It’s time to get your flu shot! But it may not be as effective if you’re overweight. A new study provides evidence explaining a phenomenon that was noticed for the first time during the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak: that obesity is associated with an impaired immune response to the influenza vaccination in humans.
Can you catch the flu from your restaurant plate? It’s an important question: There are 20 million cases of acute gastroenteritis and 128,000 hospitalizations a year that are attributed to food-borne illness. Food expert Melvin Pascall says, "While there are dishware cleaning guidelines, there are no actual laws that mandate food service businesses must use them. We know that when public food establishments follow the cleaning protocols, they do a very good job at getting rid of bacteria, but we don’t know if those protocols work to kill viruses–and this may help explain why there are still so many illnesses caused by contaminated food."
Winter weather brings on colds and flu. We already have a cure for the common cold (problem: the drug companies won’t manufacture it), so many people visit the health food store for remedies. If you’re one of them, here are some things you should know: the popular over-the-counter herbal treatment echinacea only relieves symptoms for 10 hours (which is not considered a significant decrease and may even be a placebo effect).