Latest Health & Wellness headlines

‘Zika is now here’: Mosquitoes now spreading virus in US

Mosquitoes have apparently begun spreading the Zika virus on the US mainland for the first time, health officials said Friday in a long-feared turn in the epidemic that is sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean.

Anthrax sickens 13 in western Siberia. And a thawed-out reindeer corpse may be to blame.

First a heat wave hit Siberia. Then came the anthrax.

Utah Planned Parenthood pulls condoms with Mormon symbol

Utah’s Planned Parenthood branch won’t hand out condom packages printed with a symbol associated with Mormon youth teachings after an image of the wrappers on its Facebook page generated backlash.

Anti-abortion duo behind Planned Parenthood videos cleared

A Texas judge on Tuesday dismissed the last remaining charge against two California anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood.

Ethan Dean worked with a trash crew in Sacramento on Tuesday.

Wish granted: 6-year-old boy is garbage man for a day

When asked his favorite part of the day, Ethan Dean said it was ‘‘cleaning up garbage.”

Complex jobs, social ties help ward off Alzheimer’s, study finds

Ccomplex work and social engagement help counteract the effects of unhealthy diet and cerebrovascular disease.

New York’s Dr. Mary Bassett said the Zika virus “is not a theoretical risk.”

NYC reports 1st Zika-related birth defect case

The infant was born this month to a mother who was infected elsewhere.

The office building of health insurer Anthem is seen in Los Angeles, California February 5, 2015. REUTERS//File Photo

Feds sue to stop insurance mergers, see threat to consumer

The health insurance industry has five major companies, and if these deals went through, that number would be reduced to three.

Analysis: The real reason that so many more Americans are using heroin

The study found that the timing of the prescription opioid and heroin epidemics is not consistent with the narrative that increased controls on the former instigated use of the latter.

Los Angeles sewage spill shuts down beaches 20 miles away

At least 1.5 million gallons of sewage spewed from a 90-year-old pipe that burst in an industrial area near downtown Los Angeles, leading beaches to close 20 miles downriver in Long Beach, officials said Tuesday.

In medical mystery, caregiver gets Zika from man who died

A Utah man who became the first person in the continental US to die after being infected with the Zika virus passed it to a caregiver.

Bill Gates delivered a lecture at the University of Pretoria for the 14th Nelson Mandela annual lecture Sunday.

Gates foundation to invest $5b in Africa over next 5 years

Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Bill Gates is also in South Africa to attend a global AIDS conference that starts Monday.

Dr. Alfred G. Knudson Jr.

Alfred G. Knudson Jr., 93, cancer researcher

The scientist helped develop a groundbreaking theory of how cancer develops.

In rare show of unity, governors vow to fight opioid crisis

Nearly every U.S. governor pledged Wednesday to combat the opioid crisis that is leaving a trail of overdose deaths and misery in their states.

Dr. Brian H. Williams, a trauma surgeon at Parkland Memorial Hospital, treated some of the Dallas police officers who were shot Thursday night.

Black doctor’s conflict: Saving officers, distrusting police

Expressing regret at the Dallas officers’ deaths, Dr. Brian Williams also gave voice to the intense racial turmoil roiling the country.

Superbug gene detected in a second person in the US

A patient who had surgery at New York hospital last year carried a strain of E. coli that was resistant to the antibiotic colistin.

Clinton offers community health funding plan

Clinton is proposing to increase federal money for community health centers and expand access to Medicare.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can lead to severe birth defects.

1st death related to Zika virus seen in continental US

Utah health officials say a person infected with Zika has died, and while the exact cause is unclear, it marks the first death related to the virus in the continental U.S.

U.S. is much worse than other rich countries at preventing road deaths

Americans don’t wear seat belts as much and are killed more often in crashes caused by drunk drivers, making them twice as likely to die on the road compared with people in other relatively wealthy countries.

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2016, file photo, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald speaks in Washington. Two years after a scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking health care, the Department of Veterans Affairs still has

VA health care still has ‘profound deficiencies’

Two years after a scandal over long wait times, a congressional commission says problems with health care access remain.

Judge blocks Indiana genetic abnormality abortion law

A federal judge blocked an Indiana law Thursday that would have banned abortions sought because of a fetus’ genetic abnormalities, saying that the state does not have the authority to limit a woman’s reasons for ending a pregnancy.

There’s great news for women who dread that annual pelvic exam.

The days of the dreaded annual pelvic exam for women may be numbered

A panel said that there’s not enough evidence to support doing them for women who are healthy and not pregnant.

A deadly, drug-resistant yeast infection is spreading around the world

US health officials are warning clinicians in hospitals around the country to be on the lookout for a highly drug-resistant type of yeast that is causing potentially fatal infections.

Fort Bend County Sheriffs department crime scene members bagged a gun for evidence in the Katy, Texas shooting.

‘Please, don’t shoot’: Daughters beg mom to stop in 911 calls in fatal Texas shooting

The 911 calls released on Tuesday revealed the true horror of the tragedy that unfolded in Katy, Texas last week.

California voters to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana

A successful vote would mean one in every six Americans lives in a state with legal marijuana sales.

