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Babies born at weekend more likely to die in first week: UK study
25 Nov 2015 at 2:26am
Researchers from Imperial College London estimate that there are around 770 extra newborn deaths and 470 more maternal infections each year than if performance were consistent across the whole week. The study into "the weekend effect" also suggests increased rates of other complications for mothers admitted and babies born at weekends.
France reports outbreak of H5N1 bird flu
25 Nov 2015 at 2:10am
France's agriculture ministry on Wednesday said an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu had been found in the southwest part of the country. "A case of avian influenza has been confirmed in a backyard in Dordogne," it said in a statement. The bird flu outbreak, found among chickens, was the first one in France since 2006, a ministry spokesman told Reuters.
Boy dies of Ebola in Liberia, first fatality in months
25 Nov 2015 at 1:15am
(This story filed on 24th November has been refiled to correct WHO quote to provide clarity on possible source of latest infection) By James Harding Giahyue MONROVIA (Reuters) - A 15-year-old boy has died of Ebola in Liberia, the first such fatality for months in a country declared free of the disease in September, its chief medical officer said on Tuesday. The boy tested positive last week and died late on Monday in hospital in Paynesville near the capital, where his father and brother are also being treated for Ebola, officials said. Liberia has placed under surveillance 153 people who may have come into contact with the boy.
Vietnam's transgender say new law paves way for surgeries
24 Nov 2015 at 11:46pm
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) ? Gay and transgender activists in Vietnam say a new law recognizing their rights will pave the way for gender reassignment surgery in the communist country and reduce discrimination.
Gambia president bans FGM, activists demand law to "save countless lives"
24 Nov 2015 at 11:36pm
By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has banned female genital mutilation (FGM) with immediate effect, but campaigners said on Tuesday a law is needed to "save countless lives" in the West African nation where three-quarters of women have been cut. Jammeh announced the ban late on Monday during his annual tour of the country, Information Minister Sheriff Bojang said in a Facebook post. "(Jammeh) has declared in the last few minutes that FGM or female circumcision has been banned in The Gambia with immediate effect!!!" he wrote.
19 people ill in E. coli linked to Costco chicken salad
24 Nov 2015 at 10:42pm
SEATTLE (AP) ? The strain of E. Coli linked to Costco chicken salad that has sickened 19 people in seven states is more likely to be life-threatening than a recent foodborne illness that led to the closure of some Chipotle restaurants in the Northwest
Report says combination of errors led to U.S. bombing of MSF hospital: NYT
24 Nov 2015 at 5:04pm
A U.S. air strike that destroyed a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz last month resulted from "human errors, failures in procedure and technical malfunctions," the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing military officials briefed on an internal investigation. "It's a combination of factors," the Times quoted an unnamed senior Defense Department official as saying, describing the findings in what it said was a 3,000-page investigative file. Two other military officials said the Air Force AC130 gunship that attacked the hospital was intended to target a different compound several hundred feet (metres) away that was believed to be a Taliban base of operations, the paper reported.
Research raises questions over ADHD drug effects
24 Nov 2015 at 4:10pm
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Researchers voiced concern on Wednesday about poor quality studies on the popular ADHD treatment Ritalin, saying evidence of some benefits, but also of sleep problems and appetite loss, suggests the drug should be prescribed with caution. Ritalin is sold by Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis NOVN.VX, known generically as methylphenidate and also sold under the brand names Concerta, Medikinet and Equasym. It has been used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)for more than 50 years.
Five charged in $600 million California health care fraud scheme
24 Nov 2015 at 3:48pm
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The former chief financial officer of a California hospital and four other people have been charged in a series of health care kickback schemes that generated nearly $600 million in fraudulent billings for spinal surgeries, prosecutors said on Tuesday. All five defendants have agreed to cooperate in a wide-ranging federal investigation into the fraud, dubbed "Operation Spinal Cap", U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said, and two have already pleaded guilty to federal charges. Prosecutors say one of the schemes involved kickbacks and fraudulent claims submitted in thousands of spinal surgery cases referred to Pacific Hospital in the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach.
FDA panel says BioMarin DMD drug data not persuasive enough
24 Nov 2015 at 3:45pm
A panel of outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicated that efficacy data from BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc on its experimental drug for treating a muscle wastage disorder was not persuasive enough to warrant approval. The FDA panel did not officially vote on an approval of the drug, but 15 out of 17 members were of the opinion that the lack of statistical significance in BioMarin's late-stage study weakened the findings from two earlier studies. The drug, drisapersen, is being developed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) - a disease that affects one in 3,600 newborn boys and causes rapid muscle degeneration.
Company at center of drug pricing storm cuts cost of medicine
24 Nov 2015 at 3:40pm
(Reuters) - Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company that became a lightning rod for criticism over excessive price increases for older medicines, on Tuesday said it would cut the cost of its anti-infection drug to hospitals. Privately-held Turing and its Chief Executive Martin Shkreli sparked outrage in September after it acquired the rights to a 62-year-old drug, Daraprim, and raised the price more than 5,000 percent to $750 a pill from $13.50. The company said it will offer reductions of up to 50 percent off its previously announced price for hospitals, which handle about 80 percent of cases of toxoplasmosis encephalitis, the dangerous infection that Daraprim is used to treat.
CDC says at least 19 E. coli infections linked to Costco chicken salad
24 Nov 2015 at 3:17pm
(Reuters) - At least 19 people in seven states may have been infected by E. coli after eating rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco Wholesale Corp's stores, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday. No deaths have been reported, but two individuals developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, a type of kidney failure that can lead to permanent organ damage. The infections have been reported in Montana, Utah, Colorado, California, Missouri, Virginia and Washington, CDC said.
The Stakes Could Not Be Higher
24 Nov 2015 at 3:17pm
Today, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) released its 2015 World AIDS Day report, in advance of December 1. The report finds that 15.8 million people were accessing antiretroviral treatment (ART) as of June 2015. This is an extraordinary achievement--more than doubling the number of people that were on treatment just...
12 Ways to Avoid a Food Coma This Thanksgiving
24 Nov 2015 at 2:54pm
Photo: Pond5By Barbara Brody for Life by Daily Burn Gravy-drenched drumsticks, buttery mashed potatoes, and gooey pecan pie all sound scrumptious -- until you think about what they'll do to your waistline. While you shouldn't deprive yourself of all your favorite Thanksgiving staples, cutting back just a little and making some smart swaps can...
US Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise
24 Nov 2015 at 2:42pm
An estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs nonmedically for the first time in 2010, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). And most abusers start the habit in their teenage years.