Health Highlights: Sept. 7, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Third Death Reported in Yosemite Hantavirus Outbreak

A person in West Virginia is the third to die in an outbreak of rodent-borne hantavirus linked to tent cabins at Yosemite National Park.

No details about the latest victim were released. The two other deaths occurred in California and Pennsylvania, the Associated Press reported.

Currrently, five people are ill from the outbreak. Up to 10,000 people may have been exposed to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome after sleeping in "Signature" tent cabins in Yosemite's Curry Village between early June and late August, according to park officials.

Other suspected cases have yet to be confirmed, the AP reported.

The cabins have been closed and the park is contacting people who stayed in the cabins.

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More Than 450,000 Blinds Recalled by Blinds Xpress

More than 450,000 vertical and horizontal blinds are being recalled by Blinds Xpress after a 2-year-old girl reportedly strangled in a blind's cord.

The 2009 incident involved a Michigan girl who got caught in a vertical blind cord that was not attached to the wall or the floor, the Associated Press reported.

The recall covers all Blind Xpress horizontal blinds that do not have inner cord stop devices and all custom-made vertical blinds that do not have a cord tensioning device that attaches to the wall or floor.

The blinds were sold from January 1995 through December 2011 at stores in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, the AP reported.

Conusmers should immediately stop using the blinds and contact the Window Covering Safety Council at 1-800-506-4636 to receive a free repair kit, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

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Many American Grandparents Help Care for Grandkids

Two new studies show that most grandparents in the United States babysit and provide financial support for their grandchildren. The findings are timely because Sunday is Grandparents Day.

In one study, University of Chicago researchers analyzed data collected between 1998 and 2008 from more than 13,000 grandparents, ages 50 and older. Sixty-one percent of the grandparents provided at least 50 hours of care for grandchildren for at least one year during those 10 years, and 70 percent provided care for two years or more, USA Today reported.

Grandparents with more education and higher incomes were more likely to provide babysitting. Those less likely to do so have children of their own at home or are older, unmarried and less likely to have a job.

The study was published in the Journal of Family Issues.

The other study involved an online survey of more than 1,000 grandparents, ages 45 and older. It was conducted in April for the MetLife Mature Market Institute and the nonprofit Generations United, an intergenerational policy group, USA Today reported.

It found that 62 percent of grandparents had provided financial support to grandchildren in the past five years, averaging $8,289, primarily for investments and education. Seventy-four percent of the grandparents said they babysit or provide care weekly.

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Posted: September 2012


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