Government Data Say Average American May Almost Reach 78
The latest data show American's life expectancy has edged up to nearly 78 years, the highest number ever recorded. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics revealed that life expectancy rose from 77.7 years in 2006 to 77.9 years in 2007. Life expectancy has increased 1.4 years over the past decade, the report showed, based on data collected from almost 90 percent of death certificates filed in the United States.
4 'Harmless' Acts That Could Give You Food Poisoning
Summer is prime time for the spread of Campylobacter enteritis, a type of intestinal infection resulting in stomach cramping, watery or bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fever. When food is left outside for picnics or cookouts, bugs can proliferate in greater numbers, U.S. News's January Payne reports. But unrefrigerated leftovers aren't the only things that can spread Campylobacter enteritis, Payne writes. A study to be published in Emerging Infectious Diseases in September points out several seemingly harmless activities that can put you at risk of infection by this nasty bug.
Payne lists 4 activities linked to increased risk of campylobacter infection, including becoming a new dog owner, since dog feces can carry the bacteria. Long-term dog owners, the study found, seemed to have a lesser risk of infection, which may be because they build up partial immunity over time. An animal that does not appear to be sick can still spread the illness to humans, Payne writes.
Read about 7 digestive problems and how to end them. Here are 3 ways to beat a norovirus outbreak along with 4 causes of diarrhea and what to do if you get sick.
It's Still Hard to Know When Kids Need Antibiotics
Parents are doing a better job of not demanding antibiotics for every childhood illness, according to a study in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that antibiotic prescriptions for upper respiratory infections (including ear infections) in children younger than 5 dropped 36 percent from 1995 to 2006, U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute reports.
In recent years, the federal CDC and medical societies have put a lot of effort into trying to convince parents that antibiotics often don't help with children's colds and ear infections, particularly the very common otitis media with effusion (when fluid is trapped in the middle ear). And in 2004, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians adopted new guidelines for treating ear infections in children, urging doctors to try treating acute ear infections with two to three days of pain relief before prescribing amoxicillin. But as recently as 2000, just 7 percent of parents surveyed were comfortable with the recommendation that pain relievers alone be used to treat the first few days of an ear infection, Shute writes. Read more.
Learn 7 tips for fighting off a cold and how to unclog a stuffy nose. Also, consider these antibiotic-free tips for treating sinus infections, which include avoiding antihistamines. Taking antihistamines simply to treat sinus infections could worsen the congestion because they dry out the nose, says one expert.
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