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Child tests negative for Ebola at Chicago hospital
(Reuters) - A child being monitored for Ebola in a Chicago hospital has been discharged after testing negative for the virus, the state health agency said on Saturday. Federal officials screening for Ebola at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago detected a fever in the child, who had been held in isolation at the University of Chicago Medical Center for monitoring since Friday. "Tests by the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed a negative result for Ebola," the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement. ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears

An election workers takes the temperature of a voter in the West Point slum before she casts her vote, during the senate election in Monrovia, Liberia. Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate vote that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Health workers carrying thermometers and sanitizers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.


U.N.'s Ban urges end to discrimination against Ebola workers

U.N. Secretary General Ban has his temperature checked upon arrival at the Roberts International airport in MonroviaBy Matthew Mpoke Bigg CONAKRY (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday urged countries affected by the Ebola virus to avoid discriminating against healthcare workers fighting to end the disease. Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic. According to the latest World Health Organization figures, 7,373 people have died of Ebola in the three worst-affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. ...


Sierra Leone peacekeepers to leave Somalia mission
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — A Sierra Leone military official says the country is withdrawing from the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia after being blocked from rotating its soldiers over concerns about the spread of Ebola.

WHO: Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, centre, inspects the honor guard upon arrival at the Roberts international airport in Monrovia, Liberia, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised health workers battling Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia on Friday, saying they have shown "the most noble face of humankind" amid an epidemic that has killed more than 6,900 people in West Africa. Ban, who made stops in both countries on Friday, travels Saturday to Guinea where the Ebola virus first emerged a year ago. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon continued his tour of Ebola-affected countries in West Africa on Saturday.


Child being observed at Chicago hospital to rule out Ebola

Interview is conducted with passenger arriving from Sierra Leone at O'Hare International Airport in ChicagoBy Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - A child who arrived in Chicago with a fever was under observation on Friday at a city hospital to rule out the Ebola virus, hospital officials said. Federal officials screening arriving passengers at O'Hare International Airport detected the fever, but no other symptoms of the disease, the University of Chicago Medical Center said in a statement. The patient was isolated under strict quarantine protocols until the child’s condition improves and a diagnosis is established, the hospital said. The child was in stable condition. ...


Ebola death toll in three African countries hits 7,373: WHO

Health workers push a gurney with a dead body at a Red Cross facility in the town of KoiduGENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date there, the World Health Organization said on Saturday. The latest data, posted overnight on the WHO website, reflected nearly 500 new deaths from the worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since previous WHO figures were issued on Dec. 17. Sierra Leone accounts for the most cases, 8,759, against 7,819 for Liberia. ...


UN's Ban urges end to discrimination against Ebola workers

United Nations Secretary General Ban speaks during a meeting with Liberia's President Johnson Sirleaf at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in MonroviaBy Matthew Mpoke Bigg CONAKRY (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday urged countries affected by the Ebola virus to avoid discriminating against healthcare workers fighting to end the disease. Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic. According to the latest World Health Organization figures, 7,373 people have died of Ebola in the three worst-affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. ...


Japan scientists develop micro-fine adhesive sensors

The invention opens up the possibility of implanting almost unnoticeable sensors inside the body, letting doctors keep a close eye on a dodgy heart, for exampleScientists in Japan have developed a sticky sheet of tiny sensors that can be put directly on moving joints, beating hearts or other living tissues. "Just by applying to the body like a compress, our novel sheet sensor detects biometric information extremely accurately," researchers at the University of Tokyo said in a statement Friday. The secret is an adhesive gel that prevents a fine grid of sensors from slipping, even if the thing they are in contact with is moving, said the team led by professor Takao Someya at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems.


American nurse exposed to Ebola released from hospital

Health workers stand at the entrance to a quarantine zone in a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu(Reuters) - An American nurse who was exposed to Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone was released from the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center in Maryland on Friday without showing signs of the disease, NIH said. "The patient has shown no clinical or laboratory evidence of Ebola infection and will complete 21 days of monitoring at a private residence in Virginia under the direction of the Virginia Department of Health," NIH said in a statement. ...


