A meningitis outbreak at the University of California, Santa Barbara is causing the same kind of illnesses seen earlier at Princeton, but public health officials say a different bacterial strain is to blame. The UCSB health service has given preventive antibiotics to over 700 students as a precaution.
When the neighborhood, town or nation is the patient, we're on the case. Find out about health in the community and around the globe. We round up the latest on prevention, disease outbreaks and the world's response to health crises.
The polio outbreak in Syria has spread to four cities, and new cases are suspected each day. But U.N. agencies responsible for combating the outbreak can work only with the Syrian government. This limitation has hobbled vaccination efforts in rebel-held regions, where the virus was first detected.
The administration is pledging $100 million toward a project to stop HIV infections once and for all. There's growing optimism among scientists that it may be possible to get patients' immune systems to control HIV without drugs, or even to eliminate the virus from the cells of infected people someday.
With babies getting bigger and moms' pelvises getting smaller, it's no wonder moms have problems in delivery these days. Inventors have come up with all kinds of devices to help babies into the world. Some seem promising, but others are a little far-fetched.
A fresh analysis finds that the death toll from the H1N1 swine flu in 2009-10 was severely underestimated. The Americas were hit much harder than Europe or Australia. And the deaths occurred in a much younger population than normally affected by the flu.
European drug regulators are warning that the emergency contraceptive called Plan B does not work in women who weigh 176 pounds or more. The warning follows a September study showing an increased number of pregnancies in women who had taken Plan B.
When an Afghan toddler in Albuquerque was tested for lead at preschool, the child's blood levels were off the charts. A baby's brother's was, too. Why? It turns out that kajal, a traditional eyeliner used by the family, was 54 percent lead. It's a reminder of the health hazards posed by traditional cosmetics.
Missing out on good quality sleep has emerged as a real medical issue. Now Harvard researchers say men who had trouble falling asleep were more likely to die prematurely than men who said they could doze off easily. There's no proof sleeplessness caused an increase in mortality, but the association was strong.
What would it take for people to like using condoms? Inventors say it's all about the fit and feel. The 11 winners in a competition sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation include one condom made from beef tendons, and another that's heat-activated for a glove-like fit.
By a standard test most African-Americans have low levels of vitamin D. But most African-Americans also have strong bones. It turns out that the problem is with the test, which was looking for a form of D more common in Caucasians. The variation is a result of human evolution.