June 28th, 2010
04:54 PM ET

State wants BP to fund mental health services

On Monday, Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine requested $10 million from BP to provide mental health services to Louisiana residents affected by the oil spill.  The request comes after an Alabama fisherman committed suicide Wednesday.

In a letter to BP's Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles, Levine said, "There exists anger, anxiety and uncertainty among the families and communities affected by the spill, which will easily manifest into addiction and various forms of mental health crisis if not confronted."  Levine also says almost 2,000 people have undergone counseling by state crisis teams.  He says there are reports of a range of behaviors from anxiety to excessive drinking to thoughts of suicide.

Levine says the $10 million dollars will support six months of continued outreach activities by Louisiana's DHH's Louisiana Spirit outreach teams and local mental health programs.

BP press officer Tom Mueller says they received a request for funding and that BP is " is discussing the request with several stakeholder groups to better understand their plans and strategy."

June 28th, 2010
03:52 PM ET

West Nile virus found in California

Jerry Davis spends a lot of time thinking about mosquitoes.  Davis is the manager of the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District in Turlock, California.  The West Nile virus has started showing up in his central California community.  So far, three dead birds have tested positive for the virus.  It's hard to catch Davis in the office.  This is his "busy season."  "It's like Christmas or tax day," he says.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1999 when West Nile was first discovered in the United States, over 29,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease.  Of  those, more than 12,000 people have been seriously ill.  Just over a thousand people have died.  Here are the three things you need to know about the West Nile virus.


June 28th, 2010
03:25 PM ET

FDA urges less use of antimicrobials in food production

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday called for  more judicious use of antimicrobial drugs in the production of animals that end up on our dinner tables. The goal is preventing drug resistance both in animals and in humans.

Antimicrobial drugs have been widely used for more than 50 years, benefiting both human and animal health, according to the FDA. The drugs prevent diseases from developing in food animals, and from being passed on to humans. Over time, a serious public health threat has developed because many of the drugs have lost their effectiveness due to the the development of drug-resistant microbial strains.


June 28th, 2010
12:52 PM ET

Michelangelo hid brain image in chapel, scientists say

Some of Michelangelo's best known works may bear hidden messages suggesting that the human brain is among God's greatest creations,    scientists say.

The great Italian Renaissance artist dissected cadavers to familiarize himself with the human body, so he could better paint it. And, according to a new analysis, he included a representation of the brainstem in his representation of God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which he painted from 1508 to 1512.


June 28th, 2010
11:47 AM ET

X-rays of Marilyn Monroe sold for $45,000

It’s not as iconic as the photo of a Marilyn Monroe standing in a white dress over a sewer grate – but it fetched quite a price.

Adding to strange celebrity medical memorabilia, three X-rays of the actress were sold at a Las Vegas, Nevada, auction this weekend for $45,000.


June 28th, 2010
09:38 AM ET

Combo shot boosts kids' fever-related seizure risk

By Miriam Falco
CNN Medical News Managing Editor

Children who get a combination of measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox vaccines in one shot are at a slightly increased risk of getting a fever-related seizure, compared with children getting two separate shots – one containing measles, mumps and rubella and the another containing the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

"The risk of a febrile seizure after any measles-containing vaccine is low – about one febrile seizure in 1,000 doses" says lead study author, Dr. Nicola Klein, co-director of Kaiser Permanente's Vaccine Study Center. "But if a child gets the combination vaccine, the risk doubles," says Klein.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.