WHO warns of new Yemen cholera surge, asks for ceasefire to vaccinate
Yemen may be on the brink of a new cholera epidemic, with a heightened death rate due to widespread malnutrition, and the United Nations is hoping for a ceasefire in the north to allow for vaccinations, the World Health Organization said on Friday. “We’ve had two major waves of cholera epidemics in recent years and unfortunately the trend data that we’ve seen in the last days to weeks suggests that we may be on the cusp of the third major wave of cholera epidemics in Yemen,” WHO emergency response chief Peter Salama told reporters in Geneva.
China reports first African swine fever outbreak, culls 1,000 hogs
China reported its first outbreak of the deadly African swine fever (ASF) on Friday, as authorities in Liaoning province in the country’s northeast culled almost 1,000 hogs and rushed to control the highly contagious disease. News of the infection will stoke concern about its spread in the world’s largest pig herd, and possibly to Japan, the Korean Peninsula and other parts of Asia. Cases have been recorded across Europe, Russia and sub-Saharan Africa, but it has never occurred in East Asia until now, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Vietnam reports three outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu: IE
Vietnam has reported three outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu among backyard birds, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Friday, citing a report from the Vietnamese farm ministry. The first outbreak was detected on July 28 in a backyard flock of 2,400 birds in the province of Nghe An. It directly killed 90 birds.
Congo to use Ebola vaccine as early as next week: health minister
Democratic Republic of Congo will start using an Ebola vaccine as early as next week to counter a new flare-up in the heavily populated eastern part of the Central African country, which emerged just as an earlier outbreak was being pronounced over. Four people have tested positive for Ebola in and around Mangina, a town some 100 km (60 miles) from the Ugandan border, and 20 others have died of similar hemorrhagic fever symptoms without having been tested for the disease.
Not suicidal, but one in four U.S. girls may want to harm themselves
(Reuters Health) – In any given year, roughly one in four girls in U.S. high schools and one in 10 boys try to harm themselves even when they are not attempting suicide, a recent study suggests. So-called non-suicidal self-injury has long been more common among girls than boys, but the current study offers fresh evidence that the problem is widespread for youth of both sexes.
China to add more cancer drugs to reimbursement list, talks end in Sept: Xinhua
China plans to add a range of cancer drugs to medicines eligible for reimbursement from the government, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday, adding that negotiations on pricing with manufacturers should be finished by end-September. China’s cancer rates have been soaring, driven by growing numbers of people in their sixties, heavy smoking among men and exposure to pollution.
Smoking ban in public housing might make quitting easier
A new U.S. ban on smoking in public housing may make it easier for low-income smokers to quit, a new study suggests. This week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) implemented a ban on cigarettes, cigars, and pipes inside apartments, common areas and outdoor spaces within 25 feet of public housing properties; it doesn’t cover e-cigarettes.
Cashing in on DNA: race on to unlock value in genetic data
How much is your DNA worth? As millions of people pay for home tests to check on ancestry or health risks, genetic data is becoming an increasingly valuable resource for drugmakers, triggering a race to create a DNA marketplace. GlaxoSmithKline’s decision to invest $300 million in 23andMe and forge an exclusive drug development deal with the Silicon Valley consumer genetics company crystallizes the value locked up in genetic code.
Women with common ovary condition often feel medical system failed them
(Reuters Health) – Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome feel they’ve been let down by a health care system that takes years to diagnose their condition, a new survey suggests. Researchers found that women with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, a common condition characterized by metabolic and fertility problems, were more likely than others to distrust their primary care physician’s judgment and to feel that they weren’t getting enough social support from health care providers.
Diet soft drinks tied to lower odds of colon cancer recurrence
Colon cancer patients who drink one or more servings of artificially-sweetened beverages a day have roughly half the risk of their cancer recurring compared to those who drink few or none of these beverages, a U.S. study suggests. The study wasn’t designed to prove whether or how drinking these beverages lowers the risk of colon cancer returning. The researchers can only theorize about reasons for their findings.