Articles on Public health

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Eating a delicious doughnut now seems more rewarding than the nebulous concept of “better future health”. from www.shutterstock.com

Why telling people they could get sick in the future won’t persuade them to be healthy now

People tend to value potential future rewards less than similar immediate rewards when they must choose between them. Psychologists and economists call this “delay discounting”.
Parents wait for news after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. AP/Joel Auerbach

Why security measures won’t stop school shootings

When school shootings take place, beefed up security is often seen as a solution. Experience shows, however, that school shootings stem from social factors that require a different response.
Australia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gillian Bird, makes a statement at the 2016 Habitat III conference, where the New Urban Agenda was adopted. Alexei Trundle

This is why health has to be at the heart of the New Urban Agenda

Australia and other United Nations member states signed up to the New Urban Agenda more than a year ago. But how well is health being integrated into sustainable urban development?
A CDC scientist measures the amount of H7N9 avian flu virus grown in a lab. James Gathany/CDC/Handout via REUTERS

3 ways the US should prepare for the next flu pandemic

Science has come a long way in the 100 years since the worst flu pandemic in history. But that doesn't mean that the country is ready for another health disaster.
Antiretroviral treatment prevents the virus from multiplying and prolongs the lives of HIV positive people. Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Kenya’s HIV progress report: good progress, but also big gaps

HIV self-testing is a potential strategy to overcome access to testing. However, there are emerging concerns on the lack of counselling, possible user error and accuracy of the kits.
Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Children are most at risk of exposure in homes, especially during the winter months. (Shutterstock)

Have you tested your home for cancer-causing radon gas?

Radon is a radioactive gas that seeps into buildings through foundation cracks. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. And it only costs around $60 to test your home.
Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 as a wildfire burns in Ventura, California, Dec. 5, 2017. Daniel Dreifuss via AP

Exposure to wildfire smoke: 5 questions answered

Intense wildfires in southern California are triggering air quality alerts. Health experts know surprisingly little about how inhaling smoke affects human health, especially over the long term.
Women who’ve never had a Pap smear or who’ve skipped a few don’t need to miss out on cervical screening. For the first time, some can take their own sample if that makes them feel more comfortable. from www.shutterstock.com

Never had a Pap smear? Now there’s a DIY option for you

For the first time, some Australian women will be eligible to collect their own sample for cervical screening. While it's not as accurate as one from a GP or nurse, it could still save your life.

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