WHO Expresses Concern About Swine Flu Outbreak
The World Health Organization says it is concerned about a swine flu outbreak in the United States and more than 800 flulike illnesses in Mexico, Reuters reports. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that five people in California and two in Texas had been diagnosed with swine flu. All recovered. In Mexico, where 60 people have died from flulike illness, officials are expected to make an announcement about test results today. The swine flu identified in the United States is a new mixture of viruses that are typically seen in birds, pigs, and humans. The CDC is trying to determine the source of the infection, and health officials are looking into whether others have gotten similar illnesses.
While concern about swine flu may be new, bird flu has been discussed in the past few months. Learn about a breakthrough discovery that may fight off flu and bird flu. And read this advice on how to keep your family safe from bird flu.
How to Keep Kids From Smoking
How can parents and society keep kids from smoking? One way is to make sure that merchants know they'll get in trouble if they sell cigarettes to minors, Nancy Shute reports. That can cut by 21 percent the odds that a 10th grader will become a daily smoker. And that's good news, because the earlier a person starts smoking, the more likely it is that he or she will be hooked for life. Public-health advocates have been trying for years to figure out how best to keep children and teens from taking up the cigarette habit. It's often hard to determine what works and why. Banning sales to minors doesn't accomplish its objective unless the bans are enforced, according to Joseph DiFranza, a professor of family medicine and community health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Related: Consider these 12 reasons to quit smoking for good. The earlier a child uses drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, the more likely it is that he or she will have problems as an adult. "Good kids" can get themselves in trouble, too. And researchers are discovering that teenage brains are uniquely susceptible to addiction, perhaps because teens are so good at learning.
Affordable Health Insurance for Young Adults
If you're young, cash strapped, and healthy, health insurance may seem expensive and pointless. It's not. An ankle-twisting fall on a hiking trail, a broken arm in a friendly soccer game, bronchitis that turns into pneumonia—you're potentially talking thousands of dollars in medical expenses, Megan Johnson reports. So whether you're jobless, self-employed, headed to college, or in another category, find out about your options for health insurance. And this guide to health insurance lingo can help you navigate the terminology.
Learn how to pick a health insurance plan, and if you're unemployed, try these 4 ways to avoid COBRA's bite. U.S. News's list of America's Best Health Insurance Plans can help you find health insurance.
— January W. Payne
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