The first half of October has played out like a medical melodrama. A meningitis outbreak flared across the country, killing or sickening more than 250 people in 23 states. Doctors nationwide scrambled to warn patients that they could have received fungus-tainted injections.
Then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a record number of deaths in the U.S. in 2011, more than 2.5 million.
Two weeks of warnings: That'll kill you!
News about life-shortening problems collected Oct. 1-12
Air: Bad air from house mold can cause asthma.
Airbags: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) warns that tens of thousands of counterfeit airbags could have been installed in cars.Amoeba: Rare brain-eating amoeba kills 10 people in Pakistan. Anemia: Severe anemia can cause death after surgery. Beef: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) searches for beef which could contain dangerous E. coli bacteria. Beer: Too much beer can cause pancreatic cancer. Cats: Feline-borne infection can cause suicidal thoughts. Cellphones: Teenagers' late-night cell phone use can cause suicidal thoughts. Eggs from the city: High levels of lead found in chickens in public gardens in New York City. EMS paramedics: Up to 57 patients could be victims of Boston paramedic who allegedly tampered with his ambulance's drugs. Gum disease: Affects nearly half of all Americans and could be linked to fatal pancreatic cancer. Junk food: Starchy, salty food increases risk of stroke. Kitchens: Cooking equipment is top cause of home fires, which can kill more than 2,300 annually. Not calling 911: Men are less likely to call 911 during their own heart attacks. Popcorn: Microwavable popcorn wrapper contains cancer-causing chemical. Rice: Often contains arsenic. Rural areas: Colon cancer patients in rural areas are more likely to die. Sitting: Prolonged sitting linked to kidney disease. Smoke: Second-hand smoke kills 42,000 non-smokers annually. Stem cell transplant: Could spur heart disease. Teens driving other teens: Deadlier than teens driving alone. Teen smoking: They'll die earlier, even if they've quit smoking by middle age. Walking and not paying attention: Distracted walkers could have led to increased pedestrian traffic fatalities in New York City.