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China reports new human case of H7N9 bird flu
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China confirmed a new human infection of the deadly H7N9 avian influenza virus, state news agency Xinhua said, the first case this winter in the southern province of Guangdong. A 31-year-old woman surnamed Deng, from the provincial city of Dongguan, was confirmed on Friday to have been infected with the virus, Guangdong's health and family commission said in a statement on its website. The patient, in critical condition, is being treated in the provincial capital of Guangzhou, it added. The H7N9 bird flu first infected three people in China in March 2013. ...

Ebola scare boosts business for Alabama company
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Ebola scare has subsided in the United States, at least temporarily, but an Alabama manufacturer is still trying to catch up with a glut of orders for gear to protect against the disease.

French president cheered in Ebola-stricken Guinea

French President Francois Hollande has his temperature measured upon his arrival at the Donka hospital in Conakry, Guinea, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, as part of a one day visit in Guinea focused on Ebola situation. Hollande is set to become the first Western head of state to visit one of the west African countries worst hit by Ebola as he flies into Guinea for a brief stopover.(AP Photo/Alain Jocard,Pool)CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — French President Francois Hollande brought a message of hope to Guinea on Friday, where thousands of residents lined the roads while clapping, drumming and dancing to catch a glimpse of the first Western leader to visit a country hard hit by Ebola.


Arizona man hospitalized over Ebola concerns tests negative
(Reuters) - A Phoenix man who became ill after returning this week from Sierra Leone, one of the three West African nations hardest hit by an Ebola outbreak, on Friday was taken to a hospital where he tested negative for the virus, officials said. The 32-year-old man, who was not identified, was transported to the Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix for evaluation after complaining of sickness including dry-heaving and diarrhea, Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Mark Vanacore said. ...

Liberia's Supreme Court suspends election campaign over Ebola
MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia's Supreme Court suspended campaigning for next month's senate election on Friday while it considers a petition warning that electioneering risks spreading the Ebola outbreak, the information minister said. A group including some former government officials and political party representatives filed the petition earlier this week for the Dec. 16 vote to be delayed until next year when the outbreak will possibly be over. Liberia, the nation hardest hit by the worst Ebola epidemic on record, has seen over 3,000 of its citizens killed by the disease. ...

Heavy drinking raises women’s injury risk more than men’s
By Janice Neumann (Reuters Health) – Heavy drinking increases the risk of being injured, and far more so for women than men, researchers say. In a review of emergency department admissions in 18 countries, they also found that violence was involved in twice as many drinking-related injuries as were traffic collisions, falls or other causes. “Even small amounts of drinking put one at risk for injury,” said lead researcher Cheryl Cherpitel of the Alcohol Research Group in Emeryville, California. After three standard drinks, both men and women were about 4. ...

New York State blocks free medical services at event
By Sascha Brodsky NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state health officials have stopped a nonprofit group from providing free medical care to thousands of patients lacking health insurance during a four-day dental conference that starts Friday.  The nonprofit, Remote Area Medical, had raised $3 million and enlisted hundreds of volunteer doctors and other medical workers to offer a range of health services, including dental care, new eyeglasses and other services. The group had planned to treat about 7,000 patients at the New York Sate event. ...

France's Hollande warns against isolating Ebola-hit Guinea
By Saliou Samb CONAKRY (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande, the first Western leader to visit Ebola-stricken West Africa, warned on Friday against isolating one of the countries hit by the worst epidemic of the disease on record. During a brief visit to Guinea's capital Conakry, Hollande was greeted by President Alpha Conde before visiting a hospital and meeting health workers battling the outbreak. Hollande said the French people should be aware of what was happening in Guinea, the origin of the epidemic that has killed 1,200 Guineans and more than 5,600 people across West Africa. ...

