Jack Brown

Relationship apps blamed for 1,000,000 new STD circumstances on daily basis with warnings infections have gotten untreatable

Relationship apps and sexual well being stigma are including to greater than 1,000,000 new STD infections on daily basis and driving a surge of untreatable superbug strains, the World Well being Organisation has warned. There are 376 million diagnoses a 12 months of treatable STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis amongst individuals underneath the age of 50.

Whereas most infections are at present treatable with antibiotics the WHO stated drug resistance is a rising risk, significantly in gonorrhea, which “may result in the illness being unimaginable to deal with”.

Dr Teodora Wi, WHO medical officer on STIs, informed a briefing that there have been already “very excessive charges” of  gonorrhea immune to first selection medication, just like the quinolone antibiotics, and it was an rising drawback for different remedies like azithromycin.

“Extra usually we’re seeing rising resistance to ceftriaxone, which is the final line remedy for gonorrhea,” Dr Wi stated with syphilis additionally exhibiting indicators of resistance to azithromycin. Roughly one in 25 individuals, globally, is contaminated with a number of of those ailments and each time antibiotics are used to deal with them it will increase the probabilities of drug resistance rising.

They’re additionally a significant explanation for infertility, power illness and beginning problems and syphilis alone brought about 200,000 stillbirths and new child deaths in 2016. But there was just about no discount in charges of STD infections since 2012, the WHO stated. Lowering this may require measures to deal with stigma about using contraception and sexual well being testing, however the altering nature of relationships and the affect of latest know-how may be an element.

“Intercourse is changing into extra accessible,” Dr Wi stated. “You will have courting apps and all that, in all probability that’s an element. If it’s accessible and you’ve got extra intercourse, you might have extra STIs.” There may be additionally the problem of a scarcity of entry to testing providers which imply many individuals could go undiagnosed for years till they present signs.

The WHO has issued a name to arms researchers to develop a pregnancy-test fashion system for diagnosing STD’s cheaply in international locations with out nationwide testing programmes. However STD’s are additionally rising in international locations just like the UK. Gonorrhea diagnoses jumped 26 per cent in England final 12 months and there have been three extensively drug resistant circumstances in 2018. Nevertheless the UK authorities has lower budgets for sexual well being providers repeatedly since 2010, and the WHO stated these sorts of selections needs to be reversed.

“Sexually transmitted an infection shouldn’t be handled otherwise from another infections,” Dr Wi stated. “We can’t sweep them underneath the carpet and faux they don’t exist.” Dr Mark Lawton, of the British Affiliation for Sexual Well being and HIV stated the UK had good programs for STD testing. “This usually makes our STI charges seem greater than different international locations, however the upward traits we have now seen are very actual. “Drug resistant gonorrhea is certainly a priority. We’ve got now had three circumstances within the UK of gonorrhea not treatable by normal antibiotics. “Until we have now sufficient funding in top quality sexual well being providers that is going to turn into an growing drawback.”

Nationalised drug companies may be needed to fix antibiotics market

Nationalised or state-run “utility” drug companies may be the only answer to the lack of investment in new antibiotics, former banker Lord Jim O’Neill has suggested.

The drastic measure would be intended to ensure that the development and production of new antibiotics were not at the mercy of capitalist market forces – which may seem at odds with O’Neill’s background as a chief economist at global banking giants Goldman Sachs. But, speaking at a London press briefing on “fixing the broken antibiotics market”, he compared it to the way banks or parts of their businesses were taken over by the government after the 2008 financial crash.

O’Neill said: “It’s what happened in finance in the end. If you’re not going to do it yourself, we’re going to turn certain parts of your business into being a utility.” Other proposals including “prizes” for new drug developers, a “Netflix” model that would see health providers pay for the right to access new medicines, and pricing antibiotics in a way that properly reflects their value to society, had led to talk but no action, he said. Another possibility was a “carrot and stick” approach that taxed drug companies opting out of antibiotics while rewarding others that stayed in the game.

