For Thursday, Oct. 5, WGN’s Dina Bair has new medical information, including:

Vaccine could protect women during pregnancy

A virus that plagues pregnant women can lead to devastating results, including the loss of a pregnancy or severe birth defects. 

Tulane University doctors say they have made a discovery that could stop the virus from ever taking hold. 

Women who are exposed early to Cytomegalovirus (CMV) have a reduced threat when they become pregnant. 

The common herpes virus can be contracted before women become pregnant and causes no side effects. But it can be passed to a developing fetus. 

Knowing prior exposure can protect the mother and baby. Researchers say they have a target for developing a CMV vaccine.  

The full study is in the journal PLOS One.

Study: Diabetes drugs used for weight loss can pose serious threat

Weight loss drugs that have become a craze for celebrities and anyone hoping to shed pounds, could cause serious stomach damage. 

The University of British Columbia has conducted the first epidemiological study of GLP-1 agonist drugs including Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus. 

Originally developed to help diabetics, the drugs’ weight loss benefits caused others to seek them out. Yet the medications can lead to stomach paralysis, pancreatitis and bowel obstruction.

Prior studies pointed to the risk in diabetics. This is the first study to highlight the threat to gastrointestinal conditions in non-diabetic patients taking the drugs for weight loss. 

Chemotherapy drug shortage continues

A real threat for cancer patients, drug shortages are impacting treatment. 

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network found that despite access to carboplatin and cisplatin slightly improving, the anti-cancer drugs are still scarce. 

Seventy-two percent of cancer centers in the US are running low on carboplatin and 59 percent are experiencing a shortage of cisplatin. 

The anti-cancer drugs are prescribed for hundreds of different cancers. 

Overall 86 percent of cancer centers have a shortage of at least one type of chemotherapy drug.

Sign up for our Medical Watch newsletter. This daily update includes important information from WGN’s Dina Bair and the Med Watch team including the latest updates from health organizations, in-depth reporting on advancements in medical technology and treatments as well as personal features related to people in the medical field. Sign up here.