Missteps in U.S. Ebola Protection Plan Continue

Let’s see: A nurse who cared for a dying Ebola patient is allowed to fly on a commercial flight days later despite having a low-grade fever. Another worker who handled the patient’s lab specimens takes a cruise and has to be quarantined aboard the ship. Officials with the hospital where the man died admit nurses were never given Ebola training. Is this how the U.S. thinks it will protect citizens against this disease? The head of the U.S. Centers for …

Ebola’s Here. Should You Be Worried?

The country’s first Ebola patient—Thomas Eric Duncan, who was visiting Dallas from West Africa—has died. But the fact that he was mistakenly sent home when he first showed up at a Texas hospital complaining of symptoms, does not exactly inspire confidence in our healthcare system. Especially considering that CDC director Thomas Frieden said in a Tuesday news conference that “we’re stopping [Ebola] in its tracks in this country.” I mean, you gotta wonder: Can we be sure? After all, Duncan told a hospital nurse that …

Don’t Shake on It: A Fist Bump Is Less Germy

Manners maven Emily Post probably would have disapproved, but British researchers say if you want to protect yourself against germs, you should pass on the traditional handshake and instead exchange a fist bump, especially with your doctor. Scientists with Aberystwyth University in Wales wanted to see how doctors could reduce the spread of bacteria, so they tested three types of  hand-to-hand greetings to see which one transferred the fewest germs: a handshake, a high five or the sort of knuckle-to-knuckle …

Should All Older Adults Be Screened for Dementia?

Should older adults be routinely screened for Alzheimer’s disease or memory problems? Maybe, maybe not. A government panel says there’s not yet enough data to recommend either for or against it. The panel’s uncertainty reflects the complexity of the issue at a time when scientists are progressing much faster in their ability to diagnose Alzheimer’s than in their ability to treat it. This news is especially relevant in light of the recent discovery of a blood test that can predict with 90 …

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Double Whammy for Women

If you are a woman, a new report from the Alzheimer’s Association might just jolt you upright. Consider: Women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease sometime in their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.  They have a 1 in 6 chance of developing the disease. A man’s chances are 1 in 11.  Three out of 5 people with Alzheimer’s are women.  Women are 2.5 times more likely than men to provide the 24-hour, hands-on care at …

Radio Series: ‘Beyond the Face of Alzheimer’s’

Alzheimer’s. Just hearing the word makes my heart lurch and my body tense up. It’s a disease that has hit very close to home for me. Both my grandmother and now my sweet Daddy are victims of Alzheimer’s disease. Yet I’m a believer that the more we talk about it, the closer we get to effective treatments and a cure. The more stories we share with one another, the more hopeful we become – and the less alone we feel. …