Foodborne-illness risk during the holidays can be cut down with simple precautions
When friends and family gather for holiday celebrations, food is usually at the center of it all, and where there is food, there's the potential for food poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year one in six people gets sick from a foodborne illness, and children and the elderly are more susceptible to the pathogens that cause it...
42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills
WASHINGTON -- Nearly 20 percent of U.S. consumers with credit records -- 42.9 million people -- have unpaid medical debts, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The findings suggest many Americans are being trapped by debt because they are confused by the notices they get from hospitals and insurance companies about the cost of treatment. ...
Organic produce or GMOs?: Local experts weigh in on national conversation about which is better for you
Over the past several years, the organic food craze has definitely grown. But some people feel that genetically modified foods -- or GMOs as they are commonly known -- are just as good, if not better. What are the pros and cons of each and which are truly better for you?...
Flu vaccine may be less effective this winter
NEW YORK -- The flu vaccine may not be very effective this winter, according to U.S. health officials who worry this may lead to more serious illnesses and deaths. Flu season has begun to ramp up, and officials say the vaccine does not protect well against the dominant strain seen most commonly so far this year. That strain tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations, especially in the elderly...
Right-to-die supporters, opponents look to dignity of patients
A month ago, 29-year-old terminal cancer patient Brittany Maynard ended her life in Oregon and in doing so revived the debate over physician-assisted suicide. Though only five states offer a legal path to ending one's life, Maynard's situation made headlines nationwide, opening a division between supporters and opponents...
Restaurants, grocery stores that serve prepared food will have to display calories
WASHINGTON -- Diners will soon know how many calories are in that bacon cheeseburger at a chain restaurant, the pasta salad in the supermarket salad bar and even that buttery tub of popcorn at the movie theater. The Food and Drug Administration announced long-delayed calorie labeling rules last week, requiring establishments that sell prepared foods and have 20 or more locations to post the calorie content of food and beverages "clearly and conspicuously" on their menus, menu boards and displays. ...
Fight the flu: What you need to know about staying healthy through flu season
When it comes to the flu, older adults have a disadvantage compared to younger folks: More than half of individuals hospitalized with the flu are elderly, and up to 90 percent of flu-related deaths are people older than 65, says Kim Keser, a family nurse practitioner at Cape Primary Care...
Support groups may offer comfort, education to those affected by illness, loss
An unexpected illness or medical condition can turn an individual's world upside down. Whether it's cancer, Alzheimer's disease or a sudden loss, it's invariably a stressful situation and, in many circumstances, individuals other than the person diagnosed are significantly affected, as well. Loved ones often share the caregiving burden and all the stresses that accompany it, and after a loss, they're often left shaken...
Soaring generic drug prices draw Senate scrutiny
WASHINGTON -- Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington lawmakers. A Senate panel met Thursday to scrutinize the recent, unexpected trend among generic medicines, which usually cost 30 to 80 percent less than their branded counterparts...
VA chief vows renewed focus on customer service
WASHINGTON -- On the eve of Veterans Day, the Veterans Affairs Department announced a reorganization Monday designed to make it easier for veterans to gain access to the sprawling department and its mazelike websites. VA Secretary Robert McDonald called the restructuring the largest in the department's history and said it will bring a singular focus on customer service to an agency that serves 22 million veterans...
Hundreds of kids harmed by detergent 'pods,' study says
CHICAGO -- Accidental poisonings from squishy laundry detergent packets sometimes mistaken for toys or candy landed more than 700 U.S. children in the hospital in just two years, researchers report. Coma and seizures were among the most serious complications...
Eating season: Holidays are approaching
Abandoning your usual day-to-day eating and drinking habits to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas may have all sorts of untoward effects, which hospital dietitians say can be avoided with a more sophisticated approach to the euphoric period. Southeast HealthPoint Fitness Group Nutrition Services Coordinator Raina Childers and Saint Francis Medical Center dietitian Janet Anders say celebrants should have a light snack before attending a holiday feast and then select the less highly caloric alternatives when they arrive there, among other advice.. ...
FTC sues Gerber over allergy claims on infant formula
WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators announced Thursday they were suing Gerber, the well-known baby food maker, for claiming that its Good Start Gentle formula can prevent or reduce allergies in children. That claim is bogus, and the company misled consumers by suggesting that its formula was the first to meet government approval for reducing the risk of allergies, the Federal Trade Commission alleged in a complaint filed in federal court. ...
Isle Casino Cape Girardeau to host Alzheimer's seminar
As baby boomers age, the stage is set for a generational spike in Alzheimer's disease diagnoses. Alzheimer's Association St. Louis vice president of programs Stephanie Rohlfs-Young explained that even though someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer's disease every 67 seconds, early detection is as accessible as ever...
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