Health Highlights: Sept. 4, 2015

Health Highlights: Sept. 4, 2015

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

Lab Operations Suspended, Reviews Under Way After Anthrax Mistake

Operations have been suspended at four U.S. Defense Department laboratories that handle biological toxins as investigators try to determine how live anthrax samples were mistakenly sent to other labs in the U.S. and in other countries.

In a memo issued Thursday, Army Secretary John McHugh also ordered a safety stand-down and reviews at nine Defense Department labs involved in the production, shipment and handling of biological toxins, the Associated Press reported.

McHugh ordered a report on the reviews within 10 days.

U.S. labs under review are in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Utah and Virginia, along with labs in Egypt and Peru, the AP reported.

Earlier this year, samples of live anthrax from the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah were sent to 194 labs in all 50 states and nine other countries. Officials say there have been no illnsesses, but more than 30 Americans have taken medication as a precaution.


Liberia is Ebola-Free: WHO

Liberia is once again Ebola-free, according to the World Health Organization.

The West African country was declared free of the deadly disease on May 9, but six new cases were discovered from late June to July. Two of those patients died, CNN reported.

Forty-two days have passed since the last infected person tested clear for Ebola, so the WHO said Thursday that it could now declare Liberia Ebola-free.

Since the Ebola outbreak began in December 2013, there have been more than 4,800 deaths in Liberia, 3,950 in Sierra Leone and 2,500 in Guinea. The epidemic sickened more than 28,000 people in the three nations, CNN reported.

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