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Generation Z most likely generation to report poor mental health, report says

Generation Z is more likely to report mental health issues, like stress, anxiety and depression, than other generations, according to a new report.

>> Read more trending news 

The American Psychological Association surveyed 3,458 adults and 300 teenagers in the United States.

“Our 2018 survey results show that high-profile issues, such as sexual harassment and gun violence, are significant stressors for Gen Z,” the authors wrote.

“America’s youngest adults are most likely of all generations to report poor mental health, and Gen Z is also significantly more likely to seek professional help for mental health issues.”

People of this generation, born between the mid 1990s and early 2000s, report more stress about the state of the country. Their reported stress on a scale of 1-10 is 5.4. Average adults report a 5.3 ranking on the scale.

However, Gen Z, those between 15 and 21 years old, is more positive about the future of the country than other generations, with 71 percent of them stating they were hopeful about what’s ahead, and approximately 60 percent said they were politically involved in the last year.

Minority members of Generation Z, however, were more stressed about certain issues than their white counterparts.

>> Related: Stress cows: Students combat finals tension by paying to brush cows

“For around four in 10 Gen Zs of color, personal debt (41 percent) and housing instability (40 percent) are significant sources of stress, while three in 10 white Gen Zs (30 percent) say the same about personal debt and less than one quarter (24 percent) of this demographic cite housing instability,” the authors wrote.

Meat, poultry recalls nearly double since 2013, study finds

Recalls of food and poultry products have increased significantly since the nation’s last major food safety law, the Food Safety Modernization Act, passed in 2011.

>> Read more trending news 

Recent high-profile recalls — from romaine lettuce to eggs to beef — reveal how fundamental flaws in our current food safety system have led to a jump in these recalls since 2013, a new report from the Public Interest Research Groups found.

>> On AJC.com: Perdue recalls 68,000 pounds of chicken nuggets after wood found in them

According to PIRG, overall recalls since 2013 increased 10 percent, but recalls of the most hazardous meat and poultry products rose 83 percent during the same time frame.

A report from the PIRG Education Fund, based on the study, says new technology might have contributed to the increase, but the reports reveals that element is inconsequential.

>> On AJC.com: Massive beef recall expands; 12 million pounds of meat affected

“Americans should be confident that our food is safe and uncontaminated from dangerous bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella,” it states.

>> On AJC.com: FDA issues recalls for dry dog food

Key findings from this year’s report include:

  • An 83 percent increase in meat and poultry recalls that can cause serious health problems: USDA Class 1 recalls “involve a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.” This includes recalls of beef for E. coli, poultry for Salmonella and others.
  • Food recalls overall increased by 10 percent between 2013-2018From crackers to children’s cereal to lettuce to meat, we’ve seen the total number of food recalls increase over the last six years.
  • Archaic laws allow meat producers to sell contaminated products: It is currently legal to sell meat that tests positive for dangerous strains of Salmonella. A case study of the recent recall of 12 million pounds of beef sold by JBS could likely have been prevented if it this policy was changed.
  • Bacteria-contaminated water used on vegetables and produce: A case study helps demonstrate how irrigation water polluted by fecal matter from a nearby cattle feedlot likely contaminated romaine lettuce with E. coli in the spring of 2018.

1 egg a day may help keep Type 2 diabetes away, new study says

One day they’re bad for you. The next day they’re “incredible.” Eggs have long been a contentious food.

>> Read more trending news 

The benefits of eating eggs have been winning in the past few years, however. In fact, Healthline.com states, “eggs are pretty much the perfect food. They contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need.”

new study out of Finland suggests another reason to enjoy an egg: It might stave off Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 — or adult onset — is the more common form of diabetes.

>> On AJC.com: Eat this popular breakfast food daily to avoid heart attacks, strokes

>> On AJC.com: The best way to crack an egg

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland found that subjects who ate an egg every day had a blood metabolite profile related to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. A metabolite is a product of metabolism.

Eggs have long been a controversial food. Their high cholesterol content caused many people to avoid them. But the Cleveland Clinic says eating eggs in moderation is not only fine, but also beneficial.

>> On AJC.com: Most countries don’t refrigerate their eggs — why do Americans? 

Citing a 2012 study in the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, it found that people who ate moderate amounts of eggs did not show increases in cholesterol when compared to those who cut eggs out of their diets completely.

Similar studies have found the antioxidants in eggs reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and even helped to lower blood pressure.

