Health

For its health and yours, keep the cat indoors

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — At least one running argument among cat lovers is now over: Whiskers, Lucy and Tigger are definitely better off staying indoors, scientists reported Wednesday. Pet cats allowed outdoors, in fact, are nearly three times as likely to become infected with pathogens or parasites than those confined to quarters, they reported in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. Two-legged house-mates should also take note because cats — a.k.a. Felis […]

New York mandates vaccine to contain Brooklyn measles outbreak

by Thomas URBAIN New York’s mayor declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn on Tuesday, ordering all residents to be vaccinated to fight a measles outbreak concentrated in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. The order concerns all people living or working in four zip codes of Williamsburg, northwest Brooklyn, where some residents oppose vaccines on religious grounds — although neither Jewish texts nor local Jewish authorities advise against vaccination. “It was time to take […]

Australia ramps up measles warnings as cases jump

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia on Monday launched a major education campaign to encourage its residents, particularly those traveling overseas, to get vaccinated against measles as a sudden spike in cases amid a global resurgence causes alarm. Measles — an airborne infection causing fever, coughing and rashes that can be deadly in rare cases — was declared officially eliminated from Australia by the World Health Organisation in 2014. In developed nations including Australia however, the […]

People skills at heart of DR Congo’s long fight against Ebola

by Samir TOUNSI Agence France-Presse BUTEMBO, DR Congo (AFP) –¬†Evelyne was one of the first victims of the Ebola epidemic which broke out in eastern DR Congo last August, the second deadliest in its known history. Against the odds, the nurse not only survived the hemorrhagic virus, whose outbreak has claimed nearly 700 lives, but has also returned to the fray. After receiving a vaccination, Evelyne is now tending Ebola-affected children — part of a […]

Children in South Asia hardest hit by air pollution – study

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Air pollution will shorten the life expectancy of children born today by an average of 20 months and will have the greatest impact in south Asia, according to a study published Wednesday. The State of Global Air report, published by the US-based Health Effects Institute and the University of British Columbia, says air pollution is the fifth leading cause of early death worldwide — responsible for more deaths than malaria, […]

Poor diet linked to 1 in 5 deaths globally: study

by Patrick GALEY Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) –¬†One in five deaths globally are linked to poor diet, experts said Thursday, warning that over consumption of sugar, salt and meat was killing millions of people every year. The United Nations estimates that nearly a billion people worldwide are malnourished, while nearly two billion are “over-nourished”. But the latest study on global diet trends, published in The Lancet, showed that in nearly every one of the […]

Air pollution to shorten life expectancy of children born today, says study

  HONGKONG, China (AFP) — Air pollution will shorten the life expectancy of children born today by an average of 20 months and will have the greatest impact in south Asia, according to a study published Wednesday. The State of Global Air report, published by the US-based Health Effects Institute and the University of British Columbia, says air pollution is the fifth leading cause of early death worldwide — responsible for more deaths than malaria, […]

Prostate cancer death rates stabilizing: study

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Death rates from prostate cancer — the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men — have stabilized or declined in dozens of countries since the turn of the century, the American Cancer Society reported Tuesday. In 33 of 44 countries surveyed, the incidence of prostate cancer had stabilized in the last five years for which data was available — and in seven countries, it was down, the report found. Only four […]

Cholera kills two, infects 1,400 in cyclone-hit Mozambique

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AFP) — A cyclone-induced cholera outbreak in central Mozambique has killed two people and infected more than 1,400, the government announced Tuesday on the eve of the launch of a mass vaccination drive. Health authorities said 376 new cholera cases had been reported Tuesday, taking the total number of people infected to 1,428 since the first cases were reported last week. The bulk of the cases have been registered in the central city […]

US performs first kidney transplant from living donor with HIV

by Ivan Couronne WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The kidney of a 35-year-old HIV-positive woman has been transplanted into another patient with the virus that causes AIDS, US surgeons announced Thursday, in a major medical breakthrough. The surgeons at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore performed the operation on Monday, calling it the first in the world of its kind. “I’m feeling good,” said the donor, Nina Martinez, at a news conference on Thursday following the […]

US county declares state of emergency amid measles outbreak

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — A New York county hit by a measles outbreak declared a state of emergency Tuesday and banned non-vaccinated minors from public places in a bid to prevent the once-eliminated disease from spreading. The measure, which defines a public place as anywhere “more than 10 persons are intended to congregate” — including public transport — was announced by officials in Rockland County, 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of New York […]

Bayer shares plunge on new US cancer ruling

  FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany (AFP) — Shares in German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer plunged as markets opened Wednesday, after a second US jury ruled that blockbuster pesticide Roundup — made by recently-acquired Monsanto — causes cancer. The Leverkusen-based group’s stock toppled 11.6 percent to 61.60 euros ($69.88) at around 09:40 am in Frankfurt (0840 GMT), making it the worst performer on the DAX index of blue-chip German shares. On Tuesday a California jury […]