Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
San Francisco Commuters Warned About Possible Measles
Thousands of San Francisco-area train commuters are being
alerted they may have been exposed to measles by an infected
Health officials said a University of California, Berkeley
student who was infected on a trip to Asia rode the BART trains
between Feb. 4 and 7,
Measles symptoms can take seven to 10 days to develop so any
commuter infected by the student could just be starting to get
sick, according to authorities.
"It is very important for them to recognize the symptoms of fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and perhaps a rash," and to contact health care providers immediately," said Erika Janssen, a communicable disease officer for Contra Costa County, USA Todayreported.
Many People Didn't Pay First Health Insurance Plan Premiums
About 20 percent of Americans who enrolled in health insurance
plans under the new health care law did not have coverage in
January because they did not pay their initial premiums, according
to industry officials.
Under the law, consumers have to pay the first premium in order
for their coverage to take effect. Due to difficulties with the
introduction of the new insurance enrollment system, federal
officials asked insurers to give customers more time to make the
first payment, and many did so, the
The New York Timesreported.
Despite those extensions, many people missed the first
About 80 percent of consumers who signed up for plans with Blue
Shield of California made their initial payment by the due date of
Jan. 15, and about 70 percent of people who enrolled in plans with
Aetna paid their first premiums on time, according to spokespeople
for the companies,
The number of customers who paid their first installments by the
due date was 76 percent at WellPoint, 75 percent at Humana, and
about 80 percent at Health Care Service Corporation, which offers
Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Texas and three other
There could be a number of reasons why some people didn't make
their first payments on insurance plans. These include deciding
they didn't want the plan, not receiving an invoice or receiving it
late, or not being able to get through besieged health plan line
Federal officials said they don't know how many people who
signed up for coverage had paid their initial premiums because the
part of the computer system needed to pay insurers hasn't been
Put Health Warning Labels on Sugary Drinks: California
A California lawmaker wants the state to become the first to
have health warning labels on sodas and other sugary beverages.
The proposed bill is supported by the California Medical
Association, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, and
a number of other groups, the
Democratic Sen. William Monning wants all drinks that have
sweeteners and contain 75 or more calories in every 12 ounces to
carry the following label: "STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING:
Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity,
diabetes, and tooth decay."
Monning noted that there is extensive evidence showing the
connection between sugary drinks and those health problems, and
added that the wording on the warning label was developing by a
national panel of public health and nutrition experts, the
A similar type of bill is being considered in Vermont.
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