Public Health

U.S. Officials To Put Less Emphasis On School Closings For Swine Flu

It may be back to school for swine flu this fall. The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration is rethinking guidelines for handling swine flu at schools.

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The Post, citing people involved in the work, said the feds may recommend that schools remain open except when there are "extenuating circumstances." Those particulars might include a school that has lots of kids with existing health problems or many ill teachers, though an official told the paper the discussions continue and no final decision has been made.

Of course, the final call at each school will be made locally. But if the feds scale back advice on when to close, schools may stay open longer even in the face of an expected resurgence of swine flu this fall.

Another potential risk to kids just got bumped up by health authorities in Massachusetts. Public health officials there are advising parents of youngsters not to make or store infant formula in plastic bottles containing bisphenol A, or BPA, the Boston Globe reports. Same warning applies for storing breast milk.

Look for the recycling number 7 on the bottles to avoid. You can read the full warning from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health here.

The feds are still studying the potential for problems with BPA, which some animal studies have suggested could hurt the development of infants. In June, Connecticut became the first state to ban BPA from containers for infant formula, baby food cans and jar. The prohibition takes effect in 2011.

The New York Times takes a look at a hot Cuban export: doctors. "Miami is awash with Cuban doctors who have defected in recent years," the Times reports. The pace of defections to the U.S. picked up after the Department of Homeland Security said in 2006 that Cuban medical personnel studying or working outside Cuba could come here legally.

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