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Health

  • Bandits in Guinea steal suspected Ebola blood
    CONAKRY, Guinea – It was a highway robbery, but the bandits got more than they bargained for when they stopped a taxi in Guinea and made off with blood samples that are believed to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.
  • Study will test survivors’ blood to treat Ebola
    A coalition of companies and aid groups announced plans Tuesday to test experimental drugs and collect blood plasma from Ebola survivors to treat new victims of the disease in West Africa.
  • Study
    CHICAGO – Curbing the routine use of preventive antibiotics before dental work may have contributed to a rise in heart valve infections in England, a new study suggests. In the U.S.
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FDA gives go-ahead to hepatitis C drug

– Federal health officials have approved a highly anticipated hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences Inc. that is expected to offer a faster, more palatable cure to millions of people infected with the liver-destroying virus.

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it approved the pill Sovaldi in combination with older drugs to treat the main forms of hepatitis C that affect U.S. patients.

Current treatments for hepatitis C can take up to a year of therapy and involve weekly injections of a drug that causes flu-like side effects. That approach only cures about three out of four patients. Sovaldi is a daily pill that in clinical trials cured roughly 90 percent of patients in just 12 weeks, when combined with the older drug cocktail.

Between 3 million and 4 million Americans are estimated to carry the blood-borne virus, though most do not even know they are infected. Others have tested positive but are waiting for more effective treatments to become available. Hepatitis C symptoms may not appear until two or three decades after infection, though the virus can cause liver failure, cirrhosis and cancer if left untreated.

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