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Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

FDA approves Teva's generic nasal spray to treat opioid overdose

Generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Friday received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its generic nasal spray for opioid overdose, the health regulator said. This is the first approval of a generic naloxone nasal spray for use in a community setting by individuals without medical training, the FDA said in a statement.

Judge upholds New York City's mandatory measles vaccination order

A Brooklyn judge on Thursday ruled against a group of parents who challenged New York City's recently imposed mandatory measles vaccination order, rejecting their arguments that the city's public health authority exceeded its authority. In a six-page decision rendered hours after a hearing on the matter, Judge Lawrence Knipel denied the parents' petition seeking to lift the vaccination order, imposed last week to stem the worst measles outbreak to hit the city since 1991.

Older people feel more youthful when they also feel in control

Older adults may feel younger than their age on days when they feel most in control of their lives, a small study suggests. People who believe they can influence the outcomes and events in their daily lives generally do feel a greater sense of control than those who feel more helpless, and previous research has linked a strong sense of control to better wellbeing, researchers note in Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.

U.S. launches four-state study to find ways to reduce opioid overdose deaths

U.S. health officials on Thursday said they will spend $350 million in four states to study ways to best deal with the nation's opioid crisis on the local level, with a goal of reducing opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent over three years in selected communities in those states. The National Institutes of Health will award grants to research sites in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said at a news conference to unveil the plan. They will go to the University of Kentucky, Boston Medical Center, Columbia University and Ohio State University.

China says African swine fever found on Hainan island

China said on Friday that it had confirmed outbreaks of African swine fever in two locations in Hainan province, an island off the country's southern coast which it had hoped to keep free of the contagious disease. The disease, fatal to pigs but harmless in humans, was found on two small pig farms in Danzhou city and two farms in Wanning city. African swine fever has now been found in every province and region on the mainland, including Hainan island, since it was first detected in August 2018.

Second death in Novartis gene therapy trials under investigation

Novartis AG, which this week announced positive interim trial results for its experimental gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy, on Friday said investigation is underway into whether a second trial death could be related to the treatment. Novartis has filed for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the gene therapy, Zolgensma, and a decision is expected within weeks. The FDA submission was based on findings from a trial of 15 babies treated with Zolgensma.

China draws up tighter rules on human gene and embryo trials: Xinhua

China's top legislature will consider tougher rules on research involving human genes and embryos, the first such move since a Chinese scientist sparked controversy last year by announcing he had made the world's first "gene-edited" babies. He Jiankui, associate professor at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, attracted condemnation from the global scientific community when he said he had used a technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 to alter the embryonic genes of twin girls born in November.

Sleep myths may hinder good sleep and health

Widespread beliefs about sleeping include advice on how much sleep is enough, what quality sleep means and how to achieve it, but when these pronouncements are wrong, they can do more harm than good, researchers argue. The study team gathered the most common sleep "myths" and asked sleep-science experts to rank them according to how wrong they were, and how bad it might be for a person's health to follow the advice.

Higher state minimum wage tied to lower suicide rates

Suicide rates grow more slowly in states that increase their minimum wage, according to a U.S. study that suggests this might be one strategy for curbing deaths by suicide. Although a small proportion of the population works for minimum wage, people living in low-income households have a higher risk of suicide than more affluent people, researchers note in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Raising the minimum wage has been linked to a number of positive outcomes for low-income Americans including higher odds of graduating high school and lower odds of having unmet medical needs.