Health Highlights: Dec. 16, 2008

Some of the patients had a one-time training session at home while others had hospital pulmonary training to improve shortness of breath and quality of life. Both programs yielded the same results, CBC News reported.

"Our results prove that home-based rehabilitation is just as effective and safe as that provided in hospitals. What's more, it is a real benefit to patients in comparison to a strictly pharmacological treatment," said study author Dr. Francois Maltais of the Hopital Laval in Quebec.

Along with the economic benefits of home therapy, improvements in patients' physical condition reduced the number of hospital visits, CBC News reported.

The study was published online in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Zimbabwe Cholera Death Toll 978: U.N.

The death toll in Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak now stands at 978, a 25 percent increase over three days ago, according to the United Nations. The UN also said there have been 18,413 suspected cholera cases since the outbreak began in August, BBC News reported.

The worst-hit area is the capital Harare, with 208 confirmed deaths and 8,454 suspected cases, said the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which estimated that up to 60,000 people in the country may eventually be affected by the disease.

The cholera outbreak has spread quickly in Zimbabwe due to serious problems with the health care and water systems. The South African Red Cross has sent a truckload of medical supplies to treat cholera patients and has issued an urgent appeal to fund supplies to treat a total of 30,000 people, BBC News reported.

Last week, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said the cholera outbreak had been halted.

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