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In the News

Early Data Suggests Severe Flu Season

Based on early data, the 2014-2015 flu season could be severe. Help protect yourself and your family against seasonal flu. Getting vaccinated and taking everyday precautions—like washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying away from sick people—are the best ways to keep yourself healthy this flu season.


Nearly 10 Percent of Suburban School District Absent with Cold, Flu

By : Colleen Connolly

Monday, Dec 15, 2014 • Updated at 10:15 PM CST

Nearly 600 students and staff members of a suburban school district were absent on Monday due to illness, prompting school officials to take extra measures in flu prevention.

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 reported the absence of about 10 percent of their students and staff citing an outbreak in cold and flu illnesses as the cause. The custodial staff was scheduled to deep clean the school Monday night in the hopes of preventing the illnesses from spreading the rest of the week.


Flu outbreak closes high school in west suburban La Grange Park

Dec 14, 2014 3:51 AM IST

LAGRANGE PARK, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) – A west suburban school sent students home early Monday and cancelled classes for Tuesday and Wednesday because of a flu outbreak, Pioneer Press is reporting.

In La Grange Park, about 25 percent of Nazareth Academy’s 730 students were absent due to illness today, according to Alena Murguia, spokeswoman for the school 1209 W. Ogden Ave., in LaGrange Park. She isone of 10 staff members also recovering from the flu.

“When you reach a critical mass, it’s better to just shut everything down and disinfect,” Murguia said. “We’ll have a heavy-duty cleaning plan in effect for all the students’ and teachers’ desks, classrooms and common areas.”


Triclosan linked to liver cancer

November 19, 2014

Triclosan was in the news again this week as researchers in California published a study showing that the antimicrobial agent causes liver fibrosis and cancer in laboratory mice.

The scientists from UC Davis and UC San Diego said that their findings are relevant to human health because long-term exposure to the chemical may cause similar changes in people.

Triclosan is a synthetic compound not found in nature. It is added to a wide range of soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and other consumer and household products, but there have been concerns about its safety for a number of years and the ingredient is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Influenza (Flu)

Flu activity is high across most of the country with flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths elevated. Flu season will probably continue for several weeks.

While the flu vaccine may not work as well as usual against some H3N2 viruses, vaccination can still protect some people and reduce hospitalizations and deaths, and will protect against other flu viruses.

Influenza antiviral drugs can treat flu illness. CDC recommends these drugs be used to treat people who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications who have flu symptoms. Early antiviral treatment works best.