Europe will almost certainly be hit by an influenza epidemic, possibly a mutation of bird flu which has already killed more than 50 people in Asia, the European Union’s health commissioner said on Friday.
Launching the EU’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in the Swedish capital, Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said EU states must make immediate preparations for tackling such an outbreak.
An “influenza pandemic seems inevitable,” he said.
Injecting warts directly with any of a number of selected antigenic proteins appears to be a useful way of resolving the problem, researchers report. This form of immunotherapy seems to clear up not only the injected warts but also others not even in the same vicinity.
“Intralesional immunotherapy is a highly effective and safe method for treating any patient with a wart, but particularly for patients with large or numerous warts in any location,” lead investigator Dr. Thomas H. Horn told Reuters Health.
Dr. Horn, of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, and colleagues, studied 233 patients who had at least one wart that was injected with skin test antigens for either mumps, Candida or Trichophyton.
A group of Britons appealing against convictions for illegally using cannabis for pain relief suffered a blow on Friday when three of the country’s top judges ruled they were not exempt from the law.
The five people mounting the test case argued they were entitled to a defence of “necessity” because the drug was needed for pain relief, was more effective than some conventional medicines and did not have the associated side effects.
An Irish judge ruled on Friday that a man who believes the acne drug Accutane caused his son’s suicide can pursue his case against Swiss drugs maker Roche Holdings despite rejecting an out-of-court settlement.
Roche had hoped to get the case dismissed after Liam Grant turned down a settlement that offered maximum damages under Irish law, plus related costs, but did not include an admission of liability.
Justice Joseph Finnegan accepted that continuing the case would be both costly and expensive, involving millions of documents and months of court time, but ruled that Grant had a constitutional right to pursue his case to establish liability.
Afghan health workers battling polio will set off into remote mountains next week hoping to reach about two million children who missed an immunization drive because they were cut off by heavy snow.
Afghanistan is on the verge of eradicating polio with only one case reported so far this year compared with 27 in 2000.
“The campaign is a vital step in ensuring that no children are missed in the nationwide effort,” Edward Carwardine, a spokesman for the U.N. Children’s Fund, said on Thursday.
China has launched a people’s war on drug abuse, offering rewards for information on traffickers, a top official said on Thursday, tackling a problem that was wiped out after the Communist Party came to power in 1949.
China, which borders the “Golden Triangle” opium-producing region where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet, has about a million registered addicts and many more who are not registered.
A bipartisan majority of House members has signed a letter made public on Thursday urging a vote on legislation that would allow Americans to save money by importing drugs from foreign countries.
The bill passed the House by a wide margin two years ago but died in the Senate. Sponsors say support has grown to well over the 221 signatures on the letter. A majority is 218 votes.
The backers of the legislation told a news conference they do not currently plan to take aggressive procedural measures to force a vote - but didn’t rule out that option down the road.
Fewer Americans are smoking, but their numbers are not dropping as quickly as U.S. health officials would like, according to a report issued on Thursday.
The survey finds that 21.6 percent of U.S. adults said they smoked in 2003, down from 22.5 percent in 2002 and 22.8 percent in 2001.
For the second year in a row, more people are former smokers than current smokers, the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds, with nearly 46 million now having kicked the habit.
China has developed vaccines that block the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu among birds and mammals, Xinhua news agency reported, as scientists in the west warned of a possible global pandemic killing millions.
Scientists fear that avian flu, which is infectious in birds but does not spread easily among humans, could mutate into a form more capable of passing from animals to people.
The H5N1 strain first surfaced in poultry in Hong Kong and China eight years ago and has killed 37 people in Vietnam, 12 in Thailand and four in Cambodia.
Experiments in rats suggest that minocycline, an antibiotic, could curb a common cause of vision problems in people with diabetes.
Minocycline is a “strong candidate for further consideration as a therapeutic drug in reducing the retinal complications of diabetes,” Dr. J. Kyle Krady and colleagues from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey write in the medical journal Diabetes.
It could infect 20 percent of the world’s population, kill many millions and create an economic crisis but scientists say not enough is being done to combat a bird flu virus that could trigger a global pandemic.
The Asian H5N1 virus that first surfaced in poultry in Hong Kong and China eight years ago has killed 37 people in Vietnam, 12 in Thailand and four in Cambodia.
Global health officials fear it could mutate into a lethal strain that could rival the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that killed between 20 and 40 million people.
Recurrent tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) may have a strong genetic component, researchers report in the Archives of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery.
Lead investigator Dr. Ellen Kvestad from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo told Reuters Health that the disease is known to run in families but the finding that this is due to genetic factors with no contribution from common environmental factors “was a bit surprising.”
Kvestad and associates used data from 9479 Norwegian twins to investigate the possible genetic and environmental contributions to recurrent tonsillitis.
The source of the world’s biggest sperm bank may soon run dry if Danish authorities decide to tax donors, Cryos International Sperm Bank said on Wednesday.
Denmark, with the world’s highest income tax levels, wants sperm donors to pay tax on the 500 crown ($84.59) reimbursement men receive for their services.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), already campaigning against obesity and smoking, launched a probe on Wednesday into alcohol, which is estimated to kill 1.8 million people each year.
A resolution, initiated by Nordic countries, was adopted by ministers from the WHO’s 192 member states on the final day of their annual 10-day assembly.
It expressed alarm at “trends in hazardous consumption”, or binge drinking, particularly among young people, and cited a growing risk in developing countries.
Indiana on Wednesday executed a convicted murderer who had sought a reprieve so he could donate part of his liver to an ailing sister.
Gregory Johnson, 40, was pronounced dead at 12:28 a.m. CDT (0528 GMT) after an injection of lethal chemicals, officials at the Indiana State Prison said.