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Health Highlights: July 10, 2019

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Lab Tests Show Experimental Ebola Treatments Are Effective: CDC

Two experimental Ebola treatments being used in the current outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo proved effective in laboratory tests with human cells, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The tests showed that the treatments -- the antiviral remdesivir and antibodies in the ZMapp treatment -- blocked growth of the Ebola virus strain causing the outbreak.

The findings suggest that the two treatments hold promise for enabling patients to recover from the deadly illness, according to the CDC.

The study was published July 9, in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

"All of the treatments being tested in the current DRC outbreak were developed to fight Ebola viruses from previous outbreaks," lead author Laura McMullan, a CDC microbiologist, said in an agency news release.

"RNA viruses are always mutating -- and because Ebola is an RNA virus it's vitally important to make sure existing treatments work against the virus that's making people sick now," she said.


'Toy Story 4' Toys Recalled Due to Choking Hazard

"Forky" 11-inch plush toys have been recalled because the plastic eyes can detach and pose a choking hazard to young children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

About 80,000 of the toys of a character from Disney Pixar's Toy Story 4 were sold in the United States, and about 650 were sold in Canada.

There haven't been any reported injuries associated with the toys, according to the CPSC.

It said consumers should immediately take the recalled toy away from children and return it to any Disney Store retail location, Walt Disney World, or Disneyland Resort theme park retail store location for a full refund.


Trump to Sign Order to Improve Kidney Disease Care

Significant changes in how kidney disease is treated in the United States are outlined in an executive order expected to be signed Wednesday by President Donald Trump.

The objective is to switch from a system that emphasizes costly, time-consuming dialysis in large centers to at-home dialysis or transplants that can lengthen patients lives, the Associated Press reported.

There's a severe organ shortage, which could impede the push for more transplants. In order to tackle that problem, the administration wants to ease financial challenges for living donors.

The executive order also includes measures to help groups that collect organs from deceased donors. Officials pointed to a study suggesting that in the long term, it may be possible to find 17,000 more kidneys and 11,000 other organs from deceased donors for transplant every year, the AP reported.

Another goal is to improve prevention of kidney disease.

The moves could save lives and millions in Medicare spending, the AP reported.


Billionaire and Presidential Candidate Ross Perot Dead at 89

Former U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot died Tuesday at age 89.

The Texas billionaire died at his home in Dallas, The New York Times reported. Family spokesman James Fuller said the cause was leukemia.

Perot made his fortune in the computer services industry and eventually ran for president in 1992 and 1996 with populist talk of restoring Norman Rockwell's America, according to the Times.

He was born in 1930 to a cotton broker father in Texarkana, excelling at everything he set his mind to -- from paper boy to the Boy Scouts to becoming class president at the U.S. Naval Academy.

After leaving the Navy in 1957, Perot joined I.B.M., where he quickly became a top salesman. He left I.B.M. in 1962 to form his own company, Electronic Data Systems, which by the mid-1960s was a booming business. He quickly became one of the country's richest men.

Daredevil exploits on behalf of U.S. prisoners of war in Vietnam, as well as a commando raid to free two Americans held in an Iranian prison in 1979, helped cement Perot's reputation as a patriotic folk hero.

That, his rapid-fire and colorful language, and $65 million of his own money, helped propel Perot from unlikely fringe candidate in the 1992 Presidential election to winning 19% of the popular vote in a contest against incumbent George H.W. Bush and the winner, Bill Clinton.

Perot tried again in 1996 but this time fared poorly, running on the Reform Party ticket.

He was a noted philanthropist, giving millions to schools, hospitals and cultural organizations. He was also a prolific author of a number of books centered on patriotic and political themes.

Perot reveled in his individualism, the Times said, with a favorite axiom being, "Eagles don't flock, you have to find them one at a time."

Information on survivors was not immediately available.

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Posted: July 2019