Here’s What You Don’t Know About the Flu

The last flu season was a record-setter – and not in a good way. The season started early and hit hard. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the hospitalization rate for those age 65 and up was three to seven times higher than the previous three seasons, and more children died from the flu during 2012-2013 than in the past eight years. Yet even with the severity of last season’s flu, the CDC …

CDC: Many Food Workers Don’t Wash Hands (and Worse)

Half of the 48 million cases of food-borne disease each year stem from restaurants, and a series of recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides some clear reasons why: In many cases restaurant managers and workers aren’t following basic food-safety measures. CDC researchers visited hundreds of restaurants in 10 states to figure out what restaurants were doing wrong. Turns out, many workers aren’t being trained about how to handle food safely. They don’t wash their hands …

Still Need a Reason to Quit Smoking? How About This?

By now, we thought, everyone knows that smoking does serious damage to your heart and lungs and multiplies your risk of developing lung cancer (23 times if you’re a man, and 13 times if you’re a woman, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Unfortunately, however, that’s not a powerful enough incentive for the 21.4 percent of Americans ages 45 to 64 and 7.9 percent of adults 65 and older who still light up, despite the health risks. …

Is Anyone Tracking the Flu During the Shutdown?

Normally during flu season the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lets us know the good and bad news, tracking how fast the flu is spreading, how severe it is and how well those flu shots are working. The information is especially important for figuring out next year’s batch of vaccines. But thanks to the ongoing government shutdown, the CDC hasn’t been able to update its FluView since Sept. 21, and its influenza activity map hasn’t been updated …

He Helped Solve the Mystery of Lyme Disease

In the 1970s, a cluster of cases of unexplained severe joint pain and swelling was breaking out in a small three-township area in Connecticut, as a 1976 New York Times article detailed. Fortunately, the mysterious affliction soon came to the attention of a team of Yale University medical researchers headed by rheumatology chief Dr. Stephen E. Malawista, who passed away on Sept. 19 at age 79 in Hamden, Conn. Malawista and his colleagues – Dr. Allen C. Steere and Dr. …

Lyme Disease: How Do 30,000 Cases Jump to 300,000?

Oops. Guess there’s been a little miscounting when it comes to Lyme disease. It’s really 10 times more common than we thought. Not 30,000 cases a year, but 300,000, according to new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Kudos to the CDC for making this concerted effort to find out the complete scope of this insidious, tick-borne disease. It comes, however, after  years of controversy over Lyme, including patients complaining that doctors didn’t fully understand it, …