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Covid-19

Polio’s last strongholds continue to cause issue; The latest health stories from around the world

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has been struggling in Africa with large outbreaks spawned by the polio vaccine itself, which is made of live but weakened poliovirus. But the program at least had the wild virus on the run, driving down the cases it causes in its last strongholds, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Now, GPEI […]

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COVID-19 continues to evolve, vaccines must keep up the pace; The latest health stories from around the world

SARS-CoV-2 keeps evolving, and it’s time for COVID-19 vaccines to again follow suit, advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed early last week. The panel voted unanimously in favour of updating the shots to more closely match virus strains now circulating. www.science.org/content/article/covid-19-vaccines-should-get-fall-update-panel-concludes?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_content=alert&utm_campaign=WeeklyLatestNews&et_rid=785235729&et_cid=5240384 Although the FDA still needs to greenlight the change, the

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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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USDA delves into flu vaccines for cattle; The latest health stories from around the world

On 3 May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a “request for information” from companies that have the capability to develop and produce cow vaccines against H5N1. Jamie Jonker, chief science officer at the National Milk Producers Federation, says he knows of up to 10 companies that have “expressed interest.” The American Association of

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WHO to vote on formalising a legally binding pandemic agreement; The latest health stories from around the world

At the end of May, 194 member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet for the World Health Assembly. Negotiations underway now will determine whether they vote then to adopt a pandemic agreement. www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adq1055?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_content=alert&utm_campaign=SCIeToc&et_rid=785235729&et_cid=5199970  For the past 2 years, discussions have focused on spelling out essential components of a robust and equitable architecture

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Africa intensifies its efforts to control mpox; The latest health stories from around the world

Researchers and public health officials in Africa are intensifying their battle against mpox, a neglected infectious disease that has circulated for a long time on the continent and suddenly gained notoriety in 2022 when it started to spread rapidly in Europe and North America. https://www.science.org/content/article/africa-intensifies-battle-against-mpox-alarming-outbreaks-continue? At a meeting last week in Kinshasa, the capital of

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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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Measles on the rise in Europe; The latest health stories from around the world

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in December that its European region (which extends into parts of western and central Asia) saw an “alarming” increase in measles cases – from under 1,000 in 2022 to more than 30,000 last year. www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2024/02/08/1229540182/its-no-surprise-theres-a-global-measles-outbreak-but-the-numbers-are-staggering?  The WHO’s most recent global numbers, released in November, reveal that measles cases increased worldwide by 18%

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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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COVID-19 surge flying under the radar? The latest health stories from around the world

Is a surge of COVID happening? With lots of folks taking at-home tests and not reporting the results, how do we know the data that’s out there is accurate?  “The most reliable data shows that a surge is happening,” says Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.  Testing data may not be as

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