One more reason not to pick your nose: pneumonia

PARIS, France (AFP) — Parents exasperated by their children constantly ignoring pleas to stop picking their noses, may have finally found an argument to break the habit: it might give you pneumonia. Pneumococcus, the bacteria that causes pneumonia — a lung condition that can prove deadly if untreated — is known to spread through airborne droplets, often from the coughs and sneezes of infected individuals. British scientists said Thursday they had proved for the first […]

Hong Kong research warns of sunscreen health risks

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — New research in Hong Kong has found that UV filters commonly used in sunscreen are polluting surrounding waters and could endanger human health, one of the city’s leading universities said Thursday. An “extensive amount” of seven common UV filter chemicals was found in Hong Kong seawater as well as in fish, shrimps and mussels on aqua-farms, scientists from Hong Kong Baptist University told reporters. “The effect of these contaminants passing […]

Half of women at risk of dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke: study

by Daniel LAWLER Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Nearly half of women and one in three men are at risk of developing stroke or degenerative neurological diseases such as dementia and Parkinson’s during their lifetime, according to a study published Monday. Dutch researchers considered all three conditions “in order to grasp how big the problem of incurable brain diseases in late life really is,” said the study’s senior author Arfan Ikram. “We grouped […]

US, Japan duo win Nobel Medicine Prize for cancer therapy

by Pia OHLIN Agence France Presse STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AFP) — Two immunologists, James Allison of the US and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, won the 2018 Nobel Medicine Prize for research into how the body’s natural defenses can fight cancer, the jury said on Monday. Unlike more traditional forms of cancer treatment that directly target cancer cells — often with severe side-effects — Allison and Honjo figured out how to help the patient’s own immune system […]

Things you should know about Tuberculosis

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) —¬†Videographic on tuberculosis. A global plan to tackle the killer disease will be formally adopted at the first-ever TB summit on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Meanwhile, The struggle to contain the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing a “perfect storm” of challenges, including rebel violence and pre-election manipulation, the UN said.

Many doctors in India miss TB signs: study

by Ivan Couronne Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Many private sector doctors in India miss the signs of tuberculosis and therefore provide patients inadequate treatment, according to a new study published Tuesday involving people hired to act out the symptoms. Tuberculosis or TB, an airborne infection, remains a major public health issue in India, China and Indonesia, among other countries. It killed 1.7 million people in 2017, according to the World Health […]

Implant helps paralyzed man walk again

  by Patrick Galey Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Five years after he was paralyzed in a snowmobile accident, a man in the US has learned to walk again aided by an electrical implant, in a potential breakthrough for spinal injury sufferers. A team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota say the man, using a front-wheeled walker, was able to cover the equivalent of the length of a football pitch, issuing […]

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 […]