LARGE STUDY CONFIRMS THAT MMR VACCINATION IS NOT TIED TO HIGHER AUTISM RISK

Children who received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine didn't have higher odds of developing autism compared with those who weren't given the MMR vaccine, according to a Danish study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The findings, based on data involving 657,461 Danish children born from 1999 to 2010, also showed no association between MMR vaccination and increased autism risk among those who had siblings with autism and other risk factors. CNN (3/5), Reuters (3/4)

CHILDHOOD GREEN SPACE EXPOSURE MAY BENEFIT LATER MENTAL HEALTH

A Danish study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that adults who lived near parks or forests in childhood had a 52% lower risk of developing substance abuse disorders, including a 55% and 44% reduced risk of alcohol and cannabis abuse, respectively, as well as a 40% reduced likelihood of developing stress-related or neurotic disorders. Researchers also found reduced odds of schizophrenia, personality disorders, and bipolar and mood disorders among those who lived near green spaces as children.

CDC REPORTS WIDESPREAD FLU ACTIVITY IN 48 STATES

CDC officials reported that 48 states had widespread flu activity during the week ending Feb. 9, while 26 states and New York City had high levels of activity. Six additional pediatric deaths were documented, bringing the season total to 34, according to the CDC.

ANTI-VACCINE ACTIVISTS OPPOSE BILL IMPOSING STRICTER VACCINE REQUIREMENTS

The Washington Post (2/8) reports “anti-vaccine activists packed a public hearing Friday [in Washington state’s capital] to oppose a bill that would make it harder for families to opt out of vaccination requirements for measles, mumps, and rubella amid the state’s worst measles outbreak in more than two decades. Washington state Health Secretary John Wiesman, said “all reputable scientific studies have found no relation between measles and autism,” and described “the potential harms of the highly contagious respiratory virus, which can be fatal in small children.”

MORE BENEFITS OF REPETED FLU VACCINE

Repeated flu vaccines may protect against pediatric respiratory illness
Dutch researchers looked at 4,183 youths with pre-existing medical conditions and found that repeated annual inactivated influenza vaccination was tied to lower odds of respiratory illness. The findings were published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

US FLU ACTIVITY WORSENING, CDC SAYS

CDC officials report that US flu activity has worsened over the past week, with the hospitalization rate reaching 14.8 per 100,000 people for the week ending Jan. 19. A total of 18 states plus New York City reported high influenza-like illness activity, up from nine states in the week ending Jan. 12, while the number of states reporting widespread flu activity increased from 30 to 36. CNN (1/25)

EVEN SMALL AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA USE IS TIED TO BRAIN CHANGES IN TEENS.ANOTHER PERFORMANCE TEST IS REQUIRED TO DETERMINE BENEFIT VS.HARM

Adolescents who used marijuana once or twice had significantly increased gray matter volume in some brain regions, especially in the hippocampus, which is involved in reasoning and memory, and the amygdala, which is involved in emotion processing, compared with those who never tried marijuana, Australian researchers reported in the Journal of Neuroscience. The findings were based on brain imaging data from 46 14-year-olds in England, France, Germany and Ireland.

NEUROLOGIC SYMPTOMS SEEN IN SOME YOUTH WITH FLU

VACCINATE YOUR KIDS! In Colorado, 18% of children with influenza who presented at a hospital during the 2017-2018 flu season had neurological symptoms of influenza, such as encephalopathy or seizures. The study in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases found that 85% of children who had neurologic manifestations of influenza had the H3N2 strain./Infectious Diseases in Children (1/3)

FRIDAY REPORT CARDS TIED TO CHILD ABUSE RISK

The number of confirmed child physical-abuse reports on the Saturdays after a Friday report card distribution were nearly four times higher than on regular Saturdays, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics based on 2015-16 data involving 1,943 confirmed child-abuse hotline calls among Florida youths ages 5 to 11. Researchers found, however, that releasing report cards on other days of the week didn't seem to affect child-abuse incidence rates. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/17)

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