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Health News Roundup: Wuhan pneumonia outbreak; vaping-related deaths rise and more

Health News Roundup: Wuhan pneumonia outbreak; vaping-related deaths rise and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

China says the second person dies in Wuhan pneumonia outbreak

A second person has died from pneumonia in the central Chinese city of Wuhan following an outbreak believed to be caused by a new coronavirus strain, local health authorities said. The 69-year-old man had been admitted to hospital with abnormal renal function and severe damage to multiple organs, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement on its website late on Thursday. He died on Jan. 15.

U.S. vaping-related deaths rise to 60, cases of illness to 2,668

U.S. health officials on Thursday reported https://bit.ly/371CYA2 3 more deaths from a mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping, taking the total death toll to 60. As of Jan. 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 66 new cases from the illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products. The number of people hospitalized now stands at 2,668.

Health warning: How Fitbits can help predict flu outbreaks

The Fitbit on your wrist not only counts your steps and minutes of sleep, but it can also help tell if you're coming down with the flu - and warn health authorities to get ready to help. A study in the United States has found that heart rate and sleep data from wearable fitness tracker watches can predict and alert public health officials to real-time outbreaks of flu more accurately than current surveillance methods.

No pigging out on pork delicacies for China this Lunar New Year

For Xu, a mother and wife from central China, losing her family's entire pig herd to African swine fever almost meant not serving the cured pork, known as la rou, and dried sausage central to her Lunar New Year meals. "I wasn't going to make any this year, but then my son said 'Ma, I want to eat sausage, every year we have it', so I said ok I'll make a bit," she said, standing in her yard strung with homemade sausages, fish and cured pork on a line in a village in Gushi County, in Henan province.

Bayer close to Roundup settlement, mediator tells Bloomberg

Bayer is close to settling more than 75,000 cancer claims related to its Roundup herbicide, mediator Ken Feinberg told Bloomberg in an interview, saying he was "cautiously optimistic" a deal could be reached in about a month. Feinberg was quoted as saying that the number of cases had grown to between 75,000 and 85,000 and "maybe more". Bayer in October said it was now facing 42,700 U.S. plaintiffs blaming its glyphosate-based weedkillers for their cancer.

Can 'Made in Africa' cigars compete with Cuba?

While drinking in a nightclub in Mozambique in 2015, Kamal Moukheiber had an idea: a luxury cigar made not in Cuba, but in southern Africa. The Lebanese former banker glanced at a customer puffing at what looked like an imported cigar and thought: "What's wrong with Africa producing cigars?"

Thailand finds the second case of a new Chinese virus, says no outbreak

Thailand has found a second case of a new Chinese coronavirus, authorities said on Friday, as they ramped up checks on Chinese visitors, nearly a million of whom are expected for Lunar New Year holidays next week. The latest patient is from China's central city of Wuhan, which has reported 41 cases of pneumonia potentially linked to the new type of virus, with two deaths, as hospitals worldwide scramble to guard against any spread.

Yosemite National Park says 170 people ill in possible norovirus outbreak

Some 170 people who have spent time in Yosemite National Park in recent weeks have suffered from a gastrointestinal ailment "consistent with norovirus" and two have been diagnosed with the illness, park officials said on Thursday. Most of those who became ill-spent time in Yosemite Valley during or around the first week in January, park spokesman Scott Gediman said in a written statement, while the number of new cases reported has declined in the past several days.

Brazil reports third death from suspected poison craft beer

A third person has died in Brazil of suspected poisoning from a batch of craft beer contaminated with a toxic chemical used in antifreeze and other products, police in the state of Minas Gerais said on Thursday. In a statement, police said the man died on Thursday morning of suspected poisoning by diethylene glycol (DEG).

Novo Nordisk's diabetes pill Rybelsus to be covered by Express Scripts

Novo Nordisk's new diabetes pill, Rybelsus, will be covered by Express Scripts Holding Co, one of the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit managers, the Danish drugmaker said on Friday. Pharmacy benefit managers act as middlemen in the drug supply chain and negotiate discounts on drugs on behalf of health insurers.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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