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Preteens need only 2 HPV shots _ not 3, CDC says

This image made available by Merck in October 2016 shows a vial and package for their GARDASIL 9 human papillomavirus vaccine. On Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, a government panel said preteens need only get two doses of HPV vaccine instead of three _ a move some hope will raise languishing HPV vaccination rates. Health officials say fewer than a third of 13-year-old U.S. boys and girls get all the necessary shots to protect them against human papillomaviruses (Merck via AP)NEW YORK (AP) — It's now easier for preteens to get the cervical cancer vaccine.

Biden outlines progress in "moonshot" for cancer cure

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2106, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Biden will speak Wednesday, Oct. 19, about the so-called "Cancer Moonshot" initiative at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate in Boston. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)BOSTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the White House's "moonshot" to find a cure for cancer has been making real progress in the past year, but more needs to be done as the nation prepares to elect a new president.

Zika test urged for pregnant women throughout Florida county

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 12, 2016, file photo, Giraldo Carratala, an inspector with the Miami Dade County mosquito control unit, peers over a fence into the backyard of a home in Miami, Fla. The government on Wednesday, Oct. 19, recommended Zika testing for all pregnant women who recently spent time anywhere in Florida's Miami-Dade County. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The government on Wednesday recommended Zika testing for all pregnant women who recently spent time anywhere in Florida's Miami-Dade County.

Girls can cut poverty in developing economies: UN

Girls are currently less likely to be enrolled in secondary education in Arab countries and most of AfricaDeveloping economies stand to win an extra $21 billion (19 billion euros) if they improve girls' health and sex education, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said Thursday. Girls in developing countries are less likely than boys to complete schooling because of forced marriage, child labour and female genital mutilation, risking the opportunities presented by their largely young populations, said the study, launched in London. "Over the next 15 years alone, developing countries together stand to gain or forfeit at least $21 billion, depending on whether or not they invest in the well-being, education, and independence of their 10-year-old girls today," it said.

Judge questions vow not to use sedative again in executions

FILE - In this July 23, 2014, file photo, a fence surrounds the state prison in Florence, Ariz., where the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood took place. (AP Photo/File)PHOENIX (AP) — A judge presiding over a lawsuit that protests how Arizona carries out the death penalty extracted promises in court from the state Wednesday that it won't use the sedative midazolam in future executions.

AP FACT CHECK: Health insurance costs up, but not doubling
 WASHINGTON (AP) — A claim from the final presidential debate and how it stacks up with the facts:

Nigeria seeks more time to negotiate rail project with GE

Former Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi speaks during the senate screening of new ministers in AbujaBy Felix Onuah ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria needs more time to negotiate a railway concession project with U.S. company General Electric, the transport minister said on Wednesday. Both sides have confirmed talks on GE being granted a railway concession in the OPEC member worth around $2 billion.. Nigeria's economic growth has been hampered for decades by the lack of roads or functioning railways. The government, suffering from a slump in revenue from crude exports, wants to boost exports of food and other non-oil products.

Egypt's Juhayna says dollar crisis behind decline in Q3 profits

A man works at a Juhayna factory in the outskirts of CairoBy Ehab Farouk CAIRO (Reuters) - Juhayna Food Industries SAE's third-quarter net profit fell 34 percent due to dollar shortages and the Egyptian company's decision not to fully pass on higher import costs, Chairman Safwan Thabet told Reuters on Thursday. Juhayna, Egypt's largest dairy products and juices producer, reported a decline in net profit to 58.19 million Egyptian pounds ($6.55 million) from 88.23 million one year earlier. Juhayna's sales jumped 10.9 percent for the third quarter, to 1.259 billion Egyptian pounds from 1.135 billion one year earlier.

