S.Africa reports two deaths linked to Covid vaccine

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) – South Africa’s medicines regulatory authority says it has recorded two fatal cases of the rare Guillain-Barre syndrome in people who had received a Johnson & Johnson Covid jab. The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) reported its first case in August and the second on Monday. “SAHPRA has been informed of a second fatal case of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) following vaccination with the Covid-19 vaccine Janssen,” it said in […]

US monkeypox death as virus linked to brain inflammation

  by Issam AHMED Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A second US death was linked to monkeypox on Tuesday as health authorities published a study describing how two previously healthy young men experienced inflammation of the brain and spinal cord as a result of the virus. There have been nearly 22,000 US cases in the current global outbreak, which began in May, but new infections have been falling since mid-August as authorities have […]

Syria cholera outbreak at risk of spreading: WHO

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) – The World Health Organization warned Tuesday of a “very high” risk of cholera spreading across Syria after the country recorded its first cases since 2009. “The risk of cholera spreading to other governorates is very high,” the WHO said, after cases were recorded in at least five of the country’s 14 provinces. “The source of infection could be linked to people drinking water from untreated sources,” or “food contamination due to […]

New malaria vaccine results raise hopes of mass rollout

PARIS, France (AFP) – A booster dose of a new malaria vaccine maintains a high level of protection against the disease, researchers said Thursday, expressing hopes the cheap jab could be produced on a massive scale in a matter of years. The international research team suggested the vaccine, developed by Britain’s Oxford University, could represent a turning point in the fight against the mosquito-borne parasitic disease, which killed 627,000 people — mostly African children — […]

Sweeteners may be linked to heart disease risk, study suggests

PARIS, France (AFP ) – A large study suggested Thursday that artificial sweetener could be associated with a higher risk of heart disease, however experts urged caution about the findings. Sweeteners are consumed by millions every day in products like diet soda, partly as a way to avoid weight gain from sugar — but the healthiness of these substitutes has long been a matter of controversy. Aiming to assess the heart disease risk of sweeteners, […]

China approves world’s first inhalable Covid-19 vaccine

  BEIJING, China (AFP) — Chinese drug regulators have approved the world’s first inhalable Covid-19 vaccine, made by Tianjin-based manufacturer CanSino Biologics, boosting the company’s share price by seven percent on Monday. The National Medical Products Administration gave the go-ahead for the vaccine for emergency use as a booster, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday. Following the announcement, company shares surged 14 percent on Monday morning before […]

Canada approves Moderna shot targeting Omicron

OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) – Canada on Thursday authorized an updated Moderna Covid-19 booster shot that specifically targets the Omicron variant and is said to provide significantly better protection against it. In a summary of the decision, Health Canada said clinical trials of the new bivalent vaccine induced significantly higher immune responses than its predecessor against the now dominant Omicron variants. It also matched the older Moderna vaccine’s effectiveness against the original virus, and is recommended […]

Treatment improves cognition in Down Syndrome patients

Paris, France (AFP) – A new hormone treatment improved the cognitive function of six men with Down Syndrome by 10-30 percent, scientists said Thursday, adding the “promising” results may raise hopes of improving patients’ quality of life. However the scientists emphasised the small study did not point towards a cure for the cognitive disorders of people with Down Syndrome and that far more research is needed. “The experiment is very satisfactory, even if we remain […]

US CDC recommends boosters targeting Omicron

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday recommended Covid-19 booster shots from Pfizer and Moderna targeting the Omicron variant, clearing the way for the administration of the shots. This new generation of anti-Covid vaccines targets both the original strain of coronavirus and the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages, the subvariants of Omicron that are causing the most cases in the United States. The Pfizer-BioNTech shot is […]

Three dead of mystery pneumonia in Argentina, six others ill

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AFP) — A third person has died this week in Argentina from a type of pneumonia of unknown origin, with the fatalities thus far limited to a single clinic, health authorities said Thursday. Nine people in northwestern Tucuman province have come down with a mysterious respiratory illness, including eight medical staff at the private clinic, Tucuman health minister Luis Medina Ruiz told reporters. Three — two health personnel and now also a […]

‘Beginning of the end’: patients hail new treatment for drug-resistant TB

PARIS, France (AFP) – Volodymyr is celebrating a major milestone on Wednesday — it’s his final day of taking a new treatment hailed as a turning point in the fight against drug-resistant tuberculosis. The 25-year-old doctor in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv said he had nasty neurological side effects when he was on a previous drug regimen, which takes up to two years, involves a huge number of pills and is less than 60-percent effective. But the […]

Time for Covid reality check after 1 million deaths this year: WHO

  GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Health Organization’s Covid chief said Friday it was time for a reality check on the virus after the millionth death from the disease this year. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead Covid-19, said the toll was “heartbreaking” because the tests, treatments, vaccines and public health measures to control the disease were all available. “Given we’re in the third year of the pandemic, it’s… all the more so […]