Health Highlights: Aug. 18, 201408/18/14
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Cyber Attack Affects 4.5 Million Patients' Data
About 4.5 million patients' data was affected during a cyber
attack in April and June that targeted Community Health Systems
Inc., the rural hospital operator said Monday.
The attacker, believed to be based in China, bypassed Community
Health System's security measures and copied and transferred data
outside the company, the
Wall Street Journalreported.
The data -- which was nonmedical patient identification
information related to the company's physician practice operations
-- includes patient names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers
and social security numbers. It does not include their credit card,
medical or clinical information, according to Community Health.
The company said it is notifying affected patients and
Liberia Ebola Clinic Attack Could Harm Efforts to Control
An attack on an Ebola quarantine center in Liberia's capital and
the possible disappearance of a number of patients could be a major
setback in efforts to contain and halt the outbreak of the deadly
An angry mob ransacked the quarantine center in Monrovia
Saturday evening and there are conflicting reports about what
happened to the patients. Twenty-nine patients were moved to
another medical facility, according to Assistant Health Minister
However, Jina Moore, a journalist for
Buzzfeedwho is in Monrovia, told
BBC Newsthat 10 patients were taken away by relatives on
Friday night and 17 patients escaped during Saturday's attack on
the quarantine center.
The protesters who attacked the quarantine center in Monrovia's
West Point township were upset that Ebola patients were being
brought in from other parts of the capital, according to
Other sources of information indicate that people in mob
believed Ebola is a hoax and wanted the quarantine center shut
Halting the spread of Ebola in Liberia is the key to ending the
outbreak, according to experts. There are high levels of ignorance
about the virus in the country and many people are hesitant about
cooperating with health workers.
A senior police officer said that blood-stained mattresses,
bedding and medical equipment were looted from the quarantine
center, which could spread Ebola throughout the West Point
"This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen in my life," he told BBC News. "All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients."
As of Friday, the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West
Africa was 1,145, with more than 400 deaths known to have occurred
in Liberia. The outbreak began in Guinea in February and spread to
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. So far, there have been 2,127
confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization.
'Ice Bucket Challenge' Boosts Donations to ALS Association
The "Ice Bucket Challenge" that's sweeping social media has
triggered a surge of donations to the ALS Association.
Between July 29 and Aug. 17, the association has received $13.3
million in donations, compared with $1.7 million during the same
period last year. The group also said it had about 260,000 new
The New York Timesreported.
It began when a video of 29-year-old ALS patient Pete Frates
dumping a bucket of ice on his head was posted on Facebook. ALS
(amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) -- also called Lou Gehrig's disease
-- is an incurable neurodegenerative disease that eventually leads
to total paralysis and death. It affects about 30,000
After Frates' video was posted, it prompted many others to make
a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice on their heads and
then challenging friends to do the same within 24 hours or donate
$100 to ALS. Many people do both,
Those taking part include celebrities and well-known business
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