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Health News Roundup: U.S. records 10 new cases of measles last week; Research in astronauts sheds light on rare fainting disorder

Updated: 14-08-2019 02:29 IST
Health News Roundup: U.S. records 10 new cases of measles last week; Research in astronauts sheds light on rare fainting disorder

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. records 10 new cases of measles last week

The United States recorded 10 new measles cases last week, taking the total cases for the year to 1,182, in the worst outbreak since 1992, federal health officials said on Monday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had recorded cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease in 30 states as of August 8.

U.S. budget deficit widens; spending up on health, military

The U.S. government's deficit widened to $120 billion in July, fueled by increases in spending on health care and the military, according to data released on Monday by the Treasury Department. The size of the deficit was in line with expectations in a Reuters poll of analysts.

No-deal Brexit could deepen Europe's shortage of medicines: experts

As the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain to leave the European Union approaches, health professionals are warning that shortages of some medicines could worsen in Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Britain's food and drink lobby warned last week that the country would experience shortages of some fresh foods if there is a disorderly no-deal Brexit. Pharmaceutical companies have expressed similar concerns about medicines, and some have reserved air freight capacity to fly in supplies if needed.

Fewer parents smoke when pediatricians offer tobacco screening, treatment

Parents who smoke may be more likely to quit when they receive tobacco screening and smoking cessation treatment from their child's pediatrician than when they don't get this support, a new study suggests. "Most parents want to quit smoking but they don't often get the help they need from their own doctor," said Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, senior author of the study and a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston.

Canadian drug price regulator may be flexible on rare diseases

Canada's patented drug price regulator, set to gain new powers next year, may be "more forgiving" in setting price caps for drugs that treat rare diseases, the agency's executive director told Reuters, as some advocates warned the country's pricing reforms would hurt patients. The Canadian government announced final regulations meant to cut drug spending on Friday. The reforms expand the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board's (PMPRB) powers, and among other things give it the ability to consider the cost-effectiveness of medications.

Ebola 'no longer incurable' as Congo trial finds drugs boost survival

Scientists are a step closer to being able to cure the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever after two experimental drugs showed survival rates of as much as 90% in a clinical trial in Congo. Two experimental drugs - an antibody cocktail called REGN-EB3 developed by Regeneron and a monoclonal antibody called mAb114 - will now be offered to all patients infected with the viral disease in an ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Senator Grassley seeks info on Novartis's Zolgensma data issues

U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has asked Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG to provide details on data manipulation related to its $2 million gene therapy, Zolgensma, by Aug. 23. The Republican, in a letter dated Aug.9 to the drugmaker's Chief Executive Officer Vasant Narasimhan, asked the company to provide all records on its internal inquiry into Zolgensma data discrepancies.

Bills from out-of-network doctors rising at in-network hospitals

A growing number of Americans treated at hospitals that are part of their insurance networks are getting billed for out-of-network care, a U.S. study suggests. The proportion of emergency room visits to in-network hospitals that result in out-of-network bills surged from 32.3% to 42.8% from 2010 to 2016, the study found. Over the same period, the proportion of inpatient hospital admissions to in-network hospitals that result in out-of-network bill surged from 26.3% to 42%.

Research in astronauts sheds light on rare fainting disorder

An intervention used to treat astronauts has relevance for people on the ground with medical conditions that cause repeated fainting, researchers say. Astronauts newly returned to Earth commonly have episodes of lightheadedness and fainting. But researchers have found in the past that daily exercise in space and intravenous saline solution to boost blood volume upon landing seem to prevent these episodes under test conditions.

Deciphera shares skyrocket as cancer drug improves progression-free survival

Deciphera Pharmaceuticals Inc's shares more than doubled on Tuesday after the drugmaker said its treatment helped stomach cancer patients live longer without their disease worsening in a late-stage study. The treatment, ripretinib, was tested against placebo in 129 patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), a rare cancer affecting the digestive tract, who had received at least 3 prior therapies.

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(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)