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New HIV prevention trial indicates 100% protection; The latest health stories from around the world

Researchers and activists in the trenches of the long fight against HIV got a rare piece of exciting news last week: Results from a large clinical trial in Africa showed that a twice-yearly injection of a new antiviral drug gave young women total protection from the virus. www.nytimes.com/2024/06/21/health/lenacapavir-hiv-prevention-africa.html? “I got cold shivers,” said Dr Linda-Gail […]

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US FDA announces autumn COVID-19 strategy; The latest health stories from around the world

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week endorsed a strategy for a COVID-19 vaccine to be used this autumn that favours a composition different from one recently recommended by an agency advisory committee. The continuing evolution of SARS-CoV-2 makes choosing the most effective vaccine challenging. www.science.org/content/article/news-glance-saving-endangered-leopard-restoring-europe-s-habitats-and-assessing? This month, the panel of outside scientists

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Africa aspires toward more medical independence; The latest health stories from around the world

  https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/how-africa-moving-towards-future-proofing-its-response-health-emergencies  Africa has for years been heavily dependent on importing medicines, diagnostics and vaccines to respond to the health needs of the 1.2 billion people on the continent.  When international trade was blocked during the COVID-19 pandemic, this extreme reliance on imports made Africa vulnerable.  Now, a new free trade treaty that will ease

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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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