Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CDC: 3 out of 4 new moms in US now breast-feed their infants

CDC: 3 out of 4 new moms in US now breast-feed their infants
By MIKE STOBBE – 4 hours ago
ATLANTA (AP) — More than 3 out of 4 new moms now breast-feed their infants, the highest rate in the U.S. in at least 20 years, according to a a government report released Wednesday. About 77 percent of new mothers breast-feed, at least briefly, up from 60 percent in 1993-1994, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
"It looks like it is an all-time high" based on CDC surveys since the mid-1980s, said Jeff Lancashire, a CDC spokesman.
Experts attributed the rise to education campaigns that emphasize that breast milk is better than formula at protecting babies against disease and childhood obesity. A changing culture that accommodates nursing mothers may also be a factor.
The percentage of black infants who were breast-fed rose most dramatically, to 65 percent. Only 36 percent were ever breast-fed in 1993-1994, the new study found.
For whites, the figure rose to 79 percent, from 62 percent. For Mexican-Americans, it increased to 80 percent, from 67 percent.
Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher celebrated the report's findings, noting that black women have historically had lower breast-feeding rates.
"It was very impressive that when it comes to beginning to breast-feed, African-American women have had the greatest progress," said Satcher, who is now an administrator at Atlanta's Morehouse School of Medicine.
The new report is based on a comprehensive federal survey involving in-person interviews as well as physical examinations. The findings are based on information for 434 infants from the years 2005 and 2006.
A telephone survey of thousands of families, released last year, found that 74 percent of infants in 2004 had been breast-fed.
At least three types of CDC surveys have shown breast-feeding rates moving upward since the early 1990s, officials said.
The latest CDC report found rates of breast-feeding were also lowest among women who are unmarried, poor, rural, younger than 20, and have a high school education or less.
On the Net:
CDC report:

Good news for a change! Not to be a buzz kill or anything, but the change is probably due to social reasons. It's what people now do in society. Another example of how powerful culture (and the support that comes with it) affects the choices we make for our children.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Study Links Autism Risk to Distance from Power Plants, Other Mercury-releasing Sources

Research led by Raymond Palmer, Ph.D., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the first to show a statistical relationship between autism prevalence and proximity to mercury-emitting site.

Newswise — How do mercury emissions affect pregnant mothers, the unborn and toddlers? Do the level of emissions impact autism rates? Does it matter whether a mercury-emitting source is 10 miles away from families versus 20 miles? Is the risk of autism greater for children who live closer to the pollution source?

A newly published study of Texas school district data and industrial mercury-release data, conducted by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, indeed shows a statistically significant link between pounds of industrial release of mercury and increased autism rates. It also shows—for the first time in scientific literature—a statistically significant association between autism risk and distance from the mercury source.

“This is not a definitive study, but just one more that furthers the association between environmental mercury and autism,” said lead author Raymond F. Palmer, Ph.D., associate professor of family and community medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. The article is in the journal Health & Place.

Dr. Palmer, Stephen Blanchard, Ph.D., of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and Robert Wood of the UT Health Science Center found that community autism prevalence is reduced by 1 percent to 2 percent with each 10 miles of distance from the pollution source.

“This study was not designed to understand which individuals in the population are at risk due to mercury exposure,” Dr. Palmer said. “However, it does suggest generally that there is greater autism risk closer to the polluting source.”

The study should encourage further investigations designed to determine the multiple routes of mercury exposure. “The effects of persistent, low-dose exposure to mercury pollution, in addition to fish consumption, deserve attention,” Dr. Palmer said. “Ultimately, we will want to know who in the general population is at greatest risk based on genetic susceptibilities such as subtle deficits in the ability to detoxify heavy metals.”

The new study findings are consistent with a host of other studies that confirm higher amounts of mercury in plants, animals and humans the closer they are to the pollution source. The price on children may be the highest.

“We suspect low-dose exposures to various environmental toxicants, including mercury, that occur during critical windows of neural development among genetically susceptible children may increase the risk for developmental disorders such as autism,” the authors wrote.

