Roundup: ‘Hand-Foot-Mouth’ Disease Common in Summer, CDC Says; Fewer Americans Hospitalized for Heart Failure

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July 3, 2017

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“Hand, foot, and mouth” disease is common in infants and young children, and there seems to be an uptick in cases nationwide, based on updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent.

Hand-foot-and-mouth, or HFMD, normally causes fever in kids, along with sometimes painful sores in the mouth. A rash is also common on the hands and feet. Most infected children recover in a week or two. Parents and children are urged to wash their hands often and practice good hygiene to reduce risk of infection.

HFMD is common in infants and children younger than five years. That’s because kids so young have not developed immunity protection sufficient to avoid the disease.

“However, older children and adults can also get HFMD,” states the CDC. “In the United States it is more common for people to get HFMD during spring, summer, and fall.”

Hand, foot, and mouth disease, or HFMD, is a contagious illness that is caused by different viruses. Nearly all people recover in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment, the CDC says. And complications are uncommon.

Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease often include:

  • Fever.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Sore throat.
  • A feeling of being unwell.
  • Painful sores in the mouth that usually begin as flat red spots.
  • A rash of flat red spots that may blister on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and sometimes the knees, elbows, buttocks, and/or genital area.

The viruses that cause HFMD can be found in an infected person’s:

  • Nose and throat secretions (such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus).
  • Blister fluid.
  • Feces (poop).

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Fewer Americans Hospitalized for Heart Failure

While the number of Americans diagnosed with heart failure is rising, there is some good news: Fewer are being hospitalized for the potentially serious condition, according to a new report.

Between 2002 and 2013, heart failure hospitalizations fell by 30 percent nationwide, according to the report in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. However, African-Americans are still more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for the condition.

“Heart failure” refers to a condition in which the heart is too weak to pump blood through the body. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped beating. The heart keeps working, but the body’s need for blood and oxygen isn’t being met.

Fewer hospitalizations — despite more Americans be diagnosed with heart failure — means prevention strategies are working to control heart disease risk factors, including the use of medications, lifestyle modifications and other treatments, said cardiologist and the study’s lead researcher Boback Ziaeian, M.D., of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Hospitalization rates went down at about the same rate for whites (29.6 percent) and for African-Americans (29.4 percent). But through the 2002-2013 timetable, rates were more than twice as high among African-American men and women.

The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease (CAD), which occurs when arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become narrowed by buildups of fatty deposits called plaque. Generally, the terms “heart disease” or “coronary artery disease” are used to cover heart and blood vessel problems, most of which are related to atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries.

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More Health Complaints from Cosmetics Reported to FDA

More Americans are experiencing harmful side effects from cosmetic and personal care products, with the majority of those complaints coming from hair care items, according to a study published this week in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers looked at complaints collected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2004 to 2016. They found 706 “adverse events” reported in 2015 and 1,591 in 2016. Compared with the average number of reports over the 12-year study period, those figures amount to a 78 percent increase in 2015 and a 300 percent increase in 2016.

The information came from the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Adverse Event Reporting System, which allows consumers or health care professionals to submit complaints about harm caused by using cosmetic products.

Lead study author, Dr. Steve Xu, says the actual number of adverse health events is probably much higher and more research is required.

“These numbers are likely underreported. We need better reporting, from both consumers and clinicians,” Xu said. “Broadly, the hope of our paper was to continue this discussion to modernize and expand the collection of data about personal care products. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it, was our key point.”

Under current regulations, personal care companies are not required to report these complaints to the FDA. The Personal Care Products Council said in a statement that it “believes that mandatory adverse event reporting is critically important, which is why we have long advocated for it on Capitol Hill.” The council is a national trade association representing the cosmetic and personal care products industry.

“Nevertheless, despite the recent increase in reporting, the fact remains that only a very small percentage of cosmetics products on the market are associated with adverse events,” the council stated in response to the study.

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