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Also In Global News: Drug-Resistant TB, Circumcision

Overuse Of Fluoroquinolones Contributing To Spread Of Drug-Resistant TB, Study Says "Widespread overprescribing" of a class of antibiotic drugs called fluoroquinolones is fueling the spread of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis and diminishing hopes that the drug could be used more widely to treat the disease, according to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, VOA News reports. The study found that almost one in five people who had been diagnosed with TB had received fluoroquinolones - which are also used to treat illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia - in the year before their diagnosis (Baragona, 8/25).

Aid Agencies Seek To Access Displaced Yemenis At 'High Risk' Of Disease Outbreaks

Aid agencies on Tuesday "appealed for better access" to "tens of thousands" of people in Yemen who have been displaced by violence and are facing "a high risk of outbreaks of malaria and diarrhoeal diseases among the already malnourished population, " Reuters reports. An estimated 35, 000 people have fled after violence escalated over the past two weeks, UNICEF said. "Some 120, 000 had been made homeless by earlier rounds of fighting in an intermittent conflict that began in 2004, " according to Reuters (Nebehay, 8/25). Ann Veneman, the director of UNICEF, said aid workers are struggling to shelter, and to feed and safeguard the health of an ever-growing body of internally displaced people.

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BMJ Group Launches On-line Swine Flu Forum For Doctors Across The World

Responding to concerns from doctors in many countries, the BMJ Group has now made available a forum on pandemic flu though http://www.doc2doc.bmj.com - a new international on-line community for doctors. doc2doc provides answers to clinical questions, news about the latest research and forums for doctors to share information easily with each other. Already over 8, 000 doctors have registered on doc2doc and visits to the forum on pandemic flu are increasing at the rate of 100 a day. Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor of the BMJ, said: "The BMJ Group is committed to leading the debate on healthcare and encouraging improved decision making by doctors across the world.

Typhoid Fever Cases In U.S. Linked To Foreign Travel

Infection with an antimicrobial-resistant strain of typhoid fever among patients in the United States is associated with international travel, especially to the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), according to a study in the August 26 issue of JAMA. The study also shows an increase in certain strains of typhoid fever that are resistant to the most commonly used medications for treatment. "Infection with Salmonella ser Typhi causes an estimated 20 million cases of typhoid fever and 200, 000 deaths annually worldwide, " the authors provide as background information. Typhoid fever is a rare disease in the United States with approximately 300 clinical cases reported each year.

Washington Post Examines Development Of Vaccine For Food Borne Intestinal Illness

The Partnership for Public Service/Washington Post examines how decades of work by Navy scientist Patricia Guerry could lead to "the first vaccine for a food borne intestinal illness that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide each year." "The vaccine candidate against the pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, developed by Guerry, her colleagues at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring and Canadian scientist Mario Monteiro, successfully protected against infection in monkeys during testing last year and is slated for human clinical trials, " the newspaper writes. According to the Washington Post, an "effective vaccine could potentially save tens of thousands of young lives in developing countries where the pathogen has proved deadly, " the newspaper writes.

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Consider The Risks Before Importing Livestock From Bluetongue Zone, UK

The NFU has urged all livestock farmers to play their part in reducing the possibility of bluetongue circulating in the UK by seriously considering whether it is worth the risk to import livestock from parts of the European Community where the virus is known to be circulating. Farmers are being urged to be extra vigilant after reports of further suspected cases of BTV1 and BTV8 in France and across continental Europe earlier this month. NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh said: "There is no evidence that bluetongue is circulating in this country at the moment but we are now in a peak period for midge activity where conditions are ideal for the virus to spread and we're seeing both BTV1 and BTV8 spreading in mainland Europe.

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