Monday, October 03, 2011

The Morning Drill: October 3, 2011

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments for your day.

Martina McBride turns NYC pink to fight breast cancer
Country singer Martina McBride is lighting up New York City this month, setting the Empire State Building awash in a pink glow to fight breast cancer as she launches an album that breaks new ground.

McBride, who has sung about women's issues on past tunes including "Independence Day" and "Broken Wing," will host a private show and benefit called "Martina McBride: Light Up the Sky" at the historic building in midtown Manhattan on October 14.

"We want to send a collective message of hope to breast cancer patients, survivors and supporters as we turn one of the world's most popular landmarks pink," McBride told Reuters.

The singer's current single, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," is based on a true story about Lily Isaacs, a breast cancer survivor who has been free of the disease for 27 years, something McBride didn't know when she first heard the tune.

"It was so honest," McBride said of the second single from her upcoming album, "Eleven."

"My first thought was, 'I wonder if people will be uncomfortable when they hear this' because the writers use words that aren't typically found in songs," McBride said. "My next thought was, 'it would be pretty brave to record a song like this,' and then I thought, 'I'm recording this song.' All that went through my head in about 15 seconds."

The New York performance comes three days after the singer releases "Eleven," her debut album for Republic Records, a new label that is only one of several big changes for her.
Some U.S. Parents Ignoring Vaccination Guidelines
More than one in 10 parents don't follow recommended vaccination guidelines for their children, opting instead for an "alternative" schedule that could involve skipping doses or delaying shots.

And parents who do follow official recommendations show some inclination to move toward an alternative schedule, according to new research.

The findings alarm the authors of the study, published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

"This really highlights to me that there's probably going to be a continuing increase in the number of parents who choose to follow alternative schedules," said study author Dr. Amanda Dempsey. "We really need to start allocating government and educational resources to stem the growing tide of discontent about vaccines among parents."

This isn't the first time investigators have noticed the shift.

"There's been a trend over the past couple of decades of parents changing the vaccination schedule," said Dempsey, an assistant professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. "We've seen evidence that this can have detrimental effects because there have been more and more outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, pertussis and mumps, [as a result of] vaccination rates being lower than recommended."

One study found that every 1 percent increase in the number of under-immunized children doubled the risk of pertussis (whooping cough).

In this study, the authors gave "alternative" a broad meaning, namely anything other than the schedule recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
California governor signs law preventing male circumcision ban
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sunday a bill that prevents local governments from banning the practice of male circumcision.

The legislation comes in response to an effort this summer by a San Francisco Bay Area advocacy group opposed to the practice to get a measure proposing a citywide ban added to the November 8 city ballot.

In July, a Superior Court judge ordered the proposed measure removed from the ballot, saying that male circumcision is "a widely practiced medical procedure" and that medical services are left to the regulation of the state, not individual cities.

The legislation signed Sunday, which takes effect immediately, prohibits governments at the local or county level from "restricting the practice of male circumcision" and "declares that the laws affecting male circumcision must have uniform application throughout the state."
Study: MRSA Common Among Some Dental Students
Dental students in a Seattle study had very high rates of colonization with MRSA, the drug-resistant strain of staph, raising new questions about the prevalence of the bacteria outside of hospitals in community health care settings.

People who are colonized with MRSA carry the bacteria in their nose or on their skin, but they may or may not have signs or symptoms of infection. They can spread MRSA to others, however.

Nasal swabs from one in five University of Washington (UAW) Dental School students tested showed evidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and four of seven dental clinics at the school also tested positive for the bacteria in samples taken from dental chairs and floors.

The rate of MRSA colonization was significantly higher than that reported in the general population and in other non-hospital medical settings, but an official with the CDC says the public should not be overly alarmed by the findings.

Arjun Srinivasan, MD, says the high MRSA rate suggests a specific transmission at the UAW facility and is probably not indicative of rates in dental offices in general.

Srinivasan is assistant director for the CDC’s Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Program.

“This study is one of the first to look at MRSA in the dental setting, but it was a small study with just 61 dental students in one facility,” Srinivasan tells WebMD. “We don’t believe this study necessarily represents a systematic problem in dental clinics across the country.”
Enjoy your morning!

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