Health

Two treated for deadly pneumonic plague in Beijing

BEIJING, China (AFP) — Two people in Beijing have been diagnosed with the pneumonic plague — a rare instance of the highly-contagious disease that is fatal if left untreated. The two individuals were being treated at a central hospital in China’s capital city — home to over 21 million inhabitants — on Tuesday, local authorities said. Pneumonic plague can prove fatal in 24 to 72 hours and is the “most virulent form of plague,” according […]

WHO prequalifies first Ebola vaccine

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said it had prequalified an Ebola vaccine for the first time, hailing a “critical step” towards its licensing, access and roll-out in countries most at risk of outbreaks. “This is the fastest vaccine prequalification process ever conducted by WHO,” it said in a statement, explaining that “prequalification means that the vaccine meets WHO standards for quality, safety, and efficacy.” The announcement comes hot on […]

E-cigs may damage the heart, study says

by Elizabeth DONOVAN PARIS, France (AFP) — Vaping devices and the chemicals they deliver — increasingly popular among teens — may damage the cardiovascular system, a study said Thursday, adding to a growing chorus of concern over injury and deaths related to e-cigarettes. The latest findings, published in the journal Cardiovascular Research, come after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month declared an “outbreak of lung injuries” linked to vaping. “E-cigarettes contain […]

Garbage crisis brings cholera to Yemen’s historic Taez

TAEZ, Yemen (AFP) — Mounds of stinking garbage line the streets of Yemen’s historic city of Taez, once renowned as one of the most beautiful places in the country, but now torn apart by war. The city in the highlands of southwestern Yemen has become a breeding ground for mosquitos as well as deadly outbreaks of diseases like cholera, as decaying refuse leaches into waterways. Yemen, long the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula, has […]

Researchers move closer to new vaccine for killer TB

  by Glenda KWEK Agence France Presse HYDERABAD, India (AFP) — Scientists said Tuesday they are closing in on a new game-changing vaccine for tuberculosis, the world’s deadliest infectious disease that claimed some 1.5 million lives last year. A chronic lung disease that is curable, TB was one of the top 10 killers worldwide last year, particularly in developing countries. The existing Bacille-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine — licensed for humans in 1921 — is only proven […]

1-in-3 young children undernourished or overweight: UNICEF

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — A third of the world’s nearly 700 million children under five years old are undernourished or overweight and face lifelong health problems as a consequence, according to a grim UN assessment of childhood nutrition released Tuesday. “If children eat poorly, they live poorly,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, unveiling the Fund’s first State of the World’s Children report since 1999. “We are losing ground in the fight […]

FIFA to organize ‘big event’ in fight against AIDS, malaria and TB

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AFP) — FIFA are organizing an event to raise funds and awareness to tackle AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, their president Gianni Infantino told AFP on Friday. Infantino said the idea was in response to Thursday’s announcement that governments, philanthropists and private firms had pledged just over $14 billion for a plan to save 16 million lives. The money was promised at a replenishment meeting in Lyon, France, of the Global Fund to Fight […]

Number of people killed by vaping in US hits 26

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Twenty-six people have died from illnesses associated with e-cigarette use since March, US health authorities said Thursday, while some 1,300 have suffered lung injuries linked to vaping. Officials have yet to identify the cause for the outbreak, which dates back to late March, and are pursuing multiple lines of investigation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 26 deaths in 21 states had now been linked to vaping, […]

US state upholds e-cigarette ban amid vaping deaths

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The US state of Massachusetts upheld a ban on e-cigarettes Friday amid a spate of deaths and injuries linked to vaping across the country. Eighteen deaths in 15 states had now been positively linked to vaping since March, from a total of 1,080 illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials in Connecticut also announced a further death in that state on Friday. Massachusetts became […]

US measles cases exceed 1,200 but elimination status maintained

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — More than 1,200 people have been sickened with measles this year, the highest number since 1992, US health authorities said Friday, though the infectious childhood disease officially remains “eliminated” after the worst-hit region contained its outbreak. New York health officials Thursday declared the end of the state’s nearly year-long epidemic, which accounted for 75 percent of cases nationwide, and occurred mostly among unvaccinated children in Orthodox Jewish communities. Before the […]

Vaping-linked lung injury kills 18, sickens 1,080 in US outbreak

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Eighteen people have died from illnesses associated with e-cigarette use since March, US health authorities said Thursday, while more than a thousand others have suffered probable lung injuries linked to vaping. Officials have yet to identify the cause for the outbreak, which dates back to late March, and are pursuing multiple lines of investigation. A report by clinicians in North Carolina last month pointed to the inhalation of fatty […]

Bacteria-infected Brazilian mosquitoes pack a punch in dengue fight

by Allison JACKSON RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — Dengue-resistant mosquitoes breed in a Rio de Janeiro laboratory, producing offspring infected with bacteria packing a punch in the fight against the deadly virus, which is exploding across Brazil this year. Scientists are using Wolbachia, a bacteria common among insects except for the dengue-transmitting Aedes aegypti mosquito, to dent the spread of the debilitating virus and other illnesses including Zika and chikungunya. Since 2015, the Fiocruz […]