Arizona man who visited Sierra Leone hospitalized over Ebola concerns
(Reuters) - A Phoenix man who became ill after returning this week from Sierra Leone, one of the three West African nations hardest hit by an Ebola outbreak, was taken to a hospital on Friday to check if he was infected with the virus, officials said. The 32-year-old man, who was not identified, was transported to the Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix for evaluation after complaining of sickness including dry-heaving and diarrhea, Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Mark Vanacore said. Dr. ...

Rehab may be best option for young adult opiate addicts
By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters Health) - Young adults addicted to opiates like oxycodone and heroin may have the best chance at long-term abstinence in residential treatment - often known as rehab - programs, according to a recent study. “Given evidence that outpatient treatment for opioid dependence in young adults is not as effective as it is in older adults, we need alternatives to protect this vulnerable population,” said lead author Dr. Zev Schuman-Olivier. According to the U.S. ...

Pursuit and restraint raise police officers’ risk of sudden death
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – Police officers are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death when performing stressful duties like chasing, restraining or fighting with suspects, researchers say. Sudden cardiac death is up to 70 times more likely during those kinds of stressful activities, compared to when police officers perform routine duties, according a new study of U.S. law enforcement deaths. The results aren't surprising, said senior author Dr. Stefanos N. Kales of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. ...

Cuban doctor with Ebola 'improving' in Geneva hospital
HAVANA (Reuters) - The Cuban doctor who contracted Ebola while treating patients in Sierra Leone is improving with each day and eating normally, though he is still weak, a Swiss hospital said on Friday. Felix Baez, 43, arrived at University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) a week ago for treatment of the disease that has killed more than 5,600 people since March, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Baez is one of 256 Cuban doctors and nurses sent to West Africa to treat patients, a commitment that has won wide international praise for the poor, Caribbean island. "Today, Dr. ...

Needy patients to get new hips or knees for free next week
By Randi Belisomo (Reuters Health) - Excruciating hip pain forced 50-year-old Army veteran David Chalker to leave his machinist job three years ago, a decision that led to mounting debt, inability to afford health insurance and even a move into his in-laws’ home with his wife and three daughters. But his family is counting on one operation next week - entirely free of charge - to change the course of both his health and finances. The Long Island, New York resident is one of 120 patients scheduled for hip or knee replacement during the first week of December, provided by Operation Walk USA. ...

South African mother turns tragedy into fight against HIV
By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Johanna Satekge was pregnant with her first-born when she tested positive for HIV in South Africa's Limpopo province in 2000. When her son was born, he weighed 3.6 kgs. When he died seven months later, he had wasted away to 2 kgs. After three years, Satekge got pregnant again, this time giving birth to a daughter she named Blessing. "She was healthy, I breastfed her. Then she got ill and died after seven months," said the 39-year-old, taking out her wallet to show Blessing's photo. "You can see how painful it was. ...

Brazil's Pele improving, still in intensive care - hospital

Brazilian soccer legend Pele waves next to a public telephone booth with an image of his face painted by Brazilian artist Sipros after he autographed it, during the Call Parade art exhibition in Sao PauloSAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian soccer great Pele "is in better condition" though he remains in an intensive care unit being treated for a urinary tract infection, the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said on Friday. Pele, 74, is receiving renal support treatment, which helps kidneys to filter waste products from the blood, after surgery to remove kidney stones earlier this month. He is not on vasoactive drugs or other supportive therapies, the hospital said. ...


Beijing adopts smoking ban for public places: state media

Beijing adopts smoking ban for public places: state mediaChina's capital on Friday passed a smoking ban for all indoor public places and offices, state media reported, despite the failure of past attempts to limit where the country's 300 million smokers can light up.


New 15-minute test for Ebola to undergo trials in West Africa

Some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion is revealed in this undated handout colorized transmission electron micrographLONDON (Reuters) - A new test designed to rapidly diagnose Ebola virus infection is to be tried out at a treatment centre for the disease in Guinea, international health charity The Wellcome Trust said on Friday. Researchers developing the 15-minute Ebola test say it is six times faster than similar ones currently in use and, if it proves successful, could help medical staff identify and isolate confirmed Ebola patients faster and start treating them sooner. ...


Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster

A girl who suffers from hearing and speech disorders reacts to the camera at a rehabilitation centre for children who were born with mental and physical disabilities in BhopalBy Danish Siddiqui and Nita Bhalla BHOPAL/NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Beyond the iron gates of the derelict pesticide plant where one of the world's worst industrial disasters occurred, administrative buildings lie in ruins, vegetation overgrown and warehouses bolted. Massive vessels, interconnected by a multitude of corroded pipes that once carried chemical slurries, have rusted beyond repair. In the dusty control room, a soiled sticker on a wall panel reads "Safety is everyone's business". On the night of Dec. 2, 1984, the factory owned by the U.S. ...


Czechs raise security after ministers get poison by mail
PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Interior Ministry will tighten security at government offices after unknown culprits sent envelopes with deadly doses of poison to two ministries in recent days, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Friday. The two poisoned letters were intercepted before reaching the addressees and no one was hurt. They envelopes were sent by mail from Sweden and Slovenia, addressed to Finance Minister Andrej Babis and Interior Minister Milan Chovanec. The Czech Republic, a member of NATO and the European Union, does not have a record of terrorist attacks in the past decades. ...

WHO advises male Ebola survivors to abstain from sex

A volunteer wearing a protective suit walks in a 'high risk' zone during Red Cross Ebola training excercise in WuerzburgLONDON (Reuters) - Men who recover from Ebola should abstain from sex for three months to minimize the risk of passing the virus on in their semen, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. Ebola, a disease that has infected and killing thousands in a vast epidemic in West Africa, normally spreads via bodily fluids such as blood, saliva and faeces. Although sexual transmission of Ebola virus disease has never been documented, the virus has been detected in the survivors' semen. ...


China drafts policy on emergency Ebola diagnosis, approves products

Health inspection and quarantine researchers work in their laboratory at an airport in QingdaoSHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has drafted a policy on the emergency use of diagnostic products for the Ebola virus disease and clinical trials, the country's drug regulator said on Friday, as the number of people affected globally by the epidemic nears 16,000. In a brief statement, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) said it had also approved three companies to produce Ebola diagnosis products for emergency reserve use. "These (products) provide key technological safeguards for China to diagnose the Ebola virus and defend against any epidemic situation," it said. ...


Nepal devotees sacrifice thousands of animals in Hindu ritual

Butchers raise their swords while performing rituals before the sacrificial ceremony of the "Gadhimai Mela" festival held in BariyapurBy Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Sword-wielding Hindu devotees in Nepal began slaughtering thousands of animals and birds in a ritual sacrifice on Friday, ignoring calls by animal rights activists to halt what they described as the world's largest such exercise. More than 80 percent of Nepal's 27 million people are Hindus, but unlike most of their counterparts in neighboring India, they frequently sacrifice animals to appease deities during festivals. Authorities deployed hundreds of police personnel to make sure there were no clashes between activists and the devotees. ...


China writer goes on trial for media censorship protest after long delay

Policemen guard in front of an entrance to a court where the trial of Chinese rights activist Guo Feixiong's was taking place, in GuangzhouBy James Pomfret HONG KONG (Reuters) - The long-awaited trial of a prominent Chinese writer and activist resumed in southern China on Friday, more than two months after his lawyers boycotted an earlier hearing with Beijing showing little sign of easing its clampdown against rights campaigners. Guo Feixiong, 48, was arrested for taking part in a rare public protest against media censorship outside the offices of the Southern Weekly newspaper in January last year in the southern city of Guangzhou. ...


