Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Woman Eats Her Child's Brain? Mental Health and Criminal Justice Systems Failed Her

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

This week, a woman in Texas cut off the head of her three week old baby and ate part of his brain. What’s even more shocking about this terrible story is that she won’t get any jail time for it.

Otty Sanchez, a 34-year old, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of her child, Scott Wesley Buchholz-Sanchez. Prosecutors accepted the plea deal after learning that the woman thought that the devil made her kill her child.

The baby was found in a bedroom with three of his toes chewed off, his head severed and his brain ripped out. Police are saying that the child’s mother ate the boy’s toes and a piece of the brain before stabbing herself in the chest and throat. In the 911 call made by her sister, Sanchez can be heard in the background screaming, “I didn't wanna do it! He told me to!"

click to read

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Prof. Boyce Watkins: Nushawn Williams: Infected Women with HIV - Set to be Released from Prison

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

You may not know the name Nushawn Williams, but it's probably a name you need to know. You would especially want your daughter to know his name, as well as anyone else in the community who has reason to fear a more disturbing style of sexual predator for the new millenium.

Williams is in prison right now for knowingly infecting women with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. His victims were as young as 13 years old, and authorities believe he may have infected as many as 50 women prior to going to state prison in 1998. Police are working to keep Williams behind bars because they fear what might happen if he is released to the American public.
"He is prone to further sexual contact with underage individuals because of deficits in his emotional capacity to understand why this is wrong and attitudes that support these types of exploitive encounters. His emotional callousness, lack of remorse and impulsivity undermine important internal mechanisms for managing his sexual behavior," said examiner Jacob E. Hadden from the New York State Office of Mental Health. Authorities have determined that Williams suffers from a mental health abnormality that makes him incapable of understanding why his actions are wrong or harmful.

The possible release of Williams reminds us of the urgency of managing the public health alarm called HIV infection. African Americans are taking the lead in HIV infection rates, and what is also true is that the experience in our community is nothing less than a precursor to what is eventually going to happen all throughout America. What is most frightening about the case of Nushawn Williams is that he is probably not the only person deliberately spreading the disease: there are likely women and other men doing the same thing. To make matters worse, there are many in our community (and others) who are being incredibly irresponsible with their sexual behavior and infecting scores of people in the process.

As I felt empathy for celebrities like Magic Johnson and Eazy-E for their battles with HIV/AIDS, I wondered how many of us thought about the long list of partners they infected before finally getting their own positive test results. Did you ever think about the fact that many of those people are out in the community right now, quite a few of whom may have taken years to become aware of their HIV positive status? This is scary indeed, so the truth is that to protect yourself from the silent community killer, a general strategy of protection must be put into play.


Click to read

Monday, March 22, 2010

List of Democrats Who Voted Against the Health Care Reform Bill

Democrats who voted against the health care bill included the following Congressmen and Congresswomen:

Rep. John Adler (N.J.)
Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.)
Rep. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.)
Rep. John Barrow (Ga.)
Rep. Marion Berry (Ark.)
Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.)
Rep. Rick Boucher (Va.)
Rep. Bobby Bright (Ala.)
Rep. Ben Chandler (Ky.)
Rep. Travis Childers (Miss.)
Rep. Artur Davis (Ala.)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (Tenn.)
Rep. Chet Edwards (Texas)
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.)
Rep. Tim Holden (Pa.)
Rep. Larry Kissell (N.C.)
Rep. Frank Kratovil (Md.)
Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.)
Rep. Stephen Lynch (Mass.)
Rep. Jim Marshall (Ga.)
Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
Rep. Mike McMahon (N.Y.)
Rep. Charlie Melancon (La.)
Rep. Walt Minnick (Idaho)
Rep. Glenn Nye (Va.)
Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.)
Rep. Mike Ross (Ark.)
Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.)
Rep. Ike Skelton (Mo.)
Rep. Zack Space (Ohio)
Rep. John Tanner (Tenn.)
Rep. Gene Taylor (Miss.)
Rep. Harry Teague (N.M.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The latest in Black Health - 3/15/10

  • Obama delays Asia trip to deal with health care

    Obama delays Asia trip to deal with health care

    By theGrio

    10:06 AM on 03/12/2010

    WASHINGTON (AP) - President Obama has delayed his first international trip of the year to focus attention on the final push to salvage his health care legislation...


  • Too many Tigers, not enough Trojans

    Too many Tigers, not enough Trojans

    By Dr. Janet Taylor

    7:05 AM on 03/12/2010

    OPINION - What's notable is reportedly not only did Woods not wear a condom, but his partner's didn't insist upon it...


