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Health Highlights: Jan. 9, 2015

Two Ebola Vaccines Seem Safe: WHO Teen's Rights Not Violated by Forced Chemotherapy: Court Bird Flu Prompts Poultry Quarantine in Washington State

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

Two Ebola Vaccines Seem Safe: WHO

Two leading Ebola vaccines seem safe and clinical trials with healthy volunteers in West Africa will begin soon, according to the World Health Organization.

It says there is now enough data to show that the two most advanced Ebola vaccines have an "acceptable safety profile," the Associated Press reported.

One vaccine is made by GlaxoSmithKline and the other licensed by Merck and NewLink. Several other Ebola vaccines are being developed in the United States and elsewhere.

"(T)he cupboard (for Ebola vaccines) is filling up rapidly," Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, who leads WHO's Ebola vaccine efforts, said at a media briefing Friday, the AP reported.


Teen's Rights Not Violated by Forced Chemotherapy: Court

A 17-year-old girl's rights are not being violated by forcing her to undergo cancer chemotherapy she says she doesn't want, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Jackie Fortin, the mother of the girl known in court documents only as Cassandra C., agreed with her daughter's decision to refuse chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma. The teen will be able to make her own medical decisions when she turns 18 in September, the Associated Press reported.

Cassandra was diagnosed with cancer in September and doctors said chemotherapy would give her an 85 percent chance of survival. Without chemotherapy, she was almost certain to die within two years.

The girl is confined in a room at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford and being forced to undergo chemotherapy, the AP reported.

After the court's decision, Fortin and her lawyer said they are considering their next move. Fortin said she wouldn't allow her daughter to die, and just wants to see alternative treatment that doesn't include putting the "poison" of chemotherapy into her daughter's body.

After Cassandra's diagnosis in September, she missed several medical appointments. That led doctors to notify child welfare officials, who were granted temporary custody of the girl. She underwent two days of chemotherapy in November but ran away for a week. Her treatment resumed in mid-December, the AP reported.


Bird Flu Prompts Poultry Quarantine in Washington State

An emergency quarantine for domestic poultry and eggs in the southeast part of Washington state has been implemented to control highly contagious bird flu, state officials say.

The quarantine that took effect Wednesday covers an area within 20 miles of two Benton County locations where backyard flocks of turkeys, chickens and ducks were found to have the disease, the Associated Press reported.

No poultry can be moved out of the quarantine areas, officials said.

The disease isn't dangerous to people, but is deadly to birds. The quarantine was implemented in an attempt to protect commercial poultry operations, the AP reported.

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