Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
New Ebola cases in Uganda raise fears of further spread
Uganda announced two more cases of Ebola on Wednesday - a grandmother and a three-year-old boy, confirming that a deadly outbreak has spread for the first time beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Ugandan cases show the epidemic is entering a "truly frightening" phase and could kill many more people, one infectious disease specialist told Reuters.
Cholera surge stalks Yemen's hungry and displaced
In the last two weeks Dr Asmahan Ahmed has seen a surge in suspected cholera cases arriving at her health center in Abs, a small, Houthi-held town in northwest Yemen. "Every day there are 30-50 cases, no fewer. Suddenly it became like this," she said in the 15-bed diarrhea treatment center.
North Korea steps up measures to prevent spread of African swine fever
North Korea has stepped up measures to prevent the spread of the highly contagious and deadly African swine fever, its main state newspaper said on Wednesday, breaking its silence on the outbreak which was first reported in late May. In late May, North Korea reported an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), South Korea's agriculture ministry said but the North has not made any official comment on its outbreak.
FDA unveils new guidelines for e-cigarette makers
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday carved out new recommendations for makers of e-cigarettes, or vapes, including guidelines on how to address public health issues while designing their products. Currently, there are no authorized e-cigarettes on the U.S. market.
U.S. pet doctors steel themselves for online pharmacy challenge
A David and Goliath battle is brewing in the business of selling prescription medicines for pets, pitching veterinarians against online giants moving into this lucrative corner of the growing market for animal supplies. Americans spent $72.56 billion last year on their pets, according to American Pet Products Association. Prescription drugs were expected to account for over $10 billion, according to an estimate https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/competition-pet-medications-industry-prescription-portability-distribution-practices/150526-pet-meds-report.pdf from the Federal Trade Commission, and overall pet product sales are expected to keep growing by 4% a year.
Oral Novo Nordisk diabetes drug poses no more heart risk than placebo: study
An experimental oral form of a Novo Nordisk drug for type 2 diabetes posed no greater risk of serious heart problems or death than a placebo in patients at high risk for such complications, according to data from a large study presented on Tuesday. Patients with type 2 diabetics and either heart disease or at high risk for heart problems who received the drug semaglutide in pill form had a combined rate of heart attack, stroke or heart-related death of 3.8% compared with 4.8% for placebo, successfully demonstrating non-inferiority.
Planned Parenthood sues U.S. to block rule that may limit abortions
Planned Parenthood and other nonprofits offering family planning services sued the Trump administration on Tuesday to block a new federal rule letting healthcare workers refuse abortions and other services because of religious or moral objections. The two lawsuits filed in Manhattan federal court said enforcing the "conscience" rule would encourage discrimination against women, minorities, the poor, the uninsured, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people by curbing access to legal healthcare procedures, including life-saving treatments.
Mental illness affects a fifth of people living in war zones
One in five people in war zones has depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, with many suffering severe forms of these mental illnesses. The findings highlight the long-term impact of war-induced crises in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, the UN's health agency said, and the numbers are significantly higher than in peacetime populations, where around one in 14 people has a mental illness.
For female vets, sex assault in military boosts odds of lasting sexual pain
Military women who are sexually assaulted may be at an especially high risk of developing lasting sexual pain, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers who interviewed more than 1,000 female veterans found the risk of sexual pain was higher among those assaulted while serving in the military than those who experienced sexual abuse as children, according to the study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The risk was highest among those who had experienced sexual abuse as children and who were assaulted while serving in the military.
Uganda confirms first Ebola case during current outbreak, a Congolese child: WHO
Uganda has confirmed its first case of Ebola during the current outbreak, a 5-year-old Congolese child who is receiving care after arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. "This is the first confirmed case in Uganda during the Ebola outbreak on-going in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo," the WHO said in a statement.
(With inputs from agencies.)