  • How black women can combat genital herpes crisis

    How black women can combat genital herpes crisis

    By Dr. Janet Taylor

    10:42 AM on 03/11/2010

    OPINION - According the Center for Disease Control nearly half of all African-American women are infected with the HSV-2 virus...


  • New studies reveal the urgency of first lady's obesity fight

    New studies reveal the urgency of first lady's obesity fight

    By Janice K. Bryant

    8:44 AM on 03/10/2010

    Risk factors leading to higher rates of obesity begin as early as pregnancy, especially among African-American and Hispanic children...


  • Alzheimer's cases rising among blacks, Hispanics

    Alzheimer's cases rising among blacks, Hispanics

    By theGrio

    5:07 PM on 03/09/2010

    VIDEO - It's an increase in Alzheimer's cases at a time when heart disease, breast cancer and prostate cancer deaths are all going down...


  • 10-year-old becomes health care reform lobbyist

    10-year-old becomes health care reform lobbyist

    By theGrio

    3:44 PM on 03/09/2010

    VIDEO - Marcelas Owens has been campaigning for changes in the health care system since his mother died after she fell ill and lost her job and her insurance...


  • Saturday, February 27, 2010

    Why Are We Running Out of Doctors?

    I did an appearance last night on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 to discuss the issue of Health care reform. This has been heavy on the mind of our president for his entire first year in office and has led to quite a few political battles on Capitol Hill. Health care is in serious jeopardy, as the cost of entitlement programs such as Medicaid/Medicare and Social Security threaten our nation's economic security. Our national debt has risen to unprecedented and frightening levels, and our politicians have little incentive to do anything about it.
    One additional problem that we are running into on the issue of health care is the fact that our nation doesn't have enough Primary Care physicians. These doctors are incredibly important, since they are the first line of defense against illness in America.
    Over the next 10 years, our nation is expected to have a shortfall of 40,000 Primary Care doctors. By 2025, that number is expected to balloon to over 120,000. To make matters worse, our population is aging, implying that there will be a greater demand for these doctors in the future.

    Click to read.

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    The Latest in Black Health News – 2/22/10

    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    The Latest in Black Health – 2/14/10

  • First lady launches 'Let's Move' effort against childhood obesity

    First lady launches 'Let's Move' effort against childhood obesity

    By theGrio

    9:35 AM on 02/09/2010

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Michelle Obama says she loves burgers and fries, but she wants her daughters -- and the rest of America's children -- to learn about better nutrition...

    > MORE

  • Bad malaria pills in Africa raise resistance fears

    Bad malaria pills in Africa raise resistance fears

    By theGrio

    10:06 AM on 02/08/2010

    High rates of the most effective type of malaria-fighting drugs sold in three African countries are poor quality...

    > MORE

  • Denver boy, 9, died after state-benefits error denied him asthma medication

    By theGrio

    5:04 PM on 02/04/2010

    A Montbello mother says her 9-year-old son's death from severe asthma could have been prevented had Denver Human Services resolved problems with his Medicaid pharmacy benefits...

    > MORE

  • Among black girls, challenges of fighting obesity go beyond diet

    Among black girls, challenges of fighting obesity go beyond diet

    By theGrio

    9:02 AM on 02/01/2010

    CHICAGO (AP) - Like nearly one-third of American teens, Paris Woods is overweight. Her doctor worries her weight will creep up into the obesity range. One out of four black girls her age is obese.

    > MORE

  • Obese African-Americans at higher risk of stroke

    By theGrio

    11:21 AM on 01/22/2010

    Obesity raises the risk of stroke regardless of race or sex, according to a new study that is one of the first to show a link between obesity and stroke risk in blacks...

    > MORE

  • Cancer victim sheds light on bone marrow donor crisis

    Cancer victim sheds light on bone marrow donor crisis

    By Todd Johnson

    1:07 PM on 01/13/2010

    VIDEO - Seun Adebiyi is proud of his many accomplishments -- graduating from Yale Law School, working for Goldman Sachs and even training for the 2014 Winter Olympics...

    > MORE

  • Hepatitis B and C often ignored as health threat to blacks

    Hepatitis B and C often ignored as health threat to blacks

    By theGrio

    12:26 PM on 01/11/2010

    WASHINGTON (AP) - They're the overlooked viruses: Hepatitis B and C together infect three to five times more Americans than the AIDS virus does, and most don't know it...

