Calls to public health hot lines can predict dengue fever outbreaks two or three weeks earlier than local hospitals can confirm them, said a study from Pakistan. The study looked at 300,000 calls to a health hot line in Lahore over two years. By asking callers to describe their symptoms and give their addresses, operators were able to pinpoint which districts in the city were having dengue outbreaks. Getting that information quickly was important because mosquito-control teams could be quickly dispatched to the right neighborhoods.

Early bedtime for kids may fight weight gain

Preschool children who are in bed by 8 p.m. are far less likely to be obese during adolescence than children who stay up late, a study said. Their risk of teenage obesity is half the risk faced by preschoolers who stay up past 9 p.m. Among the children in bed by 8 p.m., 10 percent were obese as teens, compared with 16 percent of those who went to bed between 8 and 9 p.m. and 23 percent of those who went to bed after 9 p.m., said a study in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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