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Deadline to clear up health law eligibility near

FILE - This Nov. 29, 2013, file photo shows a part of the HealthCare.gov website, photographed in Washington. The administration is warning hundreds of thousands of consumers they risk losing taxpayer-subsidized health insurance unless they act quickly to resolve issues about their citizenship and immigration status. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)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
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

The Women's Reproductive clinic is seen in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. If the new abortion law, one of the toughest in the nation, is upheld by a federal judge, the only remaininc abortion clinic in El Paso, across the state border from Santa Teresa, will be forced to close due to new requirements and women will have to travel hundreds of miles or go to New Mexico to obtain an abortion. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)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.


WHO warns of 'shadow zones' and unreported Ebola cases

A health inspection and quarantine researcher (L) demonstrates to customs policemen the symptoms of Ebola, at a laboratory at an airport in QingdaoBy Stephanie Nebehay and Clair MacDougall GENEVA/MONROVIA (Reuters) - Families hiding infected loved ones and the existence of "shadow zones" where medics cannot go mean the West African Ebola epidemic is even bigger than thought, the World Health Organization said on Friday. Some 1,427 people have died among 2,615 known cases of the deadly virus in West Africa since the outbreak was first identified in March, according to new figures released by the WHO on Friday. Independent experts raised similar concerns a month ago that the contagion could be worse than reported because some residents of affected areas are chasing away health workers and shunning treatment. Despite initial assertions by regional health officials that the virus had been contained in its early stages, Ebola case numbers and deaths have ballooned in recent months as the outbreak has spread from its initial epicenter in Guinea.


CDC director to visit Ebola outbreak countries

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2014 file photo, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tom Frieden testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing on "Combating the Ebola Threat." A CDC spokesman said Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, that Frieden wants to meet the African and international health leaders trying to control the outbreak, and to hear what help they need. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)NEW YORK (AP) — A top U.S. health official plans to travel to West Africa to see firsthand how the Ebola outbreak is unfolding.


U.S. moves to ensure birth control access at religious companies

An illustration picture shows a woman holding a pill at her home in Nice(Reuters) - The Obama administration will ensure access to birth control coverage for employees of closely held companies that object on religious grounds to contraception, one of the health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The move follows a Supreme Court ruling in June that allowed certain for-profit companies to refuse to cover contraceptives due to the religious beliefs of their owners. It provides for insurers to offer contraception to employees through separate coverage. President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law requires companies to provide free birth control coverage as a preventive service included in their health plans.


Mammography false alarms linked with later tumor risk
By Ronnie Cohen NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women whose screening mammograms produce false alarms have a heightened risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer years later, but the reason remains mysterious, researchers say. An increased risk of breast cancer among women with a “false positive” mammogram has been reported before. She told Reuters Health in a telephone interview that she could not explain most of the increased risk of later breast cancer in women with false-positive mammograms.

Cholera outbreak in Ghana kills at least 67 since June: health authorities
By Kwasi Kpodo ACCRA (Reuters) - Cholera has killed at least 67 people in Ghana since June and infected more than 5,000 others in an outbreak that highlights the health and sanitation challenges facing one of Africa's fastest-growing economies. The Ghana Health Service (GHS) said the outbreak was centered on impoverished communities in urban areas in the south that lack adequate toilets, though there were also a few cases in rural parts of the north of the West African state. Some 54 people have died in or near the capital Accra, and around 300 people are now being infected daily with the highly contagious disease, putting pressure on local health facilities, said Linda Van-Otoo, GHS director for Greater Accra. "It is not only a health issue, there is a big element of environmental sanitation," she said, adding that local authorities were attempting to tackle the root causes of the disease as well as treat the influx of patients.

Fight against Ebola outbreak will take 'several months'

This picture taken on August 21, 2014 shows staff members at the French NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres at Elwa hospital in MonroviaMonrovia (AFP) - The fight to combat Ebola will take "several months of hard work", the World Health Organization's Assistant Director-General, Dr Keiji Fukuda, warned in Monrovia on Friday.


