Health Updates 8 November 2011

  • Federal judge rules in favor of the tobacco companies against graphic warning labels: “US District Judge Richard Leon sided on Monday with tobacco companies and granted a temporary injunction, saying they would likely prevail in their lawsuit challenging the requirement as unconstitutional because it compels speech in violation of the First Amendment.” (Reuters)
  • Flu can be fatal in children with MRSA: “A nationwide study has found that previously healthy children hospitalized with flu were significantly more likely to die if they were also infected with MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.  The findings are important because MRSA, which can cause skin and internal infections, is a growing concern among healthy children.  MSRA ‘used to be seen only in hospitalized people or people who worked in health care facilities’, said Dr. Michael Cappello, a professor of pediatric infectious disease at Yale.  ‘This is no longer the case’.”  (Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times)
  • Banning soda in school ineffective: “State bans on sugar-sweetened drinks in middle schools didn’t have much impact on kids’ overall consumption, researchers found.  Although the ban significantly cut down on student-reported access at school, about 85% of students reported having at least one soda or other sweet drink in the prior week whether they could get the beverages at school or not….Bans on soda only had even less impact.” (Crystal Phend, MedPage Today)
  • Mailing tainted chicken pox lollipops is illegal: “Jerry Martin, US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, said he was spurred by reports this week by KPHO-TV in Phoenix and WSMV-TV in Nashville about people turning to Facebook to find lollipops, spit or other items from children who have chicken pox…Martin said it is a federal crime to send diseases or viruses across state lines, whether through the US Postal Service or private services like FedEx or UPS.  Sending the lollipops would be illegal under the same law that makes it illegal to mail contagions like anthrax.  He said a conviction could lead to a sentence from less than a year to 20 years in prison.” (Associated Press)

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