January 29, 2011

Flu Activity Is Increasing

1 Half of States Have Widespread Flu

Flu activity is widespread in 25 of the states, says the CDC. Flu-like activities have been the highest in Southern and Southeastern states like Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina. This flu season, which began in October, has included 13 confirmed pediatric deaths, reports CNN. According to the CDC, flu activity increased in the period from January 16 to 22 when three flu-related deaths were reported in children with two of the deaths associated with influenza A (H3) virus and one associated with influenza B virus. Despite the increase in flu activity, levels are still below the epidemic threshold.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Modified Chickens Won't Spread Bird Flu

Tags: Flu Activity, Flu Season, Pediatric Deaths of Flu, Areas Where Flu Is Worse, Flu-Like Activities, Flu Widespread, Flu in South, Flu in Southeast, Influenza B Virus

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Watch for Dropped Pills

2 Worst Toxin for Pets Last Year: Human Medication

Medications intended for people made more pets sick than any other toxin last year, reports MSNBC. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASCPA) released their annual list of the top 10 pet toxins. This marks the third year in a row that human medications have topped the list. Dangerous over-the-counter and prescription medications on the list include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, antidepressants and ADHD meds. A fourth of the 168,000 calls placed to the ASPCA hotline in 2010 involved pets swallowing human medication. MSNBC also notes that in recent years there's been an increase in the number of deaths caused by pets eating chocolate. Very dark chocolate is more deadly to pets, requiring only an eighth of an ounce per pound of pet to be deadly.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: 87,000 Sent to ER Annually from Tripping over Pets

Tags: ASPCA Hotline, Dark Chocolate More Deadly to Pets, Number One Pet Toxin, Pet Dangers in the House, Top 10 Pet Toxins

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Will Nicole Kidman Be Next?

3 Oscar Winning Actresses at More Risk for Divorce

Oscar winners for Best Actress experience a higher risk of divorce than nominees who don't win the award, find researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and Carnegie Mellon University. Not long after their wins, many women awarded a Best Actress Oscar have gotten divorced, including Bette Davis, Halle Berry, Joan Crawford and Kate Winslet. Researchers say that Best Actress winners have a 63 percent increased chance their marriages will end sooner than those in the non-winning group. Men who win Best Actor don't experience the divorce curse. Researchers speculate that the divorces among the Best Actress group could arise when the social norm of men having greater status and power in the relationship is breached by the Oscar win.

More at Eurekalert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Oscar the Cat Gets New Feet

Tags: Oscar Nominees, Oscar Winners, Oscar Curse, BEst Actress Nominees Divorce, Higher Divorce Rates among Best Actress Winners, Bette Davis, Halle Berry, Joan Crawford, Kate Winslet, Higher Risk of Divorce, University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, Carnegie Mellon University

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (40%) / No! (60%)

Lowest Breast Cancer Risk

4 Hot Flashes May Be a Good Sign

Women who experience the most severe hot flashes during menopause have the lowest risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, conclude researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The researchers believe that experiencing menopausal symptoms, including mood swings and insomnia, may be an indicator of lower risk of breast cancer later. Women who experienced menopausal symptoms had half the risk of breast cancer (including invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular cancer) compared to women who had no symptoms. New York Times cautions that these preliminary study findings don't mean that women who have severe hot flashes can skip mammograms. It's important to remember that the risk of breast cancer increases with age.

More at New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Lexapro Is Helpful for Treating Hot Flashes

Tags: Lower Risk of Breast Cancer, Postmenopausal Breast Cancer, Benefits of Menopausal Symptoms, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Invasive Lobular Cancer, Why Hot Flashes, When Hot Flashes Are Good, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Mini-Strokes a Major Problem

5 Damage from TIAs May Be Long Lasting

People who suffer a transient ischemic stroke (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke, may suffer from brain damage that lasts for a long time according to researchers in Canada. Thirteen patients who suffered TIAs were compared to 13 healthy controls. Fourteen to 30 days post-TIA, their brains were studied with CT, MRI and a new technology called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Parties who suffered a TIA had signs of damage on the affected side. The affected neurons were altered in their ability to be stimulated by chemicals called neurotransmitters. Based on these results, researchers concluded that TIAs are not transient as the name suggest. TIAs result when blood loss occurs in an area of the brain momentarily. Symptoms are similar to a stroke and it's usually a precursor to one.

More at Science Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Antioxidants May Protect Against Ischemic Stroke

Tags: Transient Ischemic Attack, TIA, Mini-Stroke, Brain Damage Due to TIA, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

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