Stay Away: Cleaning frenzy at Ipswich hospital to contain virus

HEALTH authorities are asking Queensland residents from Ipswich not to go to the hospital emergency department unless absolutely necessary.

The Queensland Times say staff are still dealing with an outbreak of a highly contagious norovirus including a major cleaning operation to stop the virus spreading.

No new cases have been confirmed since Wednesday but two more patients are showing symptoms. Norovirus is an infection that lasts up to 72 hours and causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

As part of the effort to stop the virus spreading through the hospital, a rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regime has been underway in the affected wards.

As part of the effort to stop the virus spreading through the hospital, a rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regime has been underway in the affected wards.Source:Getty Images

So far, two cases have been confirmed with 11 patients showing symptoms.

But West Moreton Hospital and Health Service says testing to determine if an individual is positive for the virus can take up to 72-hours to be processed at an off-site forensic lab.

Precautionary measures are still in place at Ipswich Hospital to manage the outbreak.

Patient admission has been halted to two wards within the hospital and all visitors, including staff and other patients, have been reminded to practice appropriate hygiene, as per standard practice.

As part of the effort to stop the virus spreading through the hospital, a rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regime has been underway in the affected wards.

A general increase in cleaning common, high use areas has also been implemented, a West Moreton spokesman said.

The response has diverted resources and the hospital has asked resident not to visit the emergency department unless necessary to ensure there are no delays in patient flow as a result.

The advice given by Ipswich Hospital executive director Luke Worth earlier this week still stands.

“We are working with our healthcare partners, Mater Springfield and Saint Andrews, as well as our rural hospitals to plan transfers of appropriate patients should that need arise — which it has not at present,” Mr Worth said, earlier this week.

“We’d also encourage people not to come to the Emergency Department unless their complaint is of serious nature requiring urgent medical attention, but instead to use their general practitioner or the 13 HEALTH phone service.”

Norovirus can be transmitted by touching surfaces or through direct or indirect contact with another person who is infected.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramping.

The illness generally lasts for up to two days. People can decrease their chance of coming into contact with norovirus by frequently washing their hands and disinfecting surfaces, particularly in shared spaces.

DNA study provides insight into how to live longer

Blowing out birthday cake

Every year spent in education adds an average of 11 months to people’s lifespan, say scientists.

The researchers say a person loses two months for every kilogram overweight they are – and seven years for smoking a packet of cigarettes a day.

Unusually, the Edinburgh university team found their answers by analysing differences in people’s genetic code or DNA.

Ultimately they think it will reveal new ways of helping us to live longer.

The group used the genetic code of more than 600,000 people who are taking part in a natural, yet massive, experiment.

Clearer picture

If someone smokes, drinks, dropped out of school and is overweight, it can be difficult to identify the impact of one specific unhealthy behaviour.

Instead, the researchers turned to the natural experiment.

Some people carry mutations in their DNA that increase appetite or make them more likely to put on weight, so researchers were able to compare those programmed to eat more with those who were not – irrespective of their wider lifestyles.

Dr Peter Joshi, from the university’s Usher Institute, said: “It doesn’t mess up the analysis. You can look directly at the effect of weight, in isolation, on lifespan.”

Similar sets of mutations have been linked to how long people spend in education and the enjoyment they get from smoking or drinking.


The research team also found specific mutations in human DNA that alter lifespan, reported in the journal Nature Communications.

  • Mutations in a gene (a set of instructions in DNA) that is involved in running the immune system could add seven months of life on average
  • People with a mutation that increased levels of bad cholesterol knocked eight months off life expectancy
  • A rare mutation in a gene – APOE – linked to dementia reduced lifespans by 11 months
  • And one that made smoking more appealing cut lives by five months

Dr Joshi says these genetic variants are the “tip of the iceberg”. He says around 20% of the variation in lifespans may be inherited, but only 1% of such mutations have yet been found.

However, he said that while genetics does influence lifespan, “you’ve got even more influence” through the choices you make.

Dr Joshi told the BBC: “We hope to discover novel genes affecting lifespan to give us new information about ageing and construct therapeutic interventions for ageing.”

There are also some disease mutations that clearly affect life expectancy, and to devastating effect, such as the Huntington’s gene. People with Huntington’s often die in their 20s.

