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Masks can reduce influenza spread

The spread of influenza-like illness during flu season can be controlled to an extent with ordinary face masks and hand hygiene, a new study claims.
Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, checked on more than 1,400 college students living in university residence halls during the 2006-2007 influenza season, as part of the research.
They were divided into three groups, one who wore face masks, others who wore masks and used alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and a control group who received no intervention.
A basic hand hygiene instructional video was shown to the participants.
Subjects in the hand hygiene and mask group were given an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and written instructions regarding proper face mask and hand sanitizer use.
The research team observed significant reductions in the incidence of influenza-like symptoms starting after three weeks in the hand sanitizer/mask group and in the mask group compared with the control group.

High vitamin D levels cut colon cancer risk
High blood levels of vitamin D can slash the risk of colon cancer, says a new study.
The study states that the risk was cut by as much as 40 per cent in people with the highest levels compared with those in the lowest.
Colorectal cancer is the combination of colon and rectal cancer cases. Researchers from across Europe based their finding on the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer Study (EPIC), a study of over 5,20,000 subjects from 10 western European countries.
At the moment, the best recommendation to reduce ones risk of colorectal cancer is to stop smoking, increase physical activity, reduce obesity and abdominal fatness, and limit intakes of alcohol and red and processed meats.

Malnutrition higher in kids born to Indian child brides
Babies born to child brides in India (married before the age of 18) run a higher risk of malnourishment compared to those born to older mothers, according to a new study.
Despite significant economic growth in the past decade, India still has the highest number of under-five deaths in the world.
Almost half of 20-24 year olds in India are married before they are 18 and almost a quarter of the same age group have given birth by the time they reach 18.
Researchers, led by Associate Professor Anita Raj, from Boston University School of Public Health, investigated the relationship between early marriage and infant and children mortality-related infection in India.
Anita and colleagues analysed the data of a representative sample of almost 1,25,000 Indian women between the ages of 15 to 49. The information was collected from the 2005-2006 National Family Health Survey.
The study was restricted to births that took place in the last five years to women who had been married between the ages of 15 to 24 — this included over 19,000 births to almost 13,500 mothers.

E-cigarettes do more harm than good
Battery-powered e-cigarettes can do more harm than good, as they apparently contain harmful chemicals, experts claim.
Two leading Greek researchers have advised consumers to stop using the devices until ongoing safety studies are reported back.
The popularity of e-cigarettes has increased as consumers can inhale nicotine without tar, tobacco or carbon monoxide.
However, the US Food and Drug Administration has expressed concern after learning different brands delivered markedly varied amounts of nicotine vapour with each puff.
They have detected traces of powerful cancer-causing chemicals too.

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