- Drug-Resistant Swine Flu Case Leads to Increased U.S. Testing
- U.S. Doctors Complete Largest Kidney Transplant Chain
- Sperm From Stem Cells Claim Challenged
- CDC's Internet Tool Combines Data on Pollutants/Health
- Insomnia Patients May Benefit From Web-Based Therapy
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Drug-Resistant Swine Flu Case Leads to Increased U.S. Testing
The case of a California teen with Tamiflu-resistant swine flu has prompted U.S. officials to increase their testing of swine flu infections. Tamiflu is the primary drug treatment for the new swine flu virus.
The 16-year-old San Francisco girl is only the third person in the world to be diagnosed with a swine flu strain resistant to Tamiflu. She was diagnosed June 11 and has since recovered, the Associated Press reported.
The two other cases involved patients in Denmark and Japan who were taking Tamiflu after coming into contact with people infected with swine flu. But the American girl hadn't taken Tamiflu, which means she was infected by an already-circulating Tamiflu-resistant strain.
U.S. health officials say they're not alarmed because they've been expecting to see some Tamiflu-resistant cases of swine flu, the AP reported. Resistance to the drug is seen in other types of flu viruses.
Cases of Tamiflu-resistant swine flu are likely to be sporadic, "but it's very important to monitor them," said Dr. Tim Uyeki, a flu expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has asked health departments across the country to submit more swine flu virus samples for testing, the AP reported.
U.S. Doctors Complete Largest Kidney Transplant Chain
In what's believed to be the largest chain of organ donations in history, U.S. doctors at four hospitals in four states completed eight kidney transplants over three weeks.
For this kidney swap, 10 doctors performed 16 surgeries on eight living donors and eight recipients at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and INTEGRIS Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma, the Associated Press reported.
This type of kidney transplant chain is arranged when a number of people who need transplants have relatives or friends who are willing to donate kidneys but aren't compatible. Each donor in the chain is matched with a compatible recipient they don't know.
The kind of multistate exchange performed in recent weeks could greatly reduce the number of kidney patients waiting for eligible donors, said Dr. Robert Montgomery, chief transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
"We hope this creates a movement that encourages other transplant centers to adopt the model we used," he said at a news conference held a few hours after the last transplant was performed Monday night, the AP reported.
Sperm From Stem Cells Claim Challenged
Claims by British scientists that they used a new technique to create human sperm from embryonic stem cells are being challenged by other experts.
The technique would enable researchers to study sperm development and possibly lead to treatments for male infertility, Karim Nayernia, of Newcastle University, said in a statement Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. The NorthEast England Stem Cell Institute was also involved in the research.
However, other British scientists are skeptical about the research and note that the sperm cells created in the laboratory were abnormal.
CDC's Internet Tool Combines Data on Pollutants/Health
A Internet-based tool that will enable members of the public, scientists and health professionals to track environmental exposures and chronic health conditions was unveiled Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Environmental Public Health Tracking Network offers environmental information from across the nation, including data on water and air pollutants, and details about chronic conditions such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, and childhood lead poisoning.