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Canada says husband of woman diagnosed with avian flu also infected
30 Jan 2015 at 10:56am
The husband of a woman who tested positive for the H7N9 avian flu virus earlier this week was also infected, likely from a common source during their visit to China, Canadian federal and provincial governments confirmed on Friday. The couple, residents of British Columbia, exhibited symptoms one day apart and likely did not infect each other, Canada's chief public health officer and British Columbia's deputy provincial health officer said in a joint statement. The H7N9 virus has not been detected in birds in Canada. The virus first infected three people in China in March 2013.
All Your Measles Questions Answered
30 Jan 2015 at 10:43am
ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser dispels the myths and gives the facts about the resurging measles virus.
Suspected Ebola patient in California tests negative for virus
30 Jan 2015 at 10:38am
A California hospital patient who was suspected of contracting Ebola after traveling in West Africa and exhibiting symptoms of the disease has tested negative for infection with the deadly virus, public health and hospital officials said on Friday. The negative test result was disclosed a day after the individual was transferred to a special isolation unit at the University of California-Davis Medical Center, a designated "priority hospital" for potential Ebola cases, from another hospital in Sacramento, the state capital. "They do not have Ebola," she said of the patient. The episode came five months after another individual in the same city was admitted to South Sacramento Medical Center in August as a potential Ebola patient and tested negative days later.
Two Different Paths to Obesity and What They Have in Common
30 Jan 2015 at 10:11am
The naturally thin often have a hard time understanding the struggles of the very many who battle with overweight and obesity. Why is losing weight -- and especially keeping it off -- so very hard? What is it that drives us to obesity, and what can we do about it? And why has obesity spread like an epidemic in the last few decades?A new article...
Pivotal time for trans people as rigid notion of gender challenged
30 Jan 2015 at 10:07am
By Maria Caspani NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - For Kate Bornstein, the American author and pioneer gender activist, this is a pivotal time in history for transgender people as the rigid concept of two sexes is challenged by a growing number of individuals who don't conform to either. "That's very different from their parents or even their older siblings," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview. "In the early 1990s, there might be one 'trans' student in six or seven colleges and now the audience is filled with female to male...or really cool gender queer (people)," Bornstein, who does not identify as male or female, says in a new film about her life. In the United States and beyond, a growing movement views gender as a complex, mainly psychological phenomenon in which a person's external anatomy is no longer the defining factor.
Flu hospitalizations of elderly hit record high, CDC says
30 Jan 2015 at 10:04am
NEW YORK (AP) ? Some new evidence this is a particularly bad flu season: Flu-related hospitalizations of the elderly are the highest since the government started tracking that statistic nine years ago.
U.S. proposes effort to analyze DNA from 1 million people
30 Jan 2015 at 9:09am
By Toni Clarke and Sharon Begley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers as part of a new initiative to understand human disease and develop medicines targeted to an individual's genetic make-up. At the heart of the "precision medicine" initiative, announced on Friday by President Barack Obama, is the creation of a pool of people - healthy and ill, men and women, old and young - who would be studied to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. "Precision medicine gives us one of the greatest opportunities for new medical breakthroughs we've ever seen," Obama said, promising that it would "lay a foundation for a new era of life-saving discoveries." The near-term goal is to create more and better treatments for cancer, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), told reporters on a conference call on Thursday.
Singer Shakira gives birth to second child in Barcelona
30 Jan 2015 at 9:04am
Colombian pop star Shakira has given birth in Barcelona to her second child, a boy, she said on Friday. A statement posted on Shakira's website said her son, Sasha, was born on Thursday night. "The hospital confirmed that both mother and child are in excellent health," the statement said. The singer and her boyfriend, Spanish football player Gerard Pique, had their first child, a son named Milan, in 2013.
Africa looks to extend new disaster insurance to Ebola-like epidemics
30 Jan 2015 at 8:55am
By Daniel Flynn DAKAR (Reuters) - African countries want to extend a new catastrophe insurance fund, which made its first payout of $25 million this month, to include protection against epidemics in the wake of the devastating Ebola outbreak. The African Risk Capacity (ARC) agency, a specialized body of the African Union, launched a scheme last year to insure against natural disasters. It is an effort to break Africa's reliance on foreign aid and address the impact of climate change by using innovative financial techniques. The ARC paid $25 million in its first year of operations to Senegal, Mauritania and Niger to mitigate the effects of a severe drought in the arid Sahel region south of the Sahara -- well above the $8 million in premiums paid by those countries.
