Health

Health

Congo rebels kill 15, abduct kids in Ebola outbreak region

Congolese rebels killed 15 civilians and abducted a dozen children in an attack at the center of the latest deadly Ebola outbreak, Congo’s military said Sunday, as the violence threatened to again force the suspension of crucial virus containment efforts. “We condemn this attack,” said the World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Everyone should work on achieving peace and fight Ebola.” Allied Democratic Forces rebels attacked Congolese army positions and several neighborhoods of Beni on Saturday and into Sunday, Capt. Mak Hazukay Mongha told The Associated Press. The U.N. peacekeeping mission said its troops exchanged fire with rebels in the Mayangose area of Beni. Angry over the killings, Beni residents on Sunday carri...

China is funding the future of American biotech

Silicon Valley is in the midst of a health craze, and it is being driven by “Eastern” medicine. It’s been a record year for US medical investing, but investors in Beijing and Shanghai are now increasingly leading the largest deals for US life science and biotech companies. In fact, Chinese venture firms have invested more this year into life science and biotech in the US than they have back home, providing financing for over 300 US-based companies, per Pitchbook. That’s the story at Viela Bio, a Maryland-based company exploring treatments for inflammation and autoimmune diseases, which raised a $250 million Series A led by three Chinese firms. Chinese capital’s newfound appetite also flows into the mainland. Business is booming for Chinese medical startups, who are also seeing the stronges...

Hackers breach Healthcare.gov system, taking files on 75,000 people

A government system used by insurance agents and brokers to help customers sign up for healthcare plans was breached, allowing hackers to siphon off sensitive and personal data on 75,000 people. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed the breach in a late Friday announcement, but revealed few details about the contents of the files stolen. The hacked system was connected to the Healthcare.gov website, the front-facing portal for anyone signing up for an insurance plan under former President Obama’s healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act. Hackers targeted the behind-the-scenes system that insurance agents used to help customers directly enroll in new plans, and not the consumer Healthcare.gov site itself.  In order to sign up for healthcare plans, customers have to give ov...

Everything you need to know about Ebola

World health officials on Wednesday said they are “deeply concerned” about a worsening outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but concluded it does not yet meet the criteria for an international public health emergency. At least 223 people have reported symptoms of hemorrhagic fever in the Central African nation’s eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, which share international borders. Among those cases, 188 have tested positive for Ebola virus disease, the country’s health ministry said in a daily bulletin on Thursday night. There have been 109 deaths thus far, including 39 people who died from confirmed cases of Ebola, the ministry said. The World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Wednesd...

The role diversity anxiety can play in ‘living while black’ incidents: OPINION

“Cornerstone Caroline” and “Pool Patrol Paula” have recently become viral memes showing white people who call the police to report a black person going about their daily life. In concert with increasing racial and ethnic diversity in many communities — and the ability to record a video with a smartphone — the internet is giving the U.S. an education in what racial prejudice can look like. White people are projected to make up less than half of the U.S. population by 2044, and sociologists and psychologists are debating the possible consequences that shift will have on race relations. It might bring us closer to Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream, but it does not seem to come without a few nightmares along the way. One recent study published in Current Directions in Psychologi...

Fertility rates decreasing as 1st-time moms get older: CDC

Fertility rates have declined in the U.S. and women are giving birth for the first time later and later, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The results came after researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics analyzed birth data compiled by the National Vital Statistics System from 2007 to 2017 that included breakdowns by race and geography. The CDC defines “fertility rate” as “the total number of births in an area to the population of women most at risk of childbearing,” typically women aged 15 through 44. Total fertility rates fell both in rural and in urban settings. In rural counties, rates declined 12 percent, in small or medium metro counties, rates fell 16 percent and major metros saw a drop of 18 percent. In 2007, rural...

‘To some, Maddie was just a junkie’: Obituary gives new take on drug addiction

Madelyn Linsenmeir was a mother, sister and friend, who was “hilarious, and warm, and fearless, and resilient.” She was also an opioid addict. Linsenmeir was a drug addict for 12 years and, at what her sister said were some of her darkest points, she would sometimes panhandle for money. She lost custody of her young son because of her disease. On Oct. 7, the 30-year-old died in the hospital while in police custody, according to her sister, Kate O’Neill. O’Neill does not want Linsenmeir to be remembered for her addiction. Her surprisingly honest obituary she wrote for a local Vermont paper is getting widespread attention for its warmth and candor. “It is impossible to capture a person in an obituary, and especially someone whose adult life was largely defined by drug addic...

62 cases of AFM confirmed across 22 states: CDC

There are now 62 confirmed reports of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, across 22 states in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Sept. 20, the CDC had confirmed 38 cases in 16 states, which aren’t required to report AFM cases to the CDC. This year’s numbers are similar to 2016 and 2014. Since 2014, 386 cases have been confirmed, the CDC said on Tuesday. Currently, 127 patients are under investigation. The average age of those afflicted is 4, and 90 percent of those with AFM are 18 or younger, the CDC said. Acute flaccid myelitis is a rare condition that affects the spinal cord and can cause partial paralysis. It mostly afflicts children and young adults and can be caused by toxins in one’s environment, genetic disorders or viruses suc...

Unvaccinated child dies from flu in Florida

A Florida child who hadn’t received a flu vaccination died from the virus in late September or early October, according to the state’s department of health. It’s the first reported pediatric death in Florida for the 2018-19 flu season. Vaccinations have been shown to reduce a child’s likelihood of dying from the flu by 60 percent, health department officials said. Vaccines are recommended for anyone at least six months old. The unidentified child was otherwise healthy before getting the flu, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Epidemiology. The child tested positive for influenza B at a local health care provider. About 80,000 Americans, including 180 children, died last year in the deadliest flu season in more than 40 years, according to...

AllTrails gets $75M to keep hikers happy

The app for hiking enthusiasts just secured a big round of capital that will help it map more trails worldwide. AllTrails has raised $75 million, led by Spectrum Equity, which has taken a majority stake in the company in the process. Founded in 2010, AllTrails raised a small amount of capital years ago from investors, including 2020 Ventures and 500 Startups. It was also part of AngelPad’s inaugural accelerator class. This is its first sizeable round of equity financing. AllTrails provides what it calls an “outdoors platform” that includes crowdsourced reviews of trails from its community of 9 million avid hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners in more than 100 countries. It also provides detailed trail maps and other content tailor-made for outdoorsy folk. The company says its app has ...

Cannabis-infused ice cream helps patients by doctor’s orders

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6.5M pounds of ground beef recalled after salmonella outbreak sickens 57 in 16 states

An Arizona-based company is recalling more than 6.5 million pounds of raw beef that may be contaminated with salmonella — after 57 people in 16 states have gotten sick, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday. The raw beef items from JBS Tolleson, Inc., including ground beef, were packaged on various dates between July 26 and Sept. 7 of this year, and are marked with the establishment number “EST. 267” inside the Department of Agriculture (USDA) mark of inspection, according to the agency. The affected meat is sold nationally under the labels: Showcase (sold at Walmart), Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Comnor Perfect Choice, Gourmet Burger, Grass Run Farms Natural Beef, JBS Generic. The entire product list is here. The 5...