Health care news, October 15



October 10 was World Mental Health Day
This year’s theme is “a continuation of the one on integration of physical and mental health from last year, with a specific focus on the relationship of mental health with chronic physical illnesses.”

Despite highest health spending, Americans’ life expectancy falls behind other countries’
Researcerhs at the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health compares poorly in terms of life expectancy relative to other developed countries. It is not that conditions in the US did not improve between 1975 and 2005. In fact, the US did achieve gains in survival rates. But these gains are far behind other developed countries. This despite the highest health care spending per capita of all the countries surveyed. We’ll take a look at this study in detail in an upcoming post next week.

Whooping cough vaccine to be required of California seventh-through-12th-graders
Due to increased incidence of pertussis (whooping cough) in California recently, the golden state passed a new law that requires 7th to 12th graders to have booster shots before start of the school year in fall 2011. California experienced the worst pertussis epidemic this year, with at least 5,272 confirmed cases and nine mortalities (mainly infants). Before the state bill was signed last week, “California had been one of only 11 states that did not require middle school students to get a booster shot against whooping cough, or pertussis.

FDA on Flickr and Facebook
What the F? Yes, FDA is really getting serious about social media. It is also now on Facebook and Flickr.

Infant Sleep Positioners Pose Suffocation Risk
A consumer update from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns against the use of baby positioned due to risk of suffocation. There were 12 reported cases of fatal infant suffocation during the last 13 years. Consumers are advised to

STOP using infant positioning products. Using this type of product to hold an infant on his or her side or back is dangerous and unnecessary.

NEVER put pillows, sleep positioners, comforters, or quilts under the baby or in the crib.

ALWAYS place a baby on his or her back at night and during nap time.

REPORT an incident or injury from an infant sleep positioner to the Consumer Product Safety Commission by visiting www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx5 or calling 800-638-2772, or to FDA’s MedWatch program.

Coming up October Events:

11 – 15 October
US National School Lunch Week
www.schoolnutrition.org/nslw

12 – 20 October
Bone and Joint Decade National Action Week
www.usbjd.org

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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Flu updates, October 15

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