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Health News Results - 113

As China scrambles to contain an outbreak of a new coronavirus spreading rapidly within its own borders and to other countries, U.S. infectious disease experts tackled questions about the emerging virus.

What is the novel coronavirus circulating in China?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses responsible for about one out of every four cases of the common cold, ...

Snakes may be the source of the new coronavirus outbreak in humans that started in China and has spread to other countries.

Patients who became infected with the virus -- named 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization -- were exposed to wildlife at a wholesale market where seafood, poultry, snakes, bats and farm animals were sold, researchers report.

The Chinese scientists...

The first U.S. case of a new coronavirus illness that originated in central China has been identified in a patient in Washington State, federal health officials announced on Tuesday.

In a news briefing, officials said that the male patient was hospitalized with pneumonia last week and had recently traveled to Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in China where the outbreak is thought t...

Travelers from China will now have to undergo enhanced screening at three major U.S. airports for symptoms of a new coronavirus that has caused an outbreak of pneumonia in China, federal health officials said Friday.

The three airports -- San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) -- receive the most travelers from central China, officials explained.

The U.S. ...

Mosquitoes that can't be infected by or spread dengue virus have been created by scientists.

The researchers genetically engineered the mosquitoes to be resistant to all four types of dengue, a mosquito-borne virus that's a significant global health threat.

This is the first time that mosquitoes have been genetically engineered to be resistant to all types of dengue, which c...

The effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in newborns with HIV is similar whether it begins within days or within weeks, a new study finds.

It included 73 infants in South Africa who were born with HIV infection. Of those, 46 started ART when they were less than 2 days old and 27 started ART between 2 and 14 days after birth.

Rates of attaining and sustaining HIV su...

HIV infection causes a loss of immunity to smallpox, even in people who were vaccinated as kids and are taking antiretroviral drugs to restore their immune system, a new study finds.

Such "HIV-associated immune amnesia" could explain why people with HIV who are on antiretroviral therapy still have shorter lives on average than people without HIV, according to the researchers.

<...

An experimental Zika virus vaccine that was given before pregnancy protected monkey fetuses, researchers say.

The Zika DNA vaccine VRC5283 lowered levels of Zika virus in pregnant rhesus macaques and reduced the risk of fetal problems, according to the study published Dec. 18 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The vaccine is in early-stage human trials.

If you already have a cold, you're less likely to get the flu, and vice versa, a large new study shows.

That finding could lead to improved prediction of cold and flu outbreaks as well as new ways to control the diseases' spread, British researchers said.

While this interaction between colds and the flu has been observed, this is the first study large enough to provide stron...

Last October, 15-year-old Alec Woodruff developed a strange-sounding cough. Less than a week later, he was fighting for his life in the hospital, partially paralyzed and with a tube in his throat attached to a ventilator because just breathing was a task he could no longer do on his own.

Alec's mom, Terri Woodruff, described the first signs of trouble: "I knew something was wrong. Ale...

A variant of a common herpes virus may play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), Swedish researchers say.

They analyzed the blood of about 8,700 MS patients and a control group of more than 7,200 people without MS. They were looking for antibodies against proteins of two variants (A and B) of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), which has been linked with MS.

MS pat...

Lab-altered mosquitoes have made a big dent in the spread of dengue fever, researchers report.

How? Australian scientists released mosquitoes carrying a bacteria that prevents transmission of the dengue virus.

The strategy resulted in a 76% decrease in dengue transmission in a community in Indonesia that has frequent dengue outbreaks. Similar reductions were seen in an u...

A surprising new study upends the notion that antibodies passed from mother to fetus protect infants from measles for as much as a year.

In fact, infants' immunity wanes much more rapidly than once thought, researchers report in the December issue of Pediatrics. The finding drives home the importance of community-wide immunizations.

"Measles is a serious disease, p...

A global coalition of more than 11,000 scientists warns that planet Earth is facing a "climate emergency" that will cause "untold human suffering" unless drastic steps are taken.

The warming climate is already taking a toll on human health, causing widespread hunger and illness that will grow exponentially worse, said the warning's lead author, William Ripple. He's a professor of ecol...

People who contract measles aren't out of the woods after their rash fades and their fever subsides.

They're then more vulnerable to other bacterial and viral infections -- even those they've already been vaccinated against or have had before.

That's because measles virus attacks the cells that serve as the immune system's memory, wiping out established resistance to diseas...

Flu sufferers may soon have a new antiviral drug on hand to ease their fever, chills and body aches.

The new pill, which targets the genetics of influenza viruses, has shown that it can reduce fever and respiratory symptoms in lab animals, as well as reducing the overall amount of virus in their bodies, researchers report.

Preparations are underway for human trials of the "n...

Bald eagles in the United States are facing another challenge: Nearly one-third are infected with a newly identified virus, researchers say.

