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Trends & Times

Health News Headlines: Latest On Ebola Epidemic; Experimental HPV Vaccine

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Doctors continue to monitor people who may have come in contact with the Texas man being treated for Ebola in a Dallas hospital. 

The CDC says the patient traveled to Liberia last month and then returned to Texas when he experienced symptoms of the virus. Healthcare workers who were in contact with the man have tested negative for the virus but will be watched for the next several weeks in case symptoms appear. The CDC continues to state that a widespread outbreak in the US from a single case is highly unlikely.

The World Health Organization hopes to release a small number of Ebola vaccines by early next year. Clinical trials continue and drug makers GlaxoSmith Kline and NewLink are working to produce more product. 

An experimental vaccine meant to protect against nine types of human papillomavirus (HPV) could prevent 90 percent of all cervical cancers according to a new study. Researchers examined data from more than 2,500 women with precancerous cervical lesions and found that nearly all were caused by the nine types of HPV targeted by the vaccine being developed by Merck and Co. The new vaccine is currently in clinical trial. 

We learned more this week about how much physicians earn from drug and medical device companies. The ‘Open Payments” initiative reported that companies paid doctors and hospitals nearly 3.5 billion dollars during a five month period last year in research grants and travel junkets. The goal of “Open Payments” …which is part of Obamacare… is to help patients learn more about potential ethical conflicts in medicine. 

The massive trove of information named both the companies that paid the money, as well the names of more than a half-million clinicians and more than 13-hundred teaching hospitals that received payments. 

And finally this week: We could call it the Perky Panty Penalty. The Federal Trade Commission ruled this week that caffeine infused undergarments designed to help people lose weight, …uh…don’t. And Wacoal America, which makes them now must refund millions of dollars to people who bought them. And we’re pretty sure that spilling coffee on your workout shorts doesn’t do the trick, either.