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Apr 27, 2015

Increased human protections offered as H5N2 outbreak spreads

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Hundreds of farm workers exposed to a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu have been offered antiviral medication as a preventative measure in recent days, U.S. public health officials said.

To date, the virulent H5N2 influenza, which has infected turkeys and chickens on Midwestern poultry farms, has not affected humans. But because flu viruses are highly mutable, there is a worry that those in direct contact with infected birds could fall ill from the disease.

Apr 27, 2015

Insight – Increased human protections offered as H5N2 outbreak spreads

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Hundreds of farm workers exposed to a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu have been offered antiviral medication as a preventative measure in recent days, U.S. public health officials said.

    To date, the virulent H5N2 influenza, which has infected turkeys and chickens on Midwestern poultry farms, has not affected humans. But because flu viruses are highly mutable, there is a worry that those in direct contact with infected birds could fall ill from the disease.

Apr 25, 2015

New avian flu viruses send U.S. scientists scrambling

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three highly pathogenic avian flu viruses that have infected poultry and wild birds in the U.S. Midwest appear unlikely to present a significant risk to humans. But the presence of the viruses in North America has scientists scrambling to understand their potential long-term threat.

One of the viruses, H5N2, has already led to the slaughter of millions of turkeys and chickens, as commercial farms try to control the spread of the virus.

Apr 25, 2015

Insight – New avian flu viruses send U.S. scientists scrambling

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three highly pathogenic avian flu viruses that have infected poultry and wild birds in the U.S. Midwest appear unlikely to present a significant risk to humans. But the presence of the viruses in North America has scientists scrambling to understand their potential long-term threat.

One of the viruses, H5N2, has already led to the slaughter of millions of turkeys and chickens, as commercial farms try to control the spread of the virus.

Apr 22, 2015

Risk low for human infection from U.S. strains of bird flu -CDC

CHICAGO, April 22 (Reuters) – The strain of avian flu that
has been identified in 12 U.S. states and led to the
extermination of more than 7 million birds is different from the
H5N1 bird flu virus that has spread from birds to humans in the
past, an official with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention said on Wednesday.

An analysis of the genetic composition of avian viruses
circulating in North America, including the H5N2 strain, showed
they do not contain genetic markers which in the past have been
linked to more severe outbreaks in birds and transmission to
humans, Alicia Fry, a medical officer in the CDC’s influenza
branch, said on a conference call with reporters.

Apr 20, 2015

New U.S. mammogram guidelines stick with screening from age 50

CHICAGO (Reuters) – New mammogram screening guidelines from an influential panel of U.S. experts reaffirm earlier guidance that breast cancer screening should begin at age 50 for most women, but they acknowledge that women in their 40s also benefit, something experts say is a step in the right direction.

“They made it really clear this time around, unlike 2009, that the discussion between a woman and a clinician about breast cancer screening should begin at 40,” said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society.

Apr 15, 2015

U.S. study calls into question tests that sequence tumor genes

CHICAGO, April 15 (Reuters) – New cancer tests that sequence
only a patient’s tumor and not normal tissue could result in a
significant number of false positive results, potentially
leading doctors to prescribe treatments that might not work,
U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

The findings, published in the journal Science Translational
Medicine, call into question the accuracy of increasingly
popular tests that look for mutations within tumors that drive
cancer growth.

Apr 9, 2015

American with Ebola released from U.S. hospital-aid group, NIH

CHICAGO, April 9 (Reuters) – A U.S. healthcare worker who
was being treated for Ebola at a National Institutes of Health
hospital in Maryland has been declared free of the virus and was
released from the hospital on Thursday, according to the U.S.
aid agency Partners In Health.

The health worker, whose name will not be released, was
admitted to the NIH facility on March 13. He contracted Ebola
while working for Partners In Health in Sierra Leone.

Apr 2, 2015

Fetal DNA tests prove highly accurate but experts warn of exceptions

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A Roche blood test to screen fetuses for Down syndrome worked far better than standard prenatal screening tests in younger, low-risk women, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday, setting the stage for more widespread use.

The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the largest to show the tests are accurate in even low-risk women. But experts warned that women who test positive still need to confirm the result through more invasive diagnostic testing such as amniocentesis, especially if they would consider terminating a pregnancy.

Mar 29, 2015

Battling nightmare infections: US CDC’s plan to beat supberbugs

CHICAGO/NEW YORK, March 29 (Reuters) – With painstaking
effort, a group of Chicago hospitals has managed to cut by half
the number of infections caused by an especially deadly type of
superbug. Now U.S. health officials want that kind of campaign
to go national.

The White House on Friday told the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention to slash rates of infections from
antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 2020 as part of a plan to
prevent patient deaths and curb overuse of antibiotics
administered to humans and animals.

    • 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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