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US-HEALTH Summary

Sep 15, 2011, 10:27 p.m.

Analysis: Bachmann vaccine comments toxic, doctors say

CHICAGO (Reuters) - No matter how much the U.S. medical community repudiates the suggestion by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann that a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) is dangerous, doctors fear the damage has already been done. Physicians are bracing for more parents to refuse the HPV vaccine, which protects against the most common cause of cervical cancer, for their daughters.

Prescription drugs poisonings up in kids

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - More and more kids are showing up in the emergency room after accidental poisoning from prescription drugs, according to new research. The findings show that powerful painkillers and sedatives including sleep aids and muscle relaxants are behind much of that rise, and that the poisonings usually occur when kids get into medications themselves -- not when parents give them too much by mistake.

115 U.S. children, teens died from flu last season: CDC

(Reuters) - Some 115 U.S. children and teens died from influenza last flu season, and many of those deaths were of children who had not gotten an annual flu shot, U.S. health officials said on Thursday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots for children as young as six months old, yet less than a quarter of the 74 children over age six months who died between September 2010 and August 2011 had been vaccinated.

U.S. government draws fire for pulling doctor data

(Reuters) - Consumer advocates and journalism groups are fighting a U.S. government move to cut public access to a database of malpractice claims and damages paid by doctors around the nation. The Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) and Consumers Union on Thursday joined several groups in criticizing curbs by a U.S. health agency earlier this month on public access to a database of malpractice settlements over concerns of a breach of one doctor's confidentiality.

Western states lead in reducing lung cancer rates: study

BOSTON (Reuters) - Western U.S. states boast the lowest rates and most rapid decline in lung cancer in the nation as fewer people smoke cigarettes, a study released on Thursday showed. Over nearly a decade, from 1999 to 2008, rates of new lung cancer cases dropped among men in 35 states and women in six states, with residents in the West leading the pack, the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

FDA warns about cantaloupe linked to illness, deaths

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers on Thursday not to eat cantaloupe grown in part of Colorado after two deaths from what it said was the first Listeria outbreak traced to the melon. Jensen Farms, grower of the cantaloupe in the Rocky Ford region of Colorado, voluntarily recalled the melons earlier in the week. The melons were sent to at least 17 states.

China newborn baby deaths fall with improved healthcare

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Far fewer newborn babies in China are dying compared to 15 years ago, researchers reported on Friday, underscoring the success of a Chinese programme to encourage women to deliver in hospitals rather than at home. Deaths among newborn babies fell 62 percent to 9.3 for every 1,000 live births in 2008, compared to 24.7 in 1996, they wrote in a paper published in The Lancet medical journal.

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