“A committee of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has concluded after a comprehensive review that there is little cause for concern about the suggested link between mobile phone use and brain tumors,” BMJ reports (Watts, 7/4).
“The Atlanta-based CDC is expanding its involvement in cases of illness overseas, from helping track the source of the highly toxic E. coli outbreak in Germany to homing in on the cause of cholera in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake,” in an effort “to stop epidemics before they can reach the United States,” Reuters/MSNBC.com reports.
“Evidence ‘strongly suggests’ that a United Nations peacekeeping mission brought a cholera strain to Haiti that has killed thousands of people,” according to a study conducted by a team of epidemiologists and physicians and published in the July issue of the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Associated Press reports. The Haitian government has recorded more than 363,000 cases of cholera more than 5,500 deaths since the outbreak began in October.
Health officials in northeast Thailand plan to screen residents over the age of 30 for fluke worms, which can be cured with one tablet of praziquantel or lead to fatal bile duct cancer in 10 to 20 years if left untreated, Reuters reports.
The number of adults with type 2 diabetes has doubled worldwide over the last three decades, rising from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million, “a sign that the epidemic will impose an ever-greater cost burden on health systems,” according to a study published on Saturday in the Lancet, the Wall Street Journal reports (Naik, 6/27).
An inexpensive, non-invasive cheek swab saliva test for dengue has been developed by researchers in Singapore and is undergoing multi-center evaluation, SciDev.Net reports.
“Four more people have died in Germany, health officials said Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths from an E. coli outbreak to 35,” CNN reports.
During the handling of the E. coli outbreak in Germany, “[c]oordination of the German public health response seems to have been utterly absent,” a Lancet editorial states, adding, “But one should also ask: where was the European Centres of Disease Prevention and Control? â€¦ From the public’s point of view, no visible collaboration seems to have taken place.”
“After days of confusion, German authorities finally concluded on Friday that an E. coli infection, which has claimed at least 29 lives, unsettled the nation and thrown European agriculture into disarray, had been caused by contaminated bean sprouts and not, as first was feared, by other produce,” the New York Times reports.
In his opening address at the U.N. High Level Meeting on AIDS on Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “told presidents, ministers and diplomats from across the globe that if all partners involved in the fight unite ‘as never before,'” the goal of “zero new infections, zero stigma and zero AIDS-related deaths” can be achieved, the Associated Press/Kansas City Star reports (Lederer, 6/8).