High Influenza Activity in the U.S.
Influenza (flu) activity remains high in the U.S. this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu season usually peaks between January and March and the 2013-2014 season seems to be following this pattern, but flu infections appear to be more severe and affecting more people in more parts of the country than in previous years. Read more..
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a final rule that now allows a patient, or a person designated by the patient, direct access to laboratory test reports without the need to have the tests sent to a physician first.
Based on analysis of data from four large, randomized clinical trials, an international HPV screening working group has concluded that screening with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) in addition to a Pap smear is more effective than Pap smears alone in reducing the rate of invasive cervical cancer.
The FDA recently instructed a genetic testing company to discontinue marketing saliva collection kits and personal genomic services for the purpose of health information until the company has provided evidence that their tests perform as intended. Genetic tests can cause serious consequences if not properly validated and results interpreted correctly. The company has complied with the FDA's instruction and has notified customers with a message on its website that it has suspended its health-related genetic test reporting during its regulatory review process.