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US-HEALTH Summary

Hospital privacy curtains laden with germs

(Reuters Health) - The privacy curtains that separate care spaces in hospitals and clinics are frequently contaminated with potentially dangerous bacteria, researchers said in Chicago this week. To avoid spreading those bugs, health care providers should make sure to wash their hands after routine contact with the curtains and before interacting with patients, Dr. Michael Ohl, from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, said at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

U.S. advisers urge FDA to address antipsychotics in kids

GAITHERSBURG, Maryland (Reuters) - U.S. pediatric health advisers on Thursday urged drug regulators to continue studying weight gain and other side-effects of antipsychotic drugs as they are increasingly taken by children. Significant numbers of U.S. children are receiving drugs to tame aggression, attention deficit disorder and other mental problems, even though there is little conclusive data to show exactly how the medications work or whether they damage kids' health.

More states had Listeria-tainted cantaloupes, FDA says

DENVER (Reuters) - Listeria-tainted cantaloupes were shipped to several more states than was previously known, bringing to over 20 the total number of states affected by an outbreak that killed eight people, the FDA said on Thursday. So far, a total of 55 people in 14 states have been infected from the tainted cantaloupes, with the highest number of patients seen in Colorado where the fruits were grown, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Study finds bed bug pesticides making some people sick

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Bed bugs might make you itch, but the chemicals used to combat the pests are making some people ill. As more people in the United States are feeling the bed bug's bite, there has been a spike in sickness from pesticides used to kill the insects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

Well-child visits suffer from time squeeze: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Longer well-child visits for babies and toddlers make for happier parents because doctors can fit in more advice and answer more questions, a new study finds. But most well-child visits last less than 20 minutes and pediatricians are getting even more time-crunched as health care systems look to cut extra expenses any way they can, researchers write in Pediatrics.

Study finds tooth decay prevalent among Alaska Native children

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Alaska Native children in remote villages have rates of tooth decay about four times the national average, a government study showed on Thursday. The study, which tracked dental health of children in the mostly Yupik Eskimo region of southwestern Alaska, pinned the blame on two major factors -- lack of fluoridated water and an abundance of sugary, carbonated soda pop.

Bristol CEO says "pure pharma" strategy paying off

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Chief Executive of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said the company intends to remain "100 percent" in prescription medicines and is prepared to use its $10 billion cash hoard to gain new drugs through moderate size deals with other drugmakers. Lamberto Andreotti also told scores of industry executives and analysts that the company's recently approved Yervoy medicine for metastatic melanoma continues to generate good initial sales.

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