Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 8 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 8-Jan-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 9-Jan-2004
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Influenza activity still increasing in many countries and moving eastwards
Influenza activity associated with A/Fujian/411/2002-like viruses continued to increase in some countries in central and eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Israel, Russian Federation, Switzerland and Ukraine), but declined in many western European countries (Belgium, France, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom) as well as in Canada. In the USA, influenza activity persisted at a high level. Sporadic activity of influenza A(H3N2) and B was reported in some countries/regions in Africa (Algeria and Madagascar) and Asia (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Japan and Thailand).  more

CDC: Flu season still hasn't reached peak
A flu expert says the virus needs to be dealt with on a local and regional level amid concerns the flu season has yet to reach its peak despite a drop-off in activity in some states.  more

Urgent work needed to rebuild health care systems
Health care systems must be strengthened through focused action in countries if global health goals agreed by the international community are to be met, according to a new report published by the World Health Organization (WHO). The health care services of most developing countries require urgent investment and international support, says The World Health Report 2003 Shaping the Future.  more


The world health report 2003 - Shaping the future
This year's report, shaping the future, shows how international action to tackle HIV/AIDS, polio, SARS and noncommunicable diseases can help strengthen health systems and meet other major public health challenges.  more

Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the Republic of the Congo
As of 24 December, 2003, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of the Congo reported a total of 35 cases including 29 deaths of Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) in Mbomo (31 cases, 25 deaths) and Mbandza (4 cases, 4 deaths) villages located in Mbomo district, Cuvette Ouest Department. The last death was reported on 3 December and no further cases have been reported since then. more

Cobblestone mat walking shows health benefits for elderly
A recently completed study on the health benefits of "stone stepping", an exercise method popular in China, indicated that older adults experienced significant improvements in mental and physical well-being, including reductions in blood pressure and pain levels. An article published in a recent issue of the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity summarizes results from a pilot study, which was conducted in Portland by Oregon Research Institute (ORI) scientists.  more

Promising drug fails to thwart fatal lung disease
A treatment that had shown early promise in alleviating symptoms and preventing the advance of the fatal lung disease pulmonary fibrosis failed to stall the disorder's progression in 162 patients, according to the results of an international clinical trial reported in the 8 January 2004, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.  more

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