With the confirmation of a measles case in an unvaccinated child in Miami-Dade, officials are in a wait-and-see mode to see if it is an isolated incident or if there is a pocket of people not vaccinated in South Florida.
Click here to learn about herd immunity and how it has kept us from major outbreaks for decades.
“Measles is a very serious disease,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip said as reported by WPLG-TV in Miami. “The best way to protect yourself and others against measles is to get vaccinated.”
Philip said the Miami-Dade case serves as a reminder for all residents to check their immunization records or contact their primary care provider’s office to make sure they are up to date on the measles vaccine, as well as all recommended vaccines.
The airborne disease is spread by breathing, coughing or sneezing. Health officials said a typical case of measles begins with a mild fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and sore throat.
The death of an escaped psychiatric patient will be explored by the Florida Supreme Court.
Health News Florida reports Monday that state’s high court will review the case of the woman who died after escaping from Shands Vista psychiatric hospital. Ashley Lawson died when struck by a vehicle on Interstate 75 in Alachua County.
The woman’s estate filed a negligence suit. The hospital argues that the case should be handled as an allegation of medical malpractice. It is a technical defense because in medical-malpractices cases the plaintiff must give pre-suit notice.
Thus, this is really an effort to dismiss the lawsuit.
The 1st District Court of Appeal agreed with the hospital’s argument, prompting the estate to seek a Supreme Court ruling that the case is about negligence instead of medical malpractice.
The fear of Republicans and the NRA apparently is that the doctors could conclude that the cause is the proliferation of weapons, like the AR-15 rifle, that was used by Omar Mateen on Sunday to commit the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.
The AR-15 is the country’s most popular rifle, according to the NRA, and is a huge money-maker for numerous weapons manufacturers. It is also the choice of weapon for mass murderers from Newtown to Aurora to San Bernardino to now Orlando.
So the nation’s largest organization of physicians is again calling on Congress to allow doctors to research this “public health crisis.”
The American Medical Association on Wednesday said Congress needs to pass legislation lifting the ban on allowing the Centers for Disease Control to study gun violence.
The AMA says the growing number of mass shootings in the U.S. requires “a comprehensive public health response and solution.”
The renewed call by the AMA comes after Mateen – a self-radicalized American citizens – committed the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando.
The AMA resolved to actively lobby Congress to overturn legislation that for 20 years has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence.
“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” said AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D.
Such research by the CDC could determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries, he said.
“An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement, and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms,” he said.
The AMA also renewed its call for stricter enforcement of present federal and state gun safety legislation, and the imposition of mandated penalties for crimes committed with the use of a firearm, including the illegal possession of a firearm.
The ban against the CDC studying gun violence originated in 1996 as part of a rider to an appropriations bill after heavy lobbying from the National Rifle Institute.
But some experts believe that the CDC can still research gun violence.
Zika isn’t the only mosquito-borne illness that is rearing its head in Palm Beach County and causing concern, according to TheHorse.com.
The Equine Disease Communication Center reported on Tuesday that a young Arabian horse from Palm Beach County had to be euthanized after contracting Eastern equine encephalitis — or EEE.
“The 14-month-old, vaccinated Arabian had just moved within the county but had not been outside Palm Beach County since birth,” the EDCC statement said. “Clinical signs began on May 31 and the horse was euthanized for humane reasons the same day.”
This is the first confirmed EEE case in Palm Beach County and the fourth confirmed case in Florida for 2016, the EDCC reported.
EEE is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system and is transmitted to horses by infected mosquitoes. Horses with EEE show symptoms of a moderate to high fever, depression, lack of appetite, among other things.
The disease is almost always fatal.
The report did not say where in Palm Beach County that the infected horse resided.
There is a vaccine for EEE and experts encourage horse owners to consult with their veterinarian in case their animals needs a booster shot.
Novus echoes a growing number of politicians, as well as residents who live near sober homes, also called halfway houses. Addicts often go to sober homes after completing a 30-day treatment stint at a recovery center such as Novus.
The growing concerns about proliferation of sober homes in single-dwelling neighborhoods throughout Palm Beach County could be hurting the bottom line of recovery centers, such as Novus.
The New Port Richey company in its statement Monday said increased sober home regulation would play a key role in an individual’s successful recovery. Such measures would also address concerns of neighboring homeowners, the release stated.
“Novus is a strong proponent of sober home regulations, and we truly believe they are in the best interests of those struggling to overcome alcoholism and addiction,” said Bryn Wesch, CFO of Novus Medical Detox Center.
He said while detox and rehab facilities are regulated and accredited, sober homes are not. “There is no way to tell if individuals with substance abuse disorders are receiving the support they need for a successful recovery or if lax oversight may put them at risk for a relapse,” he said.
Under a law passed by the Florida Legislature in 2015, Sober homes can volunteer for certification as of July 1. But it is unclear if the Florida Association of Recovery Residences, which would perform the certification, is receiving the necessary money from the state to enforce the requirements, Novus noted.
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel last month took to the House floor during debate on a sweeping drug abuse and overdose bill to push her mission to regulate sober homes.
“We are seeing thousands, thousands of sober homes in South Florida disrupting services and the health and safety of neighborhoods,” the former West Palm Beach mayor said.