>> On AJC.com: Noisy workplaces linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, study finds

“Although it is too early to draw any causal conclusions, we now have some hints about certain egg-related compounds that may have a role in type 2 diabetes development,” said Stefania Noerman, early stage researcher and lead author of the study. “Further detailed investigations with both cell models and intervention studies in humans ... are needed to understand the mechanisms behind physiological effects of egg intake.”

Timberlake pops in on patients at Texas children's hospital

Justin Timberlake has pulled some sunshine from his pocket for the patients at a Texas children's hospital.

Timberlake took a break from his "Man of the Woods" tour to pop in and pose for pictures with the young patients at HCA Healthcare's Methodist Children's Hospital in San Antonio.

A video of the kids was widely shared all week, with many in their hospital beds as they danced to Timberlake's hit "Can't Stop The Feeling" with its refrain of "got some sunshine in my pocket." The kids held up signs that read "JT See me!" and on Friday afternoon JT obliged.

One girl in a picture with Timberlake held up a sign that read "JT saw me!"

The 37-year-old pop star recently resumed his tour after canceling several dates because of bruised vocal chords.

Wendy Williams to take health-related break from TV show

Wendy Williams is taking an extended break from her TV talk show to deal with health issues related to her immune system disorder, her family said Friday.

The family wrote in a statement that Williams has suffered complications from Graves' disease in the past few days.

Treatment is necessary and will include "significant time" in the hospital, according to the family statement provided by show producer and distributor Debmar-Mercury.

Williams has a strong desire to return to work but must focus on her "personal and physical well-being," the family said, adding a request that her privacy be respected.

Williams, 54, is married to Kevin Hunter.

She is on the mend from another health problem, a shoulder fracture she suffered in December, the statement said.

The host revealed the Graves' disease diagnosis on her show last February, when she announced a three-week hiatus.

Graves' disease leads to the overproduction of thyroid hormones and can cause wide-ranging symptoms and affect overall health.

In October 2017, Williams fainted on stage during her show, saying later she became overheated while wearing a bulky Halloween costume.

Debmar-Mercury said that it "wholeheartedly" supports Williams' decision to take the time she needs. She will be welcomed back when she is ready, the company said.

Repeats of "The Wendy Williams Show" will air during the week of Jan. 21, to be followed by original episodes with guest hosts.

What is the Planetary Health diet and how can it help save the planet?

Our current food production and consumption habits are doomed to “exacerbate risks to people and planet,” according to a landmark study published in The Lancet this week. But if we make a radical change — as in, cut our sugar and red meat by half and double our vegetable, fruit and nut consumption — we could potentially prevent up to 11.6 million avoidable deaths per year without hurting our home.

>> Read more trending news 

The new research comes from a group of 37 scientists from around the globe, all of whom are part of the EAT-Lancet commission. 

According to EATforum.org, “food systems are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions” and are “the main user of fresh water, a leading driver of biodiversity loss, land-use change and cause eutrophication or dead zones in lakes and coastal areas.” Unhealthy diets offer harmful effects of their own. They’re “the leading risk factor for disease worldwide, causing rapidly growing rates of Non-communicable-Diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease and cancers.” World hunger is yet another challenge.

>> Related: 2018 was the hottest year on record for Earth’s oceans

But despite evidence showing the way we eat and produce food is indeed damaging our planet and exacerbating disease, there isn’t a scientific consensus on what a healthy diet is, how food production can be sustainable and whether healthy diets can meet the demands of sustainability. That’s where the 37 scientists come in.

The researchers used the “best available evidence,” including randomized trials, massive cohort studies and controlled feeding studies to come up with what they’re calling the “planetary health diet.”

>> Related: Al Gore to offer Atlanta training for climate activists

“To have any chance of feeding 10 billion people in 2050 within planetary boundaries, we must adopt a healthy diet, slash food waste, and invest in technologies that reduce environmental impacts,” co-author Johan Rockstrom of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impact Research told Phys.org. According to researchers, the Earth can only handle up to 10 billion people. And without the global adaptation of the diet, the planet may not be able to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. 

“It is about behavioral change. It's about technologies. It's about policies. It's about regulations. But we know how to do this,” Rockstrom said.

The new diet provides “governments, producers and individuals with an evidence-based starting point to work together to transform our food systems and cultures,” Howard Frumkin, head of UK biomedical research charity the Wellcome Trust's Our Planet Our Health program, which funded the research, told CNN.

