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July 9, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Fido the dog and Ginger the cat need not worry about being replaced by a new baby - in fact, they could be helping parents raise healthier children. A new study finds that children who lived with dogs or cats during their first year of life got sick less frequently than kids from pet-free zones. The study, published in Monday's edition of the journal Pediatrics, provides fresh evidence for the counterintuitive notion that an overly clean environment may not be ideal for babies.
May 26, 2012 | By Mark Medina
Usually the health concerns that Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol share involve the stress on their own bodies. But this time, it involved the horse they co-own. Siempre Mio was scratched from his scheduled race Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park because he had what Santa Anita chief executive Mark Verge described as a "minor cough" after going through a morning jog.  Trainer Doug O'Neill, whose colt I'll Have Another won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes , has a strict policy, according to Verge, that he won't race any of his horses if they cough at all the day of a race, no matter the severity.
April 5, 2012 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Dr. Leila Daughtry Denmark, a Georgia pediatrician who was the country's oldest known practicing physician when she retired at 103, died Sunday at her daughter's home in Athens, Ga., her family announced. She was 114. Denmark was the world's fourth-oldest person when she died, according to the Gerontology Research Group, which verifies claims of extreme old age. The third of 12 children, she was born Feb. 1, 1898, in eastern Georgia and grew up on a farm learning to tend to plants and wanting to heal animals, she later said.
January 25, 2012 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Facing an epidemic of whooping cough that led to the deaths of 10 infants in 2010, California public health officials launched a massive vaccination effort and public awareness campaign about the disease. And on Tuesday, they announced the payoff: no deaths in 2011, a first in two decades. The number of whooping cough, or pertussis, cases also plummeted from about 9,154 in 2010 to 2,795 in 2011, according to the California Department of Public Health. In Los Angeles County, the number of cases dropped from 1,395 in 2010 to 520 in 2011.
September 5, 2011 | By Lisa Zamosky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Thousands of first responders, workers, volunteers and local residents involved in the rescue and cleanup of the World Trade Center site, along with workers at the Staten Island landfill where wreckage was taken, are left a decade later with a range of physical and psychological ailments. Respiratory illnesses were among the earliest and most prominent health effects — including the most common one, known as the "World Trade Center cough. " Today, doctors understand World Trade Center cough to be more than just a cough.
August 5, 2011 | By Amanda Mascarelli, Special to the Los Angeles Times
As students return to middle schools and high schools in California this fall, they will need more than fresh notebooks and apples for their teachers. Thanks to a state law that took effect last month, students entering grades 7 through 12 will need proof that they received a vaccine for whooping cough. The law was prompted by last year's outbreak of the highly contagious respiratory infection, which is also known as pertussis. Nearly 9,500 cases were reported in California, the most in 65 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
July 18, 2011 | By David Ropeik
What does society do when one person's behavior puts the greater community at risk? We make them stop. We pass laws, or impose economic rules or find some other way to discourage individual behaviors that threaten the greater common good. You don't get to drive drunk. You don't get to smoke in public places. You don't even get to leave your house if you catch some particularly infectious disease. Then what should we do about people who decline vaccination for themselves or their children and put the public at risk by fueling the resurgence of nearly eradicated diseases?
July 14, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Local education officials are backing emergency state legislation that would give students more time to get vaccinated for whooping cough, a new requirement for California students in grades 7 through 12. The bill would give students 30 days after their academic year begins either to obtain the vaccine or provide proof of vaccination. "The existing legislation, which went into effect July 1, has not provided sufficient time for school districts, local health authorities, and parents to comply with its requirements," Los Angeles Unified School District Supt.
July 6, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Thousands of Los Angeles area students, who began school Tuesday at campuses on a year-round schedule, had not met the deadline for getting the mandatory whooping cough vaccine, providing officials with a glimpse into what could confront them in the fall. The 8,700 Los Angeles Unified School District students who faced Tuesday's deadline were those attending Bell, Fremont and Huntington Park high schools as well as Gage Middle School in Huntington Park and Ochoa Learning Center in Cudahy.
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