Health Highlights: March 25, 2013
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Missing Vial of Virus No Threat: Officials
A vial containing a virus that can cause hemorrhagic fever disappeared from a Texas research facility last Wednesday, but there's no reason to believe that there's a threat to the public, according to officials.
They suspect that the vial containing the Guanarito virus was destroyed during the lab's cleaning process, and added that the investigation is continuing, the Associated Press reported.
There was no breach in security at the Galveston National Laboratory and no indication of wrongdoing, the University of Texas Medical Branch said Saturday. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was immediately notified after the vial's absence was noticed.
The virus is native to Venezuela and is transmitted only through contact with Venezuelan rats, according to the medical branch. Officials don't believe the virus can survive in U.S. rodents or be transmitted from person-to-person, the AP reported.
OneTouch Verio IQ Blood Glucose Meters Recalled
All OneTouch Verio IQ blood glucose meters in the United States are being recalled and replaced because of problems that can lead to incorrect treatment or delay proper treatment, Lifescan, Inc. announced Monday.
At extremely high blood glucose levels (1,024 milligrams per deciliter and above), the meters will not provide a warning and will shut off, said Lifescan, a unit of Johnson & Johnson.
While the likelihood of experiencing a blood glucose level of 1,025 mg/dL or higher is remote, this level of blood glucose is a serious and potentially fatal health risk that requires immediate medical attention.
Patients with a OneTouch Verio IQ meter should contact LifeScan customer service at 1-800-717-0276 to make arrangements to receive a replacement meter at no charge, the company said.
As long as they are aware of this problem with the device, patients with a OneTouch Verio IQ meter can continue to use them to test their blood glucose levels, according to LifeScan. However, if the meter unexpectedly turns itself off during testing, this could be a sign of an extremely blood sugar level that requires immediate medical attention.
'Next Generation' Condom Sought by Gates Foundation
Start-up funds of $100,000 are being offered to whoever can develop the "next-generation condom," the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says.
As well as being effective at reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the foundation said the condom also has to "preserve or enhance the pleasure so as to increase uptake and also promote its regular use," FoxNews.com reported.
"To overcome persistent health and development problems, we need new, game-changing ideas," Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery & Translational Science at the Foundation, said in a news release.
Continued funding of up to $1 million will be provided for the new condom design that is selected by the foundation, FoxNews.com reported.
Brand-Name, Generic Drug Makers' Case Goes to Court
The question of whether a brand-name drug company can pay a generic drug maker to keep a generic drug off the market is being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The case pits the federal government against brand-name and generic drug companies, who want to be able to arrange these types of deals. But antitrust regulations forbid it and the government's stance against such pacts was most recently upheld by a federal appeals court, The New York Times reported.
However, at least three other federal appeals courts have previously said such agreements are legal when made under the settlement of a patent infringement lawsuit.
The Supreme Court will hear the case Monday and is expected to issue a ruling later this year. It's decision could have an effect on the wallets of nearly every American, the Times reported.
Bodybuilder Pioneer Joe Weider Dies at 93
Bodybuilding legend Joe Weider, 93, died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Born in Montreal, Weider turned to body building because he was a small teenager, 5-foot-6 and 110 pounds, who was bullied by neighborhood kids, The New York Times reported.
Weider moved to the United States as a young man. Among his accomplishments, he created some of the world's most popular bodybuilding magazines and played a key role in Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise to fame, the Times reported.
"He advised me on my training, on my business ventures, and once, bizarrely, claimed I was a German Shakespearean actor to get me my first acting role in 'Hercules in New York,' even though I barely spoke English," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "He was there for me constantly throughout my life, and I will miss him dearly."
Joe and brother Ben founded the International Federation of Body Builders, which sponsored international competitions, including Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia. They promoted fitness as a lifestyle and bodybuilding as an international sport, and presented a positive image of bodybuilding, the Times reported.