Articles filed under Health

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  • Airports like O'Hare a focus point in Ebola battle Oct 2, 2014 6:06 AM
    In the wake of news that a man infected with the Ebola virus traveled from West Africa to Dallas late last month, it's hard not to consider the possibility that something similar could happen here. National health officials acknowledge the danger, but they say that travel hubs like O'Hare International Airport are closely monitored.

  • Timeline for first case of Ebola diagnosed in US Oct 1, 2014 9:15 AM
    The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States traveled from Liberia, federal health officials said. The unidentified man, who flew into Dallas, is being treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Here is the timeline.

  • Some good news about Ebola: It won’t spread as fast as other epidemics Oct 1, 2014 10:09 AM
    As a mathematical epidemiologist, I can tell you there is some good news in the Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa. This Ebola is not spreading nearly as fast as some scourges of the past.

  • 5 things to know about the U.S. Ebola case Oct 1, 2014 11:50 AM
    Health officials on Tuesday announced the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States — a man isolated in intensive care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Here are five things to know about the case.

  • Women sue after receiving wrong sperm Oct 1, 2014 5:28 PM
    A northeast Ohio woman and her partner have sued a Downers Grove sperm bank after she became pregnant with sperm donated by a black man instead of a white man as she’d intended.

  • Questions and answers about the U.S. Ebola case Oct 1, 2014 9:45 AM
    U.S. health officials have warned for months that someone infected with Ebola could unknowingly carry the virus to this country, and now it has happened. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immediately sought to calm fears that one case would spread widely. “There is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said.

  • Ebola-infected passenger was sent home from ER Oct 2, 2014 6:17 AM
    The airline passenger who brought Ebola into the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital said Wednesday in a disclosure that showed how easily an infection could be missed.

  • American Academy of Pediatrics wins federal grant Sep 30, 2014 5:33 PM
    The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a 5-year, $5.6 million grant to the American Academy of Pediatrics in Elk Grove Village to manage the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit Program in the five eastern U.S. regions.

  • Small businesses helping workers buy health plans Sep 28, 2014 6:10 AM
    A growing number of small business owners are forgoing coverage and paying staffers more to compensate for the lost benefits. Health insurer Wellpoint said last month its roster of small businesses has shrunk by 12 percent so far this year. Nearly 3 percent of 1,600 small businesses surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management plan to give employees subsidies next year so they can buy their own coverage on private insurance exchanges.

  • Sleep-tracking apps: Do they work? Sep 27, 2014 7:45 AM
    If you’re like most Americans, then you’re probably within arm’s reach of your phone every waking hour. But can your phone also help you get a good night’s sleep? Dozens of apps in Apple and Google’s app stores promise to help you sleep better by giving you meditation tips or even playing soothing white noise.

  • Doctor who helped develop Rogaine dies in Miami Sep 26, 2014 9:31 PM
    A South Florida dermatologist credited with helping develop the first baldness remedy recognized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has died. He was 80.

  • Sources: AbbVie still exploring Shire deal Sep 26, 2014 4:01 PM
    AbbVie is still committed to completing the $55 billion merger, sources said. In addition to tax benefits, AbbVie would get Shire’s drugs for attention-deficit disorder and rare diseases, diversifying its own portfolio.

  • USDA says unapproved GMO wheat found in Montana Sep 26, 2014 2:41 PM
    No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for U.S. farming, and the discovery of unapproved varieties can pose a potential threat to U.S. trade with countries that have concerns about genetically modified foods.

  • More than 350 apply for marijuana business licenses Sep 25, 2014 6:54 AM
    Competition among medical marijuana businesses in Illinois will be intense after more than 350 groups applied to legally grow or sell the state's first legal and taxed cannabis, program officials announced Wednesday. A preliminary count showed 158 applications for cultivation centers and 211 applications for dispensaries beat the Monday afternoon deadline. That means that nonrefundable fees collected by the state from the applicants topped $5 million.

  • Lessons learned 6 months into worst Ebola outbreak Sep 23, 2014 9:33 AM
    Six months into the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak, scientists say they know more about how the deadly virus behaves. The first cases were reported in Guinea by the World Health Organization on March 23 — before spreading to Sierra Leone, Liberia and elsewhere. Here’s a look at what scientists have learned so far.

  • ‘Superstar’ patient from Naperville healthy 6 years after tumor removal Sep 22, 2014 5:30 AM
    Annie Wang of Naperville felt like she was on an episode of the doctor show “House” when she was diagnosed with a chordoma, a rare tumor the size of a golf ball at her brain stem, as a 16-year-old in 2008. But six years later, she's a college graduate with no signs of the tumor returning. “I took it in stride and didn’t think of it as a very serious thing,” Wang said.

