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Healthcare

Some remarkable changes in health sector in recent times

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It's the start of a new year and many people are focusing on their health and wellness. Here are a few key health stories making headlines on this 5th day of January:

New recommendations for cancer screening tests: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released updated guidelines for several cancer screening tests. The recommendations include starting mammograms at age 50 (previously age 40) and only getting a colonoscopy every 10 years (previously every 5-10 years). The task force cited a lack of evidence that earlier or more frequent testing leads to better health outcomes. These recommendations are controversial and some medical organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, disagree with them.

New laws for e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products: As of January 1st, it is now illegal to sell flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in the state of California. This law is aimed at reducing the appeal of these products to youth. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a ban on the sale of most flavored e-cigarette pods, with the exception of tobacco, mint, and menthol flavors. This ban is also aimed at reducing the use of these products among youth, who have been using e-cigarettes at an increasing rate in recent years.

Flu season continues to be a concern: The flu season is well underway and health officials are urging people to get a flu vaccine if they haven't already. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that flu activity is high in many parts of the country, with the majority of cases being caused by the H1N1 strain. The flu can be serious, especially for people with underlying health conditions and the elderly, so it's important to take precautions such as washing your hands frequently and staying home if you are sick.

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