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Expert Perspective: CDC decides on permissive recommendation for strain B meningococcal vaccination

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) chose not to mandate a newly-developed vaccine for a meningitis substrain Neisseria meningitidis, but to leave the decision to vaccinate up to parents and children with physician recommendations. Meningococcal meningitis is a serious condition which can be incredibly dangerous if not treated quickly. Vaccines for the strains A, C, Y and W-135 have been a part of vaccination requirements for over 10 years, while the vaccine for the serogroup B strain, Neisseria meningitidis, was developed last year. Questions about the vaccination requirements were raised amidst growing concerns linked to recent B-strain outbreaks.

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Taking a deeper dive into the latest CDC obesity data

Given the intense volume of media coverage this week around the CDC’s latest report on obesity in the U.S., many in the public now know that obesity rates among children aged two to five have fallen over the last decade, a key takeaway from the report.

The media’s interpretation and coverage of that particular point has varied widely; some headlines celebrated the shift as a positive as others focused on the statistic as a lone bright spot among otherwise unchanging obesity rates. As is often the case, perusing multiple media stories – even around the same issue – can generate a feeling of “OK, what’s really going on?”

According to Simone French, Ph.D., a University of Minnesota epidemiologist and obesity prevention expert, a deeper dive into the study is critical for a thorough understanding of what the study actually tells us about obesity trends in the U.S. She points out that where some may see stalled obesity rates as a negative, the flat rates could actually be viewed as a sign of progress.

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How Naegleria fowleri has become so effective at attacking the human brain, and why it’s so hard to stop

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the presence of Naegleria fowleri – an amoeba capable of wreaking havoc on the human brain – in water at five test locations across DeSoto Parish in northwestern Louisiana.

The news was especially troubling given the presence of Naegleria fowleri in southeastern Louisiana earlier this summer and the death of a four-year-old boy in August as a result of Naegliera infection.

Now, increased visibility around the “brain eating amoeba” has many wondering where Naegleria fowleri came from and how to stop it.

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