U.S. health regulators on Thursday approved Medicare coverage for lung cancer screening by low-dose CT, the first time the government health insurance program for the elderly and disabled will pay for such a program of early detection in an effort to save lives. The decision applies to Medicare beneficiaries aged 55-77 who are current smokers or who quit within the last 15 years, and who racked up at least 30 “pack years.”
The latter is possible if they smoked one pack a day for 30 years, for instance, two packs a day for 15 or three packs a day for a decade.
Wisconsin patient in isolation after testing negative for Ebola A preliminary test for the Ebola virus has come back negative for a patient who remains in isolation and doing well on Thursday at a Wisconsin hospital, health officials said.
The unidentified patient, whose age and gender have not been released, is being treated in the isolation unit at Meriter Hospital in the state capital Madison, according to hospital spokeswoman Leah Huibregtse.
Moderate drinking linked to lower heart failure risk A large new study suggests that people who have up to seven drinks a week in middle age have a lower risk of heart failure over the long term than those who abstain though too much wine, beer or liquor could lead to an earlier death from other causes.
The study authors cautioned that people with heart failure should avoid alcohol, and that their study does not mean that others should start drinking “with abandon.”
Five babies at suburban Chicago daycare center have measles Five babies at a suburban Chicago daycare center have been diagnosed with measles, adding to a growing outbreak of the disease across the United States, Illinois health officials said on Thursday.
Officials are investigating the cluster of measles cases at KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine, said a statement from the Illinois and Cook County health departments.
All the children are under 1 year old and would not have been subject to routine measles vaccination, which begins at 12 months.
Lawmakers want tougher vaccine exemptions amid measles outbreak Several U.S. states are considering laws to make it harder for parents to legally opt out of vaccinating their children, as health officials fight a measles outbreak that has sickened some 120 people in more than a dozen mostly West Coast states.
Lawmakers in California, Oregon, and Washington State, which have all had recent measles cases, want to remove exemptions based on personal beliefs, while farther afield, Ohio recently extended a law that covers those entering childcare.
Secret burials thwarting efforts to stamp out Ebola: U.N
Efforts to stamp out West Africa’s Ebola epidemic are being thwarted by villagers touching and washing the infectious bodies of dead victims at secret burials and difficulty in tracing those exposed to the virus, U.N. officials said on Thursday.
The number of new cases rose for the first time this year in the past week, coinciding with a looming funding shortfall and the approach of the rainy season that will hamper aid efforts from April, they warned.
Exclusive: Apple’s health tech takes early lead among top hospitals Apple Inc’s healthcare technology is spreading quickly among major U.S. hospitals, showing early promise as a way for doctors to monitor patients remotely and lower costs.
Fourteen of 23 top hospitals contacted by Reuters said they have rolled out a pilot program of Apple’s Health Kit service which acts as a repository for patient generated health information like blood pressure, weight or heart rate – or are in talks to do so.
WHO still concerned about spread of Saudi MERS virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday it remained worried about the spread of MERS, a respiratory disease that has infected and killed hundreds of people, overwhelmingly in Saudi Arabia.
In an update issued after a meeting of its emergency committee on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, the United Nations health agency said more must be done to track the virus, which is known to have infected at least 965 people, of whom some 357 have died.
NYC subway germs reflect their neighborhoods. The germs that call New York City’s subways, parks and waterways home are often a reflection of the people who live there and the events that affect daily life, a new study shows.
“You can see a molecular echo of what’s left behind,” said Christopher Mason, the study’s lead author and a geneticist from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
Group walking may have many benefits, few harms organized walking groups improve the walkers’ blood pressure, heart rate, total cholesterol, mood and other aspects of health with little downside, according to a new analysis of recent research.
UK researchers looked at a total of 42 studies done since the late 1980s to see if participating in a walking group did more than just fulfill recommended physical activity guidelines.