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WHO reports measles outbreaks in European countries
April 20th, 2011
06:58 PM ET

WHO reports measles outbreaks in European countries

Airfares to Europe are quite enticing at the moment, but traveling to that continent could introduce you to more than just the sights. Many European countries are dealing with measles outbreaks according to information released by the World Health Organization on Wednesday.

At least 6,500 cases of measles have been reported in a dozen countries so far this year, nearly 5,000 of them in France alone. Most of the people who got the disease in France were not immunized with the measles vaccine, according to Dr. Rebecca Martin, who heads the Vaccine Preventable Diseases program for the WHO's European Region. "About 30% are seen in cases [in France] too young to receive vaccine." Martin says a substantial number of adolescents have also been infected and one adult died from the disease.

Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Serbia and Turkey have also reported cases of measles in 2011, according to the WHO. Bulgaria's measles cases seemed to have peaked, according to Martin. "We had a very large outbreak starting in April 2009 in Bulgaria through 2010 with over 24,000 cases and 24 deaths," she says.

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April 20th, 2011
06:16 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Golden strokes

One thing 6-pack member Joaquin Brignoni learned during kickoff weekend was that he needed to work on his swim stroke. He'd never had any formal instruction up until that day and struggled to get the fundamentals down. Now after two months of training, he's improved to the point that he was leading the pack in their first open-water swim


April 20th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

After transplant, patient wiggles her new right hand

Emily Fennell’s right hand was so severely crushed in a rollover car accident in June 2006 that her doctors at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center had to amputate it.

Five years later, Fennell returned to the same hospital and this time, the outcome for the 26-year-old from Yuba City, California, was different.  She received a hand transplant.

On Tuesday, her new hand rested comfortably over her left, with her wrist bandaged. She could even wiggle her new fingers. FULL POST


On the Brain: Free will and stress
April 20th, 2011
04:55 PM ET

On the Brain: Free will and stress

Is every action you take predetermined, or are your choices truly your own? If our behavior results from chemical reactions in the brain, how much freedom do we have? Research suggests that even if free will is a lie, we may be better off believing in it. People behave more selfishly and dishonestly if they're led to believe that humans don't control their own actions. Check out this article from New Scientist (free registration required) to learn more about what scientists have to say about whether you make your own decisions.

It's no secret that meditation has many mental and physical health benefits. Now, researchers say meditation may even make people behave more rationally in their decision-making, USA Today reports. Scientists did brain imaging of people who practice Buddhist meditation and others who do not, and found that those who meditate used different parts of the brain when faced with an "unfair" choice.

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Hawaii: Day two
April 20th, 2011
03:22 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Working harder than ever

Finished Day 2 of training in Hawaii, and the team is looking good! But yesterday, it became obvious that we were pushing the team harder than they've ever been pushed before!

The goal: Bike 23 miles from Mauna Lani Bay to the Natural Energy Lab – the run course for the Kona Ironman Championship race – do a 2-mile run, then jump back on the bikes for another 6-mile ride into the town of Kona.

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April 20th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

How quickly does lung cancer develop for smokers?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

I started smoking socially in high school and still do. How long would it take for someone like me develop lung cancer?

Asked by Tom of Cleveland

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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