Health Highlights: Aug. 21, 2013

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

Americans Warned About Cholera Risk in Cuba

American travelers to Cuba should avoid street food and under- or uncooked dishes such as ceviche to reduce their risk of contracting cholera, says a U.S. government advisory issued Tuesday.

Several foreigners -- an Italian, two Venezuelans and two Chileans -- who visited Cuba were sickened by cholera in late July and early August, according to the Pan American Health Organization, the Associated Press reported.

Last summer, Cuban officials acknowledged a rare outbreak of the waterborne disease. This January, authorities announced 51 new cases of cholera in Havana, but have provided no updates since then.

Cholera can cause death from severe dehydration but is treatable if detected in time, the AP reported.


Health Insurance Premiums Rose 4 to 5 Percent in 2012

For the second year in a row, there were modest increases in premiums for employer-provided health insurance, a new survey finds.

The findings suggest that once-extreme health care inflation may be slowing, The New York Times reported.

The Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that the average annual premium for a family is now $16,351, up 4 percent from last year. Of that amount, workers paid an average of $4,565.

Annual individual premiums for workers rose nearly 5 percent, from $5,884 in 2011 to $5,615 in 2012. The average employee's contribution is $999, The Times reported.

The modest 4 percent increase in family premiums is still much higher than the 1.8 average increase in wages last year, the foundation noted.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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