O’Neill revealed that he floated the idea of a publicly owned pharmaceutical company in his first month as the government’s “superbug tsar”. Between 2014 and 2016, he was chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, which produced several reports on the looming dangers of overuse of antibiotics and drug-resistant bacteria. O’Neill said: “I was told that was ridiculously naive because the pharmaceutical companies are the only ones that have the depth of manufacturing and distribution capability. It seems to me that’s not really getting us very far.”

Drug-resistant superbugs pose a serious global threat, especially since no new classes of antibiotic have been developed since the 1980s. In 1980, a total of 25 large drug companies had active antibiotic discovery programmes.  Since then their numbers have dwindled to just three: Pfizer, MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme) and GSK (GlaxoSmithKline). Their antibiotic pipelines are said to be “very small”. Other companies engaged in antibiotics development have either quit the business, been swallowed up by larger players, or were struggling, the briefing was told. Currently there were 26 candidate antibiotics in the global pharma pipeline, but almost all were simply modifications of older drugs, and few targeted the most dangerous microbes listed as “priority pathogens” by the World Health Organisation.

The problem facing drug companies is that antibiotics, which are sold on a per-pill basis, simply do not bring in big enough rewards. New infection-fighting drugs are generally priced at between £1,500 and £3,800 per course of treatment – a fraction of the cost of long-term therapy for chronic non-bacterial diseases, such as cancer. This cut little ice with O’Neill, however, who was highly critical of the pharma companies. “They see their job as rewarding shareholders – and it’s kind of really worrying,” he said. He accused the industry of talking “incredible nonsense” about their commitment to producing and distributing new antibiotics and vaccines.

He added: “If pharmaceutical companies delivered just a tenth of the commitment that comes from their words, we might actually get somewhere. It leads me to think that some of the more radical ways of changing the risk/reward incentive and social circumstances of it now need to be explored more.” He confessed to not having a clear idea about how nationalising antibiotics production would work. One possibility would be for the government to take over developers that were looking for a private buyer. Another would be to acquire all the remaining anti-infection business from the larger companies. This could prove cheaper than offering multibillion-pound rewards for producing new drugs that meet a defined need, said O’Neill.

Alternatively, a taxpayer-supported utility company would focus only on the costly business of drug manufacture and distribution. Dr Sheuli Porkess, deputy chief scientific officer at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said: “The pharmaceutical industry is hardly standing still in the fight against anti-microbial resistance. “We have been working closely with the government for the last two years and companies are ready and waiting to start testing a new model which will support antibiotics R&D this year. We shouldn’t write off this plan before we’ve tried it.”

Monkeypox: Blackpool patient is second UK case

Key facts

  • Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of central and west Africa, near tropical rainforests.
  • The monkeypox virus is similar to human smallpox, a disease that has been eradicated in 1980. Although monkeypox is much milder than smallpox, it can be fatal.
  • The monkeypox virus is mostly transmitted to people from various wild animals such as rodents and primates, but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.
  • Typically, case fatality in monkeypox outbreaks has been between 1% and 10%, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine available although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing monkeypox as well.

The patient is being treated at the Tropical and Infectious Diseases Unit at Liverpool University Hospital. A second UK patient has been diagnosed with monkeypox, days after the first was discovered. The patient, who tested positive at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, had recently travelled to Nigeria where they are believed to have contracted it, Public Health England said. They are being treated in a specialist unit at Liverpool University Hospital. The first UK case was diagnosed in Cornwall in a patient who had also spent time in Nigeria.

Public Health England said there was no UK link between the patients. The rare viral infection does not spread easily between humans and most people recover within a few weeks. Dr Mike Beadsworth, clinical director of the Tropical and Infectious Diseases Unit at Liverpool University Hospital, said there was no risk to staff, patients or visitors. “The patient is being cared for on our specialist infectious and tropical diseases unit, by highly trained staff who are experienced in dealing with a variety of infectious diseases.”