>> Related: We have 12 years left to act on climate change, UN warns

Here’s what you need to know about the new diet:

What is it?

The planetary diet, or the flexitarian diet, doesn’t mean you’ll have to get rid of all the meat and dairy in your life.

“If we were just minimising greenhouse gases we'd say everyone be vegan,” researcher Walter Willet said. But according to him, a vegan diet wasn’t necessarily the healthiest option.

For meat-lovers, though, this will still mean making significant adjustments and relying on nuts and legumes for protein instead. 

Essentially, Willet said, “global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double, and consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by more than 50%. A diet rich in plant-based foods and with fewer animal source foods confers both improved health and environmental benefits.”

>> Related: What is the Paris climate agreement? 9 things you should know

Is the diet healthy for all ages?

According to the study, the meal plan is meant for people over the age of 2.

How many calories?

Researchers recommend people consume 2,500 calories per day on the diet.

>> Related: Climate change will internally displace 143 million people by 2050, scientists warn

Here’s what a day on the diet might allow:

  • Red meat (beef, lamb, pork): 14 g
  • Chicken: 29 g
  • Fish: 28 g
  • Whole grains: 232 g
  • Starchy vegetables: 50 g
  • Dairy: 250 g
  • Eggs: 13 g
  • Vegetables: 300 g
  • Fruits: 200 g
  • Legumes: 75 g
  • Sugar: 31 g
  • Oils: 50 g

» RELATED: How climate change could cause 26,000 more US suicides by 2050

According to researchers, what could happen if everyone around the globe adopted the diet?

  • Up to 11.6 million premature deaths could be avoided every year, as researchers believe the diet will reduce chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
  • We could also prevent severe environmental degradation by minimizing impacts on biodiversity and following the set targets of the Paris Agreement (keeping global warming below 35.6 degrees fahrenheit; aiming for 34.7 degrees).

>> Related: Hog heaven? Healthy livestock the heartbeat of sustainable meat

How realistic is this global adaptation?

“It is doable but it will take nothing less than global agricultural revolution,” according to Rockstrom.

For populations dependent on animal protein or populations suffering from malnutrition and inadequate plant sources, adopting a planetary diet will prove especially challenging. Local conditions must be taken into account.

Welcome Trust senior science lead Modi Mwatsama told CNN that at the world’s current level of food production, the diet isn’t achievable “unless there are structural changes, such as subsidies that move away from meat production, and environmental changes, such as limits on how much fertilizer can be used.”

>> Related: World hunger worsens as war, climate shocks hit food access

Researchers’ five strategies to push for this radical shift:

  1. International and national commitment toward a healthy diet based on the aforementioned recommendations
  2. Reorienting of agriculture and fishing priorities from high quantity production to producing a diverse array of healthy foods 
  3. Call for an agricultural revolution driven by sustainability though improved fertilizer and water use; enhancing biodiversity; recycling phosphorous; and more
  4. Strong governance of the world’s land and oceans, from providing regional subsidies; restoring and reforesting lands; protecting intact ecosystems and sustainably expanding aquaculture
  5. Reduction of food loss during production as well as food waste at consumption levels

Man angry over wait for McDonald’s French fries throws hot coffee at worker, report says

South Carolina authorities have arrested a man accused of throwing hot coffee in the face of a young McDonald’s worker in Camden last month after he became angry over a delay in his French fries order.

>> Read more trending news 

Police issued a warrant for Joshua Emery Noel on Jan. 11 and said Noel turned himself in Tuesday, according to WISTV.

Noel was arrested and jailed on a $7,500 bond, WIS reported.

>> Related: Florida man attacks McDonald's employees in dispute over straws, police say

He’s facing second-degree assault and battery charges over the incident, which was captured on McDonald’s drive-thru window security camera.

The worker was just 16 years old. 

States warn money about to run out for food stamps during government shutdown

As the government shutdown enters its record 27th day, families across the country are fighting to make ends meet.

>> Read more trending news 

Some local families are already battling with anxiety about how they're going to put food on the table, while desperately hoping for the shutdown to end.

My concern is what will we eat? What will the children eat?” asked Cynthia Hayes, a parent of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools student. “Paycheck to paycheck and that’s the worst.”

Families already in need are facing another challenge during the shutdown. Money for February will be loaded onto EBT cards in the next few days, at least two weeks earlier than usual, but still has to last through the end of February.

