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Flu season shows signs of leveling off

Flu season shows signs of leveling off

Health
This nasty flu season, which has been worsening for months, may finally be leveling off. Health officials on Friday said about 1 of every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu. That's no reason for health officials to celebrate yet: That level is among the highest in a decade. But it's no worse than last week, and flu activity had been increasing each week since November. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said the number of states reporting heavy flu patient traffic also held steady at 43. "I thought I was going to die, I really did," said Ben Bland, a 39-year-old event planner in Kansas City, Missouri, who was hospitalized this week with pneumonia on top of flu. "My lungs felt like they were going to blow out of my esopha...
Deadly nationwide flu outbreak shows no sign of easing

Deadly nationwide flu outbreak shows no sign of easing

Health
A nationwide flu outbreak is showing no sign of easing up as at least four more deaths have been reported in the past few days, including three children. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta said 14,676 people have been hospitalized with influenza since the flu season began in October, double the number from all of last year and the highest ever recorded. In New York City, health officials confirmed Tuesday that two children had died. One was identified as 8-year-old Amely Baez of Queens, who died Monday shortly after she was rushed to a hospital with flu symptoms, health officials said. Dr. Mary Bassett, the New York City health commissioner, said 6.5 percent of all patients seen at hospitals in the city in the past few days were for flu-related symptoms. "That's the highe...
Cheddar Man: DNA shows early Briton had dark skin

Cheddar Man: DNA shows early Briton had dark skin

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceA cutting-edge scientific analysis shows that a Briton from 10,000 years ago had dark skin and blue eyes.Researchers from London's Natural History Museum extracted DNA from Cheddar Man, Britain's oldest complete skeleton, which was discovered in 1903.University College London researchers then used the subsequent genome analysis for a facial reconstruction.It underlines the fact that the lighter skin characteristic of modern Europeans is a relatively recent phenomenon.No prehistoric Briton of this age had previously had their genome analysed.As such, the analysis provides valuable new insights into the first people to resettle Britain after the last Ice Age.The analysis of Cheddar Man's genome - the "blueprint" for a human, contained in the nucle...
The last decade was hotter than the previous 11,000 years, study shows

The last decade was hotter than the previous 11,000 years, study shows

Science
Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A new survey of temperature variability in North America and Europe during the Holocene Epoch suggests the string of record-setting temperatures over the last decade is truly an exception. During the last 11,000 years, it's never been this hot for this many years in a row."I would say it is significant that temperatures of the most recent decade exceed the warmest temperatures of our reconstruction by 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit, having few -- if any -- precedents over the last 11,000 years," Jeremiah Marsicek, who recently earned his doctoral graduate in geology and geophysics at the University of Wyoming, said in a news release. "Additionally, we learned that the climate fluctuates naturally over the last 11,000 years and would have led to cooling today in the absence of huma...
Internet-based program shows signs of improving cancer patients' lives

Internet-based program shows signs of improving cancer patients' lives

Health
Jan. 31 (UPI) -- An eight-week online stress management program dramatically improved the quality of life of cancer patients, according to researchers at the University of Basel.Their study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncolgy, noted that cancer diagnoses typically bring psychological stress, but patients often do not receive professional psychological support.The online program, named STREAM, was developed by the university and University Hospital Basel, and provides information, individual exercises, downloadable audio files and strategies for managing cancer. Patients also have a weekly written exchange with a psychiatrist.Researchers received applications for the study from 222 potential participants, enrolling 129 -- 92 of whom were women treated for breast cancer. The partic...