POM Wonderful loses bid to tout health benefits in ads
30 Jan 2015 at 8:41am
POM Wonderful cannot advertise that its pomegranate juice drinks treat or prevent heart disease or other ailments unless it has proof, a U.S. appeals court said on Friday in upholding an order by the Federal Trade Commission. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit largely upheld a 2010 order by the Federal Trade Commission which found that POM Wonderful's advertising was misleading in claiming its products would treat or reduce the risk of diseases ranging from heart disease to prostate cancer to erectile dysfunction. The FTC Act proscribes ? and the First Amendment does not protect ? deceptive and misleading advertisements," the court said in its ruling.
Cancer organization partners with NFL on prostate treatment
30 Jan 2015 at 8:35am
A U.S. cancer organization has partnered with the NFL alumni association ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl XLIX to raise awareness about screening, diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer, a disease that kills tens of thousands of U.S. men a year. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), a private, for-profit operator of cancer treatment hospitals and outpatient clinics, will treat NFL Alumni who are fighting prostate cancer, which afflicts almost one in seven U.S. men, at its five hospitals in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. "CTCA is proud to partner with NFLA and we look forward to making a difference in the lives of those alums who are or will be diagnosed with prostate cancer," Gerard van Grinsven, chief executive and president of CTCA, said in a statement Thursday. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men in the United States, second only to non-melanoma skin cancer.
U.S. government releases draft plan for electronic health data
30 Jan 2015 at 8:23am
The Obama administration on Friday proposed a plan to move most doctors, hospitals and their patients to national standards for handling electronic clinical data by the end of 2017. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as part of an effort to propel the $2.9 trillion U.S. healthcare system away from a costly fee-for-service system, released a report draft aimed at establishing an inter operable health information technology system that can be accessed by patients and their healthcare providers. Policy experts say that national health IT standards would lead to transparency in medical data, prices and provider performance, while helping support hospitals and medical practices in pursuing care-delivery models that emphasize care quality and savings over quantity. Earlier this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced the goal of moving 50 percent of fee-for-service Medicare payments to quality-care focused providers by the end of 2018.
Super Bowl 2015: Officials on Alert for Measles During Big Game
30 Jan 2015 at 7:27am
At least 84 people have been infected with the measles in the current outbreak.
Liberia delays school reopening by two weeks as Ebola cases fall
30 Jan 2015 at 7:06am
Liberia said on Friday it would delay reopening schools for two weeks in order to better prepare safety measures against the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 3,650 people in the country but now appears to be receding. A ministry statement said it wanted to "raise awareness about safety protocols, logistics and training requirements", adding: "Actual teaching will begin on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015." Some Liberian opposition parties and members of parliament had called for the reopening date to be moved to March 2, concerned that the Ebola epidemic is not yet fully under control. Liberia and its neighbors Sierra Leone and Guinea have been hardest hit in the worst outbreak of the viral hemorrhagic fever on record. The number of Ebola infections and deaths has fallen sharply in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past few weeks, with just 20 deaths recorded in Liberia in the 21 days to Jan. 25, according to the World Health Organization, raising hopes that the disease is gradually being brought under control.
Ebola likely to persist in 2015 as communities resist aid: Red Cross
30 Jan 2015 at 6:39am
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - West Africa will be lucky to wipe out Ebola this year, as the local population remains suspicious of aid workers, especially in Guinea, the Red Cross said on Friday. The virus is "flaring up" in new areas in the region and not all infections are being reported, said Birte Hald, who leads the Ebola coordination and support unit of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "We are also seeing that in places like Sierra Leone and especially in Guinea that it is flaring up in new districts all the time, with small new chains of transmission, which means that it's not under control and it could flare up big-time again," Hald told a news briefing in Geneva. More than 6,000 Red Cross volunteers are deployed in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, tracing contacts of those infected, isolating suspect cases and ensuring safe burials, she said.