South Africa

First Zika case confirmed in South Africa

First Zika case confirmed in South AfricaJohannesburg, Feb 20 - South African health authorities on Friday confirmed the first Zika case involving a Colombian businessman.

The businessman who visited Johannesburg has been diagnosed with Zika by a private Johannesburg pathology laboratory, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said.

At the moment the South Africa National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is busy conducting confirmatory tests, according to the minister.


Nadal undeterred by Zika outbreak in Brazil

Nadal undeterred by Zika outbreak in Brazil Johannesburg, Feb. 16 : Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who is set to compete in this week's Rio Open tournament, has said that he was not scared by the rapid spread of Zika virus in Brazil.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion downplayed the outbreak, saying that everyone was going about their business despite knowing the risk of contracting the virus, which has infected 1.5 million people in the country since early
2015, Sport24 reported.


How the world's first 'penis transplant' was successfully done

How the world's first 'penis transplant' was successfully done Johannesburg, March 14 - The news of a man getting a penis transplant has gone viral, and now it has been revealed how the procedure was actually done.

The 21-year-old patient, whose identity has been kept anonymous, had to have his penis amputated 3 years back following life threatening complications caused by a traditional circumcision, the News24. com reported.


Proteas great Clive Rice to travel to India for getting brain tumor removed post collapsing

Brain TumorJohannesburg, Feb 26 - South Africa cricket legend Clive Rice would reportedly be travelling to India in the next few days to get a brain tumor removed after he collapsed at his home as a result of it.

It has been reportedly revealed that the former all-rounder collapsed over the weekend and after subsequent scans, it was found that the tumor is too deep down in his brain for a neurosurgeon to conduct invasive surgery to remove it.


Ebola crisis may last until end of 2015, says expert

Ebola crisis may last until end of 2015, says expertJohannesburg, Dec 25 : The Ebola crisis in West Africa may last through 2015, according to a scientist who helped identify the deadly virus.

According to News 24, Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and part of a team to discover Ebola in 1976, said progress was being made in trying to stop the virus spreading but it would take time to develop vaccines.


Ebola death toll nearing 4000 mark in West Africa, warns WHO

Ebola death toll nearing 4000 mark in West Africa, warns WHOJohannesburg, Oct 09 : The World Health Organization (WHO) has reportedly revealed that Ebola death toll is nearing the 4,000 mark with 3,879 people killed out of 8,033 cases in West Africa by the end of October 5.

While citing the figures on Wednesday, the WHO said that there was no evidence that the epidemic was being brought under control in the affected region, reported News 24.


Ebola vaccine may be available by year end: WHO

Ebola vaccine may be available by year end: WHOJohannesburg, Sep 25 - An Ebola vaccine may be available by the end of the current year to help prevent further outbreak of the disease in West Africa, said the World Health Organization.

Scientists are testing two vaccines as there is no treatment or vaccine available currently, reported News24.

Number of Ebola cases has reached more than 5,800 in West African countries.


Ebola can infect 20,000 people, warns WHO

Ebola can infect 20,000 people, warns WHOJohannesburg, Aug 29 : The Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said while giving a bleak assessment of the disease.


Cure for deadly Ebola virus comes closer to reality

Cure for deadly Ebola virus comes closer to realityJohannesburg, Aug 10 - World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that the trials of preventative vaccine for the Ebola virus may commence in September, 2014 and might be available by 2015.


Extreme use of cellphones may increase brain cancer risk

Extreme use of cellphones may increase brain cancer riskJohannesburg, May 14 - A new study has revealed that people who use phones excessively are highly prone to brain cancer.

The findings show that the people who used cellphones for more than 15 hours each month over five years on an average presented high risk of developing glioma and meningioma tumours in comparison with people who used their phone rarely, News24. com reported.


Extracts from fynbos plant Cyclopia could help curb breast cancer

Extracts from fynbos plant Cyclopia could help curb breast cancerJohannesburg, May 13 : A new study has found that the fynbos plant Cyclopia could help stop the development of breast cancer.

Stellenbosch University said in a statement that researcher, Dr Koch Visser, studied the relationship between Cyclopia, which is used to make honey bush tea, and breast cancer cells, News 24 reported.


Now, Tantric massages subject to 'sex tax'

Now, Tantric massages subject to 'sex tax'Johannesburg, November 8 - A local court in Germany has ruled that as Tantric massages deliver sexual pleasure they are subject to the same tax levied on brothels and swinger clubs.

The administrative court in southwestern German city of Stuttgart said that a studio offering the massages falls under the same tax levied on businesses that provide the "granting of opportunity for sexual pleasures", News24 reported.


