Swine fever sends China’s pork prices, imports soaring

by Sébastien RICCI BEIJING, China (AFP) — Pork prices have been sent soaring and herds devastated as African swine fever tears through China’s massive pig-farming industry, forcing the country to ramp up imports to satisfy demand — but analysts warn worse is yet to come. More than 1.1 million pigs have been killed or culled so far as authorities scramble to contain a virus that has spread to neighboring countries since the first cases emerged […]

Germany makes measles vaccination compulsory for children

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Germany will make childhood measles vaccinations mandatory from March 2020, aiming to wipe out the resurgent and potentially deadly disease, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet decided Wednesday. Children will only be admitted to kindergarten or school if they have had the jabs, and vaccinations will also be compulsory for staff in day-care centres, educational institutions, medical facilities and refugee shelters. “We want to protect as many children as possible from a measles […]

DR Congo urges calm after Ebola case in key city

by Bienvenu-Marie BAKUMANYA KINSHASA, DR Congo (AFP) — Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have appealed for calm after an evangelical preacher fell ill with Ebola in the eastern city of Goma, the first recorded case of the disease in the key urban hub in a nearly year-old epidemic. Goma, a border city with a population of one million, lies next to the Rwandan town of Gisenyi and has transport links to other parts […]

China says pork production recovering as swine fever cases decline

BEIJING, China (AFP) — New cases of African swine fever have declined and pork production is returning to normal, Chinese officials said Thursday, after millions of pigs were culled because of the deadly disease. The virus — fatal to wild boar and pigs but harmless to humans — has cut a swathe through Mongolia, Vietnam, North Korea and China. The world’s top pork producer and consumer has seen prices and imports continue to rise since […]

Scientists find earliest clues of Parkinson’s in brain

PARIS, France (AFP ) — Scientists said Thursday they had found the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease in the brain years before patients show any symptoms, a discovery that could eventually lead to better screening for at-risk people. Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes patients movement and cognitive problems, is estimated to effect up to 10 million people worldwide. It is diagnosed by a build-up in the brain of a specific protein, a-synuclein, the cause […]

Lower trust in vaccines among people in richer countries: survey

  by Issam AHMED Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — People in Europe have the lowest levels of trust in vaccines, according to a global survey of public attitudes toward health and science published Wednesday. The study found that people living in high-income countries have the lowest confidence in vaccines, a result that ties in to the rise of the anti-vaccination movement, in which people refuse to believe in the benefits of vaccinations […]

Sanofi turns to Google in search for better treatments

PARIS, France (AFP) — French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi said Tuesday it is partnering with Google to use artificial intelligence and deep analytics tools to sift through its data to find better treatments. The titan in online search “will apply technology and analytics on Sanofi’s large real world database to better understand what treatments work for patients,” the pharmaceutical firm said in a statement. The use of Google’s tools for deep analytics — organizing large amounts […]

Indian doctors strike over violence from patients and families

NEW DELHI, India (AFP) — Tens of thousands of Indian doctors went on strike Monday calling for more protection against violence by patients and their families, as parliament met for the first time since national elections. The nationwide strike, which will last until Tuesday morning, is in solidarity with doctors in the eastern state of West Bengal after three were viciously attacked by the relatives of a man who died. The Indian Medical Association (IMA), […]

WHO says DRC Ebola outbreak not a ‘global’ emergency

By Ben Simon Agence France-Presse GENEVA, SWITZERLAND —  (AFP) The World Health Organization said Friday that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo does not qualify as an international threat, despite the spread of the virus to neighbouring Uganda carried by an infected family. The closely-watched decision followed advice from WHO’s emergency committee, which only meets to review the world’s most severe outbreaks. The head of the UN health agency Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is in […]

Encephalitis from lychees kills 31 children in India: official

PATNA, India (AFP) — At least 31 children have died in northern India in the last 10 days from a deadly brain disease believed linked to a toxic substance found in lychee fruit, health officials said Wednesday. The deaths were reported from two hospitals in Bihar state’s Muzaffarpur district, famed for it lush lychee orchards, officials said. The children all showed symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), senior health official Ashok Kumar Singh told AFP, […]

More than 23 million people fall ill yearly in Europe due to contaminated food — WHO

(Eagle News) – More than 23 million people per year fall sick from eating contaminated food, with 4,700 losing their lives every year in Europe, according to a recent report of the World Health Organization. This means that that for every minute, 44 people fall sick from eating contaminated food, according to a review of the most recent available data entitled “The burden of foodborne diseases in the WHO European Region.” The findings were presented […]

Despite culls, import bans, swine fever to hit pork market for years

  by Jenny VAUGHAN Agence France Presse HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — Millions of pigs have been culled as African Swine Fever cuts through China and beyond, devastating global food chains, with pork prices expected to soar from the food markets of Hong Kong to American dinner tables. Outbreaks have been reported in Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Hong Kong and China — the world’s biggest pork producer and consumer. Experts warn it could take years to contain […]