    > MORE

  • KFC pulls Australian ad over US racism complaints

    KFC pulls Australian ad over US racism complaints

    By theGrio

    11:51 AM on 01/08/2010

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Fast food giant KFC has pulled an Australian television advertisement after it was branded racist in the United States...

    > MORE

  • 7 ways to keep your resolution to work out

    7 ways to keep your resolution to work out

    By Dr. Jeff Gardere

    8:18 AM on 01/05/2010

    OPINION - There are many strategies and techniques to following through on your resolution of joining and actually working out in the gym on a long-term and regular basis.

    > MORE

  • Tiny newborn girl may break world record

    Tiny newborn girl may break world record

    By theGrio

    9:29 AM on 12/22/2009

    VIDEO - A little girl born in Mobile, Alabama may be the world's tiniest baby...

    > MORE

  • NBA star's wife uses baby to exercise

    NBA star's wife uses baby to exercise

    By theGrio

    11:19 AM on 12/11/2009

    VIDEO - Jamison knows a little something about shedding baby weight. The wife of the Washington Wizards superstar gave birth to her third child, Rucker King...

    > MORE

  • Dr. Fleming lives with sickle cell disease and no boundaries

    Dr. Fleming lives with sickle cell disease and no boundaries

    By theGrio

    1:14 PM on 12/10/2009

    VIDEO - Dr. Lester Fleming is learning to be a pilot --something he once thought would never be possible. Fleming was born with sickle cell disease, a red blood cell deficiency...

    > MORE

  • Monday, February 8, 2010

    Black News: Michael Jackson’s Doctor Pleads Not Guilty

    Dr. Conrad Murray arrives for his arraignment of at the Airport Los Angeles Courthouse today

    Hours after Dr. Conrad Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with Michael Jackson's 2009 death, the embattled physician pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon (February 8) during an arraignment hearing at a Los Angeles courthouse, according to The Associated Press.

    Murray's bail was set at $75,000, three times greater than the bail usually set for such crimes. Without being handcuffed, Murray was then taken into custody for booking. He must surrender his passport, allowing him to travel within the United States but not out of the country. Prosecutors had been seeking bail of $300,000, but Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz rejected that amount. The involuntary-manslaughter charge carries a maximum jail sentence of four years.


    Click to read.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Black Olympian Yale Law Grad Needs Bone Marrow Transplant


    From Seun Adbiyi At The Huffington Post

    As a 26 year-old African-American, I don’t know which is more difficult: trying to make history as the first Nigerian delegate in the Winter Olympics, or finding a donor for a bone marrow transplant.

    In June 2009, just days after graduating from Yale Law School, I was diagnosed with two rare and aggressive forms of cancer: lymphoblastic lymphoma and stem-cell leukemia. Instead of a grueling Olympic training regimen for the skeleton — an 80 mph headfirst plunge down a mile-long ice chute — I underwent an equally grueling cycle of high dose chemotherapy during a seven-week hospital stay at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

    Click to read.

    News: Sex is Good for You

    To paraphrase a great old slogan for Guinness beer: Sex isn’t just good, it’s good for you!

    Okay, so maybe there’s some wishful thinking going on — the science isn’t exactly iron-clad — but evidence is accumulating that the more sex you have, the better off you are.

    There is one caveat, though. “We do not have good data to show a direct connection [to all-around good health]," says Jennifer Bass, the head of information services at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction in Bloomington, Ind. "We know that healthier people have more sexual activity. But we do not know which comes first. Does the good health make you more willing to have sex, or does the sex have a positive impact?”

    And you dirty girrrls and Don Juans should know that the assumed health benefits of sex are generally thought to accrue to people in loving, monogamous relationships or those flying solo. Risky sex with lots of partners will probably do more harm than good.


    Click to read.

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    News: EMTs Stand By as Pregnant Woman Dies

    A pregnant Brooklyn woman suffering a fatal seizure in a coffee shop in the shadow of FDNY Headquarters was ignored by two callous city medics who continued to buy their breakfast, eyewitnesses told The Post.

    "The EMTs just said we had to call 911. They got their bagels and left," said a disgusted worker.

    Frantic employees at the Au Bon Pain at 1 Metrotech Center approached the FDNY medics at 9 a.m. on Dec. 9, shortly after colleague Eutisha Revee Rennix, 25, began to complain of shortness of breath and intense stomach pains. Workers immediately dialed 911.

