Health Highlights: Sept. 19, 2009

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

FDA Approves New AIDS Test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test that detects both types of the virus that causes AIDS.

The FDA said Friday that Abbott Laboratories' Abbott Prism HIV O Plus test can detect HIV types 1 and 2. HIV type 2 is mostly found in West Africa, while HIV type 1 is made up of various virus subgroups found in both the United States and West Africa, the Associated Press reported.

    • FDA Approves New AIDS Test
    • VA Facilities Improve Endoscopic Safety: Report
    • FDA Warns About Stolen Respiratory Medicines
    • Swine Flu Vaccine Production Lower Than Expected: WHO
    • U.S. Will Share 10 Percent of Swine Flu Vaccine With Other Nations

The test will be used to screen for HIV in blood and organ donations.

HIV attacks the body's immune system, eventually causing AIDS. More than 1.1 million Americans are estimated to have HIV and 232,000 do not know it, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


VA Facilities Improve Endoscopic Safety: Report

Progress has been made in correcting the endoscopic procedure problems at Veterans Affairs medical centers that put thousands of patients at risk for HIV and other infections, according to a report released Friday by the VA's inspector general.

The IG said surprise visits to 128 VA medical facilities found that all were compliant in following procedures and all but one of the facilities showed staff were being properly trained in the use of endoscopic devices, the Associated Press reported.

Inspections earlier this summer at several facilities found that less than half were in compliance.

Early this year, about 10,000 people were warned they may have been exposed to infections while undergoing colonoscopies or other endoscopic procedures at VA hospitals in Miami, Augusta, Ga., and Murfreesboro, Tenn. Equipment used in the procedures was improperly cleaned.

Of those patients, 50 subsequently tested positive for infections, including eight who tested positive for HIV, the AP reported.


FDA Warns About Stolen Respiratory Medicines

Consumers should be watchful for stolen respiratory medications that may not have been stored or handled properly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.

The medications are Ipratropium Bromide Inhalation Solution, 0.02 percent, and Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution, 0.083 percent, made by Dey L.P., a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. The medications were part of a shipment on a tractor trailer that was stolen in Tampa, Fla., United Press International reported.

The stolen drugs are from the following lots:

  • Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution with the brand name "Dey," lot numbers 9GO4, 9FD8, 9FD9, and 9FE1.
  • Ipratropium Bromide Inhalation Solution with the brand name "Dey," lot numbers F09089, C09119 and C09120.

The FDA said consumers can get more information by contacting Dey at 800-527-4278, UPI reported.


Swine Flu Vaccine Production Lower Than Expected: WHO

Worldwide production of vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu will fall short of the previous maximum prediction of 94 million doses a week because some manufacturers are still making vaccines for seasonal flu, according to the World Health Organization.

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