Health Highlights: April 21, 2016

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

Republicans Propose Partial Funding of Obama’s Request for Zika Funds

Republican leaders in Congress are proposing to provide $1.1 billion of President Barack Obama’s request for $1.9 billion in funding to slow the spread of the Zika virus and develop a vaccine against it, according to Democrats.

The measure was circulating Wednesday and being worked on with Democrats in advance of an Appropriations panel meeting Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

The measure has not been finalized and is part of ongoing negotiations.

The Zika issue is “in play” for a Thursday Appropriations panel vote, top Democrat member Barbara Mikulski of Maryland told the AP on Wednesday.

“I think we’re working toward something that could produce results even this week,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who is responsible for a panel that oversees the bulk of the request.

Republicans control Congress and are under increasing pressure to respond to Obama’s request for funding to fight Zika, which can cause severe birth defects and is expected to become a more serious threat in coming months, the AP reported.


Ten Cases of Rare Bloodstream Infection Reported in Illinois

A cluster of rare bloodstream infections was discovered by Illinois health officials while investigating an outbreak in Wisconsin.

An additional 10 cases of infection from the bacterium Elizabethkingia were announced Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health, including six deaths, the Associated Press reported.

Most cases occurred this year, but some date back to 2014.

The strain of Elizabethkingia in the Illinois cases is different from the one in the Wisconsin outbreak. One death in Illinois linked to the same strain in Wisconsin was previously confirmed, the AP reported.

The cases in Illinois were identified when hospitals in that state were asked to help with the investigation into the Wisconsin outbreak.

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