e-cig indoor ban

A new WHO report calls for a ban on e-cigarette sales to minors and their indoor use.

The World Health Organisation has urged countries to impose tougher regulations on the sale and use of electronic cigarettes. It cites concerns over the unknown health risks, recommending a ban on indoor use and prohibiting sales to minors.

Since the indoor ban and increased prices of conventional tobacco products in many countries, e-cigarettes have grown in popularity.  They work by using batteries to power a heating element which vaporizes a liquid solution containing a mixture of compounds, including nicotine and flavourings. You can also buy e-cigarettes which release a flavoured vapour without nicotine.

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double polio vaccine

New research suggests using an oral and injected polio vaccine could boost eradication efforts.

New research suggests using two types of polio vaccine is more effective than using just one. The research team found administering an injection of the inactivated polio virus (IPV) alongside the oral dose of activated poliovirus vaccine (OPV) boosts patients’ immunity. It’s hoped the findings could help speed up the eradication of polio.

Currently, the oral vaccine is leading the battle against polio but this new research from India may change the way we fight the virus. The findings, which World Health Organisation calls “truly historic”, will potentially lead to a total eradication of the disease which is now widespread in only three countries.

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new update 25 august 2014

Hypodermic needle by Steven Depolo (CC BY 2.0)

International health news

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sodium consumption killing

Are diets low in sodium essential for everyone?

Excessive sodium consumption is putting the world’s health at risk, and placing a large burden on health systems, warns a new study. It is estimated that 1.65 million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year are linked to consuming too much salt on a regular basis.

“That’s remarkably high, that’s almost 1 in 10 of all cardiovascular deaths around the world,” Dariush Mozaffarian, study author told NPR.

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myhealth app claims

Allianz Wordlwide has launched its new app for making and tracking claims.

Allianz Worldwide Care has launched a mobile app which allows members to submit claims faster and easier than ever before. The new MyHealth app allows users to make a claim simply by entering the details with a photo of the medical bills, and pressing “submit”.

If users need to stop half-way through the submission process, the app stores the information already entered for later use. In addition to submitting new claims, users can also track the progress of claims already made, and review the details of previously paid claims.

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international health news August 2014

Top health news: Doctors may be missing depression in Parkinson’s patients.

International health news

  • Depression and Parkinson’s linked - Doctors may be missing the signs of depression in patients in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, says new research.
  • Obesity linked to 10 common cancers - Overweight and obese people are at greater risk of developing 10 common cancers, with cancer of the uterus the number one threat.
  • Alopecia cure in sight - A drug usually used for a bone marrow condition has completely reversed alopecia related hair-loss in five months, says a recent study.

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Four new health-related projects are to be completed over the next two years as part of the government’s Economic Vision 2030 plan, reports the Gulf Daily News. Over the next decade health care in Bahrain is set to be upgraded with several new initiatives aimed at improving and expanding current services.

The Health Ministry is targeting Bahrain’s growing diabetes rate with specialised clinics to be opened in all health centres across the country. In addition, dedicated sickle cell anaemia services will also be added to health centres.

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Ebola outbreak 2014

Ebola virus facts ©afreecom/Idrissa Soumaré (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Ebola virus has been a hot topic in health news since the world’s biggest outbreak began in 2013 in Guinea. We bring you the facts about this disease, and the current outbreak.

What is Ebola?

Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) was first isolated during an outbreak in Zaire in 1976. It is named after the Ebola river in modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire), where one of the original outbreaks occurred.

The virus is typically acquired upon contact with infected bodily fluids or blood and symptoms appear anywhere between two days to three weeks after infection. Early symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, and muscle pains. As the virus progresses, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea occur, followed by the haemorrhagic, or bleeding, stage.

The virus has a very high fatality rate, in April 2014 WHO put the figure at 60%-65% after assessing all occurrences to date.

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11/8/14 health news

Top health stories this week, Ebola patient transferred to Spain, and the benefits of aspirin.

International health news

  • Daily aspirin cuts cancer risk - Taking an aspirin everyday could cut the risk of digestive cancers in people aged between 50-65, according to an international study.
  • Low vitamin D linked to dementia - People with severe vitamin D deficiency have an increased risk of developing dementia says the largest study on the topic.
  • How healthy are natural sweeteners? - Agave syrup and stevia are sweeping the shelves as safer alternatives to artificial sweeteners, but how healthy are they?

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Turkey expat retirement insurance

The Turkish government has reversed a requirement that expat retirees applying for residency have health insurance.

The Turkish government has recently reversed its decision to make health insurance compulsory for expat retirees. Previously, it had ruled that health insurance was required to obtain a residence permit.

The Telegraph reports the complicated residency permit application process “has become easier for retired expats” as the Turkish authorities unexpectedly overturned their earlier decision that all foreigners over 65 must have health insurance.

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