CDC: Whooping cough rising at alarming rate
The United States appears headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades, with the number of cases rising at an epidemic rate. Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far — more than twice the number at this point last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. At this pace, the number for the entire year will be the highest since 1959, when 40,000 cases were reported. Nine children have died, and health officials urged adults, especially pregnant women and those who spend time around children, to get a booster shot as soon as possible.
Plan to seek HIV cure outlined
International AIDS specialists on Thursday released what they call a road map for research toward a cure for HIV — a strategy for global teams of scientists to explore a number of intriguing leads that just might, years from now, pan out. "Today's the first step," said French Nobel laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, co-discoverer of the HIV virus who also co-chaired development of the strategy. The announcement comes before the International AIDS Conference begins Sunday, when more than 20,000 scientists, activists and policymakers gather to focus on how to curtail the spread of the AIDS virus.
Pregnant women report drinking
A government survey shows 1 in 13 pregnant women drink alcohol and some even binge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drinking, especially binge drinking, can damage fetal brain development. The CDC numbers released Thursday are from national telephone surveys from 2006 through 2010 that included 14,000 pregnant women. Of those who said they drank in the previous month, nearly 1 in 5 said they went on at least one binge — downing four or more drinks. The good news: Binge drinking among pregnant women is down slightly from the early 2000s.