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Water softeners not found to improve childhood eczema

The first study of its kind in the world -- involving 336 children aged between six months and 16 years old -- has shown that installing a water softener for three months brings no additional relief for eczema sufferers. Up to one fifth of all...

Mass smallpox vaccination plan urged

Vaccinating hundreds of thousands of Americans would be more effective in the case of an intentional or accidental outbreak of smallpox than a more limited "ring" plan endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some specialists believe. "Mass vaccination really leads to fewer deaths than the CDC interim plan," Lawrence Wein of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told Reuters. Besides, he said, if there were a smallpox attack, "I think it highly likely that people would take to the streets to demand vaccination, or would flee." Of course, the smallpox vaccine could be fatal or severely debilitating for many people, including those with common skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

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