'South Africa must follow India, China lead on affordable medicines'

'South Africa must follow India, China lead on affordable medicines'Durban, March 27 - International humanitarian group Doctors without Borders (or Medecins Sans Frontieres) said the South African government must follow the lead of its BRICS peers like India and China to ensure that life-saving medicines are affordable.


DNA barcodes that detect meat's variety

DNA barcodes that detect meat's varietyCape Town, Mar 1 - Here's one way to make sure the meat on your plate is not from a horse - South African scientists have made it possible to identify the kind of meat one consumes with a barcoding procedure based on DNA.


UV nail lamps pose no skin cancer threat

UV nail lamps pose no skin cancer threatJohannesburg, December 8 : UV lamps used at nail salons do not appear to significantly increase the risk of developing a type of skin cancer called keratinocyte carcinoma, researchers say.

In a new study, researchers assessed the risk of keratinocyte carcinoma associated with the use of three UV nail lamp models.


Ostrich arteries `raise bypass surgery hope`

Ostrich arteries `raise bypass surgery hope`Johannesburg, December 8 : Scientists have used ostrich blood vessels to create a viable bypass in pigs, raising hopes of easier and more effective artery transplants for heart patients.

The team of researchers from in Japan found that they could harvest blood vessels from the bird's long neck and use them to construct artificial pathways that are up to 30 centimetres (12 inches) long and as little as two millimetres


Genes pay role in low birth weight and later diabetes risk

Genes pay role in low birth weight and later diabetes riskJohannesburg, December 5 : In a new study, researchers have identified four new genetic regions that influence birth weight, providing further evidence that genes as well as maternal nutrition are important for growth in the womb.

Three of the regions are also linked to adult metabolism, helping to explain why smaller babies have higher rates of chronic diseases later in life.


Stressed rich live longer than tensed poor

Stressed rich live longer than tensed poorJohannesburg, December 5 : Money may not buy you happiness but it can help you avoid the ill effects of unhappiness and stress, researchers say.

The findings of the new British study show that the combination of poverty and stress "is a bomb", said study lead author Dr Antonio Ivan Lazzarino, clinical research associate at University College London.


End of Aids in sight, says UN

End of Aids in sight, says UNJohannesburg, November 21 : An aim to eventually end the worldwide AIDS pandemic is not “merely visionary” but “entirely feasible”, a UN report has said.

The report noted that eradication of AIDS is going to be possible due to better access to drugs that can both treat and prevent the incurable human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes the disease, News24 reported.


‘Aids-ravaged’ Malawi sex workers unite to ‘improve health care access’

‘Aids-ravaged’ Malawi sex workers unite to ‘improve health care access’Johannesburg, Nov 10 : Nearly 20 000 sex workers in Malawi have united to fight harassment and improve access to health care.

The grouping, backed by local and international non-governmental organizations, is the first formal alliance of sex workers in the poor southern African nation, where prostitution is decriminalised.


Diesel exhaust causes cancer, warns WHO

Diesel exhaust causes cancer, warns WHOJohannesburg, June 13 : The World Health Organisation's (WHO) cancer research agency classified diesel engine exhaust as cancer-causing on Tuesday, and urged action to reduce human exposure to it.

In 1988, the IARC had classified diesel exhaust as "probably" carcinogenic.


$3.2 bn needed to fight malaria in Africa, says activist

$3.2 bn needed to fight malaria in Africa, says activistUnited Nations, April 24 : A sum of $3.2 billion is needed to finance the fight against malaria by 2015 in Africa, the source of 90 percent malaria cases in the world, a special representative for a global framework against malaria said here Monday.


Zinc-antibiotic saves kids with pneumonia

Zinc-antibiotic saves kids with pneumoniaCape Town, Feb 8 - Respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, are the biggest killers of children under five years old. But standard antibiotic therapy, given to children with zinc, improved their chances of surviving the infection and was more pronounced in case of HIV-infected children, a study reveals.


Mother's touch vital for newborn's well being

Mother's touch vital for newborn's well beingCape Town, Nov 3 - A mother's constant touch is vital for the well being of a newborn but the practice of separation immediately after birth could be stressful.

The current practice is to separate the newborn and place it in a separate crib so the mother can rest following labour. This practice may stress the baby, says new research.


Insecticide spray highly effective against malaria

Insecticide spray highly effective against malariaCape Town, Oct 13 - The insecticide bendiocarb not only dramatically lowers malaria transmission, but also offers hope for minimising spread of the deadly infection.

Scientists with Benin's Entomologic Research Center in Cotonou, Western Africa, evaluated the effects of bendiocarb in homes throughout the country over an eight-month period in 2009.


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