As Swine Flu Scare Subsides, Mexicans Get Back to Their Routines
Life is returning to normal in Mexico after businesses shut down for five days because of the swine flu scare, the Associated Press reports. Mexico City's health secretary said yesterday that all businesses there could reopen today but that owners and managers should be on the lookout for sick people and require that customers and employees wear surgical masks to help ward off additional spread of the H1N1 infection. At least 42 people have died from the swine flu in Mexico, and there have been more than 1,100 cases of the illness there. The majority—80 percent—of the country's swine flu cases occurred in and around Mexico City. Mexican government officials said they believe that the shutdown helped limit the spread of the swine flu because deaths slowed as the nation put aggressive public-health measures in place.
Meanwhile, in the United States, most schools have reopened on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some experts are predicting the return of the swine flu next winter. Explore whether alternative remedies can help ward off swine flu, and find out whether the illness poses a special threat to asthmatics. Here are 14 things you should know about swine flu and 5 ways to prepare your family.
Bristol Palin: Poster Child for Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Bristol Palin hit the airwaves today, appearing on both the Today Show and Good Morning America in recognition of the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Deborah Kotz reports. Palin is calling for all teens to abstain from sex. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy agrees. The group is working with Bristol on a national campaign to educate kids about teen pregnancy—and how diaper changes and midnight feedings can be a real drag.
The organization issued news releases back in September, when it was first announced that Palin's mother and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had a pregnant daughter, and then again in December when Bristol gave birth, calling for parents to use this "opportunity to talk to their own children about sex, love, and relationships, as well as the value of delaying pregnancy and childbearing until adulthood." But it's a strange sort of coupling, given that the organization promotes comprehensive sex education in schools, an issue vehemently opposed by Sarah Palin on the campaign trail.
Teen sex and pregnancy are part of a bigger problem, argues U.S. News's Bernadine Healy. The need to address teen pregnancy is particularly pressing because recent data show an uptick in teen birthrates after years of decline.
10-Week Workout Routine: Why Even Young People Should Improve Their Balance
This week, Katherine Hobson introduces the final element of U.S. News's 10-week workout routine: equilibrium, or balance, exercises. You may have heard about balance exercises as a way for the elderly to ward off falls, but they're important for everyone, at every age, says Vonda Wright, an orthopedic surgeon, author of Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age, and designer of our plan.
Balance begins to erode in the late 30s, and it progressively gets worse, Wright says. People may notice when bending over to pick something up that they have to put a hand down to help them. It's possible to naturally stave off some age-related declines by continuing to do exercise that requires keen balance, such as lunging for a ball as a tennis player.