Not unless you're very sick with the flu or you're sick from it and vulnerable to complications because you're hospitalized, pregnant, 65 or older, have asthma, or are otherwise at high risk. "Tamiflu is a tricky topic. People have an unrealistic idea about what this drug can do," says Beverly Schaefer, RPh, pharmacist and co-owner of Katterman's Sand Point Pharmacy in Seattle.
While the overall death rate from cancer has dropped in recent years, more people than ever are being diagnosed with anal cancer and certain cancers of the throat and mouth. Both are linked to infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted disease. That's frustrating, since a relatively new, but underused, vaccine can help prevent the infection.
Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, N.Y., has "recalled to inspect" 800,000 Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleepers for mold that can develop between the seat cushion and frame when it remains moist or is infrequently cleaned. The recall was announced today by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
This year's flu season is coming on fast and strong, especially in the South and Southeast. The extra bad news: Only about a third of people got vaccinated early this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news: This year's vaccine seems to very effective, there are no reported shortages, and it's still not too late to get it.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed food-safety rules to help prevent contamination. One will target produce and the second would raise standards for food processors.
Can kids drink too much milk? Maybe, according to a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics. It found that while getting enough is key for strong bones, excessive amounts might reduce the amount of iron in the blood, which is important for brain and psychomotor development.
There's been a lot of buzz lately about the safety of energy drinks and shots. Following reports of harmful reactions and even deaths possibly associated with the products, two U.S. senators recently released a letter from the FDA stating that the agency is conducting a safety review of energy drinks and is considering requiring that labels disclose the amount of caffeine the products pack, limitations on use, and warnings about possible adverse effects. That makes sense, since our recent investigation found that the products sometimes have more caffeine than they claim.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is rising sharply and a new study suggests that a contributing cause may be that the vaccine now used loses effectiveness over time. Which means it may be time for you to get a booster.
Organic foods don't seem to be nutritionally superior to conventionally raised foods, and there's no proof that eating them translates into less disease, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. But the report also notes that organic foods do have lower levels of pesticides, and that organically raised animals are less likely to be contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria, points that Consumer Reports' experts also stress.
Given that lead paint was banned back in 1978, it's easy to think of lead poisoning as a thing of the past, like polio and smallpox. But lead paint remains a real and present danger in tens of millions of U.S. homes. In fact, lead poisoning is the single greatest environmental health threat to children in this country ages six and younger, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has designated this week as National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.
A report released today by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirms what we've known for some time: that exposure to single-use laundry detergent pods is an "emerging public health hazard in the United States," with young children being most vulnerable.
An article out last week about organic food argued, among other things, that while organic meat does have lower levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria than conventionally raised meat, that really doesn't mean much since bacteria are killed during cooking anyway. Our response: Hogwash.
In the wake of five incidents in which children were seriously injured after swallowing detergent pods, a group of doctors is calling for improved safety warnings and childproof packaging for single-dose laundry and dishwasher detergents. "This is a significant public health issue," which requires a rethink, the doctors wrote in a pediatric journal.
A new review of previous research on organic food is getting a lot of media attention for concluding that the published literature "lacks strong evidence" that organic food is significantly more nutritious than conventionally grown food. But news reports covering the findings may be oversimplifying or distorting what the study really found, according to our in-house experts, and consumers shouldn't be misled into believing that there isn't a benefit to paying more for organics, particularly for certain populations.
Spend a lot of time in close contact with your cellphone? Many of us do, and it's been 15 years since the Federal Communications Commission set a limit on how much low-level radiation cell phone users are exposed to. It's time for a new look at both that limit and the technique used to test for it, according to a report issued this week by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: