ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Probiotics Are The Good Guys
Functional Foods Uncovered
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
EYE CARE, VISION
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Run for Your Life
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
New Options Offered for Sleep Apnea
Spread of Swine Flu in Japan Could Raise WHO Alert to Highest Level
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
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U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall

TUESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- As the H1N1 swine flu virus continues to wax and wane in different parts of the country, U.S. health officials said Tuesday that they were working as fast as possible to learn as much as they can about the novel pathogen before the return of the flu season in the fall.

The reason for the urgency: Some past pandemics were preceded by "herald waves" of a flu strain that surfaced at the end of one flu season, only to return with far greater consequences the next flu season.

"We are mindful that pandemics of influenza have sometimes come in waves," Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's interim deputy director for science and public health program, said during an afternoon news conference. "The very severe 1918 pandemic had a moderate herald wave in the spring and a much more severe second wave in the fall. So that very terrible experience of 1918 is in our minds."

Some estimates have placed the worldwide death toll from the 1918 outbreak -- often referred to as the "Spanish Flu" -- as high as 40 million people.

"We are really on a fast track, over the next to eight to 10 weeks, to learn as much as we can as this virus heads to the Southern Hemisphere [where flu season is just beginning] and to strengthen our planning for the surge of illness that we expect to experience here in the fall," Schuchat added.

Scientists will be looking to see if the H1N1 swine flu virus mutates or becomes resistant to antiviral medications, or is more easily spread among people, she said.

Schuchat said there's no way to tell now if the H1N1 virus will be more virulent when -- and if -- it returns to the Northern Hemisphere with the approach of winter. "Whether it will dominate among the seasonal flu viruses or whether it will disappear is not predictable right now," she said.

To date there have been 6,764 confirmed and probable cases of infection in the United States, Schuchat said, adding that most of the cases have been mild and patients have recovered quickly.

The CDC is reporting 11 deaths linked to the swine flu, and all of the victims had underlying health problems before they were infected. Illinois health officials reported the death of a Chicago area man over the weekend.

Canadian officials said Monday that a Toronto man who had swine flu died Saturday, and he also suffered from a chronic medical condition.

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that 46 countries have reported 12,954 cases of H1N1 swine flu infection, including 92 deaths, most of them in Mexico, where the outbreak began.

The CDC said last week that progress was being made toward the development of an H1N1 swine flu vaccine, with two promising candidate viruses for use in such a shot. And U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Friday that the federal government was allocating $1 billion to the search for a swine flu vaccine.

In the United States, most cases of the swine flu continue to be no worse than seasonal flu. Testing has found that the swine flu virus remains susceptible to two common antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, according to the CDC.

The CDC says some older people may have partial immunity to the H1N1 swine flu virus because of possible exposure to another H1N1 flu strain circulating prior to 1957. So far, 64 percent of cases of swine flu infection in the United States have been among people aged 5 to 24, while only 1 percent involves people over 65, officials said last week.