1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

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Thumbs up for shingles vaccine. A study in the June 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that vaccination against herpes zoster (better known as shingles) significantly reduced morbidity, specifically postherpetic neuralgia (the pain that lingers afterward), in the elderly.


Busting lice. Using a fine-toothed comb (from a "Bug Buster" kit) on wet hair is the most effective treatment for head lice, as compared with permethrin and malathion preparations, according to a study published online in June in the British Medical Journal. The success rate for the Bug Buster kits was 57%, compared with 13% overall for the medications. These results contradict those of earlier studies, and the researchers believe improvements made to the comb design to be the reason for the differences.


Chernobyl accident comes into perspective. A recent UN report, Chernobyl's Legacy: Health, Environmental and SocioEconomic Impacts, reveals that the health consequences of the accident aren't as dire as previously thought: as of mid-2005, fewer than 50 deaths were directly attributed to radiation, and though it's now estimated that as many as 4,000 people could eventually die from radiation exposure, this figure is far lower than the initial estimation of tens of thousands.

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