Madagascar battles killer measles outbreak

by Tsiresena MANJAKAHERY ANTSIRANANA, Madagascar (AFP) — Frangeline is aged two but weighs no more than a four-month-old — the terrible result of her battle with measles, which is cutting a deadly swathe through Madagascar. Widespread malnutrition and low rates of immunisation on the Indian Ocean island have ramped up the killing power of the highly infectious virus. In the last six months, nearly 1,000 children have been killed by a resurgent disease that vaccination […]

Japanese woman confirmed as world’s oldest living person aged 116

  TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — A 116-year-old Japanese woman who still enjoys studying math and playing board games has been recognised as the world’s oldest person, the Guinness World Records said Saturday. Kane Tanaka was born on 2 January 1903, the year when the Wright brothers launched humanity’s first powered flight, according to Guinness. Tanaka’s recognition was celebrated at the nursing home where she lives in western Japan’s Fukuoka by city mayor Soichiro Takashima and […]

Manila Doctors Hospital introduces new technology to fight cancer with better precision

Manila Doctors Hospital recently introduced its latest technology in cancer care that is aimed to deliver powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy and precision. In a media conference, it was announced that the VitalBeamâ„¢ radiotherapy system is the first and the most advanced in the country. The new equipment “uniquely integrates imaging and treatment technologies within a sophisticated architecture that makes it possible to deliver image-guided treatments very quickly, opening the door to new possibilities […]

Facebook launches offensive to combat misinformation on vaccines

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Facebook launched an offensive Thursday to suppress the spread of misinformation about vaccines on the 2.3-billion-member social network. The company has faced pressure in recent weeks to tackle the problem, amid outbreaks of measles around the United States attributed to growing numbers of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. US lawmakers have decried the higher incidences of preventable diseases in the wake of a movement against child vaccination, in […]

Large study again confirms MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A study following more than 650,000 Danish children for over a decade has led researchers to the same conclusion as previous efforts: the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine does not increase a child’s risk of autism. The study, which followed all Danish children born between 1999 and 2010 until 2013, compared the number of vaccinated and unvaccinated kids who were diagnosed with autism, and found no difference “We found no […]

‘London patient’: second case ever of HIV remission

by Marlowe HOOD and Patrick GALEY Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — A second person is in sustained remission from HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, after ceasing treatment and is likely cured, researchers said Tuesday in what was hailed as proof that the condition could one day be cured. Ten years after the first confirmed case of an HIV-infected person being rid of the deadly disease, a man known only as the “London […]

UN warns of ‘complacency’ as measles cases soar worldwide

PARIS, France (AFP) — Just 10 countries were responsible for three-quarters of a global surge in measles cases last year, the UN children’s agency said Friday, including one of the world’s richest nations, France. Ninety-eight countries reported more cases of measles in 2018 compared with 2017, and the world body warned that conflict, complacency and the growing anti-vaccine movement threatened to undo decades of work to tame the disease. “This is a wakeup call. We […]

Study finds potential new weapon in fight against malaria

by Sara HUSSEIN Agence France-Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — For years, insecticide-soaked mosquito nets have helped dramatically lower malaria infections, but insecticide resistance has driven a search for alternatives and a new study may have uncovered one option. The weapon is a familiar one: an anti-malarial drug already used by humans to prevent them contracting the disease, and researchers now envisage using it on netting like insecticides. Their research shows the drug works on mosquitoes, […]

US health experts say measles resurgence ‘unacceptable’

by Ivan Couronne Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US public health experts sounded the alarm Wednesday over a resurgence of measles in recent years, principally in communities where people reject vaccinations and obtain exemptions for religious or “personal” reasons. Six outbreaks of the disease have been reported in the United States since January 1, totalling 159 cases, in the states of Washington, Colorado and New York. Since 2000, between 50 or several […]

Nearly half of children with cancer untreated: study

PARIS, France (AFP) — Some 45 percent of children with cancer are left undiagnosed and untreated, according to an innovative study of the disease’s global footprint among under-15s, published Wednesday. Worldwide, there are some 400,000 new cases of childhood cancer each year, but barely half are logged in national health registries, researchers reported in The Lancet Oncology, a medical journal. “The patients will almost certainly die, although cancer will not be listed on a death […]

Nearly 50% of transport pollution deaths linked to diesel: study

  FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany (AFP) — Some 385,000 people worldwide died prematurely in 2015 from air pollution caused by vehicle exhaust emissions, a US study found Wednesday, which singled out diesel engines as the main culprit. Diesel vehicles were responsible for 47 percent of the deaths, it said, but the figure jumped as high as 66 percent in France, Germany, Italy and India where diesels make up a large proportion of cars on the […]

Diabetics stock up on insulin over Brexit fears

by Pauline FROISSART Agence France Presse LONDON, United States (AFP) — Diabetics and insulin providers in Britain are stockpiling the precious medicine to avoid potential shortages in case Britain leaves the European Union without a deal in just over month’s time. “I started about two months ago,” David Burns, a 37-year-old teacher living in London, told AFP. “I used to pick up insulin once a month. Now I’m picking it up about once every two […]