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By Lauran Neergaard The Associated Press

Loneliness hurts: Senior health about more than disease

WASHINGTON — Grandma’s cholesterol is OK, but maybe the doctor should be asking about her social life, too.

Think about health during the senior years, and a list of common ailments pops to mind. But that’s not the whole story. New research suggests factors such as loneliness and whether they’ve broken any bones since middle age also play a role in the well-being of older adults.

US officials: The more we know about Zika, the scarier it is

WASHINGTON — The more researchers learn about the Zika virus, the scarier it appears, federal health officials say, as they urge more money for mosquito control and development of vaccines and treatments.

Scientists increasingly believe the Zika virus sweeping through Latin America and the Caribbean causes devastating defects in fetal brains if women become infected during pregnancy.

Effort to curb overuse of antibiotics amid cold, flu seasons

WASHINGTON It’s cold season and the miserable trudge in seeking antibiotics because their mucus turned green, or the cough has nagged for weeks.

Despite years of warnings, doctors still overprescribe antibiotics for acute respiratory infections even though most are caused by viruses that those drugs cannot help.

Novel experiment shows tots start to distinguish that text, drawings have different meanings

WASHINGTON Celebrate your child’s scribbles. A novel experiment shows that even before learning their ABCs, youngsters start to recognize that a written word symbolizes language in a way a drawing doesn’t a developmental step on the path to reading.