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Experimental malaria prevention proves effective; The latest health stories from around the world

A single dose of an experimental antibody drug protects children from malaria for up to 6 months, according to a clinical study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine. www.science.org/content/article/injectable-antibody-drug-protects-children-malaria-mali-trial? The therapy, an injectable monoclonal antibody called L9LS that has already shown success in adults, reduced infections and clinical disease in 6- to …

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Bird flu detected among US cattle; The latest health stories from around the world

The flu virus that has wreaked havoc on birds around the world appears to have surfaced among cows in the US. Texas authorities said this week they found the H5N1 strain, and the US Department of Agriculture said testing showed “consistency” with the clade of virus that has killed millions of wild birds and forced …

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Developing nations seek reassurance on the WHO Pandemic Agreement; The latest health stories from around the world

“Me first”—that’s how Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), described the wealthy world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic when he kicked off negotiations for a global “pandemic treaty” in December 2021. Even before vaccines had proved safe and effective, rich countries had purchased enough doses to cover their entire population several …

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Alabama declares frozen embryos to legally classify as people; The latest health stories from around the world

The Supreme Court of Alabama’s ruling last week declaring frozen embryos at fertility clinics to be people has upended patient care there. The state’s two leading private in vitro fertilization providers as well as the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) paused all IVF procedures earlier this week while officials sort through the legal risks …

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Example of an Ebola treatment unit

New data reveals Ebola vaccine reduces mortality by half; The latest health stories from around the world

There’s welcome news in the battle against the Ebola virus, an infectious disease that for years had almost no treatments or remedies.  Outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus flare up in parts of Africa almost every year, and they’re vicious.  The virus kills about half the people it infects. But a new study published in The …

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Fluoridation: public health advancement or potential problem? The latest health stories from around the world

A long-simmering scientific battle assumed a new life this week, as experts clashed in a San Francisco courtroom over whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should ban fluoridation of drinking water to protect foetuses and children from the risk of neurodevelopmental problems. https://www.science.org/content/article/does-fluoride-drinking-water-lower-iq-question-looms-large-court-battle?  The case, being heard in a federal district court, “is precedent setting,” …

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Malaria vaccine rolled out in Cameroon; The latest health stories from around the world

After a 60-year quest, childhood malaria vaccinations were administered to infants and toddlers in Cameroon on 22 January, the world’s first routine immunization against the disease.  Remarkably, the RTS,S or Mosquirix, made by GlaxoSmithKline and approved for general use in 2021 by the World Health Organization (WHO) reduces all kinds of deaths among children – …

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Eli Lilly announces direct-to-patient portal for new weight loss drug; The latest health stories from around the world

Eli Lilly, maker of the anti-obesity drug Zepbound, announced last week the launch of LillyDirect, a direct-to-patient portal, allowing some patients to obtain its drug for as little as $25 a month.  The move is seen as a major shift in the way these popular medications can reach patients. https://www.medscape.com/s/viewarticle/eli-lilly-offers-obesity-drug-directly-consumers-2024a10000fl?   For many of the 42 million Americans with obesity, weight …

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Gavi pledges $1 billion for vaccine production in Africa; The latest health stories from around the world

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has committed up to $1 billion to bolster Africa’s ability to sustainably produce its own doses of lifesaving vaccines. Manufacturers based in Africa produce only 1% of the vaccine doses used on the continent. https://www.science.org/content/article/news-glance-ai-rules-europe-vaccines-africa-and-union-nih-early-career-researchers?   Last week, Gavi announced that with money left over from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility—an …

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Biden weighs in on drug costs in US; The latest health stories from around the world

US President Joe Biden has stepped into a long-running debate about whether the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has legal authority to override an exclusive patent license granted to drug developers if they charge too much for treatments that relied on agency-funded research. In draft policy guidance, the Biden administration says federal agencies would be …

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