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

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

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Developing nations seek reassurance on the WHO Pandemic Agreement; The latest health stories from around the world

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

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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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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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Malaria vaccine resulted in 13% drop in deaths; The latest health stories from around the world

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi In a major analysis in Africa, the first vaccine approved to fight malaria cut deaths among young children by 13% over nearly 4 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported last week. Data from a pilot rollout of the vaccine, called …

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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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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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New monovalent COVID-19 vaccines approved in US; The latest health stories from around the world

Article by Lalita Panicker, Consulting Editor, Views and Editor, Insight, Hindustan Times, New Delhi  After the US Food and Drug Administration authorized new monovalent COVID vaccines on early last week, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices backed the decision a day later with a nearly unanimous vote in favour of universal XBB-containing …

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