Health Highlights: Feb. 19, 2020

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

A Baby’s Gender is ‘Essentially Random’

Having boys or girls doesn’t run in families, and a baby’s gender is just a matter of chance, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed data on the entire population of Sweden since 1932, and their findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“We found individuals don’t have an innate tendency to have offspring of one or the other gender — instead, the sex of their offspring is essentially random,” said study author Dr. Brendan Zietsch, a fellow at the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology in Australia, CNN reported.

“We can’t rule out the possibility that extreme environmental events, like famine, could affect offspring sex ratios. But we can say for sure that the variability of environments that Swedes born after 1932 experienced did not affect their having boys or girls,” Zietsch said.

“If you have a lot of boys or girls in your family, it’s just a lucky coincidence,” Zietsch concluded, CNN reported.


Japanese Couple on Delta Flight From Hawaii Diagnosed With Coronavirus

Delta Airlines is notifying passengers who were on a Feb. 6 flight from Hawaii to Japan that a Japanese couple on the flight tested positive for novel coronavirus after they returned home.

Delta Flight 611 departed Honolulu and landed in Nagoya after a flight of about 10 hours, CNN reported.

“We are proactively reaching out to customers who were onboard that flight as well as taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our customers and crew,” Delta said Monday.

Hawaiian officials have been tracking the couple’s activities in Hawaii and are trying to identify people who may have had close contact with the man and woman, CNN reported.

They were on Maui from January 28 to February 3, and on Oahu from February 3 until their Delta flight home, according to Hawaiian health officials.

Last Friday — eight days after the couple left Hawaii — Hawaiian health officials said that the man had tested positive for coronavirus in Japan and was being treated at a hospital there, CNN reported.

On the weekend, the Japan Times reported that the man’s wife had also been diagnosed with coronavirus.

People can get sick up to 14 days after exposure to coronavirus, so physicians in Hawaii have been alerted “that it’s possible that cases may surface sometime before” this Friday, two weeks after the Japanese couple left Honolulu, said state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, CNN reported.

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