Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Fourth Person in China Dies of H7N9 Bird Flu
A fourth person in China has died from the H7N9 strain of bird
flu, state-run TV announced Thursday.
It said the number of known human cases of H7N9 in China is now
CNNreported. Until now, this strain of bird flu had not
No details about the latest victim were immediately available.
The three previous victims included two men, aged 27 and 87, in
Shanghai and a 38-year-old man who lived in Zhejiang province but
worked in nearby Jiangsu province, said the state-run news agency
Chinese officials are trying to pinpoint the source of the human
Walgreen Clinics Will Offer Chronic Disease Care
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and
asthma have been added to the types of health issues seen at
Walgreen drugstore clinics.
The company said Thursday that most of its 370 in-store Take
Care Clinics will diagnose, treat and monitor patients with certain
chronic illnesses that are typically handled by doctors, the
A few years ago, most CVS Caremark Corp. MinuteClinics began
handling chronic conditions.
Drugstore clinics are run by nurse practitioners or physician
assistants. They have become increasingly popular as a convenient
way for patients to get care when their regular doctor is
New Research May Help Lead to HIV/AIDS Vaccine
In what may be an important advance in efforts to develop an HIV
vaccine, scientists have analyzed one person's immune response to
the virus to determine how a series of mutations created an
antibody that can conquer many strains of HIV, which is the virus
that causes AIDS.
The team examined numerous sequential samples of blood from an
African man. The samples were collected from shortly after he was
infected with HIV until about two years later, when his immune
system began to produce "broadly neutralizing antibodies" against
The New York Timesreported.
The antibodies produced by the man's immune system were able to
defeat about 55 percent of all known HIV strains, according to the
study published online in the journal
While an HIV vaccine still remains far off, this research could
prove important in attempts to reach that goal.
"The beauty of this is that it's a big clue as to the sequential
steps the virus and the antibody take as they evolve," said Dr.
Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases, which financed the research,
Experts reacted cautiously to the study.
The findings are "a road map to vaccine development, yes -- but
it's like one of those maps of the world from the year 1400. We
still don't know how to turn this into a vaccine," Dr. Louis
Picker, an HIV vaccine specialist at Oregon Health & Science
It's not clear if one patient's immune process could be applied
to others, noted Dr. Joseph McCune III, head of experimental
medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
One major reason why efforts to create an HIV vaccine have so
far failed is because the virus mutates so rapidly. Flu viruses
mutate so often that flu vaccines must be reformulated every year.
In one day, HIV mutates as much as flu viruses do in a year,
Worldwide, 34 million have HIV and 2.5 million are newly
infected each year, including 50,000 in the United States.