    NO HELP: Witnesses say that as Eutisha Revee Rennix (above) lay dying at a Brooklyn Au Bon Pain 600 feet from FDNY headquarters, two EMTs on break refused to assist her, leaving son Jahleel, 3, motherless.


    NO HELP: Witnesses say that as Eutisha Revee Rennix (above) lay dying at a Brooklyn Au Bon Pain 600 feet from FDNY headquarters, two EMTs on break refused to assist her, leaving son Jahleel, 3, motherless.

    "People were calling out saying, 'She's turning blue! She's pregnant!' " said the witness.

    But the EMTs appeared unfazed.

    "I remember them saying they couldn't do anything because they were on their break," another worker said. "We started screaming and cursing at them."

    Rennix fell in a heap and began foaming at the nose and mouth in the back room.

    That sent a manager rushing to the front to again ask someone in the Metrotech coffee shop to help.

    This time, two good Samaritans in blue FDNY sweaters ran to the back office. One called 911 from his cellphone while the other tried to help keep Rennix still.

    Read more:

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Woman Imitates Healthcare Worker to Kill Another Woman’s Baby

    Keisha Jones, 38, a mother of four, is married to Anthony, who has been involved with another woman for the past three years. Monique Hunter, 25, is the other woman and didn't have a clue that her lover was a married man. Hunter became pregnant with Anthony's baby, and the plot that ensues unravels like a Lifetime movie.

    When Jones found out about Hunter's pregnancy, she devised a diabolical plan to get rid of the young woman's baby. She started by calling her husband's mistress, pretending to be a health care worker from Hunter's doctor's office. Jones explained to the young pregnant woman that she needed to take some medication that would prevent her from having a child with Down syndrome. The drug that Jones recommended was Cytotec, which can ripen a woman's cervix and induce labor.


    Click to read.

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    Health: Healthcare Reform Passes Key Senate Hurdle

    Health Care Overhaul

    WASHINGTON – A bruising debate on health care awaits the Senate after Thanksgiving now that the historic legislation has cleared a key hurdle over the opposition of Republicans eager to inflict a punishing defeat on President Barack Obama.

    The bill would extend coverage to roughly 31 million who lack it, crack down on insurance company practices that deny or dilute benefits and curtail the growth of spending on medical care nationally.

    In the final minutes of a daylong session, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused Republicans of trying to stifle a historic debate the nation needed.

    The Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said the vote was anything but procedural — casting it as a referendum on the bill itself, which he said would raise taxes, cut Medicare and create a “massive and unsustainable debt.”

    Click to read.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Black Health: Dr. Elaina George on Depression



    Dr George and Delores Jones, a correspondent for AOL speak about dealing with depression and change through inspiration and spirituality. 

    Click here to listen!

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Swine Flu Vaccines Go to Executives First?

    BusinessWeek has broken the story that large employers like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are among the first on the list to receive the H1N1 vaccine.Clusterstock, the business blog, has added the nuance that not only has Goldman Sachs received the same number of vaccinations as Lennox Hill hospital in New York City -- the finance giant got its hands on the doses beforemany hospitals.
    Goldman Sachs' PR reps want to make it clear to the public that the CDC distributes vaccines to many types of large employers, such as Time Warner and New York University. The idea is to get the vaccine to people at many points of potential infection, giving the H1N1 vaccine to those who come into contact regularly with high risk groups within large companies. Goldman Sachs has received 200 H1N1 vaccines, Citigroup 1,200.
    This "guest list" treatment makes sense for some early recipients of the H1N1 vaccine. Hospital workers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the New York Presbyterian Healthcare System clearly need early protection -- and got some of the first doses along with Goldman.

    Click to read.

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Congress Soon to Vote on HealthCare Reform Bill

    This show is an interview between Dr. Elaina George and Dr Emelita Breyer.  Dr. Breyer is from the Breyer Foundation, an independent organization dedicated to finding solutions to health care reform that does not add to the deficit, or raise money on the backs of the people through taxation.

    She has a thorough understanding of the sanctity of the doctor patient relationship. And has real solutions that will protect the things that make the US healthcare system the best in the world.

    Click here to listen!

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Deborah Stroman: Sugar in the Blood

    by Dr. Deborah Stroman

    Got Sugar in the Blood? Change Your Lifestyle Today!

