Health headlines: August 10

A run-down of some of the other health stories we’re reading:

  • The CDC released new flu guidelines for school administrators. Traditional guidelines such as “wash your hands” and “stay home when sick” are combined with active screening and suggestions such as “students who have an ill household member should stay home for five days from the day the first household member got sick,” and “try innovative ways of separating students [such as] moving desks farther apart or canceling classes that bring together children from different classrooms.” How realistic are these guidelines for teachers and parents?
  • In Massachusetts, health authorities have asked schools to close “only as a last resort during the upcoming flu season,” and stress the importance of vaccination.
  • When schools won’t close for Swine Flu, are pregnant teens, who often attend regular public school, put at risk?
  • Dealing with a colicky baby can be frustrating, especially since right now there’s no known cause or medical treatment for colic. But new research indicates the problem may be due to intestinal inflammation caused by a bacterium called Klebsiella. Potentially good news for future parents.
  • The hospital social media sphere is really taking off. In Texas, hospitals and health-care professionals are using blogs and networking sites to share information.
  • A National Center for Health Statistics study revealed that for the first time since the start of the decade, the birthrate fell in 2008, ending a mini-baby boom. Has the recession impacted your family plans?
  • About 20 percent of teens share and exchange prescription medication with their friends–and a third didn’t tell their doctors about what they’d taken. Even if medication is shared with good intentions, it can lead to serious medical consequences.