Health & Science

Health & Science
Saturday, January 30th 2016 - 11:11 UTC

WHO backs British campaign for a 'sugar tax' on sweet drinks

The numbers of obese or overweight children worldwide has risen by 10 million since 1990, prompting WHO to call for tight regulations.

In a new report on rising childhood obesity, the World Health Organization (WHO) has backed the British campaign for a “sugar tax” on sweet drinks. There is “strong evidence” that a sugar tax will work alongside two other measures to tackle childhood obesity: a ban on the sale of unhealthy food by schools, and a crackdown on the marketing of junk food to children, the report states.

Friday, January 29th 2016 - 03:45 UTC

WHO admits as possible four million cases of Zika; emergency meeting Monday

Marcos Espinal, an infectious disease expert at WHO's Americas office, said: “We can expect 3 to 4 million cases of Zika virus disease.” He gave no time frame.

The World Health Organization (WHO) expects the Zika virus, which is spreading through the Americas, to affect between three million and four million people, a disease expert said on Thursday. WHO's director-general said the spread of the mosquito-borne disease had gone from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions.

Thursday, January 28th 2016 - 05:50 UTC

Airlines offering refunds to passengers booked to fly to countries with Zika cases

BA said pregnant customers with flights to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, or to Mexico City or Cancun (Mexico), could change their booking free of charge

Some airlines, including those serving the Caribbean, have started offering refunds to passengers who had been booked to fly to countries where cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed. United Airlines, American Airlines and British Airways are allowing passengers to back out of travel.

Tuesday, January 26th 2016 - 08:06 UTC

Pan American Health Organization statement on Zika virus transmission and prevention

Two main reasons for the virus's rapid spread: (1) the Americas population lacks immunity to Zika and (2) Aedes mosquitoes are present in all the region's countries

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the Americas. Since Brazil reported the first cases of local transmission of the virus in May 2015, it has spread to 21 countries and territories* of the Americas (as of 23 January 2016).

Tuesday, January 26th 2016 - 07:46 UTC

UK government chief scientist in Chile to attend congress on education and science

Sir Mark’s program includes a visit to ALMA Observatory in the north of Chile and to Punta Arenas in the extreme south. He will also visit Antarctica guest of BAS

Sir Mark Walport, the British Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of Science and Engineering Profession, arrived in Chile on 21 January. He has been invited by the Chilean Senate to participate in the Futures Congress, in which national and international scientists, analysts and thinkers, analyze the most significant issues, challenges and achievements in the world of science.

Saturday, January 23rd 2016 - 08:28 UTC

Argentina now denies dengue outbreak is an 'epidemic'.

“There is no such gravity,” in the current situation, said Argentine Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Director Jorge San Juan

Even as the number of new cases of dengue fever continued to rise in Argentina, the Health Ministry performed a rapid about-face and disavowed a statement made on Wednesday that the outbreak constituted “an epidemic.”

Friday, January 22nd 2016 - 07:17 UTC

Argentina admits ”epidemic of (mosquito-borne) dengue fever”, including Buenos Aires city

“We already have an epidemic of Dengue fever,” Lemus said, in reference to the provinces of Misiones and Formosa where hundreds of cases have been reported

The first cases of Dengue fever struck Buenos Aires City this week as a spate of outbreaks in Greater Buenos Aires and across Argentina’s northeast were labeled “an epidemic” by Health Minister Jorge Lemus.

Friday, January 22nd 2016 - 06:58 UTC

Zika virus epidemic spreads in the region; women advised to delay pregnancy

“We expect an expansion similar to what we had with the chikungunya virus last year, to finish with between 600,000 to 700,000 cases,” Gaviria said.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has already infected more than 13,500 people in Colombia and could hit as many as 700,000, the health minister said on Wednesday. According to Pan-American Health Organization figures, the country is second only to Brazil in infection rates, health minister Alejandro Gaviria told journalists.

Tuesday, January 19th 2016 - 07:51 UTC

Fourteen countries in a US travel alert for pregnant women because of Zika virus

With the virus linked to birth defects, CDC has advised pregnant women that should consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel alert for people traveling to the Caribbean and other areas that have confirmed transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Tuesday, January 19th 2016 - 07:04 UTC

Ice Patrol HMS Protector concludes historic five week patrol to East Antarctica and Ross Sea

The Ice Patrol breaking ice while sailing in the Ross Sea, and among other duties conducted CCAMLR inspections

The Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol ship has just completed a historic five week patrol to the East Antarctic and Ross Sea. HMS Protector is the first Royal Navy, or UK Government, vessel to have visited the region in 80 years or to have travelled so far south having dipped below 77 degrees latitude.

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