Health

Marijuana use during pregnancy associated with autism in babies, study finds

A large Canadian study found an association between maternal cannabis use during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder in babies. The study, published Monday in Nature Medicine, involved an analysis of all live births in Ontario from April 2007 to March 2012, before recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada. The study notes that cannabis use during pregnancy has increased. Of half a million women in the study, 3,000, or 0.6%, reported using cannabis during pregnancy, according to a hospital press release on the study. Specifically, researchers found that women who used cannabis during pregnancy were 1.5 times more likely to have a child with autism, per Forbes. “The incidence of intellectual disability and learning disorders was higher among offspring of mothers who use cannabis in pregnancy, although less statistically robust,” the study authors wrote. In a separate study conducted by the same researchers, they previously found that cannabis use in pregnancy was linked to an increased risk of preterm birth. The women involved in that study often used other substances like tobacco, alcohol, and opioids. “Considering those findings, in the current study the researchers specifically looked at 2,200 women who reported using only cannabis during pregnancy, and no other substances. They found that babies born to this group still had an increased risk of autism compared to those who did not use cannabis,” per the press release. The study had limits, however. Researchers don’t know the amount of cannabis used, the point at which women used cannabis during pregnancy, or how the cannabis was consumed. Researchers emphasized caution when interpreting the results because, despite efforts to control for other factors, other variables may be at play. The study, therefore, shows association — not cause and effect. Still, the study’s senior author called the results “concerning.” “This is concerning because we know so little about how cannabis affects pregnant women and their babies,” said Dr. Mark Walker, chief of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Newborn Care at The Ottawa Hospital, professor at the University of Ottawa and senior author on the study. “Parents-to-be should inform themselves of the possible risks, and we hope studies like ours can help.”

Soo.. Don’t smoke pot if you’re pregnant.  Seems like common sense…

Amid coronavirus, more than a third of US adults are using cleaning products incorrectly: CDC study

In trying to prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus, more than a third of U.S. adults are putting their health at risk by using cleaning products incorrectly, according to a recent report. The report in JAMA stated a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 39% of adults in the U.S. reported using cleaning products and disinfectants in potentially dangerous ways while intending to limit exposure to the deadly virus. “Drinking or gargling diluted bleach solutions, soapy water, and other cleaning and disinfectant solutions” was one of the dangerous practices the authors of the survey reported. The survey also found that 19% of respondents applied bleach to food items, such as fruits and vegetables, while 18% used household cleaning and disinfectant products on their hands or skin. Some 10% reported misting their body with a cleaning or disinfectant spray, while 6% said they inhaled vapors from household cleaners or disinfectants. “These practices pose a risk of severe tissue damage and corrosive injury and should be strictly avoided,” the researchers warned. One-quarter of the approximate 502 U.S. adults who participated in the national online survey, which was commissioned by the CDC, experienced adverse reactions to cleaning products or disinfectants. Those effects included lightheadedness, headache and irritation of the eyes, skin, nose and sinuses, as well as nausea and breathing problems. Those who didn’t use the products safely were two times more likely to have detrimental effects than those who did not, according to the report. The survey authors found significant gaps in knowledge surrounding the proper use of cleaning products among the adults surveyed. The largest gaps they found involved keeping hand sanitizers stored away from a child’s reach and how to safely prepare disinfectant and cleaning solutions. The researchers cautioned that “mixing of bleach solutions with vinegar or ammonia, as well as [the] application of heat, can generate chlorine and chloramine gases that might result in severe lung tissue damage when inhaled.” “Furthermore, exposures of children to hand sanitizers, particularly via ingestion, can be associated with irritation of mucous membranes, gastrointestinal effects, and in severe cases, alcohol toxicity,” they added. The study authors also stressed the importance of storing products away from pets. The CDC conducted the survey after U.S. Poison Control Centers saw a surge in calls regarding exposure to household chemicals at the start of the pandemic. The researchers recommended health officials continue to educate the public on safe cleaning techniques as well as advising people to follow directions on the labels of their cleaning products.

Sounds like common sense..  Unfortunately, there are a lot of idiots out there.

