Health

2:07pm

Fri December 7, 2012
Shots - Health News

Unusually Early Flu Season Intensifies

The number of states experiencing widespread flu doubled in the past week.
CDC

This year's unusually early flu season is continuing to intensify, federal health officials say.

The number of states now reporting widespread flu activity doubled to eight in the past week, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's.

Last week Alaska, Mississippi, New York and South Carolina were reporting widespread flu. Now, Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island have joined the list.

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11:30am

Fri December 7, 2012
Shots - Health News

How Miscommunication And A Simple Mistake Led To A Toxic Accident

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the accidental release of chlorine gas at a Tyson Food plant could have been prevented with better communication.
April L Brown AP

A year and a half ago, a mix-up at a Tyson Foods chicken processing plant landed more than 150 workers in the hospital. Five required intensive care.

The problem: Somebody poured a solution of sodium hypochlorite (think industrial strength bleach) into a 55-gallon drum that had contained an antimicrobial solution identified as FreshFx.

That stuff was acidic, according to investigators. Mix bleach and acid, and you can make a lot of chlorine gas in a hurry.

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12:55am

Fri December 7, 2012
Shots - Health News

Post-Election, 'Morning After' Pill Advocates Want Age Rules Revisited

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 7:20 am

Currently, you need a doctor's prescription to obtain emergency contraception, such as Plan B, if you are younger than 17.
AP

Friday marks a not-so-happy anniversary for some of President Obama's biggest supporters: It's exactly one year since Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius decided not to lift the age restrictions on availability of the so-called morning-after pill, Plan B.

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1:57pm

Thu December 6, 2012
Shots - Health News

Nigeria Pressured To Clean Up Lead-Contaminated Villages

A boy works at an illegal gold mine in northern Nigeria. Lead from these mines has sickened thousands of children in the region.
David Gilkey NPR

The Nigerian government has been slow to fulfill a promise it made last spring. And, its sluggishness is putting kids at risk for lead poisoning, the advocacy group Humans Rights Watch says.

Last May, the Nigerian government pledged roughly $5 million to clean up lead contamination around illegal gold mines in northwest Nigeria. But so far, that money hasn't been released.

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1:57pm

Thu December 6, 2012
Shots - Health News

Perfection Is Skin Deep: Everyone Has Flawed Genes

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 8:19 pm

When researchers looked at the genetic sequences of 179 individuals, they found far more defects in the patterns of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs than they expected.
iStockphoto.com

We all know that nobody's perfect. But now scientists have documented that fact on a genetic level.

Researchers discovered that normal, healthy people are walking around with a surprisingly large number of mutations in their genes.

It's been well known that everyone has flaws in their DNA, though, for the most part, the defects are harmless. It's been less clear, however, just how many mistakes are lurking in someone's genes.

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