Ebola’s Here. Should You Be Worried?

The country’s first Ebola patient showed up at a Dallas hospital this week and was mistakenly sent home — where he may have infected more people including children. This despite weeks of efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prepare local health officials for detecting and controlling the deadly virus. So when CDC director Thomas Frieden said in a Tuesday news conference that “we’re stopping [Ebola] in its tracks in this country,” you gotta wonder: Can …

Whatever Happened to ‘In Sickness and in Health’?

Well, this is depressing: A new study finds that an older couple is more likely to divorce if the wife gets seriously ill, but not if the husband does. While the health consequences of divorce are well known, researchers wanted to see how marriage in couples age 50 and older was affected when one spouse developed a serious health condition like cancer, heart disease, lung disease or stroke. They examined 20 years of data on 2,717 marriages from the Health …

What’s in Your Wallet? A Whole Lot of Germs

Open your wallet. Pull out a dollar bill. You’ve just touched more than 3,000 bacteria that have been linked to stomach ulcers, acne, pneumonia and staph infections. (Thinking about using that plastic credit card more often now?) These kinds of microbes, which are found on many surfaces, are transferred when we touch things. Money, in particular, gets handed around a lot, say researchers with New York University’s aptly named Dirty Money Project. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter …

Who Knows All, Sees All, (and Now) Tells All? Your Dog

Researchers at Newcastle University in England are onto something big: Your dog may know lots more about how you’re feeling – and about how you’re doing generally – that anyone has heretofore believed. Except maybe you. Using high-tech movement sensors, the researchers tracked the behavior of 17 types of canine companions – from mutts and miniature Jack Russell Terriers to Labrador Retrievers and Great Danes – both at home and out and about. They did this by attaching “a wearable …

Foster Farms Raw Chicken Sickens Nearly 300

Three California-based Foster Farms chicken processing facilities linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 278 people in 17 states will remain open after company officials said they would make changes to their operations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday. Earlier this week, the USDA had threatened the facilities with closure if the company didn’t come up with a plan for making substantive improvements. In a letter to the company, the USDA warned that sanitary conditions at the facility …

The Great Chicken Debate: To Wash or Not?

Just about every cookbook icon, from Julia Child to Martha Stewart to the Joy of Cooking’s Rombauer sisters, has told us to rinse off our raw chicken before preparing it. Guess what? They were wrong, scientists say. Rinsing raw chicken to get rid of the bacteria just spreads it around more, increasing our risk of getting sick, says food-safety researcher Jennifer Quinlan, with Drexel University  in Philadelphia and one of the developers behind a new “Don’t Wash Your Chicken!” campaign. …