    Do you remember your elders speaking about “sugar in the blood”? Do you have a friend or family member who suffers from diabetes? The importance of understanding high blood sugar is critical to the management of our often fast-paced, unhealthy, and stressful lives. A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit the “Bodies – The Exhibition” and experienced the most engaging presentation on the anatomy and pathology of the human body. Cadavers, adult and fetus, were on display to showcase the miracle of the body and the importance of good health and exercise. This poignant visit, which highlighted all of our major bodily systems, provides the inspiration to urgently share information regarding sugar – the crack cocaine of the Black of the community!

    Click to read.

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Dr. Elaina George: What’s in the H1N1 Vaccine?


    by Dr. Elaina George 

    There has been a lot of confusion about what ingredients are in the H1N1 Vaccine. In order to distill the information to make it easier for you to make an informed choice, here is a brief synopsis of the information provided by the manufacturers in their package inserts.

    There are 4 manufactures who have been approved to sell H1N1 vaccine in the US. They are: Novartis, CSL, Sanofi/Pasteur and MedImmune

    1. Novartis makes an injectable vaccine for ages 4 and above

    Ingredients: Thimerosal (Mercury) both in the single dose and the multi dose vials

    Antibiotics - polymyxin and neomycin (can be neurotoxic)

    Manufactured with phenol (the chemical used on skin in cosmetic face peals to remove wrinkles)

    Note: They recommend that children ages 4-9 get 2 injections one month apart. This would increase the risk from a reaction to the mercury (e.g, neurological damage such as Gullain-Barre or possibly Autism)


    Click to read more.

    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    Black News: Obama Confirms a Black Surgeon General

    Regina Benjamin was confirmed by the Senate Friday.

    The Senate has formally confirmed Dr. Regina Benjamin to be the U.S. surgeon general, making her only the third African American to hold the position as the nation's top doctor.

    The Senate nod came by a voice vote Thursday night, an expression of unanimous consent of both parties.

    The 53-year-old family practice doctor had spent most of her career tending to the needs of poor patients in a Gulf Coast clinic she founded two decades ago in Alabama.

    She was the first African-American woman board member of the American Medical Association, and she just served a term as chairwoman of the group's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

    Benjamin received a bachelor's degree in 1979 from Xavier University of Louisiana, attended Morehouse School of Medicine from 1980 to 1982, and received a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1984.

    She completed her residency in family practice at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in 1987.


    Click to read.

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Michael Baisden and Your Favorite Doctor Go at it Again on the Swine Flu

    Video thumbnail. Click to play
    Click to Play

    Dr. Elaina and Michael Baisden break down the hype and misinformation about the Swine flu.

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    Black News: Obama Declares Swine Flu a National Emergency

    Hundreds of residents line up for free H1N1 vaccinations Friday at an Encino, California, clinic.

    President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus.

    "The 2009 H1N1 pandemic continues to evolve. The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities," Obama said in a statement.

    "Thus, in recognition of the continuing progression of the pandemic, and in further preparation as a nation, we are taking additional steps to facilitate our response."

    The president signed the declaration late Friday and announced it Saturday.

    Calling the emergency declaration "an important tool in our kit going forward," one administration official called Obama's action

    Click to read.

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Black Health: Avoid the Whites – Salt, Sugar, and Flour!

    Deborah Stroman

    by Dr. Deborah Stroman

    Do you need a simple rule to begin a smart nutrition routine? Try to make a change in your diet by “avoiding the whites” – those additives that supposedly will make your food taste just right or have the right consistency. To live well and be healthy, we need to make changes that may feel uncomfortable at first and possibly illogical to friends and family.

    Salt, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, accounts for nearly 150,000 premature deaths every year primarily due to complications from high blood pressure. We do need ~ 6g of salt per day to live. Sadly, the average intake of salt is between 9g and 10g a day! Salt is a commonly occurring mineral, the technical name of which is sodium chloride. It is the sodium part of salt that is important. Sodium helps to maintain the concentration of body fluids at correct levels. It also plays a central role in the transmission of electrical impulses in the nerves, and helps cells process nutrients.

    Click to read.

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Dr. Elaina George: Natural Remedies for the Swine Flu

    In this episode of Medicine on Call, Dr. Elaina George speaks with Dr Maiysha Clairborne of Mind, Body, Spirit, Wellness.  we spoke about natural approaches to prevent and treat swine flu. Overall natural remedies to reduce stress and promote overall wellness.


    Click here to listen!

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    Your Health Insurance 411 – 10/14/09

    Health Insurance Companies causing pain for patients: Are insurance companies limiting the options available to your doctor? That may be the case. While our nation is quick to blame physicians for the state of healthcare, the insurance companies may be a more sensible target for our collective frustration.