However, in order to follow people until the end of their lives, many of the people studied were born before 1940.

Prof David Melzer, from the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “An extra year of education then may have been much more important than it is now.”

Girl’s lung collapsed after screaming at One Direction

One Direction at a concert

A 16-year-old fan’s ‘lung collapsed’ after she screamed too much at a One Direction concert, an emergency doctor told the BBC.

The girl became short of breath during the concert but continued cheering “because she was a super fan”.

When she attended the hospital straight afterwards, they found air had leaked into three different anatomical spaces.

Published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, it’s the first time a case of this kind has been documented.

Dr J Mack Slaughter treated the girl, (who remains anonymous) at the Children’s Medical Centre in Dallas: “Her oxygen levels were fine. She didn’t look like she was seriously ill,” he said.

“But instead of breathing a normal 12-16 times a minute, she was breathing 22 times a minute. So we knew something was a little off by that.”

In a physical exam, Dr Slaughter also noted she had crepitus, “a crunchy sound – like the sound Rice Krispies make – when you press on certain parts of the body.”

This showed him that a “small amount of air had made its way out of the respiratory track into soft tissue.”

“Never seen before”

He found a tear in the lung had caused air to escape in three places: between the lung and the chest wall, into the chest cavity and behind the pharynx.

The combination of these three diagnoses hadn’t been seen before, Dr Slaughter said.

He said this leakage of air is “typically caused by an inciting event”, such as during an asthma attack, heavy weightlifting, diving or military flying, due to the sudden changes in air pressure.

Screaming or singing causing it is so rare, that Dr Slaughter could only find two other case reports. One was a drill sergeant while the other was an opera singer.

While it’s possible the condition was pre-existing, he said this is very unlikely.

The team performed a CT scan to make sure it wasn’t something specific to her anatomy: “The scan gave us more detail as to where the air was and how much. But it didn’t help us determine why this happened to her and not the other 19,000 girls in the audience!”

With a history of type 1 diabetes, the team also tested her to ensure this wasn’t causing her fast breathing rate.

When this was ruled out, she was kept overnight. X-rays were taken again to make sure the air wasn’t advancing: “It was stable and safe to send her home,” Dr Slaughter said.

The body typically reabsorbs the air and the tear can repair itself, he said.

Dr Slaughter treated the patient three years ago and said: “I never saw her again. I told her she’d be famous and get to go on the Jimmy Fallon show and meet One Direction but she was too embarrassed,” he said.

Other side of America’s ‘zombie drug’ epidemic

JOHN David Ball lives in excruciating pain every day.

He’s a designer who holds three degrees and used to make a six-figure salary, but these days he can’t go to work because he can’t think through the pain.

Some days, the 60-year-old can’t even walk to the front door.

He depends on powerful painkillers like morphine, and even sometimes fentanyl — a medication more commonly known as the “zombie drug”.

In August this year, reported America is in the grips of an opioid epidemic, with thousands of people dying from overdoses across the country.

Arguably, the drug epidemic is a symptom of a health system run as an industry instead of a service, where pharmaceutical companies wield enormous power over regulators, hospitals and medical staff alike.

In fact, Louis Theroux’s new documentary, Heroin Town, reveals one in four adults in the city of Huntington in Virginia is addicted to heroin or some form of opiate.

Almost all of them started the same way: they started with legitimate pain, went to the doctor, got legal prescriptions, and became addicted.

However, legal prescriptions can’t continue indefinitely, and he reported many eventually turn to heroin — which is both cheaper, and more readily available.

The issue has evoked a powerful response from readers, with a number of people getting in touch from the United States to explain their perspective.

They insist there’s another side to the story.

Mr Ball said this image shows the medical mesh inserted into his back, and “anyone with eyes can see I need help”.

Mr Ball said this image shows the medical mesh inserted into his back, and “anyone with eyes can see I need help”.Source:Supplied

People like Mr Ball, for example, just want a normal life.

He has a long list of chronic medical issues, but he told it can be extremely difficult to get hold of the right drugs.

“People don’t get that (for) pain patients, the high feeling is normal,” he said. “I can deal with my life, if I get help with the pain.”

Mr Ball has severe back issues, to the point where his ribs ride on his hip bones, and he also had a colostomy for three years.

