HEALTH

CDC experts spotlighted in ‘Killer Outbreaks’

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is participating in a new docudrama that debuts on Animal Planet beginning Friday at 9 p.m., the agency announced earlier this week.

Animal Planet has ordered six episodes of the new series “Killer Outbreaks.” Each episode features potentially deadly viruses and includes commentary from CDC experts and victims of the outbreaks. "Killer Outbreaks" began production in March 2010, and in total, producers interviewed 43 subject matter experts from across the agency.

The show takes what many CDC staff members do for a living and turns it into a thrilling docudrama. In this season, six episodes will cover anthrax, E.coli, hantavirus, rabies, West Nile virus, monkey pox, acinetobacter baumannii, salmonella, valley fever, meningococcal disease, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

For an episode-by-episode synopsis, click here.

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Kotex encourages moms to initiate period conversation with new products

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Kotex has introduced a new line of products designed specifically for tweens to help moms proactively talk to their daughters and guide them through an important “first.”

New U by Kotex Tween features pads and liners that are sized smaller to fit a tween’s body. The products also include an informational booklet on the inside that is aimed to help reduce the anxiety for moms and tweens during the conversation about menstruation, the company said.

“It’s so important for moms to establish an open communication line about health and feminine care with their daughters early on,” said Melissa Sexton, integrated marketing director of adult and feminine care at Kimberly-Clark. “We developed U by Kotex Tween after seeing a need for a product in the feminine care aisle that would support moms in approaching this challenging topic with their daughters.”

For more information about the new U by Kotex Tween products and to access more tips and tools, visit Kotex.com/Tween.

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Dietary supplement use on the rise

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The National Center for Health Statistics earlier this month issued a report showing that use of dietary supplements has been on an upward trajectory over the past decade — only 40% of Americans took supplements in 1988, compared with 53% who took supplements in 2006.

Other key findings included the fact that multivitamins are the most commonly used dietary supplements, with approximately 40% of men and women reporting use between 2003 and 2006. And use of supplemental calcium increased from 28% during 1988 and 1994 to 61% during 2003 and 2006 among women ages 60 years and older.

“We’re encouraged to see the government confirm what we’ve seen about dietary supplement usage — that it’s growing,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition in a release issued Wednesday. “Sales are up for this category, and our own consumer research has demonstrated steady usage by approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults [over] the past seven years.”

More than 150 million Americans take dietary supplements each year to improve their overall health, to fill in nutrient gaps and because their doctors recommend them, Mister added.

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