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Public Health Roundup

September 11, 2009

Public health officials are re-assessing who is most likely to spread the flu in an effort to keep it from reaching the most vulnerable members of society.


Stopping the flu, cold. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.

Flu vaccination programs often focus on the very youngest and very oldest people. But a new mathematical model described in the journal Science points to a different approach: vaccinate school age children and their relatively young parents. These two groups are responsible for the most transmission of the flu virus. According to the report, vaccinating them prevents the spread of the virus and protects the rest of us.

In other public health news, a study presented at the national conference of the American Chemical Society reveals that a little-known type of cholesterol called oxycholesterol may be more dangerous than other types. Hamsters eating it had higher total cholesterol levels and less flexible arteries than hamsters eating regular cholesterol. Oxycholesterol is found in deep fried and highly processed foods. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.