Today’s Headlines: MERS, Cervical Cancer and Resveratrol

Second U.S. case of deadly MERS virus found in Orlando: A second case of the deadly respiratory virus MERS has been detected in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The affected person is reported to be a health care worker from Saudi Arabia, who traveled through London, Boston and Atlanta to visit family in Orlando. “Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the disease has mainly been transmitted by close personal contact, such as directly caring for a very ill person – not through casual contact.” Public health officials said the risk to the public is believed to be very low. “To date, there have been 538 lab-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV worldwide, including 145 deaths attributed to it.” (USA Today)

Rates of cervical cancer are underestimated, study says: Cervical cancer rates are likely higher than previously thought, especially for older women and African-American women, according to a new study. The previous rate of 11.7 per 100,000 women took into account women who had had hysterectomies, which dramatically reduce the risk of cervical cancer. After excluding women who had had hysterectomies, new estimates suggest cervical cancer rates are actually more like 18.6 per 100,000 women and may be higher than previously thought for older women. “The new findings have notable implications for screening guidelines, since current recommendations say women with negative results can stop routine screening at age 65. But if cancer rates start to peak at 65, the researchers suggest regular check-ups should continue.” (TIME)

Wine compound not tied to improved health: study: “A compound found in wine and chocolate may not be linked to improved health as was once claimed, according to a new study. The compound resveratrol was not associated with less inflammation, cardiovascular disease or cancer or with increased longevity among a group of elderly Italians, researchers found.” These findings conflict with small prior studies suggesting resveratrol could have significant health benefits. Researchers tracked the diets, health and mortality rates of 783 Italians and measured resveratrol levels using urine samples. “The researchers found there were no differences in rates of death, heart disease or cancer or in amount of inflammation between people who started out with high and low levels of broken-down resveratrol in their urine.” (Reuters)