Health News

Flu outbreak is not a 'cataclysm', animal health official says

FranceParis - The swine flu outbreak currently spreading around the world is probably not a "cataclysm" for human health, the head of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said Wednesday. "The new virus is apparently passed on very easily from person to person. It appears to be spreading throughout the entire world. But if it does not cause serious symptoms in people, it is no cataclysm," Bernard Vallet told the German Press Agency dpa.

APEC calls for immediate steps vs swine flu, but no travel ban

Swine FluManila - Asia-Pacific transport ministers on Wednesday called for immediate steps to contain the spread of a deadly swine flu virus outbreak, but they did not call for a travel ban in the countries affected by the disease. At the end of the 6th Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) Transportation Ministerial Meeting in Manila, the ministers expressed concern over the spread of the swine flu virus, which now affects seven countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Ukraine quarantines US passenger plane over swine flu fears

ukraineKiev - Health officials in Ukraine on Wednesday temporarily quarantined an airliner carrying more than 180 people amid fears that that at least one of the passengers was infected with swine flu, Channel 5 television reported. A US national aboard the plane arriving from New York had complained of a headache while en route to Kiev, prompting the decision by health authorities to prevent those onboard from disembarking.

The incident took place at the country's largest airport, Boryspil, north of the capital Kiev.

European pharma industry meets in Brussels for flu talks

Swine fluBrussels - Representatives of the European pharmaceutical industry were set to arrive in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss their response to a feared swine-flu pandemic with the European Union's top health policy-maker. EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou invited them to the EU's capital to ask about the current availability of flu vaccines and their capacity to produce and distribute more supplies if necessary, Vassiliou's spokeswoman, Nina Papadoulaki, told journalists in the city.

Australian doctors flag diabetes breakthrough

DiabetesSydney - Australian doctors believe they have found the key to eradicating the type of diabetes that obliges sufferers to regulate their blood glucose levels every day of their lives, news reports said Wednesday. "We are really excited about this because there are no treatments for type 1 diabetes," Garvan Institute researcher Shane Grey told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Greece launches anti-smoking campaign ahead of July ban

anti-smoking campaignAthens - Greece, one of Europe's heaviest smoking nations, on Wednesday launched a six month anti-smoking campaign ahead of a ban outlawing smoking in most public places from July 1. The new ban should have a big impact in a nation where nearly 45 per cent of the adult population smokes, and where smoking in offices and cafes is seen as both traditional and acceptable.

"With the drafting of a national action plan against smoking, our country has acquired a targeted and strategic policy for the promotion and safeguarding of public health," said Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.