Binge drinking most likely to kill middle-aged Americans, CDC says

admin   •   January 7, 2015   •   2476

Country music fans drink beer as night falls during the final day of the Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, California April 27, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE

(Reuters) – It’s not college students or teenagers but rather middle-aged Americans who are most likely to die from drinking too much alcohol too quickly, according to a study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.

An average of six people die each day in the United States from alcohol poisoning or excessively high levels of alcohol in the blood, which is typically caused by binge drinking, the federal study found.

Three out of four of those who died were between the ages of 35 and 64, the study found, countering the popular perception that young people are more likely than their elders to die from binge drinking.

Only 5.1 percent of the deaths were drinkers between the ages of 15 and 24, the study found.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is a lot of binge drinking going on by people who are post college-age,” the study’s co-author, Robert Brewer, told reporters. “We were surprised by these findings.”

The CDC defines binge drinking as consuming four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men on a single occasion.

Fewer than a third of the people who died of alcohol poisoning were considered alcoholics, the study found.

Analyzing death certificate data from 2010 through 2012, researchers found that an average of 2,200 people, more than half of them white males, died from alcohol poisoning each year.

State death rates ranged from a low of 5.3 deaths per million residents in Alabama to a high of 46.5 deaths per million residents in Alaska. The regions with the highest death rates were the Great Plains, the West and New England.

“Living in geographically isolated rural areas might increase the likelihood that a person with alcohol poisoning will not be found before death or that timely emergency medical services will not be available,” the researchers wrote.

(Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky and Will Dunham)

US advises citizens vs traveling to PH due to COVID-19 situation

Maris Federez   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines –The United States (US) government has issued an advisory for its citizens to avoid travel to the Philippines due to a “high-level” of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the Philippines due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country,” the US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) announced in its website.

The CA said that aside from COVID-19, crimes, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping are among the reasons cited by the CDC in placing the Philippines on Level 4 advisory.

The bureau advises US citizens to exercise increased caution in going to the Philippines, and to “read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.”

“There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into the Philippines,” the CA said.

The Do Not Travel advisory specifically indicated the Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping; and Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest.

It also advised to Reconsider Travel to other areas of Mindanao due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

The State Department added that should US citizens decide to travel to the Philippines, they must visit the U.S. Embassy’s webpage regarding COVID-19, the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19, monitor local media for breaking events, and adjust their plans based on new information, and other follow other precautions specified.

Countries that were issued a Level 4 travel warning include Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, and Spain among others.  —/mbmf

CDC reverses earlier COVID-19 guidance that said asymptomatic people may not need testing

Maris Federez   •   September 19, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday (US Eastern Time) reversed its controversial coronavirus testing guidance that said people who were exposed to an infected person but weren’t showing any symptoms “do not necessarily need a test.”

The new guidance says that people who have been in close contact with an infected person and do not have symptoms “need a test.”

“Due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guidance further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic persons, including close contacts of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the CDC says.

The agency defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes.

The CDC guidance reversal followed criticisms from public health specialists on the agency’s change in testing guidance in August that seemed to downplay the significance of testing people who don’t have symptoms but could be spreading the virus.

The new guidance also advised people who are waiting for their test results to “self-quarantine/isolate at home and stay separated from household members to the extent possible and use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.”

The CDC also reiterated its recommendations to follow “measures to mitigate the spread of the virus and to protect people at increased risk of severe illness:  social distancing, wearing a mask when social distancing is not possible, avoiding crowds, avoiding indoor crowded spaces, and washing or sanitizing hands frequently.” —/mbmf

Know: How to prevent novel coronavirus infection —CDC

Maris Federez   •   January 31, 2020

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

As a reminder, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

These include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact their healthcare provider immediately. — (with details from Yam Escala) /mbmf

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