App helps save Seattle cardiac patient

Stephen DeMont, center, embraces Madeline Dahl as Zach Forcade looks on at the University of Washington Medical Center Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, in Seattle. When DeMont collapsed at a bus stop in front of the UW Medical Center days earlier on his morning commute, Dahl was one of 41 people within a 330-yard radius who happened to have a cell phone app alerting them to the emergency. Forcade, a medical student, witnessed the collapse and rushed over to begin chest compressions, as within moments Dahl, a cardiac nurse just getting off her shift in the hospital, was alerted by her phone and sprinted down the sidewalk, assisting until paramedics arrived. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)SEATTLE (AP) — If your heart is going to stop, right outside a hospital is not a bad place for it.

Love it or hate it? Two Americans dish on Obamacare

Love it or hate it? Two Americans dish on ObamacareSome Americans are overjoyed with Obamacare. To understand why, here are two men's opposing experiences with US health insurance since Obamacare, known formally as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), became law in 2010. Ali, too, found an affordable plan by purchasing an individual policy directly from an insurer for $233 per month.

China rebukes firms for breaking emission limits during heavy smog
 China's environment ministry has criticized firms in Beijing and surrounding provinces for exceeding emission limits and ignoring emergency restrictions during the region's latest smog crisis. As part of efforts to control hazardous air pollution, Beijing and Hebei province have implemented rapid response systems to limit traffic and force firms to cut production or slow construction work during heavy smog. The ministry said 11 enterprises in Hebei and nine in neighboring Shandong province were found to have exceeded emission limits during a recent period of heavy smog from Sunday to Wednesday.

South Africa's Gordhan has full backing of cabinet - minister

South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan gestures in his office in Pretoria, as he speaks via video link to a Thomson Reuters investment conference in Cape Town South AfricaCAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has the full backing of cabinet as he faces charges that, while running the tax agency, he fraudulently approved early retirement for a deputy, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday. Gordhan is "innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law," Radebe told reporters. Gordhan has also been added to a inter-ministerial task team analysing university fees following protests by students over the cost of higher education, Radebe said. ...

Insurers give big to races determining their regulators
 Industry pumps more than $6 million into political efforts aimed at swaying races that determine their regulators.

Rigel's bleeding disorder drug fails late-stage study
 (Reuters) - Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc said its lead drug to treat a bleeding disorder failed in a second late-stage trial, sending its shares tumbling 32 percent in premarket trading on Thursday. Data showed that one patient receiving a placebo achieved a stable platelet response, the main goal of the study, indicating there was no statistical significance, the company said. Rigel is developing the drug to treat chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in which the immune system attacks and destroys the body's own blood platelets, resulting in bleeding.

Investing in girls could unlock billions of dollars for national economies : U.N. agency
 By Zoe Tabary LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - If countries ended forced marriage, child labor, female genital mutilation and other practices undermining girls' health and rights, their economies could be billions of dollars richer for it, a U.N. agency said on Thursday. Around the world, 16 million girls between the ages of six and 11 never start school, many because they are married off or forced to work to help their families financially, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a report. Whenever a girl's potential goes unrealized, we all lose," Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of UNFPA, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview.

Nearly 850,000 people in Madagascar face 'alarming' hunger levels : U.N
 Nearly 850,000 people in drought-hit southern Madagascar are experiencing "alarming" levels of hunger, and more aid is needed to prevent a dire situation from becoming a "catastrophe", U.N. agencies said on Thursday. Some 20 percent of households in the affected areas are now experiencing emergency levels of hunger, according to the latest food survey. "What I saw in the south of Madagascar earlier this month alarmed me," said Chris Nikoi, regional director of the World Food Program.

Put people, not cars, first in transport systems : U.N
 By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Governments should invest at least 20 percent of their transport budgets in infrastructure that promotes walking and cycling, to save lives, curb pollution and cut climate-changing emissions from vehicles, the United Nations' environment agency said. Almost half of the 1.3 million people who die each year from traffic accidents are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) noted in a report. Across the low and middle-income countries studied in Africa, Asia and Latin America, proportionally twice as many people as in rich nations die in road traffic accidents, it said.

