An Avengers: Endgame Screening May Have Exposed the Audience to Measles

Film Frame/Marvel Studios
Film Frame/Marvel Studios

For some members of an Avengers: Endgame audience in Fullerton, California last week, the danger wasn’t limited to what was happening onscreen. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, a woman recently infected with measles—but without measles symptoms—may have exposed the crowd to the virus.

Health officials in Orange County announced that the woman, who lives in Placentia, had contracted the disease while traveling overseas. Upon returning to California, she went to work and attended a midnight movie—likely a screening of Avengers: Endgame Thursday evening—before coming down with measles symptoms. As a result, officials are warning anyone who was at the AMC Theaters location on 1001 South Lemon Street in Fullerton from 11 p.m. April 25 to 4 a.m. April 26 to review their measles vaccine history and be mindful of possible symptoms, such as a measles rash. People in the vicinity of her workplace and the emergency department in Fullerton she visited are also being cautioned.

Measles causes fever, rash, coughing, and watery eyes, and can progress to more serious illnesses like pneumonia and pregnancy complications. The virus is transmitted through the air via coughing or sneezing and can linger for up to two hours.

This isn't California's first brush with the disease. Universities in the Los Angeles area have experienced an outbreak, with students and staff members told to remain home until their immunization records can be evaluated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 704 people have been diagnosed with measles nationwide this year, the worst year for the disease since 1994.

In 1989, the CDC recommended two doses of the MMR vaccine—which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella—when a child is between 12 and 15 months old and again between 4 to 6 years old. The vaccine is thought to provide a 97 percent chance of protection against measles. Prior to that, a single-dose vaccine was typical but it offered less protection. Adults born before 1957 were likely exposed to the virus as children and are considered immunized. People who were not vaccinated as a child, unsure of their status, or at high risk due to working in health care or traveling internationally can still receive an MMR shot. They should check with their physician.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]

These ASMR-Ready Headphones Promise to Lull You to Sleep

AcousticSheep
AcousticSheep

What do hushed whispers, gently tapping fingernails, and Bob Ross’s voice have in common? They’re all examples of triggers that may cause what’s known as an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), or, as Dictionary.com succinctly explains it, a “calming, pleasurable feeling often accompanied by a tingling sensation” that can be triggered by soothing stimuli. ASMR has recently been recognized as an effective relaxation technique for those looking to calm their nerves; now, ASMR enthusiasts and novices alike can experience it in the form of a sleep-ready headband.

Upon first glance, SleepPhones: ASMR Edition may look like just a fabric headband, but the device actually features flat speakers tucked into soft, stretchy, eco-friendly material. Unlike regular headphones, SleepPhones can be worn comfortably to bed, even if you sleep on your side, and they come preloaded with content designed to help you relax. They feature eight hours of built-in ASMR content by 16 different ASMR artists (or ASMRtists), including but not limited to tracks with rhythmic tapping and "peaceful Italian whisperings."

A close-up of the SleepPhones speaker technology
AcousticSheep

The speaker components of SleepPhones
AcousticSheep

Using SleepPhones is designed to be a stress-free experience. The speakers have the ability to play for 20 ad-free hours with a mere three-hour charging time in between. There are also zero cords involved, meaning you won’t get all tangled up as you lie down or if you have a tendency to toss and turn at night. The small button located in the back of the headband allows you to start, pause, or skip tracks and control the volume.

For people looking for ways to relax beyond yoga and meditation, ASMR may be the way to go. One study observed that subjects watching ASMR videos not only reported feeling that aforementioned pleasant tingling, but were also found to have reduced heart rates.

You can get a pair of your own SleepPhones on Kickstarter with a pledge of $75 or more. They come in three different sizes with seven colors from which to choose.

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FDA Is Warning Against Fecal Transplants After Person Dies From E. Coli Infection

iStock/artisteer
iStock/artisteer

Though it may sound gross, the benefits of a fecal transplant—taking the feces of one person and introducing it into the gastrointestinal tract of another—are promising for those suffering from a Clostridioides difficile infection. The tenacious infections are often the result of sustained antibiotic use, which can kill the patient's "good" gut bacteria and allow C. difficile to proliferate. As the theory goes, the “good” bacteria in feces transplanted from a healthy person may restore the infected person's microbiome and alleviate symptoms like life-threatening diarrhea.

The treatment, which is not FDA-approved, is risky. The FDA has announced that two people involved in a clinical trial recently received fecal transplants that contained drug-resistant bacteria, with one of them dying as a result.

According to The New York Times, the FDA did not offer details of either case, relating only that both patients were immunocompromised, which is one of the contraindications of receiving the transplant. The stool they received was believed to contain antibiotic-resistant E. coli bacteria.

As a result, the FDA is suspending a number of fecal transplant clinical trials until it can be determined how stool is being tested for contamination with potentially deadly bacteria and why the E. coli was not detected. The stool that infected both patients came from the same donor.

Fecal transplants are considered an experimental treatment for C. difficile infection when first-line treatment like antibiotics are ineffective. The fecal transplant is usually introduced to the digestive tract via pills or an infusion.

[h/t The New York Times]

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