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January 2016 Health News Update

January 2016 Health News Update
February 01
16:57 2016

Filling you in on the latest medical and health news developments, Well ‘n’ Fit brings you two groundbreaking headlines from the health sector:

#1 Governments Sign Deal with Drug Makers to Fight Resistant Infections

In a groundbreaking agreement, world leaders have agreed to work with the drug industry in an effort to fight the drug-resistant superbugs plaguing our nation’s hospitals. The deal involves 11 diagnostic test makers, 74 drug makers, and 9 industry groups in 16 countries. Their goal is both to prevent and improve the treatment of resistant infections.

151120_MEDEX_antibiotic-resistant.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2According to the CDC, drug-resistant infections such as the Staphylococcus aureus pictured at left, infect over 2 million people each year and kill at least 23,000. The problem has been exacerbated by the overuse of antibiotics and a decline in drug research that has resulted in few new medicines that are able to combat viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

The new deal, announced last week at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, is the first of its kind. According to the Associated Press, the deal outlines just how governments and the drug industry should work together to accomplish the following:

• Prevent more drugs from becoming resistant and ineffective
• Encourage development of new medications
• Provide drugs to everyone who needs them, regardless of income/location

The agreement includes specific steps to increase worldwide access to antibiotics, improve education of nurses and doctors regarding antibiotics, teach preventative methods and better hygiene, reduce the use of antibiotics on livestock, improve infection control with vaccinations, and increase teamwork between universities, governments, and drug companies.

“Antimicrobials are the backbone of modern medicine,” says Johnson & Johnson’s chief scientific officer Dr. Paul Stoffels. “For the world to continue to have new antibiotics, we need investments in basic science and novel incentive models for industry R&D, and to protect our existing treatments, we need new frameworks for appropriate use.”

#2 Another Ebola Case in Sierra Leone

The most widespread Ebola epidemic in history began in 2013 in Guinea and quickly spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia. And it’s not over. The map below shows the areas in which Ebola is considered “contained” and the area in which the most recent outbreaks have occurred.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.47.53 AMThe past two months have been relatively quiet for the West African country of Sierra Leone, but two flare-ups this month have prevented WHO from declaring the epidemic officially over.

The most recent victim was a close relative of the 22-year-old woman who perished earlier this month. She came down with the virus after helping to prepare the woman’s body for burial.

Now, over 100 people who were in contact with the dead woman are in quarantine.

As of January 14th, 2016, WHO reported that the Ebola epidemic has claimed more than 28,000 lives since the initial outbreak in 2013.

 

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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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