Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
More U.S. Kids Being Exempted From Vaccinations
In eight states, more than 1 in 20 public school kindergarten
students aren't getting all the vaccinations required for
attendance and more than half of states have had at least a slight
increase in the rate of parental exemptions over the past five
years, according to an
Associated Press analysis.
Rules for exemptions vary between states and can include
medical, religious and even philosophical reasons.
In 2010-11, Alaska had the highest exemption rate (9 percent),
followed by Colorado (7 percent), Minnesota (6.5 percent), Vermont
and Washington (6 percent). Oregon, Michigan and Illinois were
close behind. The lowest exemption rate was in Mississippi, the
Over five years, vaccine exemptions rose in more than half of
states and the rate of exemptions increased by about 1.5 percent in
The growing trend of parents seeking vaccination exemptions for
their children has health officials concerned about possible
outbreaks of diseases that had been all but eliminated, the
Chickenpox Shot Benefits More Than Babies: Study
The number of infant chickenpox cases in the United States fell
nearly 90 percent between 1995 and 2008, a new study finds.
The findings show that the vaccine not only protects the child
who is vaccinated, but also infants who come into contact with the
The vaccine isn't given to children younger than 12 months, but
they indirectly benefit when older children receive the vaccine,
the researchers explained. Their study appears in the journal
"It's not impossible for kids to have chickenpox after they've been vaccinated, even if they have two doses of vaccine. But the case is so mild and benign that it's much, much better," Dr. Elaine Schulte, a pediatrician at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, told FoxNews.com.
She was not involved in the study.
Ocean Spray Recalls Craisins
Possible contamination with small metal particles has prompted
the recall of certain lots of packaged and bulk original flavor
Craisins, which are sweetened dried cranberries.
The recall announced late Friday by Ocean Spray covers the
following 5-ounce, 10-ounce and 48-ounce packages, as well as
10-pound bulk packages,
Ocean Spray said consumers should destroy the recalled products,
save the UPC labels and Best By dates and contact the company's
consumer hotline at 1-800-662-3263,
Trial of Anti-HIV Vaginal Gel Halted
A clinical trial of a microbicide vaginal gel to protect women
from HIV infection has been canceled after researchers said the gel
was not working.
The trial began in 2009 and enrolled more than 5,000 women in
South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. It was hoped that it would
confirm the findings of an earlier trial that found the vaginal gel
containing the drug tenofovir protected 39 percent of women who
used it, and that women who used it most often reduce their chances
of HIV infection by 54 percent,
The New York Times reported.
Researchers have not yet been able to determine why the gel did
not work in the second trial.
The news is a setback for HIV/AIDS prevention research. Creating
a vaginal gel that protects women against HIV (the virus that
causes AIDS) while still enabling them to get pregnant has long
been a goal of researchers,
The Times reported.
3 More Cases of New Flu Virus Confirmed by CDC
Three new cases of a new flu virus that originated in pigs but
spread from person to person have been confirmed by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has confirmed a total of 18 cases of the virus, an
influenza strain called S-OtrH3N2, over two years. The three latest
cases involved three Iowa children,
USA Today reported.
The low number of cases during the past few years suggests that
the virus is not spreading quickly or easily, said William
Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of
Medicine and spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of
Flu expert Arnold Monto agrees that there's no reason to fear
the start of a new flu pandemic.
"I don't think this is anything to worry about for the moment," Monto, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, told USA Today. "We have known that swine viruses get into humans occasionally, transmit for a generation or two and then stop. The issue is whether there will be sustained transmission (from person to person)- and that nearly never happens."
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