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General Health

Intimate Contact Not Likely to Spread Ulcer Bug

Thu Sep 12, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People cured of stomach ulcers can cozy up to their significant others without fear, according to a new study, which found that the ulcer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori is unlikely to be transmitted between married couples.

What's more, the investigation found that chances of a repeat bout of H. pylori infection appear to be relatively slim.

West Nile Virus - A Manufactured Crisis

By Lynn Landes 


What to do about West Nile? Don't do anything. It has the smell of a manufactured crisis. The news on West Nile is a disturbing combination of hype, confusion, distortion, and omission. Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for, "West Nile Virus Update - Current Case Count," and you'll see a startling variation in the incidence of West Nile infections and fatalities from state to state - and even within the same region. It makes me wonder. 

Gene-Altered Follicles Grow Glowing Green Hair

Mon Sep 9, 2002

By Keith Mulvihill

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Scientists have successfully inserted a foreign gene into the DNA of mice that was later incorporated into growing hair shafts.

"This will allow us to search for genes that will give a cosmetic benefit as well as potential therapeutic benefits when inserted into the hair follicle," said the study's lead author Dr. Robert M. Hoffman of AntiCancer Inc., a San Diego, California-based biotechnology company.

Second Probable West Nile Case Found in California

Tue Sep 10, 2002

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A second probable case of West Nile virus has been identified in the Los Angeles area in less than a week, but health officials on Monday said they were confident that the Texas resident acquired the potentially fatal disease in that state.

The adult male patient was visiting a relative and became ill the day after he arrived, the Los Angeles County health department said.

Skin Anthrax May Be More Common Than Thought in UK

Mon Sep 9, 2002

LEICESTER (Reuters) - Skin anthrax, the less serious form of the disease, may be more common in Britain than previously thought, a research scientist told a conference Monday.

Only 14 cases of skin anthrax have been detected in Britain in the last 20 years. But two British cases were reported soon after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States last year.

UK Stem Cell Bank Should Be Running Within a Year

Mon Sep 9, 2002

By Richard Woodman

LONDON (Reuters Health) - Britain's national stem cell bank should have its first cell lines in deep-freeze storage next year, the head of the body charged with setting up the bank said on Monday.

"We hope to be banking the first cell line within 12 months," said Dr. Steven Inglis, director of the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), which has just won a 2.6 million contract to set up the bank at its laboratories at South Mimms, Hertfordshire, to the north-west of London.

Singapore Battles Rise in Dengue Fever Cases

Mon Sep 9, 2002

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore is waging war on mosquitoes after a jump in the number of dengue fever cases and the deaths of three people in June and July.

A mix of hot weather and regular downpours is being blamed for an average of 440 cases a month since June compared with 318 during the same period of last year.

Four people died of the mosquito-borne infection last year and two in 2000.

Deadly Sore Throat Aliment on the Rise in UK

Mon Sep 9, 2002

LONDON (Reuters Health) - A potentially deadly disease that begins as a sore throat is making a comeback in the UK, possibly because doctors are being told not to prescribe antibiotics for throat infections, scientists said on Monday.

Lemierre's disease was common in the early 20th century but largely disappeared with the advent of antibiotics. The symptoms are a sore throat followed by infection in the lungs and liver and septicaemia (blood poisoning). The disease is fatal if not treated.

Study Finds Drug Errors Common in U.S. Hospitals

Mon Sep 9, 2002

By Suzanne Rostler

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Medication errors, some with potentially life-threatening consequences, are common in US hospitals, researchers report.

Errors such as giving patients the wrong drug dose, delivering medication at the wrong time, giving patients an unauthorized drug or forgetting to give patients their medicine occurred in nearly one out of every five medication doses given in hospitals and nursing facilities included in the study.

People Born in Autumn Live Longer, Study Says

Thu Sep 5, 2002

BERLIN (Reuters) - People born in the autumn live longer than those born in the spring and are less likely to fall chronically ill when they are older, an Austrian scientist said Thursday.

Using census data for more than 1 million people in Austria, Denmark and Australia, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in the northern German town of Rostock found the month of birth was related to life expectancy over the age of 50.