A poor report card on this year's flu vaccine and the grade comes from the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC says early results show this year's flu shot had little or no effect against flu-like illnesses, according to a study of Colorado Hospital Workers. But officials at the CDC say they hope further studies will show that the vaccine offered more protection than this first study indicates. It's not entirely unexpected. Remember, the CDC warned that there was a mismatch this time, that the vaccine didn't entirely match the strain of virus that gripped the nation this flu season.
Alcohol researchers have identified a gene that appears to increase the risk of alcoholism. It's called GABRG-3 and it's linked to a part of the brain that influences behavior. A study of more than 250 families finds evidence that the gene appears to influence the risk of alcohol dependence. The report in the January issue of the journal Alcoholism, stresses that this genetic make-up does not mean a person is doomed to become an alcoholic, but the information could be helpful in identifying people at risk.
The study was conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Indiana University School of Medicine and is published in the January issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
A visit to the emergency room or even the doctor's office can be more traumatic if you don't speak the language. A handy computer program can help bridge that gap and make treatment more understandable. E-Flag is a computer program version of medi-flag's foreign language assessment guide and is available for PDA's or desktop computer use. Healthcare workers can use the translation program to advise patients of treatment or help them assess a patient's condition.