Ebola virus found in survivors’ semen, 9 months later

By Pauline Okoth Preliminary results of a study in Sierra Leone documenting Ebola virus persistence in body fluids have confirmed the presence of the virus in survivors’ semen up to nine months after the onset of infection. The WHO declared Sierra Leone free of Ebola virus transmission in the human population last month (7 November), …

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The challenge of non-communicable diseases in Africa

By Verenardo Meeme [NAIROBI] In October this year, I attended the burial of a 34-year-old secondary school teacher who had died from cancer of the blood. I recalled this sad occasion during the Merck Luminary Africa Conference in Kenya last month (16-17 November), at which cancer was one of the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) medical experts …

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Shortened drug-resistant TB treatment trial raises hope

By Linda Nordling [CAPE TOWN] A clinical trial in Francophone Africa has raised hope that a drastically shortened treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) could cut costs and reduce suffering on the continent. Interim results from the radical nine-month treatment course showed an 80.9 per cent cure rate among patients with MDR-TB in nine African …

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Lurking parasites key to malaria elimination

By Michelle Kovacevic Eliminating the most widespread form of malaria will only be possible if public health programmes treat people with parasites lying dormant in their liver, a study suggests. More than 2.5 billion people, mostly in Asia, the Horn of Africa and Latin America, live at risk of malaria caused by the Plasmodium vivax …

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Africa’s answer to 70-year old problem of how to beat repeat infections

Wilfred Ndifon, Stellenbosch University and Tolullah Oni, University of Cape Town Dr Wilfred Ndifon has proposed a solution to a 70-year old immunological mystery relating to the original antigenic sin. This complex problem has played havoc with efforts to fight infectious diseases, particularly in places such as Africa where people can suffer successive infections. Ndifon …

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