Teenage weight tied to odds of diabetes-related death decades later
 By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - The increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and eventually dying from the disease, begins early in life and at weights in the “normal” range, a new study suggests. Researchers followed the fates of millions of Israeli teenagers weighed at age 17, and found a steady increase in the likelihood of death from diabetes-related causes up to age 70 that was tied to heavier weights in the teen years. “This study provides further evidence for the urgent need for firm public health actions to overcome the childhood obesity epidemic, as its devastating impact on human health is currently underestimated,” said coauthor Hagai Levine of Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Jerusalem.

Glucose tablets likely better for easing low blood sugar symptoms
 By Linda Thrasybule (Reuters Health) - When people with diabetes experience a dangerous drop in blood sugar, glucose tablets might be a better option than a sugary food or drink, a study suggests. People with diabetes can develop hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, if they skip a meal, exercise harder than usual or take too much insulin or other diabetes medications. Low blood sugar can cause fatigue, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, sweating, mental confusion or even coma or seizures if not treated quickly.

Roche bets on new cancer drugs to offset patent expiries

Roche tablets are seen in this photo illustration shot in ZenicaBy John Miller ZURICH (Reuters) - Roche said on Thursday strong sales of new medicines like cancer immunotherapy drug Tecentriq would help to sustain the company's growth as patents on older drugs start to expire. Chief Executive Severin Schwan is betting he can stay ahead of the sales erosion with new medicines that include five launched in 2016 alone. "That is an unprecedented number of launches of new medicines in a short period of time," Schwan said on a conference call after Roche reported third-quarter sales figures.

Roche bid for Avastin follow-on suffers blow with trial failure

The logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is seen outside their headquarters in BaselSwiss drugmaker Roche's bid to follow its blockbuster cancer drug Avastin with a newer, better drug took a hit when it announced on Thursday that an investigational therapy had failed in a study against metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Roche had been hoping vanucizumab would win approval as a stand-alone follow-up drug for Avastin, once its U.S. patent protections expire come 2019 and biosimilar copies emerge. "We set the bar very high and it did not achieve that bar," O'Day said, adding Roche would press on with additional trials of vanucizumab.

Gilead unveils promising hep C, fatty liver data; setbacks elsewhere
 (Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc on Thursday announced high cure rates across all types of hepatitis C in late stage studies testing a triple drug combination, and said another experimental drug showed promise in reducing liver scarring known as fibrosis in a midstage trial. The company said it planned to advance the drug, called GS-4997 or selonsertib, into Phase III trials against the fatty liver disease known as NASH, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, that is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States and elsewhere. The drug was tested in combination with Gilead's experimental anti-fibrotic drug simtuzumab.

Doctors think you don’t use enough sunscreen
 By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Even though most dermatologists recommend sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and premature aging of the skin, nearly all of them believe patients aren’t getting the message, a small U.S. study suggests. “There is an understandably long list of reasons most people do not use or apply enough sunscreen: the lotion is uncomfortable, inconvenient to apply, not always readily available, expensive and the list goes on,” said lead study author Dr. Aaron Farberg of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “However, we know that solar UV causes skin cancer, so as dermatologists we want to encourage our patients to continually improve their sun protection,” Farberg added by email.

Mom Uses IVF to Protect Daughter From BRCA Mutation
 Lindsay Avner gave birth to her daughter last month.

Lawmakers demand answers on leukemia drug price hikes

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2015 file photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., leave a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sanders and Cummings on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, demanded information from a drug company that has raised prices on a leukemia drug, calling increases of tens of thousands of dollars a sign the company puts profits before patients. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Two top lawmakers on Thursday demanded information from a drug company that has raised prices on a leukemia drug, calling increases of tens of thousands of dollars a sign the company puts profits before patients.

Kids should watch out for that snake in the grass
 By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - The number of children getting bitten by copperheads and other venomous snakes has more than doubled in recent years, a U.S. study suggests. Half of the 18,721 snakebites reported to U.S. poison control centers from 2000 to 2013 involved venomous snakes, the study found. Over that period, reported bites from copperheads surged by 137 percent and bites from other types of venomous snakes increased 107 percent.

Trump's stance on election results deepens Republican Party rifts

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump smiles after making what he said was a major announcement, that he'd abide by the election results if he won, to supporters at a campaign rally in DelawareBy Patricia Zengerle and Emily Stephenson WASHINGTON/DELAWARE, Ohio (Reuters) - Several prominent Republicans on Thursday denounced Donald Trump's refusal to commit to accepting the result of the presidential election, and some worried his stance might make it more difficult for his party to hold onto control of Congress. Trump's refusal, which Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called "horrifying," was the standout remark of their third and final debate on Wednesday night. It ratcheted up Trump's claims that the election was being rigged against him, and became the latest flashpoint in an unusually volatile race three weeks before voters go to the polls.

Malta tops EU obesity rankings, Romania thinnest

A junk food machine in a subway station is shown in Romania in 2010, where the population has the smallest proportion of obese people in Europe, despite coming in last on eating fruits and vegetablesMalta has the highest proportion of obese adults in Europe, according to EU figures released Thursday, while Romania is the least obese. In total just under a sixth of adults living in the European Union are obese -- 15.9 percent, according to the Eurostat statistics agency, which said the figure goes up amongst older and less educated Europeans. Counting 26 percent of its adults as obese, the Mediterranean island of Malta appears the worst hit by the public health problem, followed by Latvia and Hungary.

Exclusive: Digital media company Everyday Health explores sale - sources
 (Reuters) - Everyday Health Inc, a U.S. operator of health-related websites, is exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Everyday Health has hired investment bank Qatalyst Partners to carry out a sale process that has attracted other companies and private equity firms, the sources said. There is no certainty the negotiations will result in a deal, the sources added. The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. ...

Obama says his departure may fix what ails Obamacare

Obama visits Miami to speak about the Affordable Care ActBy Roberta Rampton MIAMI (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday that his departure from office in January might be what it takes to begin to heal the political scars over Obamacare and allow for needed fixes to his signature healthcare law. The 2010 Affordable Care Act tipped off a long and bitter political and legal battle between the White House and Republicans in the U.S. Congress who said the 2010 law creates unwarranted government intervention in personal healthcare and private industry. Republicans have been quick to highlight a recent barrage of negative headlines about rising health insurance premiums and shrinking doctor networks for people participating in subsidized insurance plans offered under the law.

Vermont Governor Pushes to Limit Prescription Painkillers to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Vermont Governor Pushes to Limit Prescription Painkillers to Combat Opioid EpidemicThe governor of Vermont announced Wednesday a proposal to limit the number of painkillers prescribed in an effort to combat the crippling opioid epidemic that has devastated the state in recent years. “Vermont, and the rest of America, will not get a handle on the opiate and heroin addiction crisis until we confront head-on the source of the problem: FDA-approved opiates that are handed out like candy,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said in a statement. “Vermont doctors and providers have been on the leading edge of curbing the irrational exuberance with which opiates are handed out.

EPA watchdog says clearer emergency power needed after Flint crisis
 By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency needs to make its emergency authority clearer to help protect people from contaminated water supplies, the agency's inspector general said on Thursday, following the Flint, Michigan, lead crisis. "These situations should generate a greater sense of urgency," the EPA's Office of the Inspector General said in a summary of its findings, adding that its review of the lead-contaminated water in Flint was ongoing. The inspector general conducted the review to evaluate the EPA's response to the contamination of Flint's water system and how it used its oversight authority.

Anti-inflammatory pills tied to heart failure risk
 By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are associated with an increased risk of heart failure - even in people without a history of cardiac issues, a recent study suggests. Overall, the odds of a hospital admission for heart failure was 19 percent higher for people who used NSAIDs in the previous two weeks than for individuals who didn’t take these drugs, the study found. Not all NSAIDs carry the same risk, however.

