A summary of important health news from the past week.
Puerto Rico Reports 1st US Zika-Related Death Amid Outbreak
An outbreak of Zika in Puerto Rico has resulted in the first death directly caused by the mosquito-borne illness in the U.S., where a total of 426 cases have been reported. The 70-year-old man died in February when antibodies his body developed to fight the illness attacked his blood platelet levels. This happened after recovering from initial symptoms of the illness. Similar deaths have occurred in Colombia
Final piece of type 1 diabetes puzzle solved
Researchers from the University of Lincoln discovered the final target attacked by the immune system of people with Type I Diabetes. This condition involves the immune system destroying beta cells that make insulin. Identifying the final target can lead to important advances in treatment. The results were published in the journal Diabetes.
U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High
The National Center for Health Statistics is reporting that suicide rates rose 24% from 1999 to 2014 in the U.S. The rise was highest for middle-aged, white women, whose rates jumped 63%. These are the highest rates the country has seen in 30 years and has resulted in an overall increase to 13 per 100,000 people.
Hospitals and doctors under attack in Aleppo ‘difficult to replace’
A pediatric hospital was bombed in the Syrian town of Aleppo, resulting in at least 50 deaths. Pablo Marco of Doctors Without Borders notes that, because most (95%) of physician in the country have either been killed or fled, every loss is monumental. Health care staff and facilities, he reports, have become targets in the war.
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