Tech chief behind Healthcare.gov leaves White House: source
Todd Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top advisor to President Barack Obama, will move to the West Coast as part of a White House team at the end of the month, the source said on condition of anonymity because the news has not been made public. The White House has held discussions with former executives at Google, LinkedIn and Twitter about a potential replacement, according to Fortune, which first reported his move on Friday.

New Obama birth control fixes for religious groups

FILE - This Aug. 18, 2014, file photo shows President Barack Obama as he speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House in Washington. Seeking to quell a politically charged controversy, the Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to quell a politically charged controversy, the Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception.


These 6 Inspirational Athletes Show Us How To Beat The Odds

These 6 Inspirational Athletes Show Us How To Beat The OddsWhat if you fell in love with a sport, but there was a large obstacle in your path, threatening to prevent you from playing it? These athletes know exactly how that feels. This video from YouTube Nation tells the stories of six young competitors who face a diverse array of challenges -- and how each of them thrives in overcoming them.From the...


Ebola spreads in Nigeria; Liberia has 1,000 deaths
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Two alarming new cases of Ebola have emerged in Nigeria, widening the circle of people sickened beyond the immediate group of caregivers who treated a dying airline passenger in one of Africa's largest cities.

Ebola death toll rises to 1,427: WHO

Sierra Leone government burial team members close a coffin at the MSF facility in Kailahun, on August 14, 2014The death toll from the Ebola outbreak sweeping through west African countries has risen to 1,427 out of more than 2,600 cases, the World Health Organization said Friday. The previous death toll was 1,350.


FAA certifies Boeing 787-9 with GE engines: document

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in ChicagoSEATTLE (Reuters) - The FAA has certified Boeing Co's 787-9 Dreamliner for use with General Electric Co engines, clearing the way for first deliveries of the new aircraft with the U.S.-made engines expected later this month. The 787-9 is a larger version of the original Dreamliner and had already obtained FAA certification with Rolls-Royce engines. The first delivery of that configuration occurred in June. An FAA certification document dated Thursday showed both the Rolls and GE engines as approved on the 787-9. The FAA and Boeing did not immediately respond to requests for comment. ...


Kentucky firefighter critical after ice bucket challenge mishap
A Kentucky firefighter was in critical condition Friday, a day after he and three others were injured when an aerial ladder got too close to a power line when their department doused a university band with water in an "ice bucket" fundraiser. Captain Tony Grider, 41, and firefighter Simon Quinn, 22, from the Campbellsville Fire Department sustained electrocution injuries Thursday morning in a ladder bucket and two other firefighters were hurt coming to their aid, officials said. Grider was listed in critical condition Friday at University of Louisville Hospital and Quinn as stable, the hospital said.

Demanding, low-control jobs linked to type 2 diabetes
By Krystnell Storr NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Even without classic risk factors for type 2 diabetes, people with high-stress, low-control jobs were over 60 percent more likely to develop the disease than unstressed workers in a new German study. “What we first suspected was that job strain might be related to lifestyle variables - that people who are under high job strain would smoke or maybe eat unhealthy food more, but this was not the case,” said lead study author Karl-Heinz Ladwig, of the Technical University in Munich. Past research dating back decades has established that jobs with a combination of high demands and low control over how the work is done offer a formula for high worker stress. A few studies in more recent years have connected this form of worker stress to diabetes, although sometimes the effect was seen only in women (see Reuters Health article of January 4, 2010, here: http://reut.rs/1ohWKsl) or was largely linked to coping behaviors.

Death toll in West Africa Ebola epidemic rises to 1,427: WHO
GENEVA (Reuters) - The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has led to 1,427 deaths out of 2,615 known cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday. In its latest update, the WHO reported 142 new laboratory-confirmed, probable or suspected cases of Ebola and 77 more deaths from four affected countries - Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Earlier, the WHO said the scale of the world's worst Ebola outbreak had been concealed by families hiding infected loved ones in their homes and the existence of "shadow zones" that medics cannot enter. ...