‘Mask mouth’: Dentists coin new term for smelly side effect of wearing a mask

Some bad breath just can’t be covered up. Now that dentists have reopened their doors, they’re having patients show up with a nasty set of symptoms, which the doctors have dubbed “mask mouth.” The new oral hygiene issue — caused by, you guessed it, wearing a mask all the time to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — is leading to all kinds of dental disasters like decaying teeth, receding gum lines and seriously sour breath. “We’re seeing inflammation in people’s gums that have been healthy forever, and cavities in people who have never had them before,” says Dr. Rob Ramondi, a dentist and co-founder of One Manhattan Dental. “About 50% of our patients are being impacted by this, [so] we decided to name it ‘mask mouth’ — after ‘meth mouth.’ ” The term “meth mouth” is widely used by dentists to describe the dental problems that arise among methamphetamine users. Addicts often end up with cracked, black- and brown-stained teeth because the stimulant causes sugar cravings, teeth grinding and jaw clenching. They also often neglect their oral hygiene. While mask mouth isn’t quite as obvious, if left untreated, the results could be equally harmful. “Gum disease — or periodontal disease — will eventually lead to strokes and an increased risk of heart attacks,” says Dr. Marc Sclafani, another co-founder of One Manhattan Dental. He says the stinky syndrome is triggered by face coverings since wearing a mask increases the dryness of the mouth — and a buildup of bad bacteria. “People tend to breathe through their mouth instead of through their nose while wearing a mask,” says Sclafani. “The mouth breathing is causing the dry mouth, which leads to a decrease in saliva — and saliva is what fights the bacteria and cleanses your teeth.” He adds that “saliva is also what neutralizes acid in the mouth and helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.” People’s tendency to drink less water while masked up, as well as consume more coffee and alcohol during lockdown, have also added to the widespread dehydration he’s seeing. On the bright side, the dentists say that they’re packing in breath-conscious patients who might otherwise neglect their dental health during the pandemic. “Patients are coming into us like, ‘Wow, my breath smells, I need a cleaning.’ [But] when you smell the bad breath, you either already have periodontal disease or you have a lot of bacteria that’s sitting on your tongue because of dry mouth,” says Sclafani. While masks are not negotiable given the times, Sclafani says there are things wearers can do to avoid their grossest side effect: drink more water, cut down on caffeine, snag a humidifier (to “help moisten the air”), use an alcohol-free mouthwash, scrape your tongue and don’t smoke. And if all else fails? “Just breathe through your nose!”

Some good, common-sense, advice.  And, be sure to see your dentist for your regular check-ups.  They’re more now than ever before!

Coronavirus testing and lockdowns have not reduced death rates in some places, researchers say

Widespread coronavirus testing and lockdown measures have not helped some countries reduce deaths caused by the virus, according to research from the medical journal The Lancet. Scientists in Canada, Greece and a U.S. institution in Texas poured over public data for 50 countries and their health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They concluded that actions taken by the governments — such as border closures, stay-at-home orders and testing — “were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality,” contrary to prevailing policies in the U.S. and elsewhere, according to researchers. “Although containment measures implemented in countries like China, South Korea and Taiwan have reduced new cases by more than 90 percent, this has not been the case in many other countries such as Italy, Spain and the United States,” the report said. The data did not explicitly state why lockdowns and testing didn’t result in lower death rates, but some observers pointed to “herd immunity,” where people highly exposed to the virus build antibodies that stop it from spreading. In Sweden, where shutdowns were not initiated, the daily death count in mid-July dropped to the single digits, a Washington Times article reported.

Very interesting…  Of course, this story is nowhere to be found in the dominantly liberal mainstream media, because it totally undermines their (and the Dems’) narrative of “more testing needed,” and “keep everything closed.”   For more, click on the text above.