Study highlights

• Mercury-release data examined were from 39 coal-fired power plants and 56 industrial facilities in Texas.
• Autism rates examined were from 1,040 Texas school districts.
• For every 1,000 pounds of mercury released by all industrial sources in Texas into the environment in 1998, there was a corresponding 2.6 percent increase in autism rates in the Texas school districts in 2002.
• For every 1,000 pounds of mercury released by Texas power plants in 1998, there was a corresponding 3.7 percent increase in autism rates in Texas school districts in 2002.
• Autism prevalence diminished 1 percent to 2 percent for every 10 miles from the source.
• Mercury exposure through fish consumption is well documented, but very little is known about exposure routes through air and ground water.
• There is evidence that children and other developing organisms are more susceptible to neurobiological effects of mercury.


“We need to be concerned about global mercury emissions since a substantial proportion of mercury releases are spread around the world by long-range air and ocean currents,” Dr. Palmer said. “Steps for controlling and eliminating mercury pollution on a worldwide basis may be advantageous. This entails greener, non-mercury-polluting technologies.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated environmental mercury releases at 158 million tons annually nationwide in the late 1990s, the time period studied by the Texas team. Most exposures were said to come from coal-fired utility plants (33 percent of exposures), municipal/medical waste incinerators (29 percent) and commercial/industrial boilers (18 percent). Cement plants also release mercury.

With the enactment of clean air legislation and other measures, mercury deposition into the environment is decreasing slightly.


Dr. Palmer and his colleagues pointed out the study did not reflect the true community prevalence rates of autism because children younger than school age are not counted in the Texas Education Agency data system. The 1:500 autism rates in the study are lower than the 1:150 autism rates in recent reports of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Furthermore, the authors note that distance was not calculated from individual homes to the pollution source but from central points in school districts that varied widely in area.

Data sources

Data for environmentally released mercury were from the United States Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory. Data for releases by coal-fired power plants came from the same inventory and from the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality. Data for school district autism came from the Texas Education Agency.


Palmer, R.F., et al., Proximity to point sources of environmental mercury release as a predictor of autism prevalence. Health & Place (2008), doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.02.001.

From Material Girl to Monsanto. Who is Monsanto?

I decided to take a break from reading about Autism or the environment while on spring break. At the airport, I saw exactly what I needed. Madonna was on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. My savior! My idol from high school that continues to inspire me with that figure and determination of hers. A perfect thing to indulge in. I may even read something "smart" or "intellectual" in the other articles. Hmm..that Princess Di update looks good too.

After getting my material fix, I saw a reference to an environmental article. Curious, I took a look. This is Vanity Fair after all. It couldn't possibly get under my skin.

I started reading about this company I knew nothing about that has had the MOST impact on our food supply and environmental contamination. Monsanto. How was this possible? So much in one company's hands? I know there are a slew of offenders of industrial polluters. I was amazed and shocked as I read further. They are responsible for saccharin, dioxin, PCBs, GMO seeds, and finally hormone milk!!! All from one company! I still can't believe it!

Monsantohas a decades-long history of toxic contamination. Here are some shocking snipets:

1) Monsanto Chemical Works began in 1901 by John Francis Queeny. Started out with saccharin, which started his company. Coca-Cola made him solid. Then added vanillin, caffeine, and drugs used as sedatives and laxatives, aspirin. Later, plastics, resins, rubber goods, fuel additives, artificial caffeine, industrial fluids, vinyl siding, dishwasher detergent, anti-freeze, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides.

2) They are responsible for dioxin and PCBs. Dioxins refer to a group of highly toxic chemicals linked to heart disease, liver disease, human reproductive disorders, and developmental problems. Finally in 2001 the government listed it as a human carcinogen.

3) 1981 created the GMO. Can introduce anything into a plant cell. 1980 U.S. Supreme Court turned seeds into widgets laying groundwork for a handful of corporations to begin taking control of the world's food supply. They held out for a decade, viewing seeds as lifeforms with too many variables to patent. But they say it's a live human-made microorganism. It's actually a bacteria developed by a GE scientist to clean up oil spills.

4) Roundup, the weed killer is their product. They discovered the way to genetically modify a seed to not be affected. For farmer convenience, they can spray fields. For soybeans, corn, canola, and cotton. Up and coming are sugar, beets, and alfalfa. 90% of soybeans are from Monsanto seeds. Currently has 674 biotechnology patents, the leader.

