Health Highlights: Feb. 12, 2020

Labeling Error Led to Release of Woman Infected with Coronavirus: U.S. Officials Congo Ebola Outbreak Seems to Be Easing Golf May Be a Recipe for Longevity

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

Labeling Error Led to Release of Woman Infected with Coronavirus: U.S. Officials

A specimen labeling error led to a woman infected with the new coronavirus being mistakenly released from UC San Diego Medical Center on Sunday, officials say.

They said the error was caught as the woman was returning to a San Diego military base where more than 200 evacuees from China are under federal quarantine, the Associated Press reported.

She was among several evacuees who'd been under observation for symptoms at UC San Diego Medical Center and were released on Sunday.

Those patients were isolated on the base until the test results came back, and the woman who tested positive was sent back to the hospital, said Dr. Christopher Braden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention delegation in San Diego, the AP reported.


Congo Ebola Outbreak Seems to Be Easing

Experts are "very encouraged" after just three new Ebola cases were reported in the past week in eastern Congo, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday.

It's an indication that the world's second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history may be weakening after 18 months, the Associated Press reported.

So far, at least 2,249 people have died in the epidemic that began in August 2018.

"But until we have no cases for 42 days, it's not over," Tedros cautioned, the AP reported. "As you know, any single case could re-ignite the epidemic, and the security situation in eastern (Congo) remains extremely fragile. So we take the progress on Ebola with caution, although it's a big success."


Golf May Be a Recipe for Longevity

If you're a senior, playing golf regularly may do more than improve your swing: New research suggests it could reduce your risk of early death.

Researchers followed nearly 5,900 adults, 65 and older, for 10 years and found that those who were regular golf players (at least once a month) were more than 8% less likely to die from any cause than non-golfers, CNN reported.

The study will be presented later this month at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.

Golf is an option for older adults who want to be physically active, according to researchers from the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Institute.

"The intensity level of the activity is such that it can be maintained for a longer period of time, and it's something that maintains the interest of the individuals so people can continue it on a regular basis," study author Dr. Adnan Qureshi, a neurology professor at the University of Missouri, told CNN.

But an expert who wasn't involved in the study said he doesn't "think we can conclude from this study that golf reduced the risk of early death," because it didn't consider other factors about non-golfers such as smoking or other unhealthy lifestyle habits, and it didn't say whether regular golfers walked or used golf carts while out on the links.

"Other studies have consistently shown that physical activity of any intensity is associated with a reduced risk of death," Ulf Ekelund, a sports medicine professor at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, told CNN.

"If older individuals like to play golf, they should continue, but I am sure regular walking is equally good for health and longevity," Ekelund added.

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