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MIDDLE EASTERN (H)

Child Died From Flu Strain Included in Vaccine: Report

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A 12-year-old West Palm Beach boy who died after contracting the flu was infected with a strain of the virus that experts say is uncommon, but is targeted by this year’s vaccine.

While Dylan Winnik’s death is a tragedy, experts say there may be a silver lining in that people who received flu shot may be protected from the strain that killed him, the Palm Beach Post reports. The boy’s parents reportedly said he did not receive a flu shot this year.

Health experts have been mostly concerned with a strain of influenza A known as the “Aussie flu,” which caused the highest number of infections and deaths in Australia since the swine flu pandemic in 2009.

But lab analyses determined that a strain of influenza B — known as the Yamagata flu — took Winnik’s life on Jan. 23. The strain is killing dozens in Hong Kong and Ireland, including young children.

The only good news in the tragedy, health expert say, is that the virus is included in the U.S. quadrivalent vaccine, which means most people who received the shot have some protection.

More concerning, they note, would be if the viral strain was not included in this year’s flu shot.

The Yamagata flu strain is contracted and spread particularly in children.

In general, the Yamagata flu is usually considered to be less deadly, but more contagious than the influenza A that is still dominating the season in the U.S.

Dr. Reinhard Motte, an associate Palm Beach County medical examiner, said he may have contracted the flu himself right after conducting the autopsy Winnik, but because he had been vaccinated his recovery was fairly swift.

The flu vaccine offers protection against four strains of the virus. Experts note the flu shot is usually only 40 percent to 60 percent effective, but it can also lessen the severity and duration of illness in those who suffer influenza.

The major concern this flu season remains influenza A, H2N3, the so-called Aussie flu, expert say. It’s especially dangerous to people older than 65 years of age and young children.

The flu has taken an early toll this season, with widespread outbreaks in every state, but Hawaii and many hospitals stretched thin to accommodate influenza patients.

Experts say it’s not too late to get a flu shot, but other strategies can also help — such as limiting contact with sick individuals, washing your hands frequently, and keeping your defenses up through diet, exercise, getting sufficient rest, and other health habits.


© 2018 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.



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INDIAN (H)

Now, new rules to make medical devices

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(Representative image)
(Representative image)

PATNA: Those planning to set up a plant for manufacturing medical devices in the state would now have to apply for licence under the new Medical Device Rules, 2017 implemented in January this year. Earlier, the licence was issued under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

“The licences already issued under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act for manufacturing medical devices will stay the same,” the newly appointed medical device officer for the state, Amal Kumar, said.

He said the licences under the new rule would not need periodical renewal for manufacturing and import and would remain valid until they are either suspended, cancelled or surrendered. The licensee would have to pay a retention fee every five years for the licence to remain valid. An online portal — Sugam — by Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has been launched to provide online services for granting licences for manufacturing, import, clinical investigation, sale and distribution of medical as well as in vitro diagnostics (IVD) devices.

“Now, a total of 598 items are in the list of medical devices,” said Kumar, adding the 2017 rules also include surgical sutures, bandages, dressings and staples, disinfectants, ligature and mechanical contraceptives. Setting new standards for the requirement to manufacture medical devices, they have been classified depending on the risk involved into four classes — low (Class A), low moderate (Class B), moderate high (Class C) and high (Class D).

“The application for manufacture of Class A or Class B medical devices will be assessed by the state licensing authority whereas the application for manufacture of Class C or Class D medical devices will be assessed by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI),” Kumar said.

He further said there were three plants in the state — two in Patna and one in Hajipur — for manufacturing devices under Class A and B. “The manufacturing sites will have to be inspected not less than once a year to check they are conforming to all the terms and conditions for the licences. Manufacturers are expected to follow stringently the quality management system while manufacturing medical devices,” he added.

Kumar said a one-day training programme on February 9 would be geld for all the medical device officers of the country in Delhi on how to implement the new rules properly.



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ASIAN (H)

Jong-nam trial: Siti Aisyah was paid RM400 for prank show, High Court told

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Indonesian Siti Aisyah who stand trial for the alleged murder of Kim Jong-nam was paid RM400 to be cast in a prank show, the High Court heard.

The amount was paid to Siti Aisyah by a person identified as Ri Ji-u or James after she agreed to participate in a prank show that was supposed to be uploaded on Youtube.

The case investigative officer Asst Supt Wan Azirul Nisam Che Wan Aziz, agreed with Siti Aisyah’s lawyer Gooi Soon Seng that she was paid by James to participate in the prank.

Gooi suggested earlier that James asked Siti Aisyah to perform three prank on three different people at the water fountain area in front of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur on January 5, 2017 while being recorded.

