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Weekly Health Digest: E-cigarette Ban In New York, Soot Pollution, Rare Mosquito-borne Disease, And More

Photo by Thomas Millot on Unsplash

New York state bans most flavors of e-cigarettes

By: Jen Christensen

On September 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote an executive order to ban sales of most flavored e-cigarettes to curb teen vaping. The ban will last 90 days and will have to be renewed for a longer effect. Member of the Special Codes Committee of the Public Health and Health Planning Council in the New York State Department of Health support the ban because the number of New York state high school students using tobacco products rase 160% between 2014 and 2018. Vape shops report that customers are mainly interested by the variety of flavors. New York is following the lead of Michigan as the first state to ban selling flavored e-cigarettes.

Soot pollution particles ‘cross the placenta’

By: BBC News

A study published in Nature found that black carbon, also known as soot, can cross into the placenta. By looking at the placentas of 28 mothers using high-resolution imaging, the researchers found black carbon particles on the fetal side. They believe that the particles entered the placenta through the mother’s lungs. The research supports the notion that the placenta is “not impenetrable for particles.” While further studies have to be conducted to know the long-term effects and when exactly this takes place during pregnancy, there is strong evidence regarding air pollution and miscarriage. Ultimately, the researchers concluded that these issues can only be addressed through policy. 

7 dead from rare disease spread by mosquitoes

By: Jonathan Lapook

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a rare disease transmitted by mosquito bites. Each year, 5-10 people die from the illness, according to CDC. But cases are up this year, with 7 deaths and at least 27 people infected in six different states. Massachusetts alone has reported 10 cases of EEE, and the state health department has declared that 75 Massachusetts communities are at critical or high risk of infection. For every 100 adults bitten by an infected mosquito, 2 develop the severe brain inflammation that causes death in 30% of cases. While the disease is rare, some affected communities have been advised to cancel outdoor activities in the evening.

Crikey! Australia Flu Season Was Bad — What Does That Mean for the U.S.?

By: Elizabeth Pratt

This year’s Australian flu season, which runs June to September, was one of the worst on record in both length and the number of cases. Although Australian flu seasons isn’t an exact prediction for the US flu season, some officials are worried. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that everyone get vaccinated by the end of October. The Australian season indicated that this year’s vaccine is effective.