Study: Tdap shot for pregnant women doesn’t increase autism risk

By Lindsey Bever | Washington Post

New research has shown that a common childhood vaccination given to pregnant women does not put their children at any increased risk of autism.

A Kaiser Permanente study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics found no association between the prenatal Tdap (for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough) vaccine and autism spectrum disorder when looking at tens of thousands of children in the hospital system. It is the latest in a long line of studies showing that there is no link between vaccines and autism. Despite the abundant scientific evidence, a persistent conspiracy theory has misled some parents into fearing vaccines.

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“If any woman had any hesitancy, she can be reassured,” Tracy Becerra-Culqui, lead author and postdoctoral research fellow with Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Department of Research and Evaluation, told The Washington Post. When not vaccinated, she said, “the risk of getting whooping cough is greater than any perceived risk of harm to the baby, so it should be a no-brainer to accept the vaccine.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Nurse-Midwives encourage expectant mothers to get the Tdap vaccine in the third trimester of pregnancy to protect babies from bacterial infections that can be fatal for infants.

“Any woman who is pregnant may be concerned with any exposure inside or outside the health-care system,” Becerra-Culqui said, noting that some women who are encouraged by their doctors to get the Tdap vaccine may worry about it causing harm to their unborn babies. “We wanted to get ahead of any concern – the prevailing concern being, ‘Will my child develop …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Health


Halloween already? Get your boo and bark on for a good, dog-friendly cause

Not quite in a Halloween mood yet? That’s fine, but mark your October calendar for the annual “Boo! Bark, Brews + Bites” and “DogFest Walk ‘n Roll Bay Area,” which will get underway at Oakland’s Jack London Square from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 27.

The DogFest walk raises money to support Canine Companions for Independence, a national non-profit organization that trains assistance dogs, free of charge, for people with disabilities.

Boo! Bark, Brews + Bites is a fun-filled Halloween celebration for pets and their humans, filled with tricks, treats, frights and delights. Admission to the events are free, and area restaurants will be selling food and beer.

The celebration also will include live music, crafts for people and dogs, doggy treats, pet tricks, pet photos, caricatures and festival booths for adults, kids and dogs. Dogs can show off their (or your) Halloween spirit by competing in a costume contest. Representatives and recipients of Canine Companions also will be on hand to talk about the program and demonstrate how the service dogs work.

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The walk covers about a quarter mile along the Jack London Square waterfront. Participants are encouraged to preregister for the walk and raise …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


5 summer chores: Which to do yourself, when to hire a pro

Summer chores: DIY or outsource? How you decide what tasks to take on and what to delegate depends on several factors — cost and time involved, safety concerns and personal preference. After all, one person’s chore is another person’s relaxation.

Liza Hausman, vice president of industry solutions for Houzz, said that if you’re on the fence about whether to tackle a chore yourself or outsource, especially a bigger task, ask a professional.

“(Most) professionals are certainly open to talking about the pros and the pitfalls of taking on a project because most of them have probably come in and rescued homeowners when they got in over their heads,” she said.

Chores to do yourself:

1. Lawn mowing. This is the top summer chore to do yourself, said Dan DiClerico, home expert and smart home strategist for HomeAdvisor.

“It’s fairly foolproof. You get exercise, fresh air, and you can really save a pretty good chunk of change,” he says. HomeAdvisor, which collects data on home improvement costs, estimates lawn mowing costs, on average, $30 to $80.

Lawn mowers start around $100 for machines like the manual Earthwise 20-inch five-blade Reel Push Lawn Mower ($99.99 ) or the Black+Decker 15-inch 10-Amp Corded Electric Push Lawn Mower ($129,

2. Painting/staining. Tackle small projects like painting doors, fences, decks and other ground-level jobs yourself, DiClerico said.

“It’s pretty easy to do; it doesn’t require a lot of tools, although there is a little investment there,” he said.

Most of the time spent painting is for preparation work, as the actual painting can go quickly. Paint prices vary depending on type and quality, but a popular exterior paint from Sherwin Williams, A-100 Exterior Acrylic Latex, starts around $45 a gallon (

Decks and porches should be finished and resealed or stained annually or biennially, and DiClerico said the savings to do it …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


Brasas Do Brazil restaurant now carving meats in Concord

How starved have residents of eastern Contra Costa County been for the Brazilian steakhouse experience?

Consider that Brasas Do Brazil served 200 diners with reservations Saturday night — and had to turn away most walk-ins.

It’s the first charrascraria in this region, with the classic menu and rodizio service model. You pay one price for this upscale all-you-can-eat experience. First, you sample the cured meats, cheeses, salads and marinated vegetables at the salad bar, then you check out the hot-station offerings; and then you sit down to a feast of grilled meats served tableside by wandering waiters. You flip up a card on your table to indicate you’re ready for more.

“The community has really embraced us” — with diners coming from throughout the county as well as Alameda County and the Central Valley, said Brazilian-born co-owner Margaret Drumm, who operates the venture with Eduardo Alves and other partners.

While the filet mignon, ribeye and culotte steaks are popular — 17 cuts of meat are served at dinner –Drumm notes that the pineapple grilled with brown sugar and cinnamon is drawing raves. On social media, “people talk more about the pineapple than the beef,” Dumm said, laughing. She’s buying 30 cases of pineapple a week to meet the demand.

Besides eight types of beef, Brasas Do Brazil offers leg of lamb and lamb chops; pork ribs, pork loin and linguica; the traditional chicken hearts as well as chicken breast, drumsticks; and grilled salmon.

Brazil’s signature cocktail, the caipirinha, leads the cocktail list, and the wine list is heavy on California varietals.

Details: Brasas Do Brazil serves daily at 1631 Willow Pass Road, Concord. Weekday lunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner starts at 5 p.m. On Saturdays, the hours at 1 to 10 p.m. Sunday hours are 1 to 9 p.m. Reservations: 925-822-3474; …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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