However Azirul testified that he did not know where and when the prank took place.

Gooi also suggested that a taxi driver, Kamarudin Masiod, an employee of James, approach Siti Aisyah at the Beach Club at 3am on January 5, 2017 to offer her a part in a prank show.

Gooi further suggested that James, Siti Aisyah and Kamaruddin met at Pavilion KL at 11am on the same day to record the pranks.

Azirul agreed that Kamirruddin approach Siti Aisyah at the Beach club at 3:30am and was under the employment of James but could not confirm the dates.

The case continues in front of Justice Azmi Ariffin on February 8.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/jong-nam-trial-siti-aisyah-paid-rm400-prank-092000071.html

 

Category: Malaysia


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ASIAN (H)

Cancer – good and bad news about the deadly disease: survival rates are up, but the number of cases is rising too

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Even as cancer treatment improves and survival rates go up, so, too, does the number of people afflicted with the deadly disease, experts say.

The 14 million new cancer cases worldwide recorded in 2012 will balloon to 24 million within two decades, outstripping the increase in global population, according to the World Health Organisation.

All forms of cancer combined claimed 8.8 million lives in 2015, making it the second leading cause of death after heart disease.

Breast cancer support: how Hong Kong husbands can help wives overcome their fears

“We know how to help avoid it, and to detect it. We’re getting better at treating it. But overall, we’re not making real headway in the fight against cancer,” said Christophe Leroux, head of communications for France’s League Against Cancer.

Several factors account for the disease’s growing prevalence. One is ageing populations, especially in developed nations and China, where a one-child-per-family policy in force for more than 30 years created a top-heavy age pyramid. Cancer risk increases with age.

There is also a long list of lifestyle habits linked to cancer, with tobacco consumption at the top. Other risk factors – all of them increasing – include eating poorly, lack of exercise, drinking alcohol, and obesity.

Cancer-causing infections such as hepatitis and the human papilloma virus (HPV) account for a quarter of cancer cases, mostly in low- and middle-income countries.

Another risk is exposure to carcinogenic industrial pollutants, including asbestos, organic pollutants such as dioxins, heavy metals and small air particles that lodge in the lungs.

Despite the growing challenges, five-year survival rates for most cancers have improved – sometimes significantly – since 2000, according to a study published last week in medical journal The Lancet that reviewed 37.5 million cancer cases between 2000 and 2014.

But large disparities between societies remain, depending on level of development and differences in health case systems.

Hong Kong cancer sufferer learns to open up about her illness – how others can learn from her

For children with brain tumours, for example, five-year survival has improved across the board from 54 per cent for the period 2000-2004, to more than 60 per cent for 2010-2014. In the United States, Denmark, Sweden and Slovakia, the survival rate progressed to 80 per cent or better.

In Mexico and Brazil, however, less than 40 per cent of children diagnosed with brain tumours survived in the 2010-2014 period.

Breast cancer rates also improved across the board, even as disparities remained. Five-year survival rates for 2010-2014 in the US and Australia were 90 per cent. In western and eastern Europe, the rate improved to 85 and 71 per cent, respectively.

“If we want fewer deaths from cancer, there are two ways: first, better prevention, and second, improving outcomes,” said co-author Michel Coleman, an epidemiologist and researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Cancer is also a costly disease, both for health care systems and society at large. Globally, the total annual economic cost of cancer exceeds US$1 trillion (HK$7.8 trillion), according the WHO.

Lost productivity due to premature cancer deaths in five emerging economies – China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Russia – was more than US$46 billion in 2012, according a study released last week by the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.

“It seems plausible that the global cost of cancer treatment and care in 2017 must already be substantially higher than US$300 billion,” the authors of the Lancet study concluded.

Inevitably, less money also means higher death rates.

“A lack of access to treatment is leading to premature deaths which could have otherwise been prevented,” said Sanchia Aranda, head of Cancer Council Australia.

Friend’s shaved head helps Hong Kong cancer sufferer in last-ditch quest for costly therapy

“Low- and middle-income countries face the brunt as millions of people die prematurely from cancer every year as a result of inequities in access to diagnosis.”



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MIDDLE EASTERN (H)

CBN Founder Pat Robertson Suffers Stroke, Expected to Make Full Recovery

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Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Roberson is recovering after suffering a stroke and is expected to make a full recovery, the network wrote on its website Saturday.

Robertson was taken to a stroke center near Virginia Beach, Va., around noon Friday. Minutes after receiving the clot-busting drug tPA, the 87-year-old Robertson had mobility in his limbs and was cognizant.  