>> Related: Government shutdown: Trump says he's canceled upcoming Pelosi trip

“The food stamps help me a great deal,” Hayes said. “We do fine with bread and water but the children they ain't having none of that."

In North Carolina, there are more than 650,000 households receiving food stamps under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Recipients are being told to budget the money and plan ahead because if the government shutdown isn’t resolved soon, officials say there may not be any money for SNAP benefits in March.

>> Related: School system will reduce lunch menus due to shutdown

“What are they going to do when they run out?” Hayes asked. “I’m just praying and hoping that things resolve very quickly because we’re in for hell.”

Sherri Miller, a school social worker at Thomasboro Academy, said the majority of families she serves receive some type of government aid.

“At this school, 90 or better, we’re completely free lunch school,” she said.

Miller said she stocks her office with uniforms and supplies to help.

>> Related: Government shutdown could affect Super Bowl ads, travel

“Most of my families have been evicted. They have had some kind of major setback,” she said.

Miller said a number of parents tell her the shutdown is hitting them hard.

“How am I going to make it next month? What does this mean for me and my household?” Miller said.

Thomasboro Academy has a food pantry available for families, and Miller said free lunch will not stop.

The Department of Health and Human Services says that despite the partial government shutdown, people can still apply for food stamps online.

>> Related: Trump administration moves to tighten work requirements for food stamps

“The funds are there, they will be there and we have so much community involvement that it is not a concern,” Miller said.

Hemp vs. marijuana: What's the difference?

 Four people were arrested recently in Osage CountyOklahoma on accusations of trafficking marijuana, but they claimed it was a shipment of hemp. Plenty of people, including some law enforcement officers, don’t know the difference between the two.

>> Read more trending news 

Chip Paul, an author of State Question 788 that legalized medical marijuana in Oklahoma and the president of Oklahomans for Health, said hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants and the difference is the level of THC, the chemical compound that produces a high, in each.

Federal government regulations define hemp as having 0.3 percent THC. Marijuana naturally produces a higher level of THC.

Hemp is grown mainly for industrial purposes and had its governing laws loosened recently by the federal government so more people could transport, work with and access it. Most notably, it is used in the making of cannabidiol, or CBD, oil.

Marijuana is still heavily restricted, if not outright illegal, depending on which jurisdiction you are in.

>> Trending: Giant, spinning ice disc in Maine river defies explanation, draws crowds

Osage County District Attorney Mike Fischer said the alleged hemp confiscated in Pawhuska last week had clear signs under a microscope that it was in fact marijuana. He described hemp as the male version of the plant and marijuana as the female version.

"There were clear male and female differences we could see, and what I saw was clearly what for this story could be classified as female," Fischer said.

Why your heart needs at least 6 hours of sleep each night

Your heart needs at least six hours of sound sleep each night to stay healthy, a new study says.

>> Read more trending news 

People who don’t get enough sleep increase their risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease — regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits — the National Sleep Foundation says.

The new study, by National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid, seems to confirm that assertion.

"But this study emphasizes we have to include sleep as one of the weapons we use to fight heart disease — a factor we are compromising every day,” lead researcher Jose Ordovas said.

Not enough sleep can cause atherosclerosis — the hardening and narrowing of arteries — which is the usual cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Ordovas and the other researchers tracked nearly 4,000 Spanish adults whose average age was 46 and had no heart disease when the study began.

>> Related: Sleep deprived? You’re probably not drinking enough water, study says

People who slept fewer than six hours a night were 27 percent more likely to have bodywide atherosclerosis than those who slept seven to eight hours, Ordovas and his team reported.

But too much sleep was shown to be problematic as well. Women in the study who slept more than eight hours a night also had an increased risk of atherosclerosis.

The study also found that participants with "poor-quality" sleep, meaning they awoke often during the night or had trouble falling asleep, were 34 percent more likely to have atherosclerosis.

>> Related: Too much sleep linked to early death, disease risk

"This is the first study to show that objectively measured sleep is independently associated with atherosclerosis throughout the body, not just in the heart," Ordovas said in a news release.

Subway worker caught in photo putting bare feet near footlong prep area

A Michigan woman stopped into a Subway restaurant in Ann Arbor over the weekend and couldn’t believe her eyes.

>> Read more trending news 

Tara Renee Williams, 46, snapped a photo of a worker with her bare feet up on a counter near the food prep area where the footlong sandwiches are made.

