Dengue fever cases have been cut by 77% in a “groundbreaking” trial that manipulates the mosquitoes that spread it, say scientists. They used mosquitoes infected with “miraculous” bacteria that reduce the insect’s ability to spread dengue. The trial took place in Yogyakarta city, Indonesia, and is being expanded in the hope of eradicating the virus. In 1970, only nine countries had faced severe dengue outbreaks, now there are up to 400 million infections a year.
Political polarization and online misinformation are threatening vaccination programs worldwide, with public trust volatile and varying widely between countries, according to a global vaccine confidence study. The study, which maps trends in vaccine confidence across 149 countries between 2015 and 2019, found that skepticism about the safety of vaccines tended to grow alongside political instability and religious extremism.
Four in five 11- to 17-year-olds around the world are not taking enough physical exercise, according to the first such analysis. The World Health Organization says children’s health is being damaged as well as their brain development and social skills. It says failing to take the recommended hour a day of exercise is a universal problem in rich and poor countries.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, resigned Wednesday, due to her ‘complex financial interests that have imposed a broad recusal limiting her ability to complete all her duties as the C.D.C. director.’ Fitzgerald made financial investments in tobacco and healthcare companies, a potential conflict of interest.
The Lancet paper that halted global trials of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 because of fears of increased deaths has been retracted after a Guardian investigation found inconsistencies in the data. The lead author, Prof Mandeep Mehra, from the Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, Massachusetts decided to ask the Lancet for the retraction because he could no longer vouch for the data’s accuracy.
New York state is alerting all other parts of the US about a new mystery syndrome that appears to be related to Covid-19 and is causing severe illness and even death in very young children. So far three children have died – a five-year-old in New York City, a seven-year-old in Westchester county and a teenager in Suffolk county in Long Island.
New York health officials are planning to collect plasma from people who have recovered after contracting coronavirus and inject the antibody-rich fluid into patients battling COVID-19. The US state’s governor Andrew Cuomo announced two experimental medical interventions – the blood plasma transfusions, and another involving antibody testing in order to send survivors back to work. The intervention comes as the number of confirmed cases in New York State surged to more than 20,000.
California’s governor issued a stay at home order, which took effect Thursday night. The state’s 40 million residents were asked to leave their homes only when necessary and it will remain in place until further notice. And Senate Republicans have unveiled a plan to send direct cash payment to help Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the plan, individuals making up to $75,000 annually would be eligible for a $1,200 check from the federal government.
President Trump on Monday urged the public to avoid “discretionary” travel, frequenting restaurants or bars, attending school in person, and gathering in groups of 10 or more — a dramatic message meant to curb the spread of the pandemic coronavirus that has sickened thousands of Americans and ground daily life to a halt in countries across the globe. The president warned that such social distancing measures could be necessary until mid-summer, until the pandemic “washes through.
San Francisco has become the first US city to ban sales of e-cigarettes until their health effects are clearer. Officials on Tuesday voted to ban stores selling the vaporizers and made it illegal for online retailers to deliver to addresses in the city. The Californian city is home to Juul Labs, the most popular e-cigarette producer in the US.