Trump’s four executive orders to lower drug prices: What to know

President Trump issued a handful of executive orders Friday that aim to lower prescription drug prices through a variety of methods, including allowing medications to be imported from other countries. “I’m signing four sweeping executive orders that will lead to a massive reduction in drugs costs,” Trump said during a press briefing at the White House. “[The measures] will completely restore the prescription drug market in terms of prices.” Trump claimed drug prices had fallen under his administration for the first time in more than five decades but added that he was determined to do more. One of the orders introduced Friday would deliver rebates from drug companies directly to patients for insulin and Epipens in a bid to prevent providers from pocketing the discounts themselves while charging low-income patients unaffordable prices. Trump said the price of insulin would come down to “pennies” per day. The second order would allow wholesalers and pharmacies to legally import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, where the president has repeatedly alleged identical drugs are available at costs as much as 90 percent lower than in the U.S. The third order would bypass pharmacy benefit managers and other “middlemen” to deliver discounts for prescription drugs directly to patients. Trump said Friday that patients often never see these discounts from the manufacturer. A final “favored nations” policy would require Medicare to purchase drugs at the same prices paid by foreign countries, which Trump said will prevent the U.S. from continuing to subsidize the cost of research and development for the entire world. Medicare will leverage its purchasing power to negotiate prices – the goal would be to find a middle ground with other countries that allegedly pay less for the same prescription drugs. This order will not be signed until the end of August, which would give the country’s largest companies time to come up with alternative solutions.

Great news!!!     🙂

Wearing a mask cuts own risk of novel coronavirus by 65 percent, experts say

Health experts have stressed the importance of wearing a mask to limit the possibility of infecting others with COVID-19, but a range of new research now suggests they also protect the wearer, according to a report Monday. With many states implementing policies to make face coverings mandatory in both indoor and outdoor spaces, one doctor says that masks also reduce the risk of infection to the wearer by 65 percent. “We’ve learned more due to research and additional scientific evidence and now we know [that] not only wearing a mask prevents the person wearing the mask to transmit to others, but wearing the mask protects the person who’s wearing it,” said Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. “So the wearer of the mask, even the standard rectangular surgical masks … will decrease the risk of infection by the person wearing the mask by about 65 percent.” He added that N95 masks do an even better job at protecting people from the virus, but they are in short supply and are needed for healthcare professionals. Blumberg and William Ristenpart, a professor of chemical engineering at UC Davis, appeared on UC Davis Live: Coronavirus Edition to discuss the topic of transmission. Ristenpart’s lab at UC Davis has studied how people emit small droplets while breathing or talking that could carry the virus. The pair highlighted two primary methods of transmission. The first being visible droplets a carrier expels, which are roughly one-third the size of a human hair. They said masks create an effective barrier against those types of droplets. “Everyone should wear a mask,” Blumberg said. “People who say, ‘I don’t believe masks work,’ are ignoring scientific evidence. It’s not a belief system. It’s like saying, ‘I don’t believe in gravity.’” The second is via the aerosol particles we expel when we talk. They are about 1/100th the size of a human hair and are more difficult to defend against. He said that’s because the smaller particles could still sneak through a gap in rectangular or homemade cloth masks. Social distancing and staying outdoors, are helpful for staying clear of the small particles because there is more airflow, Blumberg and Ristenpart said. “Studies in laboratory conditions now show the virus stays alive in aerosol form with a half-life on the scale of hours. It persists in the air,” Ristenpart added. “That’s why you want to be outdoors for any social situations if possible. The good airflow will disperse the virus. If you are indoors, think about opening the windows. You want as much fresh air as possible.” He said that’s why enclosed areas like bars — seen as hotspots for contracting the virus — are particularly dangerous: “The louder you speak, the more expiratory aerosols you put out.” “So we don’t know who might spread it,” Blumberg said. “We do know social distancing reduces the risk of transmitting the virus by 90 percent, and wearing masks decreases the risk by 65 percent.”

