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Health News Headlines: New Trials Of Ebola Vaccine; New, Affordable Prescription For Hepatitis C

Ditmire: Two new trials of an Ebola vaccine are underway and so far volunteers have not reported any adverse reactions. 

Studies in the US and UK should be completed by the end of the year. By then, scientists hope to have a vaccine available for emergency use. The World Health Organization now reports 2,500 people in West Africa have died from Ebola since the outbreak began in March. The pricey, but effective, prescription drug for Hepatitis C may soon be available for those who have the condition but haven’t been able to afford it. Gilead Sciences makes the drug Solvadi which roughly costs a thousand dollars a day. This week, the company signed licensing agreements with several companies to make a generic form of the pill. Dr. Paul Kwo, a professor at the IU School of Medicine, says that the focus now is on identifying people who have Hepatitis C early in their illness.

Dr. Kwo: Because if we find them, diagnose them, and link them to care, then we’ll have the opportunity to prevent these end-stage complications which are not only more difficult to treat, but clearly lead to greater costs for the entire health care system.

Ditmire: A new study finds that men with one particular type of baldness at age 45 have an increased risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer. That’s compared with men of the same age, but have a full head of hair. Researchers say men with that specific hair loss pattern (in the front and in the crown) have a higher risk, while there is no link between prostate cancer and any other type of baldness. American waistlines are growing, and women’s at a faster rate than men’s. The CDC released a new study that finds the average American waistline grew from 37.6 inches to 38.8 inches from the past year. A measurement of 35 inches makes a person abdominally obese, and the CDC says 54 percent of Americans are now in that category.