Health Highlights: April 12, 2019

By on April 12, 2019

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

Baby Created With 3 People’s DNA Born in Greece

A baby created with the DNA of three people was born in Greece earlier this week, doctors say.

The baby boy was born April 9 and weighed 6 pounds. Mother and child are said to be in good health.

The experimental and controversial IVF procedure used DNA from the 32-year-old mother, sperm from the father, and an egg from a donor woman, CNN reported.

The mother had undergone four unsuccessful cycles of IVF before trying this new technique, which was developed to help families with fatal mitochondrial diseases inherited from mothers.

The new IVF technique was developed in the U.K. and first used in Mexico 2016 to produce a baby for a family faced with the mitochondrial disease threat. It was also used in Ukraine in 2107 to produce a baby for a women with “unexplained infertility,” CNN reported.

This most recent birth is part of a clinical trial that involves 24 other women. Eight embryos are ready to be implanted, according to the Institute of Life in Athens, Greece, which is working with the Spanish center Embryotools.

“We are very proud to announce an international innovation in assisted reproduction, and we are now in a position to make it possible for women with multiple IVF failures or rare mitochondrial genetic diseases to have a healthy child,” Dr. Panagiotis Psathas, president of the Institute of Life, said in a statement, CNN reported.


Superbug Fungus Has Sickened 600 Americans: CDC

The United States has had more than 600 cases of infection with a type of fungus called a “serious global health threat” by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first U.S. cases of Candida auris infection appeared in the United States shortly after the CDC became aware of it globally in 2016, ABC News reported.

Since then, there have been 617 confirmed cases of C. auris, with most reported in New York City, New Jersey and Chicago, according to the latest CDC data.

The agency also said that the fungus has been detected in more than 20 other countries, ABC News reported.

C. auris can cause infections in a number of areas of the body, ranging from wounds to the ears to the bloodstream. People most likely to be infected are long-term hospital patients, those with a central venous catheter or other lines or tubes entering the body, and those who have previously taken antibiotics or antifungal medications, according to the CDC.

C. auris spreads more easily between people than other species of Candida, and it can survive on surfaces after routine cleaning, so places such as hospitals and nursing homes are ideal breeding grounds.

“If we don’t change the way we clean rooms, then the Candida could potentially infect the next person that enters the room,” infectious disease expert Dr. Todd Ellerin told ABC News.

The CDC also said that C. auris is often resistant to one or more of antifungal medications, making infection with the fungus difficult to treat.

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