Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

China coronavirus toll rises to 259, U.S. imposes border curbs

The number of deaths from a coronavirus epidemic in China has risen to 259, the country's health authority said on Saturday, as the United States announced new border curbs on foreign nationals who have been in China. The province of Hubei, the centre of the epidemic, remains under virtual quarantine, with roads sealed off and public transport shut down, but small numbers of travellers continue to breach the lockdown.

To mask or not to mask: confusion spreads over coronavirus protection

"Do not wear a mask if you are well" read a warning plastered across the front of Singapore's main newspaper on Friday, as authorities around the world sought to calm panic buying of masks seen as a guard against the fast-spreading coronavirus. In neighboring Malaysia, the government urged people to always have masks and hand sanitizers ready, similar to advice by authorities in Thailand and Vietnam.

Bristol-Myers pulls Opdivo+Yervoy lung application in Europe

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Friday it was pulling the application to have its immunotherapies Opdivo and Yervoy approved in Europe as an initial treatment for advanced lung cancer, after regulators there balked at changes to the design of its clinical trials. The drugmaker said it had no plans to refile the application in the European Union. Lung cancer is the most lucrative oncology market.

Eli Lilly prices migraine therapy at $640 for pack of eight pills

Eli Lilly and Co on Friday priced its acute migraine treatment at $640 for a pack of eight pills and said it will be made available in pharmacies in the next few days. The list price of a drug is not necessarily what patients actually pay. "Out-of-pocket" costs vary based on the duration of the treatment and individual healthcare plans.

After miscarriage, women seek support, emotional outlet on Instagram

Expressing grief and other emotions, and connecting with others who have had similar losses, are some of the ways women use the photo-sharing platform Instagram to cope with a miscarriage, researchers say. In analyzing hundreds of posts under the "ihadamiscarriage" hashtag, the study team observed that women use the social media site for finding community and "breaking the silence" around pregnancy loss. Healthcare providers should consider discussing this outlet as a resource, the researchers write in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Gilead working with China to test Ebola drug as new coronavirus treatment

Gilead Sciences Inc said on Friday it provided its experimental Ebola therapy for use in a small number of patients with the coronavirus that has killed over 200 so far in China and is working with the country's authorities to set up a study. The announcement comes a day after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus epidemic a public health emergency of international concern.

Where Democratic presidential candidates stand on 'Medicare for All'

Perhaps no issue has divided the field of Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls more than "Medicare for All." Liberal candidates favor the sweeping proposal, which would replace private health insurance with a single government-run plan. Moderate candidates have embraced less drastic measures they say would achieve broader healthcare coverage while allowing individuals to choose their plan.

Biden slams for cutting health programs before coronavirus outbreak

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden on Friday criticized President Donald for reducing U.S. oversight of global health issues before the coronavirus outbreak in China, which has spread rapidly to several countries including the United States. "We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus," said Biden, who is in Iowa campaigning before the Midwestern farm state holds Democrats' first nominating contest on Monday. "This is no time for Donald 's record of hysteria and xenophobia - hysterical xenophobia - and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science."

Good sleep practices may boost performance in older shift workers

Older people working nights may feel more alert and sleep longer if they stay up longer after getting off work, then stay in bed for a full eight hours, waking up closer to the start of their shift, a small trial suggests. For older workers assigned to a simulated overnight shift, timing sleep so they woke up closer to the beginning of their next shift also led to better performance in work tasks, the study team reports in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

U.S. declares coronavirus health emergency, bars foreign nationals who visited China

The administration, while insisting the risk to Americans from coronavirus is low, nevertheless declared a public health emergency on Friday and announced the extraordinary step of barring entry to the United States of foreign nationals who have recently visited China. In addition, U.S. citizens who have traveled within the past two weeks to China's Hubei Province - epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic - will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of 14 days, the incubation period of the virus, officials said.

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