He said once he went to his local hospital, desperately seeking help, but was turned away because “the doctor said he thought I was just looking for drugs”.

The pain was so bad he succumbed to a coma for five weeks, Mr Ball claimed.

“It’s ironic I was accused of seeking opiates, almost died for the accusation, and now I need the drug I was accused of seeking,” he said sadly.

He spent six years on pain management, taking morphine every day.

“That gave me the ability to be a number one Macintosh sales man and raise two toddlers at the same time,” he told

Eventually, however, his doctor told him enough was enough, and cut his dose.

“I went from a viable, intelligent human being to a man who fights for pain relief. That’s my whole life. I’m in too much pain to do anything. Except exist.”

Current Time0:00
Duration Time0:52
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%

What is Fentanyl?

Connie Bell, from Florida, has had a similar experience.

She was prescribed opiates in 2011 when she found herself unable to get out of bed due to severe pain from her arthritis.

“What I pay for my meds is outrageous and I do everything I need to do be legal. But pharmacies treat me like a second-hand citizen when the country cracks down on prescriptions due to the people in the street that abuse,” she told

“It’s all about the money,” said a woman called Pam, from New Jersey, who chose to withhold her surname.

“There is no help for those of us suffering from debilitating incurable diseases that cause severe pain — we are being abused, degraded, stigmatised, discriminated against and treated like criminals.”

Pam has spent the past decade urgently seeking relief from her myriad conditions.

She describes her symptoms like someone continuously beating her back with a bat, ice picks chipping away at her hips, electric shocks running down her legs, and burning ropes being tied around her ankles to the point where her circulation is cut off.

“Opioids were my last resort and I was given a quality of life,” she said.

However, in April, her doctor cut back her dose and sent her on her way.

“I am existing in a tortuous hell,” she told “We treat animals better.”

A huge number of people start with legal painkillers, and are forced to look elsewhere for relief when their prescriptions inevitably stop.

A huge number of people start with legal painkillers, and are forced to look elsewhere for relief when their prescriptions inevitably stop.Source:Supplied

Mr Ball said he knows opioids are claiming the lives of hundreds of his fellow Americans, but he thinks the country’s Drug Enforcement Administration has a lot to answer for when it comes to medical patients legitimately battling chronic pain.

“To be frank with you, if a drug abuser dies, too bad,” he said.

“When a person in pain has to live with that pain to save the life of a scum bucket? See where I’m coming from? The good suffer so the bad can live.”

The trouble is that while safe and legitimate options do need to be made available for people with chronic pain, the issue escalates with alarming speed.

According to data from America’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost two million Americans abuse or are dependant on prescription opioids.

Every day, more than 1000 people are treated for misusing these drugs.

Heroin use has more than quadrupled since 2010, and like the people in Louis Theroux’s documentary, nearly three out of four users report abusing prescription opioids prior to using.

Fentanyl — a synthetic drug 1000 times stronger than morphine — is also a worry.

According to the CDC, fentanyl encounters more than doubled across the country between 2014 and 2015, with New England and the Midwest hardest hit.

Most of the deaths involve illegally-made fentanyl being sold as heroin or counterfeit prescription pills.

“The current fentanyl crisis continues to expand in size and scope across the United States,” the CDC warned on its website.

However, there’s clearly no simple way to stem the tide.

4 tips to manage your hypertension in a simpler and better way

How hard your heart has to work to pump blood defines your blood pressure. The narrowing or hardening of arteries results in high blood pressure (also referred to as hypertension). The condition puts you at greater risk of heart disease, stroke, artery damage, vision problems and metabolic syndrome.

Here are the healthy lifestyle choices that can help bring blood pressure back to normal levels and decrease your risk of complications associated with hypertension.

Limiting sodium

Sodium in the diet is one of the factors that you could be raising your blood pressure. So you need to manage the amount of sodium in your diet. Resist the urge to eat salty foods and do not sprinkle extra salt on your food. Stay away from preserved foods such as salted meats, canned food and pre-packaged meals which are typically high in sodium. When buying foodstuffs, always read the nutrition labels and go for the ones with the least amount of sodium.

Stop smoking and quit drinking

Quit smoking cigarettes and limit your alcohol consumption. Smoking can harm the walls of your blood vessels and lead to hardening of the arteries. Similarly, alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you do drink, limit yourself to one to two drinks per day.


