West Nile Virus Alerts Now In 8 States; Rain, Heat Spur Mosquito Swarms
Case reports in animals and humans have seen residents in at least eight states warned over West Nile Virus over the last week. CBS news reports recent high temperatures and storms have created a "breeding ground" for mosquitos. Mental health, anxiety and marijuana use are also in the news.
Multiple States Warn On West Nile Virus Risk Amid Peak Period
At least eight state health departments have cautioned residents over West Nile virus risk in the last week amid a seasonal peak and cases reported in humans and animals, on the rare occasion resulting in death. State health officials from Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, Utah, North Dakota, Louisiana, Delaware and New Hampshire released preventive guidance on West Nile virus, the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus is often spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, with cases typically occurring from summer through fall. There are no medications or vaccines for West Nile virus and officials say the best way to avoid infection is by preventing mosquito bites. (Rivas, 9/13)
Heavy Rain And Heat Bring Out Billions Of Mosquitoes In U.S.: "A Lot Of Biting Going On"
Sizzling temperatures and devastating storms in parts of the U.S. created a breeding ground for billions of pesky mosquitoes this summer. "When temperatures are in the 90s and we have standing water, we're going to have … billions of mosquitoes breeding," Michael Raupp, an entomologist and a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, said on "CBSN AM" on Monday. "There's going to be a lot of biting going on." (Sundby, 9/13)
In other public health news —
Young People Experiencing 'Widespread' Psychological Distress Over Government Handling Of Looming Climate Crisis, Researchers Say
Children and young people around the world are experiencing increasing anxiety over the fate of the planet -- specifically climate change and how lawmakers are handling the looming crisis, according to new research. Scientists who surveyed 10,000 young people, ages 16 to 25, across 10 countries, found "widespread psychological distress" among them, and, for the first time, discovered that the anxiety was significantly related to perceived government inaction, according to a study published Tuesday in Lancet Planetary Health. (Jacobo, 9/14)
College Student Marijuana Use Was Record-High In 2020 While Drinking Dropped, Study Says
College is an experience where young adults may well find themselves as adults. This not only includes gaining an education and professional experience that’ll help them start successful careers but also thinking and making decisions for themselves. A college is also a set of experiences of fun, adventure, freedom, and hence, even partying for many. Enter drinking hopefully responsibly. Though drinking reportedly wasn’t a top priority for college students in 2020. Instead, weed use went to record-high, according to a new study called “Monitoring the Future.” (Dalton, 9/13)
Exercise Reduces Long-Term Risk Of Anxiety Disorders In Men And Women, Study Finds
A physically active lifestyle was associated with a 62% lower risk of anxiety disorder diagnoses among men and women in a study with the largest population size to date, researchers said. While exercise is known to lower disease risk, boost aerobic fitness and improve sleep, cognition and mental health, among other benefits, per the CDC, researchers at hand said the impact of exercise intensity, dose and fitness level on the development of anxiety disorders was otherwise unknown. Findings published in the Frontiers in Psychiatry journal on Sept. 10 drew from 197,685 skiers participating in a long-distance cross-country ski race, Vasaloppet, compared to matched non-skiers. (Rivas, 9/13)
The Washington Post:
Four Smart Ways To Keep Your Brain In Tiptop Shape
The isolation and inactivity of the pandemic took a mental toll on some people, both those with dementia and those with a healthy brain. “We saw a clear decline in people who already had dementia, but the effects were also felt in otherwise healthy older adults without any preexisting cognitive issues,” says dementia specialist Joel Salinas of the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York. As social activity revs up, however, many seniors — including some with cognitive problems — are reporting improvements in memory and thinking, he adds. And you can do plenty in your own life to see similar improvements, he and other experts say. (Levine, 9/13)