July 31,2012 - A highly-contagious illness that often infects infants is making a come-back in 20-12. Nearly 18-hundred cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have been reported this year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says that's the highest rate in five years, and more than double last year's numbers. Whooping cough can cause potentially-fatal eating, drinking and breathing problems. While children and babies are at highest risk for serious complications, new data published Thursday also reported a spike among young teens. Whooping cough can be prevented with a vaccine, but newborns can't get the first dose of vaccine until they are two-months old. Then they need four more vaccinations before they turn seven to get full protection.
Also, researchers are questioning the safety and effectiveness of drugs commonly prescribed for chronic kidney disease. Drugs called phosphate binders can lower blood phosphorus levels, and while they are approved only for patients with kidney failure, they are often prescribed off-label to patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. A new study finds phosphate binders are not as effective as previously thought and can cause calcium build-up in blood vessels which can lead to heart problems. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in patients with chronic kidney disease