Today’s Headlines: The Flu Arrives Early, Handwashing, and Ovarian Cancer Hope

CDC Says US Flu Season Off to an Early Start: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a press briefing on Monday to discuss the influenza activity and vaccination rate for the current flu season, which has arrived early this year — the earliest in nearly a decade. The experts mentioned that this strain of flu, which broke out in five southern states, “tends to make people sicker than other types.” “It looks like it’s shaping up to be a bad flu season, but only time will tell,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC. (Washington Times)

Study Suggests Paper Towels More Hygienic Than Air Blowers: In a review of every hand-washing study done since the 1970s, researchers concluded that drying hands after washing them is “essential to staving off bacteria, and that paper towels are superior to driers.” Issues with air dryers, researchers noted, is that they “take so long” and “turn people off” because of its loud sound. “Most people dry their hands [in air blowers] for a bit, then wipe them on their dirty jeans, or open the door with their still-wet hands.” (Wall Street Journal)

Common Diabetes Medication May Improve Ovarian Cancer Survival Rate: Metformin, a common diabetes drug, may be helpful in preventing or treating ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer in women. The study, published in the journal Cancer, “showed that women who had ovarian cancer who took Metformin for diabetes actually had a 20% better survival rate from the disease than women who did not take Metformin.” (CBS News)