1980; no GMOs
2007: 282 million acres worldwide. 142 million in U.S.

5) Now, latest is on to rBGH and rBST milk. In 1993, Monsanto studies convinced the FDA to approve use. Still no long-term studies on human safety have been doen. All data continues to come from Monsanto. An FDA deputy commissioner joined Monsanto as senior vp in 1999. An assistant at the E.P.A. left and became vp of Monsanto from 1995 to 2000, only to return to the E.P.A. The incestuous back-and-forth goes on and on. So many players. After FTC in 2007 saying there's no difference in milk with or without it. Says marketers are using "deceptive advertising and labeling practices" of milk that is labeled free of the hormones.

We are totally screwed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Coming Out Of P.A.N.D.A.S. Season

So we just got back from a week away in Arizona. I looked forward to the break, but even more so to see if Sydney's facial tics would be better in a hot, dry climate. My regiment or the fact that it is getting more spring-like seemed to be helping, but the tics were still present. I was nervous trying my new regiment off-site since it's a homeopathic protocol that requires lots of clean water, cups, etc. Sydney's symptoms improved a small amount, then got significantly better when we came back to the east coast. I am just happy that she's so much better and that her tics are barely present. I also got validation from a pediatrician friend that western medicine doesn't recommend medication for these type of tics, as they see them eventually go away. They only recommend it for classic Tourettes.

Leo has a blink here or there, but that's about it from him. After years of being afraid, I finally decided to revisit a metal detox. We had done everything else, but metals still persist although much better. I know in my heart that these detoxes are the only way I can minimize toxic overload. It sucks, since I must continue to do these as prevention. That's all I need, another major neurological disorder to deal with. So whatever I can do to prevent it and maximize health as much as I can, so be it. Their doctor has no advice, but to monitor it.

So this week we started. No effect so far, the usual response for Leo. It takes him about a week. I'm also hopeful that the groundwork we've laid the past two years will be uneventual with the metals. Wish me luck, if anyone is out there listening. I am also planning on doing it once I am over a virus that is still with me.

On other topics, we had an interesting reminder of how things used to be while on vacation. Leo and Sydney swam about 4 to 5 hours every day for the whole week. On our last day, Leo was drying off and my DH noticed a puddle of red water undereath him. We both jumped up and begin questioning Leo while looking for a cut. He didn't feel a thing! I quickly got irritated with Leo (which I regret) since he wasn't helpful and for a moment I blamed him for the situation. This is my blog, so I can be honest! Anyway, we quickly found the culprit, a blister that burst under his big toe. All of his toes were red and raw from all the getting in and out of the pool. Leo was amazing and helpful, and even didn't whine about having to wear a Hello Kitty bandaid, the only thing I had. Of course I had bandaids, kleenex. Mom artillary.

Shades of years of major hyposensitivity in his calves, feet, arms, face, and hands. Leo used to be deathly afraid of swimming, had to wear weights on his calves to train his mind to feel them in the water. He was afraid of drowning, and hated splashing and getting his head wet (hypersensitiviy in his eyes). He also feared going upside down.

This week, I saw him go upside down, head first down the water slide with 4 other boys his age following behind him. His idea. I saw him play football on the grass with these same boys, initiating what to do next. He even skipped snack with no consequence one afternoon, his hypoglycemia under control. Leo also decided to join me and Sydney for a trail ride. His idea. He narrated out loud as he does, his initial fear and discomfort with the movement, the unpredictability of it. The flies, the glaring sun, all the chatting, taking it all in stride, dealing with all that input at once. Hypo and hyper sensitive still perhaps, but it doesn't stop him, as Artemisia says. I am forever in awe and amazed by Leo's determination and strength.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Delaying DPT Vax May Reduce Incidence of Childhood Asthma

Delaying DPT Vaccination May Reduce Incidence of Childhood Asthma CME

News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD
CME Author: Laurie Barclay, MD

April 14, 2008 — Childhood asthma is reduced by half when the first dose of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) is delayed by more than 2 months vs given during the recommended period, according to the results of a retrospective longitudinal study reported in the March issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

"Early childhood immunizations have been viewed as promoters of asthma development by stimulating a TH2-type immune response or decreasing microbial pressure, which shifts the balance between TH1 and TH2 immunity," write Kara L. McDonald, MSc, from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and colleagues. "Differing time schedules for childhood immunizations may explain the discrepant findings of an association with asthma reported in observational studies. This research was undertaken to determine whether timing of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT) immunization has an effect on the development of childhood asthma by age 7 years."

