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Health Highlights: Nov. 11 2016

Young Women Have Highest Zika Infection Rate in Puerto Rico Leonard Cohen Dead at 82 DEA to Ban Deadly Drug Called Pink

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

Young Women Have Highest Zika Infection Rate in Puerto Rico

Women of childbearing age have the highest rate of Zika infection in Puerto Rico, researchers say.

They analyzed data on confirmed and reported cases of Zika across the U.S. island territory and found that the highest incidence was among those ages 20-29, and that women accounted for more than 60 percent of cases in that age group, NBC News reported.

The results raise questions about the role of sexual transmission in the spread of Zika, which is mostly carried by mosquitoes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers.

"Similar observations have been made in Bahia state (Brazil) and El Salvador, where, overall, the reported incidence of clinically suspected Zika virus disease cases was 75 percent higher in females than in males," the researchers wrote, NBC Newsw reported.

"Although male-to-female and female-to-male sexual transmission has been documented, data from Rio de Janeiro suggest that differences in infection rates between men and women might be explained by male-to-female sexual transmission. The same explanations might be responsible for the observed trends in Puerto Rico."

There is no vaccine to protect against Zika, which can cause serious birth defects, a rare paralyzing disorder and other health problems, NBC News reported.


Leonard Cohen Dead at 82

Renowned singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at age 82.

His death was announced Thursday night on his Facebook page and confirmed by his record label, Sony Music. No details on the cause were available, The New York Times reported.

"My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records. He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor," the artist's son and producer Adam Cohen said.

Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal, Canada on Sept. 21, 1934. In the late 1960s, he abandoned a promising literary career to become one of the leading songwriters of his era, according to The Times. His musical career spanned nearly five decades.


DEA to Ban Deadly Drug Called Pink

The U.S. government announced Thursday that it will ban a deadly synthetic opioid drug called Pink.

The drug, also known as U-47700, is easily bought online and has been linked to 46 deaths, most of them in New York and North Carolina, NBC News reported.

Pink will be placed onto Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act for drugs with no medical use and a high risk of abuse, the Drug Enforcement Administration said.

That classification, which also covers drugs such as heroin, LSD and ecstasy, will enable law enforcement officials to take action against Pink, NBC News reported.

Some states have outlawed Pink, but until the DEA ban takes effect, it will still be available legally online.

"This stuff is so powerful that if you touch it, you could go into cardiac arrest," Park City, Utah Police Chief Wade Carpenter told NBC News in September after the deaths of two 13-year-old boys who used the drug. "The problem is if you have a credit card and a cell phone, you have access to it."

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