Health Highlights: July 8, 2015

Health Highlights: July 8, 2015

Health Highlights: July 8, 2015

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

Minnesota Health Officials Investigating Possible Case of Brain-Eating Amoeba

State health officials are investigating if a brain-eating amoeba infected a child while swimming in a Minnesota lake.

The unidentified youngster developed a rare, severe brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which can occur when an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri travels through the nasal cavity to the brain, ABC News reported.

The child developed symptoms after swimming in a lake and remains in critical condition, state health officials said.

While serious, N. fowleri infections are rare. There are zero to eight parasitic amoeba infections in the United States each year and nearly all are fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ABC News reported.


WHO's Response to Ebola Outbreak Slowed by Politics and Bureaucracy: Report

Politics and bureaucracy slowed the World Health Organization's response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, according to a report from an independent, international panel.

It also said the three affected countries -- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea -- acted slowly and that the international community also shares blame because it has underfunded the WHO and left it weak and inept, NBC News reported.

"The Panel believes that this is a defining moment for the health of the global community. WHO must re-establish its pre-eminence as the guardian of global public health; this will require significant changes throughout WHO," the panel wrote.

"The world simply cannot afford another period of inaction until the next health crisis," the panel added.

The WHO didn't declare a health emergency in West Africa until Aug. 8, 2014, months after the Ebola epidemic had started, and WHO officials have admitted several times that they were too slow to act, NBC News reported.

So far, more than 27,500 people have been infected and more than 11,000 have died in the epidemic.
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