Jul 10, 2009US warns that China may quarantine children traveling aloneThe US State Department yesterday said parents planning to send unaccompanied children to China should consider postponing such trips until China changes its quarantine policies or the H1N1 flu pandemic subsides. The agency said some unaccompanied minors, including some under 10 years old, have been quarantined on arrival in China. It is nearly impossible to predict which travelers might be quarantined, and the US continues to receive reports of poor quarantine conditions, officials said.H1N1 case count in US tops 37,000The US tally of pandemic H1N1 flu cases has risen to 37,246, with 211 deaths, the CDC reported today. The numbers are up by 3,344 cases and 41 deaths since the last CDC report on Jul 2. Wisconsin led the list with 6,031 cases and 4 deaths, followed by Texas (4,463 and 21), Illinois (3,259 and 14), New York (2,582 and 52), and California (2,461 and 31).[Current CDC numbers]US flu activity down, but still above normalUS influenza activity decreased last week but stayed above normal for this time of year, the CDC said in its weekly flu surveillance report today. More than 97% of the influenza A viruses that were subtyped were the novel H1N1. Nine states still reported widespread flu activity, while 10 states and Puerto Rico reported regional activity. Five novel H1N1–related pediatric deaths were reported. The proportion of medical outpatient visits due to flu-like illness was below the national baseline.[CDC flu report for Jun 28 to Jul 4]Pigs vulnerable to novel H1N1 fluPiglets experimentally infected with the novel H1N1 flu develop symptoms and measurable immune responses, excrete virus, and can infect other pigs (but not chickens), researchers from Germany’s Friedrich Loeffler Institute report today in the Journal of General Virology. The findings echo USDA Agricultural Research Service data. The authors voice concern that the virus will become endemic in farmed pigs and ask whether human access to them should be controlled. [J Gen Virol full text]HHS details preparedness grants for statesThe Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced state-by-state details of the $350 million it will grant states and territories to prepare for H1N1 pandemic and seasonal flu. State public health departments will receive $260 million, and hospitals $90 million. States receiving the most funds were (in millions): California ($22.7), Texas ($20.1), Florida ($15.5), Pennsylvania ($10.6), Ohio ($9.8), New York ($9.5), Michigan ($8.6), Illinois ($8.6), and Georgia ($8.0).[Jul 10 HHS press release]
DON’T BREAK THE BANK: A friend recently told me about LastMinuteTravel.com, a Web site that has supercheap, last-minute airfares. A weekend round-trip ticket to New York City that gave me just a few hours to pack was $462.60. Most of the time when you search for a flight just hours in advance, you are talking four digits, minimum. Buying a ticket to the Big Apple a weekend out cut the price to $314.20. Bada-boom, bada-bing! Their site also lets you search top destinations, deals or packages. They also make reservations for rental cars and hotels. LINCOLN LUNCH CHILI: Grabbed a meal for a fiver (ya know, the bill with Lincoln on it) in Canoga Park at Follow Your Heart restaurant. The food is vegetarian with many vegan options, but don’t let the lack of dead animals scare you away. The food is hearty, well-spiced and makes you feel good. I like their chili, though a few of the beans were a tad more al dente than I prefer. A cup is $3.50 and a bowl is $4.95 and comes with crackers or a roll. A half-salad is also nearly a Lincoln Lunch at $5.50. If you want to splurge, go for a mocha milkshake (dairy or nondairy), which easily feeds two, for $3.75. The restaurant is at the back of the grocery story on the left. Cozy place. Visit them at 21825 Sherman Way in Canoga Park. (818) 348-3240. BAG A MAG: Magazines.com has a $5 off coupon for a short list of magazines that actually includes some good ones. No Montana Fly Fisherman here, folks. (With apologies to those who fly-fish in the Big Sky state.) The coupon gives you 10 issues of Women’s Health for $10 or 10 issues of Everyday Food for $13. Runner’s World, which I enjoy reading when I’m not running (so basically, all the time), is $15 for 12 issues. Go to www.insidesocal.com/bargain for the coupon. Expires Nov. 15. OPPOSITE OF SPAM: Forgive this brief self-promotion: I now e-mail a daily digest of all the day’s blog posts, so you don’t have to visit the Web site or wait for Thursday’s column. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will add it to the list. It’s much better than getting spam and it’s free, though some readers have asked what I charge, contributing to the overinflation of my ego! The digest may even help you save a buck or three. SAVE ON A FLU SHOT: It’s that time of year when you start sniffling and snuffling and aching and coughing. Time to get a flu shot. If your internal clock has not already told you so here is a reminder: GET A FLU SHOT! I *really* don’t want to catch your germs when you decide you are healthy enough to come to work and sneeze on me. I have even found you a few places to get a flu shot at a decent price. At my doctor’s office it is $28 plus my $15 co-pay. Yikes! I’m definitely not going there. The lowest price is at Sam’s Club, which is having a three-day promotion today through Saturday where they are giving flu shots for $20, no membership necessary. Sadly, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita locations are not coming up as participating, but Palmdale, Glendora and Oxnard are. If you do go, the hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The going rate at CVS, Rite Aid, Longs Drugs and Walgreens is $30. Some require appointments, others have age minimums. Check each chain’s Web site for details. Note: Rite Aid’s flu clinic ends today. FREE MINIHIGHLIGHTS: Yossi’s Salon in Woodland Hills had so much success with earlier coupons I posted on the blog that he is offering a new deal for Bargain Hunter readers. Free six-foil highlights and a clear cellophane treatment. Now, six foils are not enough to do your whole head, but will frame your face with a few wisps of color. He is offering the freebie until Oct. 31 to attract more customers. Not bad if you want to do a test run before plopping down major dollars to highlight your whole noggin. Visit them at 5349 Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Woodland Hills. (818) 825-3467. Tell Yossi you read it on the Bargain Hunter! WORLD PEACE CAN WAIT: A funny story – or sad depending on your sense of humor – in the paper recently. More people want a computer for Christmas than peace and happiness, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. (Not that they’re biased, or anything.) I’m sure you and I will take the high road – all we *really* want is a slip of paper saying a contribution to our favorite charity has been made, right? For a miniguide to buying a computer, go to www.insidesocal.com/bargain. Save a buck at www.insidesocal.com/bargain.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.STAPLES 12 PERCENT OFF: Staples is appreciating its customers – more than they usually do – until Saturday with a 12 percent off coupon that is good on most items. For in-store purchases, not online. Go to www.insidesocal.com/bargain for the printable coupon. Caveats: Offer excludes personal computers, laptops, phone cards, postage stamps and a few other items. BEST BETS FOR BRUINS GEAR: Having a hard time finding UCLA gear on sale? Tell me about it. You crazy fans buy so much of this stuff the prices are up there! But you don’t have to pay full price. After a Web search, I found at least one place that has gear at relatively reasonable prices. At UCLAstore.com, T-shirts were $16 to $22, sweat shirts were $41 to $61 and hats were $15 to $22. At ColleageGear.com, the apparel selection was basically limited to 2007 Final Four stuff. A sweat shirt was $46, a T-shirt was $26, and a hat was $27. Not exactly jaw-dropping. eBruin.com has the best prices I’ve seen so far. Their sweat shirts were $25 to $45 with a good variety of colors and styles. Most are hooded, though. A dark-navy, nonhood sweat shirt was $35. A note to USC fans: I haven’t forgotten about you!