- The Zika virus has now spread to Florida and pregnant women have been advised to avoid the area in the wake of new cases. These cases of the Zika virus are the first infections in the US that are not linked to travel. The CDC has advised that pregnant women avoid the Wynwood area of Miami and possibly other areas in South Florida.
- A division of Alphabet has joined GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) to start a company for the development of bioelectronics. Galvani Bioelectronics will receive £540 million over the next few years. The implants are thought to work by modifying nerve signals to help fix health problems by connecting to specific organs. These implants will be powered wirelessly and function automatically which is an exciting prospect for the future
- There has been an outbreak of anthrax on the Yamal peninsula in Siberia which has been put down to a corpse of a reindeer or human. The outbreak has resulted in the hospitalisation of 90 people who are suspected to have the infection. The authorities are now working to contain the outbreak by vaccinating the reindeer and herders who are at risk as well as burning the corpses of the dead reindeer. This is the first outbreak since 1941. Hopefully, the outbreak has been successfully contained
- The NHS can now legally fund a drug that can prevent HIV in a ruling made by the High Court. NHS England had said that it had no legal power to fund the treatment which has been highly successful in preventing the spread of HIV. They also said the drugs should be funded by a local authority. However, a judge ruled that this was wrong as the drug amounts to treatment. The antiretroviral treatment has shown to reduce risk of HIV infection by 90% in high risk patients and has also been shown to prevent the replication of the virus. NHS England is expected to appeal the decision
- We now have evidence that people who are more susceptible to autoimmune disorders may be that way because their immune systems are better equipped to combat infections which enables people to live longer. Research at Princeton University has found that high levels of antibodies that can attack the body tissues are associated with longer life expectancy. However, people with these antibodies were also more likely to develop an autoimmune disorder.