Soccer great Pele in intensive care, condition improving -hospital

Brazilian soccer legend Pele waves next to a public telephone booth with an image of his face painted by Brazilian artist Sipros after he autographed it, during the Call Parade art exhibition in Sao PauloSAO PAULO (Reuters) - Retired Brazilian soccer great Pele is in the intensive care unit in a Sao Paulo hospital where he is being treated for a urinary tract infection, but his condition is improving, the hospital said on Thursday. The Albert Einstein Hospital said Pele, 74, was receiving renal support treatment, which helps kidneys to filter waste products from the blood, after he had an operation to remove kidney stones earlier this month. A series of tweets in English from the former player's account aimed to calm concerns over his health. One read: "Want to let you know I am doing fine. ...


Canada to deploy military health staff to Sierra Leone in Ebola fight
By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will send up to 40 military staff to Sierra Leone to help battle Ebola, the government said on Thursday as it also launched a campaign to recruit healthcare workers to help operate treatment centers in three West African countries. The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic had risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries as of Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. ...

Ebola cases near 16,000, Sierra Leone to overtake Liberia soon with most cases - WHO

Health workers remove the body a woman who died of Ebola virus in the Aberdeen district of FreetownBy Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic has risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries by Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. Almost all cases and all but 15 deaths have been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - the three hardest-hit countries, which reported 600 new cases in the past week, the WHO said in its latest update. "The total number of cases reported in Sierra Leone since the outbreak began will soon eclipse the number reported from Liberia," it said. ...


GlaxoSmithKline fires executive who raised race complaint in South Africa: Bloomberg

The logo of GlaxoSmithKline is seen on its office building in Shanghai(Reuters) - Britain's biggest drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, fired an executive from its South African unit for refusing to appear for a performance review, which was called a week after he complained of racial discrimination in the workplace, Bloomberg reported, citing company documents.


Italy's pharmaceutical watchdog raises alarm on batches of flu drug
ROME (Reuters) - Italy's pharmaceutical watchdog AIFA suspended two batches of anti-flu vaccine FLUAD made by Switzerland's Novartis on Thursday, saying three deaths potentially connected to the drug had been reported. AIFA said it had not yet established whether there was a direct link between the drug and the fatalities and had imposed the ban only as a precaution. Novartis said in a statement that no causal relationship had been established. ...

Liver transplant recipient marks 25th anniversary

In this Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, photo, Alyssa Riggan, who was the first in the United States to successfully receive a liver from a living donor 25 years ago, poses with her husband, Benjamin, in their home in Severn, Md. As Riggan marks the 25th anniversary of her successful surgery on Thursday, she says its success has enabled her to live a normal life almost completely untouched by what was an often-fatal disorder. Riggan was 21 months old when her mother, Teri Smith, donated more than a third of her liver to save her daughter from a disorder called biliary atresia. (AP Photo/ Brian Witte)SEVERN, Md. (AP) — Alyssa Riggan hasn't dwelled on being the first person in the U.S. to successfully receive part of a liver from a living donor 25 years ago, a medical procedure that paved the way for routine live-donor transplants.


ICRC seeks record $1.7 billion for humanitarian work in 2015
By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed on Thursday for a record 1.6 billion Swiss francs ($1.67 billion) to respond to humanitarian crises next year in Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and other hotspots. The ICRC said its most costly operation in 2015 will be Syria, where more than three years of fighting have uprooted 7.2 million people inside the country and led 3.3 million to flee abroad, mainly to neighboring states like Lebanon and Jordan. ...

Mindfulness program may improve some rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
By Shereen Lehman (Reuters) - A two-month program combining gentle yoga with meditation techniques, known as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, seemed to ease tenderness, pain and stiffness among patients with rheumatoid arthritis in a new study. “I think these findings are pretty consistent with other studies of mindfulness and chronic conditions,” said Mary Jo Kreitzer, who was not involved in the research. ...

FDA regs highlight harms of indoor tanning
By Roxanne Nelson (Reuters) - Early in 2014, the United States Food and Drug Administration moved tanning lamps into a new category of “moderately harmful” medical devices, and with good reason, researchers say. In a review of the evidence that indoor tanning does damage, and has no health benefits, the study authors point out that the new rules will force device manufacturers and salons to do more to protect users. "We feel that this is a very positive move by the FDA," said Dr. ...

