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In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. (AP Photo / David Goldman)

The U.S. winter flu season is off to its earliest start in more than 15 years, and there’s a decent chance it could peak much earlier than normal, health officials say.

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(Vaping360 / Flickr)

More than 50% of high school students and nearly 25% of middle school students in the U.S. have tried a tobacco product in their lifetimes, according to the latest National Youth Tobacco Survey. “It’s really disappointing,” a local pediatrician said.

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(Frank McNamara / Flickr)

In 2003, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency had 1,265 employees. By 2018, that number had fallen to 639, according to a new report that a former IEPA director describes as “both a wake-up call and call to action.”

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This Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 photo shows a vitamin E acetate sample during a tour of the Medical Marijuana Laboratory of Organic and Analytical Chemistry at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo / Hans Pennink)

 Health officials said Tuesday they have more evidence that a certain chemical compound is a culprit in a national outbreak of vaping illnesses.

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Romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California has been linked with a multistate E. coli outbreak that has sickened 40 people, including an Illinois resident. (Liz West / Flickr)

If you recently purchased lettuce at the store, check the label before serving it. Romaine lettuce harvested in Salinas, California, has been linked with an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 40 people in 16 states, including Illinois.

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This Nov. 2, 2009, file photo shows a Thanksgiving turkey in Concord, New Hampshire. (AP Photo / Larry Crowe, File)

Go ahead and rinse your cranberries, potatoes and green beans. But food experts say don’t — repeat don’t — wash the turkey before popping it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day.

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(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Across the country, nearly 50 have people died after experiencing serious vaping-related illnesses. In Illinois, there have been five deaths – the most in any state, according to the latest data released by health officials. 

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In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, file photo, a man using an electronic cigarette exhales in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak, File)

The group adopted the sweeping stance at a policy-making meeting in San Diego. It aims to lobby for state and federal laws, regulations or legal action to achieve a ban, but the industry is sure to fight back.

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In this April 23, 2014 file photo, a man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)

Two weeks ago, President Trump was poised to give final approval to a plan that would ban most flavored e-cigarettes, but he has since backed off after hearing a ban could alienate some voters, according to White House and campaign officials.

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(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

A new initiative called Family Connects Chicago will provide free home nursing services to families with newborns, offering “support that is so vital in those first few weeks of a baby’s life,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.

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(rawpixel / Pixabay)

The Trump administration aims to make prices more transparent when it comes to medical services – but could it also raise the cost of care?

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(INeverCry / Wikimedia Commons)

As part of federal efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, the National Health Service Corps has awarded $80 million in student loan repayments to clinicians working to treat addiction, including 41 in Illinois.

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(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Four people have died in Illinois since March after experiencing serious vaping-related illnesses. The state is now among those with the most fatalities linked to the outbreak, according to health officials.

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(valelopardo / Pixabay)

Illinois has one of the best lung cancer survival rates in the country, yet it also has one of the highest incidence rates of lung cancer, according to a new report from the American Lung Association.

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(Kimpton_House / Pixabay)

Preterm birth rates have been increasing in Illinois since 2013, according to a new report from the nonprofit March of Dimes.

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This Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 photo shows a vitamin E acetate sample during a tour of the Medical Marijuana Laboratory of Organic and Analytical Chemistry at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo / Hans Pennink)

U.S. health officials announced a breakthrough Friday into the cause of a mysterious outbreak of vaping illnesses, reporting they have a “very strong culprit.”

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