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  • Editor's Note

    Do you know how your drinking water is treated?

    Disinfection of public drinking water is one of the great public health success stories of the 20th century. In 1900, outbreaks of cholera and typhoid, both caused by waterborne bacteria, were common in American cities. In 1908, Jersey City, N.J., became the first U.S. city to routinely disinfect community water. Other cities and towns quickly followed, and by 1920, the typhoid rate...
    11/21/2018 - 07:15 Science & Society, Health, History of Science
  • News

    Small doses of peanut protein can turn allergies around

    Carefully calibrated doses of peanut protein can turn extreme allergies around. At the end of a year of slowly increasing exposure, most children who started off severely allergic could eat the equivalent of two peanuts.

    That reversal, reported November 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine, “will be considered life-transforming for many families with a peanut allergy,” says...

    11/18/2018 - 16:45 Health
  • News

    FDA restricts the sale of some flavored e-cigarettes as teen use soars

    In an attempt to curtail an alarming rise in teenage vaping, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced restrictions on the sale of certain flavored e-cigarettes that appeal to young people on November 15. The agency also said it would seek to ban menthol cigarettes, long a goal of public health advocates, as well as flavored cigars.

    The flavor restrictions coincide with the release...

    11/16/2018 - 13:05 Health
  • News

    Lyme and other tickborne diseases are on the rise in the U.S. Here’s what that means.

    There’s no sign that ticks are backing down.

    A record high of 59,349 cases of tickborne diseases were reported in 2017 in the United States. That’s a 22 percent increase in cases — or roughly 11,000 more — than were reported in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on November 14.

    Lyme disease accounted for most of the reported diseases, with nearly 43,000...

    11/15/2018 - 16:58 Health
  • News in Brief

    U.S. cases of a polio-like illness rise, but there are few clues to its cause

    The cause of a rare polio-like disease continues to elude public health officials even as the number of U.S. cases grows.

    Confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis cases have risen to 90 in 27 states, out of a possible 252 under investigation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced November 13. That’s up from 62 confirmed cases out of 127 suspected just a month ago...

    11/13/2018 - 17:23 Health
  • News

    A potent fish oil drug may protect high-risk patients against heart attacks

    Cholesterol-lowering drugs may one day gain a sidekick in the battle against heart disease. Taking a potent drug derived from fish oil along with a statin lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke in some high-risk people, researchers report.

    A clinical trial called REDUCE-IT tested the approach in more than 8,000 participants who either had cardiovascular disease or were at high risk...

    11/10/2018 - 15:00 Health, Clinical Trials
  • News

    Vitamin D supplements don’t prevent heart disease or cancer

    CHICAGO — Taking a vitamin D supplement does not reduce the risk of having a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke or for getting an invasive cancer, according to highly anticipated results of a large clinical trial.

    The VITAL trial found no significant difference in cancer or heart health risk between people taking 2,000 international units, or IU, of vitamin D a day and those who...

    11/10/2018 - 15:00 Health, Clinical Trials
  • News

    How a life-threatening allergic reaction can happen so fast

    Within minutes of biting into peanut-tainted food, people with a peanut allergy may find their pulse quickening, blood pressure plummeting and throat closing up. They’re experiencing a rapid and sometimes fatal allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

    New research in mice explains how even a small amount of an allergen can quickly trigger such a strong, full-body reaction. The culprit is a...

    11/08/2018 - 14:00 Immune Science, Health
  • News in Brief

    A new drug may boost dwindling treatment options for gonorrhea

    Gonorrhea is a wily foe. But doctors may soon have another drug to fight the sexually transmitted infection that’s become resistant to nearly every antibiotic thrown its way. In clinical trials, a new antibiotic was effective at stopping the bacteria that causes the disease.

    A single oral dose of the drug, called zoliflodacin, cured 96 percent of people who had gonorrhea infections in...

    11/07/2018 - 17:00 Health, Clinical Trials
  • Feature

    Malaysia is ground zero for the next malaria menace

    Vinita Surukan knew the mosquitoes were trouble. They attacked her in swarms, biting through her clothes as she worked to collect rubber tree sap near her village in Sabah, the northern state of Malaysia. The 30-year-old woman described the situation as nearly unbearable. But she needed the job.

    There were few alternatives in her village surrounded by fragments of forest reserves and...

    11/04/2018 - 07:00 Health, Animals