Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
California Senator Wants Closer Look at Paralysis Cases
A California senator has requested a government investigation
into the cause of a mysterious paralysis that has struck 20
children in her state.
In a letter to Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer
said she wants federal health officials to find out whether a virus
or some environmental factor may explain the illnesses that have
occurred in the past 18 months, the
Associated Pressreported Thursday.
Boxer also asked Frieden whether the agency knows of other
paralysis cases in the United States, the wire service
"We need answers," Boxer said in her letter. "These questions must be answered because it is deeply disturbing to read reports of otherwise healthy children experiencing sudden paralysis."
Frieden told the
APthat his agency will take a serious look at the
But before Boxer's letter became public, other CDC officials
APthat the California paralysis cases were not a cause for
Dr. Keith Van Haren, from the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
at Stanford University, told the wire service earlier this week
that the disease resembles polio. Most of the children have not
recovered use of their arms or legs, he added.
Van Haren advised parents to take their children to a doctor
immediately if they suffer any weakness in any of their limbs.
Major Chain of Child Care Centers Adopts First Lady's
The second biggest chain of for-profit child care centers says
it will follow Michelle Obama's healthy eating and activity
guidelines for children.
According to the
Associated Press, Novi, Mich.-based The Learning Care Group
says changes to its 900 centers around the country include
eliminating fried foods, serving fruits and/or vegetables at each
mealtime, using water or low-fat milk instead of sugary drinks,
cutting children's TV and computer time, and providing kids with at
least 1 hour of daily physical activity.
Women who want to provide the centers with breast milk to feed
their children will also be allowed to do so, The Learning Care
The company provides early education and child care to more than
100,000 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 13 years, the
APsaid. Centers operate under the brand names of Childtime
Learning Centers, Tutor Time Child Care/Learning Centers, The
Children's Courtyard, Montessori Unlimited and La Petite
Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, aimed at reducing child
obesity, includes healthy eating and activity guidelines for child
care centers as part of its program. According to "Let's Move"
executive director Sam Kass, over 13,000 centers nationwide now
follow the guidelines.
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