Health Highlights: Aug. 1, 2019

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

First Ebola Transmission in Congo City of Goma

The first transmission of the Ebola virus in Congo’s major city of Goma was announced Thursday by the country’s health ministry.

It said the disease has been confirmed in the 1-year-old daughter of a man who died of Ebola on Wednesday. The man had symptoms for several days while at home with his large family, CBS News reported.

Goma has more than 2 million people and is located on the border with Rwanda. Health officials are trying to identify and vaccinate people who had contact with the man, as well as contacts of those contacts.

The death of the man in Goma “in such a dense population center underscores the very real risk of further disease transmission, perhaps beyond the country’s borders, and the very urgent need” for more global support, United Nations agencies said in a joint statement, CBS News reported.

Rwanda has closed its border with Congo due to the Ebola outbreak that’s entering its second year.

The outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people and is the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. Children have accounted for nearly one-third of the deaths, CBS News reported.

Last month, the outbreak was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization.


Trial Tests CRISPR Gene-Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

A U.S. clinical trial of CRISPR gene-editing to treat people with sickle cell disease is underway.

It seeks to recruit up to 45 adults with severe sickle cell disease, a group of inherited blood disorders, CNN reported.

Sickle cell disease can cause pain, anemia, blindness, organ damage and shorten a person’s life.

The trial will use CRISPR in an attempt to boost production of a different kind of hemoglobin (fetal hemoglobin) that makes it harder for cells to sickle and stick together, CNN reported.

Sickle cell disease affects about 100,000 Americans, most of African ancestry or identifying as black.

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