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Deadline to clear up health law eligibility near
13 Aug 2014 at 12:15am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The clock is ticking for hundreds of thousands of people who have unresolved issues affecting their coverage under the new health care law.
Ebola: Questions, answers about an unproven drug
12 Aug 2014 at 12:41am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? An experimental Ebola drug has been used to treat two American aid workers and a Spanish missionary priest. Could Liberian doctors be next?
Texas abortion law could send women across borders
12 Aug 2014 at 1:40pm
EL PASO, Texas (AP) ? Crossing borders is a part of life in El Paso in far West Texas, where people may walk into Mexico to visit family or commute to New Mexico for work. But getting an abortion doesn't require leaving town.
Liberia imposes curfew as Ebola crisis grows
19 Aug 2014 at 7:53pm
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf imposed a nighttime curfew from Wednesday and quarantined two affected neighbourhoods in a bid to stem the Ebola epidemic rampaging through West Africa. The new quarantine areas include Monrovia's West Point slum. Earlier, Liberia's Information Minister Lewis Brown announced the return of 17 missing Ebola patients, who had fled a medical facility in West Point on Saturday after it was attacked by club-wielding youths.
California may have paid millions for fraudulent drug treatment: audit
19 Aug 2014 at 6:20pm
A California program that covers addiction treatments for the poor may have paid $93.7 million in fraudulent claims, a state audit showed. The report released Tuesday by the California State Auditor showed that the state's Drug Medi-Cal program may have paid more than $3 million in claims for patients who were actually dead, and found serious deficiencies in the agency's records for 30 drug treatment program providers. ?It is a very troubling audit,? said State Senator Ted Lieu, a Southern California Democrat who requested the audit along with another lawmaker. ?It shows that there is significant fraud in California?s Drug Medi-Cal system, and that this fraud has been ongoing for many years.? The audit was spurred by a 2013 investigation by The Center For Investigative Reporting and CNN, which found questionable billing practices at drug-treatment clinics in Southern California.
Liberia fights Ebola in capital, West Africa toll tops 1,200
19 Aug 2014 at 6:16pm
By Clair MacDougall and Stephanie Nebehay MONROVIA/GENEVA (Reuters) - Liberia battled on Tuesday to halt the spread of the Ebola disease in its crowded, run-down oceanside capital Monrovia, recording the most new deaths as fatalities from the world's worst outbreak of the deadly virus rose above 1,200. The epidemic of the hemorrhagic disease, which can kill up to 90 percent of those it infects, is ravaging the three small West African states of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and also has a toehold in Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy. As the Geneva-based World Health Organization rushed to ramp up the global response to the outbreak, including emergency food deliveries to quarantined zones, it announced that deaths had risen to 1,229 as of Aug. 16, out of 2,240 cases. Between Aug. 14 and 16, Liberia recorded the most new deaths, 53, followed by Sierra Leone with 17 and Guinea with 14.
California lawmakers pass bill banning inmate sterilizations
19 Aug 2014 at 6:13pm
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - California lawmakers sent a bill to ban sterilization surgeries on inmates in California prisons to Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday, after media reports and a later audit showed officials failed to follow the state's rules for obtaining consent for the procedure known as tubal ligation from incarcerated women. ?Pressuring a vulnerable population into making permanent reproductive choices without informed consent violates our most basic human rights.? The measure passed the Senate floor with a unanimous vote of 33-0 and now goes to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. An audit released in June showed that errors were made in obtaining informed consent from 39 women inmates out of 144 who had their tubes tied while incarcerated between 2005 and 2011. Prison rules make tubal ligation available to inmates as part of regular obstetrical care.
Liberia fights Ebola in capital, W. Africa toll tops 1,200
19 Aug 2014 at 5:52pm
By Stephanie Nebehay MONROVIA/GENEVA (Reuters) - Liberia battled on Tuesday to halt the spread of the Ebola disease in its crowded, run-down oceanside capital Monrovia, recording the most new deaths as fatalities from the world's worst outbreak of the deadly virus rose above 1,200. The epidemic of the hemorrhagic disease, which can kill up to 90 percent of those it infects, is ravaging the three small West African states of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and also has a toehold in Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy. As the Geneva-based World Health Organization rushed to ramp up the global response to the outbreak, including emergency food deliveries to quarantined zones, it announced that deaths from it had risen to 1,229 as of Aug. 16, out of 2,240 cases. Between Aug. 14-16, Liberia recorded the most new deaths, 53, followed by Sierra Leone with 17, and Guinea with 14.
