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In Health News This Week

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 1, 2007

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The approval of a new vaccine against smallpox was announced Saturday by the Food and Drug Administration, which says the shots could be made quickly if the virtually extinct virus reappears.

The vaccine, ACAM2000, is intended to innoculate people at high risk of exposure to smallpox, a highly contagious disease. The FDA said the vaccine also could be used to protect individuals and populations during a bioterrorist attack.

By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS – Malnutrition is increasing in Sudan‘s violence-wracked Darfur region along with lawlessness and the number of people fleeing their homes, a senior U.N. official said Friday.

“The humanitarian situation in the last few months has become more critical in many parts of Darfur,” Assistant Secretary-General Margareta Wahlstrom, the U.N.’s deputy humanitarian chief, told a news conference.

By MATTHEW PERRONE, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON – A new HIV-fighting drug from Merck & Co. appears superior to options for patients who have stopped responding to available drugs, federal regulators said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said Merck‘s studies of Isentress show the drug is safe and effective to treat HIV patients who have developed a resistance to other medications.

By Alan Mozes, HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) — People who live in damp, moldy homes may be prone to depression, a new study suggests.

The possible link was uncovered in an analysis of mold and health conditions in several cities in eastern and western Europe. And it could one day lead to the addition of emotional problems to the list of health woes caused by mold, the study authors said.

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS, Associated Press Writer

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippians need to skip the gravy, say no to the fried pickles and start taking brisk walks to fight an epidemic of obesity, experts say. According to a new study, this Deep South state is the fattest in the nation.

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) — Immunization programs in the United States have been remarkably successful, virtually eliminating diseases like measles and polio.

But experts are worried that cracks could be appearing in the public health system that would allow outbreaks of disease to occur even though vaccines are readily available.

That’s because a sizable segment of the population — the working poor — makes too much money to qualify for federally funded vaccinations but has health insurance so meager that it won’t cover some or any immunizations or booster shots. This is particularly true of new vaccines, the experts say.

As many as 2.1 million American children aren’t getting timely vaccinations because of holes in the public health system, according to Amy Pisani, executive director of Every Child By Two: The Carter/Bumpers Campaign for Early Immunization of Every Child By Two. The campaign, co-founded by former First Lady Roslynn Carter, works with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct educational programs for health-care providers.

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4 Responses to “In Health News This Week”

  1. Ever seen a case of smallpox? That is a nasty disease.

  2. No, I’ve never actually seen a case of smallpox, although I know it’s a horrible disease. It’s comforting to know that there is a vaccine that can be produced rapidly in the case of smallpox being used as a terrorist attack.

  3. liarac said

    The history of vaccines have changed the way the industrialized world views the threat of certain diseases. However, it makes sense not to forget what has a vaccine in some countries remains a rampant health threat in others. Another point worth noting is that for every vaccine devised to control a disease, other diseases pop up to pre-occupy the biochemistry labs.

  4. Very true.

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