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Heading to Europe This Summer? Get Your Measles Shot

MONDAY, June 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As Europe deals with its biggest measles outbreaks since the 1990s, U.S. health officials are urging travelers to be up-to-date on vaccination.

In 2018, European countries reported more than 83,500 measles cases, including 74 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A majority of cases were in the Ukraine, but Serbia, France, ...

When Fido Comes Along on Your Vacation

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Summertime is vacation time, and plenty of people bring their pets along on their adventure, so one expert offers tips on how to make the trip fun for all.

"Before attempting a car ride, acclimate your pet to the harness or crate," said Kit Darling, infection control coordinator at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedi...

Should Air Quality Checks Be Part of Your Travel Planning?

THURSDAY, June 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Before you book that next trip, you might want to check the air pollution levels of the city you choose as your vacation destination.

A new study finds that just a brief visit in cities with bad air can lead to breathing problems that may take at least a week to subside.

Researchers assessed the lung and heart health of 34 healthy y...

Airport Scanners OK for People with Implanted Heart Devices: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It appears to be safe for people with implantable heart devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators to go through body scanners at airport security checkpoints, researchers say.

Body scanners are becoming increasingly common worldwide.

But some people are concerned that they may be a source of electromagnetic interference (EMI) th...

For Obese People, Commuting by Car Can Be a Killer: Study

SUNDAY, April 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Being obese and commuting by car can be a deadly mix, a new study warns.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 163,000 adults, aged 37 to 73, in the United Kingdom. The participants were followed for an average of five years.

Compared to people of normal weight who walked or cycled to work (active commut...

Vehicle Exhaust Drives Millions of New Asthma Cases Annually

WEDNESDAY, April 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Traffic pollution causes about 4 million new asthma cases in children worldwide each year, new research shows.

Two-thirds of these kids live in urban areas, according to the study by researchers at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

"Our findings suggest that millions of new cases of pediatric asthma could be prev...

Voice-Assisted Tech Can Be a Driving Hazard

FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The risks of using voice-based technology in your car may be greater than you think.

Many consider this technology safer than using their hands to operate devices while driving, but it's not risk-free, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety warns.

Mental distractions can last as long as 27 seconds after drivers use voice-assisted tec...

The Moose: A Rare But Often Deadly Road Hazard

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's a good thing U.S. drivers are less likely to hit a moose than a deer. Because a run-in with a majestic bull moose is a whole lot deadlier, a new study finds.

The reason is simple -- moose are much larger than deer. Moose weigh 800 to 1,300 pounds and can reach 6 feet, 6 inches at the shoulder. When a car hits a moose, the impact is typ...

More Car Crashes Tied to Drivers High on Opioids

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The damage wrought by the opioid epidemic has spread to America's highways, with the percentage of fatal car crashes involving a driver who was high on the powerful painkillers tripling in the past 25 years.

Study co-author Dr. Guohua Li said the finding "adds important information for understanding the ripple effects of the opioid epidemic, ...

Road Rules on Smartphone Use Are Saving Bikers' Lives, Too

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People in cars aren't the only ones who benefit from distracted driving laws: Research shows drops in motorcyclist deaths after such legislation is passed.

In the new study, researchers analyzed 2005-2015 data from across the United States and found that motorcyclist death rates in states with moderate to strong bans on drivers' use of cell...

How to Avoid Suitcase Strain This Holiday Season

MONDAY, Nov. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- With holiday travel comes the risk of injury from toting heavy luggage.

In 2017, more than 85,000 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms, doctors' offices and clinics for injuries related to luggage, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"Hurting your neck, back, or shoulders can put you out of commission for a l...

Sleepy Drivers Involved in 100,000 Crashes a Year

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Driving under the influence and distracted driving are well-known hazards, but few people think twice about getting behind the wheel when feeling drowsy, a sleep expert warns.

"Drivers can reduce the danger by being aware of risk factors and taking precautions," said Dr. Praveen Rudraraju, who directs the Center for Sleep Medicine at Norther...

Can Teen Drivers Be Scared Into Safe Driving?

MONDAY, Sept. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Is it possible that showing teenagers the real-life consequences of risky driving might make them safer drivers?

