Arriving Now at Gate 42: Measles

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Traveling through the same U.S. airport gate, one infected passenger transmitted the measles virus to three others within a four-hour time span, illustrating just how easily the virus can spread, a new report shows.

Most States Not Ready to Handle Infectious Disease Outbreaks: Report

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ebola's entrance into the United States -- along with Angelina Jolie's chickenpox and the National Hockey League's mumps outbreak -- have highlighted cracks in the nation's public health defense against infectious disease, according to a new health policy report released Thursday.

Being Fit Keeps Blood Pressure in Check

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Being in good shape seems to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, researchers report.

Many Flu Infections Aren't Good Match for Vaccine: CDC

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The flu is starting to tighten its grip on much of the United States, particularly in the South and Midwest, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.

Scratch From Pet Rat Kills Child; CDC Warns of Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The tragic death from "rat-bite fever" of a 10-year-old San Diego boy highlights the risk carried by the pet rodents, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Xtoro Approved for Swimmer's Ear

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Xtoro (finalfloxacin otic suspension) eardrops have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat swimmer's ear, clinically known as acute otitis externa.

Frail Elderly Might Benefit From High-Dose Flu Shot

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A high-dose influenza vaccine is better than the standard vaccine for frail seniors under care in nursing homes, a new study suggests.

Health Highlights: Dec. 18, 2014

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Health Tip: Tossing Leftover Food

(HealthDay News) -- Leftovers can only last so long before they're at risk for spoiling.

Smog Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Autism Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to moms who were exposed to high levels of air pollution late in pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing autism, a U.S. study suggests.