Obama: Health care law worked, but improvements needed

Obama: Health care law worked, but improvements neededPresident Barack Obama on Thursday defended his namesake health care program, long a target of Republicans and recently criticized by some Democrats, saying millions of Americans "now know the financial ...

ICRC steps up aid for Iraq amid fears of post-Mosul sectarian strife
 By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - As Iraqi families begin streaming out of villages in the path of an army offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State, some fear that the onslaught may stoke future sectarian strife in the volatile region, a senior Red Cross official said on Thursday. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is prepared to provide aid to 800,000 people who could flee the looming battle for Mosul, including against any use of chemical weapons, said Patrick Hamilton, the ICRC's deputy director for the Near and Middle East. Islamic State militants have used banned chemical agents previously against Iraqi Kurdish forces.

Peace, fiscal reform would help Colombia draw investors: U.S. official

U.S. Commerce Secretary Pritzker speaks during interview with Reuters in KievBy Julia Symmes Cobb BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia would attract more investment from U.S. companies if it ends a five-decade war and solves fiscal challenges, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said on Thursday, amid concern from investors about tax reform and a failed peace referendum. The Andean country is already an attractive market for U.S. companies, Pritzker told Reuters during a visit to meet President Juan Manuel Santos and business leaders, but investment would be bolstered if fiscal changes are made, peace with Marxist rebels is reached and legal issues like pharmaceutical regulations are clarified. "It's a market U.S. companies want to invest it, they like it, but they're very concerned right now with the uncertainty given these number of issues that we've raised," Pritzker said in an interview in Bogota.

Alkermes depression drug succeeds in key trial, shares surge
 (Reuters) - Alkermes Plc on Thursday said its lead depression drug met the main goal of a pivotal late-stage trial in patients not helped by standard antidepressants, and the company's shares surged 47 percent. In the 407-patient trial, the drug, ALKS 5461, significantly reduced symptoms of depression in patients suffering from major depressive disorder compared with a placebo, according to initial results released by the company. Based on the results of a third successful Phase III trial, Alkermes said it plans to speak with U.S. health regulators about the next steps toward seeking approval.

Kids 11-12 need just two doses of cancer vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said two doses of HPV vaccine in "younger adolescents produced an immune response similar or higher than the response in young adults who received three doses," which could encourage more vaccinationsKids aged 11-12 should get only two doses of a vaccine to prevent cancers caused by human papillomavirus, instead of the previously recommended three shots, US health authorities said Thursday. The updated recommendation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based on research that shows younger adolescents can get similar protection that way, and may be more likely to get vaccinated if fewer shots are required. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cancers of the head, neck, cervix, penis and anus.

Bernie Sanders, U.S. Rep Cummings seek info on Ariad leukemia drug

Former Democratic presidential candidate Sanders waves to the convention with his wife Jane at his side at the Democratic National Convention in PhiladelphiaFormer Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings issued a letter on Thursday seeking information from Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc on the "staggering" price increases for the company's leukemia drug. The letter was sent a week after Senator Sanders tweeted that: "Drug corporations' greed is unbelievable. Ariad raised the price of a leukemia drug to almost $199,000 a year." Ariad's drug, Iclusig, was approved in December 2012 and is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone marrow cancer in which marrow makes too many white blood cells.

Watchdog: EPA delayed for 7 months in Flint water crisis

FILE - In this March 21, 2016 file photo, the Flint Water Plant water tower is seen in Flint, Mich. The inspector general for the Environmental Protection Agency says the agency had authority and sufficient information to issue an emergency order to protect residents of Flint, Michigan, from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015, seven months before it declared an emergency. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency had sufficient authority and information to issue an emergency order to protect residents of Flint, Michigan, from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015 — seven months before it declared an emergency, the EPA's inspector general said Thursday.

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