Health Highlights: Aug. 22, 2013

Health Highlights: Aug. 22, 2013

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

Ohio Man Declared Dead, Then Revived

An Ohio man who was declared dead but came back to life is resting at home and plans to return to work on Monday.

On Aug. 5, doctors at Kettering Medical Center spent 45 minutes trying to revive Anthony Yale after the 37-year-old diesel mechanic’s heart stopping beating, but then decided to declare him dead, ABC News reported.

But moments after the man’s 17-year-old son Lawrence shouted at his father, “Dad, you’re not going to die today,” Anthony’s heart monitor started showing some activity. It wasn’t a regular heart beat, but tiny electrical signals that appeared on the heart monitor once or twice a minute.

“When I looked at the electrical activity, I was surprised,” cardiologist Dr. Raja Nazir told ABC News. “I thought we’d better make another effort to revive him.”

As the medical team worked on him, Yahle’s heart rate slowly began to increase. Nazir isn’t sure exactly how long Yahle was “dead,” before his son told his father he couldn’t die that day.

“I’m calling it a miracle because I’ve never seen anything like it,” Nazir told ABC News.

Yahle was later transferred to Ohio State University and returned home on Aug. 10 with a heart defibrillator. Doctors may do a heart biopsy to try to determine what happened to him.


‘Super-Agers’ May Provide Clues About Healthy Brain Aging

Researchers are studying so-called “super agers” in the hope of findings ways to protect others from age-related memory loss.

Super-agers are people in their 80s and 90s who have brains and memories that seem far younger. Only 10 percent of 400 people who’ve applied to take part in the research have met the criteria for being a super-ager, the Associated Press reported.

So far, researchers have found that the brains of super-agers have unusually low amounts of age-related plaques and more mass related to attention and memory.

“We’re living long but we’re not necessarily living well in our older years and so we hope that the SuperAging study can find factors that are modifiable and that we’ll be able to use those to help people live long and live well,” study leader Emily Rogalski, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University’s cognitive neurology and Alzheimer’s disease center in Chicago, told the AP.


Another H7 Bird Flu Virus Found in Chickens in China

Another potentially dangerous H7-type virus has been detected in chickens in China, say scientists studying the H7N9 bird flu virus that’s killed more than 40 people since March.

The researchers said the virus, called H7N7, was able to infect mammals in a lab experiment and warned that H7 viruses “may pose threats beyond the current outbreak,” Agence France-Presse reported.

“The continuing prevalence of H7 viruses in poultry could lead to the generation of highly pathogenic variants and further sporadic human infections,” the team wrote in a study published in the journal Nature.

H7N7 spreads easily in birds. It killed one person and caused more than 80 cases of mild disease during a 2003 outbreak in the Netherlands.

“If (we) let this H7N7 continue circulating in chickens, I am sure that human infection cases will occur,” study co-author Yi Guan, from the University of Hong Kong, told AFP by email. “This virus could cause more severe infection than… H7N9, based on our animal experiment.”


Middle East Respiratory Virus Found in Bat

A deadly respiratory virus responsible for an ongoing outbreak in the Middle East has been found in a bat in Saudi Arabia, researchers say.

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was found in an Egyptian tomb bat captured close to the home of the first known human victim of the virus, BBC News reported.

But the scientists don’t believe that bats are responsible for passing the virus to people. Instead, they believe the virus spreads from bats to other animals before being transmitted to people, according to a paper in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Another recently published paper suggests that this intermediary animal could be the dromedary camel, BBC News reported.

MERS-CoV first appear in the Middle East last year. So far, there have been 94 confirmed human cases and 47 deaths.


Americans Warned About Cholera Risk in Cuba

American travelers to Cuba should avoid street food and under- or uncooked dishes such as ceviche to reduce their risk of contracting cholera, says a U.S. government advisory issued Tuesday.

Several foreigners — an Italian, two Venezuelans and two Chileans — who visited Cuba were sickened by cholera in late July and early August, according to the Pan American Health Organization, the Associated Press reported.

Last summer, Cuban officials acknowledged a rare outbreak of the waterborne disease. This January, authorities announced 51 new cases of cholera in Havana, but have provided no updates since then.

Cholera can cause death from severe dehydration but is treatable if detected in time, the AP reported.