Trump administration launches new campaign to reduce high suicide rates

The Trump administration launched a broad national campaign Tuesday aimed at reducing high suicide rates, urging the public to reach out to others, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and acknowledging daily stresses in people’s lives. Known as REACH, the government campaign is the core part of a $53 million, two-year effort announced by President Trump to reduce suicide, particularly among veterans. Starting Wednesday, digital ads will hit the Internet with the key message that “suicide is preventable” and that collective action not only by government but also by businesses, schools, nonprofits and faith-based organizations can overcome the stigma of discussing mental health and empower people to understand risk factors, stay connected with others and talk openly about problems. “Working together, we can implement this road map and end this national tragedy of suicide,” said the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, Karen Pence, a lead spokesperson for the government effort. She called it an opportune time, noting increased social distancing because of the coronavirus. “All of us have been facing anxieties and isolation,” she said. “It’s OK to not be OK. … The best thing is to talk about it more, not less.” “No one should be afraid to ask for help,” she added. Trump established a federal task force last year to develop a way to lower veterans’ suicides. Currently, about 20 veterans, guardsmen and reservists die by suicide each day, a rate about 1.5 times higher than those who have not served in the military. The government says about 14 of those 20 were not under the care of the Department of Veterans Affairs, pointing to a need for improved community outreach. With the coronavirus still raging across communities, officials expressed hope that the message of suicide prevention can aid the public more widely, not just veterans. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who is helping the effort, stressed the need to stay connected by texting, emailing or, in the case of his kids, writing “old-fashioned letters to grandma and grandpa.” He described stigma against getting help as a much bigger public health threat than cigarettes or COVID-19. “When we feel comfortable seeking help, and unless more people feel comfortable offering help without judgment, we’ll never reach those who need it the most,” he said. Acknowledging the impact of the broader pandemic, Adams also offered a separate public service message: Wear a mask. “It’s not an impingement on your freedom,” Adams said, calling masks the No. 1 way to stem spread of COVID-19. “It actually increases your freedom and your choices because it lowers spread of the disease and increases the chances we will be able to open and stay open.” “It actually will decrease that hopelessness. It will actually lower suicide rates,” he said. Public health experts urged people to go to the website wearewithinreach.net and take a pledge “to reach and be part of the solution” to stem suicide. The website offers information on risk factors for suicide and ways people can get help. “By having this conversation, we will save lives,” said Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, executive director of the suicide prevention effort.

As a vet, this one is personal to yours truly as I’ve had friends commit suicide.  If you know someone struggling with this, refer them to the REACH site.  To access it, click on the text above.  Kudos to President Trump and his team for taking this initiative.  It’s important.

Bandana is least effective face mask material, study finds

Face mask material has a “notable impact” in stopping expelled respiratory droplets, one study recently found. Single-layer bandana-style masks offer the worst stopping-capability compared to other materials, researchers said. The team from Florida Atlantic University explored the effectiveness of various materials in stopping propelled droplets through visualization experiments. Researchers used a manual pump and a mannequin to emulate coughs or sneezes. Their findings were published on June 30 in Physics of Fluids. The rationale behind face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic is to reduce the risk of cross-infection by respiratory droplets from infected to healthy individuals. Coughing, sneezing, talking and even breathing emits respiratory droplets that can land on healthy people and lead to illness via the respiratory tract. Researchers found that unobstructed, expelled droplets consistently traveled up to 12 feet, which is double the current social distancing guidelines. A large majority of droplets fell to the ground by this point, however. Nevertheless, researchers advised updating the current social distancing guidelines. Further, when the mannequin was fitted with a bandana, droplets traveled an average of 3 feet, 7 inches. Cotton folded handkerchiefs showed a bit more stopping-capability, with droplets traveling 1 feet, 3 inches. For commercial masks, droplets traveled an average of 8 inches. Most effective, however, were homemade stitched masks with multiple layers of quilting cotton. Droplets traveled about 2.5 inches on average. Researchers said “leakage” likely remains an issue for people who rely on loosely-fitting masks. Also, even in the most effective face masks, some droplets make their way past small gaps along the edges. They said the visuals in the study will help further convey the rationale behind adhering to face mask recommendations and social distancing guidelines.

Coronavirus spikes a concern, but no reason ‘to go into lockdown,’ Inglesby says

Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, warned that events such as President Trump’s campaign rally and ongoing protests over George Floyd’s death could bring about an increase in coronavirus cases, but noted that he does not believe that lockdowns are necessary to combat spikes. States such as Florida, Texas and Arizona have seen significant increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations after they took steps to reopen their economies, but Inglesby told “Fox News Sunday” that this does not mean states must revert to shutting down again. “I don’t think we need to go into lockdown in these places,” Inglesby said, noting that different states have different circumstances. He did suggest that governors take the lead in providing guidance for people to take steps that will help, such as social distancing and wearing masks. “They should also be really strongly encouraging people, leaders should be encouraging people to use the tools that we know work,” Inglesby said. “We should be encouraging people to wear face coverings, to stay at a distance, to avoid large gatherings, to use hand sanitizer or wash your hands. And those are things that we know work, and leaders really should, I think, double down and be communicating that across the country.”