  • 5 things small businesses need to know this fall Sep 22, 2014 7:17 AM
    NEW YORK — What do small business owners need to pay attention to this fall? Heath care, Internet Security and new technology make the list. Here are five things that small businesses need to be on top of over the next several months: Health Care Small business owners who bought employee health insurance policies before the end of 2013, sidestepping the law's requirements for a year, could pay between 10 percent and 20 percent more when it's time to renew, says Michael Stahl, chief marketing officer of HealthMarkets Inc., a broker based in North Richland Hills, Texas. They'll also have to decide on plans. Policies issued under the law have significant changes including the requirement that pre-existing conditions be covered. Some owners may decide it's better if workers purchase their own government-subsidized coverage on health insurance exchanges. Companies whose coverage took effect Jan. 1 of this year and complied with the law could see increases between 5 percent and 10 percent for 2015, Stahl says. Not all small business owners will have to make these decisions this year. Employers with 50 to 99 workers have until 2016. Companies with fewer than 50 workers are exempt. Internet Security Home Depot Inc.'s news that it was hacked should prompt small businesses to improve Internet security, says Charles Tendell, CEO of Azorian Cyber Security in Denver. Small companies tend to be vulnerable to hacking because many don't have strong Internet security. Businesses should install software designed to protect computers from viruses and what's called malware, programs used to harm computers or steal information, Tendell says. If companies offer WiFi to customers or visitors, it should be separate from their operations. Owners should consider hiring an Internet security expert who can show them where their vulnerabilities are and suggest a solution, Tendell says. Owners should also train employees to help avoid hacking attacks. New Technology Businesses interested in accepting Apple Pay, the digital payment system linked to the new iPhone 6, will need to invest in equipment that processes contactless payments. Contactless payments are transactions made by tapping a smartphone, credit card or key fob on an electronic device. The iPhone 6 will be in stores starting Friday. Small business owners should also look ahead to October 2015, when credit and debit cards will be required to have embedded chips rather than magnetic strips, says Denee Carrington, an analyst with Forrester Research. Businesses will need new equipment to accept those cards, but the good news is they can already buy equipment that also processes contactless and swipe transactions. Microsoft is expected to release its Windows 9 operating system for laptop and desktop computers by early next year. But owners shouldn't rush to buy it until they know whether it's compatible with computers, hardware like printers and software they use to run their companies, says David Rosenbaum, president of Real-Time Computer Services, a technology services company in New York. If owners have aging PCs that need to be replaced before there are more answers about Windows 9, they're better off getting machines with the better-known Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, Rosenbaum says. Internet Sales Tax After the November elections, Congress could act on legislation that would force retailers and other companies to collect sales tax in states where they don't have a store or other physical locations. Under current federal law, online, phone and mail-order transactions are exempt from sales tax. The legislation has support in the Senate, which passed a preliminary bill earlier this year. It faces opposition in the House. The legislation is supported by retailers required to collect the tax. They can lose business to out-of-state retailers who don't have to collect it. Small retailers contend it will cost them time and money to collect the tax. Tax Deductions The size of companies' 2014 tax bills will depend on whether Congress raises what's called the Section 179 deduction. It allows small companies to deduct up-front rather than depreciate the cost of equipment like computers, vehicles, furniture and manufacturing machines. The deduction, set at $500,000 during 2013 to help businesses continue their recovery from the recession, fell to $25,000 for 2014. The House has voted to set the deduction permanently at $500,000. Senate leaders have opposed that increase. The House also voted to revive a tax break called bonus depreciation, which allows businesses to immediately deduct up to 50 percent of the cost of property and equipment. It also faces Senate opposition.

  • Drugstores, retailers dive deeper into vaccines Sep 22, 2014 7:15 AM
    The nation's biggest drugstores and other retailers are grabbing larger chunks of the immunization market, giving customers more convenient options outside the doctor's office to protect themselves against the flu, pneumonia and other illnesses. In fact, nearly half of all flu vaccines provided to adults are now administered in nonmedical settings like drugstores or worksite clinics.

  • Healthier District 211 lunches draw USDA attention Sep 20, 2014 7:15 AM
    A USDA official had lunch at Palatine High School on Friday, asking students how well they like the new, healthier federal lunch program. Audrey Rowe got a mixed bag of answers, but overall lunch sales are up in District 211, officials said.

  • Illinois awards $25.8 million in health outreach grants Sep 19, 2014 5:18 PM
    Most of the same Illinois organizations that helped consumers sign up for insurance in the first year of President Barack Obama’s expanded health coverage will receive additional funding for a second year, state officials announced Friday.

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