“Quite disgusting,” Williams said in a social media post along with a picture of the woman showing her feet on the counter. 

“I’m sure the health department would have an issue with this,” she said in the post.

And they did. Washtenaw County Health Department inspectors visited the restaurant this week, the department’s Kristen Schweighoefer told MLive.

“The behavior in this photo is inconsistent with the high standards Subway franchise owners follow," Subway business development agent Kip Klopfenstein said in a statement. 

>> Trending: Grieving Atlanta mom says son’s ghost appeared on home security cam triggering alert

"Their top priorities include food safety and cleanliness, and this is unacceptable."

Chocolate may be a better cough suppressant than cough syrup, study says

Got a nagging cough? Grab some chocolate. At least that’s what a few English researchers are suggesting. 

>> On AJC.com: Dark chocolate could be good for your brain, vision, pain relief

A research group at the University of Hull in Yorkshire, England, recently conducted a small study to explore the link between the sweet treat and respiratory health. 

To do so, they examined 163 patients in Europe with a cough, randomly prescribing them either regular codeine or a chocolate-based medicine called ROCOCO.

>> Read more trending news 

After analyzing the results, they found that patients on the chocolate-based medication reported a “significant improvement” in their symptoms within two days, compared to those on the regular cough syrup.

“We have just seen the results of the largest real-world study of an over-the-counter cough remedy ever undertaken in Europe,” lead author Alyn Morice told the Daily Mail. “This proves that a new medicine which contains cocoa is better than a standard linctus.”

>> On AJC.com: Try honey before antibiotics for that cough, new UK guidelines recommend

Morice noted this isn’t the first study of its kind. A team at Imperial College in London discovered that theobromine, an alkaloid in cocoa, is better at suppressing cough than codeine.

The ROCOCO analysts had similar findings. They believe the properties of cocoa are demulcent and help relieve irritation and inflammation. 

“This simply means it is stickier and more viscose than standard cough medicines, so it forms a coating which protects nerve endings in the throat which trigger the urge to cough,” Morice explained. “This demulcent effect explains why honey and lemon and other sugary syrups can help, but I think there is something more going on with chocolate.” 

The authors recommend sucking on a piece of chocolate to help alleviate cough symptoms. Hot chocolate may not be as effective, because it doesn’t come in contact with the throat long enough.

>> On AJC.com: Eating chocolate improves brain function, study says

These findings will be published in a journal later this year. In the meantime, learn more details about the assessment here

Opioid deaths are now more common than car crashes, researchers say

While car crashes are one of the leading cause of deaths in the U.S., opioid overdoses are more likely to kill you, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from the National Safety Council recently conducted a study to explore the odds of dying in the United States. 

To do so, they collected mortality data for 2017 from the National Center for Health Statistics. They also pulled population and life expectancy information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

After analyzing the figures, they found Americans now have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose. The probability of dying from a motor vehicle accident is 1 in 103. 

“The nation's opioid crisis is fueling the Council's grim probabilities, and that crisis is worsening with an influx of illicit fentanyl,” the team said in a statement.

More than 49,000 people died due to opioid overdoses in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Overall, opioid overdoses are the the fifth leading cause of death in the country. Heart disease and cancer are still the No. 1 and No. 2 cause, respectively, followed by chronic lower respiratory disease and suicide. 

However, the lifetime odds of an American dying from a preventable, accidental injury have gone up over the past 15 years. Preventable injuries caused 169,936 deaths in 2017.

>> Related: 6 vaccinations you should get as an adult

“We've made significant strides in overall longevity in the United States, but we are dying from things typically called accidents at rates we haven't seen in half a century,” Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at the National Safety Council, said in the statement. “We cannot be complacent about 466 lives lost every day. This new analysis reinforces that we must consistently prioritize safety at work, at home and on the road to prevent these dire outcomes.”

Woman caught in court with backpack full of drugs, report says

An Ohio woman was jailed Thursday after officers in a Stark County courtroom discovered drugs in her backpack during an appearance on a drug-related charge.

>> Read more trending news 

Elizabeth D. Wilson, 31, of Minerva, Ohio, appeared in the village mayor’s court with a backpack containing small amounts if methamphetamine, ecstasy, pills, marijuana and other drugs, and paraphernalia used to smoke them, according to the Canton Rep.

Wilson was arrested on a number of drug possession charges, including intent to sell, distribute or deliver and possession of drug abuse instruments, the Rep reported.

