This Week In Health: The War On Viruses

This Week In Health: The War On Viruses

“This Week In Health” offers some highlights from the world of health news and wellness tips that you may have missed this week:

  • According to a study published in Cancer Research, a compound found in avocados may be useful in treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML). According to Medical News Today,`it is “estimated that more than 20,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with AML this year, and more than 10,000 will die from the cancer.” But the compound avocatin B “selectively targets and destroys” leukemia stem cells “while leaving healthy blood cells unscathed.”
  • Influenza viruses are nasty, adaptable pathogens. A promising new drug takes an unconventional approach to fighting it, and is showing early results. Rather than attacking the virus itself or providing a boost to the immune system, Vasculotide treats the symptoms that are most life threatening by reinforcing cellular barriers in the lungs, which is precisely what the virus attacks, causing its victims to drown in their own fluids. This bolstering of the lungs gives the body more time to rid itself of the virus.
  • The World Health Organization issued a statement Wednesday on the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory System (MERS) which is currently affecting South Korea. Among the main factors contributing to the outbreak, according to the WHO, are lack of public awareness about MERS, suboptimal containment practices in hospitals; and patients’ habits of “doctor shopping,” that is, going from hospital to hospital looking for the best treatment and spreading the virus as a result. The statement called the outbreak a “wakeup call” and said that “in a highly mobile world, all countries should always be prepared for the unanticipated possibility of outbreaks of this, and other serious infectious diseases.”

Photo: threelayercake via Flickr

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