Maybe, a small study suggests.

Taking teens to the emergency room, intensive care unit and morgue increased their awareness of the results of unsafe driving. But the researchers couldn't prove that the teens actually beca...

2 in 5 Teens Text While Driving, Survey Shows

MONDAY, Aug. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 40 percent of teen drivers in the United States say they text while driving, a new survey finds.

Researchers analyzed survey data from teen drivers aged 14 and older in 35 states and found that more than a third said they'd texted while driving at least once in the month before the survey. In 34 of the 35 states, text messaging by driv...

From Pigs to Peacocks, What's Up With Those 'Emotional-Support Animals'?

MONDAY, Aug. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It's easy to roll your eyes at the latest news nugget about someone trying to take an "emotional support animal" onto a plane, even though it's too big or out of control.

There's the large emotional support peacock that was denied a seat aboard a United Airlines flight in January, for example. Or the young girl who was bitten by an emotional s...

Giving Plasma During Air Transport May Save Trauma Patients

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Giving blood plasma to seriously injured patients en route by helicopter to the hospital can improve their chances of survival, a new study suggests.

The study, led by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, included 500 trauma patients with severe bleeding.

"These results have the power to significantly alter trauma res...

Are You Car Seat Savvy?

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You know that wearing seat belts and putting kids in appropriate car seats can save lives, but are you doing all you can to make your car a safe environment for little ones?

Hundreds of thousands of car seats are recalled for safety defects every year, with more than 6 million recalled in 2014, the largest in U.S. history. But according to ...

Drinking and Driving: A Deadly July 4 Cocktail

TUESDAY, July 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The July Fourth holiday is one of the year's deadliest in the United States, and drunken driving is a major reason.

Last year between the evening of July 1 and the morning of July 5, 188 people nationwide were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). That represented 41 percent of road death...

Vacation Bliss Doesn't Linger for Tired, Stressed-Out Workers

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Taking time off reduces many workers' stress and re-energizes them, but those benefits disappear once they're on the job again, researchers say.

Moreover, many people said they're unable to relax and enjoy their time away from the office at all, according to a new poll of more than 1,500 American adults who work full- or part-time.

W...

Beat the Heat on Your Summer Vacation

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Before you head out for a sunny summer getaway, get familiar with the signs of heat-related illnesses. Once at your destination, build in time for your body to adjust to the climate.

If you're lounging by the water and taking only short walks, your risk of a heat illness is low. But if you're not in great shape and aren't used to the heat, bewa...

Don't Turn Into a July 4 Highway Statistic

FRIDAY, June 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The National Safety Council has a sobering forecast for this Fourth of July.

It estimates that 18,600 people could be seriously injured on U.S. roads and 164 could be killed -- nearly 4 percent more than the number of deaths (157) that occurred in 2012, the last time July 4 fell on Wednesday.

"Independence Day should be about spendin...

Smart Steps for Safer International Travel

TUESDAY, June 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Experiencing other cultures, visiting world landmarks and tasting foreign cuisines are just some of the pleasures of international travel.

But for a safer trip, take these steps before you leave home.

Check the U.S. State Department website for any travel alerts or warnings concerning your destination. Double check that you have all ...

Pot, Opioids Now Rival Alcohol as Factor in Driver Deaths

THURSDAY, May 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Pot and opioids have become almost as deadly as booze for drivers, a new report shows.

Forty-four percent of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for drugs in 2016, up from 28 percent 10 years prior, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

Among drivers killed in car crashes in 2016 who tested positive for...

How Fire-Safe Is Your Airbnb?

TUESDAY, May 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you use Airbnbs or other vacation rentals, it might be a good idea to check first on their fire safety.

A new study found that while many Airbnbs in the United States had smoke alarms, less than half had fire extinguishers or first-aid kits.

The research was led by Vanya Jones, of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Po...

U.S. Motorcycle Deaths Dropped 6 Percent Last Year

FRIDAY, May 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Motorcycles are still deadlier than cars, but there's some good news: Nearly 6 percent fewer bikers died on U.S. roads last year than in 2016, a new report says.

