Thursday, June 4, 2009

I wrote a story for the Los Angeles Times about last year’s outbreaks of two childhood diseases — Hib and measles — that are generally considered vanquished in the US. Scientists say that clusters of unvaccinated children in certain communities may give rise to more outbreaks. Fear of autism may be one reason why parents opt-out of vaccinating their children, but also today’s parents haven’t witnessed these diseases, and how severe they can be. Hib used to be the most common cause of bacterial meningitis and killed some 1,000 children each year.

Another LA Times story focused on a move by the FDA to put a black box warning on metoclopramide, a drug that stimulates stomach digestion. The reason? Metoclopramide can cause tardive dyskinesia, a neurological disorder that can be irreversible.

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