Health Highlights: Nov. 26, 201311/26/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Whooping Cough Shot May Halt Illness But Not Transmission,
Animal Study Suggests
Baboons that were recently vaccinated against whooping cough
don't get sick but still carry the infection in their throats and
can spread the disease to unvaccinated baboons, according to a new
Researchers say the finding may help explain the recent dramatic
rise in cases of whooping cough across the United States, which
reached a 50-year high in 2012,
The New York Timesreported.
The study was published Monday in the journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"When you're newly vaccinated you are an asymptomatic carrier, which is good for you, but not for the population," said study leader author Dr. Tod Merkel, a researcher in the Office of Vaccines Research and Review in the Food and Drug Administration, The Timesreported.
The study finding was surprising and could be important as
scientists try to improve whooping cough vaccines for people,
Current whooping cough vaccines were introduced in the 1990s
after an older version was found to cause side effects. However,
the new vaccines begin to lose effectiveness after about five
European Morning-After Pill Ineffective in Heavier Women
The label on a "morning-after" emergency contraceptive sold in
Europe will be changed to alert consumers that it is not effective
in women who weigh more than 176 pounds.
The new warning on the label of Norlevo will also caution that
the pill starts to lose its effectiveness in women heavier than 165
pounds, and is not recommended for anyone over this weight,
"When we became aware that there appeared to be an impact on efficacy (linked to weight), we felt it was our ethical duty as a drug manufacturer to report it and be transparent," Erin Gainer, CEO of HRA Pharma, the French manufacturer of Norlevo, told the New York Daily News.
Norlevo is identical in formula to the over-the-counter Plan B
One-Step emergency contraceptive sold in the United States. The
U.S. maker of Plan B One-Step, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries,
declined to comment on the issue when asked about it by the
FDA Tells Gene Testing Company to Halt Marketing
A company that offers genetic testing directly to consumers has
been told to stop marketing its main DNA service until it receives
approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
An FDA warning letter sent to Califoria-based 23andMe says the
company has failed to provide adequate evidence that its Personal
Genome Service provides accurate results. The letter was issued
Friday and posted on the FDA's website Monday,
The New York Timesreported.
The letter says the agency considers the service to be a medical
device that requires approval.
"FDA is concerned about the public health consequences of inaccurate results from the PGS device," the letter states. "The main purpose of compliance with FDA's regulatory requirements is to ensure the tests work."
23andMe's service has been used by about half a million people.
It claims to tell consumers whether they might be at increased or
decreased risk for various diseases, among other things,
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