She was jailed on a $26,000 bond pending another court appearance.

Three children found trapped inside freezer have died, police say

The bodies of three young children found unresponsive inside a freezer Sunday in rural Suwannee County, Florida, have died.

>> Read more trending news 

First responders were called to the home Sunday evening by two women, who were administering CPR when authorities arrived. 

Fire rescue transported the kids to an area hospital where they died.

The children, ages 1, 4, and 6 years old, were playing outside, when an adult female watching them went inside to use the restroom, sheriff officials said. 

When the woman returned, the children were gone, she told investigators. 

The children had climbed inside a chest freezer, which was new to the property and was not yet plugged in or brought inside, authorities said.

>> Trending: Girl, 2, dies of hypothermia after wandering outside New Hampshire home

The woman and another female at the home searched the property and the surrounding areas and eventually the freezer.

According to Suwanee County Sheriff Sam St. John, the two women, identified as the mother and the grandmother of the children, searched for up to 30 minutes and possibly as long as 45 minutes before finding the victims.

When they did locate them inside the freezer, they were not breathing. The women began resuscitative efforts and called 911.

"It is believed at this time, that when the children entered the freezer, and the lid closed, the hasp (lid fastener) fell shut, trapping the children inside. There was no padlock on the freezer,” according to a sheriff department news release.

>> Trending: 6 vaccinations you should get as an adult

Investigators said foul play is not suspected at this time, and St. John believes the deaths were a tragic accident, but the investigation is still ongoing.

 

Cat with bubonic plague in Wyoming is third in six months

A third cat in the past six months has tested positive for bubonic plague in Wyoming.

>> Read more trending news 

Lab tests at the University of Wyoming confirmed the cat in Johnson County was infected with plague, according to the Wyoming Health Department.

“The cat’s home is in Kaycee and the animal is known to wander outdoors,” officials confirmed on the department’s website.

The other plague infections in felines occurred in Sheridan and Campbell counties.

Plague is a serious and potentially deadly bacterial infection in both people and animals if they don’t receive antibiotic treatment as quickly as possible, according to state health officer and epidemiologist Dr. Alexia Harrist.

“The disease can be passed to humans from ill animals and by fleas coming from infected animals. We are letting people know of the potential threat in the cat’s home area, as well as across the state,” Harrist said.

>> Trending: 1 dead, 12 hospitalized in mass drug overdose at California home

Plague is rare in humans but occurs naturally in the western U.S., where rodents, and subsequently fleas, become infected.

Six human cases of plague have been diagnosed in Wyoming since 1978, with the last one in 2008. An average of seven human plague cases occur every year in the U.S.

1 dead, 12 hospitalized in mass drug overdose at California home

A mass drug overdose at a home in Chico, California, Saturday morning left one person dead and 12 others hospitalized, according to news reports.

>> Read more trending news  

The emergency call came in just after 9 a.m., KHSL-TV reported.

Investigators believe fentanyl or a fentanyl-like substance caused the mass casualty event, according to the news station

Chico Fire Department Division Chief Jesse Alexander told KHSL that he hasn’t seen such a large mass overdose incident in years, and said he saw first responders working on six people at once.

Two police officers who responded to the scene were among those treated after experiencing the effects of the drug. They were treated and released from the hospital, according to KHSL.

>> Trending: Top 25 deadliest jobs in America, No.1 might surprise you

Authorities are treating the scene as a hazardous materials site as the investigation continues.

6 vaccinations you should get as an adult

It’s time to get your shots. You do it for your children and pets, and now your vaccinations are due, according to advisement from the Centers for Disease and Prevention in Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news 

That’s right, grown-ups. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you don’t need to be inoculated.

Thousands of adults become ill from diseases that a vaccine could have prevented, according to the CDC . Many are hospitalized, and some die. Even if you were vaccinated as a child, the CDC warns, the protection of that shot can wear off, requiring a booster.

“What makes vaccines unique is that they protect the person who is vaccinated as well as the community in which they live,” Bruce Gellin told the Huffington Post. Gellin is president of global immunization at Sabin Vaccine Institute, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that promotes vaccine development.

The six vaccines for adults below are ones that are suggested by medical experts:

HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9)

In October 2018, the Food and Drug Administration expanded use of the HPV vaccine to include people ages 27 to 45.

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is sexually transmitted and is named for the warts (papillomas) some HPV types can cause, according to the CDC.

