Government doctors fight staph infection.
Just as NBA Star Grant Hill rallies others who have experience with the flesh-eating staph infection known as MRSA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a campaign to make parents more aware of the dangerous and potentially deadly effects of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The government campaign hopes to get parents to identify, prevent and combat the infection. Often mistaken for a spider bite as the symptoms, MRSA also causes painful, red, swollen areas on skin that sometimes ooz puss, experts say. MRSA infection begins as a bump or infected area on the skin, is warm to touch and maybe accompanied by fever. It is contracted when someone touches an infected area or shares a personal item with someone who is already infected. Athletes are more prone to this infection, but it is also common at hospitals. To prevent the disease, the CDC advises frequent hand-washing, no sharing of personal items such as towels and to keep any wound or cut clean and bandaged. Early detection is always advisable as the infection at a later stage becomes difficult to treat. As part of the awareness campaign, the CDC hopes to develop Web sites, brochures, fact sheets, posters, radio and print public services, Web banners and mom-blogging sites. To find out more about Hill’s personal experience with the deadly staff infection and the Stop MRSA Now campaign go to BET.com/Body & Soul.
Study: Fast-Food Ads Target Blacks. A higher exposure to fast-food ads and marketing of other fatty foods is in part to blame for why overweight and obesity rates are such a bigger problem for African Americans (68.9 percent) than for Whites (59.5 percent), says the numbers crunched by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Read more at BET.com’s Body & Soul.
Blacks with lung disease have twice the cancer risk. Blacks with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – including chronic bronchitis and some types of serious chronic asthma – have twice the risk of developing lung cancer than Whites with the condition, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, Reuters reports. For the study, lead researcher Carol Etzel of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and colleagues developed a risk assessment model to help predict Blacks’ risk for lung cancer. Researchers analyzed data on 491 Blacks with lung cancer and 497 Blacks without the disease and compared those numbers against models that measured the disease in Whites. Researchers said the model will help doctors better predict lung cancer risk. The new model found that Black men with a history of chronic lung disease, often called COPD, had a more than a six-fold increased risk of developing lung cancer, which is about the same risk for those who smoke. According to Reuters, both Black and White smokers have a risk of lung cancer six times higher than that of non-smokers. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD, but pollution, and other environmental factors also play a role, Reuters reports. “What we hope is that a doctor can use these models to encourage their patients to take steps to prevent lung cancer,” Dr. Ezel says. “Even if they are never smokers, they can be at risk.”