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CDC: Whooping cough cases may be most in 5 decades

CDC: Whooping cough cases may be most in 5 decades

ATLANTA -- Health officials say the nation is on track to have the worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades.

Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far -- more than twice the number seen at this point last year. At this pace, the number of whooping cough cases will surpass every year since 1959.

"There is a lot of this out there, and there may be more coming to place near you," Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Wisconsin and Washington state each have reported more than 3,000 cases, and high numbers have been seen in a number of other states, including New York, Minnesota, Kansas and Arizona.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial disease. It leads to severe coughing that causes children to make a distinctive whooping sound as they gasp for breath. In rare cases it can be fatal, and nine children have died so far this year.

Protect Your Kids and Pets from Summer Heat

Protect Your Kids and Pets from Summer Heat

Summer in the south is officially here! With rising temperatures, it is important to take steps to protect those around us who might be vulnerable to the heat, like our children and pets.

Did you know that we lose heat by sweating? Water literally evaporates into the atmosphere and sucks the heat out of our bodies. Children produce even more heat than adults. This is because they have more body surface for their height. Children are also closer to the ground – and to hot pavement. They can easily become dehydrated or overheated.

Here are some tips to keep your children and pets safe in the heat.

The ABCs of SPFs

The ABCs of SPFs

ATLANTA -- Summer is officially here. Are you protecting your skin from the sun? Do you know what SPF (sun protection factor) to use? We spoke with Piedmont dermatologist Jodi Ganz, M.D., to find out what those SPF numbers really mean.

“The SPF number means it would take you that much longer to burn than you normally would without sunscreen,” says Dr. Ganz. “If it takes you 10 minutes to burn, then using an SPF5 means it would take you five times longer, or 50 minutes, to burn. An SPF10 means you could stay in the sun 10 times longer, or 100 minutes.”

But Dr. Ganz cautions that most sunscreens “break down” on average in two hours, meaning they lose their ability to protect you. So, you must reapply sunscreen every two hours.

10 Ways to Prepare for an Emergency

10 Ways to Prepare for an Emergency

The official start of the hurricane season is Friday. Whether it's severe weather, fire, a lengthy power outage, evacuation, would you know what to do in any type of emergency?

To stay safe in an emergency, it is crucial to have a solid communication plan in place for you and your family. Read more from HealthWatchMD, powered by Piedmont, for our top tips for communicating in an emergency.

HIV crisis facing black women in metro Atlanta

ATLANTA -- 11Alive News is sounding the alarm.

Research shows African-American women, many living in Atlanta, are being infected with HIV -- so much so that the new cases are being compared to African countries. 

Data collected in 2009 from the health departments in Clayton, Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Douglas and Gwinnett counties indicates infection rates of HIV and AIDS, respectively, as follows: (This is for women and men combined, all races.)

Fulton: 4,213 and 7,342 

DeKalb: 3,257 and 3,983 

Clayton: 847 and 943 

Cobb and Douglas: 1,030 and 1,288 

Gwinnett: 884 and 1,041

In another study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, black women make up 60 percent of all new HIV cases among women. That's 15 times higher than white women and four percent higher than Hispanic women.

LOCAL PROFILE: Turkey Day Fitness Tips

 

ATLANTA – Next week marks the start of the season many of us look forward to, year round. People love this season, dubbed “the most wonderful time of the year”, for a number of reasons. For children it could be the toys and gifts they receive or the annual visit to Grandma’s house. Or for adults it could be the abundant holiday cheer or the abundant holiday food it's okay to consume for the mere sake of the holiday. For some, the holidays can be too cheery and many end up heavier than they were before they started. 

Was the holiday food really worth a holiday gut? Think again.

Many people struggle with this issue, year in and year out. Some go on crash diets before the holiday or workout until they’re fatigued to “make room” for their Thanksgiving Feast but Amy Henry at FORUM Fitness in Buckhead thinks they’re all “wasting their time”.

Take-back event yields 3,800 pounds of drugs

Take-back event yields 3,800 pounds of drugs

ATLANTA -- The third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29 was a huge success in Georgia.

Participants turned in about 3,794.35 pounds of unwanted and expired medication for safe disposal at numerous sites across the state.

This amount exceeded the weight of the drugs collected at the second event in April, which was about 3,509 pounds.

"The total number of drugs taken back in Georgia speaks volumes about the problem of unused and unneeded prescriptions, the danger they pose to the community and the communities' commitment to making prescription drug abuse a top priority in the state," John Comer, acting special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Atlanta Field Division, said in a statement.