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Noncommunicable diseases

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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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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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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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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WHO declares JN.1 COVID-19 variant a “variant of interest; The latest health stories from around the world

For the first time since it declared an end to the global Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 on 05 May,  the World Health Organization (WHO) has called the COVID-19 variant JN.1 a standalone “variant of interest.” WHO has gone further to state that JN.1 will drive an increase in cases of the virus. https://www.medscape.com/s/viewarticle/covid-strain-jn-1-now-variant-interest-who-says-2023a1000w73?  JN.1 …

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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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