Weekly health roundup February 6

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International health news

An IT consulting company and a health nonprofit have joined forces in an initiative aimed at improving health in developing countries. Wipro Limited are contributing their IT expertise to allow Path to make better use of available data to accelerate innovations and progress in healthcare.

The African Union has established its own Center for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor and manage health threats. The institution will have several regional centers throughout the continent.

A drug-resistant malaria superbug has been spreading in parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Scientists are worried that it could seriously impact the goal of keeping malaria under control and stop the systematic reduction in deaths that has been continuing for the past years.

Country updates

The International Healthcare Tourism Congress (IHTC) taking place in Bengaluru, India, next month is set to bring together medical tourism experts and stakeholders in the hope of gaining the widespread support needed to transform medical tourism into an economic asset for the country.

A new rule that will take effect later this month will give the United States’ Center for Disease Control (CDC) formal powers to quarantine people suspected to be infected for 72 hours while the situation is assessed. The CDC has hailed the measure as necessary to fight modern communicable diseases, but a panel of doctors and lawyers have contended a lack of clarity on when the measure can be used and a possible tension between national and international legal standards.

Massachusetts-based Build Health International (BHI) is helping to rebuild the health infrastructure of Haiti, which was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake and suffered again during Hurricane Matthew last October. BHI is building affordable structures that can resist earthquakes and hurricanes.

The American Medical Association has warned that the United States’ immigration ban put in place by President Trump via executive order may have serious consequences on the availability of doctors, especially in disadvantaged communities. Foreign-born physicians that have been granted visas to work or train in the US could now be barred from entering its borders.

Health advice

An Italian study has found that bilingual people may be better equipped to deal with Alzheimer’s. Bilinguals outperformed single-language speakers in a variety of memory tasks, even between patients who were at the same level of progression of the disease. It is believed that bilingual people may be more equipped to compensate for neuronal loss in some parts of the brain by finding other neural pathways.

Going camping for a weekend can reset your sleeping pattern and help you sleep better. Absence of artificial light and immersion in natural light cycles can reset your circadian rhythm and prevent you from feeling tired in the morning.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning against Hyland’s teething tablets, as they contain an excessive amount of the toxic substance known as belladonna. The FDA has also stated that the tablets have no proven health benefits.