Health Highlights: Nov. 12, 2015
Stop Using Facebook, Be Happier: Study U.K. Nurse Who Had Ebola Relapse Now Free of Virus U.S. Proposes Nationwide Ban on Smoking in Public Housing Lawsuit Claims Unwanted Pregnancies From Birth Control Pill Packaging Error
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Stop Using Facebook, Be Happier: Study
Quitting Facebook could make you happier, a new study suggests.
It included more than 1,000 people who were regular Facebook users. Half of them were told not to use the social media site for a week while the other half continued using it, CBS News reported.
The Danish researchers found that 88 percent of participants who stopped using face book said they were happy, compared with 81 percent who continued using it.
Compared to those who continued using Facebook, those who stopped using it were less likely to be worried (54 percent vs. 41 percent) and more likely to say they enjoyed life (75 percent vs. 84 percent), CBS News reported
People on Facebook were 55 percent more likely to feel stressed, the study said.
U.K. Nurse Who Had Ebola Relapse Now Free of Virus
A Scottish nurse who was hospitalized last month after she suffered a relapse of Ebola is now free of the deadly virus and was transferred from the Royal Free Hospital in London to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
Pauline Cafferkey was diagnosed with Ebola after returning from Sierra Leone. She was treated at the Royal Free Hospital and discharged in January. However, she was readmitted to the hospital last month for treatment of meningitis the developed due to lingering Ebola in her body, the Associated Press reported.
She is in stable condition, according to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
Ebola can remain in the body for months, even after patients have recovered, experts say. In West Africa, thousands of Ebola survivors have lingering health problems, the AP reported.
U.S. Proposes Nationwide Ban on Smoking in Public Housing
A proposal to ban smoking in public housing homes across the United States will be announced Thursday by the federal government.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development measure would also prohibit smoking in common areas and administrative offices on public housing property, The New York Times reported.
The policy change would affect nearly one million households.
The federal government began to push for smoking bans in public housing in 2009. Since then, more than 600 agencies with over 200,000 public housing homes have voluntarily prohibited indoor smoking, The Times reported.
Along with reducing residents' exposure to secondhand smoke, a smoking ban in public housing would reduce the risk of fires and lower buidling maintenance costs, federal officials say.
Lawsuit Claims Unwanted Pregnancies From Birth Control Pill Packaging Error
Qualitest Pharmaceuticals is being sued for allegedly mispackaged birth control pills that led to unwanted pregnancies.
The lawsuit includes 113 women from 28 states. They're asking for millions in damages, and some want to be awarded the total cost of raising a child until adulthood, including education expenses, ABC News reported.
The plaintiffs contend the birth control pills were packaged in the wrong order, "rotated 180 degrees ... reversing the weekly tablet orientation."
Due to the error, the women say they took placebo pills intended for the week of menstruation at the wrong time of the month, and were left "without adequate contraception," ABC News reported.
The packaging error prompted Qualitest, a subsidiary of Endo Pharmaceuticals, to announce a voluntary recall of eight brands of birth control pills in September 2011.
"The voluntary recall occurred based on an extremely small number of pill packs that were manufactured by an external contract manufacturer. Endo has been able to confirm only one blister pack that manifested a defect and was sold to a patient. Additionally, courts have dismissed cases arising out of the recall because the plaintiff could not establish that she purchased a defective package," Endo said in a statement to ABC News.