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Health Highlights: Jan. 19, 2017

Last Updated: January 19, 2017.

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

Former President George H.W. Bush's Health Improving

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush's health is improving, a family spokesperson said Thursday.

Bush, 92, has been in intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital with a respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia and underwent a procedure Wednesday to protect and clear his airway, CBS News reported.

Bush's 91-year-old wife Barbara is also in the hospital with bronchitis, but is not in the ICU.

"They both got a good night's sleep and are on the upswing," family spokesperson Jim McGrath told CBS News.

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New Global Coalition Will Fight Epidemics

A coalition of private donors, governments and drug companies has raised nearly $500 million to launch a program to fight epidemics before they grow out of control.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations will initially create and stockpile vaccines against three dangerous viruses and support development of new ways to produce large amounts of vaccine when new epidemic threats arise, The New York Times reported.

The coalition includes the Gates Foundation, the governments of Japan and Norway, Britain's Wellcome Trust, the World Health Organization, and six major vaccine makers. Germany, India and the European Commission are also expected to become involved.

The coalition, which will eventually need billions of dollars to achieve its goals, was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The announcement was welcomed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"I've been pushing for a global health emergency fund for years, and half a billion dollars is a good start," he told The Times.

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Three-Parent Baby Born to Infertile Couple

The first baby with DNA from three people to be born to infertile parents was announced by doctors in Ukraine.

The doctors in Kiev fertilized the mother's egg with her partner's sperm and then transferred the combined genes into an egg from a donor, BBC News reported.

The baby girl was born on Jan. 5 and has the genetic identify of her parents, as well as a small amount of DNA from the egg donor.

The baby is the second in the world to be born with DNA from three people. Last year, a baby was born in Mexico after being conceived using DNA from three people.


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