Canada opioid deaths hits 8,000; overdose deaths mainly from fentanyl use

OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) — More than 1,000 Canadians died of an apparent opioid overdose in the first three months of this year, bringing the toll since the public health crisis erupted in 2016 to 8,000, the public health agency said Tuesday. “The latest data suggest that the crisis is not abating,” the agency said in a statement. “We want to emphasize that the current crisis does not discriminate,” it said. “It impacts people from all […]

Microplastics may enter foodchain through mosquitoes

  PARIS, France (AFP) — Mosquito larvae have been observed ingesting microplastics that can be passed up the food chain, researchers said Wednesday, potentially uncovering a new way that the polluting particles could damage the environment. Microplastics — tiny plastic shards broken down from man-made products such as synthetic clothing, car tyres and contact lenses — litter much of the world’s oceans. Hard to spot and harder to collect, they can seriously harm marine wildlife […]

5.2 million children at famine risk in Yemen: charity

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — More than five million children are at risk of famine in Yemen as the ongoing war causes food and fuel prices to soar across the country, charity Save the Children warned Wednesday. Disruption to supplies coming through the embattled Red Sea port of Hodeida could “cause starvation on an unprecedented scale,” the British based NGO said in a new report. Save the Children said an extra one million children now […]

Cholera death toll climbs to 28 in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AFP) — The death toll in Zimbabwe’s cholera outbreak has risen to 28, state media said Sunday, as the health minister announced new antibiotics were being used after the disease strain was found to be resistant to some drugs. The cholera outbreak, first detected in a township outside the capital Harare earlier this month, prompted the government to declare an emergency in the city after at least 3,000 cases were reported. “Although I cannot […]

Simple blood test may reveal your body’s inner clock

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Ever feel like it’s 7 am, even though the clock says 9 am? A team of researchers at Northwestern University said Monday they have designed a blood test that can measure a person’s inner body clock within 1.5 hours, an advance that may help personalize medical treatments in the future. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a peer-reviewed US journal. The “circadian […]

Poor healthcare behind 6 out of 10 preventable deaths: study

by Hazel WARD Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Nearly six in 10 deaths from treatable conditions in low- and middle-income countries result from low-quality healthcare — a bigger killer than insufficient access to treatment, researchers said Wednesday. Every year, about five million people in these countries die as a result of sub-standard care, according to a report published by The Lancet medical journal. This was out of 8.6 million total deaths from treatable conditions, […]

1.4 billion risk disease from lack of exercise: WHO

  by Patrick Galey Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — More than 1.4 billion adults are putting themselves at heightened risk of deadly diseases by not getting enough exercise, doctors are warning, with global activity levels virtually unchanged in nearly two decades. With richer nations enjoying an increasingly comfortable, sedentary lifestyle, a study by the World Health Organization said a third of women and a quarter of men worldwide are in the firing line […]

China culls 38,000 pigs as swine fever spreads

BEIJING, China (AFP)–More than 38,000 pigs have been culled across China, state media said Sunday, as the world’s largest pork producer scrambles to contain an outbreak of African swine fever. The disease has been discovered in five Chinese provinces, the official Xinhua news service reported, quoting statistics from the country’s ministry of agriculture. China reported its first case of the disease in August in northeast Liaoning province. Since then the disease has moved south, with […]

Millions risk malnutrition as CO2 levels climb: study

by Marlowe Hood Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the air threaten to sap wheat, rice, and other staple grains of valuable nutrients, raising the specter of mass malnutrition, researchers warned Monday. On current trends, higher CO2 concentrations could reduce iron, zinc and protein levels in the crops that feed the world by up to 17 percent by mid-century, they reported in the journal Nature Climate Change. “Hundreds of […]

Fish oil supplements don’t ward off heart disease: study

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP)–Fish oil supplements do not help prevent heart attacks or strokes in people with diabetes, said a study Monday that adds to a growing body of research on the ineffectiveness of pills containing omega-3 fatty acids. More than 15,000 people with diabetes but no signs of heart disease enrolled in the study in Britain, the results of which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Half the participants were given […]

Sleep shown to be linked to externalizing behavioral difficulties in children: a study review

  By David Oria There exist a large body of research in the area of childhood psychology that has examined the effects of sleep on behavioral issues in adolescents. In many of these studies, the behavioral problems explored were categorized into two: internalizing difficulties or externalizing difficulties. In the world of psychology, internalizing difficulties are behaviors that result from difficulty coping with negative emotions or stressful situations, so they directed inward (eg. withdrawal, loneliness, fearfulness, […]