Preliminary data indicate that there were 4,990 motorcyclist fatalities in the United States in 2017 -- which is 296 fewer than the year before, according to the Governors Highway Safe...

Further Signs That Too Much Sitting Can Raise Clot Risk

THURSDAY, May 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It's been long known that people who sit for extended periods of time run the risk of blood clots.

In fact, the condition has been dubbed economy class syndrome because it's believed it can be brought on by stretches of prolonged immobility on long-distance flights.

Now, a new study out of Japan found that people fleeing a natural di...

Teens Willing to 'Cash In' on Curbing Cellphone Use While Driving

WEDNESDAY, May 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens love their cellphones, but that love affair can turn deadly when they climb behind the wheel of a car.

But new research suggests that financial incentives and other measures might help to dissuade young drivers from texting while driving.

Many teens who admit to texting while driving said they'd be receptive to cash rewards or...

Hit-and-Run Deaths on the Rise

THURSDAY, April 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Hit-and-run deaths in the United States reached a record high in 2016, a new report shows.

"Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction," said David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

"Our analysis shows that hit-and-run crashes are a growing traffic safety challenge...

Why More People Don't Walk or Bike to Work

THURSDAY, April 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Walking or cycling to work doesn't take as long as you probably think, a new study finds.

A major reason people favor a car for their daily commute is that they believe they don't have time to walk or cycle, Pennsylvania State University researchers noted.

But their study of 252 students and 253 faculty and staff found most overest...

Rear-Facing Car Seats Protect Tots in Crashes From Behind: Study

TUESDAY, April 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Rear-facing car seats provide effective protection for children in rear-end crashes, researchers say.

Previous studies have shown that rear-facing car seats significantly reduce infant and toddler injuries and deaths in front- and side-impact crashes. But there has been little data on rear-end crashes, which represent more than one-quarter of...

When Is a Sick Fellow Flier a Health Risk to You?

MONDAY, March 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you worry about catching a nasty infection when you fly, a new study suggests your risk boils down to exactly how close you are to that sick passenger.

A row in front, a row in back, a couple of seats to the side, and your chances of getting sick jump, researchers report.

"Passengers should not, however, worry about getting sick ...

Timely Tips for Sick-Free Travel

THURSDAY, March 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If traveling is in your near future, there are a number of things you can do to keep from getting sick and spoiling your trip.

"We are having a bad cold and flu season, so it is really important to remember to practice good general health hygiene so as to not get sick or spread germs," Dr. Irvin Sulapas said in a news release from the Baylor...

Look to Sports, Not Video Games, to Boost Driving Skills

MONDAY, March 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Enrolling your children in organized sports might help them when they start driving, a new study suggests.

Playing video games? Not so much.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from instructors at a Los Angeles driving school who rated 100 students' driving skills.

The investigators found that new drivers -- male and f...

Sleepy Drivers May Be Causing More Crashes Than Thought

THURSDAY, Feb. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Driver fatigue causes many more car accidents in the United States than previously estimated, a new report suggests.

The finding comes from an analysis of several months' worth of video recordings taken of nearly 3,600 Americans while they were driving. During that time, participating drivers were involved in 700 accidents.

All part...

Tips for Holiday Trips With Seniors

MONDAY, Dec. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If you plan to travel with an elderly relative this holiday season, don't leave things to chance, an expert on geriatric medicine says.

"Simply traveling long-distance to visit relatives can become increasingly stressful as individuals age," said Dr. Angela Catic, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine's Center on Aging in Housto...

Road Salt Good for Winter Driving, Bad for Wells

MONDAY, Dec. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The salt that makes icy roads safe in winter may not be so good for your drinking water, researchers report.

After testing the salt content of water in ponds and streams in the Baltimore area, scientists found sodium (salt) levels have been rising for the past few decades.

"Current stormwater management practices don't completely sto...

Pack Wisely for a Healthy Trip

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Buying new clothes for an upcoming holiday trip may top your to-do list, but packing the right medications can mean addressing health needs with ease rather than scrambling to find an all-night drugstore in a strange city.

Prescription medications are the top priority, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bring eno...

Sticking to Your Diet While on the Road

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, resist taking a vacation from the smart eating strategies you follow at home.

