HEALTH

CDC: Flu rates on the decline but still prevalent across 13 states

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — While flu activity declined slightly from the week prior, incidence of influenza-like illness rates remained above the national baseline for the week ended Feb. 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday. 

Six states were still experiencing high ILI activity, including Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

Seven states experienced moderate ILI activity, including Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.

Nineteen states and New York City experienced low ILI activity while 18 states experienced minimal ILI activity.

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Study: Vitamin D supplementation may augment chronic hive therapy

BY Michael Johnsen

OMAHA, Neb. — A study by researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that vitamin D as an add-on therapy could provide some relief for chronic hives, a condition with no cure and few treatment options.

Jill Poole, associate professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, was principal investigator of a study in the Feb. 7 edition of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The two-year study looked at the role of over-the-counter vitamin D3 as a supplemental treatment for chronic hives.

Over 12 weeks, 38 study participants daily took a triple-drug combination of allergy medications (one prescription and two over-the-counter drugs) and one vitamin D3, an over-the-counter supplement. Half of the patient’s took 600 IUs of vitamin D3 and the other half took 4,000 IUs.

Researchers found after just one week, the severity of patients’ symptoms decreased by 33% for both groups. But at the end of three months, the group taking 4,000 IUs of vitamin D3 had a further 40% decrease in severity of their hives. The low vitamin D3 treatment group had no further improvement after the first week.

“We consider the results in patients a significant improvement,” Poole said. “This higher dosing of readily available vitamin D3 shows promise without adverse effects. Vitamin D3 could be considered a safe and potentially beneficial therapy, she said. “It was not a cure, but it showed benefit when added to anti-allergy medications. Patients taking the higher dose had less severe hives — they didn’t have as many hives and had a decrease in the number of days a week they had hives.

Poole said the study didn’t include patients with kidney disease or those with calcium disorders.

The study was funded through a $50,000 grant from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the UNMC Clinical Research Center.

Researchers are considering doing a larger study.

An allergic skin condition, chronic hives create red, itchy welts on the skin and sometimes swelling. They can occur daily and last longer than six weeks.

 

 

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Merz North America launches Mederma PM

BY Michael Johnsen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Merz North America recently launched Mederma PM, a new one-of-a-kind scar cream formulated to work at night, when skin naturally regenerates faster.  

Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream is formulated to complement this nighttime activity with Tripeptol, a skin-nourishing complex with peptides, collagen and antioxidants to promote healthy-looking skin and help skin fight free radical damage. 

Once-nightly application is clinically shown to make scars smaller and less visible, and can begin to bring noticeable results in as little as 14 nights.

 

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