Sunday, 27 July 2014

This week's top eight health stories from China

1. Leptospirosis rates in China have gradually decreased in recent years, but it is still an important zoonotic infectious disease, say researchers. The development of  vaccines is critical for the prevention and control of  the disease that is spread by infected pigs, they say.

2. The popular Chinese habit of napping is associated with higher rates of glycaemia and a higher risk of diabetes, according to endocrinologists from the Ningde Municipal Hospital, Fujian Medical University.

3. China is still harvesting organs from executed prisoners, making a mockery of the recent "Hangzhou Declaration" which signalled intent to give up this unethical practice, say transplant surgeons from the UK, US and Australia in an article in the American Journal of Transplantation.

4. A Changsha man vowed to kill doctors at a hospital where he was diagnosed with hepatitis, but his plot was foiled when his wife found his 'suicide note' and reported him to police before he was able to carry out the attack.

5. The TV medical drama "The Obstericians" was broadcast in Shandong accompanied by an SMS response forum on which members of the public could post questions to real obstetricians who were consultants to the programme makers.

6. Infections with West Nile Virus in Xinjiang may have been greatly underestimated say researchers from the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, who found that many  patients might have been given misdiagnoses of the mosquito-borne infection with Japanese encephalitis because of cross-reactivity between the two viruses.

7. Beijing authorities are holding open forums on the scope of new anti-smoking regulations, debating how to extend them in public spaces such as schools, hospitals and workplaces. The Centre for Disease Control has lobbied for strict restrictions and enforcement, noting that 20% of school students have tried smoking.

8. Children at risk of intestinal worm infections caused by helminth parasites responded well to a trial of health education in Hunan schools, which improved knowledge and awareness, and changed hygiene behaviour.

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