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Medicare drug premiums to rise for 2nd year
31 Jul 2014 at 1:42pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Medicare says premiums for prescription drug plans will rise in 2015 for the second year in a row.
U.S. warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries
31 Jul 2014 at 8:11pm
U.S. health officials are warning Americans not to travel to the three African countries hit by an outbreak of Ebola.
Colorado considers a new look for edible pot
31 Jul 2014 at 11:12pm
DENVER (AP) ? Edible marijuana comes with all kinds of warning labels in Colorado. But once those pot brownies and gummy bears are out of the package, they can look identical to straight-laced treats.
U.S. government to test Ebola vaccine on humans: reports
1 Aug 2014 at 2:17am
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The U.S. government will begin testing on people an experimental Ebola vaccine as early as September, after seeing positive results from tests on primates, according to media reports on Thursday. The National Institutes of Health's infectious disease unit is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to put the vaccine into trial as quickly as possible, according to CNN and USA Today. The director of that unit could not be reached for comment.
Seychelles forfeit tie after refusing team entry over Ebola fears
1 Aug 2014 at 12:18am
The Seychelles have forfeited their African Nations Cup qualifying tie against Sierra Leone after refusing the west African nation?s soccer team entry over Ebola virus fears. Sierra Leone, which has declared a state of emergency to quarantine victims of the deadly disease, were due to face the Seychelles in a playoff second leg on Saturday but on Thursday were denied permission to board a Nairobi to Mahe flight. The Seychelles have since said they will forfeit the game, allowing Sierra Leone to advance to the next round. Seychelles Health Commissioner Jude Gedeon said regular World Health Organisation (WHO) alerts indicated that while the disease has so far been transmitted from epicentres in Liberia, Guinea-Conakry and Sierra Leone over borders by land, there are now strong indications it is also being spread by air travel.
Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729
1 Aug 2014 at 12:00am
By Umaru Fofana FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone has declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine Ebola victims, joining neighboring Liberia in imposing controls as the death toll from the outbreak of the virus hit 729 in West Africa. The World Health Organisation said it would launch a $100 million response plan on Friday during a meeting with the affected nations in Guinea. The WHO on Thursday reported 57 new deaths in the four days to July 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, raising the death toll to 729. It said the number of Ebola cases had topped 1,300.
Ebola patient coming to U.S. as aid workers' health worsens
31 Jul 2014 at 11:26pm
By Julie Steenhuysen and Colleen Jenkins CHICAGO/WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - A U.S. aid worker who was infected with the deadly Ebola virus while working in West Africa will be flown to the United States to be treated in a high-security ward at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, hospital officials said on Thursday. The aid worker, whose name has not been released, will be moved in the next several days to a special isolation unit at Emory. CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said her agency was working with the U.S. State Department to facilitate the transfer. Reynolds said the CDC was not aware of any Ebola patient ever being treated in the United States, but five people in the past decade have entered the country with either Lassa Fever or Marburg Fever, hemorrhagic fevers similar to Ebola.
Canada's telcos burst into banking, healthcare in hunt for growth
31 Jul 2014 at 10:06pm
By Alastair Sharp and Euan Rocha TORONTO August 1 (Reuters) - Canada's three biggest telecom firms, keen to keep shareholders happy with fat dividends, are breaking into businesses ranging from banking to healthcare to drive growth as they run out of expansion options and shy away from overseas purchases. BCE Inc , Rogers Communications Inc and Telus Corp dominate their industry in Canada but with landline connections on the wane, cable TV losing out to online portals and wireless growth slowing, Canada's telecom giants are pushing into uncharted businesses. Some of the moves - such as Rogers' C$5.2 billion-deal ($4.8 billion) for exclusive National Hockey League broadcast rights - may bring a rapid pay-off. Others, like Telus' bid to dominate healthcare services, are gambles that may not pay off for many years.
Ebola-hit west Africa launches emergency battle plan
31 Jul 2014 at 9:26pm
West Africa's Ebola-hit nations imposed stringent new rules to tackle the world's worst ever outbreak of the tropical virus ahead of a special regional summit Friday to launch an emergency response plan. The leaders of four west African countries -- Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast -- meet in the Guinean capital Conakry Friday, along with the head of the World Health Organisation, Margaret Chan, to launch a $100-million joint plan to tackle the epidemic. The meeting comes as US, German and French health authorities issued a warning on Thursday against travel to the three affected countries -- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- to stop the disease spreading to their shores. If you leave behind even one burning ember, one case undetected, it could reignite the epidemic," said Tom Frieden, the chief of the US's top public health body.
Oregon Medicaid targets expensive hepatitis drug
31 Jul 2014 at 7:09pm
WILSONVILLE, Ore. (AP) ? An Oregon Medicaid committee on Thursday significantly scaled back access to an effective ? but expensive ? new drug used to treat hepatitis C.
Obamacare subsidy case could be reviewed by U.S. Supreme Court
31 Jul 2014 at 7:03pm
(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to review a case about whether the federal government can subsidize health insurance for millions of Americans, a party involved in the lawsuit said on Thursday. The petition requests the U.S. high court decide the issue after two lower U.S. court rulings created uncertainties last week regarding the legitimacy of subsidies for individuals enrolled on federally run exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is coordinating and funding the cases, filed the petition, according to the not-for-profit's website. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in a 2-1 decision that the language in the Affordable Care Act dealing with subsidies shows they should only be provided to consumers who purchase benefits on exchanges run by individual states.
U.S. Senate passes $16.3 billion veterans health bill
31 Jul 2014 at 6:16pm
By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate late on Thursday overwhelmingly gave final congressional approval to a $16.3 billion plan to ease long healthcare delays at the scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs Department, adding the bulk of the cost to the federal deficit. The 91-3 vote sends the measure to President Barack Obama to be signed into law just before Congress starts a five-week summer recess. The plan, which contains $10 billion in new emergency spending that is not offset by any budget savings, aims to clear months-long waiting lists for healthcare appointments at VA hospitals and clinics across the country. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated a $35 billion cost through 2017, and the ultimate price tag depends on how many veterans opt for private care and how quickly the VA can build up its internal treatment capacity.
USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections
31 Jul 2014 at 6:11pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year.
Poor Sanitation: The Startling Link to Childhood Malnutrition
31 Jul 2014 at 5:46pm
I just returned from a trip to India, where I was teaching at the Delhi Indian Institute of Technology, interacting with an eager group of future environmental scientists and engineers. As we discussed water pollution, a July 13 New York Times article reported on an emerging hypothesis that poor sanitation in India may be more responsible than...
Y Combinator-Backed ListRunner Eliminates Hospital Paperwork
31 Jul 2014 at 5:30pm
A majority of a doctor?s time is spent jotting down notes about a patient for the next doctor on duty over and over again with a pen and paper, according to Dr. Jeeshan Chowdury. His new Y Combinator-backed startup, ListRunner, promises to eliminate this paperwork with a mobile app.You?d think this problem would have already been...