Florida confirms birth defects after mom gets Zika abroad

Florida confirmed its first Zika-related case of microcephaly, in a child whose mother contracted the virus in Haiti, officials said Tuesday.

Senate Democrats block GOP’s Zika funding bill

A dysfunctional Senate split along party lines on Tuesday and left a $1.1 billion proposal to fight the Zika virus in limbo, despite growing fears and a more than 800 cases of Zika infection in the continental U.S.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, Brazil, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

Democrats block GOP’s Zika funding bill

The party faulted Republicans for including provisions designed to deny new funding for Planned Parenthood clinics and ease rules on pesticide spraying.

Drug overdose deaths taxing US medical examiners and coroners

Problems include a shortage of places to store bodies and delays in autopsies.

Bipartisan talks on Zika virus break down ahead recess

The House voted in the wee hours of Thursday morning to approve a $1.1 billion package without Democrats’ support.

Use both eyes when looking at your screen in the dark, a New England Journal of Medicine report said.

Temporary blindness tied to smartphone use in dark

Warning: Looking at your device while lying in bed at night could wreak havoc on your vision.

An Aedes aegypti mosquito is kept in a glass tube at the Fiocruz Institute, which has been screening for mosquitoes naturally infected with the Zika virus in Rio de Janeiro.

Abortion pill requests spike in Zika outbreak countries

The spike has occurred in Brazil, Ecuador, and some other Latin American countries that ban abortions, an indication that women don’t want to risk birth defects.

Feds won’t file charges in killing by police

Federal prosecutors will not file charges against three police officers in Pasco, Washington, who shot and killed a mentally ill man last year, sparking weeks of protests.

For Democrats, a stepping stone to common ground on health care

Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan seems even less likely now but a compromise is possible.

Study: Up to 1 in 5 trauma victims may die unnecessarily

Up to 1 in 5 people may be dying unnecessarily from car crashes, gunshots, or other injuries, a stark conclusion from government advisers who say where you live shouldn’t determine if you survive. The findings take on new urgency amid the increasing threat of mass casualties like the massacre in Orlando.

CDC: Puerto Rico may see hundreds of Zika birth defects

Dozens or hundreds of babies in the US territory could develop severe birth defects, based on how an outbreak is playing out there, a top US health official said Friday.

CDC: 3 babies with Zika-linked birth defects born in US

Three babies with Zika-linked birth defects have been born in the U.S., the government reported Thursday in its first accounting of outcomes for pregnant women infected with the virus.

Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger (center) received a standing ovation after voting on his private member's bill to change the Canadian national anthem in the House of Commons in Ottawa Wednesday.

Canada’s national anthem is likely to become ‘gender neutral’

The English version of ‘‘O Canada’’ contains the words ‘‘true patriot love, in all thy sons command’’ — and the second clause would be replaced with ‘‘in all of us command.’’

Liberal MP Mauril Belanger (center) received a standing ovation after voting on his bill to change the national anthem.

Canada’s national anthem is likely to become ‘gender neutral’

Currently, the English version of ‘‘O Canada’’ contains the words ‘‘true patriot love, in all thy sons command.”

In some ZIP codes, 1 in 7 children suffer from dangerously high blood lead levels

WASHINGTON — In one city after another, the tests showed startling numbers of children with unsafe blood lead levels: Poughkeepsie and Syracuse and Buffalo. Erie and Reading. Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Zika infections late in pregnancy led to no defects in study

Women infected with the Zika virus late in their pregnancies had babies with no apparent birth defects, according to a study in Colombia that seems to confirm that the greatest risk to infants comes early in pregnancy.

Indian city on alert as polio strain found in sewage water

About 350,000 children will be vaccinated next week.

Study links opioids to deaths other than overdoses

The drugs may also contribute to heart-related deaths and other fatalities, new research suggests.

Items are seen in a memorial setup for the victims of the Pulse gay nightclub shooting.

Want to buy an assault rifle in Florida? No problem

The massacre of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub is raising questions about access to guns.

Not doing it: Fewer high school kids are having sex

The troubles with kids these days ... are not as common as they used to be. U.S. teens are having a lot less sex, they are drinking and using drugs less often, and they aren’t smoking as much, according a government survey of risky youth behaviors.

Extending hormone therapy reduces breast-cancer cases

Typically, estrogen-reducing drugs are taken for five years, sometimes after tamoxifen therapy.

A flood of innovative cancer treatments helped fuel an 11.5 percent surge in spending on oncology drugs over the past year.

We’re spending $107 billion on cancer drugs, but is it worth it?

A flood of innovative cancer treatments helped fuel an 11.5 percent surge in spending on oncology drugs over the past year.

Researchers tracked the marijuana habits of 1,037 New Zealanders from birth to middle age.

Marijuana’s only major possible side effect? Gum disease

People who smoked more of the drug had a higher incidence of gum disease, but marijuana use had no negative effect on any other measure of health.

Panel: Treating hearing loss shouldn’t be a pricey hassle

A prestigious government advisory group is calling on Medicare and other agencies to find ways to make better hearing more affordable and accessible.

Florida: Disaster coming without help on Zika fight

Florida will experience a “disaster” with the Zika virus if federal authorities don’t immediately provide money to help battle the virus, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday.