Health Buzz: Flu Drug Works in Phase III Trial and Other Health News

Avoiding medical errors that could harm your child, and 5 fitness lessons from swimmer Dara Torres

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Experimental Drug May Be the Next Tamiflu

Laninamivir, a drug being developed to treat influenza, has been shown to work as well as Tamiflu in late-stage clinical testing, the Agence France-Presse reports. The Phase III trial conducted in Asia by Japanese drug manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo included 1,000 patients, Reuters reports. In separate trials, the drug was more effective than Tamiflu in treating pediatric patients, according to the AFP. Biota, the Australian biotech company that developed the drug, plans to test and later get manufacturers to market the drug in North America and Europe. The late-stage trials tested the drug's effectiveness in fighting off both influenza A and influenza B subtypes of seasonal flu virus. The H1N1 swine flu and H5N1 bird flu viruses are strains of influenza A. Other research, according to Reuters, suggests Laninamivir may work specifically against those two strains.

Read about a man whose research could lead to the development of a universal flu vaccine, capable of fighting off all forms of influenza, including swine flu. For the latest swine flu news, see U.S. News's page on infectious diseases, including a report on why swine flu hits pregnant women especially hard.

Keeping Your Child Safe in the Hospital: Avoiding Medical Errors

A child is harmed by a medication error in 1 of every 15 hospital visits, according to a 2008 study by the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality. Research shows that by keeping a close eye on care and questioning decisions that don't seem quite right, parents can help reduce the risk of dangerous medical errors, U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute writes. Shute offers key points for making a hospital visit as safe as it can be. The list includes seeing that hospital staff members have washed their hands before touching your child. When your child is given medicine, check to make sure that it's the medicine that's been prescribed and that the dosage and frequency are correct. Never assume it must be right just because medical personnel are administering it, Shute writes.

Check out experts' 11 tips for parents to help make a child's hospital visit as painless as possible. Here's advice for choosing a children's hospital. Also, see U.S. News's America's Best Children's Hospitals rankings, and take a photographic guided tour of the top-ranked hospitals.

5 Lessons for Over-35 Athletes From Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres

Dara Torres, a 42-year-old five-time Olympic swimmer, won three silver medals last year in Beijing. As her profile rises, people are clamoring to know her secrets. They want to know about how she trains, what she eats, how she managed to compete in last week's world championships against people less than half her age—and, yes, how she has that body after giving birth to a child. U.S. News's Katherine Hobson asks Torres for fitness tips that people can use into their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Torres answers with 5 lessons for over-35 athletes.

Do strength-training, Torres says. It's often neglected by time-crunched athletes, but it's essential—not only for performance but to build strong bones, she says. Torres has moved away from heavy weights to workouts that rely on her own body weight, but those can be just as tough. And because recovery time is the older athlete's best friend, she has also pared down her weekly swim workouts to five from nine, with two days a week completely off.

Read new study findings that suggest sticking to a high-intensity workout routine will help ward off cancer. Here are 7 tips to shake up your strength-training program and 11 Olympians' favorite workouts.

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