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Measles death rate drops; still a major public health concern
April 23rd, 2012
06:31 PM ET

Measles death rate drops; still a major public health concern

In 2007 the World Health Organization set a goal to reduce measles deaths by 90% worldwide between 2000 and 2010.

Death rates did fall 74% during that time, according to a new report in the British medical journal The Lancet.  But the highly infectious disease is still a major public health concern across the globe, with almost 200,000 new cases reported each year.

"A three-quarters drop in measles deaths worldwide shows just how effective well-run vaccination programs can be," said Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general for the World Health Organization. "Now we need to take the next logical step and vaccinate children against rubella too."
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Searching for the cause of 'brain freeze'
April 23rd, 2012
03:38 PM ET

Searching for the cause of 'brain freeze'

It’s possibly the cruelest joke a brain can play: One minute you’re devouring a delicious ice cream sundae in delight, the next you’re holding a palm to your forehead in excruciating pain.

For the next 10 seconds, what you laughingly refer to as “brain freeze” (when other people get it) is no laughing matter.

Researchers induced such pain in 27 healthy volunteers in a new study presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 conference in San Diego this week.

Lead author Jorge Serrador and his team were trying to identify exactly what causes brain freeze. They hoped that by pinpointing the cause they would influence future research on migraines or post-traumatic headaches.

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NIH: OK to publish controversial bird flu studies
April 23rd, 2012
01:13 PM ET

NIH: OK to publish controversial bird flu studies

Two studies on the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus have been steeped in controversy because some experts view them as a threat to biosecurity. Now, the U.S. government is saying they should be published.

The papers suggest ways that manipulation of the virus could heighten its virulence and ability to be transmitted. 

"This line of research is critically important because it will help public health officials understand, detect, and defend against the emergence of H5N1 virus as a human threat, a development that could pose a pandemic scenario," according to a statement by Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health
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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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