China reports new African swine fever in Hunan province

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s agricultural ministry reported on Sunday a new outbreak of African swine fever in Changde city of central Hunan province, where 99 pigs were killed and 106 were sick.

The affected farm has a herd of 7,684 pigs, the ministry said on its website.

China has since August reported more than 40 outbreaks of the highly contagious disease in about a dozen provinces and municipalities, culling an estimated 200,000 pigs.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu

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Eighth child dies at New Jersey center hit by viral outbreak

(Reuters) – An eighth child has died at a New Jersey rehabilitation center where 23 people have been infected in a deadly viral outbreak, state health officials said on Friday.

The outbreak of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, New Jersey, was first reported by the New Jersey Department of Health on Tuesday with the deaths of six children with compromised immune systems. The seventh death was announced the next day.

The department said in a statement on Friday that the latest death involved a child who was “medically fragile with respiratory illness.” It said it did not have laboratory confirmation of adenovirus in the child.

Time, staffing top obstacles to sustaining school gardens

(Reuters Health) – Lack of time and staff support are the two biggest barriers to school garden success, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

“The physical space itself doesn’t seem to be the problem,” Dr. Kate G. Burt of the City University of New York in The Bronx, who led the study, told Reuters Health in a telephone interview.

Across the US, 44 percent of schools reported growing edible gardens during the 2013-2014 school year, up from 31 percent in 2011-2012, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s most recent data. Over the same period, the number of school gardens rose from 2,401 to 7,101.

Abbott, AbbVie settle U.S. case over TriCor marketing for $25 million

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie Inc will pay a total of $25 million to resolve allegations that Abbott paid kickbacks to doctors in exchange for their prescribing the cholesterol drug TriCor and promoted the medication for unapproved purposes.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the settlement on Friday, which resolves claims first raised in a whistleblower lawsuit filed in federal court in Philadelphia in 2009 by a former Abbott sales representative. AbbVie was spun out of Abbott in 2013.

Hospital accreditation not linked to patient outcomes in U.S.

(Reuters Health) – Hospital accreditation isn’t necessarily tied to better outcomes for U.S. patients, researchers say.

Based on records for more than 4.2 million patients over age 65 covered by Medicare, the study team found no difference between accredited and unaccredited hospitals in patient death rates, and only a slightly lower rate of patient readmissions at accredited hospitals, according to the report in The BMJ.

“When you walk into a hospital, one thing you want to count on as a patient is that the hospital will do a good job and achieve the best outcomes possible,” said senior study author Dr. Ashish Jha of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Booming Economy Helps Flatten Medicaid Enrollment And Limit Costs, States Report

Medicaid enrollment fell by 0.6 percent in 2018 — its first drop since 2007 — due to the strong economy and increased efforts in some states to verify eligibility, a new report finds.

But costs continue to go up. Total Medicaid spending rose 4.2 percent in 2018, same as a year ago, as a result of rising costs for drugs, long-term care and mental health services, according to the study released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

Trump seeks to base Medicare drug prices on lower overseas rates

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday his administration is seeking to lower prescription drug prices by determining the price the government’s Medicare program pays for some drugs based on the lower prices paid in other countries.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Trump, speaking at the Department of Health and Human Service’s Humphrey Building near Capitol Hill, said the move takes aim at what he characterized as “global freeloading” on prescription drugs.

Heart patients should consider cardiac rehab

(Reuters Health) – Patients who have had a heart attack, stent placement or bypass surgery should strongly consider enrolling in a cardiac rehabilitation program, say the authors of a new patient resource published in JAMA Cardiology.

These programs focus on nutrition, stress management, exercise, psychological support, tobacco cessation and heart disease education. They not only help the heart recover, they can ease anxiety, reduce heart risk factors and improve quality of life, the authors write.

“There are short-term and long-term benefits to participating, including less chest pain, less depression, and a decreased risk of death from heart disease,” said Dr. Tamara Horwich of the University of California, Los Angeles, who co-authored the one-page primer for patients.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Has Dementia

News Picture: Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Has Dementia

Latest Alzheimer’s News

TUESDAY, Oct. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — the first woman on the high court — has dementia, “probably Alzheimer’s disease,” she announced Tuesday.

Doctors diagnosed her with the beginning stages of dementia “some time ago,” O’Connor, 88, said in a letter addressed to “friends and fellow Americans.”

O’Connor wrote: “As this condition has progressed, I am no longer able to participate in public life. Since many people have asked about my current status and activities, I want to be open about these changes, and while I am still able, share some personal thoughts.”

Researchers track where tetracycline antibiotics go in human cells

We know that antibiotics treat bacterial infections. We also know why they work. Tetracycline antibiotics, for example, stop bacteria from making protein. Like a boot on a wheel, the drugs bind to the bacterial cell’s ribosome–where protein is made–and prevent it from working. Without protein, the bacteria weaken and die.

Recently, researchers discovered a possible new job for these tetracycline antibiotics: treatment for pathological inflammation and cancer in humans.