The CDC says about 14 million people — male and female — are infected with HPV each year, and most never know it. About 12,000 women are diagnosed with and about 4,000 women die from cervical cancer caused by certain HPV viruses. HPV viruses are also associated with several other forms of cancer affecting men and women.

According to cancer.gov, Gardasil 9 is the only HPV vaccine available for use in the United States.

>> Related: HPV vaccine: What to know about human papillomavirus

Tdap vaccine

You’re in the emergency room after stepping on a nail. What’s the first thing the doctor asks you? “When was your last tetanus shot?” If you can’t remember, then it’s time for a booster.

Tdap protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). 

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in August, whooping cough has been making a comeback. The potentially life-threatening childhood illness all but disappeared in the 1940s after a vaccine was developed. Changes in the vaccine and waning immunity are likely contributing to the resurgence of the illness, according to experts.

>> Related: Why whooping cough is making a comeback

Shingles vaccine (Shingrix)

Almost one out of every three people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime, the CDC says. Your risk grows as you age. Additionally, over 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older. Shingles is a painful rash that usually clears up in two to four weeks. Some people, however, have suffered for months or even years, the CDC reports.

The vaccine Shingrix was approved by the FDA in 2017, and the CDC recommends it over Zostavax, which has been used since 2006. Healthy adults 50 and older should get two doses of Shingrix two to six months apart, the CDC recommends.

>> Related: How effective is the Shingrix shingles vaccine?

>> Related: Shingles remain a lifelong threat

Pneumococcal vaccine

Pneumococcal disease is an infection. If it gets in the lungs, it can cause pneumonia. If it gets in the bloodstream or tissues around the brain or spinal cord, it can cause meningitis.

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, pneumococcal disease kills thousands in the U.S. each year, most of them age 65 years or older. The CDC recommends the pneumococcal vaccine for all adults over 65 and for adults younger than 65 years who have certain chronic health conditions.

Flu vaccine

According to a Jan. 7 influenza report from the Atlanta-based CDC, flu activity continues to increase. 

Twenty-four states, including Georgia, have reported widespread geographic flu activity this season, the AJC reported

According to the CDC, “millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year.” Because the flu virus can change, it’s important to be vaccinated each year.

>> Related: Is it the flu or a cold? How to tell the difference

>> Related: Do you have the flu? 17 things to know about flu symptoms, flu shot side effects and more

Travel vaccines

“Adults traveling may benefit from typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, cholera and yellow fever vaccinations depending on the location of their travel,” Amesh Adalja, a physician and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the Huffington Post.

For those wondering if they need to update their shots, the CDC has a checklist to help. Select where you’re going and what kind of traveler you are, and you’ll get a list of recommendations to help keep you healthy while traveling.

Dental floss dangers: New study addresses potential harms of flossing

The American Dental Association recommends daily between-teeth cleaning using floss or another interdental cleaner may help prevent cavities and gum disease. But a new study suggests certain types of floss and other behaviors may actually increase the amount of toxic chemicals in the body.

>> Read more trending news

The research, published this week in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, comes from the Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley’s Public Health Institute. For the study, scientists examined the blood samples of 178 California-based middle-aged women and measured 11 different per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS) chemicals previously linked to a various health implications, from testicular cancer and thyroid disease to decreased fertility and high cholesterol.

The participants, half of whom were white or African-American, are part of the university’s child health and development studies, a multigenerational analysis of environmental chemicals on disease.

>> Experts question fluoride-free toothpaste; study says ‘natural’ brands don’t prevent cavities

To understand behavioral changes, the researchers compared blood measurements with interviews with the women in which they were asked about nine behaviors that may lead to higher PFAS exposures, according to a news release. They also tested the presence of chemical markers of PFAS in six different dental flosses.

“In addition to specialized industrial applications and use in fire-fighting foams, PFASs are frequently used in consumer products,” according to the research. “Most commonly, they are used in nonstick and water-, stain-, or grease-resistant coatings, which are applied to a diverse range of products, including food packaging, cookware, carpet, furniture, textiles, and outdoor performance gear.” PFAS tend to be detected in water, soil and in American bodies thanks to their “extensive use and persistent nature.”

>> 5 things you're doing 'for your health' that aren't so healthy 

The findings 

According to the study, women who flossed with a particular dental floss — Oral-B Glide — had higher levels of the PFAS perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) compared to women who did not. The National Institutes of Health notes PFHxS has been previously linked to high cholesterol and altered thyroid function.

