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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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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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Dengue fever surges in Brazil; The latest health stories from around the world

Brazil is seeing an unprecedented surge in dengue, a viral disease that can cause excruciating pains and is sometimes fatal. An unusually hot rainy season, along with rapid, unplanned urbanization, have fuelled its spread this year. Health officials have reported more than 1 million suspected cases in January and February, four times as many as …

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Cholera vaccine shortage coincides with major outbreak; The latest health stories from around the world

The world has run out of cholera vaccines—just when the deadly disease is on a rampage not seen in many years. Fifteen countries are currently reporting active outbreaks, with more than 40,900 cases and 775 deaths reported in January alone. But all available doses of oral cholera vaccines in the global stockpile have been allocated …

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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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