The investigators analyzed data from the complete immunization and healthcare records of a cohort of children born in Manitoba in 1995, from birth until age 7 years. Using multivariable logistic regression, they computed the adjusted odds ratio for asthma at age 7 years according to the timing of DPT immunization.

Among 11,531 children who received at least 4 doses of DPT, the risk for asthma was halved in children in whom administration of the first dose of DPT was delayed by more than 2 months. For children with delays in administration of all 3 doses, the likelihood of asthma was 0.39 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.18 - 0.86).

"We found a negative association between delay in administration of the first dose of whole-cell DPT immunization in childhood and the development of asthma; the association was greater with delays in all of the first 3 doses," the study authors write. "The mechanism for this phenomenon requires further research."

Limitations of this study include possible ascertainment bias; findings not yet confirmed with the diphtheria, acellular pertussis, tetanus (DaPT) vaccine; and inability to refute the issue of early-life infections as an explanation for the association between delayed immunization and protection against the development of asthma.

"Further study is vital to gain a detailed understanding of the relationship between vaccination and allergic disease, because a perception that vaccination is harmful may have an adverse effect on the effectiveness of immunization programs," the study authors conclude.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research supported this study. Some of the authors have disclosed various financial relationships with the Western Regional Training Center for Health Services Research, the National Training Program in Allergy and Asthma, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Allergen, and/or Novartis.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;121:626-631.

Clinical Context

Early childhood vaccinations may promote development of asthma, directly by stimulating a TH2-type immune response or indirectly by decreasing microbial pressure. In support of this hypothesis, an IgE response to vaccine antigens often occurs in children vaccinated with diphtheria/tetanus, and this response is more pronounced among individuals with atopy.

Epidemiologic evidence linking DPT immunizations to childhood asthma is inconsistent. Some studies show an increased or decreased risk of developing asthma, whereas others show no association. This study assessed whether timing of DPT vaccination affects the risk of developing childhood asthma by age 7 years.

Study Highlights

Of children born in Manitoba in 1995, 11,531 children (82.6%) had received at least 4 doses of DPT and were included in this study.
These children were primarily immunized with whole-cell pertussis DPT, because the DaPT vaccine was phased in throughout Manitoba beginning in November 1997.
The investigators analyzed data from the complete immunization and healthcare records of these children from birth until age 7 years.
The investigators used multivariable logistic regression to compute the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for asthma at age 7 years, based on the timing of whole-cell DPT immunization.
Prevalence of asthma was 11.7%.
Children with asthma were predominantly boys (3:2) and lived in urban areas (70.3%); 25% were from low-income homes; and 10.1% had mothers with a history of asthma.
The risk for asthma was decreased by 50% in children in whom administration of the first dose of DPT was delayed by more than 2 months (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.25 - 0.97).
Sensitivity analyses that varied the interval for DPT immunization showed that these findings were robust.
Asthma prevalence rates decreased successively from 13.8% to 5.9% with each month delay in DPT administration.
Likelihood of childhood asthma was also decreased after delays in the administration of the second and third doses of DPT. Most of these delays were in children with delays in their first dose.
The reduction in asthma risk for the second and third doses mainly resulted from the delay in the first dose because there were no statistically significant differences in asthma risk with delays in the second and third doses in the absence of delays in the first dose.
However, for children with delays in administration of all 3 doses, the likelihood of asthma was further reduced by 60% (likelihood ratio, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.18 - 0.86).
Based on these findings, the investigators conclude that there was a negative association between delay in administration of the first dose of DPT immunization in childhood and the development of asthma; that the association was greater with delays in all of the first 3 doses; and that the underlying mechanism requires further research.
Limitations of this study include possible ascertainment bias; findings not yet confirmed with the DaPT vaccine; and inability to refute the issue of early-life infections as an explanation for the association between delayed immunization and protection against the development of asthma.
Pearls for Practice

Among children who received at least 4 doses of DPT, the risk for asthma was reduced by 50% in children in whom administration of the first dose of DPT was delayed by more than 2 months from the recommended period.
For children with delays in administration of all 3 doses of DPT, the risk of developing asthma was decreased by 60%. The reduction in asthma risk for the second and third doses mainly resulted from the delay in the first dose.

