This Week In Public Health: Lead Poisoning's Toll Can Follow Kids For Life ... Zika's Social Fallout

Apr 3, 2017

This week - Lead poisoning could follow kids around for a lot longer than we think -- it could even affect their socioeconomic advancement, new research says ... In Puerto Rico, in addition to the health risks involved with contracting Zika, the social consequences are also a hazard ... And for the first time in more than 100 years, a new male birth control method is on the cusp of release ... Read on ...

Lead Poisoning’s Lifelong Toll Includes Lowering Social Mobility

We're rightly worried about the immediate ramifications lead poisoning has on children, but new research says lead could have other repercussions. Kaiser Health News' Shefali Luthra explains: "The study found that no matter what the child’s IQ, the mother’s IQ, or the family’s social status, lead poisoning resulted in downward social mobility. That was largely thanks to cognitive decline, according to the research."

Fighting Children’s Cavities In SF's Chinatown: It Takes A Coalition

Laura Klivans of KQED's State of Health reports "Overall, children’s oral health in San Francisco is improving: the citywide cavity rate has dropped almost ten percent since 2008. Among children of color, however, the improvements have been slower." A new program in the city's Chinatown is aiming to make improvements.

Living With Zika In Puerto Rico Means Watching, Waiting And Fearing Judgment

"Since Zika appeared in Puerto Rico more than a year ago, doctors believe as many as a million people on the island have been infected." And it's not just the disease that people fear, it's the social backlash, reports NPR's Marisa Peñaloza. One mother feared the judgment: "People should know that Zika is real. I was lucky that my baby was born healthy. There are many people in Puerto Rico who don't take Zika seriously, and we should."

In Indiana this week: 

Struggling With Opioids, Scott County Has Highest Premature Death Rate In Indiana

A new report shows death by drug overdose was “by far the single leading cause of premature death” in the United States in 2015.

Quick Hits

Michigan lawmakers are considering educating kids about opioid in school to keep them away from the drugs.

In Southern California, the first baby with Zika-related birth defects has been born.

A new form of male birth control could be on the way.

Finally, lonely people report having worse cold symptoms, researchers say.

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