Men, substance users less likely to have weight-loss surgery
By Ronnie Cohen NEW YORK, (Reuters) - A one-size-fits-all approach to weight-loss surgery may be keeping obese men, substance users and older people out of the operating room, a new study suggests. The study analyzed data from a Canadian program intended to encourage obese people to undergo weight-loss surgery. Men, smokers, drinkers, drug users and people age 60 and older were the most likely to quit the program before having the operation, senior author Dr. Fayez Quereshy from the University of Toronto in Ontario told Reuters Health in a telephone interview. Weight loss operations, formally known as bariatric surgery, are known to cut obesity-related disease and healthcare costs.

Second D.C.-area man stricken with flesh-eating bacteria: media
(Reuters) - (In this July 31st story, corrects paragraph 9 to show there were eight vibrio vulnificus cases and 27 involving all vibrio species) A flesh-eating bacterial disease has infected another Washington, D.C.-area man, local media reported on Thursday, just days after a man was released from a hospital following a near-deadly bout with the germ. Joe Wood of Stafford, Virginia, said he was swimming in the Potomac River near the town of Callao earlier this month when a scratch on his left leg became infected with vibrio vulnificus, an aggressive bacteria that feeds on flesh, Washington D.C.'s WTOP radio reported. Wood was admitted to the Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg on July 5 where an infectious disease specialist performed skin graft surgery on Tuesday, the report said.

Ticks may transmit disease faster than currently thought
By Shereen Lehman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Brazilian ticks that carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever passed the disease to animal hosts in as little as 10 minutes if they had recently fed on another animal, a new study found. “The current literature, including medical textbooks and guidelines for the general public, has repeatedly advised that an infected tick requires a minimum feeding period varying from 2 to 10 hours to transmit Rickettsia rickettsii - the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever - to humans,” Marcelo Labruna told Reuters Health in an email. “We believe our results will change some of our current recommendations for the prevention of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in endemic areas,” said Labruna, a researcher at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and senior author of the study. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the deadliest known rickettsial disease spread by several species of ticks that carry the bacteria and transmit them to the hosts they feed on, including dogs and humans.

Nigeria confirms two new cases of Ebola, 14 in total
LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria confirmed two new cases of Ebola, both in patients who caught the disease from people who were primary contacts of the liberian man who first brought it to Lagos, the health minister said on Friday. The total number of recorded cases in the country is now 14, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu told a news conference.  (Reporting by Camillus; Writing by Tim Cocks, editing by John Stonestreet)

Gaps remain in India's Ebola preparedness, says WHO

Some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion is revealed in this undated handout colorized transmission electron micrographBy Nita Bhalla NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India has been pro-active in preparing for an outbreak of Ebola, but authorities need to improve the surveillance of traveler and raise public awareness about the deadly virus, the World Health Organization said on Friday. There are nearly 45,000 Indian nationals living and working in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria - where more than 1,300 people have died of Ebola in the worst outbreak of the disease in history. There is also a large population of West Africans, mainly students, in India and there are concerns that the disease could be imported into the country. Asheena Khalakdina, the WHO's Team Leader for Communicable Diseases, said while the risk of Ebola coming to India was low, it was important that authorities put in place the precautionary measures outlined by the organization.


How big is your water footprint? You may be surprised

Storm clouds and dust can be seen in the sky above a woman as she walks at dusk along Mollymook BeachLONDON, Aug 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation)- If you recently bought a pair of jeans or ate a burger for dinner, followed by a nice cup of coffee, you probably didn't link the touch of cotton or the aroma of the food to the amount of water that was used to produce them. There is more to a cup of coffee than just the 125 ml of water poured into a cafetiere: an astounding 140 litres of water is needed to grow the coffee beans for one cup. Our decisions about what we consume affect water resources in places where the products are made. According to Ruth Mathews, director of the Water Footprint Network, which promotes sustainability and efficiency of water use, it’s time not just for big companies - many of which have already started calculating their water footprints - but also for individuals to be aware of the effects of their consumption.


Democrats reframe debate on health care

In this file photo taken June 14, 2014, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, left, campaigns for re-election with his father, former U.S. Sen. David Pryor, D-Ark., center, in Warren, Ark. Mark Pryor is reaching into his own medical history to explain his vote on the nation’s new health care law, telling Arkansans that his battle with a rare cancer 18 years ago influenced his vote. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's unpopular health care law is losing some of its political punch as vulnerable Democrats see it as less of an election-year minus and Republicans increasingly talk about fixing it instead of repealing.


