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New class of drugs to tackle viruses, lethal shortage of snake bite serum and daily vitamin C ‘as effective as walking’ for heart health

A new class of drugs could be developed which can tackle a ground breaking range of viral infections after scientists discovered the ‘Achilles Heel’ of viruses, the Independent reports.

Research into the way that viruses invade human cells could be used to develop drugs which work against infections like dengue fever, ebola and flu.

In less positive news, international medical aid charity Medicins sans Frontiers says that stocks of Fav-Afrique, which neutralises ten different snakebites common in Sub-Saharan Africa, will expire in June 2016 and that there is no comparable replacement.

Tens of thousands of lives will be put at risk, the charity warns. Sanofi Pasteur, the company that manufactures the serum, says that it is discontinuing its production because it has been ‘priced out of the market’.

Alain Bernal, a Sanofi Pasteur spokesman, told the BBC that the company had offered to transfer the anti-venom technology to others, adding: ‘Nothing has materialised yet.’

And finally, the Daily Mail says that taking vitamin C supplements is as good for heart health as walking for obese people.

The paper reported that scientists at the University of Colorado found that taking the equivalent of one Berocca tablet a day can have similar cardiovascular benefits as regular exercise.

However taking too much of the nutrient – more than 1,000 mg – a day can cause stomach pain, diarrhoea and wind, the paper reported. 

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