Health

Coronavirus first responders on the front lines

When first responders answered roughly 10 calls from a long-term care center in Kirkland, Washington, over the course of a week, they did not expect to become patients themselves. Entering the Life Care Center of Kirkland last month exposed them to the novel coronavirus that sickens people with an illness known as COVID-19. Because the emergency calls came before authorities realized the virus was circulating…


Daylight saving time running out of time?

Daylight saving time: Don’t forget to spring forward at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 8, 2020. It may be the last time that reminder needs to be sounded in California. Californians early Sunday will join most of the nation in the yearly ritual of switching their clocks an hour ahead and back to daylight saving time. Will they be allowed to keep them that way? In November…


Escondido student blazes trail at Harvard

Escondido student Juan Reynoso is about to step into largely unchartered territory. When he graduates this spring, he’ll be only the second person to have completed a new joint Master in Public Health (MPH)/Master in Urban Planning (MUP) degree program. Launched in 2016 by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), the program allows students to pursue a…


Creative artist Jayne Spencer gets teaching

Don’t tell award-winning watercolor, portrait and landscape artist Jayne Spencer that art is best executed and appreciated only by fellow artists. An award-winning creative artist and teacher, like TV’s father, knows best. “Anybody can be an artist,” Spencer said. “Anybody can learn to paint once they learn the skills and techniques. Find something that inspires you. Paint what you love. Art is subjective” Art is…


SD County flu cases drop, but deaths hit 57

The number of influenza deaths in San Diego County increased to 57 after seven more fatalities were reported last week, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today. The ages of the new flu deaths ranged from 60 to 89 years of age and all had underlying medical conditions. A total of 1,548 lab-confirmed influenza cases were reported last week, compared to 1,689 cases…


Considering microplastics in food, water & air

This is a followup to an article of mine published on 12/13/18, and was inspired by a recent measurement of the likely ingestion of microplastics by typical Americans through diet and inhalation.  The findings are of real concern, given the risky chemicals associated with plastics and new data showing that, once microplastics get into our tissues, they can translocate to other organs and are even showing…


You’re eating microplastics and don’t know it

We’re increasingly aware of how plastic is polluting our environment. Much recent attention has focused on how microplastics – tiny pieces ranging from 5 millimetres down to 100 nanometres in diameter – are filling the seas and working their way into the creatures that live in them. That means these ocean microplastics are entering the food chain and, ultimately, our bodies. But fish and shellfish…


Coal-fired plant shutdowns saves lives, improves crop yields, UCSD study says

The decommissioning of coal-fired power plants in the continental United States has reduced nearby pollution and its negative impacts on human health and crop yields, according to a new University of California San Diego study. The findings published this week in Nature Sustainability use the U.S. transition in recent years from coal towards natural gas for electric power generation to study the local impacts of…


New local vape-related lung injury confirmed

A new local case of vaping-associated lung injury was confirmed on Wednesday, Jan. 8, by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency. To date, 43 cases of vaping-associated lung injury have been reported among San Diego County residents, while an additional three cases are under investigation. While there have been no local deaths, all patients had to be hospitalized. “Vaping-related lung injuries continue…