Health Highlights: Oct. 19, 2016

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

Two Doses of HPV Vaccine Sufficient for Preteens: Panel

Preteens only need two, not three, doses of the HPV vaccine against cervical and certain other types of cancer, a U.S. government panel said Wednesday.

Some experts believe the change from the previously recommended three doses could lead to more youngsters getting vaccinated, the Associated Press reported.

To date, fewer than one-third of 13-year-old girls and boys have received three doses. It can be difficult for parents to get their children to the doctor three times within six months, experts noted.

The panel said recent research has shown that two doses of the leading HPV vaccine, Gardasil 9, are sufficient and can be given a year apart, the AP reported.

HPV (human papillomavirus) is spread through sex and can cause cervical cancer, certain other cancers and genital warts.

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1 Million More People to Gain Private Healthcare Coverage Through Obamacare in 2017: HHS

The number of Americans with private healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act will increase by about 1 million in 2017, the Obama administration predicted Wednesday.

During the coming year, about 11.4 million people will have health plans bought through the law's insurance marketplaces, said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Washington Post reported.

However, some outside experts have said enrollment growth will slow or even reverse next year because some insurers are pulling out of the ACA exchanges and the premiums charged by those that remain are rising in many parts of the country.

Also on Wednesday, HHS said it expects 13.8 million people to choose or automatically be reenrolled in ACA health plans during the coming enrollment season, which is 1.1 million more than during this past year, the Post reported.

As of mid-2016, 10.5 million Americans had coverage, and nearly 85 percent were receiving federal subsidies.

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FDA Probes Possible Link Between Teething Products, Infant Deaths

Ten infant deaths that may linked to homeopathic teething gels and tablets are being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The agency also said it has received reports of seizures, breathing problems, muscle weakness, agitation, excessive sleepiness and lethargy after infants were given the teething products, The New York Times reported.

Last month, the FDA warned parents to stop using the products made or distributed by CVS, Hyland's Homeopathic and other companies. The FDA does not have the power to recall homeopathic teething products, according to agency spokeswoman Lyndsay Meyer.

But "sometimes after further analysis, the adverse events may inform agency decisions to take regulatory action," she told The Times.

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62-Year-Old Spanish Women Has Third Child

A 62-year-old Spanish woman gave birth to her third child on Oct. 10 and the baby is in perfect health.

Baby Lina was conceived through in-vitro fertilization and was 5.3 pounds when she was delivered by cesarean section, the Associated Press reported.

The baby left the hospital with her mother Lina Alvarez on Tuesday.

Alvarez is a doctor and said that women who are healthy enough to have a baby later in life should not be afraid to do so, the AP reported.


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