Health Alert: New screening guidelines for cervical cancer

In today's Health Alert, we learn about the new screening guidelines for cervical cancer, how to prepare for flu season and the new high risk influenza screening test.

WASHINGTON - New screening guidelines for Cervical Cancer.

Women ages 30 to 65, who are at average risk, may now decide how often they want to get screened depending on the test they choose.

Choosing a Pap Smear to detect cervical cancer, requires testing ever three years. If a woman chooses to test for the human papillomavirus, the virus that causes nearly all cervical cancers, the HPV exam is repeated every five years. The new recommendations come from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Looking ahead to October and the Flu season. Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October, but pregnant women are worried the flu shot could be linked to miscarriages.

While new research found a possible link for a specific strain of the flu - if the mom-to be -received a flu shot two years in a row, the overall risks for a miscarriage because of a flu shot, is highly unlikely. Scientists say more research is needed.

And there's a new High Risk Influenza Screening test to predict which influenza patients will develop potentially deadly secondary infections, such as pneumonia.

Using a single drop of blood, the test measures an early warning signal released by the patient's body into their blood to kick start their immune system's fight against the infection. The results are 91 percent accurate. 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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