International Health News
The Zika virus is no longer an international public health emergency, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus, which causes birth defects in newborns, still remains an important global health challenge according to the UN’s health agency, which hopes that continued research into the long-term nature of the disease will help keep the situation under control. People in affected areas have been warned that they should continue to take preventative measures against the virus until all levels of threat have been lifted.
Women who have suffered from depression are less likely to receive treatment for breast cancer. A study of more than 45,000 Danish women diagnosed with the illness between 1998 and 2011 found that those who had been treated with antidepressants were less likely to survive the illness. The researchers suggest that this is due to the fact that these patients are less likely to receive the recommended care for the illness, and calls for greater support to be offered to those who have suffered from mental health in the past when undergoing diagnosis and treatment.
Health officials in West Africa have promised to continue to cooperate in order to respond as effectively as possible to public health threats that affect the region. The ministers of Health, Agriculture and Environment, who gathered together last week, recognised that over 75% of the diseases that have impacted humanity over the past ten years have come from animals or animal products. The ministers made reference to the recent Ebola outbreak, that claimed over 11,000 lives and devastated national economies, and pledged to work more closely in order to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.
Chinese Premier LI Keqiang has promised to continue to provide healthcare assistance to developing countries and promote global health issues during the opening ceremony of the 9th Global conference on Health Promotion. China has sent over 20,000 medical professionals to 67 other countries and regions in the past 50 years, who have treated more than 260 million patients. Most notably, in 2014 when Ebola broke out in West Africa, the Chinese government sent 1,200 medical workers and experts to help out in the affected areas.
Stress and bad habits that impact the heart, such as smoking and eating unhealthily, significantly increase the risk of a heart rhythm disorder that can lead to clots, heart failure and other complications. Experts say that leading a healthy lifestyle may significantly reduce the risk of developing the disorder, and lower the chance of suffering from other associated illnesses, like heart disease or strokes, at a later stage.