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Health News

Paris rat catchers deployed to tackle rodent scourge

Paris - Paris officials have announced a crackdown on rats which blight parks and gardens around the City of Light and are thought to easily outnumber humans.

US life expectancy drops for first time since AIDS crisis peak

Miami - Life expectancy in the United States dropped last year for the first time since the peak of the HIV/AIDS crisis more than 20 years ago, as deaths rose from nearly every major cause, federal data showed Thursday.

Lower cholesterol rates reported for U.S. adults

Washington - Medical researchers have reported that a decline with the average levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) has occurred with the U.S. adult population.

Conservative Serbia becomes unlikely sex change centre

Belgrade - In a country where Gay Pride parades require massive security and almost half the citizens think homosexuality is a disease, Serbia is drawing patients from around the world seeking sex change operations to become men.

India's filmstar politician dies after prolonged illness

Chennai - Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the chief minister of south India's Tamil Nadu state and one of the country's most popular political leaders, has died after a prolonged illness, hospital authorities announced late Monday night.

Red Cross survey shows surging acceptance of torture in conflict

Geneva - A vast Red Cross survey published Monday indicated that acceptance of torture during war has increased dramatically in recent decades, with fewer than half of people now categorically rejecting the practice.

Egypt brings in tougher penalties against female genital mutilation

Cairo - An amended law that toughens penalties for female genital mutilation to up to 15 years in jail has come into effect, the health ministry announced Sunday.

The snake-catching tribe saving lives in India

Chengalpattu - A small scythe, a crowbar and a bundle of canvas bags are all that Kali and Vedan carry when they venture into the fields of southern India to catch some of the world's deadliest snakes.

The snake-catching tribe saving lives in India

Chengalpattu - A small scythe, a crowbar and a bundle of canvas bags are all that Kali and Vedan carry when they venture into the fields of southern India to catch some of the world's deadliest snakes.

The snake-catching tribe saving lives in India

Chengalpattu - A small scythe, a crowbar and a bundle of canvas bags are all that Kali and Vedan carry when they venture into the fields of southern India to catch some of the world's deadliest snakes.

UN chief Ban apologizes to Haitian people over cholera epidemic

New York - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday apologized for the first time to the people of Haiti for the role played by the world body's peacekeepers in sparking a devastating cholera epidemic in the country.

French MPs debate ban on 'false' anti-abortion websites

Paris - The French parliament on Thursday began debating a bill to ban pro-life websites from spreading "false information" about abortion, with rightwing lawmakers arguing it would contravene freedom of expression.

Japan culling 230,000 more birds over avian flu

Toukyo - Japan has mobilised its military to help with a second mass cull of 230,000 chickens amid a spreading outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian flu, officials said.

Pope Francis urges 'responsible behaviour' to stop AIDS spread

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Wednesday issued a call for "responsible behaviour" to prevent the spread of AIDS without specifying whether that included wearing condoms.

California hospitals take obesity fight to supermarkets

Irvine - Enter a US supermarket and the dilemma is all-too common: Will what I buy be healthy? Fattening? A substitute? That's when many wish they had a specialist at their side.

Does my hair look OK? World's oldest person turns 117 in style

Rome - Emma Morano, humanity's last known survivor of the 19th century, turned 117 in style on Tuesday, dressing up for the occasion and demanding to know "does my hair look all right?" before having her photograph taken.

Trump nominates Obamacare critic as health secretary

Washington - US President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated a fierce Obamacare critic as health secretary, indicating he plans to fulfill a campaign promise to tear up the divisive healthcare reform law.

Almost half HIV infections worldwide undetected: WHO

Geneva - The World Health Organization warned Tuesday that nearly half of all people with HIV around the globe do not know they are infected, and called for broader access to at-home testing kits.

One in seven with HIV in Europe unaware of infection

Stockholm - One in seven people with HIV in Europe is unaware of their infection, the EU and World Health Organization reported Tuesday as 2015 marked another record year for new HIV cases in the region."HIV/AIDS continues to be a serious problem in Europe...

Japan culling 330,000 birds to fight avian flu

Toukyo - Japan has begun slaughtering more than 330,000 farm birds to contain its first outbreaks of a highly contagious strain of avian flu in nearly two years, the government said Tuesday.

Poor diet sees scurvy reappear in Australia

Sydney - Scurvy, a disease historically associated with old-world sailors on long voyages, is making a surprise comeback in Australia, with health officials Tuesday revealing a rare spate of cases.

Guinea-Bissau islands feel the bite of antivenom crisis

Bolama - The vivid red wound at the base of Gina's ankle has remained open for three months and refuses to heal, leaving the Guinea-Bissau islander in constant pain.

Dutch kill 190,000 ducks to contain bird flu outbreak

Den Haag - Dutch officials have culled 190,000 ducks on a central Netherlands farm where inspectors have confirmed the presence of a highly infectuous strain of bird flu, officials and local media said Sunday.

Kids' hospital fulfils Mandela dream 3 years after death

Johanesburg - Brightly-painted wards and colourful furnishings are matched by state-of-the-art equipment and pioneering operating theatres at a new children's hospital in Johannesburg honouring Nelson Mandela.

Six killed in Australia 'thunderstorm asthma' episode

Sydney - The death toll from Australia's "thunderstorm asthma" episode has risen to six and three others are in critical condition, authorities said Sunday, as they assessed the fallout from the unprecedented event.

Sweden slaughters 200,000 hens on bird flu fears

Stockholm - Sweden on Friday said 200,000 chickens were being slaughtered at a farm where bird flu has been detected, following a resurgence in the virus across Europe.

Europe air pollution causes 467,000 early deaths a year: report

Copenhagen - Almost nine out of 10 European city dwellers breathe air that is harmful to their health, though the continent's air quality is slowly improving, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said Wednesday.

Diabetes monitoring breathalyzer developed

A new hand-held breathalyzer that allows individuals to easily assess their blood glucose levels has been developed. The device informs the user bout diabetes risk and it differs from a medical device we reported on earlier this month.

Zika babies can develop microcephaly in first year

Miami - Some Zika-infected babies who appeared normal at birth still showed significant brain defects and went on to develop unusually small heads, a condition known as microcephaly, researchers said Tuesday.

HIV-positive Malawi man jailed for two years over sex ritual

Morrumbala - An HIV-positive Malawian man who said he had sex with at least 100 girls and women in traditional cleansing rituals was sentenced Tuesday to two years in jail for "harmful practices".
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