- Despite New Law, HIV-Positive Travelers Still Banned from Entering U.S.
- Chinese Tainted Milk Crisis Widens
- Boost Public Confidence in Vaccines: Coalition
- Experts Urge Global Action Against Antibiotic Resistance
- Electronic Cigarettes Ineffective, Possibly Dangerous: WHO
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Despite New Law, HIV-Positive Travelers Still Banned from Entering U.S.
Even though President Bush signed a bill in July that ended a 15-year ban on international travelers with HIV from entering the United States, nothing has changed, the Associated Press reports.
The law Bush signed was a $48 billion bill to combat AIDS (the disease caused by HIV), tuberculosis and malaria, the wire service says, and in that law was a provision that ended the ban on HIV-positive travelers entering the United States.
So far, however the, department of Health and Human Services hasn't written the new rule that needs to be adopted to cause the new law to go into effect. A number of U.S. legislators and representatives from gay organizations have been lobbying HHS to act quickly.
"We're working hard to revise the regulation and it's our goal to have it completed during this administration," HHS spokeswoman Holly Babin told the A.P. She added that it was "a time-consuming process and we are giving it the attention it deserves in an effort to anticipate all issues and get it right."
The travel ban hasn't been limited to HIV-positive travelers. A report last week from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 33 would-be air travelers with suspected or confirmed infectious tuberculosis were placed on the U.S. government's public health "Do Not Board" list in the first year of its existence.
Chinese Tainted Milk Crisis Widens
The tainted milk crisis in China widened Friday as stores pulled dairy products off their shelves after government officials said the industrial chemical melamine was found in liquid milk produced by three of the country's major dairy companies.
Inspectors found that about 10 percent of liquid milk samples taken from Mengniu Dairy Group Co. and Yili Industrial Group Co. -- the country's two largest dairy producers -- contained melamine. The chemical was also found in milk samples from Shanghai-based Bright Dairy, the Associated Press reported.
On Friday, Hong Kong's two biggest grocery chains -- PARKnSHOP and Wellcome -- cleared their shelves of all liquid milk from Mengniu. On Thursday, Hong Kong recalled all milk, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy products made by Yili Industrial Group Co.
The 300 Starbucks cafes in mainland China were told to stop using milk supplied by Mengniu. And Singapore told stores to remove a Chinese-made yogurt bar that may be contaminated, the AP reported.
It had been thought the milk crisis was limited to tainted baby formula that's killed four infants and sickened 6,200 in China. About 1,300 infants are in hospitals and 158 of them are suffering from acute kidney failure.
Boost Public Confidence in Vaccines: Coalition
Americans' confidence in vaccine safety needs to be restored to help keep dangerous disease outbreaks under control, says a coalition of 22 major medical organizations that includes the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The coalition wants public health officials to counteract campaigns by advocacy groups that claim vaccines can cause autism, even though there's no scientific proof that's true, the Associated Press reported. Public information campaigns and more vaccine research are among the ways to boost public confidence in vaccines, according to the coalition.
"We do not want to become a nation of people who are vulnerable to diseases that are deadly or that can have serious complications, especially if those diseases can be prevented," Dr. Renee Jenkins, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a news release.
The coalition was formed after health officials revealed last month that 131 children in the United States had gotten the measles so far this year, the most in more than a decade. Nearly half of those cases involved children whose parents rejected vaccination, the AP reported.