“We encourage everyone to be aware of the symptoms of stroke and also be aware of the location of the nearest stroke center,” said Gordon Robertson, Pat’s son and CEO of The Christian Broadcasting Network.

“Stroke kills over 140,000 people in the USA every year and is the leading cause of serious long-term disability,” Robertson continued. “Awareness of the onset of symptoms and then rapid treatment is the key to recovery. We cannot express our thanks enough to the medical team that treated my father.”


© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



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INDIAN (H)

Malaysia’s IHH, Temasek eye majority stake in Medanta

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Mumbai/New Delhi: Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad and Singapore investor Temasek Holding are in separate discussions to acquire controlling interest in Global Health, the parent of Naresh Trehan-founded Medanta hospitals, in a deal valued at around Rs 5,800 crore ($900 million), people directly aware of the matter said.

IHH Healthcare, the world’s second-largest hospital chain by market value, is keen on becoming a strategic partner to Trehan, a well-known cardiovascular surgeon turned medical entrepreneur, who will retain significant minority ownership. IHH is attempting to string together shares held by Carlyle, Temasek and the founding partners of Trehan — all of which would give the acquirer majority shares.
Malaysia’s IHH, Temasek eye majority stake in Medanta
Private equity investor Carlyle and Singapore state investor Temasek together own about 45% stake, leaving the remaining 55% with Trehan’s family and other promoters, including co-founder Sunil Sachdeva.

However, Temasek in recent weeks has stepped into the fray, looking to buy out investors who are in exit mode. Temasek has been keen on acquiring a large private healthcare services provider in Asia’s third-largest economy. In 2015, Temasek spent $105 million to purchase shares held by one of the founding shareholders Punj Lloyd, valuing Medanta at about $600 million. Temasek, which holds just under 18% ownership in Medanta, also owns minority shares in Manipal Hospitals and cancer care specialist HCG.

When contacted, spokespersons for Medanta and Carlyle declined to comment on speculation. IHH and Temasek could not be reached for comments immediately. Medanta operates more than 1,600 beds, mostly from its large Gurgaon facility spread over 43 acres. Besides a few shareholders seeking exit, the company also needs fresh capital to expand footprint in newer markets such as Lucknow, Indore and Ranchi.

Sources mentioned earlier in this report said IHH was actively pursuing a deal with Medanta after its proposed acquisition of Fortis Healthcare suffered setbacks. IHH was also eyeing a deal with Max Healthcare, in which South African partner Life Care is selling 50% ownership. IHH is seeking to expand its footprint into northern states after gaining foothold in the west and south following the acquisition of Global Hospitals for $194 million three years ago.

Global investors like KKR, Bain Capital and TPG are chasing buyout deals in India’s private health services market, though the sector lost some sheen following recent government interventions on pricing. The domestic healthcare industry is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 12%, hitting Rs 6.85 lakh crore by 2020, on the back of rising insurance coverage, greater awareness and changing disease patterns.

India has only 1.3 million hospital beds, translating into nine beds per 10,000 people, which is well below WHO standards.



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ASIAN (H)

Malaysia has fourth lowest domestic electricity taariff in the world

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Malaysia has the fourth lowest domestic electricity taariff in the world after Sweden, China and Taiwan, according to The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA).

At a press conference held after a NationalTransformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue session at the Kelantan Trade Centre, KeTTHA Secretary general Datuk Seri lr Dr Zaini Ujang attributed this to the government’s long term agreement with energy suppliers.

” This is possible largely due to the country’s good credit rating which allows for repayment to be made over a long period of time with low interest rates.

“In fact, several fiancial service providers rank Malaysia ‘double A’ because of its good credit rating. A good investment climate has also made Malaysia attractive to foreign investors especially in the energy sector.”

At a press conference held after a NationalTransformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue session at the Kelantan Trade Centre, KeTTHA Secretary general Datuk Seri lr Dr Zaini Ujang attributed this to the government’s long term agreement with energy suppliers. fotoBERNAMA

He also said that Malaysia had a good track record in managing and utilisng its energy resources for domestic purposes, only requiring additional energy resources from other countries for our building and construction sector.

Additionally the government has helped to play its role in setting a electricity rate tariff rate that is consistent and not too high.

“The electrictiy tariff rate in use since 1 January 2018 is 38.53 sen per kilowatt jam (kWh), and it will remain as such from 1 January 2018 to 21 December 2020.”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/malaysia-fourth-lowest-domestic-electricity-093611364.html

 

Category: Malaysia


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MIDDLE EASTERN (H)

US House committee votes to release Democrats' Russia memo

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