Entries in Medical (2)


Measles Outbreak: Tens of Thousands Exposed?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images (file)(WASHINGTON) -- Federal health officials are scrambling to prevent a massive measles outbreak after a young woman traveled through three airports this week with an active case of the highly contagious virus.

The 27-year-old woman, who tested positive for measles, departed the U.K. before traveling through airports in Washington, D.C., Denver and Albuquerque last Tuesday, exposing possibly tens of thousands of passengers to the disease.

"Public health authorities consider this a medical urgency, if not an emergency,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. “They will do everything they can to track down everyone to see if they are indeed protected."

Because measles is transmitted through the air, health experts say passengers who traveled on the same planes as the woman, or passed through the same airports could have been exposed.

"Measles is the most communicable virus that we know and it can be transmitted not just person to person, but over considerable distances because it wafts in the air and then people can inhale it when they are some distance away," Schaffner said.

While the CDC is trying tracking down the passengers, airport officials are doing the same with employees.

In the U.S., only about 60 cases of measles are reported to the CDC each year. Health officials say children who never received an immunization or adults who declined to be immunized are at greatest risk.

"It’s a potentially devastating illness,” Schaffner said. “It still kills many children worldwide, so this is not a disease which we wish to reintroduce into the United States."

The measles can take 18 days to develop, so it may be a while before the scope of the exposure is fully recognizable.

The CDC says the woman who tested positive was not immunized because of her religion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Requires Stitches After Basketball Injury

President Obama walks to his car after a game of basketball at Fort McNair in Washington, DC. Photo Courtesy - TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama needed 12 stitches on his upper lip after he was inadvertently hit Friday morning while playing basketball with friends and family at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

The president was playing defense when Rey Decerega, an opposing player, turned into him to take a shot and his elbow hit Obama in the mouth.

"I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport," Decerega, who works for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, said in a written statement. "I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I'm sure he'll be back out on the court again soon."

The president was given a local anesthetic for the procedure.

The White House Medical Unit used a smaller filament that requires more stitches but makes them tighter, resulting in a smaller scar, the administration said.

Obama's love of basketball is well documented. The president, who played basketball for his high school team in Hawaii, has on a few occasions stepped away from the White House to attend college and professional games.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio