Health officials in Paraguay reported a seasonal total of 85,000 cases of dengue fever and the deaths of 16 people, with another 89 deaths involving suspected cases. "We have approached a point of stability and hope that from there we go quickly into a gradual decline," Public Health Minister Julio Mazzoleni said.
OncoDNA, a Belgian biotech, raised $20.5 million through a Series B funding round. The additional capital will support further development of the company's OncoKDM software, which is used to analyze results of cancer tests and enhance the accuracy of diagnostic lab results.
Australian researchers analyzed the incidence and prevalence of thyroid disease in a group of 1,617 adults with diabetes and discovered that around 3% acquired thyroid disease during a seven-year follow-up, emphasizing the need for regular thyroid function testing. The findings, published in Clinical Endocrinology, also showed that "mild abnormalities of thyroid function test results were frequently transient, so that appropriate repeat testing and careful interpretation of the results is needed if overdiagnosis is to be avoided."
The CDC said the number of US flu cases this season reached 26 million as of the week ending Feb. 8, with widespread flu activity reported in all states except Oregon and Hawaii and high activity in 44 states. The agency estimates that there have been 250,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 14,000 flu-related fatalities, including 92 pediatric deaths this season.
CDC officials said residents with flu-like symptoms in five cities -- New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- will be monitored for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and more cities will be added to the program in the coming weeks until the agency achieves "national surveillance." Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the goal is to equip facilities across the country with lab testing equipment for the virus, enabling an early warning system if it spreads.
No treatments or vaccines have been licensed for COVID-19, but select patients being treated for coronavirus at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre are receiving plasma blood infusions. The patients receive plasma from volunteers who have recovered from the virus in hopes that antibodies will help to fight the infection.
Diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus can be improved by accurately measuring blood glucose levels, but measurement is prone to preanalytical errors, according to a study led by David Bruns of the University of Virginia School of Medicine's pathology department. Preanalytical errors often occur from loss of glucose from blood specimens through glycolysis, and AACC and American Diabetes Association guidelines on handling blood samples used for glucose measurement recommend immersing the samples in ice slurry and conducting an analysis within 30 minutes of collection, according to this study.
The FDA has given Lucid Diagnostics' EsoGuard Esophageal DNA Test breakthrough device designation. The DNA test, using samples taken from the esophagus, determines if patients are at risk for esophageal cancer caused by chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Researchers found the proteins SMC2 and SMC4 play a key role in the rapid reproduction of malaria parasite cells, according to a study in the journal Cell Reports. "It is fascinating how a single cell can carry out so many different modes of multiplication, and we need to understand how it does this," senior investigator Rita Tewari said.
The Foundry for American Biotechnology has been established in Manchester, N.H., by HHS to develop technological solutions to help the US guard against and respond to health security threats, while also improving daily medical care. "Every year, America faces natural disasters and other public health emergencies, and someday, Americans will be able to recover faster from these emergencies and stay healthier because of products that come out of this Foundry," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
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