This Week’s Top Public Health News Stories

Posted on August 31, 2010

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Flu Vaccine is Now Available, and Nearly Everyone Should Get It
The Kansas City Star, Alan Bavley, 08/30/2010
Just after the news that “swine flu” is no longer a global threat, it’s time to roll up our sleeves for another shot. Flu vaccination season started early this year, and it’s expected to be bigger than ever. A bumper crop of 160 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine is being produced, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. This is about 40 percent more than last year.

Figures on Flu Deaths Are Misleading, Usually Too High, CDC Says
Los Angeles Times, Thomas H. Maugh II, 08/27/2010
Most reports about seasonal influenza cite an average of about 36,000 deaths in a typical season, but that number is too high and grossly misleading, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The actual average is a little more than 23,000, the agency reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Tobacco Companies Are Reaching Out to Kids via Youtube, Study Says
Los Angeles Times, Karen Kaplan, 08/26/2010
Tobacco advertising is strictly regulated on TV, and portrayals of smoking in movies continue to decline. Where can tobacco companies go to get their brands and products in front of kids? YouTube, of course.

Only Half of FDA Scientists in Survey Had Full Confidence in Egg Safety
Los Angeles Times, Andrew Zajac and Tom Hamburger, 08/24/2010
Only half of the scientists surveyed at the federal agency responsible for monitoring the safety of the nation’s egg supply have full confidence that their organization adequately protects consumers from food-borne illness in eggs — and that was before the recent salmonella outbreak. The survey of Food and Drug Administration scientists by the Union of Concerned Scientists has set off alarm bells within the nonpartisan watchdog organization.

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