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Health Highlights: Dec. 12, 2014

Mali's Last Ebola Patient Released From Hospital Antipsycotic Drug Ziprasidone Can Cause Dangerous Skin Reaction: FDA Ebola Vaccine Trial in Switzerland Suspended

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

Mali's Last Ebola Patient Released From Hospital

The last Ebola patient in Mali was released from hospital on Thursday after several tests for the deadly disease came back negative, health officials say.

The country had eight recorded cases of Ebola, but now has no confirmed or suspected cases. However, 26 people who had contact with Ebola patients are still being monitored, the Associated Press reported.

It can take up to 21 days for a person infected with Ebola to show symptoms, and a country is not declared Ebola-free until 42 days have passed since anyone had contact with a confirmed or probable case of the disease.

More than 18,100 people have been sickened and about 6,500 of them have died in the current Ebola outbreak, the AP reported. The vast majority of cases have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.


Antipsycotic Drug Ziprasidone Can Cause Dangerous Skin Reaction: FDA

The antipsychotic medicine Geodon (ziprasidone) and generic versions of the drug can cause a rare, dangerous skin reaction that can progress to affect other parts of the body, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

The agency has ordered that ziprasidone's label carry a new warning about this condition, called Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS).

Patients who are taking ziprasidone and develop a fever with a rash and/or swollen lymph glands should seek immediate medical care. If DRESS is suspected, doctors should immediately take patients off the drug, the FDA said.

DRESS can lead to inflammation of the liver, kidney, lungs, heart or pancreas, and possibly death.

Ziprasidone is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.


Ebola Vaccine Trial in Switzerland Suspended

Tests on an Ebola vaccine have been temporarily halted after some participants reported concerning side effects, Swiss scientists say.

The clinical trial involving 59 people began in November, but was suspended after four cases of mild joint pain in the hands and feet of volunteers who received the vaccine 10 to 15 days earlier, the Associated Press reported.

The trial was suspended "as a precautionary measure," and is scheduled to resume in January after a review of the side effects, according to a statement released Thursday by the Hopitaux Universitaires de Geneve.

The same vaccine is being tested in the United States, Canada, Germany and Gabon. It was developed by the Canadian government and is licensed by NewLink and Merck, the AP reported.

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