MASSDEVICE ON CALL — To combat flu epidemic, wait weeks. Scientists at Imperial College London and Utrecht University took into account the social and economic costs of an epidemic, and show through computer modeling that efforts to reduce the impact of a flu outbreak, such as closing government offices or public schools, should not necessarily take place when the outbreak begins. “[W]e often see that the optimal intervention need not commence immediately but can begin a few weeks into the epidemic. Our research demonstrates the importance of tailoring pandemic plans to defined policy targets with some flexibility to allow for uncertainty in the characteristics of the pandemic,” write the researchers in PLoS Computational Biology.
Large NIH-funded rehabilitation study looks at getting stroke patients back on their feet. In the largest stroke rehabilitation study ever conducted in the United States, stroke patients who had physical therapy at home improved their ability to walk just as well as those who were treated in a training program that requires the use of a body-weight supported treadmill device followed by walking practice. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, also found that patients continued to improve up to one year after stroke, defying conventional wisdom that recovery occurs early and tops out at six months. In fact, even patients who started rehabilitation as late as six months after stroke were able to improve their walking, according to the NIH.
Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls baby monitors after two deaths. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Summer Infant Inc., of Woonsocket, R.I., is announcing the voluntary recall to provide new on product label and instructions for about 1.7 million video baby monitors with electrical cords. The cords can present a strangulation hazard to infants and toddlers if placed too close to a crib. Because of this serious strangulation risk, parents and caregivers should never place these and other corded cameras within three feet of a crib, the CPSC advises.
DeFundit still trying to defund healthcare reform. DeFundIt.org, an opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is calling on Washington Republicans to allow a shutdown of the federal government if it’ll cut off funding for the law, according to Politico.
What’s in the beef? Taco Bell decided to give away 10 million free tacos after the chain became the center of a controversy over the meat content of its tacos. “The controversy exposed a conundrum for consumers. Despite extensive regulations governing certain areas of food processing, there are scant data available to the public about what really goes into some of their favorite restaurant meals,” writes The Wall Street Journal.