Russia keeps up pressure on McDonald's with new inspections

The walls and towers of the Kremlin are reflected in a window of a closed McDonald's restaurant, one of four temporarily closed by the state food safety watchdog, in MoscowBy Vladimir Soldatkin MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities extended their scrutiny of McDonald's to several regions on Friday, carrying out inspections at a number of restaurants run by the U.S. The inspections are viewed by many businessmen as retaliation for Western sanctions against Russia because of its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, and they fear the retribution could spread to other symbols of Western capitalism. A spokeswoman for the country's food safety agency, Rospotrebnadzor, said the inspections were not related to the standoff. Checks in Tatarstan were announced on Thursday.


Dentist at center of hepatitis scare cedes license
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma oral surgeon whose filthy clinic conditions led to the testing of thousands of patients for HIV and hepatitis permanently surrendered his professional license on Friday.

Senegal blocks Liberia aid flight, imposes Ebola travel curbs

Health workers wearing protective clothing prepare themselves before to carrying an abandoned dead body presenting with Ebola symptoms at Duwala market in MonroviaBy Emma Farge DAKAR (Reuters) - Regional humanitarian hub Senegal said on Friday it had blocked a regional U.N. aid plane from landing and was banning all further flights to and from countries affected by Ebola, potentially hampering the emergency response to the epidemic. A number of aid agencies have their regional headquarters in politically stable Senegal. Both medical charity MSF and the United Nations, which are leading efforts to contain a West African Ebola epidemic that has killed at least 1,350 people, had planned to operate regional flights from the country. The World Health Organisation has repeatedly said it does not recommend travel or trade restrictions for countries affected by Ebola, saying such measures could heighten food and supply shortages.


Former U.S. swim star Van Dyken takes first steps since paralysis
Olympic swimming champion Amy Van Dyken took her first steps this week since being paralyzed from the waist down when she severed her spinal cord in an all-terrain vehicle crash earlier this summer. In videos and images she posted online, Van Dyken is seen standing and starting to walk with the help a robotic exoskeleton device aimed at supporting patients' bodies and helping them move. Another photograph shows Van Dyken, who won a total of six gold medals at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, standing alongside her husband, former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen. Van Dyken's steps come just eight days after her release from a rehabilitation center in Colorado.

American Ebola doc urges help fighting outbreak

Ebola victim Dr. Kent Brantly, right, hugs a member of the medical staff that treated him, after being released from Emory University Hospital Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Atlanta. Another American aid worker, Nancy Writebol, who was also infected with the Ebola virus, was released from the hospital Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)ATLANTA (AP) — As one of few Ebola survivors with medical expertise, Dr. Kent Brantly seems keenly aware of the position his painful experience has put him in. He hasn't spoken yet about his plans, but spent much of his first public appearance pleading for help for countries still struggling with the virus.


Botswana told to pay for foreign prisoners' HIV treatment

Anti-retroviral drugs are provided by the state to Botswana citizens at no cost to the patientBotswana's High Court on Friday ordered the government to provide treatment to HIV-positive foreign prisoners at the state's expense. Justice Bengbame Sechele ruled that the denial of anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to foreign inmates violated their rights. Two Zimbabwean prisoners had sued the government for refusing to provide them with free ARVs, while providing them at no cost to Botswana citizens. The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) had supported the challenge against government policy, saying it violated the prisoners' constitutional right to equality, dignity and non-discrimination.


U.S. missionary still physically recovering after Ebola, son says

Brantly, who contracted the deadly virus Ebola, speaks during a press conference at Emory University Hospital in AtlantaNancy Writebol, 59, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was discharged earlier this week from Emory University Hospital after doctors said her symptoms had eased and blood and urine tests showed no evidence of the virus. Dr. Kent Brantly, who also was stricken with Ebola in Liberia, was released on Thursday. "She's tired and trying to rest," her son Jeremy told NBC. She seems pretty happy." Speaking alongside his brother Brian, he said the family has experienced "the lowest of lows and at the same time the highest of highs" since Writebol contracted the Ebola virus in July while working for a Christian mission organization in Liberia, grappling first with her potential death and later her recovery.


