Doctors at The University of Kansas Health System are warning area residents to take the current hot weather seriously.
The heat and humidity from these high temperatures frustrate the body’s natural ways to cool itself, according to physicians.
The elderly, the very young and those with health conditions are usually the first to feel the consequences of a heat wave, but this prolonged forecast for high heat and humidity can have an impact on the healthiest people if there is long-term exposure to the heat.
Doctors offer the following tips:
Pay attention to urination. If you are not urinating or if it is a dark color, you need to concentrate on hydration. Head to the hospital if you are not urinating, are becoming confused or disoriented. If you’re exhibiting the early signs, get hydrated. If you are home and not in air conditioning, take cool baths or dab yourself with a wet towel in front of a fan.
Dr. Steven Stites, a pulmonologist at The University of Kansas Health System, said the heat causes big problems for people who already have breathing problems.
Also, Dr. Stephen Lauer, a pediatrician with the health system, said children are particularly vulnerable to the heat. As he says, parents need to know that if they’re hot, their baby is really hot.
He also explained the danger of leaving a child in a car in the hot weather. The temperature inside a car sitting out in the heat quickly can become dangerous.
Information from the University of Kansas Hospital
Topeka — Kansas schools will require two new vaccines come August, including one against a virus that’s hospitalized 13,000 people and killed 200 across the country since 2016.
The new rules, which apply to public and private schools, will be phased in over the next several years. But come August, schools will check that:
• Kindergartners and first-graders have gotten hepatitis A vaccine.
• Seventh-graders have had their first dose of a MenACWY, a vaccine against four types of meningococcal bacteria.
• 11th-graders get a dose of MenACWY, too (even students who received a first dose when they were younger will need a booster dose).
Kansas allows exemptions for medical and religious reasons, but not philosophical reasons.
Nationally, 25 states have seen more than 20,000 cases of hepatitis A in widespread outbreaks since 2016.
The liver infection often spreads through contamination in water, raw or undercooked foods or through sex.
Kansas hasn’t seen any recent cases, though its neighbors have. More than 300 in Missouri and nearly 100 in Colorado have gotten sick.
Most people shake off hepatitis A in a matter of weeks, the federal Centers for Disease Control say. But others fight the illness for months, suffering from things like diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting, fever, jaundice and stomach pain.
Last month, the federal panel of health experts that sets vaccine guidelines recommended children and teens who missed the hepatitis A shots as toddlers get them now. In Kansas, federal data suggest more than 85 percent of children receive it as toddlers, in part because it was already required for day care.
Fewer Kansans get the MenACWY vaccine. Meningococcal bacteria cause, among other things, meningitis.
Outbreaks are rare but nearly a third of patients die, lose limbs or sustain long-term brain damage.
People living in close quarters, such as college dorms, are at higher risk of contracting meningococcal disease.
Celia Llopis-Jepsen reports on consumer health and education for the Kansas News Service. You can follow her on Twitter @Celia_LJ or email her at celia (at) kcur (dot) org. The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on the health and well-being of Kansans, their communities and civic life. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org. See more at https://www.kcur.org/post/amid-national-hepatitis-outbreaks-kansas-requires-vaccine-schoolkids
Many people figure vaping spares their health because it lets them inhale nicotine in aerosols instead of sucking in smoke from burning cigarettes.
New research from the University of Kansas casts doubt on that, raising the specter that vaping nicotine may cause some of the same respiratory problems that plague and even kill smokers today.
“Vaping is just considered not harmful, even though there are no data to support that statement,” researcher Matthias Salathe said. “There are more and more data to actually oppose that statement.”
Salathe chairs the Department of Internal Medicine at KU’s School of Medicine, where his lab uses a robot that vapes to test the effects on human cells obtained from deceased lung donors.
The team’s latest research, published last month by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, found vaping nicotine damaged the natural ability of those cells to clear out mucus.
That dysfunction leads to chronic bronchitis — and the coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue that come with it. Scientists such as Salathe worry that means the vaping trend sweeping the U.S. could eventually translate into more people developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Commonly caused by smoking, COPD is already a leading cause of death in the United States.
The KU researchers found that the aerosols from nicotine e-cigarettes hurt mucus-clearing abilities in sheep, too. (Sheep were used because of similarities between their respiratory system and that of humans.)
Yet the KU research remains at the pre-clinical phase, meaning scientists have more work ahead to answer the question with greater certainty.
Taken in context with other research, though, Salathe sees reason for worry. His lab’s results add to a mounting body of evidence that vaping causes such problems, including evidence from studies on living people who vape.
Getting more definitive answers, though, takes time. Rigorous scientific research can’t move as fast as the vaping craze that now has millions of U.S. teenagersinhaling nicotine. And diseases like COPD play out over years.
“To really know, we need to wait 10 to 20 years, right? To see whether these humans are actually developing the diseases that we predict,” Salathe said. “The question is, now from a policy point of view, is that an acceptable experiment to actually do in the population?”
Tobacco use remains the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the U.S.
More than 20 cities and counties across Kansas have banned the sale of tobacco-related products to people under the age of 21 in hopes of preventing them from becoming hooked.
That’s based on studies that show most people who become addicted long-term begin using nicotine in their teens.
Last month the Kansas Supreme Court upheld local bans on sales to people under 21 in a case brought by vape and tobacco shops against the city of Topeka. Wyandotte County has had an ordinance since November 2015 raising the age for sale of tobacco-related products to 21.
Celia Llopis-Jepsen reports on consumer health and education for the Kansas News Service. You can follow her on Twitter @celialj_LJ or email her at celia (at) kcur (dot) org. The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on the health and well-being of Kansans, their communities and civic life. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org. See more at https://www.kcur.org/post/if-you-thought-vaping-was-safe-kansas-researchers-have-bad-news