September 24th, 2012
04:51 PM ET
Scientists are trying to unravel a medical mystery involving a new type of coronavirus, which come from that same large family of viruses that bring us the common cold but also brought us Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - better known as SARS - back in 2002.
So far, two patients have been identified as having been infected with this new virus: A 49-year-old male from Qatar who was transferred to the United Kingdom for treatment September 11 and is currently in critical condition, and a 60-year-old Saudi Arabian man who was treated in June and has since died.
While the Qatari man is known to have traveled to Saudi Arabia, officials at the World Health Organization do not believe there's a connection between the two.
However, it has been determined that they both had the same symptoms, severe respiratory illness-like pneumonia and kidney failure. When samples from both patients were tested, researchers found they both were infected with the same virus. FULL POST
September 20th, 2012
01:40 PM ET
Editor's Note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed.
This week, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to a remarkable young women named Ashley Fiolek, who won her first national motocross championship in 2008 - her rookie year. Less than two weeks ago, she became the national champ for the fourth time.
Fiolek quickly became a role model for many girls who love this sport. Not only is she good at it, she does it without being able to hear her competitors. Fiolek was born deaf.
She tells ESPN that this was her final season racing in the women's outdoor motocross (WMX) series, but she's not retiring. She will continue to compete in the X-Games and hopes to branch out, including possibly racing against men and maybe trying something new, like truck racing.
September 19th, 2012
05:38 PM ET
A chemical that can be used as a food additive, caused serious skin infections after people sat on sofas treated with it and was approved as a psoriasis treatment in Germany 15 years ago, may prove to be a viable treatment option for people with the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Dimethyl fumarate - also known so far as BG-12 - could be another weapon in a neurologist's arsenal to treat the disease, if the drug is approved. Based on the results of two large studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, experts believe this is likely.
More than 2 million people around the world live with MS, a disease where the body's immune system attacks the patient's central nervous system and destroys the myelin, or sheath, protecting nerve cells. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and more women than men are affected, according to the National MS Society. As the disease progresses, it can become quite debilitating, leading to numbness and difficulty walking and seeing among many other symptoms. FULL POST
August 29th, 2012
07:38 AM ET
Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed.
From the moment he wakes up to the time he goes to bed, Reece Holloway is living, breathing and thinking about baseball. He taught himself how to hit the ball at the tender age of 2 and has never let anything stop him from doing what he loves best.
When Reece's idol Chipper Jones saw the story of this young player, he had to meet him. Jones invited the whole Holloway family to a Braves game in Atlanta.
Jones told his loyal fan to try hard and do his best, no matter what life throws his way. What seemed nearly impossible has occurred as a result of this meeting: Young Reece is even more enthusiastic about playing the game of baseball.
August 28th, 2012
09:11 AM ET
Google "vocational interventions for young adults with autism" and you'll get more than 200,000 results. But a new study finds there's little science to backup the efficacy of current methods used to help young adults with these neurodevelopmental disorders segue into the workforce.
"There's startlingly little information on the best ways to help adolescents and adults with autism achieve their maximum potential in the workplace and across the board," says lead study author Julie Lounds Taylor.
Taylor and her colleagues at Vanderbilt University sifted through more than 4,500 studies that made reference to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and therapies and found only 32 studies published between January 1980 and December 2011 that met their basic criteria, including having at least 20 study participants between the ages of 13 and 30.
July 31st, 2012
09:15 AM ET
Sixteen people have died so far from the Ebola outbreak that began earlier this month in Western Uganda. According to the World Health Organization, the first case is believed to be from the Nyanswiga village in Nyamarunda, a sub-county of the Kibaale district of Uganda.
So far, 36 suspected cases have been reported, WHO spokesman Tariq Jasarevic said Tuesday. Nine of the deaths are reported to have occurred in one household; a health official who was treating one of the patients also died. Unfortunately family members and health officials - those caring for the already sickened - are the most likely to be infected as well.
When was Ebola first discovered?
The Ebola virus was first detected in 1976 in the central African nation of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The virus is named after a river in that country, where the first outbreak of the disease was found. There are five species of Ebola viruses, all named after the areas they were found in: Zaire, Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, Bundibugyo and Reston, according to the WHO. (There can be different strains of Ebola within each species).
July 19th, 2012
09:26 PM ET
2012 might be a record year for whooping cough in the United States if midyear trends continue. Nearly 18,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so far this year - the highest rates in five years.
"That's more than twice as many as we had at the at the same time last year," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC. "We may need to go back to 1959 to find a year with as many cases reported by this time so far, " she said Thursday.
Pertussis is a highly contagious illness caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis. It easily spreads from person to person when people cough or sneeze. It starts out with symptoms very similar to a cold, but a week or two later, a violent cough develops. It's better known as whooping cough because of the "whooping" sound those infected make when they are violently coughing over and over again and try to inhale.
July 2nd, 2012
03:29 PM ET
When Louise Brown was born in 1978, she became the first baby conceived outside the womb, often referred to as a "test-tube" baby.
Now, 34 years later, fertility experts estimate that 5 million children around the world have been the result of their parents using assisted reproductive technologies.
The International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies, an independent, international non-profit organization that collects and disseminates world data, presented their estimates of successful births resulting from IVF and ICSI treatments at the 28th annual meeting of ESHRE, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, on Sunday.
June 28th, 2012
07:27 PM ET
It didn't take long for the first reactions to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act to start trickling in. Here's a sampling of how some health organizations feel about the highest court upholding President Obama's controversial health care law:
The trade group that represents health insurance companies - American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) - says in their statement that "health plans will continue to focus on promoting affordability and peace of mind for their beneficiaries. The law expands coverage to millions of Americans, a goal health plans have long supported, but major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have the unintended consequences of raising costs."
But citing research by other sources, AHIP suggests that the health care law will also increase the cost of health care coverage, by way of premiums, forcing young Americans to buy artificially high premiums and affordable coverage will be less available.
June 19th, 2012
10:41 AM ET
Nearly 10% of parents in Oregon are limiting their children to getting no more than one or two injections per visit to the pediatrician, according to a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics Monday.
As a result, children are falling behind in getting recommended vaccines, which could leave them vulnerable.
Researchers analyzed immunization records from 97,711 children born between 2003 and 2009 and found that parents in the greater Portland area choosing to restrict the number of shots their infants get during the first 9 months of life grew from 2.5% in 2006 to 9.5% in 2009.
By limiting the number of injections, parents are choosing to deviate from the vaccine schedule recommended by the CDC, the American Academy of Pedictrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.