Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
China's New Year TV show pays tearful tribute to virus fighters, urges victory
Chinese state television's traditional Lunar New Year extravaganza on Friday paid tribute to the people of Wuhan and to medical staff fighting the coronavirus crisis, urging them on to victory in the battle to defeat the outbreak. Traditionally, hundreds of millions of people gather around their televisions to watch the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, a more than four-hour showcase of skits, music and dance that has been a TV staple since the first edition was broadcast in 1983.
Roche's Tecentriq fails trial in form of urothelial cancer
Roche's immunotherapy Tecentriq failed a late-stage clinical trial in a form of urothelial cancer, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday. The study evaluating Tecentriq as an after-surgery monotherapy did not meet its primary endpoint of disease-free survival compared to observation in people with muscle-invasive urothelial cancer, Roche said.
Lam courts Davos elite with dim sum, as Hong Kong scrambles to contain virus
With dim sum, cocktails and gold chocolate coins, Hong Kong wrapped up its Davos charm offensive confident the financial hub is back on track, even as officials fly home to tackle a deadly flu-like virus. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam arrives back to Hong Kong on Saturday, the first day of the Year of the Rat, to face with what could be a perfect storm - an outbreak of coronavirus, lingering protests and an economic downturn.
Breastfeeding and childbearing tied to lower odds of early menopause
Women who have babies and breastfeed may be less likely to go through menopause early than those who don't have children or nurse their infants, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers tracked 108,887 women, ages 25 to 42, who had not yet gone through menopause. Just over half had experienced at least one pregnancy lasting at least six months and more than half of these mothers exclusively breastfed their babies for at least one month.
Coronavirus worries have surgical masks flying off shelves in New York's Chinatown
Teresa Zhan, a pharmacist in Manhattan's Chinatown, had not seen protective face masks sell out in her 10 years as an employee until this week, when China's coronavirus arrived in the United States just days before Lunar New Year celebrations. More than a dozen pharmacies in the tiny district had run out of face masks or only had a few left on Friday. Pharmacists said hundreds of locals had rushed to buy masks for protection from the newly discovered coronavirus that has killed 26 people in China and infected at least 800 others, including a case in Chicago and another near Seattle.
Trump administration says California can't require insurers to cover abortion
The Trump administration said on Friday that California cannot require health insurers to cover abortions and threatened to cut some federal healthcare funds unless it pulls that requirement. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a notice that the state is violating a federal law called the Weldon Amendment. The notice of violation comes as the result of an investigation by HHS' Office for Civil Rights.
Novartis, GBT sickle cell drugs too expensive, draft U.S. report says
Sickle cell disease drugs made by Novartis and Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) may not be cost effective at current prices, a draft report published on Friday suggested, widening the debate over U.S. healthcare affordability. Novartis and GBT disputed the preliminary conclusions by the
Yemen's frontline port struggles to fight deadly fever
In the grounds of a bombed-out building in the port that has become the main front of Yemen's war, workers use a hose mounted to a truck to suck up a green, insect-filled expanse of stagnant rainwater, then shovel in soil to fill it, trying to save lives. The trash-strewn pools are perfect breeding grounds for the mosquito that spreads dengue fever, which aid workers say is killing people every day near the frontlines in Hodeidah.
Bayer Roundup cancer trial postponed to continue settlement talks
Bayer AG said on Friday it has reached an agreement with plaintiffs' lawyers to postpone a Missouri jury trial over allegations its popular weed killer Roundup causes cancer to provide room for negotiations to settle the litigation. "While Bayer is constructively engaged in the mediation process, there is no comprehensive agreement at this time. There also is no certainty or timetable for a comprehensive resolution," the company said in a statement in reference to the settlement talks.
China heads into Lunar New Year on shutdown as virus spreads to Europe
A new coronavirus that has killed 26 people in China was confirmed in Europe for the first time on Friday as it spreads despite Chinese attempts to quarantine the city at the heart of the outbreak. China closed Shanghai Disneyland and part of the Great Wall and suspended public transportation in 10 cities as it rushed to contain the virus, stranding millions of people at the start of the country's Lunar New Year holiday.