News Filed Under Health
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The itching and scratching associated with poison ivy rashes can sometimes be avoided if those seeking the outdoors learn to identify and kill the vine.
John Byrd, weed scientist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a mild winter and early warm weather allowed poison ivy to be more advanced earlier in the year than it normally is.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Flu vaccines may be in short supply, but other preventive measures can protect people from this season's colds and flu.
While Mississippi's flu numbers remain moderate, the bordering states of Tennessee and Arkansas are among the nation's 13 states reporting widespread cases of influenza by December, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Health officials agree that the worst of the flu season is yet to come.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome claims 40 percent fewer babies since the "Back to Sleep" campaign began in 1994, but researchers still don't know why SIDS strikes 1.6 per thousand Mississippi live births.
SIDS is the No. 1 cause of death in full-term infants 1 week to 1 year old and claims about 3,000 U.S. babies each year. The death is unpredictable, but the highest numbers occur between 2 and 4 months of age. The risk declines dramatically after age 6 months.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The second most common type of cancer in women has an entire month dedicated to its awareness.
October has been set aside as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each year, about 43,300 women and 400 men die of breast cancer.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children in Tunica, Greenville and other Delta locations are helping researchers learn more about one of the nation's biggest childhood-health problems -- a severe form of decay in primary, or baby, teeth known as early childhood caries.
Students at 16 Delta childcare and Early Headstart Centers, along with their parents and teachers, are participating in a two-year oral healthcare initiative funded by a grant from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
By Laura Whelan
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent high-profile instances of toxic mold found in homes have raised fear in many Mississippians, but any mold growth in the home should be seen as a possible health threat.
"All molds have the potential to cause health problems," said Beth Miller, assistant professor of human sciences in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Mississippi State University. "They produce allergens, irritants and in some cases, potentially toxic substances.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Not enough Mississippians give blood to save the lives of people in need, but even fewer have committed to giving their organs and tissue to save someone's life after their own has passed.
The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency is the federally designated organ procurement organization for most of the state. They report that more than 75,000 people nationwide need organ transplants, and 16 of these die each day waiting for the organ that will save their lives.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- School and health personnel face many challenges in improving health among Mississippi's school children, and a June 6 through 8 conference in Biloxi will offer guidance.
By Ashley Crawford
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi public schools are discovering the many benefits of health programs with the help of an organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children who don't get moving, start life heavy and tend to become sedentary, overweight adults.
Childhood is a time of boundless energy that gives kids the ability to eat practically all they want and still stay slim. But when that energy is channeled into video games or suppressed by television viewing, children gain weight as easily as adults.
Kids need regular activity to form good habits of exercise they can carry the rest of their lives. Youthful inactivity leads to unhealthy weight gain and hurts future health.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Bicycles are such popular items on wish lists and under Christmas trees that it's easy to forget that these can be dangerous gifts.
Linda Patterson, health education specialist at Mississippi State University's Extension Service, urged parents to make sure their children have the equipment and training necessary to make bike riding a safe experience.
"A bicycle is not a toy. It's a vehicle," Patterson said. "Every year about 1,200 bicyclists are killed, and more than a half million others are injured in bicycle-related accidents."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Health professionals usually recommend flu shots primarily for at-risk groups, but this year will be a good year for greater numbers to consider increased protection.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in Mississippi women, but early detection and treatment mean a better chance for survival.
"Many deaths occur each year because women do not have regular mammograms or practice thorough breast self-exams," said Linda Patterson, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Some breast cancer victims discover lumps that could be treated successfully, but fail to get treatment in time."
By Carrie Reeves
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Swimming provides a great way to relax and have fun during the summer, but swimmers should be aware of pool-related infections and ways to prevent the spread of these in public pools.
The most serious germs which might be found in swimming pools are cryptosporidiosis, also known as crypto; giardiasis; and Escherichia Coli 057:H7, also know as E-Coli 057:H7. All of these infections are passed through feces.
By Allison Matthews
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As loved ones age and begin to need some level of nursing or assistance in their daily activities, consider a variety of care options to make the most appropriate selection.
Adult children often face difficult decisions about how to care for their aging parents. Needs of the elderly vary depending on their physical and emotional health. Family members have several choices about the types of care available.
By Chantel Lott
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Partygoers who tend to overindulge in the holiday spirits may need to learn the fine art of dawdling to decrease the effect of alcohol on their system.
Dawdling is characterized by mixing with other guests and friends, and maybe having a dance before heading to the bar at holiday festivities.
By Chantel Lott
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women in Mississippi, but early detection and treatment mean a better chance for survival.
"Many women think that breast cancer will never affect them, but it can happen to anyone at anytime," said Linda Patterson, health and safety specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
By Chantel Lott
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Control diabetes during the holiday season by balancing food, activity and medication.
"The first rule should be that no foods are forbidden," said Melissa Mixon, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Accept the fact that the holidays bring challenges. Plan from beginning to end how to handle them.
"Enjoy your favorite holiday food, but remember moderation is the key," Mixon said.
By Chantel Lott
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The flu attacks many victims each year, but taking some precautions can reduce the severity of the virus.
Influenza, or flu, is an acute respiratory infection, and its symptoms usually include fever, aches, chills, weakness, loss of appetite, and aching of the head, back, arms and legs. In addition, a sore throat and dry cough, nausea and burning eyes may accompany the virus.
By Crystel Bailey
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Health officials still recommend that parents should continue to place babies on their backs even though some people worry this sleeping position will cause them to have flat heads.