Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
African swine fever hits farms in China's Jiangsu province: Xinhua
A new outbreak of African swine fever has hit two farms in Jiangsu province in eastern China, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, as the highly contagious disease continues to spread through the world's largest hog herd. The outbreak in Siyang county hit two farms with a total of 68,969 pigs, the Xinhua report said, citing a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. A total of 2,452 pigs have been infected and 1,369 killed.
Fund battling AIDS, TB and malaria seeks $14 billion to invigorate fight
At least $14 billion is needed to accelerate the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and quell stubborn epidemics that still kill millions, the head of a global health fund said on Friday. Announcing a fundraising target for the next three-year cycle, Peter Sands, director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said the money could help save 16 million lives, halving deaths from the three diseases.
Heart failure patients need sooner follow-up care
More than half of heart failure patients who visit the emergency room don't receive prompt follow-up care, and a Canadian study suggests the delay is associated with more complications and lower survival. Researchers studied more than 34,000 patients who received emergency care for heart failure in Ontario. Only about 16,000, or 47 percent, saw a doctor within a week after leaving the emergency room.
China could lift life expectancy by nearly three years if it meets WHO smog standards: study
China could raise average life expectancy by 2.9 years if it improves air quality to levels recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), according a new study from a U.S. research group. China has vowed to determine the precise impact of air and water pollution on health as part of its efforts to raise average life expectancy to 79 years by 2030 from 76.3 years in 2015.
Statins may help prevent diabetes-related eye problems
Diabetic patients who take statins to treat high cholesterol may get an added benefit: a lower risk of damage to the retina, a new study suggests. Researchers found that diabetic patients taking statins were 14 percent less likely to develop retinopathy than those who were not. And among patients who did develop retinopathy, statin therapy was associated with slower disease progression, according to Dr. Eugene Yu-Chuan Kang, a researcher at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues.
Pain relief during labor varies across U.S.
Access to pain relief during childbirth in the U.S. may vary depending on where women live, a study suggests. Researchers who analyzed more than 2.6 million deliveries in 2015 found the proportion of women receiving epidurals or spinal blocks to manage pain during labor ranged from a low of 25 percent in Maine to a high of 79 percent in Nevada,
Health Canada places restrictions on Allergan's fibroid treatment Esmya
Canada's health regulator on Friday said it was restricting the use of Allergan Plc's uterine fibroid treatment Esmya after discovering a risk of serious liver injury from the drug. Health Canada said the drug, sold under brand name Fibristal in the country, should not be used by women with liver problems, or those who have had such problems in the past.
U.S. medic declared Ebola-free, leaves Nebraska quarantine
A U.S. healthcare worker who was being monitored for the Ebola virus after treating patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo was released from a Nebraska hospital on Saturday after doctors said they had seen no signs of the deadly disease. The individual, whose name was not released for privacy reasons, did not develop Ebola symptoms during 21 days of monitoring at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, the center said in a statement.
Lilly eyes more cancer deals, but wary of CAR-T, gene therapy
Eli Lilly and Co remains in the hunt for cancer drugs even after announcing an $8 billion purchase of Loxo Oncology this week, but it plans to remain on the sidelines when it comes to two of the hottest areas of drug development. Lilly Chief Executive Dave Ricks told Reuters that as the company looks for deals to enhance its pipeline of future treatments it will leave CAR-T therapies for cancer and gene therapy for rare diseases to others, for now.
Up to 84,000 Americans hospitalized with flu in past three months: CDC
An estimated 69,000 to 84,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu in the last three months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday. The nation saw one of the worst flu outbreaks in nearly a decade during the 2017-2018 season, with more than 900,000 cases of hospitalizations and over 80,000 deaths, the CDC estimates https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/press-conference-2018-19.htm#ref1.
(With inputs from agencies.)