Day: June 25, 2020

Congo’s Deadliest Ebola Outbreak Is Declared Over

NAIROBI, Kenya — The second-worst Ebola outbreak in history is over, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, after nearly two years and 2,280 deaths.

Efforts to fight the outbreak in eastern Congo were hampered by mistrust from community members, feuds between government officials, attacks on health care facilities and the emergence of new hot spots. The announcement came even as the country contended with the world’s largest measles epidemic as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

The response drew on 16,000 front-line workers, technological innovation and a new vaccine. Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever that is transmitted through contact with sick or dead people or animals, causes fever, bleeding, weakness and abdominal pain. The average fatality rate is about half.

This was Congo’s 10th known outbreak of Ebola. The country is continuing to fight a separate, smaller eruption of the disease that began in the northwestern city of Mbandaka.

“It wasn’t

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Regeneron Funneled Kickbacks Through a Patient Charity, Federal Lawsuit Claims

The drugmaker Regeneron funneled tens of millions of dollars to a charity that paid the out-of-pocket costs for patients who took the company’s expensive eye drug, then lied to internal auditors about it, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Massachusetts.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts in Boston, claims that Regeneron violated federal anti-kickback laws by using the patient-assistance fund to encourage doctors to prescribe their drug, Eylea, over a less-expensive competitor.

“Kickback schemes can undermine our health care system, compromise medical decisions, and waste taxpayer dollars,” said Phillip Coyne, the special agent in charge at the inspector general’s office in Boston for the Department of Health and Human Services.

In a statement, Regeneron dismissed the lawsuit’s claims and sought to draw attention to its efforts to develop a treatment for Covid-19.

“It is unfortunate that the government chose to

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A Simple Way to Save Lives as Covid-19 Hits Poorer Nations.

As the coronavirus pandemic hits more impoverished countries with fragile health care systems, global health authorities are scrambling for supplies of a simple treatment that saves lives: oxygen.

Many patients severely ill with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, require help with breathing at some point. But now the epidemic is spreading rapidly in South Asia, Latin America and parts of Africa, regions of the world where many hospitals are poorly equipped and lack the ventilators, tanks and other equipment necessary to save patients whose lungs are failing.

The World Health Organization is hoping to raise $250 million to increase oxygen delivery to those regions. The World Bank and the African Union are contributing to the effort, and some medical charities are seeking donations for the cause.

The W.H.O. estimated on Wednesday that with about one million new coronavirus cases worldwide per week, the world will need 620,000 cubic

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Women With Cancer Awarded Billions in Baby Powder Suit

Talc is used in many cosmetic products, including lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, blush and foundation. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration issued several alerts warning that asbestos had been found in makeup, including eye shadow sold at Claire’s, a retailer popular with teenage girls.

Talc and asbestos are natural minerals, and their underground deposits develop under similar geological conditions. As a result, veins of asbestos may crisscross talc deposits in mines.

Indeed, internal memos unearthed during litigation revealed that Johnson & Johnson had been concerned about the possibility of asbestos contamination in its talc for at least 50 years. Asbestos was first linked to ovarian cancer in 1958, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer affirmed it was a cause of the cancer in a 2011 report.

As of March, Johnson & Johnson faced more than 19,000 lawsuits related to talc body powders. So far, the legal record

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