Ebola, common cold top medical headlines for 2014 - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Ebola, common cold top medical headlines for 2014

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - "We've probably come in contact with people from Africa, at the fair, in Walmart, everywhere. So if it's spread, it's spread. We can't do nothing but pray," said concerned grandmother, Stella Threadgill. 

Her's was not an uncommon response just months ago about being in contact with anyone who might have been exposed to the Ebola virus. In this case, a Hazlehurst middle school principal who had traveled to Zambia, not high risk West Africa.

 "A lot of parents are saying that they're not gonna let their kids come back until they see proof of him having a clean bill of health," said Hazlehurst Middle School mom, Shanetha May.

It's the kind of reaction many people were having about the deadly Ebola scare, even though it never existed at Hazlehurst middle school.

Hospitals are affected, too. 80 personnel at the University of Mississippi Medical Center are trained, alert and ready to respond in the event of an ebola infection in Mississippi. The Ebola scare comes with a very high price tag. Personal protective gear, one use, is anywhere from one thousand to fifteen hundred dollars each.

A virus of great concern to parents in the summer of 2014 was Enterovirus D-68. It's the common cold. The illness led to a surge in hospitalizations of children between six weeks old and 16 years old.

Mississippi infectious disease experts say this year it's taking a heavier toll on children's respiratory systems, especially in those who have asthma or who are prone to wheezing. They don't know why.

In other medical headlines, adverse reactions to medications are blamed in part, for a Jackson Ophthalmologist shooting and killing his wife in April. A Hinds County grand jury says Dr. William Mayfield lacked the mental capacity to kill his wife, Susan.

Dr. Mayfield died a few weeks later. He suffered from renal failure and Parkinsons Disease.

A Mississippi baby who doctors hoped had been cured of HIV relapsed with the virus in 2014.

The baby was born four years ago to an HIV positive mother. Aggressive therapy was started immediately on the newborn and ultimately left no traces of the virus in the baby's body. 

Dr. Hannah Gay, an HIV specialist at Batson Children's hospital administered the initial treatment, and also discovered the viral relapse.

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