Questions answered incorrectly will be highlighted.

Based on the study by McDonald and colleagues, which of the following statements about the risk for asthma in children in whom administration of the first dose of DPT was delayed by more than 2 months from the recommended period is not correct?
( )
The risk for asthma was decreased by 50%
( )
Asthma prevalence rates decreased successively from 13.8% to 5.9% with each month delay in DPT administration
( )
Sensitivity analyses that varied the interval for DPT immunization showed that these findings were robust
( )
Conclusions from this study apply to the DaPT vaccine
Based on the study by McDonald and colleagues, which of the following statements about the risk of developing asthma among children with delays in administration of all 3 doses of DPT is correct?
( )
Reduction in asthma risk mainly resulted from the delay in the second dose
( )
Reduction in asthma risk mainly resulted from the delay in the third dose
( )
The likelihood of asthma was reduced by 60% (vs children with no delays in DPT administration)
( )
The likelihood of asthma was reduced by 20% (vs children with no delays in DPT administration)
[Save and Proceed]

Medscape Medical News 2008. ©2008 Medscape

Interesting how little about this is in the mainstream press. I wonder what spin will come out of this. Asthma, one of the 4 A's of the New Normal.

Nalgene Water Bottles Pulled From Stores

Associated Press

April 19, 2008

What's happening: Hard-plastic Nalgene water bottles made with bisphenol A, or BPA, will be pulled from stores.

Why: Growing consumer concern over whether the chemical poses a health risk. The U.S. government's National Toxicology Program said this week that there is "some concern" about BPA from experiments on rats that linked the chemical to changes in behavior and the brain, early puberty and possibly precancerous changes in the prostate and breast. While such animal studies provide only "limited evidence" of risk, the draft report said a possible effect on humans "cannot be dismissed."

Replacement: Nalge Nunc International said Friday that it will substitute its Nalgene Outdoor line of polycarbonate plastic containers with BPA-free alternatives.

It's just so depressing.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Soy Compound Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Soy compound linked to lower breast cancer risk
By Amy Norton
Fri Apr 11, 11:12 AM ET
Women with high blood levels of an estrogen-like compound found in soy seem to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among more than 24,000 middle-aged and older Japanese women, those with the highest levels of the compound, called genistein, were only one-third as likely as other women to develop breast cancer over 10 years.

Genistein is one of the major isoflavones, plant compounds found in soybeans, chick peas and other legumes that are structurally similar to the hormone estrogen, and are believed to bind to estrogen receptors on body cells.

While some studies have linked soy consumption with a lower risk of breast cancer, others have found no protective effect. Some animal research, in fact, has suggested that genistein might spur tumor development and growth. The new findings, reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggest that this is not the case in women, at least when genistein is consumed through food alone.

"This finding suggests a risk-reducing rather than a risk-enhancing effect of isoflavones on breast cancer, even at relatively high concentrations within the range achievable from dietary intake alone," write the researchers, led by Dr. Motoki Iwasaki of the National Cancer Center in Tokyo.

The study included 24,226 women ages 40 to 69 who gave blood samples and completed a dietary assessment, then were followed for an average of 10 years. During that time, 144 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

When Iwasaki's team separated the women based on their blood levels of genistein at the study's start, they found that the one-quarter with highest levels were 65 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than the quarter of women with the lowest genistein levels.

There was no risk reduction seen among women with moderate levels of the isoflavone, however.

Most past studies on soy isoflavones and breast cancer have used dietary questionnaires, Iwasaki noted. "In contrast, our study used a direct measurement of plasma isoflavone levels, which provides not only an index of intake but also of the absorption and metabolism of isoflavone," the researcher told Reuters Health.

