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US approves GlaxoSmithKline whooping cough vaccine

InfectionsMay 04 05

The United States approved a new vaccine for adolescents on Tuesday to fight a rise in whooping cough, a disease that is creeping back despite decades of immunizing children.

GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Boostrix vaccine is the first to combine a booster shot against whooping cough, also known as Pertussis, with the tetanus and diphtheria boosters routinely given to adolescents.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection marked by severe coughing spells and a “whoop” sound when patients inhale. The disease can kill young children.

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Drug shortage, delays in Africa, slow malaria drive

InfectionsMay 03 05

A shortage of drugs and funds and delays in distributing mosquito nets in Africa are hampering a campaign to reduce Malaria’s annual death toll of one million worldwide, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Some 350 million to 500 million people in more than 100 countries each year catch the deadly disease, which can kill in hours, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in their World Malaria Report 2005.

The joint report follows a scathing editorial in The Lancet medical journal last month accusing an international partnership of more than 90 organisations and countries of failing to control malaria, saying they may have done more harm than good.

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