Home blood pressure monitoring is becoming increasing popular. According to a study people who used home blood pressure monitoring had better control of their blood pressure. Automatic blood pressure monitor is most preferred for home blood pressure monitoring. Most of the devices available to measure blood pressure are fully automatic and easy to use. Consult your health care provider if they are not in the healthy range.

Stay active

Exercise on a regular basis as it helps lower your blood pressure naturally, besides keeping your heart healthy and manage weight. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Tips to get a healthy heart in 3 weeks

A healthy heart is all we want, but we often fail to look after it. It is very important to have a healthy heart to prevent heart disease and stroke. You can wish as much as you want to have a healthy heart but nothing will help you unless you do something.

Being physically active is a requirement for a healthy heart. Following tips can help you get your heart healthier in just three weeks. However, a healthy heart would need a healthy lifestyle and you should follow these tips for as long as you can in your life.Get Physically Active

Get physically active

To make your heart healthier, it is recommended to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week. However, make sure to perform the exercise regularly and follow a 5-day routine. Perform activities such as climbing stairs, walking, swimming, jogging, biking and playing sports. Skip elevators and prefer lifts. Choose a physical activity that you really like and slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the exercise during the first week itself.

eat healthy

Eat healthy

Replace everything unhealthy in your diet with something natural, fresh and healthy such as fruits and vegetables. Add around 30 gm of fiber and lots of water to your daily diet. A fiber-rich diet will help lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol levels, helping you control glucose levels. You can add oats, beans, apples, peas, and carrots.

weight loss

Lose weight

Obesity can be harmful to your heart as it increases the risk of several heart diseases along with several other health problems. Lose weight and get fitter and leaner. Also, make sure that you avoid sweets and saturated fats. Skipping such foods will help you manage cholesterol levels and lower insulin resistance, and reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases.

Quit Smoking

Quit smoking

Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. Quit smoking right away from day one and maintain your distance with the devil stick. You will be helping your heart and significantly reduce the risk of heart attack. Also, make sure that you either don’t drink alcohol at all or drink moderately.


Reduce your sodium intake

A healthy heart needs healthy blood pressure and to maintain a healthy blood pressure, you should reduce your salt intake. Use a minimal amount of salt while cooking your meals. Also, avoid processed foods that are high in salt.

avoid stress

Avoid stress

Stress and depression are quite inevitable in the competitive world we live in, however, it can be harmful to your heart. Avoid stress as much as you can and even if you are feeling the pressure, learn to manage it. Talk to someone or clear your mind with something you like.

Such changes in your lifestyle and habits can help you make your heart healthy in as less as 3 weeks. However, don’t stop there because it is even more important to maintain your heart’s health.

Low-glycemic index foods help to control diabetes and maintain weight.

Foods with the low glycemic index can keep your blood sugar levels in control and help your body metabolise fat more efficiently.  Glycemic Index or GI evaluates the effect of a particular food on your blood glucose levels after you eat it. All the foods on the GI are measured against a standard rating of pure glucose, which is 100.

Depending on their effects on blood levels in the body, all other foods are measured on a scale of 0 to 100. Ideally, for a food to be categorised in the low glycemic list should have a GI of 50 or less. Such foods are wholegrain chapattis or bread, legumes, barley, beans, non-starchy vegetables, apples, pears, citrus fruits, meat, fish, and eggs.

Low Glycaemic Index Foods

Health benefits of low glycemic foods

There are various health benefits of low GI foods and we should aim at modifying our food choices to ensure a diet that is low in glycemic index. Not only can it help you to live heart healthy, it may reduce the risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which can increase your risk of having a heart attack or suffering a stroke.

Low glycemic diet for controlling diabetes

It turns out that the glycemic index was actually designed for people with diabetes to help them manage their sugar levels better. Though it is not exactly clear how the condition is caused,  we experts know that the metabolic syndrome itself can be triggered by a relative insulin resistance. This can lead to type 2 diabetes, elevated lipids or triglycerides, high blood pressure levels and elaborated waist circumference.

When you eat foods that have a low GI, they help you cut cravings and urges by limiting highs in your blood glucose which in turn triggers the release of insulin, which ultimately causes fat storage in body and weight gain.

