A Cellphone-Only World? Not So Fast

Is the landline “good as dead”? That’s what some media outlets would have you believe from their coverage earlier this year of a report on cellphone-only households. This sensational message makes for eye-catching headlines — but a closer look reveals a different story. Most Americans Still Live in Landline Households Many U.S. households have ditched their landlines and now rely solely on cellphones, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Indeed, the data show …

It’s Going to Be a Bad Flu Season

Sorry, folks, but we’re headed into a nasty flu season. The government’s disease experts say this season’s strain will be particularly virulent and — even worse — about half of the strain’s viruses have already mutated into a form that the current vaccine can’t fully protect against. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the flu shot is still the best bet for protection, but they also urged people who feel they are coming down with …

Missteps in U.S. Ebola Protection Plan Continue

Let’s see: A nurse who cared for a dying Ebola patient is allowed to fly on a commercial flight days later despite having a low-grade fever. Another worker who handled the patient’s lab specimens takes a cruise and has to be quarantined aboard the ship. Officials with the hospital where the man died admit nurses were never given Ebola training. Is this how the U.S. thinks it will protect citizens against this disease? The head of the U.S. Centers for …

If You’re 65, You Have 18 to 20 More Years to Live

Older Americans are living longer than ever, with a life expectancy at age 65 of about 20 more years for women and 18 more years for men, according to a new government report. Americans’ life expectancy from birth also reached a record high in 2012 — 78.8 years, said researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We can thank a healthier lifestyle — as well as fewer deaths from major diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, stroke …

Ebola’s Here. Should You Be Worried?

The country’s first Ebola patient—Thomas Eric Duncan, who was visiting Dallas from West Africa—has died. But the fact that he was mistakenly sent home when he first showed up at a Texas hospital complaining of symptoms, does not exactly inspire confidence in our healthcare system. Especially considering that CDC director Thomas Frieden said in a Tuesday news conference that “we’re stopping [Ebola] in its tracks in this country.” I mean, you gotta wonder: Can we be sure? After all, Duncan told a hospital nurse that …

Change of Advice on Pneumonia Vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending that people age 65 and older get two pneumonia vaccines — the traditional shot as well as a newer version that can offer additional protection. An immunization advisory panel to the CDC voted 13-2 in August to recommend that those 65-plus get the newer vaccine, called Prevnar 13, even if they already have had the current version, Pneumovax 23. Those who have not gotten a pneumonia vaccine yet should …