Reuters Health News Summary

November 15, 2012

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Lawmakers will act on meningitis outbreak: senator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic chairman of a

congressional panel investigating a deadly fungal meningitis

outbreak linked to compounded steroids predicted on Thursday

that U.S. lawmakers would take actions to prevent a similar

public health disaster. The lawmaker, Senator Tom Harkin of the

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee,

predicted that his panel would find a bipartisan solution that

would protect small drug compounders from regulations that

could mean higher compliance costs.

Big rise in Americans with diabetes, especially in South

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A breakdown of U.S. diabetes cases

shows dramatic increases in the number of people diagnosed with

diabetes overall between 1995 and 2010, with especially sharp

increases among people in the South and in Appalachian states.

According to a study released on Thursday by the U.S. Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of diagnosed

cases of diabetes grew by 50 percent or more in 42 U.S. states,

and by 100 percent or more in 18 states.

Ireland to clarify abortion rules after woman's death

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's government pledged on Thursday

to clarify its abortion laws after an Indian woman who was

refused a termination died from blood poisoning in an Irish

hospital. Thousands took to the streets to protest on Wednesday

after news broke of the death of Savita Halappanavar of

septicemia following a miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy.

Tired after cancer treatment? Walking may help

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who have been treated

for cancer often have lingering fatigue, but a new analysis of

more than three dozen studies suggests regular walking or

cycling might help boost their energy. Patients' long-lasting

tiredness has been blamed both on the cancer itself, including

cancer-related pain, and on the effects of treatments such as


Australia reports deadly bird flu in New South Wales

PARIS (Reuters) - Australia has reported its first case of

a highly pathogenic bird flu virus in 15 years at an egg farm

in the New South Wales region, the World animal health body OIE

said on Thursday. So far 5,000 poultry have died in the

infected farm in Maitland, 160 km (100 miles) north of Sydney,

but 50,000 are at risk, a report by the Australian agriculture

ministry to the Paris-based OIE said.

FDA panel backs Dynavax's hep B vaccine efficacy, not




J&J, Lilly, Merck plan clinical trial site database


ALS.XML () -

Uganda says three dead in new Ebola outbreak near Kampala

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda said on Thursday three people

had died from an outbreak of the Ebola virus in its central

region, near the capital Kampala, the latest bout of deadly

haemorrhagic fevers to strike the east African nation in recent

months. Health Minister Christine Ondoa said two of the dead

were from one family in Luwero district, about 75 kilometers

north of Kampala.

Analysis: Sanofi lets Genzyme's biotech culture call the


PARIS (Reuters) - When Sanofi boss Chris

Viehbacher first met staff at Genzyme, the U.S. biotech he had

just acquired after a long takeover battle, he told them he did

not want "planeloads of people coming from Paris over here to

kind of Sanofize Genzyme". More than one year later, the

German-Canadian, who is Sanofi's first non-French boss, has

kept his promise: it is Genzyme's free-spirited culture and

innovative edge that is holding sway at the French drug giant.

Epidemic-fighting fund fires chief auditor as shake-up


GENEVA (Reuters) - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS,

Tuberculosis and Malaria said on Thursday it had sacked its

chief auditor after finding his performance "unsatisfactory",

in the latest in a series of leadership changes at the

Geneva-based organization. The fund was due later on Thursday

to name a new executive director to replace Michel Kazatchkine

of France. Kazatchkine stepped down in January following

criticism over misuse of funds and cuts in funding, prompting a

management shake-up and appointments of new senior officials

last week.