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Wed, 01 Dec 2021
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Nine cases of Ebola confirmed in DR Congo region

Nine cases of Ebola virus have been confirmed in the West Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo that is at the epicentre of an outbreak that has killed at least 174 people, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said Friday.

"We have now nine cases of Ebola haemorrhagic fever confirmed in the laboratory, five cases of typhoid and one case of Shigella," WHO spokeswoman in DR Congo Cristiana Silvi told AFP.



Merck's Experimental AIDS Vaccine Fails

TRENTON, N.J. - In a disappointing setback, a promising experimental AIDS vaccine failed to work in a large international test, leading the developer to halt the study. Merck & Co. said Friday that it is ending enrollment and vaccination of volunteers in the study, which was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Congo Ebola death toll hits 172

KINSHASA - Two people have died from suspected cases of Ebola in central Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing to 172 the total number of victims for the past four months, say officials.

Provincial Health Minister Fortunate Ntumba said: "We have registered two deaths this week among the sick" in Kampungu, near the epicentre of the outbreak in the Western Kasai region.


FDA approves FluMist vaccine for kids 2-5 years

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday expanded the use of the flu vaccine FluMist to include children as young as 2.

FluMist is the only nasal spray vaccine for influenza prevention and relies on a mixture of live, but weakened viruses. The viruses are not infectious, but the body's immune system can recognize surface proteins on the pathogens to mount a response against them.


Teen girls report abusive boyfriends try to get them pregnant

Seven years ago, Elizabeth Miller was a volunteer physician in a community-based clinic in Boston, Mass., which offered confidential services to teens. She is still haunted by the memory of a 15-year old girl who asked her for a pregnancy test. It was negative, but two weeks later the girl was treated for a severe head injury in a nearby emergency room. The girl's boyfriend had pushed her down a flight of stairs.

"I assumed all she needed was to be educated about her contraceptive options," Miller recalled. "Later, I wondered what I had missed. Could I have asked a question that would have identified that she was in an abusive relationship""

That nagging question inspired Miller, now a pediatrician with UC Davis Children's Hospital, to dedicate her career to trying to understand the unique characteristics of adolescent partner violence.


Additive-free foods are swamping shop shelves

An unprecedented number of additive-free food and drinks are hitting shop shelves, market research shows.

One in every four products launched this year claims to be free of additives and preservatives. This compares with just 8 per cent of new food and drinks in 2004, according to figures from Mintel's global new products database.


Drug resistance bacteria gene in U.S. Midwest

A drug resistance gene that allows bacteria to repel certain antibiotics has started to appear in microorganisms taken from Midwestern U.S. patients.

Less than a decade ago, scientists first noticed the BlaKPC gene in bacteria taken from East Coast patients. They found bacteria with an active copy of the gene could defeat carbapenems, a relatively young family of antibiotics that is generally reserved for use in the most critically ill patients.

Magic Wand

Chemical clue sheds light on winter depression

The brains of people with seasonal depression may be too efficient at bundling away a key chemical, a new study suggests.

The finding in people with (SAD) backs the prevailing theory about the biochemical causes of depression, and could give clues into new ways to treat the condition.

The prevailing theory of depression is that affected people do not have enough of certain neurotransmitters called monoamines - serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine - in the spaces between neurons. Most modern antidepressants work by blocking the absorption of these neurotransmitters back into the cell.


Doctor Calls for Truth on Vaccines

Vaccinating our children is a routine part of protecting them from illness in childhood - but a new book queries whether it is worth the risk.Dr Andrew Wakefield, who challenged the safety of the MMR vaccine because of fears over a possible link to autism, is currently fighting to save his career, meanwhile the Government insists vaccines are essential and save millions of lives.

The result is that many parents are anxious and confused about the best course of action.

And now another doctor, Dr Richard Halvorsen, raises his concerns - warning that the Government "misleads us about vaccines".


Jenny McCarthy: MMR shot caused son's autism

She's no Andrew Wakefield, but it will be interesting to see what happens to measles, mumps and rubella vaccination rates in the U.S. now that actress Jenny McCarthy has suggested the MMR vaccine--which does not contain the mercury preservative thimerosal--may have caused her son Evan's regressive autism.