Weak link discovered in flu vaccine

The reputation of the flu vaccine has taken a bit of a beating in recent years. Official claims about its effectiveness have been downgraded. And some years — like last year — the vaccine hasn’t been well-matched to the influenza viruses making people sick. Now research points to a single component as the weak link in the […]

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US could be on verge of measles outbreak, researchers warn

The United States could be on the verge of larger outbreaks of measles. One in eight children under the age of 17 is susceptible to the disease and would likely get sick if exposed to the dangerous virus, researchers from Emory University in Atlanta reported Thursday. The situation is most acute among young children: Nearly […]

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Days may be numbered for Longwood smokers’ refuge

As hospitals shoo smokers away from vulnerable patients, workers in Boston’s medical city face a challenge: Where do you go to light up? For years, smokers in the Longwood Medical Area have sought refuge in a sliver of city parkland on Brookline Avenue. But that may change: The city has discovered that Joslin Park has […]

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Male Ebola survivors could pose risk to sex partners

Some male survivors of the Ebola disease may carry the virus in their semen for months after they are discharged from hospitals, and could potentially infect others, a new study revealed Wednesday. It has been known for decades that men who survive Ebola and related viruses may on rare occasions infect female sexual partners in the weeks […]

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Study finds state liquor laws saving more women than men

Stricter alcohol laws save lives — but for women more than men. That’s the conclusion of a study published Thursday in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. A team led by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Boston University School of Public Health found that women are less likely to die from alcoholic cirrhosis in […]

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‘Dementia-friendly’ communities take root across US

CAMBRIDGE, Minn. — Sheriff Chris Caulk was frightened. He couldn’t see, at least not well enough to read or orient himself, and his feet ached from the popcorn kernels rattling around inside his socks. The oven mitts on his hands made it hard for him to grasp anything. Caulk, who patrols in rural Isanti County, […]

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Visits to the doctor cost more as hospitals buy practices

The cost of visiting the doctor is climbing as hospitals scoop up a growing number of physicians’ groups, according to a Harvard Medical School study. Researchers found that when small doctors’ practices join large hospitals, their patients pay an average of $75 more every year for outpatient services like check-ups, even though the number of […]

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New guidelines urge later, less frequent mammograms

Most women should wait until age 45 to start getting annual mammograms and should cut back to every-other-year testing at 55, the American Cancer Society advised Tuesday in a major shift in its guidelines for breast cancer screening. Until now, the group — one of the most respected voices on cancer — urged women to […]

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Study says doctors passively discourage HPV vaccines

Doctors may be inadvertently discouraging some parents from having their preteens vaccinated against human papillomavirus, according to a new study, which suggests clinicians often don’t recommend the vaccine strongly enough. Many pediatricians and family physicians — who deliver the bulk of HPV vaccines — don’t appear to be using the same matter-of-fact approaches as they […]

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