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Delay or move Rio Olympics due to Zika - medical experts
28 May 2016 at 1:25am
More than 100 health experts have called for the Rio Olympic Games to be postponed or moved because of fears that the event could speed up the spread of the Zika virus around the world, according to a public letter published online. "The Brazilian strain of Zika virus harms health in ways that science has not observed before," the letter said. "An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the Games, potentially acquire that strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic." The letter was signed by 150 people identified as health experts and sent to the head of the World Health Organization.
Portland schools failed protocols over high lead levels in water
28 May 2016 at 12:57am
By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - Portland Public Schools failed to follow federal protocols and did not notify parents after high levels of lead were detected at two of its schools two months ago, the district said on Friday. Levels of lead, a toxic substance that can damage the nervous system, exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum were found in 14 fountains and sinks at Creston and Rose City Park in March, according to a statement released by the district on Friday. In an email to parents and staff on Friday, the Portland Public Schools said that it failed to follow EPA protocols when it kept the fountains and sinks supplied with water while it worked to replace and retest many of the fixtures.
WHO rejects call for Olympics to be moved due to Zika
28 May 2016 at 12:41am
(Adds dropped word in headline) By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent LONDON, May 28 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday rejected a call for the Rio Olympic Games to be moved or postponed due to the threat posed by large outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil. Responding to a call from more than 100 leading scientists, who said it would be unethical for the Games to go ahead as scheduled, the United Nations health agency said having the Games in Rio as planned would "not significantly alter" the spread of Zika, which is linked to serious birth defects. "Based on the current assessment of Zika virus circulating in almost 60 countries globally and 39 in the Americas, there is no public health justification for postponing or cancelling the games," the WHO said in a statement.
Medical experts want Rio Olympics delayed or moved due to Zika
27 May 2016 at 7:58pm
(Fixes "an" to "a" in third paragraph) LONDON/WASHINGTON, May 27 (Reuters) - More than 100 medical experts, academia and scientists on Friday have called for the Rio Olympic Games to be postponed or moved because of fears that the event could speed up the spread of the Zika virus around the world. On Thursday, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, declared there was no public health reason to cancel or delay this summer's Games. In a public letter posted online, the group of 150 leading public health experts, many of them bioethicists, said the risk of infection from the Zika virus is too high.
U.S. sees first case of bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotic
27 May 2016 at 6:50pm
U.S. health officials on Thursday reported the first case in the country of a patient with an infection resistant to a last-resort antibiotic, and expressed grave concern that the superbug could pose serious danger for routine infections if it spreads. "We risk being in a post-antibiotic world," said Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to the urinary tract infection of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman who had not traveled within the prior five months. Frieden, speaking at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., said the bacteria was resistant to colistin, an antibiotic that is reserved for use against "nightmare bacteria." The infection was reported Thursday in a study appearing in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.
New incentives needed to develop antibiotics to fight superbugs
27 May 2016 at 5:26pm
By Bill Berkrot NEW YORK (Reuters) - Drugmakers are renewing efforts to develop medicines to fight emerging antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but creating new classes of drugs on the scale needed is unlikely to happen without new financial incentives to make the effort worth the investment, companies and industry experts said. "The return on investment based on the current commercial model is not really commensurate with the amount of effort you have to put into it," said David Payne, who heads GlaxoSmithKline PLC's antibiotics drug group. Other pharmaceutical companies expressed a similar sentiment.
Cellphone radiation study raises concerns despite low risk
27 May 2016 at 4:28pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? A new federal study of the potential dangers of cellphone radiation, conducted in rats, found a slight increase in brain tumors in males and raised long-dormant concerns about the safety of spending so much time with cellphones glued to our ears.
Biogen, AbbVie once-monthly MS injection wins U.S. approval
27 May 2016 at 3:45pm
(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a once-monthly injection for multiple sclerosis from Biogen Inc and AbbVie Inc, with a boxed warning. The self-administered, under-the-skin injection, Zinbryta, is designed to treat adults with relapsing forms of the disease. Zinbryta should generally be used in patients who have not benefited from at least two prior therapies as the drug poses serious safety risks, the FDA said.
California rushes to allow HIV-infected organ transplants
27 May 2016 at 3:15pm
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) ? California lawmakers approved emergency legislation Friday to allow a man with HIV to receive part of his HIV-positive husband's liver before the surgery becomes too dangerous, possibly within weeks.
Dr. Heimlich, 96, uses his maneuver to save choking woman
27 May 2016 at 3:12pm
CINCINNATI (AP) ? The 96-year-old retired chest surgeon credited with developing the namesake Heimlich maneuver has used it to save a woman choking on food at his senior living center.
Health experts urge WHO to consider moving Rio Olympics
27 May 2016 at 3:05pm
LONDON (AP) ? Health experts on Friday urged the World Health Organization to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should be postponed or moved because of the Zika outbreak.
Scientists disagree over Zika risk at Brazil's Olympics
27 May 2016 at 2:59pm
One day after a top U.S. health official declared there was no public health reason to cancel or delay this summer's Olympics in Brazil, more than 150 scientists on Friday called for just that, saying the risk of infection from the Zika virus is too high. The scientists, many of them bioethicists, who signed an open letter published online to Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization. The letter urged that the Games, due to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August, be moved to another location or delayed.
The Perfect Yoga Routine to Do Before Your Flight
27 May 2016 at 2:37pm
No matter how excited you are to travel, some part of you is probably dreading the flight. One of the most unpleasant factors of air travel is sitting in a cramped seat for hours on end. A stiff neck, cramping, and sore muscles affect everyone, but that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to prevent them. Doing yoga before your flight is a...
U.N. urges Syrian government to stop blocking aid deliveries
27 May 2016 at 2:33pm
The United Nations' humanitarian chief on Friday demanded that the Syrian government and militant groups stop interfering with the delivery of food and medicine for civilians trapped in besieged and difficult-to-reach areas in war-ravaged Syria. "The continued use of siege and starvation as a weapon of war is reprehensible," U.N. under secretary-general Stephen O'Brien told the 15-nation Security Council. "Based on the latest information, we now estimate that some 592,700 people are currently living in besieged areas," he said, adding that most of those were surrounded by government forces. The five-year-old civil war in Syria has killed at least 250,000 people.
Tighter blood pressure control may be advisable for elderly
27 May 2016 at 1:58pm
By Larry Hand NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new study might help doctors answer the controversial question of what's the healthiest blood pressure for older adults. In adults above age 75 who could walk without assistance, keeping the top blood pressure number below 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) led to significantly lower rates of cardiovascular events and deaths from any cause, the study found. There had been some fear that bringing the top number - called the systolic pressure - down below 120 mmHg might actually be risky for older individuals.