An outbreak of drug-resistant and particularly virulent strains of scarlet fever has infected nearly 550 people and killed two children in Hong Kong so far this year, about double the Chinese city’s average annual total, the Associated Press reports.
Though the implementation of rapid malaria tests has reduced the administration of unnecessary antimalarial medications in the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam, “antibiotic prescriptions for fever rose by nearly a quarter, from 49 to 72 percent, raising fears that the behaviour will contribute to growing antibiotic resistance,” according to a study published in Malaria Journal last month, SciDev.Net reports.
Counterfeit medications are posing an increasing threat to patients’ health worldwide, because they offer high returns and low risks for criminal organizations, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a statement on Friday, Agence France-Presse reports.
Global malaria control efforts must be significantly scaled up if the world is to reach the goal of reducing malaria deaths to almost zero by 2015, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message on Thursday ahead of World Malaria Day, which is officially observed on Monday, the U.N. News Centre writes.
MSF Calls On African Governments, WHO To Switch To Newer, More Expensive Treatment For Severe Malaria
Nearly 200,000 deaths from severe malaria could be averted if African governments replaced the low-cost antimalarial quinine with the more expensive but more effective drug artesunate, according to a report (.pdf) released Tuesday by Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Reuters reports (Kelland, 4/19).
The WHO has said it will assist government officials evaluating whether the presence of bacteria containing the NDM-1 gene in the water supply in New Delhi poses health risks, Agence France-Presse/Calgary Herald reports. The announcement comes after the Lancet last week published a report that bacteria carrying NDM-1, a gene that enables resistance to a variety of antibiotics, “was found in 51 out of 171 New Delhi samples taken from water pools and two out of 50 tap water samples,” the news service writes (4/14).
Several media outlets report on findings published in this week’s issue of JAMA, which focuses on infectious diseases and immunology.
Also In Global Health News: India To Examine NDM-1 Study; Aid For Libya; Food Shortages In North Korea; Global Virus Network
Indian Government Forms Committee To Explore NDM-1 Study Findings The Indian government “has formed a scientific committee” to examine the findings of a recent Lancet Infectious Diseases study, which found bacteria containing the NDM-1 gene were found in water supplies in New Dehli, CNN/IBN-Live reports. “The Health Ministry isn’t pleased…
U.S., EU Need To Take Concrete Action To Incentivize Investment In Antibiotic R&D “The framework for antibiotic discovery, development and approval is broken,” Matthew Cooper of the University of Queensland and David Shales, former vice president at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, write in a Nature comment, calling for “a sustained effort from…
Marking World Health Day, WHO Warns Misuse Of Antibiotics Undermining Global Fight Against Infectious Diseases
U.N. officials on Thursday marked World Health Day with a warning that “the misuse and irrational use of antibiotics has undermined the global fight against tuberculosis and malaria, warning of a possible return to the days before the drugs were developed,” and called for urgent action to control the spread of drug resistance, Reuters reports. In addition to growing resistance to TB and malaria treatments, “treatment for gonorrhea was threatened by growing resistance to the last-line treatment, and the WHO said hospital-acquired superbugs, resistant to major antibiotics, were becoming increasing frequent,” the news service writes (Mogato, 4/7).