Health Newsbrief
September 26, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 34
ISSN 1530-3616
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Bruce Maxwell, Editor - bmax@silverhammerpub.com
Silver Hammer Publishing - http://silverhammerpub.com

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The News
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DEFENSE MAY BE INADEQUATE
FOR GERM OR TOXIC ATTACKS
Although experts currently consider the threat of a bioterrorism
attack on the United States to be low, it's clear that much more
must be done to prepare for future possibilities, according to
the lead article from the New York Times. The Associated Press
reports that a new study by the World Health Organization urges
countries around the world to prepare for bioterrorism, the
second Times story says gas masks are selling out around the
country even though they may provide little protection, and
Reuters reports that a British biotechnology firm will start
testing a new smallpox vaccine that's drawing increased attention
because of bioterrorism fears.
Sources: New York Times - Sept. 23, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/23/national/23GERM.html
Associated Press - Sept. 24, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010924/wl/
un_bioterrorism_1.html

WHO report:
http://www.who.int/emc/pdfs/bioweapons_full_text2.pdf
WHO FAQ: http://www.who.int/emc/questions.htm
New York Times - Sept. 21, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/21/national/21GEAR.html
Reuters - Sept. 20, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010920/sc/
attack_health_acambis_dc_1.html



BACK TO BASICS
How do we get back on track physically and mentally in light of
the stress caused by the terrorist attacks on New York and
Washington? By following the familiar advice to eat properly,
exercise, and get enough sleep.
Source: Washington Post - Sept. 25, 2001
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18729-2001Sep24.html


IS MENTAL HEALTH CARE PREPARED?
Over the last decade, managed care insurers have made it
incredibly difficult for policyholders to get individualized,
long-term mental health care. If demand for services rises in
response to the terrorist attacks, as some people predict, it's
unclear how the companies will react - and, ultimately, whether
people will get the help they need.
Source: Washington Post - Sept. 25, 2001
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/health/A19418-2001Sep24.html


NO QUICK FIX FOR NURSING CRISIS, CONGRESS SAYS
Yet another apparent victim of the terrorist attack is the
congressional effort to pass legislation aimed at helping resolve
the nation's nursing shortage. Several bills related to the
shortage were being considered at the time of the attack, but
with almost all congressional attention now focused on the war on
terrorism, there's little chance of action before next year.
Source: Reuters Health - Sept. 25, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010925/hl/nurses_1.html


RURAL DOCTORS OFTEN BORN AND RAISED,
NOT RECRUITED
Doctors who decide to practice in rural areas don't do it for the
money or the patient load, which are respectively lower and
higher than for their typical urban counterparts. They choose
rural practices for the lifestyle and sense of community -
attributes they usually learned about by growing up in rural
areas themselves. A new study suggests the best way to increase
the number of rural physicians is to help rural students who are
interested in medical school and to mentor them throughout their
education.
Source: American Medical News - Oct. 1, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/prsa1001.htm


SHIFT WORK SAID TO HAVE HEALTH, SOCIETAL COSTS
In yet another confirmation of the obvious, researchers who
reviewed the medical literature determined that working shifts
other than 9-to-5 is hard on the body. Shift work screws up the
body's normal cycles, the researchers found, and can result in
ongoing sleep problems, gastrointestinal upset, and heart
disease.
Source: Reuters Health - Sept. 21, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010921/hl/shiftwork_2.html


PHYSICIANS URGED TO PAY MORE ATTENTION
TO KIDS' PAIN
Doctors need to be more aggressive in treating pain in children,
according to a new joint policy statement issued by the American
Academy of Pediatrics and the American Pain Society. The
statement is part of a trend toward treating pain more
aggressively in patients of all ages.
Source: American Medical News - Sept. 24, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/prsc0924.htm
Policy statement: http://www.aap.org/policy/9933.html


EVIDENCE- AND CONSENSUS-BASED
PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR THE DIAGNOSIS
OF IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
Although irritable bowel syndrome occurs in 15 percent to 20
percent of Americans, it remains very difficult to diagnose. This
article for physicians examines existing diagnostic criteria and
suggests new diagnostic guidelines.
Source: Archives of Internal Medicine - Sept. 24, 2001
http://archinte.ama-assn.org/issues/current/rfull/ira00109.html


APPROPRIATE ANTIMICROBIAL PRESCRIBING:
APPROACHES THAT LIMIT ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE
The growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics has developed
into a major public health problem. Ironically, much of the blame
rests with physicians who prescribe antibiotics upon patient
demand when they will do little or no good. This article for
physicians explains when antibiotics are - and are not -
appropriate, and how to deal with patients who view them as the
gold standard for treating various illnesses.
Source: American Family Physician - Sept. 15, 2001
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010915/999.html


Need a Writer or Researcher?
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The editor of this newsletter is a full-time freelance writer
and researcher who's available for a variety of assignments -
articles, brochures, books, Web consultations, or a nice e-mail
newsletter like this one - about health or other topics. He has
20 years of professional writing experience, and has written
several books about searching the Internet. If you'd like to
learn more, visit http://bmaxwell.home.mindspring.com, send an
e-mail to bmaxwell@mindspring.com, or call 703-532-6327.
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