FLU SPRAY VS. SHOTS
Panel: Flu spray preferred for young children
When it comes to flu vaccines, a federal panel says a squirt in the nose is better than a shot in the arm for young children. The advisory panel agreed Wednesday to tell doctors that FluMist nasal spray is a bit better at preventing flu in healthy young kids. The advice is specific to children ages 2 through 8. Federal health officials usually adopt the panel's recommendations and ask doctors and patients to follow them.
Atrial fibrillation, stroke link found
More than a half-million Americans a year have an ischemic stroke, the most common form, which disrupts blood flow to the brain. At least a quarter of these cases have no apparent cause. Now two major studies suggest up to a third of these strokes of unknown origin may stem from atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder that often goes unrecognized and is improperly treated. The findings are likely to encourage doctors to look more aggressively for signs of atrial fibrillation in patients who suffer strokes of unknown cause. Stroke patients are generally monitored for 24 hours to rule out atrial fibrillation. But the new studies, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest monitoring patients for at least 30 days after a stroke can help to identify and treat patients at risk of a second stroke.