HealthWise at 5 From 8.8 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/8/03

HealthWise at 5 From 8.8

  • Anthrax

Standard treatment for people exposed to Anthrax is a 60 day treatment. But now, a new study at Johns Hopkins finds the use of antibiotics to prevent that infection is not a 'one size fits all' kind of treatment. Instead, judging by the mail attacks of 2001, researchers have found that the duration of treatment should depend on the size of the outbreak. In other words, in small outbreaks, 60 days of antibiotics can be too much. Likewise, you might need twice that amount to prevent an infection. The reason? Because antibiotics must be active in the bloodstream to prevent infection from germinating the anthrax spores, so the larger the outbreak, the more antibiotics you'll need because the more time you'd have to develop that infection.
Experts say the best way to calculate the size of an outbreak is to track the number of people sickened and to track the rate of illness progression researchers used documented information from the mail attacks of 2001 and the 1979 military accident in Russia that led to dozens of Anthrax deaths to test their data. This study was conducted at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. It is published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Commute Stress

U.S. Census figures show that the average commute time in 2000 was 25 minutes. You might think well, we don't have far to drive here in Lubbock, but if you are among those who deal with 8 a.m. traffic on the Loop, 25 minutes might sound like a familiar commute time here as well. So with that in mind, here's a warning from three different studies that will be presented this week at a meeting of the American Psychological Association. All three studies indicate that if you feel hurried and stressed on the road when you drive to work, that doesn't necessarily go away when you get out of the car. Instead, it can carry over into negative behavior in the workplace. The more aggravating a drive, the more likely the driver was to be verbally abusive, talk negatively about co-workers or show aggressive behavior later at work.

  • Does Sunscreen Expire?

It may seem like you've still got plenty of sunscreen left in that bottle, but what's left may actually be light on protection, especially if it's leftover from last year. The FDA requires sunscreen to keep its strength for three years, but that's on the shelf. According to a recent issue of Consumer Reports, if you take it outside where you're likely to reapply sunscreen, heat from the sun or any warm storage space can shorten its life span. So, watch for any separation of the lotion or a change in consistency. If you see that, it's time to throw it out and get a new bottle.

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