Health Highlights: Nov. 16, 201211/16/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Ebola Can be Transmitted by Air: Study
The deadliest form of the Ebola virus can be transmitted by air
between species, according to a new study.
Canadian scientists conducted experiments that showed the virus
was transmitted from pigs to monkeys without any direct contact
between the animals,
Limited airborne transmission may be contributing to the spread
of the disease in some parts of Africa, the researchers said in
their study published in the journal
Ebola viruses cause deadly hemorrhagic fevers in people and
non-human primates. While fruit bats have long been considered the
natural hosts of Ebola, a growing body of research suggests that
wild and domestic pigs could be a hidden source of the most deadly
form of the virus, Ebola Zaire,
"If they do play a role in human outbreaks it would be a very easy point to intervene" said Gary Kobinger, of the National Microbiology Laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Canada. "It would be easier to vaccinate pigs against Ebola than humans."
PeaPod Infant Travel Beds Recalled
About 220,000 Kidco PeaPod and PeaPod Plus Travel Beds for
infants and toddlers are being recalled due the risk of
suffocation, and one death has been reported, the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission says.
Children can roll off the edge of the inflatable air mattress,
become trapped between the mattress and the fabric sides of the
small, portable sleep tents, and suffocate.
In December 2011, a 5-month-old boy in New York City was found
dead with his face pressed against the side wall of the tent. The
cause of death was not determined, the CPSC said.
In addition, there have been six reports in the U.S. and three
in Canada of children who became trapped or suffered physical
distress in the tents. In two of the six U.S. cases, infants were
found beneath a mattress that had not been inserted into the
zippered pocket on the bottom of the tent.
Consumers with these products should immediately stop using them
and contact KidCo Inc. of Illinois to get a free repair kit, the
CPSC said. Contact the company toll-free at 1-855-847-8600 or go to
the firm's website.
Einstein's Brain Was Different: Study
A new study confirms what many have long believed -- Albert
Einstein's brain was "unlike those of most people."
Researchers examined recently rediscovered photos taken of
Einstein's intact brain after he died in 1955. The brain was later
dissected and cut into 240 separate blocks for analysis,
"Although the overall size and asymmetrical shape of Einstein's brain were normal. The prefrontal, somatosensory, primary motor, parietal, temporal and occipital cortices were extraordinary," said study leader Dean Falk, an evolutionary anthropologist at Florida State University.
"Einstein's brain has an extraordinary prefrontal cortex, which may have contributed to . . . some of his remarkable cognitive abilities," Falk noted in the study, USA Todayreported.
The study was published Friday in the journal
States Given Extension On Health Insurance Marketplace
The deadline for states to decide if they'll create their own
health insurance marketplaces or let the federal government do it
for them has been extended to Dec. 14, Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday.
Republican governors had been complaining about the original
Nov. 16 deadline, mainly because HHS had not given them details
about the structure of a federal exchange,
"While receiving a letter of intent now will help us assist states in finalizing their application, a state may submit both a letter of intent and an application to operate its own exchange by December 14," Sebelius said in a letter to the Republican Governors Association.
Last Friday, Sebelius announced that states would have nearly a
month extra (until Feb. 15) to submit plans for their exchanges if
they decided to set up their own,
The health insurance exchanges are part of the Affordable Care
Act and are meant to provide consumers with a side-by-side
comparison of policies' prices, coverage and out-of-pocket
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