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Friday, Oct 31st

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Japan to provide experimental Ebola drug

Japan offer ebola drugJapan is ready to provide an unapproved, anti-influenza drug to help treat the deadly Ebola virus, the Japanese government announced on Monday, a day after the Democratic Republic of Congo declared an Ebola outbreak in its northern Equateur province on Sunday caused by a strain different from the West Africa one, according to the health ministry.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Japan could offer the drug any time at the request of the World Health Organization (WHO) and was willing to make an international contribution to help control the epidemic that has claimed at least 1,427 lives — mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and neighboring Guinea. There have been six outbreaks of Ebola in DRC since the disease was discovered there in 1976, with a total of more than 760 deaths.

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DEA imposes restrictions on hydrocodone amid painkiller addiction epidemic

Hydrocodone restrictedThe federal government will tighten restrictions on narcotic painkillers made with hydrocodone in order to curb the widespread abuse of prescription opioids.

Under new rules published Friday by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), patients seeking painkillers such as Vicodin, the most widely prescribed drug in the United States, will only be allowed one 90-day prescription and would have to see a doctor to get a refill. Doctors won’t be allowed to call in the prescriptions on the phone, and in some states, nurses or physician assistants won’t be able to prescribe the drugs. Pharmacies will be required to keep the drugs in special vaulted areas.

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WHO: Extent of Ebola outbreak has been 'underestimated'

Ebola underestimatedAs the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa nears 1,500, the World Health Organization said Friday that its "magnitude... has been underestimated."

The outbreak is likely on a scale larger than realized, says WHO, and attributes that to various factors including keeping infected family members at home to die, denial of infection and fear that medical quarantine will be lethal to ill family members.

"As Ebola has no cure, some believe infected loved ones will be more comfortable dying at home."

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White House Rolls Out New Birth Control Accommodation For Nonprofits

Contraception coverageThe Obama administration announced on Friday a new accommodation for religious nonprofits that object to covering the full range of contraceptives in their employee health care plans.

The new accommodation will allow religious nonprofits, such as Catholic schools and hospitals, to opt out of covering birth control by notifying the Department of Health and Human Services of their objections. HHS and the Department of Labor will then arrange for a third-party insurer to pay for and administer the coverage for the nonprofits' employees so that women still receive the contraceptive coverage guaranteed to them by the Affordable Care Act.

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Nothing to do with patient safety’: Ohio clinic to halt surgical abortions due to 2013 state law

Surgical  abortions stop in OhioA suburban Cincinnati clinic will stop performing surgical abortions as a result of a 2013 state law that bars agreements to move women needing emergency care to public hospitals, an attorney for the clinic said on Wednesday.

The Ohio Department of Health had ordered Women’s Med in Sharonville, also known as Lebanon Road Surgery Center, closed after it could not procure a required transfer agreement with a non-publicly financed hospital.

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Doctor with Ebola expected to be released from Atlanta hospital

Ebola doctor cured and released from hospitalThe American doctor being treated for Ebola at an Atlanta hospital has recovered and is expected to leave the hospital Thursday.

Dr. Kent Brantly, who contracted the highly contagious and almost always deadly virus while treating patients in Liberia, is expected to leave the hospital following a press conference at 11 a.m.

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Patient info hacked, stolen from Community Health

Community helath hackedCommunity Health Systems Inc (CYH.N), one of the biggest U.S. hospital groups, said on Monday it was the victim of a cyber attack from China, resulting in the theft of Social Security numbers and other personal data belonging to 4.5 million patients.

Security experts said the hacking group, known as "APT 18," may have links to the Chinese government.

"APT 18" typically targets companies in the aerospace and defense, construction and engineering, technology, financial services and healthcare industry, said Charles Carmakal, managing director with FireEye Inc's (FEYE.O) Mandiant forensics unit, which led the investigation of the attack on Community Health in April and June.

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