Low GI foods will not let your blood sugar will not rise rapidly. Especially, low glycemic index carbs produce a firmer rise in blood sugar, and the fibre in these foods helps you feel satiated longer. Even the American Diabetes Association acknowledges that low-glycemic foods that are also high in fibre and a good source of nutrients can be part of an overall healthy diet.

Low glycemic diet for weight management

One tool that can effectively be used for an overall weight-control and healthy-eating purposes is glycaemic index. All traditional and modern weight-loss programs, after bragging about their efficacy to help you shed kilos, come down to the ultimate truth- eating fewer calories.

But, there is more to weight loss than just counting calories and that is the way your body is digesting and metabolising the foods. This puts a large impact on your body weight and how you feel after eating. And this is where foods low on glycaemic index play their role.

You should incorporate a diet of selected low-GI foods or balancing out a high-glycemic food choice with a low-glycemic one. There is no one right way or a black-and-white approach to do so. Just use the information in the glycemic index list to add additional healthy benefits to your food choices.

Weight Loss with Low GI Diet

Roasted and salted peanuts, low-fat yogurt, cherries, grapefruit, pearl barlet, red lentils, whole milk, dried apricots, butter beans, fruits, vegetables, and all bran are some examples of low-glycemic foods. Medium-glycemic foods are muesli, boiled potatoes, pitta bread, basmati rice, honey, digestive biscuits, shredded wheat, wholemeal bread.

You can add all these choices to your eating plan to take charge of your diabetes and weight gain, but you’ll also need to watch your portion sizes, especially with the medium-glycaemic food options.

It is sugar not fat that is ruining your life

Sugar is addictive! It may not intoxicate you like alcohol addiction but the harms it can inflict can be of the same levels. Are you doing everything you can to lose weight but are addicted to sugar? The sweet tooth can leave you reeling with the weight you started on day 1.

Besides hindering your weight loss efforts, there are other harmful effects of sugar that you should consider to put brakes on your sugar intake. In other words, addiction to sugar foods has far greater health risks than excess fat you are worried about.Mentioned below are the dangers of eating too much sugar.

Weight gain

Sugar increases triglycerides and cholesterol, and decreases the concentration of high density lipoproteins in the body. This can be extremely damaging to the body’s tissues as it raises fasting levels of glucose to cause higher blood concentration. In this way, excess sugar is converted to lipids and stored in fat cells, which is why you fail to lose weight despite putting the best efforts.

Affects immunity

Sugar travels through your organ systems via blood to cause many adverse effects. Eating more sugar can diminish one’s immunity by lowering the white blood cell count. This makes you prone to infections and illnesses.


Eating too much sugar puts you at risk of diabetes. The pancreas are required to work harder when there is a constant source of sugar in the body. This can make pancreases ineffective and when they lose the ability to clear out sugar from the blood, diabetes can be the result.

Effect on mental health

There is scientific evidence to relate sugar intake with the increase in secretion of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, neuroepinephrine and serotonin. The habit can disturb the balance in secretion of neurotransmitters, which is also the reason those who eat sugar are more likely to have Parkinson’s disease. Dizziness, migraines and depression are also associated with the overdose of sugar.

What you need to do?

Fructose, sucrose, honey, maltose and molasses all refer to types of sugar, and are commonly referred to as sugar. It is often used as a preservative in several salty foods. Don’t forget sodas, candy bars, baked foods and other unnatural refined sugar foods. You should start with small steps to cut down on sugar. The idea is to eat more organic foods, avoid foods with refined sugar and keep track of how much sugar you have every day. If you are addicted to sugar, you need to fight your brain and develop a strong willpower to resist the temptation of your favourite sugary treats.

Home remedies to cure problem of excessive sweating

Sweating is already a pretty troublesome issue; imagine when some people sweat more than other people. Yes, some people sweat excessively and more than as compared to others.
First, let’s understand why people sweat in the first place. We have thousands of sweat creating glands, eccrine glands that generate sweat when the body temperature is rises; the nervous system stimulates the eccrine glad to generate sweat. Apart from this the sweat glands can also get stimulated by hormonal changes, stress, anxiety or fear. Now, the amount of sweat completely depends upon different factors like genes, age and fitness level.

sweating home remedies

Now, if you are sweating faster and more than others, you are healthier and fitter than others because fit people sweat easier than unfit people as their body heats up early thus the nervous system stimulate the sweat glands to create more sweat.

