autism rate surges to 1 in 68 U.S. kids
Autism is much more common than previously thought, according to a government report Thursday that estimates 1 in 68 children have some form of the disorder. Boosting the rate has become a two-year ritual since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set up a surveillance system more than a decade ago. The last estimate, in 2012, was 1 in 88, up from 1 in 110 two years before that. Researchers could not say what was driving the increase. While the role of environmental factors remains an open question, rising awareness of the disorder, greater detection and improved access to services have been shown to be significant factors.
Southeast Asia is ruled polio-free
The World Health Organization declared Southeast Asia polio-free Thursday, marking a global health milestone for India, where the disease accounted for nearly half of all worldwide cases just five years ago.