Two Dead and Four Infected by Hantavirus at Yosemite
Two more Yosemite National Park visitors have been stricken with the rare, rodent-borne hantavirus, California Department of Public Health officials announced yesterday. So far, the deadly lung disease, known as hantavirus pulmonary symdrome, has infected a total of six people, including two who have died. Park officials shut down 91 cabins in Curry Village, where five of the six infections occurred. The hantavirus kills 38 percent of those infected, reports Reuters, and although there is no cure, early detection of the virus through blood tests can be life-saving. "The earlier it's caught and supportive care is given, the better the survival rate," Vicki Kramer, chief of vector-borne diseases at the state Public Health Department, told Reuters. Catching the virus early means understanding its symptoms, which are flu-like and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Getting Better With Age: Why Seniors Are More Satisfied
What if you knew that everything was going to be OK? That life would work out just fine, maybe even infinitely better than that.
A friend of mine once posed that question during a summer road trip up the California coastline. Looking at the expanse of road and time ahead, we talked endlessly of our futures—who we might meet and marry and the contours of our careers. So the notion to release worry about what might be came as a revelation we could hardly fathom, let alone put into practice.
And that snapshot is precisely the portrait of youth, and its attendant tragedy. Amid the wonder of so much possibility comes the anxiety of the unknown. And so, as we get older, and the dust settles around the choices we've made and the dreams that were and weren't realized, we relax. The restlessness of youth gives way to contentedness in older age.
A study released this month by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), United Healthcare, and USA Today, found optimism among baby boomers and seniors, who felt the best years of their lives were still before them. The report adds to established research showing a profound correlation between advanced age and emotional well-being. [See more: Getting Better With Age: Why Seniors Are More Satisfied]
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Back to School—and Back to the Table
I've read and written many back-to-school stories: on the importance of not skipping breakfast, the skill of packing a lunch that won't get thrown away, and the need for incorporating high-energy snacks between meals, writes U.S. News blogger Bonnie Taub-Dix.
But this story is about eating together as a family, at the table. It doesn't matter if the "table" is at home or at a restaurant; nor does it matter if the meal is breakfast, lunch, or dinner. What matters is having that family meal. When you share a meal, you're more likely to share a conversation, share a feeling, or share a memory. Studies have shown that families who eat together generally have healthier diets—richer in fruits and veggies but lighter on fried foods and fat—than families who don't. Regular family meals have also been associated with higher grades and lower rates of substance abuse and depression in children.
So how can your table become a magnet for family members? These tips may entice them:
1. Keep a pen and a blank piece of paper labeled "shopping list" on the counter. Your kids are more likely to eat the foods they request than the ones you choose for them. Even simpler: Type up a list of your family's favorites so that everyone can just circle their desired items. [See more: Back to School—and Back to the Table]