Pablo Retana

Pablo Retana
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Pablo Retana is an alumnus of the University of Costa Rica, a journeyman writer and future reclusive author. A self-styled skeptic, this worldview serves him well when writing professionally on medical and scientific subjects as he currently does. A reader, scrivener, editor, translator and critic in the vein of Hunter S. Thompson, a line of creativity that is more obvious in his private, stream-of-consciousness prose and literary and film critiques, items which will probably encounter the same fate as most of J.D. Salinger’s oeuvre

Zika, sexual transmission, and birth defects evidence mounting

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 14:44

Fourteen suspected cases of sexually transmitted Zika virus – several of which involve pregnant women – are being investigated in the United States, the CDC said on Tuesday. The infection has been confirmed in two cases in which the only known risk factor was sexual intercourse with an infected male partner who had traveled recently to an area with active Zika virus transmission. No cases of women transmitting Zika to male sex partners have been reported. “We think mosquito-borne spread is the most common route of transmission, but we want to make people aware that sexual transmission is also a risk,” deputy incident manager for CDC's Zika response Jennifer McQuiston said.

Help the WHO determine the top 50 elderly medical supplies

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:46

The World Health Organization has set out to find the 50 most important elderly medical supplies for care receivers. And the best part is that you can help build the WHO Priority Assistive Products List (APL). Approximately 1 billion people currently need assistive technologies to improve their quality of life – which has been compromised due to increasing age and/or disability –, a number that will grow to 2 billion by 2050. However, only one in 10 people has access to these technologies because of reasons such as unavailability, unawareness, and high costs.

CMS announces alignment, simplification of quality measures

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:44

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has partnered with America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), physician groups, and other stakeholders to release seven sets of clinical quality measures that for the first time ever support multi-payer alignment. This will hopefully make “physicians’ lives easier,” especially for those who currently report several quality measures to different entities. “In the U.S. Health care system, where we are moving to measure and pay for quality, patients and care providers deserve a uniform approach to measure quality,” CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said in a press release. “This agreement today will reduce unnecessary burden for physicians and accelerate the country's movement to better quality.”

Why aren’t high-deductible plan enrollees shopping around?

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:45

We have talked before about the importance of shopping around for healthcare, but a new study found that people who are enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans are not comparing healthcare providers for better prices – even though experts expected them to be savvier consumers. Why is this? “I think there are two obstacles, convenience and continuity of care,” Neeraj Sood of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles told Reuters. “If I want to shop for healthcare right now, it’s incredibly difficult to do that,” Sood said. “Most people don’t know what prices are charged by different providers, they would have to call the offices. Some people have access to Internet-based tools that employers provide, but they can be incomplete, giving price but not quality. And they don’t allow you to purchase on that website.”

The early symptoms of scarlett fever

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:40

The early symptoms of scarlett fever – also known as scarlatina – usually are fever and sore throat. 1-2 days after infection, a sunburn-looking, bumpy rash with itchiness appears on the neck and face but not around the mouth. The rash spreads to the chest and back, and proceeds from thereto the rest of the body. The rash – which may have a sandpaper feel – forms red lines around the groin, armpits, elbows, knees and neck, and other body creases.

The Non-Fat Yogurt II: People eat too much ‘healthy’ food

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 11:11

In a sort of Catch 22-type situation, people have a tendency to eat too much of food that has been labeled as healthy – and thus sabotaging their own efforts to follow a healthy diet. “It's quite ironic. The more we put out foods that are labeled healthy, we could be abetting the obesity epidemic rather than combating it,” doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business and author of the study, published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, Jacob Suher said. “Seek out foods portrayed as nourishing, and think of healthy foods as nourishing. People appear to associate the idea of nourishment with being filling.”

Drive Medical Aluminum Round Handle Cane with Foam Grip

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:36

 If you want to be like an Englishman in New York with a walking stick there at your side, why not try the Aluminum Round Handle Cane with Foam Grip? This product is designed to reduce stress and fatigue for a more comfortable experience.

Mosquito vs. mosquito: Fight fire with fire in Zika outbreak

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 12:00

Genetically-modified mosquitoes could be the Ivan Drago to the Aedes aegypti’s Apollo Creed. The World Health Organization is urging countries affected by the Zika virus outbreak to think both in and outside the box to control the disease-carrying mosquito. “Given the magnitude of the Zika crisis, WHO encourages affected countries and their partners to boost the use of both old and new approaches to mosquito control as the most immediate line of defense,” the UN health agency said. “If (the) presumed associations (between Zika and microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome) are confirmed, the human and social consequences for the over 30 countries with recently detected Zika outbreaks will be staggering.”

Going full circle: Can Zika virus be Ebola 2.0 for Africa?

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 15:24

 If the Zika virus went to a karaoke it would probably sing the words to Toto’s famous hit Africa; “It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you.” The virus was first discovered in 1947 in a forest near Entebbe, Uganda. According to the CDC, “prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.” It is also believed that the mosquito-borne disease arrived in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup. “Cape Verde has historical links with Brazil and it seems very likely it has got there from Brazil,” Zika expert for the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Nick Beeching of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine said.

Go ask WHO: Questions and answers about Zika and pregnancy

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 11:23

On Wednesday the World Health Organization published an online Q&A entitled Women in the context of microcephaly and Zika virus disease. Even though “there are many unknowns regarding the possible causes of microcephaly… the  risk of babies born with microcephaly has raised understandable concerns among women… who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.” As to whether that concern is justified, the text says that “symptoms associated with Zika are generally mild” but “a possible association has been observed between the unusual rise of Zika cases and microcephaly cases in Brazil since 2015.”