Soo..  To be clear..  Dr. Inglesby is saying we do NOT need to shut the country down again, if there is another spike.  He’s saying just do the social distancing, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, wear face masks…the usual.  Imagine that!  Keep this in mind the next time you hear some liberal media personality or Democrat politician (who, btw, didn’t say anything during the all of th protests/riots) wring their hands about Trump rallies and such.  For more, click on the text above.

CBS Poll: 55% of Americans Support Restrictions or Ban on Abortion

A new CBS poll released Monday found 55 percent of Americans support either restrictions on abortion or a ban on the procedure entirely. The telephone poll surveyed the views of 1,309 Americans, including 454 Democrats, 331 Republicans, and 524 independents. The results indicated that, while 43 percent of participants said abortion should be “generally available,” 55 percent said the procedure should be restricted or completely banned, including 31 percent who said it should be “available but under limits,” and 24 percent who said it “should not be permitted” at all. With political party as a factor, only 20 percent of Republicans said abortion should be “generally available,” while 66 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of independents said the same. On the issue of abortion restrictions, 44 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of Democrats, and 31 percent of independents agreed with limits on the procedure. A ban on abortion was seen favorably by 35 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of Democrats, and 27 percent of independents. Thus, 79 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of Democrats, and 58 percent of independents said abortion should be restricted or banned. According to CBS, interviews for the poll were “conducted in English and Spanish” and the data “have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.” The margin of error for the entire sample is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, but CBS said that figure could be higher for subgroups. Polling in recent years has shown Americans do not support unrestricted abortion, and that the label “pro-choice” does not automatically mean a person supports unlimited abortion. A Marist poll released in January found most Americans reject the 1973 ruling that created a right to abortion. According to the poll, which was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, 62 percent of Americans say that if the Supreme Court revisits Roe v. Wade, it should rule to allow states to determine abortion restrictions (46%) or make abortion illegal (16%). This outcome included 39 percent of those who identify as Democrat and 40 percent of those who consider themselves “pro-choice.” Only 33 percent of Americans said abortion should be legal at any time without restriction. The poll found 41 percent of those who identify as pro-choice are more likely to vote for candidates who support abortion restrictions, as are more than nine in ten, or 96 percent, of those who identify as pro-life. Additionally, 65 percent of Americans, and the same percentage of registered voters, said they “are more likely to vote for” candidates who would limit abortion to at most the first three months of pregnancy. This outcome included 88 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents, and 44 percent of Democrats. “What our polling makes clear is that millions of Americans describe themselves as ‘pro-choice’ because they believe in some choice, which would include life of the mother, rape, and incest as examples, but very few agree with abortion throughout pregnancy,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson in an interview with Breitbart News at the March for Life in Washington, DC. “Many of the people who describe themselves as pro-choice are actually in agreement on policy with pro-lifers,” he continued, noting a pattern in the annual poll. “The trend is steady: seven out of ten Americans for a decade want significant restrictions; four out of ten Democrats want significant restrictions.” Similarly, a YouGov survey, published in February 2019, found most Americans who identify as “pro-choice” oppose late-term abortions. The Associated Press reported at the same time as well that 66 percent of adults who identify as pro-choice opposed third-trimester abortions, while 68 percent opposed abortions the day before a baby is born. Among all adults surveyed, 79 percent rejected late-term abortion, and 80 percent opposed day-before-birth abortion. Furthermore, 82 percent of all those surveyed disagreed with withholding medical care for a viable newborn, including 77 percent of pro-choice adults. In June 2019, Gallup reported 60 percent of Americans said abortion should either not be legal at all (21%) or only legal in a few circumstances (39%). A bombshell study released in July 2019 also found that 96 percent of 5,500 biologists who were asked when life begins affirmed that life begins at the time of fertilization. In his doctoral research at the University of Chicago, Steven Jacobs, Ph.D. asked the biologists, who hailed from over a thousand academic institutions in 86 countries, when life begins. Overall, the study found 96 percent of biologists affirmed the view that a human’s life begins at fertilization (95% confidence interval [95-97%]).

As a rule, we try very hard to avoid the whole abortion topic here at The Daily Buzz.  That being said, we felt this piece by Dr. Susan Berry worthy of sharing as it shows that despite liberal CBS’ efforts to skew this poll  (over 100 more Democrats were polled than Republicans, therefore not a fair assessment by any measure), it still netted these results.