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Posts Tagged ‘epidemic’

Global diabetes cases double to 347 million in less than 30 years, study shows

June 27, 2011 Comments off

globalpost

The number of adults with diabetes in 2008 doubled to 347 million globally since 1980, a study in the journal Lancet says. That is about 10 percent of the world’s adults, and the prevalence of the disease is rising rapidly.

Researchers from Imperial College London and Harvard University in the U.S. looked at data from 2.7 million people worldwide, using statistical techniques to project a global number, according to BBC News. The study found that found that the diabetes rate had either risen or stayed the same in virtually every country.

Although most of the increase was due to population growth and a larger number of elderly people, increased obesity and inactivity, already strong trends in the U.S. and other wealthy western countries, are contributing to the increase in the disease in developing nations including India and countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, according to the Washington Post.

The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization, is a more comprehensive calculation of diabetes prevalence than some previous estimates, according to Read more…

Hong Kong declares scarlet fever outbreak

June 21, 2011 1 comment

physorg

Hong Kong has declared an outbreak of scarlet fever after it claimed the life of at least one child while infecting thousands of others in the city and elsewhere in China.

A seven-year-old Hong Kong girl died from the illness late last month while a five-year-old boy in the city died Tuesday morning from what said was a “very likely” a case of scarlet fever.

Hong Kong authorities have recorded 40 new cases in the past few days, pushing the total number to 459 so far this year, the highest annual total in the city and more than three times the figure for the whole of 2010.

The boy — who also had — developed a fever last Wednesday and was admitted to hospital on Sunday with symptoms of the illness.

His condition deteriorated rapidly and he died Tuesday morning, Thomas Tsang, controller of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection, said.

Classes have been suspended at the boy’s kindergarten for a week, a first for Hong Kong following a scarlet fever death.

“The situation is rather serious at the moment,” Tsang said Tuesday.

“We are facing an because the that is causing scarlet fever is widely circulating in Read more…

E.coli outbreak in Europe caused by new toxic strain

June 2, 2011 Comments off

reuters

Main Image

An employee of Czech center of national reference laboratories prepares samples of vegetables for molecular testing on EHEC bacteria (bacterium Escherichia coli.) in Brno June 1, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/David W Cerny

By Tan Ee Lyn

HONG KONG | Thu Jun 2, 2011 8:13am EDT

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The E. coli epidemic in Europe is caused by a new, highly infectious and toxic strain of bacteria that carries genes giving it resistance to a few classes of antibiotics, Chinese scientists who analyzed the organism said.

The scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute, who are collaborating with Germany’s University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, completed sequencing the genome of the bacterium in three days after receiving its DNA samples.

“This E. coli is a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectious and toxic,” said the scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute in Shenzhen city in southern China.

They said in a press release on Thursday the bacterium was closely related to Read more…

Haiti’s cholera epidemic twice as bad as predicted, say researchers

March 16, 2011 Comments off

globalpost.com

Haiti cholera 2011 3 16 

A woman sits with her sick child at an International Red Cross field hospital for the treatment of cholera in Carrefour, Haiti, on Dec. 14, 2010. (Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images)

Haiti’s cholera epidemic may be twice as bad as health officials originally thought.

The number of people affected with the disease may be nearly 800,000, double what U.N. officials predicted, BBC reports.

The bacterial disease causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and can be life-threatening if left untreated as it can lead to severe dehydration. It is spread from person-to-person through contaminated food and water.

About 150,000 people contracted cholera and 3,500 died in Haiti between October and December 2010. U.N. health officials expected the number of infected at this time to be about 400,000. But researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, say the number is likely to be double that.

The new calculations take into consideration factors such as Read more…

CDC: Deadly Superbug “C-Diff” Spreading

February 11, 2011 Comments off

CDC officals say Clostridium Difficile is killing more people each year.

CDC officals say Clostridium Difficile is killing more people each year.

Reporting Kate Merrill

DENNIS (CBS) – Three months after having knee replacement surgery, Kathleen Powers of Dennis is finally feeling well enough to do something as simple as make herself a cup of tea.

Her slow recovery has nothing to do with her knee. An infection she picked up either in the hospital or in the rehab facility ravaged her digestive system. “You feel like all of your life’s energy is being sucked out of you,” she said.

Tests confirmed Kathleen had C-Diff which is short for Clostridium Difficile. It’s a bacterium that attacks your intestines.

“You feel like you’re not going to get better and you feel like you’re dying,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, C-Diff kills thousands of people every year and that number is growing.

“It’s between three and six-fold more common than Read more…

Haiti: A year after the quake, waiting to rebuild

January 12, 2011 Comments off

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The man’s body lay face down, his white dress shirt shining like wax in the sun, as he was unearthed in the ruins of a Port-au-Prince restaurant a year after the earthquake.

The bodies still being found in the rubble are a sign of how far Haiti must go to recover from a disaster that left the capital in ruins and is estimated to have killed more than 230,000 people.

In the days after the Jan. 12, 2010 disaster, volunteers and hundreds of aid groups flocked in with food, water and first aid that saved countless lives. But the effort to rebuild has been dwarfed by the extent of the need and a lack of leadership — both in Haiti and internationally.

President Rene Preval did not speak publicly for days after the quake, and many observers have criticized him for not spearheading a coherent reconstruction effort, or making the hard policy decisions needed to rebuild.

Still, advocacy groups also blame the Haitian government’s weakness on an international community that is not keeping its pledge of support.

“The international community has not done enough to support good governance and effective leadership in Haiti,” the aid group Oxfam said in a recent report. “Aid agencies continue to bypass local and national authorities in the delivery of assistance, while donors are not coordinating their actions or adequately consulting the Haitian people.”

Street markets were soon up and running after the quake and Port-au-Prince’s traffic is worse than ever. On Tuesday, Preval, his wife and other officials lay flowers at symbolic black crosses marking a mass grave outside the capital where hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims are buried.

But from the barren hillside, the destruction is clearly visible. The slogan “build back better,” touted by former President Bill Clinton and others, remains an unfulfilled promise.

Less than 5 percent of the debris has been cleared, leaving enough to fill dump trucks parked bumper to bumper halfway around the world. In the broken building where the dead man was discovered last week, workers hired to clear rubble by hand found two other people’s Read more…

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