Night owls die earlier due to drinking and smoking: study

PARIS, June 16, 2023 (AFP) – People who tend to stay up late are not more likely to die younger than early risers — as long as they don’t use those longer nights for drinking and smoking, a 37-year-long study suggested on Friday. Previous research has shown that night owls, who stay up later and struggle to drag themselves out of bed in the morning, are more likely to suffer from a range of health […]

Positive results for potential first chikungunya vaccine

PARIS, June 12, 2023 (AFP) — French-Austrian drugmaker Valneva’s vaccine candidate against chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus which causes occasional outbreaks across the world, showed promising results in a large new trial, a study said on Tuesday. While the results were hailed as good news in the fight against chikungunya, the trial was carried out on people in the United States where the virus is extremely rare, with experts saying more research was needed. There are […]

Cheap diabetes drug reduces risk of long Covid: study

By Daniel Lawler Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — People who took a cheap diabetes drug after testing positive for Covid-19 had a 40 percent lower risk of getting long Covid, a US-based study said Friday. The finding was hailed as a potential “landmark” in the fight against the still little-understood condition, which the World Health Organization estimates affects one in 10 people who get Covid. The study said it was the first randomized, placebo-controlled […]

EU approves first vaccine against common respiratory virus

LONDON (AFP) — The European Commission has followed the United States in approving the world’s first vaccine for the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, to be used by adults aged 60 and over, its maker GlaxoSmithKline said Wednesday. The United States approved the drug, named Arexvy, last month, while the vaccine is the culmination of a decades-long hunt to protect vulnerable people from the common illness. RSV normally causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can be serious for […]

Treatment found to reduce progression of rare blood cancer by 74%

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2023 (AFP) – A treatment that involves genetically modifying the body’s own immune cells has been found to cut the risk of disease progression by 74 percent in people with a rare type of blood cancer, results showed Monday. Ciltacabtagene autoleucel — also known by its trade name Carvykti — was tested in a clinical trial involving 419 patients with multiple myeloma, whose disease was not responsive to the current frontline drug […]

Pill halves risk of death in type of lung cancer

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2023 (AFP) – A pill has been shown to halve the risk of death from a certain type of lung cancer when taken daily after surgery to remove the tumor, according to clinical trial results presented on Sunday. The results were unveiled in Chicago at the largest annual conference of cancer specialists, hosted by the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Lung cancer is the form of the disease that causes the […]

WHO members approve nearly $7 bn budget

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Health Organization on Monday won basic approval for a $6.83-billion budget over the next two years, including a 20-percent hike in mandatory membership fees. As the UN health agency kicked off its annual decision-making assembly, member states in a key committee approved the budget without objection. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed the move as “historic and a big milestone”. The budget still needs to be approved by all […]

Covid returns to strike peloton ahead of Giro

By Jacques KLOPP Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Two days before the start of the Giro d’Italia, Covid-19 has returned to haunt the peloton, causing several riders to withdraw after testing positive, including three from the Jumbo-Visma team of Primoz Roglic. On Thursday, Jumbo-Visma announced a third positive case with Jos van Emden being forced to step down. The Dutchman was one of the two riders, along with Rohan Dennis, who had been called […]

US becomes first country to approve RSV vaccine

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2023 (AFP) – The United States on Wednesday approved the world’s first vaccine for the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), the culmination of a decades-long hunt to protect vulnerable people from the common illness. Drugmaker GSK’s Arexvy was green-lighted for adults aged 60 and older, with similar shots from other makers including Pfizer and Moderna expected to follow soon. “Today’s approval of the first RSV vaccine is an important public health achievement to […]

Covid vaccines do not cause major menstrual issues: study

Paris, France (AFP) Getting vaccinated against Covid-19 does not make women more likely to seek medical attention for menstrual problems, the largest study conducted on the subject said on Thursday. Since Covid vaccination campaigns began nearly two and a half years ago, some women have reported changes in their menstrual cycle after getting the mRNA shots from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. This led to the European Union’s drug watchdog recommending that heavy periods be listed as […]

Costa Rican sloth antibiotics offer hope for human medicine

by Alberto PEÑA Agence France-Press CAHUITA, Costa Rica (AFP) — The fur of Costa Rican sloths appears to harbor antibiotic-producing bacteria that scientists hope may hold a solution to the growing problem of “superbugs” resistant to humanity’s dwindling arsenal of drugs. Sloth fur, research has found, hosts bustling communities of insects, algae, fungi and bacteria, among other microbes, some of which could pose disease risk. Yet, experts say, the famously slow-moving mammals appear to be […]

Thailand air pollution leads millions to seek medical help

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — About 2.4 million people in Thailand have sought hospital treatment for medical problems linked to air pollution since the start of the year, health officials said, as toxic smog chokes parts of the country. Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai were among the most polluted cities in the world on Thursday morning, according to air quality monitoring firm IQAir. The poor air quality has seen 2.4 million people seek […]