Julie's Feed
Nov 25, 2014

Only three in 10 Americans have HIV under control: government report

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Just 30 percent of Americans living with HIV have the virus in check, putting others at risk of infection, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday.

The report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 840,000 of the 1.2 million people infected with HIV in 2011 were not consistently taking anti-HIV drugs that keep the virus suppressed at very low levels.

Nov 21, 2014

New data fuels doctors’ demands to rewrite U.S. heart guidelines

CHICAGO, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Controversial heart disease
prevention guidelines that abandoned specific targets for
reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol are under fresh assault after a
major study highlighted the benefits of taking LDL to very low
levels.

Guidelines issued last year by the American Heart
Association and the American College of Cardiology asked doctors
to assess individual patients’ risk for heart disease over 10
years based on a complex calculation of risks posed by
lifestyle, family history and other health conditions. Those
deemed at sufficient risk would be prescribed
cholesterol-lowering statins.

Nov 19, 2014

Illumina teams with U.S. government, researchers to sequence Ebola

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Gene sequencing equipment maker Illumina has teamed up with the U.S. government and academic researchers at the Broad Institute in Boston to train scientists in West Africa to improve tracking of how the Ebola virus is mutating in hopes of fighting it more effectively.

The public-private partnership, announced on Wednesday, is designed to extend research on how the Ebola virus is mutating in real time as it spreads among populations in West Africa. Scientists need the information to develop new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines to fight the outbreak.

Nov 12, 2014

U.S. gene study raises hope for Merck cholesterol drug Zetia

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Rare mutations in a single gene may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of a heart attack by half, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday in a study that could have implications for Merck and Co’s closely watched heart drug Zetia.

The study involved individuals with mutations in a gene called NPC1L1, the gene targeted by Zetia, a cholesterol fighter known generically as ezetimibe.

Nov 7, 2014

Scientist hopes to unlock Ebola’s secrets at outbreak’s source

CHICAGO, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Etienne Simon-Loriere of the
Pasteur Institut in Paris has his fingers crossed. He is heading
to West Africa on Sunday to inspect blood samples gathered from
Ebola patients in Guinea in hopes of tracing the path of the
virus in the country where the current outbreak began.

Such samples are scarce and precious. So far, only a few
scientists have them, and many more say they need them in order
to do critical research on the virus.

Nov 5, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. Ebola researchers plead for access to virus samples

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Scientists across the United States say they cannot obtain samples of Ebola, complicating efforts to understand how the virus is mutating and develop new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics.

The problems reflect growing caution by regulators and transport companies about handling Ebola as well as the limited resources of West African countries which are struggling to help thousands of infected citizens.

Oct 30, 2014

Individual genetic differences may affect Ebola survival: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Scientists have been puzzling for years over why some people survive Ebola while many others perish. A new study provides strong evidence that individual genetic differences play a major role in whether people die from the disease.

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle reported their findings on Thursday in the journal Science.

Oct 29, 2014

Why do some survive Ebola? Sierra Leone study offers clues

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An analysis of the first Ebola cases in Sierra Leone helps draw a clearer picture of why some people survive the disease, while others do not, including their age and the pace at which the virus replicates within their body.

The study published Wednesday is based on data gathered from 106 patients diagnosed with Ebola at the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone from May 25 to July 18. Some of the data on this group was incinerated because of fears that the nurses’ station where the records were kept became contaminated.

Oct 24, 2014

In NYC Ebola case, crowded city complicates efforts to track exposure

NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) – As a New York City doctor tests positive for Ebola after volunteering in West Africa, health officials face the challenge of deciding how wide a net to cast for his possible contacts in the largest, most crowded city in the United States.

Dr. Craig Spencer, an emergency doctor who was working with Doctors Without Borders in Ebola-stricken Guinea earlier this month, returned to the city last Friday.

Oct 22, 2014

Some U.S. hospitals weigh withholding care to Ebola patients

CHICAGO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Ebola crisis is forcing the American healthcare system to consider the previously unthinkable: withholding some medical interventions because they are too dangerous to doctors and nurses and unlikely to help a patient.

    U.S. hospitals have over the years come under criticism for undertaking measures that prolong dying rather than improve patients’ quality of life.

    • About Julie

      "Julie Steenhuysen has been covering health and science topics for Reuters for the past decade, first as a medical device correspondent, then as team leader for the equities team covering U.S. pharmaceuticals and healthcare companies. For the past 4 years, Julie has worked as U.S. health and science correspondent, focusing on coverage for a general news audience."
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