Medical Notes this week…

The United States is in the middle of its worst flu season in nine years. And millions of us have gone to the doctor for a five day Tamiflu treatment after we’ve gotten sick.  But a Japanese drug maker says its come up with a treatment that can make people better in just one day and one dose.  The Wall Street Journal reports on clinical trials showing the drug is three times faster than any anti-flu drug now on the market.  However, it won’t be available in the U.S. until at least next year.

Scientists have zeroed in on what causes many cases of colitis and chronic inflammatory bowel disease, what most people call the 24-hour stomach flu.  In reality that’s usually a case of food poisoning, not the flu, and it happens more often than we think.  A study in the journal Science shows that if a person keeps getting intestinal upsets often enough it can create a deficiency in an enzyme in the gut prompting severe, permanent problems.

And finally, people who are tall have a whole variety of advantages but in at least one respect being short is good for your health.  A study in the journal Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics shows that short people are much less likely to develop blood clots in the veins-the third leading cause of heart attack and stroke.  Scientists say that women who are 5 feet 1 or less are nearly 70 percent less likely to have a blood clot compared to women who are 6 feet or taller.  Researchers aren’t sure why, it may simply be the affects of gravity on longer veins.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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