.S. assessments that the attacks had long stopped. The U.S. increased its tally of government personnel affected to 19.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 7th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
A new study has found human antidepressants are building up in some kinds of fish in the Great Lakes region. In the study, researchers found active ingredients from antidepressant medications, including Zoloft and Prozac, in the brains of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rudd, rock bass, white bass, white perch, walleye, bowfin, steelhead and yellow perch fish in the Niagara River. According to Doctor Diana Aga, the study’s lead scientist: “These active ingredients from antidepressants, which are coming out from wastewater treatment plants, are accumulating in fish brains,” The fish are being exposed to these chemicals because of contamination of the river’s water by wastewater from treatment plants. These plants generally focus on killing disease-causing bacteria and removing solid waste. However, antidepressants, which are found in the urine of people, are mostly overlooked and not removed from the wastewater, Aga said.
Although the buildup of drugs in the fish does not pose any danger to humans, it could have a serious impact on the environment, experts said. The antidepressants could alter the fish’s feeding behavior and survival instinct.
According to a Times analysis of state data, despite having a new law that has boosted kindergarten vaccination rates to record highs, hundreds of schools across California still have so many children lacking complete immunization that they pose an increased risk of disease outbreaks. At nearly seven hundred fifty schools, ninety percent or fewer kindergartners had been fully vaccinated last year, the analysis found. Experts say the rate should be at least ninety five percent to prevent the spread of highly contagious diseases such as measles. California’s tougher immunization law, known as SB two seven seven, was approved in two thousand fifteen after a measles outbreak that originated at Disneyland. The law bars parents from citing religious or personal beliefs to excuse their children from immunizations, but some who already had such exemptions were allowed to keep them. The rest of the unvaccinated children need a form signed by their doctor saying they had a medical reason not to get their shots.
In the school year that began last fall, the law’s first year, the number of kindergartners in California with medical exemptions tripled, the analysis found.
Experts say some parents who are hesitant about vaccines may be asking doctors to vouch that their children have medical reasons to avoid them or get them later than when they’re required by law. Public health advocates cheered the law’s success when the fraction of California kindergartners who were fully vaccinated jumped to ninety six percent last year.
Mysterious incidents affecting the health of American diplomats in Cuba continued as recently as August, the United States said Friday, despite earlier U.S. assessments that the attacks had long stopped. The U.S. increased its tally of government personnel affected to nineteen.
The new U.S. disclosures came the same day that the union representing American diplomats said mild traumatic brain injury was among the diagnoses given to diplomats victimized in the attacks. In the most detailed account of the symptoms to date, the American Foreign Service Association said permanent hearing loss was another diagnosis, and that additional symptoms had included brain swelling, severe headaches, loss of balance and “cognitive disruption.”
The State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. was continually revising its assessments of the scope of the attacks as new information was obtained. She said the investigation had not been completed. U.S. officials had previously said that the attacks, initially believed to be caused by a potential covert sonic device, had started in fall two thousand sixteen and continued until spring two thousand seventeen.
Last week, Nauert had said at least sixteen Americans associated with the U.S. Embassy in Havana had been affected, but that the “incidents” were no longer occurring. The evolving U.S. assessment indicated investigators were still far off from any thorough understanding of what transpired in the attacks, described by the U.S. as unprecedented. As the bizarre saga has unfolded, the U.S. has encouraged its diplomats to report any strange physical sensations. So it’s unclear whether some symptoms being attributed to the attacks might actually be unrelated. Still, the fact there was an incident as recently as August suggested the attacks likely continued long after the U.S. government became aware of them and raised the issue with the Cuban government, creating even more uncertainty about the timeline and who was responsible.