Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Indonesia to raise cigarette prices by more than a third at start of 2020
Indonesia will raise the minimum price of cigarettes by more than a third from January next year, a finance ministry spokesman said on Friday, as part of the government's efforts to reduce smoking rates. Nearly 70% of adult men smoke in Indonesia, according to the World Health Organization - one of the highest rates in the world - and tobacco kills 225,720 people each year in the country or 14.7% of all deaths, mostly through cardiovascular diseases, the WHO said in a 2018 report.
PTSD linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer
Women who exhibit many classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be much more likely to develop ovarian cancer than their counterparts who don't, a new study suggests. For the study, researchers asked women to identify the most stressful event of their lives and report whether they experienced seven different symptoms of PTSD. Women who suffered from six or seven PTSD symptoms were more than twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer as women who didn't report any of these symptoms, the study found.
Five confirmed cholera deaths in Sudan since August 28
There have been five confirmed deaths from cholera in Sudan's Blue Nile state since Aug. 28, the health ministry said in a statement. The ministry reported 67 cases of cholera since that date, with 18 of them still receiving treatment in isolation rooms, it added in the statement late Friday.
Explainer: One possible culprit in vaping lung illnesses - 'Dank Vapes'
As U.S health officials scramble to identify the root cause of hundreds of severe lung illnesses tied to vaping, one possible culprit identified so far is a line of illicit marijuana vape products sold under the brand names "Dank Vapes" and "Chronic Carts." A study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine found that more than half of patients with the lung illness - 24 of 41 - who were extensively interviewed in Wisconsin and Illinois reported having used the "Dank Vapes" brand.
U.S. and European drug regulators said on Friday they are reviewing the safety of the widely taken heartburn drug ranitidine, commonly known by the brand name Zantac, after they found traces of a probable cancer-causing impurity in some versions of the medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had found traces of the impurity, called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), in some of drugs with ranitidine in them. Both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency said they will review the drug's safety, but neither agency is currently calling for patients to stop taking it.
New Jersey expected to announce vaping restrictions within weeks
Within weeks, New Jersey could become the latest state to restrict e-cigarette use, with the governor on Thursday launching a task force to find ways to curb vaping, linked by U.S. health officials to hundreds of respiratory illnesses and a half-dozen deaths. "As of this moment, there is no safe vape," Governor Phil Murphy said at a media briefing, adding he was concerned about both teen use and the recent illnesses. "The only safe alternative to smoking is not smoking."
Japan culls 753 hogs to contain swine fever outbreak
Japanese officials have culled 753 pigs in Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo after detecting an outbreak of swine fever, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Sunday. The cull, which took place on Saturday, was necessary after it was determined that pigs raised in the prefecture for shipment to central Japan were infected, the Yomiuri said.
Virtual reality helps kids getting X-rays
A virtual reality program with cartoon characters may reduce children's fear before imaging procedures, a South Korean study suggests. Compared to verbal instructions, a virtual reality experience that explained the process of chest X-rays in detail reduced kids' anxiety and stress, researchers reported in JAMA Pediatrics.
The U.S. Department of Justice examined using fentanyl in lethal injections as it prepared last year to resume executing condemned prisoners, a then untested use of the powerful, addictive opioid that has helped fuel a national crisis of overdose deaths. The department revealed it had contemplated using the drug in a court filing last month, which has not been previously reported.
First peanut allergy therapy gets backing from U.S. regulators' expert advisers
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended approving the first therapy for peanut allergies, which affect over 1.6 million children in the United States, despite raising concerns about the risk of severe allergic reactions it poses to young patients. The body of independent advisers voted 7-2 in favor of effectiveness and 8-1 backing safety of the therapy Palforzia, developed by Aimmune Therapeutics Inc. The verdict of the panel is traditionally an influential factor in the agency's final decision.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)