Asthma

Asthmafrom the Greek Άσθμα (ásthma)[cn], meaning gasp, is a common chronicinflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Treatment of acute symptoms is usually with an inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonist (such assalbutamol). Symptoms can be prevented by avoiding triggers, such as allergens and irritants, and by inhaling corticosteroids. Leukotriene antagonists are less effective thancorticosteroids and thus less preferred.

The prevalence of asthma has increased significantly since the 1970s. As of 2009, 300 million people were affected worldwide. In 2009 asthma caused 250,000 deaths, although generally with treatment, prognosis is good.

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Based on analyst estimates, Merck & Co. will report earnings of $1.01 a share on sales of about $12.16 billion -- an increase of 0.1 percent from the year-earlier quarter. The company posts its second-quarter earnings on Friday, before the opening bell.

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A new ad campaign by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention includes videos of former smokers who have suffered lasting damage from their habit: Brandon, a 31-year-old double-amputee from North Dakota; Roosevelt, a 51-year-old Virginia smoker who shows his scars after heart surgery from the heart attack he suffered when he was 45. There's also 28-year-old Jessica. Although she's not a smoker, her 7-year-old son's asthma led to an emergency room visit because of an attack brought...

Study Supports Single Flu Super Vaccine to Wipe Out Infections

In a new study, researchers observed for the first time that a universal vaccine could allow for a more wide-scale prevention of flu by restraining the ability of the influenza virus to spread and mutate. According to experts, the new study is a first attempt to understand the population consequences of the next generation of vaccines as regards the epidemiology and evolutionary impact on the virus.

2 Journalists from West Killed in Syria

Two Western journalists were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday when shells hit the house they were staying in, opposition activists and witnesses said.

New York Times Reporter Anthony Shadid Dies in Syria

Shadid, 43, was on a reporting assignment in eastern Syria when he died, according to an obituary posted on the Times web site. It said Shadid was carried across the border into Turkey by Times photographer Tyler Hicks.

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