UN chief praises Ebola nurses, pledges support during visit

U.N. Secretary General Ban has his temperature checked upon arrival at the Roberts International airport in MonroviaBy Matthew Mpoke Bigg HASTINGS, Sierra Leone (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised healthcare workers fighting the Ebola virus as he paid his first visit to Liberia and Sierra Leone following an outbreak that has killed nearly 7,000 people. Ban paid tribute to local workers and the United Nations, but he singled out medics from the three countries at the heart of the epidemic who have fallen sick while treating patients. ...


Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths
WASHINGTON (AP) — Health officials are warning consumers to avoid prepackaged caramel apples because they are linked to four deaths and more than two dozen illnesses in 10 states.

FDA approves AbbVie combo hepatitis C treatment
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Patients with chronic hepatitis C have a new option for treating the liver-damaging virus, with the approval of a combination treatment developed by AbbVie.

U.S. FDA approves AbbVie hepatitis C drug, costs $83,319 for 12 weeks
By Caroline Humer (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators on Friday approved AbbVie's all-oral treatment for hepatitis C, and the company said the drug would cost $83,319 for a typical 12-week plan, a bit below its huge selling competitor Solvadi from Gilead Sciences. Gilead's Sovaldi treatment stole headlines last year with its $84,000 price tag and set off a national debate about whether drug prices have climbed too high. AbbVie's newly approved regimen is also less costly than Gilead's newest one-pill regimen that combines Sovaldi with another drug and costs $94,500 for 12 weeks. ...

U.N. chief praises Ebola nurses, pledges support during visit

U.N. Secretary General Ban has his temperature checked upon arrival at the Roberts International airport in MonroviaBy Matthew Mpoke Bigg HASTINGS, Sierra Leone (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised healthcare workers fighting the Ebola virus as he paid his first visit to Liberia and Sierra Leone following an outbreak that has killed nearly 7,000 people. Ban paid tribute to local workers and the United Nations, but he singled out medics from the three countries at the heart of the epidemic who have fallen sick while treating patients. ...


Coal ash is not hazardous waste under U.S. agency rules

File photo of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announcing steps to cut carbon pollution in WashingtonBy Jonathan Kaminsky (Reuters) - In a disappointment to environmentalists, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued rules on Friday labeling coal ash, a byproduct of coal-based power production containing toxic materials such as arsenic and lead, as non-hazardous waste. The label means that states and environmental groups taking legal action, and not the EPA, will be the primary enforcers of the first-ever federal rules targeting coal ash, which will require the closure of some coal ash holding ponds leaking contaminants into surrounding water but will not cover others. ...


AbbVie says newly approved hepatitis C treatment costs $83,319
(Reuters) - An AbbVie Inc spokeswoman on Friday said that the company's newly approved hepatitis C treatment will cost $83,319 for a 12-week course, coming in a bit below the price of competing treatments from Gilead Sciences Inc. U.S. health regulators earlier on Friday approved AbbVie's all-oral treatment for hepatitis C, providing the first competition for Gilead. (Reporting by Caroline Humer)

FDA approves Cubists' drug for antibiotic-resistant bacteria
By Amrutha Penumudi and Rosmi Shaji (Reuters) - Cubist Pharmaceutical Inc's drug to treat complicated urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections won U.S. approval on Friday, highlighting the regulator's interest in tackling the growing threat of the so-called superbugs. Cubist shares were up 1.9 percent in extended trading. The drug, Zerbaxa, treats infections caused by gram-negative bacteria — a type of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, often called superbugs. ...

