July 12, 2013 |
The advice to the United Nations is unambiguous: Don't repeat the previous mistake of ignoring poor women's access to contraception in setting goals to reduce maternal and child deaths. “Women continue to die unnecessarily in childbirth,” wrote a 27-member panel of mostly political leaders who cited World Health Organization estimates that a woman succumbs to complications of pregnancy or childbirth every 90 seconds. The panel called for providing more well-equipped health facilities, skilled birth attendants and effective contraceptives to help women plan their families. “Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights is an essential component of a healthy society,” wrote the panel that included British Prime Minister David Cameron.
July 6, 2013 |
The World Health Organization's new recommendation that people with HIV begin treatment with antiretroviral drugs sooner rather than later doesn't go far enough, according to a prominent immunologist at the University of California, San Francsico Medical Center. On Sunday, the WHO changed its position on how long people should wait before they start taking ART, a trio of virus-fighting drugs known as the HIV cocktail. In 2010, the health experts said treatment should begin after the number of CD4 immune system cells dropped below 350 per cubic millimeter of blood.
July 1, 2013 |
The World Health Organization has a new philosophy regarding antiretroviral treatment for people with HIV: Why wait? If a person has a healthy immune system, they have at least 500 CD4 cells per cubic millimeter of blood. But those CD4 cells, white blood cells that signal the immune system to fight off unwanted guests, are targeted and destroyed by HIV. Until now, the WHO had recommended that patients with HIV wait to start treatment only after their immune systems had sustained some damage from the virus and their CD4 cell count had fallen below 350 cells/mm3.
April 4, 2013 |
The number of people sickened by the H7N9 bird flu virus climbed to 14 on Thursday -- and the death count jumped to five -- as the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture reported that it may have detected the virus in pigeon samples at a Shanghai poultry market. Officials in Shanghai began slaughtering birds at the market to slow spread of the disease, which so far has infected only people who come in close contact with birds and does not appear to pass from person to person. That a place like Shanghai appears to be a center for the spread of H7N9, which wasn't known to sicken people before this outbreak, makes sense, said Trevon Fuller, a research fellow at UCLA's Center for Tropical Research . Fuller and colleagues recently published a study (see related items at left for Los Angeles Times coverage)
March 1, 2013 |
The 9.0-magnitude Tohoku-Oki earthquake and resulting tsunami that triggered a meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has resulted in only a small increase in lifetime cancer risks for people living nearby, and an even smaller risk for populations outside of Japan, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. The uptick in disease resulting from radiation released by the crippled plant is "likely to remain below detectable levels," the study authors concluded in their 166-page report released Thursday.
June 1, 2011 |
Cellphone users may be at increased risk for two types of rare tumors and should try to reduce their exposure to the energy emitted by the phones, according to a panel of 31 international scientists convened by an agency within the World Health Organization. Studies so far do not show definitively that cellphone use increases that risk, said the authors of the consensus statement issued Tuesday by the WHO. But "limited" scientific evidence exists, they said, to suggest that the radiofrequency energy released by cellphones may increase the risk of glioma, a type of brain cancer, and acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor of the nerve that runs from the ear to the brain.