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Pope Francis ‘gradually improving’ in hospital after infection

Pope Francis ‘gradually improving’ in hospital after infection

CRISPIAN BALMER and ALVISE ARMELLINI POPE Francis's health is improving after he was hospitalised with a respiratory infection and he has resumed working while treatment continues, the Vatican said on Thursday. The pope was taken to hospital on Wednesday after complaining of breathing difficulties, raising fresh concerns over the health of the 86-year-old pontiff, who is suffering from a number of ailments. "His Holiness Pope Francis rested well during the night. His clinical picture is gradually improving and he is continuing his planned treatment," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement. "This morning after breakfast, he read some newspapers and…
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SA confirms 3rd monkeypox case in tourist from Switzerland

SA confirms 3rd monkeypox case in tourist from Switzerland

SOUTH Africa has confirmed a third case of monkeypox, in a 42-year-old male tourist from Switzerland, the health department of the Limpopo province said. The tourist, who is holidaying in South Africa, presented with symptoms including a rash, muscle ache and fatigue. His infection was confirmed as monkeypox by South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases. "Three contacts have already been identified and none of them have developed signs thus far," Limpopo health official Phophi Ramathuba said in a statement. Earlier South Africa reported two monkeypox cases not linked to travel. Monkeypox is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms…
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15 Zambian MPs, 11 parliamentary staff contract COVID-19

15 Zambian MPs, 11 parliamentary staff contract COVID-19

FIFTEEN members of the Zambian parliament and 11 members of staff have tested positive for COVID-19, the health minister has announced. The infection of the MPs and staff comes days after the assembly suspended sittings because a lawmaker had died of the respiratory disease. Zambia's coronavirus cases have surged to 3,856 from 1,632 at the beginning of July, with deaths rising to 136 from 30 over the same period, minister Chitalu Chilufya told reporters. The heavily indebted southern African country, the No. 2 copper producer on the continent, is bracing for an economic contraction of over 4% this year because…
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Risk of severe COVID established early in infection – new study

Risk of severe COVID established early in infection – new study

WHY most people who get COVID have mild symptoms or none at all while some become severely ill is still a mystery – a mystery that scientists are urgently trying to solve. REBECCA AICHELER, Senior Lecturer in Immunology, Cardiff Metropolitan University Being obese or having existing health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, are known to increase the risk of severe COVID. But this is not the whole story. Some seemingly healthy people can suffer from severe disease, too. Early in 2020, scientists discovered that people with severe COVID had unusual levels of certain immune cells in their…
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New drugs work against the many strains of hepatitis C found in African countries

New drugs work against the many strains of hepatitis C found in African countries

AROUND the world, 71 million people have been infected with the hepatitis C virus. The primary route of infection is through direct contact with another person’s blood. This means the virus can be transmitted in a number of ways, including intravenous drug use, tattooing, contaminated blood or blood products and surgical procedures. JOHN MCLAUCHLAN, Professor of Viral Hepatitis, University of Glasgow Infection with this virus can lead to severe disease of the liver. Annually, there are about 400,000 deaths resulting from the effects of infection. If the body fails to naturally clear the virus within a few weeks of initial…
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Poor nutrition changes the way a body fights infection: this might protect against severe COVID-19

Poor nutrition changes the way a body fights infection: this might protect against severe COVID-19

Back at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, case numbers on the continent were still modest. But predictions and projections suggested the disease was going to cut a swathe through Africa. In April 2020 the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa sounded the alarm bell: Anywhere between 300,000 and 3.3 million African people could lose their lives as a direct result of COVID-19, depending on the intervention measures taken to stop the spread. BURTRAM C. FIELDING, Professor and Director: Research Development, University of the Western Cape DEWALD SCHOEMAN, PhD Candidate, Molecular Biology and Virology, University of the Western Cape The…
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