First case of human-to-animal transmission: WHO urges caution after dog catches monkeypox

by Nina LARSON Agence France Presse The World Health Organization called Wednesday for people infected with monkeypox to avoid exposing animals to the virus following a first reported case of human-to-dog transmission. A first case of human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox — between two men and their Italian greyhound living together in Paris — was reported last week in the medical journal The Lancet. “This is the first case reported of human-to-animal transmission… and we believe […]

Dead Indian soldier found after 38 years on ‘world’s highest battlefield’

NEW DELHI, India  (AFP) – The body of an Indian soldier who went missing 38 years ago on a glacier on the disputed border with Pakistan has been found. A unit of the Indian Army tweeted pictures of the coffin of Chander Shekhar wrapped in an Indian flag early Wednesday, two days after India celebrated the 75th anniversary of independence. The Army said Shekhar was deployed for Operation Meghdoot in 1984 when India and Pakistan […]

US makes hearing aids over-the-counter to curb costs

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) – Over-the-counter hearing aids will for the first time be available to tens of millions of Americans, officials said Tuesday, in an effort to cut prices from $5,000 a pair. “For many Americans who suffer from hearing loss, safe and effective and high quality hearing aids have been unaffordable,” health secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters in a briefing. The action, which should take effect in October, would reduce the cost of […]

More than 150 children dead in Zimbabwe measles outbreak

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AFP) — A measles outbreak in Zimbabwe has killed at least 157 children, with more than 2,000 infections reported across the country, the government said on Tuesday. Cases have been growing rapidly in the southern African nation since authorities said the first infection was logged earlier this month, with reported deaths almost doubling in less than a week. “As of 15 August the cumulative figures across the country has risen to 2,056 cases […]

UK clears new Moderna vaccine targeting Omicron variant

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — The UK’s drug regulator said Monday it had approved an updated Moderna vaccine against Covid-19 that targets the Omicron variant as well as the original form of the virus. The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement said it had approved the vaccine for adult booster doses “after it was found to meet the UK regulator’s standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”. It was the […]

Southern hemisphere to get first mRNA vaccine facility

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) – Covid-19 vaccine maker Moderna announced Monday that it will open an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in the Australian city of Melbourne, a first for the southern hemisphere. The project will be based at one of Australia’s largest universities, Monash, and will produce 100 million vaccine doses a year for Covid-19, influenza and other diseases. Moderna’s Spikevax was one of a new class of inoculations developed during the coronavirus pandemic that uses […]

Forever 16: America’s teens succumbing to deadly fentanyl

by Maria DANILOVA Agence France Presse Makayla Cox, a high school student in the US state of Virginia, thought she was taking medication that her friend had procured to treat pain and anxiety. Instead, the pill she took two weeks after her sixteenth birthday was fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin. It killed her almost instantly. After watching a movie — a prequel to “Harry Potter” — with her mother Shannon […]

New US strategy to make monkeypox vaccine go further

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) – US health authorities on Tuesday authorized a new procedure for injecting the monkeypox vaccine that should make it possible to inoculate more people with the same amount of the drug, at a time when doses are running short in the country. The Food and Drug Administration also authorized giving the vaccine to people under the age of 18 who are considered to be at high risk of infection. For those […]

Tennis star Zverev launches diabetes charity

PARIS, France | (AFP) – Tennis world No.2 Alexander Zverev has launched a charity to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes, a condition the 25-year-old recently revealed he has been suffering from. The 6ft 5in (1.98m) German said he had tried to hide his diabetes when younger and that the ‘Alexander Zverev Foundation’ would help young people to avoid fixing limits on themselves due to the condition. “As a type 1 diabetic myself, I want […]

Study shows environmental impact of 57,000 products sold in supermarkets

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) – Eating fruits and vegetables is better for the planet than eating meat and cheese, but a new study by scientists released Monday showed chips and sugary drinks also have a very low environmental impact. Scientists analyzed some 57,000 products sold in supermarkets in Britain and Ireland, in a large study published by the scientific journal PNAS. The researchers, who hope that their study may allow consumers to shop more sustainably […]

Health fears over Beluga whale spotted in France’s Seine river

RENNES, France (AFP) – A beluga whale that swam up France’s Seine river appears to be underweight and officials are worried about its health, regional authorities said Thursday. The protected species, usually found in cold Arctic waters, had made its way up the waterway and reached a lock some 70 kilometres (44 miles) from Paris. The whale was first spotted Tuesday in the river that flows through the French capital to the English Channel, and […]

Long Covid symptoms affects one in eight, study suggests

PARIS, France (AFP) — One in eight people who get coronavirus develop at least one symptom of long Covid, one of the most comprehensive studies on the condition to date suggested on Thursday. With more than half a billion coronavirus cases recorded worldwide since the start of the pandemic, there has been rising concern about the lasting symptoms seen in people with long Covid. However almost none of the existing research has compared long Covid […]