Controlling Mosquito-Borne Diseases


“Watch a video about NIH-funded research to control mosquitoes, as well as to develop vaccines and treatments for the diseases they carry. (From NIH’s NIAID)”

Researchers turn to creative approaches to battle kidney stones

“Can a high-tech water bottle help reduce the recurrence of kidney stones? What about a financial incentive? Those are questions researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health will seek to answer as they begin recruiting participants for a two-year clinical trial at four sites across the country. Scientists will test whether using a smart water bottle that encourages people to drink more water, and therefore urinate, will reduce the recurrence of urinary stone disease, commonly referred to as kidney stones. The trial is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of NIH.
The randomized trial, known as the Prevention of Urinary Stones with Hydration (link is external) study, or PUSH, will enroll 1,642 people, half in an intervention group and half in a control group. The study’s primary aim is to determine whether a program of financial incentives, receiving advice from a health coach, and using a smart water bottle will result in reduced risk of kidney stone recurrence over a two-year period. The water bottle, called Hidrate Spark, monitors fluid consumption and connects to an app.
Those in the intervention group will be asked to drink a specific quantity of fluids calculated based on each person’s urine output. They will also be given financial incentives if they achieve their fluid targets. They will also meet with a health coach who will help identify barriers to drinking more liquids, and help solve them. Study participants in both groups will receive the water bottles to monitor how much they drink and will be asked to try to achieve a goal of drinking enough to expel 2.5 liters of urine per day – about 10.5 cups.”

Flu Vaccine Skin Patch Tested

“Each year, millions of people nationwide catch the flu. The best way to protect yourself is to get a flu vaccine every year. But only about 6 out of 10 children and 4 out of 10 adults got the 2015–2016 flu vaccine.

To help increase these numbers, scientists are trying to develop easier ways to give the flu vaccine. A new study shows that a special skin patch may work as well as a shot with a hypodermic needle. The patch is about the size of a dime and has 100 tiny needles that contain flu vaccine. The needles are just long enough to pierce skin. Once inside skin, they dissolve within minutes.”

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What Are Your Health Risks?

“It seems like a new health risk is in the news every day. How do you know which risks are worth worrying about? NIH has created a one-page guide called Making Sense of Your Health Risks to help you put risks into perspective.

A health risk is something that increases your chance of developing a disease. For example, getting too much sun on your skin may put you at higher risk for skin cancer. That doesn’t mean that you will definitely get skin cancer. You can take steps to lower your risk by protecting your skin from sun exposure.”

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Yoga May Help Treat Back Pain

“A carefully adapted set of yoga poses, practiced under the guidance of a well-trained instructor, may help reduce chronic low back pain and improve function. Moodboard/Thinkstock
Many people experience low-back pain over their lifetime. For those who don’t recover quickly, the discomfort can become chronic, lasting for months or even years.

NIH-funded researchers have been looking for new ways to treat long-lasting low-back pain. A new study shows that yoga may help relieve moderate to severe low-back pain. The research team recruited 320 people with chronic low-back pain from diverse backgrounds and underserved communities. More than half of the study’s participants were non-Hispanic black and earned less than $30,000 per year.”
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FDA Approves Hepatitis C Drug

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) to treat adults with chronic hepatitis C virus genotypes 1-6 without cirrhosis or with mild cirrhosis, including patients with moderate to severe kidney disease and those who are on dialysis. Mavyret is also approved for adult patients with HCV genotype 1 infection who have been previously treated with a regimen either containing an NS5A inhibitor or an NS3/4A protease inhibitor, but not both.
According to the agency’s announcement, Mavyret is the first treatment of eight weeks’ duration approved for all HCV genotypes 1-6 in adult patients without cirrhosis who have not been previously treated; standard treatment length was previously 12 weeks or more.
“This approval provides a shorter treatment duration for many patients and also a treatment option for certain patients with genotype 1 infection, the most common HCV genotype in the United States, who were not successfully treated with other direct-acting antiviral treatments in the past,” said Dr. Edward Cox, M.D., director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.”
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Workers Warned About Heat Stress

“Hot weather in the U.S. northwest is causing agencies that include the Washington state Department of Labor & Industries to urge employers and workers to take precautions to prevent heat-related illness. Workers are being warned they may experience heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, fainting, nausea, and other symptoms from exposure to extreme heat, and that heat-related illness can rapidly escalate to heat stroke, which can be fatal.

L&I noted that roofing, highway construction, and agricultural work are some occupations in the state with workers particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses when temperatures rise. It asks those working outdoors in hot weather to follow these five tips:

Drink a lot of water. Start work well hydrated and try to drink a cup every 15 minutes.
Keep an eye on your co-workers. Watch those working around you for signs of heat-related illness, including headaches, dizziness, or nausea.
Don’t overdo it. Pace your work and take scheduled breaks in the shade.
Wear lightweight clothing and remove protective gear when it’s safe to do so.
Limit caffeine and avoid heavy meals.”
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Getting It Straight –Improve Your Posture for Better Health

“Sit up straight! This common request may have been how you first heard about posture, the way you hold your body. Posture isn’t just about how you look. How you position yourself can help or hurt your health over your lifetime.

“Posture is not only about how well you sit, but how well you move and go about your daily life,” says Dr. George Salem, an NIH-funded researcher at the University of Southern California who studies how movement affects health and quality of life.

How you hold yourself when you’re not moving—such as when you’re sitting, standing, or sleeping—is called static posture. Dynamic posture is how you position your body while you’re moving, like walking or bending over to pick something up. “It’s important to consider both static and dynamic components of posture,” Salem says.

Posture can be affected by many things: your age, the situations you find yourself in, and your daily choices. For instance, children may have to adjust to carry heavy backpacks to school. Pregnant women move differently to accommodate growing babies.”
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