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Health Highlights: Aug. 1, 2019

No-Tobacco Policy for New City Workers in Dayton First Ebola Transmission in Congo City of Goma Trial Tests CRISPR Gene-Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

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

No-Tobacco Policy for New City Workers in Dayton

A strict no-tobacco policy for new city workers has been implemented by Dayton, Ohio.

Those hired after July 15 are prohibited from using nicotine or tobacco. Job candidates will be tested and those with positive results will have to undergo treatment to stop their tobacco/nicotine use. If they again test positive at the end of their probationary period, they'll be fired, CNN reported.

There will be no random testing for nicotine or tobacco. Workers hired after July 15 will be tested only for "reasonable suspicion."

An employee who tests positive for nicotine or tobacco must have treatment to help them quit, or they could be reprimanded or fired. A second positive test would lead to immediate dismissal, CNN reported.

The policy defines tobacco and nicotine use as "inhaling, exhaling, burning, vaping, any lighted cigar, cigarette, and e-cigarette or pipe, chewing or any other type of tobacco use."


First Ebola Transmission in Congo City of Goma

The first transmission of the Ebola virus in Congo's major city of Goma was announced Thursday by the country's health ministry.

It said the disease has been confirmed in the 1-year-old daughter of a man who died of Ebola on Wednesday. The man had symptoms for several days while at home with his large family, CBS News reported.

Goma has more than 2 million people and is located on the border with Rwanda. Health officials are trying to identify and vaccinate people who had contact with the man, as well as contacts of those contacts.

The death of the man in Goma "in such a dense population center underscores the very real risk of further disease transmission, perhaps beyond the country's borders, and the very urgent need" for more global support, United Nations agencies said in a joint statement, CBS News reported.

Rwanda has closed its border with Congo due to the Ebola outbreak that's entering its second year.

The outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people and is the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. Children have accounted for nearly one-third of the deaths, CBS News reported.

Last month, the outbreak was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization.


Trial Tests CRISPR Gene-Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

A U.S. clinical trial of CRISPR gene-editing to treat people with sickle cell disease is underway.

It seeks to recruit up to 45 adults with severe sickle cell disease, a group of inherited blood disorders, CNN reported.

Sickle cell disease can cause pain, anemia, blindness, organ damage and shorten a person's life.

The trial will use CRISPR in an attempt to boost production of a different kind of hemoglobin (fetal hemoglobin) that makes it harder for cells to sickle and stick together, CNN reported.

Sickle cell disease affects about 100,000 Americans, most of African ancestry or identifying as black.

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