Husbands Sign Up To Support Wives In Safe Motherhood Program in Uganda

Husbands Sign Up To Support Wives In Safe Motherhood Program in UgandaGeorge Lwigala has probably never heard of HeForShe nor indeed of Emma Watson. But the 36-year-old father, who lives in Butansi in rural Uganda, embodies the spirit of the gender equality campaign launched by the actress in New York in September.George has five children with his wife Annette, who recently joined a Safe Motherhood and Maternal...


Oklahoma to again employ injection mix used in flawed execution
By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma plans to use the same lethal injection drug combination it employed during a botched execution in April, Department of Corrections officials told a federal court hearing arguments on whether to halt death sentences in the state from being carried out. Lawyers for 21 death row inmates in Oklahoma, four of whom are scheduled to die next year, have asked the court to suspend future executions following the lethal injection of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett. ...

USDA report says pesticide residues in food nothing to fear
By Carey Gillam (Reuters) - More than half of food tested by the U.S. government for pesticide residues last year showed detectable levels of pesticides, though most were within levels the government considers to be safe, according to a report issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA looked at fresh and processed fruits and vegetables as well as infant formula, apple juice, and other products. ...

Parents of Colorado theater gunman plead for son’s life to be spared

James Holmes sits in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in CentennialBy Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - The parents of the man charged in the fatal shootings of 12 people at a Colorado movie theater broke their silence over the 2012 killings on Friday, saying their son is mentally ill, "not a monster," and should be spared the death penalty. Arlene and Robert Holmes urged prosecutors to accept a guilty plea from their son, James Holmes, and a life sentence without parole to avoid the “additional trauma” that a lengthy trial would inflict on survivors and victims' families. ...


Missouri school regrets swapping blind student's cane for foam tube
(Reuters) - A Missouri school district has apologized for taking a cane away from a blind student and forcing him to use a foam tube called a pool noodle, the boy's father said on Friday. Earlier this week, North Kansas School District confiscated the cane of 8-year-old Dakota Nafzinger, who was born without eyes, after he reportedly swung it on a bus. A teacher gave the boy the foam tube instead, said his father Don Nafzinger. The school district, which serves more than 19,000 students in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a statement it made a mistake. ...

Wall Street up for third day, led by energy shares

Man carries an umbrella in the rain as he passes the New York Stock ExchangeNEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks extended gains for a third session on Friday, giving the S&P 500 its best weekly performance in nearly two months as energy shares continued to rebound.


Conjoined Twin Babies Undergo First Step Toward Separation
Knatalye and Adeline Mata underwent a 5-hour skin-stretching surgery.

On Thankfulness

On ThankfulnessCredit: World Altering MedicineThe Kamuzu Central Hospital stands tall on a hill in the center of Lilongwe, the capital city of the southern African country Malawi. The largest of the tertiary health centers in the country, Kamuzu Central Hospital sees the widest variety of patients from the widest variety of communities. Primary health...


The Rise of the Employed Physician

The Rise of the Employed PhysicianAs the youngest member of a family of doctors, it was not uncommon during my childhood to spend summers at my father's private practice. I fondly remember greeting the familiar office staff as I recklessly ran amok among an endless array of rickety cabinets containing an untold amount of aging, yellowed paper charts. My dad's patients would...


10 Healthy Habits for the New Year

10 Healthy Habits for the New Year2014 is coming to a close, so inevitably the chatter of New Year's resolutions is getting louder. It's great to start goal setting and structuring a program to make sure you're successful early; however, it's equally important to take note of what has and hasn't worked for your health and fitness goals this year. Regardless of whether you want...


Cigarette smoking costs weigh heavily on the healthcare system
By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters) - Of every $10 spent on healthcare in the U.S., almost 90 cents is due to smoking, a new analysis says. Using recent health and medical spending surveys, researchers calculated that 8.7 percent of all healthcare spending, or $170 billion a year, is for illness caused by tobacco smoke, and public programs like Medicare and Medicaid paid for most of these costs. ...

