First patient to get gene-edited pig kidney transplant dies

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2024 (AFP) – The first living patient to receive a genetically modified pig kidney transplant has died two months after the procedure, the US hospital that carried it out said. “Mass General is deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Mr. Rick Slayman. We have no indication that it was the result of his recent transplant,” the Boston hospital said in a statement issued late Saturday. In a world first, surgeons at […]

WHO says US keeping them updated on bird flu outbreak

  GENEVA, April 30, 2024 (AFP) – The WHO said Tuesday it was being frequently updated by Washington about the bird flu outbreak in the United States — the only country so far where dairy cows have been infected. Earlier this month, US authorities said a person working on a dairy farm in Texas was recovering from bird flu after having been exposed to cattle. “We have been receiving information and we have been receiving […]

Philips settles US sleep machine cases for $1.1 billion

THE HAGUE, April 29, 2024 (AFP) – Dutch medical device maker Philips said Monday it had reached a $1.1 billion deal in the United States to settle lawsuits over faulty sleep machines in a case that has rocked the company. Since 2021, the company has been battling a series of crises over its DreamStation machines for sleep apnoea, a disorder in which breathing stops and starts during sleep. Earlier this year, the company said it […]

Nestle denies ‘double standard’ on baby food in poorer countries

ZURICH (AFP) – Nestle denied Thursday that it was applying any “double standard” after an NGO accused the Swiss food giant of selling baby food with high levels of added sugar in low-income countries but not in wealthier nations. “There is no double standard,” the company said in a statement. “We apply the same nutrition, health and wellness principles everywhere.” In a report published last week, Swiss NGO Public Eye said that “two of the […]

Japan anime studio draws on talent of autistic artists

By Harumi OZAWA KYOTO, Japan, April 26, 2024 (AFP) – Diagnosed with autism, Shoko Sakuma says she struggled working in accounting but now she is putting her childhood love of drawing to work in a special Japanese animation studio. The groundbreaking initiative aims to provide job training and confidence to people with autism who can find it hard to cope in Japan’s often high-stress and long-hours work environment. “I was really bad at numbers, which […]

Use of alcohol and e-cigarettes among youth ‘alarming’: WHO

By Camille BAS-WOHLERT COPENHAGEN, April 24, 2024 (AFP) – The widespread use of alcohol and e-cigarettes among adolescents is “alarming”, according to a report released on Thursday by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) European branch, which recommended measures to limit access. Based on survey data from 280,000 young people aged 11, 13 and 15 in Europe, Central Asia and Canada, the WHO said it showed a “concerning picture” of substance use among young people. “The […]

Bird flu viral fragments found in pasteurized milk: US officials

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2024 (AFP) – US health authorities said Tuesday they had discovered fragments of bird flu virus in the nation’s pasteurized cow milk supply during the course of a large study, but the samples likely posed no health risk to humans. An outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has spread among dairy cattle herds throughout the country and infected one human, who had mild symptoms. Though the H5N1 strain of HPAI has […]

A ‘healthy addiction’: sea saunas make waves in Ireland

By Peter MURPHY DUNGARVAN, Ireland (AFP) – For Sharon Fidgeon, a regular visitor to Ireland’s increasingly popular beach saunas, her weekend sessions “have become a healthy addiction” that tap into a centuries-old Irish tradition of toning up by getting sweaty. On sandy Clonea beach on Ireland’s wind-battered Atlantic coast, the 52-year-old artist told AFP that alternating between the sauna and freezing seawater makes her feel “so incredibly alive”. “Once you get down in the sea […]

H5N1 strain of bird flu found in milk: WHO

GENEVA, April 19, 2024 (AFP) – The H5N1 bird flu virus strain has been detected in very high concentrations in raw milk from infected animals, the WHO said Friday, though how long the virus can survive in milk is unknown. Avian influenza A(H5N1) first emerged in 1996 but since 2020, the number of outbreaks in birds has grown exponentially, alongside an increase in the number of infected mammals. The strain has led to the deaths […]

Japan doctors sue Google Maps over ‘punching bag’ reviews

By Tomohiro OSAKI TOKYO, April 19, 2024 (AFP) – Around 60 doctors in Japan have accused Google Maps of ignoring vitriolic reviews of their clinics in a class-action lawsuit touted as the first of its kind. The medics are seeking 1.4 million yen ($9,000) in total damages from Google in a bid to hold the US tech titan accountable for inaction over the reviews. They sued the company on Thursday, saying they are powerless to […]

Human cases of bird flu ‘an enormous concern’: WHO

The World Health Organization voiced alarm Thursday at the growing spread of H5N1 bird flu to new species, including humans, who face an “extraordinarily high” mortality rate. “This remains I think an enormous concern,” the UN health agency’s chief scientist Jeremy Farrar told reporters in Geneva. The current bird flu outbreak began in 2020 and has led to the deaths of tens of millions of poultry, with wild birds also infected as well as land […]

Women’s bodies being turned into ‘battlegrounds’: UN

By Agnès PEDRERO GENEVA, April 17, 2024 (AFP) – Women’s bodies have become political “battlegrounds”, putting at risk 30 years of progress on sexual and reproductive health for women and girls, the UN warned Wednesday. Though maternal mortality rates and unwanted pregnancy rates have been steadily falling, progress is now slowing or even flatlining on key measures, said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency. Thirty years ago, at […]