Health News (Reuters)

Bulgaria reports bird flu outbreak at duck farm

Bulgaria's food safety agency reported on Thursday an outbreak of the virulent bird flu virus H5 on a duck farm in the village of Lisets in a central region of the Balkan country.

Cutbacks by some doctors halved new opioid prescriptions over 5 years

(Reuters Health) - The rate of first-time opioid prescriptions declined 54 percent between 2012 and 2017 in the U.S., largely because many doctors stopped prescribing the painkillers, according to a study of more than 86 million people covered by private insurance.

U.S. proposes stricter curbs on e-cigarette sales

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday released formal plans to curb the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and slow a surge in teenage use of the popular nicotine devices.

Experts call for halt to gene editing that results in 'designer babies'

Top scientists and ethicists from seven countries on Wednesday called for a global moratorium on gene editing of human eggs, sperm or embryos that would result in genetically-altered babies after a rogue Chinese researcher last year announced the birth of the world's first gene-edited twins.

Pregnancies tied to breast cancer odds for high-risk women

(Reuters Health) - Having more than one pregnancy has long been linked to lower odds of breast cancer, and a new study suggests that may hold true even for some women with genetic mutations that put them at high risk for these malignancies.

As wildfires devour communities, toxic threats emerge

As an uncontrollable wildfire turned the California town of Paradise to ash, air pollution researcher Keith Bein knew he had to act fast: Little is known about toxic chemicals released when a whole town burns and the wind would soon blow away evidence.

U.S. Congress invites pharmacy benefit managers to third drug pricing hearing

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee has invited executives from five pharmacy benefit managers to testify on April 3 on the rising costs of prescription medicines, in Congress's latest effort to question industry officials directly over an issue voters consistently cite as a top concern.

Teen hookah users run risk of heart disease, poisoning

(Reuters Health) - A growing number of American teens and young adults are using hookah, or water pipes, and many of them may be under the mistaken impression that it's risk-free and non-addictive, U.S. heart doctors warn.

Genes may explain why some women on the Pill still get pregnant

(Reuters Health) - It's long been assumed that women who get pregnant on birth control pills somehow erred, possibly by forgetting a dose. But a new study suggests some women may inherit genes that break down contraceptive hormones more rapidly, leaving them with hormone levels that are too low to prevent pregnancy, according to a report published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.