Huge discrepancies on heart disease in Europe
19 Aug 2014 at 5:10pm
Russians and Ukrainians aged 55 to 59 die from coronary heart disease at a higher rate than Frenchmen who are 20 years older, a study released Wednesday of Europe's cardiovascular health showed. Drawing on data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the report covering 52 countries noted a generally positive trend, but with huge discrepancies across the region. Cardiovascular disease (CVD), a collection heart and blood vessel conditions that can lead to heart attack and stroke, remained the single biggest killer, claiming over four million lives in Europe per year. This represented nearly half of all deaths, said the study published in the European Heart Journal.
Study links antibiotic to heart death risk
19 Aug 2014 at 5:06pm
Danish researchers reported a link Wednesday between a commonly-used antibiotic and a "significantly" higher risk of heart deaths, while observers urged caution in interpreting the results. In a study published online by the British medical journal The BMJ, the team said clarithromycin use was associated with a 76-percent higher risk of cardiac death, compared to use of penicillin V. "The absolute risk difference was 37 cardiac deaths per 1 million courses with clarithromycin," reported the trio from the Statens Serum Institute's epidemiology department in Copenhagen. Clarithromycin is prescribed to millions of people every year, to treat bacterial infections like pneumonia, bronchitis and some skin infections.
Liberia president declares Ebola curfew
19 Aug 2014 at 4:58pm
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) ? Liberia's president declared a curfew and ordered security forces to quarantine a slum home to at least 50,000 people late Tuesday as the West African country battled to stop the spread of Ebola in the capital.
Liberian president orders curfew over Ebola outbreak
19 Aug 2014 at 4:48pm
Monrovia (AFP) - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced a night-time curfew from Wednesday and the quarantine of two neighbourhoods, including one in the capital Monrovia, in a bid to stem the deadly Ebola outbreak.
UK cost agency backs Celgene bone marrow drug in change of tack
19 Aug 2014 at 4:03pm
Celgene's drug Revlimid should be an option on Britain's state health service for patients with serious bone marrow disorders and a specific chromosomal abnormality, the country's cost agency said on Wednesday. The final draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) represents a change of tack after the medicine was rejected last year for treating myelodysplastic syndromes, which can lead to life-threatening diseases including leukaemia. The latest decision follows the submission of revised analyses from Celgene and further information on the company's proposal to limit the cost of the drug. Celgene has agreed to provide Revlimid free of charge for anyone who needs more than 26 monthly cycles of treatment.
Walking, biking and taking public transit tied to lower weight
19 Aug 2014 at 3:42pm
By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who walk, bike or take public transportation to work tend to be thinner than those who ride in their own cars, according to a new study from the UK. The new findings - including that taking public transportation was just as beneficial as the other ?active commuting? modes - point to significant health benefits across society if more people left their cars at home, researchers say. ?It seems to suggest switching your commute mode - where you can build in just a bit of incidental physical activity - you may be able to cut down on your chance of being overweight and achieve a healthier body composition as well,? said Ellen Flint, who led the study. Flint and her colleagues from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London write at TheBMJ.com that physical activity has decreased along with the proportion of people taking active modes of transportation to work.
Top doctor is Nigeria's fifth Ebola death
19 Aug 2014 at 3:33pm
A senior doctor who treated Nigeria's first Ebola patient has died, taking the death toll in Africa's most populous country to five, health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said on Tuesday. Chukwu said the doctor was "the most senior who participated in the management of the (first Ebola) patient" in the country. Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, 40, died in a Lagos hospital on July 25, five days after arriving at the city's airport visibly unwell on a flight from the Liberian capital, Monrovia. "With this unfortunate development, the total number of Ebola virus-related deaths in Nigeria now stands at five," Chukwu added.