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Fatal birth defect stalks 3 Central Wash. counties

Fatal birth defects washington stateNearly three years after nurse Sara Barron first sounded the alarm about a spike in rare birth defects in Central Washington, state health officials have begun interviewing area women who lost babies to the devastating condition known as anencephaly.

Since Jan. 1, investigators have talked to 10 mothers who have carried babies with anencephaly, which causes infants to be delivered missing parts of the brain and skull.

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NHTSA: Marijuana use may not significantly increase traffic accidents

Pot and traffic accidentsA new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates marijuana use doesn't increase traffic accident risk as much as previously thought.

The study looked at 9,000 drivers over the course of 20 months. It found drivers who regularly use marijuana are 25 percent more likely to be involved in a traffic accident. However, when the researchers factored in age, gender and level of alcohol consumption among marijuana users, they found those factors were more significant than the use of marijuana. Marijuana use did not noticeably impact crash risk once the other factors were added.

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'Medical mystery' still stumps doctors amid outbreak of poliolike paralysis

EV-D68When 13-year-old Billy Sticklen woke up the morning of Sept. 24, he discovered he couldn't lift his arms above his chest. Within days his paralysis had progressed to the point where he could only move his hands and feet.

Now, with intensive physical therapy, he's been making steady progress, moving from a wheelchair to a walker, and just days ago to walking with a cane.

Researchers once thought they might have an explanation for why this Joplin, Mo., boy and more than 100 other children from across the country have developed this poliolike paralysis since August.

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NY Attorney General calls on retailers to halt store-brand supplements

NY to stop store brand vitaminsNumerous store-brand herbal supplements are not what their labels claim to be, an ongoing investigation of popular supplements subjected to DNA testing has found, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday.

GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreen Co. sold supplements that either couldn't be verified to contain a labeled substance or contained ingredients not listed on the label, Schneiderman's office said.

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There’s A Treatment For Heroin Addiction That Actually Works. Why Aren’t We Using It?

Heroin addiction cureFor addicts, cravings override all normal rules of behavior. In interviews throughout Northern Kentucky, addicts and their families described the insanity that takes hold. Some addicts shared stories of shooting up behind the wheel while driving down Interstate 75 out of Cincinnati, or pulling over at an early exit, a Kroger parking lot.

A mother lamented her stolen heirloom jewelry and the dismantling of the family cabin piece by piece until every inch had been sold off. Addicts stripped so many houses, barns, and churches of copper and fixtures in one Kentucky county that the sheriff formed a task force. Another overdosed on the couch, and his parents thought maybe they should just let him go.

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CDC: Flu hospitalizations for elderly highest ever recorded

Flu cases worse than everThe CDC warned the 2014-15 flu season would be a bad one and new numbers from the agency's weekly FluView report show the elderly, in particular are spending more time in the hospital because of it.

About 198 out of every 100,000 people 65 and older have been hospitalized this season with a flu-related illness. A total of 86,000 elderly have been hospitalized.

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White House announces precision medicine initiative

Obaba personal medicine initiativeA new initiative announced by the President Barack Obama Friday will see renewed efforts to collect more than a million genetic samples for research on individualized medical treatments.

Personalized or targeted medicine is the future of health care, doctors say. But from a research and execution standpoint, it's currently only in its infancy. The basic idea is that the specifics of a person's genetic makeup, or genome, can dictate the types of treatments and medications ideal for each individual.

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