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

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi 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 …

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Fluoridation: public health advancement or potential problem? The latest health stories from around the world

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi 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 …

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

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi  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, …

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Wolbachia trials show promising results for reducing Dengue; The latest health stories from around the world

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views  and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi  Looking at the year ahead in 2024, a strategy of releasing lab-modified mosquitoes to prevent the spread of dengue fever is poised to scale up after a series of successes. The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, developed and tested by the non-profit World Mosquito Program …

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

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi  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 …

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Biden weighs in on drug costs in US; The latest health stories from around the world

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi  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 …

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UK approves CRISPR gene therapy for SCD; The latest health stories from around the world

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi  In a world first, U.K. regulators have approved a therapy that uses CRISPR, the Nobel Prize–winning gene-editing tool invented in 2012. The treatment has been shown to help people with beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease, both inherited blood disorders that …

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Project NextGen unveils contracts for vaccine development support; The latest health stories from around the world

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi Six months after announcing the $5 billion Project NextGen to develop treatments and vaccines that can “stay ahead of COVID-19,” the U.S. government has awarded 20 contracts that reveal what much of that sum will support. The Department of Health and …

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Strain of flu eradicated during pandemic? The latest health stories from around the world

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi  An influenza virus variant that circulated widely before the COVID-19 pandemic has disappeared, leading an expert group that advises the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend last week that it no longer be included in flu vaccines. https://www.science.org/content/article/news-glance-more-success-fusion-medical-tests-under-scrutiny-and-grizzly-reintroduction?  The strain, known …

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Nobel Prize awarded for COVID-19 mRNA vaccine development; The latest health stories from around the world

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been jointly awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2023/press-release/  The discoveries by the two …

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