What is monkeypox? Monkeypox is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks, however severe illness can occur in some It is a rare disease caused by monkeypox virus, and has been reported mainly in central and west African countries It can spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person, however there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off Source: Public Health England Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the PHE’s National Infection Service, said there was a sustained outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria in September 2017 and sporadic cases continue to be reported. “It is likely that monkeypox continues to circulate in Nigeria and could, therefore, affect travellers who are returning from this part of the world. However, it is very unusual to see two cases in such a relatively short space of time.” He said PHE was contacting people who may have come into contact with the latest patient.

Further information on World Health Organisation website: Key facts about Monkeypox

Vaping can cause SERIOUS lung damage, say scientists

Vaping can cause SERIOUS lung damage, say scientists

A study, published in journal BMJ and ScienceDaily, found vapour may cause inflammation and impair the activity of alveolar macrophages, cells which remove potentially damaging dust particles, bacteria and allergens.

The researchers said some of the effects are similar to those seen in cigarette smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Professor David Thickett, lead author from the University of Birmingham, said: “In terms of cancer causing molecules in cigarette smoke, as opposed to cigarette vapour, there are certainly reduced numbers of carcinogens.

“They are safer in terms of cancer risk, but if you vape for 20 or 30 years and this can cause COPD, then that’s something we need to know about.”

He added: “I don’t believe e-cigarettes are more harmful than ordinary cigarettes.

“But we should have a cautious scepticism that they are as safe as we are being led to believe.”


Blood test discovery could help detect kidney cancer early

Blood test discovery could help detect kidney cancer early

A marker in the blood could help detect kidney cancer early, scientists have said. Measuring levels of protein molecule KIM-1 may indicate whether someone is more likely to develop the disease over the next five years, according to research published in journal Clinical Cancer Research. The international team of scientists said the biomarker is a “promising candidate” to assist with the early detection of renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.

The researchers, supported by organisations including Cancer Research UK, examined the blood of 190 people who went on to develop kidney cancer and 190 people who did not. The greater the concentration of KIM-1, the higher the person’s risk of developing the disease, they found. A blood sample being held with a row of samples People with the lowest level of KIM-1 had a 0.2% predicted risk of kidney cancer over five years, compared with a risk of up to 1.4% among those with the highest levels. The research also found that among people with kidney cancer, those with the highest levels of the protein in their blood were less likely to survive. The scientists said the biomarker could be used in the future alongside imaging techniques to help diagnose kidney cancer early, or rule out the disease.

Dr David Muller, co-author of the study from Imperial College London, said: “This work is a big step forward. “KIM-1 is the only blood biomarker shown prospectively to distinguish between people at high and low risk of kidney cancer. “But there’s a lot more work to do before we could envisage this in the clinic. “The next steps are to look more closely at whether KIM-1 levels can help detect tumours that have a good prognosis, so those at an early stage, and to find out if it could be used as a tool to track whether a patient’s treatment is working.”

Kidney cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the UK. More than eight in 10 people will survive the disease for five years or longer when it is diagnosed at its earliest stage, Cancer Research UK said. However, around four in 10 cases in England are diagnosed at a late stage. Professor Charles Swanton, chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, said: “The potential of blood tests for the detection and monitoring of cancers is becoming increasingly apparent, and this work offers further evidence that they could become powerful tools in the clinic. “There is a pressing need to shift kidney cancer diagnoses towards earlier stages, when treatment is more likely to be successful, and this promising research is progress towards that goal. “This work is still in early stages, so prospective studies of larger populations are needed before this approach could be widely adopted.”