Gaza rocket strikes Israeli synagogue, wounding several people
A rocket fired from Gaza hit a synagogue in the Israeli city of Ashdod on Friday, wounding three people, police said. "There is damage at the scene and a number of people were injured by shrapnel," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Ashdod is around 30 km (20 miles) from Gaza. Hamas and other militant groups fired more than two dozen rockets into Israel on Friday, injuring two other people, with no signs of a let up in the six-week war.

Dead Irishman tests negative for Ebola

A medical worker checks their protective clothing in a mirror at a clinic in Kailahun, Sierra Leone on August 15, 2014A man who died in Ireland shortly after returning from Sierra Leone has tested negative for the Ebola virus, health officials said Friday. The Health Service Executive had said Thursday the man's death was "a suspected case" of the tropical virus and quarantined his body until tests could be carried out. The man, Dessie Quinn, who was in his mid-40s, had returned from working as an engineer in Sierra Leone, one of the countries worst affected by the west African Ebola outbreak, his company KN Network Services said. Local media reported that Quinn was receiving treatment for malaria since his return to Ireland.


South Africa's Adcock shares jump as Bidvest looks to raise stake

A man walks past the Adcock Ingram offices in JohannesburgBy Tiisetso Motsoeneng JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Shares in struggling South African drugmaker Adcock Ingram surged more than 7 percent on Friday on news that top shareholder Bidvest Group was looking to raise its stake, a move that could trigger a full buy-out. Bidvest Chief Executive Brian Joffe, one of South Africa's top dealmakers, has been trying to take control of Adcock since March last year, seeing a chance to turn around another underperforming company and add painkillers and cough syrups to his stable of products. Bidvest is a conglomerate that spans shipping to catering and owns 34.5 percent of Adcock, South Africa's second-largest drugmaker. A document from South Africa's competition regulator seen by Reuters on Thursday said Bidvest intended to increase that to more than 50 percent.


Watch: US Doctor Who Contracted Ebola Leaves Hospital With Hugs
Both Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol were discharged from Emory hospital after surviving the deadly virus.

The 5 Secrets to Lifestyle Change

The 5 Secrets to Lifestyle ChangeI'm a trained wellness coach and certified personal trainer and have helped many clients make permanent lifestyle changes. It's not an easy thing to do. Look around. There's no escaping the fact that the world is conspiring to make us all fat and lazy. Fast food drive-thrus are ubiquitous and most of us are tethered to our desks. This is our...


India's wettest state to go dry - in 10 years
By Shivam Srivastava BANGALORE (Reuters) - India's wettest state is planning to dry out, drop by drop. The tropical southern state of Kerala, which has the country's highest alcohol consumption per capita, is moving to become alcohol-free within 10 years. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, quoted in local media, said the state government was in favour of "total prohibition". An resident of Kerala typically drinks about 8.3 liters of alcohol per year, more than double the national average.

Irishman who died after returning from Africa negative for Ebola
Tests carried out on a man who died in Ireland after returning from an area of Africa affected by the Ebola virus were negative for the disease, the Health Service Executive (HSE) of Ireland said on Friday. The health service sent blood samples away for testing on Thursday and put in place infection control procedures in the community and at the mortuary in the northwest county of Donegal where the man's remains were. "Laboratory test samples for an individual, who had recently returned from Africa, has proved negative for Ebola virus. Infection control procedures, which had been put in place as a precautionary measure, will now be stepped down," the HSE said in a statement.

What Kidney-Stones Are And How You Can Prevent Them

What Kidney-Stones Are And How You Can Prevent ThemSPECIAL FROM Grandparents.comIt’s late summer, and that means hot days spent at the beach, licking ice cream cones, backyard barbecues, and lots of fun with family and friends. But did you know summer may also mean kidney stones, an ailment many moms describe as more painful than childbirth? Yeah, it's that bad.“The peak time for Emergency...


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