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Health Highlights: Jan. 9, 2020


Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Second U.S. Baby Born from Transplanted Uterus from a Deceased Donor

The second U.S. baby born from a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor was delivered by cesarean section in November, it was announced Thursday.

Benjamin Thomas Gobrecht was born to 33-year-old Jennifer Gobrecht, who was born without a uterus, and husband Drew Gobrecht, who live outside of Philadelphia, CNN reported.

Jennifer enrolled in an ongoing trial at Penn Medicine to assess uterine transplantation as a treatment option for infertile women.

The first baby in the U.S. to be born from a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor was delivered last June at the Cleveland Clinic, CNN reported.

The first baby in the world to be born from a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor was an infant girl delivered in Brazil in 2017.

To date, babies born from transplanted uteri have only been delivered by c-section, CNN reported.

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Twitter to Test New Features to Reduce Cyberbullying

New features that will enable Twitter users to control who can reply to their posts or to block replies altogether are going to be tested, the company says.

The announcement at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas comes as social media companies are under pressure to deal with cyberbullying, BBC News reported.

Twitter already has a feature that allows users to hide replies to their tweets.

"We want to help people feel safe participating in the conversation on Twitter," the company said, BBC News reported.

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Justin Bieber Reveals He Has Lyme Disease

Singer Justin Bieber says he has Lyme disease.

He revealed his condition Wednesday in an Instagram post addressing comments people have made about his appearance in recent months, NBC News reported.

The 25-year-old explained that people who've said he looked like he was on drugs "failed to realize I've been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease."

"These things will be explained further in a docu series I'm putting on YouTube shortly.. you can learn all that I've been battling and OVERCOMING!!" Bieber said, NBC News reported.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that can cause joint pain, rashes, fever, chills, fatigue and neurological problems, according to the Mayo Clinic.

TMZ said Bieber's Lyme disease caused depression and other symptoms while the condition went undiagnosed for most of last year, NBC News reported.

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New Coronavirus May be Cause of Illness Outbreak in China

A new type of coronavirus may be responsible for dozens of viral pneumonia illnesses in China, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

As of Sunday, 59 people in the central Chinese city of Wuhan were being treated for the respiratory illness, and seven were in critical conditions, according to health officials.

As of Wednesday evening, the new coronavirus had been detected in 15 of those cases, CCTV reported. There was no immediate confirmation by Chinese health officials, the Associated Press reported.

The new coronavirus is different than previously identified ones, according to CCTV.

Some coronaviruses can cause colds, while others can trigger severe respiratory diseases such as SARS and MERS, the AP reported.

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Program Meant to Reduce Re-Hospitalizations Doesn't Work: Study

A program meant to prevent hard-to-treat patients from constantly returning to the hospital is ineffective, a new study concludes.

The project started in Camden, N.J., and involves having health workers visit patients' homes and go with them to doctor appointments, make sure medicines are available, and tackle social problems including homelessness, addiction and mental health issues, the Associated Press reported.

The program showed such promise that it received significant funding from the federal government and the MacArthur Foundation to expand.

However, a study published Jan. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine says hospital readmission rates for patients in the program did decline, but no more than among a comparison group of patients not in the expensive program, the AP reported.

"There's real concern that the response to this would be to just throw up our arms" and conclude that nothing can be done to help this group of patients, said study leader Amy Finkelstein, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

However, what needs to happen is to devise better solutions and test them as rigorously as new drugs, according to Finkelstein, The Times reported.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says She's "Cancer Free"

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Tuesday that she is "cancer free."

The 86-year-old made the statement during an interview with CNN, CBS News reported.

She's been treated for cancer twice in the past 13 months. A tumor was removed from her pancreas in August and two cancerous nodules on her lung were removed in December 2018.

Ginsburg has been treated for cancer four times over two decades. She had colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009, CBS News reported.

She's also had other health issues in recent years. She fractured three ribs after a fall in her office in late 2018 and was hospitalized for chills and fever in November.

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