Norovirus outbreak denied by Public Well being England who report no case will increase

Norovirus outbreak denied by Public Well being England who report no case will increase

A norovirus outbreak has been denied by Public Well being England who report no improve in instances regardless of country-wide stories of the ‘vile bug’. Norovirus is a ‘very disagreeable’ abdomen bug that causes extreme vomiting and diarrhoea and lasts for 2 days. There have been quite a few stories of the bug all through the UK, together with in locations like Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, the West Midlands, Higher Manchester, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, North Wales and South Wales. Regardless of this, Public Well being England say their knowledge exhibits there was no improve. A spokeswoman mentioned: “This is not an outbreak. We now have checked out our knowledge and haven’t seen an elevated variety of norovirus to point an outbreak.” Whereas Public Heath England declare there was no spike within the variety of instances, Mirror On-line has been contacted by quite a few individuals struck down by the extremely contagious bug – with many claiming they’ve by no means felt so unwell of their complete life. Karen Llewellyn, from Studying, mentioned her son was left unable to maneuver after being struck down with the illness. Victims are often informed to attend till the virus clears and take painkillers (Picture: iStockphoto) Learn Extra She mentioned: “My 16-year-old son had this the opposite day. He additionally had aching limbs extreme headache and fever. “I checked him over for signs of meningitis, simply in case. He could not transfer with out being sick. “Fortunately for him, it solely lasted about 36 hours.” Darren Kim Burgess, from Essex, mentioned: “We now have had our total household taken unwell with this virus. “The abdomen cramps are so painful. It began with our daughters on Sunday morning and by Tuesday morning my fiancé and I have been unwell together with their nan! “We known as the varsity and there are a number of kids off for the time being with tummy bugs. The nasty bug causes diarrhoea (Picture: iStockphoto) (Picture: Getty) Learn Extra “Anybody who has this bug wants to remain in and cease the unfold as individuals with a weak immune system actually battle with this. “My mum in legislation is a transplant affected person and it has actually knocked her for six.” Frankie Holland, additionally from Essex, mentioned: “I had the bug that you simply spoke about within the article, I acquired it final Thursday. “I used to be at work and felt superb the entire day. I got here again from lunch and began feeling actually nauseous then had a sudden urge to go a bathroom. “I had diarrhoea and after I completed and washed my hand I right away went again into the bathroom and vomited badly, I went again to work, drunk some water, 10 minutes after, I vomited the water again up. Anybody with norovirus ought to avoid hospitals and GPs (Picture: Getty) The bug is extremely contagious (Picture: Science Photograph Library RF) Learn Extra “I assumed I had meals poisoning from what I ate, however clearly wasn’t, I drove dwelling, vomited once more the second I acquired into my dwelling bathroom. “I showered, laid in mattress and continually felt the urge to vomit. I had a chilly sweat, my complete physique ached, and it took about two days day to completely recuperate. “It was by far probably the most sick I’ve ever been. I’m from Essex and my complete household have gone by way of it every week earlier than I had it however appears like I wasn’t in a position to dodge it.” Elsewhere, Devon Dwell stories that native residents are falling down ‘like dominoes’ with the bug. One man, who acquired sick alongside together with his two-year-old daughter, informed them: “I assumed it was meals poisoning to start out with, however then different associates of the household began to really feel sick. “Then one other buddy, who I hadn’t seen for some time, acquired unwell as did her husband. “She was informed by docs that there was a nasty bug going round for the time being. Anybody with norovirus ought to drink loads of fluids and keep at dwelling for at the least 48 hours (Picture: Twitter / NHS England) Learn Extra “Six individuals I do know have gotten poorly in latest days. Fortunately, mine cleared up in lower than 24 hours.” Signs of norovirus embrace out of the blue feeling sick, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Some individuals even have a slight fever, complications, painful abdomen cramps and aching limbs. The signs seem one to 2 days after you grow to be contaminated and usually final for as much as 2 or three days. Anybody who will get the bug ought to drink loads of water and relaxation, in response to recommendation from Public Well being England. It has additionally suggested individuals to remain off work and for folks to maintain kids out of nursery and college for at the least 48 hours because it’s extremely contagious. Good hand hygiene is essential to cease the unfold of the virus and folks with the bug mustn’t go to A&E or GPs as this may increasingly unfold the virus.