Researchers at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week described a device that collects water quality data to “chec[k] supplies in real-time, alerting users to possible infections,” and “upload[s] the data, allowing scientists to monitor the location and movement of outbreaks,” BBC News reports. The researchers said the device, called the Water Canary, “could prove invaluable for governments around the world keen to contain disease and environmental disasters,” according to the news service (Wakefield, 7/13).
Pakistan has reported the first case of the type-3 wild poliovirus in six months, raising concerns that the disease may spread to other parts of Asia and beyond, the WHO said on Thursday, Bloomberg/San Francisco Chronicle reports. “Confirmation of continuation of WPV3 transmission in tribal areas of Pakistan has significant implications for the global effort to eradicate WPV3, particularly as Asia is on the verge of eliminating circulation of this strain,” the WHO said on its website.
Scientists have isolated a new strain of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea that is resistant to all known antibiotic treatments in biological samples from a Japan woman, according to Magnus Unemo of the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria, Reuters reports. Unemo is set to present his findings at a conference of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research in Quebec on Monday.
Two Johns Hopkins University computer scientists have found a way to use Twitter to track public health trends, according to a Johns Hopkins University press release. Mark Dredze, a researcher at the universityâ€™s Human Language Technology Center of Excellence,Â and Michael Paul, a doctoral student,Â “fed 2 billion public tweets posted between…
“A new Cochrane Systematic Review [.pdf] examines the accuracy of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs), which are designed to detect malaria based on the presence of parasite antigens, using a quick and easy to use format,” according to a press release. “After reviewing available data in 74 different studies, we can…
“A committee of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has concluded after a comprehensive review that there is little cause for concern about the suggested link between mobile phone use and brain tumors,” BMJ reports (Watts, 7/4).
“The Atlanta-based CDC is expanding its involvement in cases of illness overseas, from helping track the source of the highly toxic E. coli outbreak in Germany to homing in on the cause of cholera in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake,” in an effort “to stop epidemics before they can reach the United States,” Reuters/MSNBC.com reports.
“Evidence ‘strongly suggests’ that a United Nations peacekeeping mission brought a cholera strain to Haiti that has killed thousands of people,” according to a study conducted by a team of epidemiologists and physicians and published in the July issue of the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Associated Press reports. The Haitian government has recorded more than 363,000 cases of cholera more than 5,500 deaths since the outbreak began in October.
Health officials in northeast Thailand plan to screen residents over the age of 30 for fluke worms, which can be cured with one tablet of praziquantel or lead to fatal bile duct cancer in 10 to 20 years if left untreated, Reuters reports.
The number of adults with type 2 diabetes has doubled worldwide over the last three decades, rising from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million, “a sign that the epidemic will impose an ever-greater cost burden on health systems,” according to a study published on Saturday in the Lancet, the Wall Street Journal reports (Naik, 6/27).