Drug resistant TB is world's 'gravest' threat, hit the gym to beat back flu, and study dismisses windfarm link to disappearing eyeballs
A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Monday 17 March.
End of days stuff to brighten up your morning today.
The global resurgence of drug-resistant tuberculosis is one of ‘the gravest public health threats facing the world today’ according to the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières.
The Independent reports that the charity has called for ‘immediate international response’ to find new treatments for the disease that kills 1.3 million each year despite decades-long attempts to control it.
London is regarded as ‘the TB capital of western Europe’ and had 681 reported multidrug-resistant TB cases recorded in 2012 and almost 3,500 susceptible infections. Half of drug resistant infections are fatal.
The BBC today reveals a weekly dose of intensive exercise is the best medicine for avoiding flu, according to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s annual flu survey.
The survey of 4,800 people found that participants who engage in at least 2.5 hours of ‘vigorous exercise’ a week were best protected from flu, but moderate exercise didn’t have much effect.
The researchers say one in ten flu cases could be prevented by just engaging in regular intense exercise. Dr Alma Adler, of LSHTM, said the results ‘are consistent with findings for other conditions and really show the health benefits of exercise’.
And finally, The Guardian reports that purported adverse health effects of living near wind farms have been demonstrated to be a load of hot air by researchers from the Australian Medical Association.
Researchers dismissed the notion that ‘infrasound or low frequency sound’ from wind farms harmed nearby residents, and said the true cause was likely to be anxiety and negative perceptions of living near a wind farm development.
Professor Geoffrey Dobb, vice president of the AMA said; ‘There is no accepted physiological mechanism where sub-audible infrasound could cause health effects.’
Symptoms attributed to wind farms include accelerated ageing, back pain, bowel cancer and diarrhoea. They have also been blamed for killing emus and for missing eyeballs in newborn calves.