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Chlorine Leak Poisons 56 in Georgia

Fifty-six people including six children have been hospitalized in Georgia with chlorine poisoning after a storage tank leaked overnight in a suburb of the capital Tbilisi, officials said Wednesday.

"At around midnight in the Lilo district of Tbilisi there was a leak from a chlorine container. As a result, 56 people were poisoned and taken to hospital," interior ministry spokesman Zurab Gvenetadze told Agence France Presse.

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Methadone Linked to 30 Percent of Painkiller Overdoses

The prescription drug methadone is linked to over 30 percent of painkiller overdose deaths, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Tuesday.

"Death from opioid overdose have increased four-fold in the past decade, and methadone now accounts for nearly a third of opioid-associated deaths," said CDC Director Thomas Frieden.

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Concern Grows Over H1N1 Outbreak in Bolivia

An epidemic of H1N1 flu has infected almost 900 people and claimed 11 lives in Bolivia, health officials said Tuesday.

Although most of the cases occurred in the last few weeks, the outbreak does not rise to the level of a national epidemic, officials said.

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Cuba's First Cholera Outbreak in 130 Years Kills Three

An outbreak of cholera in eastern Cuba has killed at least three people, 130 years after the last known case of the disease was reported on the island.

Health workers have identified 53 people infected with the illness in the coastal town of Manzanillo.

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New Study Nets Eight New Genes for Osteoarthritis

The biggest probe yet into the inherited causes of osteoarthritis has turned up eight genes associated with this painful disease, bringing the tally of suspects to 11, The Lancet reported on Tuesday.

Researchers led by John Loughlin at Newcastle University, northeast England, compared the DNA code of more than 7,400 people with severe hip and knee osteoarthritis against that of more than 11,000 counterparts who did not have the disease.

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Mexico Declares Bird Flu 'Emergency'

The Mexican government declared a national animal health emergency on Monday in the face of an aggressive bird flu epidemic that has infected nearly 1.7 million poultry.

More than half the infected birds have died or been culled, the agriculture ministry said of an epidemic that was confirmed on Friday by the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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GlaxoSmithKline Fined $3 bn in U.S. for Health Fraud

GlaxoSmithKline was socked with $3 billion in fines by U.S. authorities Monday over charges it marketed drugs for unauthorized uses, held back safety data, and cheated the government's Medicaid program.

In a longstanding case that officials said bared the ugly underside of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, GSK was also accused of paying kickbacks to doctors, paying for expensive trips and other benefits, to gain their support for the drugs the company was pushing.

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Study: S.Africa Gripped By 'Fear Of Missing Out' Epidemic

Two-thirds of South African teens and adults suffer from a "fear of missing out" on more interesting activities than what they're doing, a study by a pharmaceutical firm showed on Monday.

Over 62 percent of some 3,000 respondents aged between 15 and 50 years said in a nationwide survey that they live in "constant fear" of missing out on something more exciting than what they are doing.

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Early Full-Term Babies May Face Later School Woes

Even for infants born full-term, a little more time in the womb may matter.

The extra time results in more brain development, and a study suggests perhaps better scores on academic tests, too.

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Breathalyzer Tests Obligatory on All Vehicles in France

All vehicles travelling on French roads must carry a chemical or electronic breathalyzer test from Sunday, under new rules aimed at reducing alcohol-driven accidents.

"Alcohol has been the main cause of mortality on roads since 2006," according to road security authorities.

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