The virus is called bald eagle hepacivirus (BeHV). The researchers discovered it while trying to determine the cause of Wisconsin River Eagle Syndrome (WRES), a fatal disease seen in bald eagles in the Lower Wisconsin River area.

The sc...

A new antibody test appears to have honed in on the most likely cause of a mysterious polio-like disease that regularly sweeps through the United States.

The new test detected antibodies for two types of enteroviruses in the spinal fluid of dozens of patients diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a disease that causes potentially permanent and sometimes life-threatening paralys...

There is still no clear cause for a mysterious paralytic condition that has been striking U.S. children over the past five years, government health officials report.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspect that a virus of some kind is the culprit. But the specific germ causing the outbreaks remains unknown, according to the report published online Oc...

Although no one knows yet how severe this flu season will be, now is the time to get vaccinated, health officials say.

Already this season, a 4-year-old from California who recently died tested positive for influenza, local health officials reported earlier this month. The child did have underlying health conditions, they added.

"Flu is incredibly unpredictable," said Lynne...

The United States could be approaching a state of herd immunity against human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus linked to several cancers.

Oral HPV infections declined by 37% among unvaccinated 18- to 59-year-old men between 2009 and 2016, according to a Sept. 10 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

That included a decline in infections of HPV16, the...

Some mosquitoes spread diseases to humans through their bite, passing along harmful pathogens like Zika, dengue fever, West Nile virus and chikungunya.

Now humans are turning the tables, infecting these dangerous mosquitoes with bacteria that sabotage their ability to spawn.

Chinese researchers were able to reduce these mosquito populations by as much as 94% using a bact...

Smartphones have become an essential part of modern medicine, but they might be exposing patients to potentially deadly staph infections, a new study suggests.

Tests of cellphones at a Brazilian medical school revealed that 40% carried Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of hospital infections.

Worse, 85% of the bacteria isolated were resistant to antibiotic...

Many health care workers are still on the job even if they have symptoms of a cold, flu or other respiratory infection, putting patients and coworkers at risk, a new study finds.

It included more than 2,700 health care workers at nine Canadian hospitals who completed online diaries whenever they had symptoms of a respiratory infection.

Half reported an acute respiratory vira...

Vaccinating against the common infant infection rotavirus not only cuts a child's odds of getting sick, it might also prevent them from developing type 1 diabetes later in life, new research suggests.

Infants who got all of the recommended doses of the "stomach flu" virus vaccine had a 33% lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes compared with unvaccinated babies, according to a s...

The United States is stepping up its response to a historic outbreak of Ebola in two African nations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its Emergency Operations Center Thursday to assist in the government's response to the second-largest outbreak of Ebola on record.

The announcement came as the deadly virus crossed the border from the eastern Dem...

The first thing folks think about with rabies is four-legged critters -- dogs, raccoons, skunks or foxes.

But the most dangerous rabies threat you'll face right now is dangling overhead somewhere, waiting to flutter down and get entwined in your hair.

Bats are responsible for 7 out of 10 rabies deaths in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Pr...

A daily pill that can block transmission of HIV should be prescribed to people at high risk of infection with the AIDS-causing virus, according to a highly influential panel of experts.

The treatment -- called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- has proven highly effective at preventing HIV spread in clinical trials, an evidence review by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPST...

Shingles isn't usually considered a kids' disease, but children can get this painful condition. Fortunately, the chickenpox vaccine can also protect them against it, a new study finds.

"The virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. It's pretty uncommon in kids, but we wanted to see what would happen to the rates of shingles among children over time as more kids received the va...

Ever wonder why the flu rarely strikes in the summer?

New research offers an explanation: That dry air your heating system sends throughout your home in the winter weakens your immune system, making you a prime target for viral infection.

Cold temperatures and low humidity were known to increase transmission of flu viruses, but exactly how low humidity affects the immune sy...

The virus that gave you chickenpox as a kid can rise again after decades of inactivity and inflict a painful, even blinding, eye infection in old age.

New research reveals that cases of eye-based "shingles" have tripled since 2004.

Exactly what is driving the increase remains unclear. What is clear, however, is that either of two vaccines could prevent many cases of shingles...

Viruses and bacteria are the culprits behind the infectious diseases that plague humans. Researchers recently turned one against the other, using viruses to wipe out a potentially life-threatening bacterium in a 15-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis.

This old-time approach to battling bacterial infections might be worth another look in these days of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a ne...

What looked like a mild flu season in December has turned into the longest flu season in five years, U.S. health officials report.

The season is so prolonged because two waves of flu viruses hit one after the other, making it like two flu seasons in one.

"Those two waves together have made it a long season and a moderately severe season," said Lynnette Brammer, leader of the...

Many hospital workers and patients spread the flu before they show any symptoms, a new study says.

