October 19, 1995
Web posted at: 9:45 p.m. EDT
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A panel of experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved changes in how children born in the United States should be vaccinated against polio. The new guidelines are intended to reduce the chances of the vaccine actually causing the disease.
The CDC stressed the incidence of such cases is extremely rare -- no more than six to 12 each year. And those cases have been the only new polio cases in the past 15 years. But it is enough for government policy makers to recommend an injected vaccine as well as the long-used oral vaccine. The injected vaccine is made from a killed polio virus and cannot cause the disease.
Critics wonder whether the injected vaccine works as well as the oral one, which they said has eliminated natural polio in the United States over the past 30 years.
LONDON (CNN) -- The Health Ministry of Great Britain warns that its people are bound for an "obesity explosion." Its report indicates a lack of exercise, not overeating, is the main reason Britons are gaining weight.
The ministry said that without changes, 18 percent of men and 24 percent of women in Great Britain will be considered obese by the year 2005.
WASHINGTON (Reuter) -- Top U.S. health officials are calling for an end to discriminatory health insurance practices based on genetics. Francis Collins, director of the National Center for Human Gene Research at the National Institutes of Health, led the appeal by experts in an essay in the magazine "Science."
They recommended barring insurance companies from using genetic information to deny coverage. The article said a survey of people who carry a gene that could make them sick found that a fifth of them were refused coverage, whether they were sick or not.
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