Weekly Health Roundup June 5

International health news

A new treatment against ovarian cancer could be “very promising” for women in late stages. A small trial saw the size of tumors decrease in half of the participants in a 15 subject study. Although further studies are needed to examine how safe the treatment is, the researchers are saying that this could be a very exciting discovery.

US scientists have come up with an ultra-tough vital antibiotic, able to fight even the world’s most threatening superbugs. The PNAS reports that this drug could be up to a thousand times stronger than other antibiotics, being able to treat even ‘untreatable infections’. Although it hasn’t been tested on animals or humans yet, the Scripps Research Institute is hoping this drug will be ready for use within five years.

A new study suggests that the REM sleep cells could be linked to sleeping disorders. This specific group of cells in the brain are also responsible for controlling are dreams. Damaging these cells could lead not only to violence while dreaming, but also to brain diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia.

Country updates

15 children have died after a measles vaccination campaign in South Sudan. The deaths are a result of severe toxicity caused by the reuse of  syringes.

According to Chinese health officials, more actions need to be taken to decrease smoking rates in China. With a quarter of its population considered ‘smokers’, China is the largest consumer of tobacco and many are not aware of its health effects due to the lack of health warnings. A nation wide public smoking ban, higher taxes and more warnings are suggested to discourage people from stop smoking.  

As of May 2017, Lao People’s Democratic Republic no longer has any Polio virus cases, according to the International Health Committee. The last case was reported in January 2016, after having a two-year outbreak of this potentially deadly virus, but have been polio-free since then.

Health advice

According to a new study, scientists found out that washing your hands with cold water is as good as with hot water. The only difference between clean and unclean hands is the amount of soap used. According to experts, it is best to wash your hands for 20 seconds at any temperature between 15 and 26 degrees.