Start off on the right foot at the airport by bringing a small baggie of your own homemade trail mix with a few different kinds of nuts and dried fruits. Buy a salad or sandwich to eat on the plane so you're not tem...

Tailgating Slows Everybody Down

FRIDAY, Dec. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Impatient drivers tend to creep up behind slowpokes, but tailgating isn't a timesaver.

In fact, it's more likely to slow traffic down, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) report.

They blame tailgaters for those "phantom traffic jams" that develop without any obvious cause.

If all drivers kept the sam...

Tips for Healthy, Happy Travels

TUESDAY, Dec. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Buying new clothes for an upcoming holiday trip may top your to-do list, but packing the right medications can mean addressing health needs with ease rather than scrambling to find an all-night drugstore in a strange city.

Prescription medications are the top priority, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bring en...

Small Changes Could Keep Seniors Driving Longer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Older drivers can easily make their cars safer -- but few do, a new study finds.

Pedal extensions, for example, help create a safe distance from the steering wheel/airbag and maximize visibility, safety experts say. Seat cushions improve sight line and may reduce back and hip pain, while steering wheel covers improve grip.

But a s...

Motorcycle Crashes Far More Deadly Than Car Crashes

MONDAY, Nov. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Motorcycle crashes are far costlier than car accidents, both in lives lost and in medical expenses, a new study shows.

Canadian researchers found that the death rate from motorcycle crashes was five times greater than from car crashes, and the rate of severe injury was 10 times greater. That came with a six times greater cost to the health ca...

Family Vacations That Are Fun for All

MONDAY, Nov. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Taking a family vacation is a great way to have quality time, but going on a trip that each family member will enjoy takes some planning.

Consider choices for an activity-oriented trip. Besides health benefits, vacations make great memories when everyone participates. Start by getting the whole family involved. Show photos of possible destinat...

Getting Self-Driving Cars on the Road Soon Might Save Lives

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The sooner driverless cars make their way onto American roadways, the sooner thousands of lives will be saved each year, a new report suggests.

For that reason, the RAND Corporation research team that did the analysis is cautioning against delaying the introduction of driverless cars -- which they call "highly automated vehicles" (HAVs) -- und...

Long Spaceflights Could Put Pressure on the Brain

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The brains of astronauts who spend months in space appear to shift upward inside their skulls by the time they return to Earth, a new study finds.

The repercussions, if any, are uncertain for now, researchers said.

It's not clear how quickly the brain might settle back into its rightful place once Earth's gravity has taken hold, sa...

Antibody Injections in Pregnancy Might Shield Fetus From Zika

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A new antibody "cocktail" promises to provide effective, if temporary, protection against the Zika virus, a new study reports.

A blend of three potent antibodies completely prevented Zika infection in a group of four lab monkeys, said senior researcher David Watkins, a professor of pathology with the University of Miami Miller School of Medi...

Dentist Roots Out Clues to Doomed Arctic Expedition

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For more than 150 years, the deaths of the famed Franklin naval expedition crew -- on a mission to reach the Northwest Passage -- have been a captivating historical mystery.

Now, a dentist says some of the truth may lie in reports about their teeth.

The lost expedition of Sir John Franklin left England in 1845 in two ships bound for...

Stress of Flying Doesn't Dim Abilities of Search-and-Rescue Dogs

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Search-and-rescue dogs don't let a rough flight keep them from doing their jobs, a new study finds.

"We've spent $16 billion in this country trying to come up with a machine that can sniff better than dogs, and we haven't done it yet," said researcher Erin Perry. She is an assistant professor in the department of animal science, food and nutri...

Travelers to Europe Need Measles Protection: CDC

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Americans traveling to Europe should take steps to protect themselves against measles, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises.

Since January 2016, more than 14,000 cases of measles have been reported in Europe. And 35 people across Europe have died from the highly contagious infection in the past year, the World Health O...

How Princess Diana's Death Saved French Lives

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Princess Diana's tragic death in a car crash in Paris prompted tougher traffic laws that have saved thousands of French lives, and those laws could serve as a model for the United States, a new study suggests.

After the horrific accident in August 1997, investigators determined that unsafe driving practices contributed to the accident. In 2...