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Study: Bird flu death rate may be overblown
February 23rd, 2012
03:57 PM ET

Study: Bird flu death rate may be overblown

The consensus among many scientists has been that the strain of bird flu currently circulating – H5N1 – is not only highly infectious, but potentially deadly. That is based on the nearly 600 cases confirmed by the World Health Organization, more than half of which have resulted in death.

But a new study analyzing WHO data suggests that H5N1 may not be as virulent as previously thought, and that mild infections could be slipping under the radar because of less-than-ideal detection methods.

Were those mild cases included, the death rate due to H5N1 could be dramatically lower, according to research appearing in the journal, Science.
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February 23rd, 2012
03:02 PM ET

FDA advisors recommend diet drug

On Wednesday morning, an advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the FDA approve Qnexa, a weight-loss drug that works to suppress appetite. The panel voted 20-to-2 in favor of approval.

The FDA has until April 17 to decide whether to take the committee's recommendation. If they do so, it will be the first time the FDA has approved a weight-loss drug since 1999.

The advisors' decision was a reversal of a previous recommendation in 2010. At the time, a panel rejected Qnexa based on concerns about increased heart rates, psychiatric problems and birth defects in patients taking the pills.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains what this means and what's next in the video above.

Read more on the history of diet pills and the FDA at Time.com and why there hasn't been a safe weight loss pill here


Filed under: Weight loss

Group sues EPA over popular weed killer
February 23rd, 2012
02:26 PM ET

Group sues EPA over popular weed killer

The Natural Resources Defense Council filed suit Thursday against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over 2,4-D, a widely used ingredient in broad leaf weed killers.

The NRDC went to court with the agency over its alleged failure to respond to a petition calling for the EPA to stop licensing the use of 2,4-D, which was one of two ingredients in the toxic Vietnam war herbicide Agent Orange.

"It's really time to connect the dots with this chemical and be much more cautious about its use," said Dr. Gina Solomon, a senior scientist at NRDC. "Right now it's used in widespread fashion on people's lawns, back yards, playgrounds, ball fields and soccer fields, where kids are getting it on their skin. That's a particular problem."

The EPA does not comment on pending litigation, spokesman Dale Kemery said.
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Let's talk about sex... even if it's not easy
February 23rd, 2012
07:09 AM ET

Let's talk about sex... even if it's not easy

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

As a sexuality counselor, a big part of my work is to facilitate a dialogue between couples who have often waited far too long to discuss a sex issue.

These couples have often allowed sex to become the elephant in the room. Maybe it started off with her faking it every once in awhile, but now it’s been years since she’s had an orgasm with her partner. Or maybe a couple has mismatched libidos, and one partner is humiliated at always being rejected, while the other feels terribly put upon.

Even if we’ve been married for years, the topic of sex still can make us blush. As a result, many people find themselves living in silent desperation - they may be lying next to someone in the same bed, but they feel like they’re a million miles apart.
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Filed under: Relationships • Sex

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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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