Together with past studies, Iwasaki said, the findings suggest that a high isoflavone intake from food may help lower breast cancer risk.

Whether the findings necessarily extend to women in Western countries is not clear, however. Japanese women, Iwasaki noted, typically consume soy isoflavones on a regular basis starting from a young age, which may influence the compounds' effects on breast cancer development.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Oncology, April 1, 2008.

Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited.

Interesting how they opening admit that genistein is an estrogen mimicer/binder, but don't mention ANYTHING about how different levels of estrogen affect the body.

I'd also be interested in knowing the protein consumption percentages. Perhaps these women with less cancer ate less animal protein. As I've blogged about before, cancer rates correlate to the amount of protein consumed. All kinds of cancer, not just breast cancer.

Soy in this country has huge problems. Not only is it an estrogen mimicer, it's also the #1 GMO (genetically modified ingredient) and endocrine disruptor.

Tempeh, fermented soy, is a safe alternative. It breaks down isoflavones. Most HFS carry it, and it came be made every way from Sunday. I just had it sauteed in tamari sauce and canola oil over rice last night for dinner.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

School Closings May Be No Holiday For Flu Pandemic

By Julie Steenhuysen
Wed Apr 9, 2:32 PM ET
Closing schools during an influenza pandemic could prevent one in seven cases of flu, British researchers said on Wednesday in a study that suggests such action would have less impact than some other estimates.

But they said school closings would create significant hardships for working parents, who might be forced to create informal daycare arrangements that would undo efforts to contain the spread of flu.

"We find school closings would be less effective than some studies have suggested," said Dr. Simon Cauchemez of Imperial College London, whose study appears in the journal Nature.

"The main effect would be to slow and flatten the outbreak -- so the numbers becoming ill in the worst week of the outbreak might be reduced by up to 40 percent, reducing peak demand on health-care systems," Cauchemez said in an e-mail.

Health experts almost universally agree that a global epidemic -- a pandemic -- of influenza is overdue. The most likely cause now is H5N1 avian influenza, which could evolve into a form that passes easily from person to person.

Government estimates suggest vaccines and drugs will not be enough to slow or prevent a flu pandemic. The U.S. pandemic plan recommends closing schools and implementing strategies to limit social contact as a way to limit transmission.

If done quickly, such widespread measures combined with drugs and vaccines might reduce transmission in a large city by as much as 80 percent, by one estimate.

But such estimates are often based on widely varying assumptions, Cauchemez said. He and colleagues instead used public health data from France that compared flu transmission when school was in session and during school holidays.


They found school holidays prevent 16 to 18 percent of seasonal influenza cases. When extrapolated to a pandemic, they said prolonged school closure might reduce the cumulative number of cases by 13 to 17 percent, and peak attack rates by 39 to 45 percent.

But that impact would be reduced if it proved too difficult to keep children apart. "If we want the policy to have an impact, children must be kept relatively isolated and not cared for in groups," Cauchemez said.

U.S. cities that quickly closed schools and discouraged public gatherings during the great flu pandemic of 1918 -- which killed tens of millions of people globally -- had as many as 50 percent fewer deaths than cities that took less decisive measures, according to a recent study.

Cauchemez said an especially deadly pandemic might provide strong incentives for people to keep their children at home. "It might nonetheless be difficult for a lot of working parents to be absent from their work for months to look after their kids," he said.

Cauchemez said a prolonged outbreak might force working parents to put their children into informal daycare settings, a risk governments need to consider when they formulate pandemic flu plans.

"We can't predict how people will behave, but we need to be aware that if this happens, school closings might have no effect at all on flu transmission," he said.

H5N1 bird flu only rarely infects people now. It has killed 239 out of 379 infected, according to the World Health Organization, but could easily mutate into a form that one person could pass to another, and governments around the world are preparing for the possibility.

Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

CNN Coverage on Autism Awareness

For those busy parents out there that have no time to watch T.V., here's a link to CNN's Autism coverage. It's all day on many topics. I like watching the vignettes at my leisure, and those I am interested in.