    What is umbrella insurance?
    - This type of policy protects you from all the things that your standard insurance plan doesn't cover. Everyone should consider getting umbrella insurance.
    How do you keep your insurance if you lose your job? - If you don't know the answer to this question, you need to learn about the COBRA laws. COBRA allows you to keep your old health insurance if you lose your job, and as part of the stimulus package, the federal government pays 65% of the cost.

    Click to read more.

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    Black Health News: The High Cost of Insurance: Americans Struggle

    "The high cost of each premium and the high deductible a person or family must pay per year is my biggest complaint against health insurers."

    "For example, I pay around $300 a month for my wife and me for basic coverage, and pay a deductible of $750 each every year, not to mention a co-pay of $15 to $20 at the window."

    "My yearly income is around $32,000 a year. Very little is left for goodies. Meanwhile, a doctor takes in $80 to $120 a visit that lasts 15 to 20 minutes. Imagine how much he makes a day, a week, a month, a year. Plenty of goodies here."


    Click to read.

    Visit Your Black World for Black News!

    News: Swine Flu Kills 76 US Children

    Vanessa Chan, 6, of Boston, receives an intranasal H1N1 vaccine ...

    Health officials said Friday that 76 U.S. children have died of swine flu, including 19 new reports in the past week — more evidence the new virus is unusually dangerous for the young.

    The regular flu kills between 46 and 88 children a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That suggests deaths from the new H1N1 virus could dramatically outpace children's deaths from seasonal flu, if swine flu continues to spread as it has.

    CDC officials say 10 more states, a total of 37, now have widespread swine flu. A week ago, reports suggested that cases might be leveling off and even falling in some areas of the country, but that did not turn out to be an enduring national trend.

    "We are seeing more illness, more hospitalizations, and more deaths," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat said at a press conference Friday.

    The new virus, first identified in April, is a global epidemic. The CDCdoesn't have an exact count of all swine flu deaths and hospitalizations, but existing reports suggest more than 600 have died and more than 9,000 have been hospitalized. Health officials believe millions of Americans have caught the virus.

    The virus is hitting young people harder. Experts believe older people are suffering from it less, perhaps because they have a bit of immunity from exposure over the years to somewhat similar viruses.


    Click to read.

    Thursday, October 8, 2009

    Professor Wilmer Leon Analyzes the Healthcare Debate


    Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Howard University 

    According to 2008 US Census Bureau data, approximately 47 million, or 15.8 percent of the US population, were without health insurance during 2006 - a 4.9 percent increase. In 2005, census figures showed that 44.8 million people, or about 15.3 percent of the population, lacked health insurance coverage. According to a report released by the Institute on Medicine, the average cost of family health care coverage more than doubled from 1999 to 2008, from $1,543 to $3,354.

        Based upon these realities, presidential candidate Obama made health care reform a central theme of his campaign. He promised to achieve universal health care in his first term and to cut the average family's health care health care costs by $2,500. In the on-going health care reform debate, it is very important to remember that as a result of this and other campaign promises, President Obama won the 2008 presidential election with 53 percent of the popular vote to Senator McCain's 46 percent and 68 percent of the Electoral College vote to McCain's 36 percent.

        According to a New York Times/CBS News poll taken in June, 85 percent of respondents said the health care system needed to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt. According to a June poll conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 83 percent of respondents favored and only 14 percent opposed "creating a new public health insurance plan that anyone can purchase." These numbers indicate that health care reform is very important to the American people.

    Click to read.

    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    News: High Vaccine Costs Lead Physicians to Stop Offering Immunizations


    Parents who bring their kids to Dr. G. Andrew McIntosh for the chicken pox vaccine are out of luck.

    The family physician, who has a solo practice in Uniontown, Ohio, doesn't offer that shot because he can't afford it. Most insurers won't sufficiently cover the cost.

    "It doesn't do me any good. I am losing money on [them]," he said. The chicken pox vaccine runs about $115, but insurers only cover between $68 to $83 of that.

    McIntosh has also cut back on a handful of other critical childhood vaccines for the same reason -- including the measles, mumps and rubella, known as the MMR vaccine.

    It costs him about $58 to buy an MMR shot, he said, while insurers pay about about $40.


    click to read.

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    Medicine on Call: Getting Ready for Swine Flu Season – Dr. Elaina George


    In this episode of “Medicine on Call,” Dr. Elaina George engages in a lively medical conversation about the Swine flu.  Click here to listen!