Health Highlights: August 6, 2018

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Thirteen Confirmed Ebola Cases in Latest Congo Outbreak

The number of confirmed cases in a new Ebola outbreak in Congo has reached 13, including three deaths, the country’s health ministry said late Saturday.

It also said there were 30 probable cases, 33 suspected cases, and that 33 people have died, the Associated Press reported.

The new outbreak in North Kivu province was announced last Wednesday, a week after officials declared the end of a previous outbreak in the northwest that killed 33 people.

Rapid vaccinations of more than 3,300 people helped contain the previous outbreak, and the World Health Organization said it could know as early as Tuesday if that vaccine can be used on the Ebola strain in the new outbreak, the AP reported.

There are 3,000 vaccine doses still in Congo’s capital and 300,000 more doses could be mobilized “at very short notice,” according to Peter Salama, WHO emergencies director.


E-Cigarette Sales in U.S. Climb as Prices Fall

There was a large increase in sales of electronic cigarettes and related products in the United States in recent years as their prices fell, a federal government study says.

It found that average monthly sales of such products rose 132 percent from 2012 to 2017, NBC News reported.

During the same period, “average monthly prices significantly decreased in 39 states for rechargeables, in 31 states for disposables, in 20 states for pre-filled cartridges, and in eight states for e-liquids,” according to the study published Thursday in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

“Overall, U.S. e-cigarette unit sales generally increased as product prices decreased,” wrote the team at the Office on Smoking and Health, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In related news, U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials said Thursday that the agency is preparing a new product standard for e-cigarettes, NBC News reported.

The FDA has a number of concerns about e-cigarettes, including harmful chemicals they might contain and the risk they could get young people addicted to nicotine.

Posted: August 2018

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