Health Headlines of the Week July 9-13

Healthy Living
on July 13, 2012
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Don’t Get Dizzy From 3-D

Next time you head to the multiplex for a 3-D flick, be sure to get there in plenty of time to get a good seat—near the back. That’s the recommendation of a new study published in the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science, which found that 3-D moviegoers were less likely to suffer motion sickness or blurred vision if they had a wider view of the screen. Interestingly, the researchers also found that it was the younger viewers, those aged 24-34, who were more likely to feel sick if they sat closer, perhaps because their vision tends to be better. Score one for getting older!

Pets Keep Kids Healthy

Expecting a baby and worried about he or she may co-exist with your four-legged friends? The good news is that sharing a home with dogs or cats appears to boost infants’ immune systems, according to European researchers.  The study of 400 children, published in the August issue of Pediatrics, found in particular that babies who lived with dogs their first year were 44 percent less likely to contract ear infections and needed antibiotics 29 percent less than babies who did not live with dogs. The correlation with cats was smaller, but still significant. In general, kids in homes with pets also suffered from fewer colds and other respiratory infections.

Order Up a Flu Shot

Add this to the list of things Americans can get in a drive-thru: flu shots! A new report in the Journal of Emergency Management says there’s no reason to worry that delivering flu shots in this way will increase the risk of traffic accidents or fainting, as some critics have claimed. In fact, based on data from an actual drive-thru flu clinic at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, researchers said the chance of fainting at the wheel following the shot is lower than the chance of being struck by lightening. So roll up your sleeve and step on the gas!

MRSA Rates Decline

In the battle against a superbug, we may be winning. Deadly infections from MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are dropping in the U.S., according to the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. A study of more than nine million military patients found that the drug-resistant staph infections declined between 2005 and 2010. Community-acquired infections (those contracted in schools, gyms and other public places) decreased 29 percent, and those contracted in the hospital dropped 20 percent. They also detected a drop in staph infections that are susceptible to drugs. MRSA killed 100,000 Americans in 2007, but a combination of community awareness and hospital safety practices appears to be making a difference.

Found in: Healthy Living