Health

4:04pm

Fri April 5, 2013
Shots - Health News

Human Cases Of Bird Flu In China Draw Scrutiny

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:09 pm

A cockerel walks on a bridge in a residential area of Beijing. The Chinese are beginning to destroy thousands of birds in an effort to stamp out the presumed source of H7N9 infection.
Wang Zhao AFP/Getty Images

Sixteen cases of a new flu around Shanghai have touched off a major effort to determine what kind of threat this new bug might be.

The victims range in age from 4 to 87 years old. Six have died. It is a tragedy for them and their families, but is it a global crisis?

To understand why so few cases are generating so much concern, the first thing to know is that no flu virus like this one — called H7N9 — has ever been known to infect humans before.

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1:01pm

Fri April 5, 2013
Shots - Health News

As Palliative Care Need Grows, Specialists Are Scarce

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:59 pm

Dr. Martha Twaddle talks to a patient and strokes her hair during a visit at the Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter in Skokie, Ill., in 2012.
Antonia Perez MCT /Landov

Baby boomers have never needed more care to ease their pain and suffering. But there simply aren't enough specialists to get the job done.

There's a shortfall of as many as 18,000 physicians focused on palliative care and hospice care. Right now, there are 5,150 hospice programs and 1,635 hospital palliative care teams in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

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11:41am

Fri April 5, 2013
Shots - Health News

Lead In Soil May Be An Overlooked Threat To Kids' Health

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 5:43 pm

Industrial cities like Detroit have high levels of lead in the aging housing stock and in soils. Researchers found that the amount of soil lead in Detroit that gets suspended in the air correlated with the levels of lead in kids' blood.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Lead poisoning in kids is hardly the problem it used to be, now that we've stopped using lead in house paints and gasoline. But the lead that lingers outside and in old homes is still dangerous if kids are exposed to it.

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8:29am

Fri April 5, 2013
Shots - Health News

Federal Judge Strikes Down Restrictions On Morning-After Pill

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 1:01 pm

Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
UPI/Landov

A federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., has ruled that the morning-after pill for emergency contraception must be made available over the counter to girls 16 and under.

The ruling could end a more than decade-long battle over how easy or difficult it should be for teenage girls to obtain emergency contraception. The ruling would also make it easier for older women to obtain the drug because it wouldn't have to be kept behind drugstore counters anymore.

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1:17pm

Thu April 4, 2013
Shots - Health News

Researchers Use Brain Scans To Reveal Hidden Dreamscape

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 12:57 pm

A window into dreams may now be opening.
Silver Screen Collection Getty Images

Scientists say they have found a way to get a glimpse of people's dreams.

"Our results show that we can predict what a person's seeing during dreams," says Yukiyasu Kamitani, a researcher at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan.

Philosophers, poets and psychologists have long shared a fascination with dreams. But Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley says solving the mystery of our dreams is one tough problem.

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