Exercise may prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy
By Shereen Lehman (Reuters) - Moderate exercise is encouraged during pregnancy for plenty of reasons, but it may also help women avoid gaining too much weight, say UK researchers. They reviewed studies since the 1990s looking at whether exercise alone helps prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy, and found that it does, or helps with weight loss after delivery, and found that it doesn’t. They also found a total of only five solid studies on those questions. ...

Venezuela says 13 inmates die of overdose after robbing infirmary ward
By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Thirteen inmates have died after breaking into a Venezuelan jail's infirmary and ingesting medical products including pure alcohol and antibiotics, the government said on Thursday, in the latest outbreak of unrest in the country's turbulent prisons. A total of 145 prisoners were intoxicated during a revolt in the David Viloria penitentiary center in the western state of Lara on Monday, the government said in a statement. Inmates had launched a hunger strike to demand the dismissal of an official, and the protest quickly spiraled. "Around 8.30 a.m. ...

Bird flu outbreak in India caused by strain humans can contract: OIE
PARIS (Reuters) - A bird flu virus found in India this week is the H5N1 strain that can be transmitted to humans, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday. However, the organization said it was not concerned about the situation, because India had faced outbreaks of the virus before. No human case has been reported since at least 2003. India has found thousands of dead ducks infected by a highly contagious bird flu virus in the southern state of Kerala, prompting the authorities to cull more than 200,000 birds. ...

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg released from hospital

File of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg attends the lunch session of The Women's Conference in Long BeachWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member of the nine-justice court, was released from a Washington hospital on Thursday after undergoing a heart procedure, a court statement said. Ginsburg, 81, had a stent placed in her right coronary artery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Wednesday to improve blood flow after she reported discomfort following routine exercise. "Justice Ginsburg was released from the hospital this morning," court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said in a statement. ...


Fruit-infusing, filter-equipped bottle in the works

The Square by Clean BottleThe team that reinvented the water bottle by squaring the edges and adding a screw-off bottom for easy cleaning has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the 2.0 version of the Square.


Cricket-Helmets have made batsmen feel too safe, says Boycott
(Adds Gatting quotes) LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Helmets have given a false sense of security to batsmen, who no longer have the necessary technique to deal with fast bowling, according to former England opener Geoff Boycott. The death of Australian Phillip Hughes on Thursday after being struck on the head by a short-pitched delivery has fuelled debate about safety in cricket. "Most of my career I batted on uncovered pitches without a helmet," Boycott wrote in the Daily Telegraph. "This taught me how important it was to have a good technique against fast bowling. ...

Ebola shows WHO needs revamp, says UN reformer Rudd

Health workers in protective equipment handle a sample taken from the body of someone who is suspected to have died from Ebola virus, near Rokupa HospitalBy Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) needs reform to prevent a recurrence of crises such as West Africa's Ebola outbreak, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd said on Thursday. Rudd is leading a two-year study to suggest ways to improve the effectiveness of the United Nations system and other global bodies, which are often deadlocked by disagreements between states or hamstrung by their internal bureaucracy. The WHO's Africa office has been widely criticised for its slow response to the Ebola epidemic, which has now killed at least 5,689 people. ...


Most chickens sold in UK stores have traces of food bug - watchdog
LONDON (Reuters) - Almost three-quarters of fresh chickens sold by British retailers were found to have traces of a potentially fatal food-poisoning bug, a food watchdog warned on Thursday and said major grocers were not doing enough to tackle the problem. Tackling the campylobacter bug, the most common form of food poisoning in Britain, affecting an estimated 280,000 people a year, is the Foods Standards Agency's (FSA) number one food safety priority and it is leading a campaign to bring together the whole food chain to deal with the problem. ...

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