Alzheimer’s drug data shows results but also risks

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) – Experts hailed full data Wednesday showing a new drug can slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients, but warned improvements were comparatively small and the treatment can have serious side effects. Preliminary data from a trial of lecanemab was released in September and found it slowed cognitive decline by 27 percent across an 18-month period. The complete trial data, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, fleshes out those findings but also […]

Record number of children miss measles vaccine: global report

Washington, United States (AFP) A record high of nearly 40 million children around the world missed a measles vaccine dose in 2021, according to a new report Wednesday that found immunization levels had failed to rebound from disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The research, which was jointly published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the decline was a major setback in eliminating […]

Bacterial infections the ‘second leading cause of death worldwide’

PARIS, France (AFP) – Bacterial infections are the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for one in eight of all deaths in 2019, the first global estimate of their lethality revealed on Tuesday. The massive new study, published in the Lancet journal, looked at deaths from 33 common bacterial pathogens and 11 types of infection across 204 countries and territories. The pathogens were associated with 7.7 million deaths — 13.6 percent of the global total […]

Ebola trial vaccines heading to Uganda: WHO

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) – Three candidate vaccines against the strain of Ebola wreaking havoc in Uganda will be shipped to the East African country next week for trials, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Since Uganda declared an Ebola outbreak on September 20, cases have spread across the country, including to the capital Kampala, and have claimed 55 lives, with 22 more believed to have died. Uganda has been struggling to rein in the outbreak caused […]

Billion youth risk hearing loss from headphones, venues: study

PARIS, France (AFP) – Around one billion young people worldwide could be at risk of hearing loss from listening to headphones or attending loud music venues, a large review of the available research estimated on Wednesday. The World Health Organization-led study called on young people to be more careful about their listening habits, and urged governments and manufacturers to do more to protect future hearing. The analysis published in the journal BMJ Global Health looked at data […]

Trump acolyte Kari Lake loses Arizona governor race

  Los Angeles, United States | AFP | by Huw GRIFFITH Donald Trump loyalist and prominent election denier Kari Lake has lost her bid to be governor of Arizona, US networks projected Monday, rounding out a difficult week for the former president as he readies a new run for the White House. Lake, a former TV anchor, had been seen as one of Trump’s most reliable picks heading into the midterm elections, but her defeat […]

‘Threat multiplier’: How climate change affects health

by Daniel Lawler Agence France Presse Paris, France (AFP) — Deadlier than Covid, or even rivalling cancer? Researchers have been increasingly attempting to calculate the effect climate change will have on health if the world does not act quickly to reduce carbon emissions. The World Health Organization, which says climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity, has called for the issue to be “front and centre” in negotiations at the COP27 summit […]

Rare canine rabies case discovered near Paris

Paris, France | AFP | A rare case of rabies has been detected in a dog in the Paris region which had bitten several people, the French agriculture ministry announced Thursday. “The Pasteur Institute confirmed a case of rabies in a Husky-cross dog held in a shelter in Evry-Courcouronnes in Essonne,” south of the French capital, the statement said. Before being isolated, the infected dog had “bitten several people who were quickly taken care of […]

EU drug watchdog expects new Covid-19 wave ‘in coming week’

The European Medicines Agency says it expects a new wave of Covid-19 infections “within a week”, adding the virus is evolving faster than the ability to supply adaptive vaccines. It said that introducing pan-Covid vaccines was important for the future but admitted these vaccines were still in “early phases” of development. EMA VIA EBS / © Agence France-Presse    

China Covid curbs disrupt production at world’s biggest iPhone factory

  Beijing, China | AFP | Wednesday  Millions of people in China were under tight Covid restrictions on Wednesday as sporadic outbreaks across the country prompted business closures and disruption at the world’s largest iPhone factory. China is the last major economy welded to a zero-Covid strategy, persisting with snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines in a bid to keep infections to a minimum. But fast-spreading virus variants have challenged that approach in recent […]

For struggling Haiti, return of cholera is a ‘catastrophe’

by Jean Daniel SENAT with Lucie AUBOURG in Washington Agence France-Presse PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP) — When humanitarian officials in Haiti try to describe their concerns over a new, fast-spreading cholera epidemic, they struggle to find words strong enough: “alarming,” “chaotic,” even “a catastrophe.” A sizable part of the island’s population has been isolated — and unable to access health care — either by serious fuel shortages or by the brutal armed gangs that control vast […]

‘Close the windows’: Lebanon power plant sparks cancer fears

Zouk Mikael, Lebanon | AFP | by Jonathan SAWAYA After losing four relatives to respiratory illness, Zeina Matar fled her hometown north of Lebanon’s capital where she says a decaying power plant generates little electricity but very deadly pollution. Thick black smoke sometimes billows from its red-and-white chimneys, leaving a grey haze in the air above the Zouk Mikael industrial district where the toxins remain trapped by a nearby mountain chain. Zeina, aged 40, says […]