However, here are some home remedies for excessive sweat that can help you cure the problem of excessive sweat.

Some apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can help you balance the pH level of your body if consumed while the astringent like properties of apple cider vinegar can help control sweating.

  • Mix two parts of apple cider vinegar and one part honey to a glass of water and have it daily. One glass is enough to balance out the pH levels of your body.
  • You can add two tablespoons to your bathing water and bathe with it. Or you can also dab some apple cider vinegar on your face with a cotton ball before going to bed. Bathing with vinegar will help you for the body sweat. (armpits, elbow folds, and other body parts from where you sweat)

Potatoes can help

Due to its alkaline nature, potatoes can help to balance the pH level of body while the low-acidic compound can be a cure for excessive sweating.

  • You can rub a slice of potato on the affected area, and then wash off with cold water.
  • You can extract some potato juice and dab it on the affected area with a cotton ball.

Green tea or black tea, whatever you want

Green tea and black tea has astringent properties, when applied directly onto the skin.

  • Boil some tea bags in water. Add this water in a bucket full of water and bathe with it. Regular doing this will help you get rid of excessive of sweat.
  • You can make ice cubes of black or green tea, just don’t add sugar and rub those cubes on your face.

Zika virus used to treat aggressive brain cancer

Brain tumour

A harmful virus that can cause devastating brain damage in babies could offer up a surprising new treatment for adult brain cancer, according to US scientists.

Until now, Zika has been seen only as a global health threat – not a remedy.

But latest research shows the virus can selectively infect and kill hard-to-treat cancerous cells in adult brains.

Zika injections shrank aggressive tumours in fully grown mice, yet left other brain cells unscathed.

Human trials are still a way off, but experts believe Zika virus could potentially be injected into the brain at the same time as surgery to remove life-threatening tumours, the Journal of Experimental Medicine reports.

The Zika treatment appears to work on human cell samples in the lab.

a virus in the brainImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe virus would need to be delivered directly to where it is needed in the brain

There are many different types of brain cancer. Glioblastomas are the most common in adults and one of the trickiest to treat.

They are fast growing and diffuse, meaning they spread through the brain, making it difficult to see where the tumour ends and the healthy tissue begins.

Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery may not be enough to remove these invasive cancers.

But the latest research, in living mice and donated human brain tissue samples, shows Zika therapy can kill cells that tend to be resistant to current treatments.

It is thought that these glioblastoma stem cells continue to grow and divide, producing new tumour cells even after aggressive medical treatment.

Different, healthy stem cells are found in abundance in baby brains, which probably explains why regular Zika can be so damaging to infants, say the researchers.

Adult brains, however, have very few stem cells. This means Zika treatment should destroy only the cancer-causing brain stem cells without causing much collateral damage.

As an extra safety precaution, the team, from Washington University School of Medicine and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, have already begun modifying the virus to make it more tame than regular Zika.

Researcher Dr Michael Diamond said: “Once we add a few more changes, I think it’s going to be impossible for the virus to overcome them and cause disease.

“It looks like there’s a silver lining to Zika. This virus that targets cells that are very important for brain growth in babies, we could use that now to target growing tumours.”

He hopes to begin human trials within 18 months.

Using viruses to fight cancer is not a new idea, but using Zika as the weapon of choice is.

UK scientists at the University of Cambridge are beginning similar trials with Zika.

Dr Catherine Pickworth, from Cancer Research UK, said: “This promising research shows that a modified version of the Zika virus can attack brain tumour cells in the lab.

“This could one day lead to new treatments for this particularly hard to treat type of cancer.”


Baby with microcephalyImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionZika infections in pregnancy have been linked to cases of microcephaly in newborns
  • Zika is a virus people can catch if they are bitten by an infected mosquito
  • Most people will have few or no symptoms, but the disease can pose a serious threat to babies in the womb
  • Affected infants have been born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains – a condition known as microcephaly
  • The infection has been linked to severe birth defects in almost 30 countries
  • Although Zika is no longer “an international medical emergency”, the World Health Organization says it is closely monitoring the infection