The bottom line: Current flu infection control measures in hospitals may be inadequate, the Swiss researchers say.

"Our findings suggest that influenza infection in acute care is common and a significant proportion of individuals appear to shed influenza virus without harboring...

Scotland is already seeing a payoff for vaccinating adolescent girls for human papillomavirus (HPV).

Since the vaccine became routine about a decade ago, cervical cancer cases in young Scottish women have plummeted, a new study reports.

HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Vaccination protects against HPV types 16 and 18, which cause 70% of cer...

As if having the exhausting "kissing disease" -- also known as mononucleosis, or "mono" -- isn't bad enough, about 1 in 10 people with this infection will develop chronic fatigue syndrome in six months, researchers report.

To better predict which people with mono might end up with debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome, investigators at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago developed ...

Scientists are looking to an unexpected source in the battle against drug-resistant bacteria: fish slime.

The researchers said that microbes in the protective mucus that coats young fish holds promise in fighting multidrug-resistant bacteria. These include the so-called "superbug" microbes that cause methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections.

The ...

Though flu season has probably peaked, beware: Influenza is still widespread in much of the United States, federal health officials said Friday.

"This week activity decreased a little bit, but flu is going to be around for a while," said Lynnette Brammer, from the domestic influenza surveillance team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Making matters wor...

You thought Zika was scary? Well, get this: Global warming places up to 1 billion people worldwide at risk of exposure to disease-carrying mosquitoes over the next 50 years, new research indicates.

The two most common disease-transmitting mosquitoes -- Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus -- carry viruses such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya, plus more than a dozen others...

Many survivors of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa have ongoing health problems, a new study finds.

More than 28,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 died in the outbreak.

Researchers compared 966 Ebola survivors from Liberia with 2,350 close contacts and sexual partners. They found that survivors were more likely to have increased urinary frequency, head...

Much like a canary in a coal mine, Florida chickens have warned researchers of a rare but deadly mosquito-borne virus in their midst.

These sentinels have revealed that eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) originates in the state's panhandle and then spreads as far north as Nova Scotia, Canada, the new study found.

"In the region of the panhandle, this is year-round. You...

Americans aren't out of the woods yet, as the flu season continues to spread across the country, health officials reported Friday.

One major shift that's occurred is in the viruses that are circulating. At the start of the flu season, the predominant strain was influenza A H1N1, but now a more severe strain, influenza A H3N2, accounts for nearly half of all the new cases, according t...

Rapid expansion of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening could eliminate the cancer as a major health problem in many countries by the end of the century, a new study claims.

HPV (human papillomavirus) causes most cases of cervical cancer, and the researchers determined that more than 13 million cases of cervical cancer worldwide could be prevented in the coming decades.

...

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is easily transmitted during sex, but it is unlikely to be passed by the hands, Canadian researchers report.

The virus, which infects the skin and genitals, is a cause of several types of cancer in both men and women, including cervical cancer, as well as tumors of the vagina, penis, anus and throat.

Because HPV strains on your hand usually match t...

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- This year's flu shot is already outperforming the vaccine issued during the tough 2017-2018 influenza season, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The 2017-2018 flu shot offered just 25 percent effectiveness against the predominant strain of flu that season, H3N2. But this year's shot offers 47 percent protection against all circulat...

It's safe to use antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis C in liver cancer survivors, a new study reports.

The findings contradict previous research suggesting that antiviral drugs might increase these patients' risk of liver cancer recurrence.

That prior research involved a single-center study from Spanish investigators in 2016 that "gained a lot of press and sparked fear about ...

New (and pricey) hepatitis C medicines, such as Harvoni and Sovaldi, are living up to their promise and greatly reducing patients' odds for liver cancer and death, a new French study finds.

The news came as little surprise to one U.S. liver expert.

The advent of this class of drugs "has led to almost universal cure of chronic hepatitis C infection," said Dr. David Bernstein,...

Millions of hepatitis C cases and related deaths could be prevented, but it will require a significant investment, researchers say.

In the first study to model such measures worldwide, the authors concluded that sweeping prevention, screening and treatment efforts could prevent 15.1 million new hepatitis C infections and 1.5 million cirrhosis and liver cancer deaths by 2030.

Seasonal flu and other respiratory infections may be especially dangerous for kidney failure patients, researchers say.

A new study found that influenza-like illnesses likely contribute to more than 1,000 deaths among kidney failure patients in the United States each year. These illnesses include potentially serious respiratory tract infections caused by flu and other viruses.

...

A large number of U.S. cancer patients with hepatitis B and C don't know they have the virus, which can cause life-threatening complications during some cancer treatments, researchers say.

The findings suggest screening for hepatitis B and C may be appropriate in community cancer clinics, according to investigators from the SWOG Cancer Research Network, an international group funded b...