Everything You Should Know About Bereavement at Christmas

Everything You Should Know About Bereavement at ChristmasIf you, or someone you know, has lost someone that you love, there are some really important things that you should know about loss at Christmas time.When you install a new program on a computer, while this new program is making alterations to your system then everything else slows down. In fact, some routine programs may even stop working...


U.S. FDA approves AbbVie all-oral hepatitis C treatment
(Reuters) - U.S. health regulators on Friday approved AbbVie's all-oral treatment for hepatitis C, providing the first competition for Gilead Sciences huge selling and expensive medicine for the liver-destroying virus. The AbbVie regimen consists of four different anti-viral drugs to be taken as three pills in the morning and one in the evening. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the regimen, which will be sold under the brand name Viekira Pak, for patients with genotype 1 form of the virus, the most common type of hepatitis C and the most difficult to treat. ...

Alcohol blackouts common in UK teens
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters) - About a third of 15-year-olds in the UK have blacked out due to alcohol, a new survey indicates - and the rate rises to nearly three-quarters by the time they reach 19, researchers found. “Blackout is associated with pretty severe intoxication,” said Dr. Marc Schuckit, the study’s lead author from the University of California, San Diego. It occurs when the blood alcohol level "is about double what is legally drunk.” “We found that (blackouts) were shockingly common” among the teens in the survey, Schuckit told Reuters Health. ...

Ban pledges UN support in tour of Ebola-hit West Africa

UN chief Ban Ki-moon (R) reviews the troops with Liberian Vice President Joseph Boakai after arriving at the Monrovia airport, on December 19, 2014, on the first stop of a visit to Ebola-ravaged west African countriesUN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday pledged support for Ebola-ravaged countries seeking to end the world's worst outbreak of the virus and rebuild their health systems as he began a tour of the three hardest-hit nations. With the UN having faced criticism for an allegedly slow response to the virus, Ban started the tour in Liberia, the worst-hit country, after flying in from Ghana, where the UN Ebola mission is headquartered. "Today we have reason to be cautiously optimistic that this terrible outbreak can be defeated," Ban said at a joint press conference with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "The spread of the virus is slowing down in Liberia.


Coal ash labeled non-hazardous under new U.S. environmental rules
(Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued rules on Friday labeling coal ash, a byproduct of coal-based power production containing toxic materials such as arsenic and lead, as non-hazardous waste. The label means that states, and not the EPA, will be the primary enforcers of new rules, which will require the closure of some coal ash holding ponds leaking contaminants into surrounding water. (Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Chris Reese)

AstraZeneca cancer drug, companion test approved
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. regulators on Friday granted accelerated approval to the first in a new class of targeted drugs for ovarian cancer, Lynparza from British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC.

Obama: U.S. will respond to North Korea-linked hack on Sony
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday said the United States will respond to the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures now that U.S. authorities have linked the strike to the North Korean government.

Caramel Apples Linked to 4 Deaths In Multi-State Listeria Outbreak
Twenty-eight people have become ill in 10 states.

It's time to fight traditions that harm women's health: WHO
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Some of the major health problems faced by women in developing countries are caused by "terrible" traditions that must be stopped, said the head of public health at the World Health Organisation (WHO). Traditions such as child marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM), widely practised in some communities, contribute to high maternal mortality rates in some poor countries where girls as young as 13 get married and give birth. ...

The Science Behind Nailing Your New Year's Resolution
Make new year's goals stick past Jan. 2 with these psychological tactics.

AstraZeneca's ovarian cancer drug gets U.S. approval

The logo of AstraZeneca is seen on medication packages in a pharmacy in London(Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc's ovarian cancer drug has been granted an accelerated approval by the U.S. health regulator, a day after the treatment was approved by the European Commission. An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had voted in June against granting an accelerated approval to the drug, Lynparza, citing inadequate data. The FDA was earlier scheduled to review the drug on Jan. 3. Lynparza aims to treat ovarian cancer in patients with certain hereditary gene mutations. ...


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