To further analyze the finding, researchers tested for fluorine (a PFAS chemical marker) in 18 different flosses using a technique called particle-induced gamma-ray emission spectroscopy.

>> If you've been flossing regularly, the feds say you can stop

When they did so, the three Glide products examined tested positive. Two similar store-brand products marketed as comparable to Oral-B Glide, plus another marketed with “single strand Teflon fiber” also tested positive for fluorine.

Previous reports have highlighted Glide’s use of Teflon-like compounds. Teflon is the brand name of PFAS polytetrafluoroethylene, which the Environmental Working Group has warned against using via dental floss due to risks of cancers, hormone disruption, brain and liver problems, as well as low birth weights.

This is the first study to find “evidence that flossing with PTFE-based dental floss could contribute to an individual’s body burden of PFASs, but additional data are required to verify this finding,” researchers wrote.

The lesson: Avoid dental floss with PFAS, lead author Katie Boronow said in a statement.

>> Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says

In addition to the floss findings, researchers noticed higher PFAS levels when participants: 

  • Had stain-resistant carpet or furniture.
  • Lived in a city with a PFAS-contaminated drinking water supply.
  • Ate food prepared in coated cardboard containers (African-American women in particular).

Authors also noted that in this particular study, African-Americans ate french fries more often than non-Hispanic whites, “so we infer that they may also consume more fast food such as hamburgers, which are sold in paper wrappers.” Fluorinated chemicals are frequently detected in fast food packaging.

>> On AJC.com: Heavy drinking may increase 'bad' bacteria in your mouth, study finds

A potential limitation, according to the study, is that there are other behaviors that may contribute to PFAS exposure the researchers didn’t measure. This is why any racial differences regarding PFAS chemicals were left unexplained. Another limitation: the number and location of participants. But authors report figures were comparable with a nationally representative sample.

Future work should dive into Hispanic and Asian-Americans as race differences may help identify “major exposure pathways,” according to the study.

Though PFSA environmental contamination via drinking water, for example, is considered a major public health threat most consumers can’t do much about, “this study strengthens the evidence that consumer products are [also] an important source of PFAS exposure,” Boronow saida. “Restricting these chemicals from products should be a priority to reduce levels in people's bodies.”

Read the full study at nature.com.

To live a long life, you should embrace getting older, study finds

Growing old is a goal for most people. Just how long you live, though, could depend not only on your attitude about aging, but also the attitude of those around you.

>> Read more trending news 

A new study by Orb Media has concluded that people with a positive attitude about getting older live longer and have better mental health. Those who look at aging as a bad thing “are more likely to suffer a heart attack, a stroke or die several years sooner.”

>> Related: Georgia is one of the unhappiest states in US, report says

Why is healthy aging important? Because, according to Orb, by 2050 nearly one out of six people in the world will be over 65, and close to half a billion will be older than 80.

Becca Levy, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, has been researching attitudes on aging since the 1990s. 

In one of her studies, Levy found that Americanswith more positive views on aging who were tracked over decades lived 7.5 years longer than those with negative views.

She attributed this to stress levels. Studies have shown that chronic stress not only can age your brain, but also can change a person on a cellular level and accelerate the aging process.

>> Related: Georgia among most stressed states in the country

Orb’s study also found that a culture’s attitude toward its older citizens can have a profound effect. It asked 150,000 people in 101 countries about their experiences and opinions regarding aging and the elderly. 

Using a scale of 1 (very low respect) to 5 (very high respect), Orb found the overall average global attitude is 3.75. Averages in individual countries range from 2.75 to 4.8. Hungary and Uzbekistan tied for the top spot with 4.8.

Pakistan, with its longstanding tradition of respect for its elders, was among the countries that scored highest.

>> Related: High physical fitness may significantly reduce risk of dementia, study suggests

“This attitude towards aging is a much healthier embrace of the aging process, rather than having all of your notions of well-being and attractiveness and self-worth being tied so closely to youth,” said Faiza Mushtaq, an assistant professor of sociology at the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi, Pakistan.

The United States fell in the bottom 10 countries, tied with Venezuela as having the eighth worst attitude toward its aging populace.

>> Related: US Alzheimer’s, dementia burden to double by 2060, CDC warns

Levy stresses that people can ignore cultural stereotypes and decide for themselves how they want to approach old age. Those who watch less TV, participate less in social media and have more resistant personalities are more likely to hold more positive views of aging, Levy said.

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