Once Considered A Relic Of The Past, Syphilis Is Rearing Its Deadly Head Again
Health officials have been caught flat-footed by the resurgence of the sexually transmitted disease.
The New York Times:
Hunting A Killer: Sex, Drugs And The Return Of Syphilis
For months, health officials in [Oklahoma City] ... have been staggered by a fast-spreading outbreak of a disease that, for nearly two decades, was considered all but extinguished. Syphilis, the deadly sexually transmitted infection that can lead to blindness, paralysis and dementia, is returning here and around the country, another consequence of the heroin and methamphetamine epidemics, as users trade sex for drugs. (Hoffman, 8/24)
In other national health care news —
Abstinence Programs Don't Stop Teen Pregnancies Or STDs
Abstaining from sexual activity is a surefire way to prevent pregnancy and avoid sexually transmitted diseases. But programs advocating abstinence often fail to prevent young people from having sex, researchers write in the September issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. Such programs, sometimes referred to as "abstinence only until marriage" programs, typically advocate monogamous, heterosexual marriage as the only appropriate context for sexual intercourse and as the only certain way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. (McCammon, 8/23)
The New York Times:
20 Percent More Smokers Quit After $1 Price Increase
When the price of a pack of cigarette increases by $1, there is a 20 percent increase in rates of quitting smoking. Researchers linked data on the smoking habits of 632 smokers, average age 58, to neighborhood cigarette prices in 896 chain grocery and drugstores in 19 states. They gathered data on local laws on indoor smoking in public places, and followed changes in prices, laws and smoking habits over 10 years. (Bakalar, 8/23)
The Washington Post:
Pediatricians Say Teens Should Sleep In. Schools Won’t Let Them.
Pediatricians have been clear: Early bell times can spell sleep deprivation for teens and, in turn, a decline in academic performance, an increased risk of car accidents and physical and mental health issues. But according to a recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics, only a fraction of high schools are starting later than 8:30 a.m., which is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. (Balingit, 8/23)
Seven Things To Know About Sage Therapeutics' Big Epilepsy Drug Trial
There’s no approved medication to treat patients with epilepsy so severe that they must be put into a coma to stop their seizures. An experimental drug from Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) aims to fill that void — if the key phase 3 clinical trial yields positive results. It’s expected to read out results within the next month. It’ll be a pivotal moment not just for the patients, but for Sage and its investors. (Feurstein, 8/24)