Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
New Compound Shows Promise Against Cataracts
A chemical that shows promise in clearing cataracts is being developed for use as an eye drop, researchers say.
The chemical — called compound 29 — cleared cataracts in the eyes of mice and in human eye lens tissue in laboratory tests, said the scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Michigan, United Press International reported.
The study was published in the journal Science.
The compound has been licensed to a company to develop it into an eye drop for people with cataracts, UPI reported.
High Levels of Toxin Delay California Crab Season
California’s harvesting season for the Dungeness crab has been delayed due to high levels of a dangerous neurotoxin associated with warmer water temperatures.
State health officials are finding high levels of Domoic acid in crab meat and said the crabs will remain toxic if the Pacific Ocean waters remain warm, CBS News reported.
The problem is putting California’s crab season in jeopardy and could have a huge financial impact on fishermen and restaurants.
“This is out of the fishermen’s hands. We have to wait until the product is safe,” fisherman Frank Sousa told CBS News. “I have kids and I wouldn’t want to bring that product home to them so I can’t bring it home to anybody else.”
Sierra Leone Declared Ebola-Free
Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization on Saturday after the nation went 42 days without a new Ebola case.
That amount of time covers two incubation periods for the deadly virus, The New York Times reported.
A 90-day period of enhanced surveillance will continue in Sierra Leone until Feb. 5 with the goal of rapidly detecting any new potential cases of Ebola. Sierra Leone was hardest hit in the Ebola outbreak centered in West Africa, with about 14,000 infections and nearly 4,000 deaths.
In total, the outbreak killed more than 11,300 people.
Liberia was declared Ebola-free about two months ago, but new cases continue to occur in Guinea, where the outbreak began, The Times reported.