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Zika found in saliva; no Carnival kissing, Brazil warns pregnant women
5 Feb 2016 at 12:57pm
By Pedro Fonseca RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Zika has been found in the saliva and urine of two patients in Brazil and while it is not known if such body fluids could transmit the virus, the discovery could make pregnant revelers wary of kissing strangers during the country's often uninhibited Carnival festivities. Brazilian scientists announced their discovery on Friday, as U.S. health officials advised more stringent measures for monitoring pregnant women for Zika and for preventing sexual transmission of the virus. Scientists at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a Brazil federal government biomedical research institution, said they used genetic testing to identify the virus in samples from two patients while they had symptoms and were known to have Zika.
Michigan governor: solve Flint water crisis instead of laying blame
5 Feb 2016 at 12:57pm
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said on Friday he wants officials to focus on solving problems around lead-contaminated drinking water in the city of Flint instead of laying blame as he said some have been doing. "There are a number of folk out there that are spending their time mainly on the political side and the blame side," he said at a meeting in Flint of local and state officials responding to the crisis. Snyder's comments came a day after liberal group Progress Michigan released emails showing high-ranking state officials knew about an increase in Legionnaires' disease in Genesee County, where Flint is located, and a possible link to the contaminated water almost a year before the governor said he got information about the outbreak.
Supernus beats Allergan over epilepsy drug patents
5 Feb 2016 at 12:43pm
(Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday said Allergan Plc's plan to sell a generic version of a drug meant to treat epilepsy infringed patents belonging to Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc. Supernus shares rose as much as 44 percent. In a 136-page decision, U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden, New Jersey said the proposed generic version of Oxtellar XR infringed two of three Supernus patents in question. Oxtellar XR is a tablet used to treat partial epilepsy seizures in adults and children over the age of six.
California doctor gets 30 years to life in landmark overdose case
5 Feb 2016 at 12:20pm
A Southern California doctor was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison on Friday for over-prescribing drugs that caused the fatal overdose of three patients in a murder case capped by the first conviction of its kind in the United States. The case against Dr. Hsiu Ying "Lisa" Tseng, 46, comes amid what public health officials describe as a national epidemic of drug abuse. A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury convicted Tseng, an osteopath who specialized in internal medicine, of three counts of second-degree murder after deliberating for nine days in October.
Eating soy may protect against reproductive effects of BPA
5 Feb 2016 at 12:14pm
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Eating soy foods may help protect against reproductive effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical in many plastic consumer products and lining the inside of some canned foods, according to a study of women undergoing fertility treatments. ?The results were actually exactly what we were expecting to find,? said lead author Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro of the Harvard School of Public Health-Nutrition in Boston. BPA is known to mimic estrogen in the body, and therefore it?s believed to disrupt conception and implantation of a fertilized egg in the womb, the researchers write in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
CFM jet engine sales top 2,150 in 2015 as growth booms
5 Feb 2016 at 12:04pm
It also said it produced 1,638 CFM56 engines in 2015. CFM, a joint venture of General Electric Co and Safran SA of France, said its backlog of LEAP engines, which power the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo jetliners, now stands at more than 10,000 units valued at $140 billion. "For CFM, life is good," Jean-Paul Ebanga, chief executive of CFM, said on a conference call ahead of the Singapore Airshow which begins on Feb. 16.
FDA staff backs biosimilar to Remicade; J&J and AbbVie fall
5 Feb 2016 at 12:04pm
U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff members on Friday said Celltrion Inc's biosimilar form of Johnson & Johnson's Remicade arthritis drug appeared "highly similar" to the widely used branded product. The news sent shares of J&J, whose annual Remicade sales of $6.5 billion are mostly in the United States, down almost 4 percent. It also hit AbbVie Inc and Amgen Inc, whose arthritis treatments work the same way.
Doctor gets 30 years to life for prescription drug deaths
5 Feb 2016 at 11:59am
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? A Los Angeles-area doctor convicted of murder for prescribing exorbitant amounts of painkillers that left a dozen patients dead was sentenced Friday to 30 years to life in prison.
First Zika-linked deaths reported in Colombia
5 Feb 2016 at 11:56am
Colombia said Friday three people had died of complications of the Zika virus sweeping Latin America, as the UN urged increased access to abortion because of fears of severe birth defects. In the first direct statements from government health officials blaming Zika for causing deaths, Colombia's National Health Institute (INS) said the patients died after contracting the virus and developing a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome. "Other cases (of deaths linked to Zika) are going to emerge," said epidemiologist Martha Lucia Ospina, director of the INS.
Exclusive: Obama to propose $2.5 billion tax credit for community college inv...
5 Feb 2016 at 11:56am
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will propose a $2.5 billion tax credit over five years for businesses that invest in programs at local community colleges and hire their graduates, administration officials said on Friday.
U.S. traffic deaths increase sharply in 2015
5 Feb 2016 at 11:48am
Traffic deaths in the United States rose 9.3 percent in the first nine months of 2015 compared to same period a year before as low gasoline prices increased road travel, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Friday. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a branch of the Transportation Department, did not immediately have an explanation for the increase in traffic deaths to an estimated 26,000 in 2015, which is the highest level since 2008. NHTSA said 94 percent of all crashes are the result of human error and that it is working to address driver behavior.
Brazil finds Zika in saliva, urine; expert warns against kissing
5 Feb 2016 at 11:43am
By Pedro Fonseca RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Scientists identified the Zika virus in the saliva and urine of two infected patients, a top Brazilian biomedical research institution said on Friday, prompting its president to urge pregnant women not to kiss strangers just as local carnival celebrations begin. The discovery added to the rising concern over Zika, which is spreading rapidly in the Americans and has been linked to thousands of severe birth defects in Brazil.
New Zealand athletes given warnings on Zika
5 Feb 2016 at 11:33am
By Greg Stutchbury WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's Olympic athletes and officials have been warned of the risk associated with the Zika virus on Friday, including the possibility that it could be sexually transmitted. The spread of the virus across Latin America and the Caribbean have put the Rio Olympics in the spotlight with the Games' authorities working to eradicate the mosquito that has been attributed as the principal cause of the outbreak. Health officials in Dallas County, however, reported on Tuesday the first known case contracted in the United States was a person infected after having sex with somebody who had returned from Venezuela.
Bayer rejects EPA request to pull insecticide from U.S. market
5 Feb 2016 at 11:26am
The agricultural unit of German chemicals company Bayer AG said on Friday it will fight a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) request to pull one of its insecticides from the marketplace amid concerns that it could harm organisms in streams and ponds. Bayer CropScience will instead ask for an administrative law hearing from the EPA's Office of General Counsel to review the registration of flubendiamide, the active ingredient in Bayer's Belt pesticide. The registration, granted in 2008, was a limited-time conditional registration that could be canceled if additional studies found the chemical to be damaging, the EPA said in a statement.
CDC: Link between Zika, microcephaly looks "stronger and stronger"
5 Feb 2016 at 11:06am
(Reuters) - The suspected link between the Zika virus and a birth defect known as microcephaly appears "stronger and stronger" as researchers study whether there is a causal connection, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. Scientists are trying to establish whether infection with the Zika virus during pregnancy causes microcephaly, in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and an underdeveloped brain. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said the agency is also working with researchers in Brazil to study a potential link between Zika and a wider array of developmental disorders in babies.