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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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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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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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Texas reports first confirmed case of bird flu in humans; The latest health stories from around the world

Texas officials today issued a “health alert” about the first confirmed case of a human infection with a bird influenza virus that has found its ways into dairy cows in the US. The worker developed conjunctivitis, a mild eye infection that frequently occurs when avian influenza viruses jump into humans. www.science.org/content/article/us-dairy-farm-worker-infected-as-bird-flu-spreads-to-cows-in-five-states?  The case is the latest surprise

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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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Genetically modified kidney marks major milestone in organ transplantation; The latest health stories from around the world

A 62-year-old man with end-stage renal disease has become the first human to receive a new kidney from a genetically modified pig, doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston announced on Thursday. https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/first-pig-to-human-kidney-transplant-performed-boston-2024-03-21/  The four-hour surgery, performed on March 16, “marks a major milestone in the quest to provide more readily available organs to patients,”

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