Locator bracelets approved for Alzheimer’s patients

The Palm Beach County Commission figures if you can put an electronic locator on your keys, you can certainly do it for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

After all, it has become all too common to hear reports of someone suffering from the horrible disease to wander off.

Alzheimer's Seniors Elderly

The commission approved this morning a $20,000-plus contract for Alzheimer’s Community Care, to provide an additional electronic ID locator bracelets for 100 at-risk Alzheimer’s patients.

The program will help law enforcement quickly pinpoint a participant’s location by land or by air if needed.

The commission also helped out seniors with a  contract worth up to $40,000 for Gulfstream Goodwill Industries to provide hearing aids and interpreting services to senior clients.


Vaccination hesitation leads to measles case in Miami-Dade

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.

This is how the outbreak started in California among the crowd who have mistakenly linked vaccinations to autism and other disorders. By not vaccinating their children, such parents compromise all of the population’s herd immunity.

Click here to learn about herd immunity and how it has kept us from major outbreaks for decades.


Is South Florida in line for a measles outbreak? The first case in an unvaccinated child confirmed in Miami-Dade.


“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.


Escaped psychiatric patient’s death lands in Florida Supreme Court

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.

iy6870 tallahassee fl florida supreme court
Florida Supreme Court will hear case centered on escaped patient from psychiatric hospital.

Lawson escaped from the hospital in January 2013 after taking an employee’s keys and badge and was hit by a truck after going onto Interstate 75 in Alachua County, according to court documents and news reports.

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.

Doctors: gun violence is “a public health crisis” after Orlando rampage

Republicans in Congress have blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from studying the root cause of the epidemic that is gun violence in the United States.

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.

073004 MET Bobo 2/3-staff photo by Shannon O'Brien West Palm Beach--An AR-15 rifle sits in the office of Cory C. Strolla, of the law offices of Strolla & Strolla. It's believed that this is the type of gun that a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer used to kill Bobo the tiger.
An AR-15 rifle, the type that Omar Mateen used to kill 49 people on Sunday in Orlando

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.

As an aside, the NRA has blamed political correctness for the Orlando shooting.

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.

President Obama signed an executive order a month after the Sandy Hook massacre allowing such research, but the CDC is nervous to conduct it, the conservative tabloid The Washington Examiner reports.

Dr. Seema Yasmin, a former epidemiologist at CDC, said in a Dallas Morning News op-ed that congressional bills in 2012 and 2013 blocking funding haven’t helped.

Horse put down after contracting encephalitis from mosquito

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.

Why the long face? A young Arabian horse in Palm Beach County has been put down after contracting from a mosquito the virus that causes Eastern equine encephalitis.

“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.

Rejected Boynton drug detox calls for sober home regulation

The lucrative drug recovery industry is now joining the growing din calling for more regulation of sober homes.

Novus Medical Detox Center released a statement Monday released to the media calling for increased oversight of sober homes.

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.

Boynton Beach Commission last November rejected a proposed for an in-patient treatment facility by Novus after numerous residents of the suburb said they feared increased crime, traffic and patients wandering into nearby communities.


Novus Medical Detox, a New Port Richey company specializing in treating addicts, sent out a news release Monday calling for sober homes to be regulated. (Photo: Courtesy of Creative Commons).

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.

Fertilizer ban takes aim at algae blooms

In an effort to address algal blooms in Indian River Lagoon, fertilizer was banned in a five-county region, Health News Florida reports.

The Indian River Lagoon is a grouping of: Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River, and the Indian River, on the Atlantic Coast of Florida up along the Treasure Coast.

0010216A 071505 tc met river el 1 A view from the North Fork of the St. Lucie River shows fresh algae blooms off the shoreline Friday afternoon, July 15, 2005. The South Florida Water Management District held a media briefing and aerial tour of the conditions in Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River today, July 15, at 1 p.m. at the Witham Field Airport, 2555 SE Dixie Highway, Stuart.  (Erik Lunsford/The Palm Beach Post) NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE COX PAPERS. OUT PALM BEACH, BROWARD, MARTIN, ST. LUCIE, INDIAN RIVER AND OKEECHOBEE COUNTIES IN FLORIDA. OUT ORLANDO. OUT TV. OUT MAGAZINES. OUT TABLOIDS. OUT WIDE WORLD. OUT INTERNET USE. NO SALES. ORG XMIT: MER0507151724509064 ORG XMIT: MER0706181400405571
A view from the North Fork of the St. Lucie River shows algae blooms.

Algal blooms have been tied to fish kills and now even diseases like ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Read the Palm Beach Post’s report on the finding by clicking here.

The fertilizer ban will apply to all of the region’s municipalities and run through September.

The ban comes in the wake of the first worst fish kill in the lagoon’s modern history. Experts said frequent rains wash fertilizers into the lagoon, feeding the blooms.

Duane De Freese of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program told Health News Florida that the bans are aimed at nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients at the heart of the lagoon’s problems.

“It’s a bad time to be fertilizing because it wastes fertilizer. But more importantly it transports those nutrients to the Indian River Lagoon, and we know those nutrients can fuel algal blooms.”