Weekly Health Watch with preparing a disaster kit for your pets, the HPV vaccine for girls, what foods seniors should avoid and more.

When a disaster strikes, our four-legged friends are left to fend for themselves, and they sometimes end up lost, injured or killed. The best way to avoid this tragic scenario is to have a well-thought-out disaster plan that includes Fido so you know where to go and what to take.


"Many public shelters that are set up for disaster victims don't accept pets, so you need to find out in advance which shelters or hotels along your evacuation route will accept animals," says Lyman Munson, vice president of risk services for Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. "It is tragic, but people have actually died because they were ordered to evacuate a disaster area but stayed because they did not want to leave their pets."


The Fireman's Fund says, just as you should have a disaster kit for your family, you should prepare a similar kit for your pets, containing the following:


* Medication and medical records (including proof of rabies vaccination) in a waterproof container.


* Leashes, harnesses, crates and carriers for transporting your pet.


* A muzzle, if your pet requires one.


* Food and water for at least three days.


* Cat litter and litter box.


* Comfort toys.


* Recent photo of your pet in case you become separated.


* Name and phone number of your veterinarian.


-- ARA


New Research: Top causes of worldwide deaths


Noncommunicable diseases are the top cause of deaths worldwide, killing more than 36 million people in 2008. Cardiovascular diseases were responsible for 48 percent of deaths, cancers 21 percent, chronic respiratory diseases 12 percent and diabetes 3 percent.


-- World Health Organization


Did You Know?


Before vaccines, polio would paralyze 10,000 children, measles would kill 3,000 and pertussis would kill thousands of infants each year. -- CHOP.edu


Health Tip: Do longer workouts burn more calories?


Many think the longer a workout lasts, the more calories burned. However, one hour of light exercise will likely burn fewer calories than a powerful 30-minute workout. For the average exerciser, working harder for a shorter period of time will be the better option, since people are often short on time.


-- Life Fitness


Number to Know


6 million: In the U.S., about 6 million people, including teens, become infected with human papillomavirus, or HPV, each year, and 4,000 women die from cervical cancer. – American Academy of Pediatrics


Children’s Health: AAP statement on HPV vaccine for girls


The American Academy of Pediatrics released this statement shortly after Gov. Rick Perry was criticized during a GOP presidential debate for issuing a 2007 order requiring sixth-grade girls in Texas to be vaccinated for human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease:


“The AAP would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. (The vaccine) has an excellent safety record … (It is) recommended that girls receive HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. That’s because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body, and because it’s important to protect girls well before the onset of sexual activity.”


Senior Health: Steer clear of these foods


As we age, our immune systems become weaker, which means older people are at a higher risk of developing a foodborne illness. To cut the risk, older adults should avoid these foods:




Rare, raw or undercooked meats and poultry

Raw fish and shellfish (e.g. sushi, sashimi, oysters, mussels)

Raw or undercooked eggs (e.g. soft-cooked, runny, poached)

Unpasteurized dairy products

Unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juices

-- EatRight.org


GateHouse News Service