Month: June 2019

Monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria

Monkeypox lesions Monkeypox (MPX) is caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV), related to both smallpox and cowpox. The first recorded case in a human occurred in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is currently endemic to regions of the Congo Basin and Western Africa— but largely the DRC. Symptoms are similar to, but sometimes less severe than, smallpox. It is generally transmitted from animal to human (through contact with infected bodily fluids as well as improperly cooked meats), however human-to-human transmission has been documented as well. There is no known treatment that is considered safe or...

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‘Killing my Own Baby’: Challenges faced by breastfeeding mothers with HIV

Zimbabwe is working towards elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. All pregnant and breastfeeding women who are HIV-infected are initiated on Option B+ treatment for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). Women on this regimen are encouraged to exclusively breastfeed for six months along with starting or continuing antiretroviral therapy (ART). Exclusive breastfeeding is not an easy feat, particularly for HIV-infected mothers. Our study explored the challenges faced by these women on the PMTCT program. Challenges in implementing and studying PMTCT Our study is premised on the assumption that the biomedical framework of ART initiation has informed most of the...

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Jiggers: a painful infestation

A female jigger flea with extended abdomen. Source: Wikipedia A jigger infestation, known as tungiasis, can be very painful; I speak from personal experience.  This tiny sand-flea has a variety of other colloquial names including nigua, chigoe and bicho de pé (Portugues for foot-bug). The last one, and its scientific name, Tunga penetrans, giving clues to its habit, as the adult female burrows into the skin, usually of the foot. Originally endemic in pre-Columbian Andean society and the West Indies jiggers were spread to other tropical and sub-tropical regions via shipping routes. They are now present in the Caribbean,...

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How does family history affect the risk of preterm birth?

What made you look at a sibling design to study associations between maternal and offspring preterm birth?  Compared to term infants, preterm infants, especially those born earliest, are more likely to experience a myriad of health-related problems, from neurodevelopmental problems in childhood to cardiovascular and metabolic disorders later in life. The etiology of preterm birth is multifactorial, complex and not well understood. One poorly understood factor is the intergenerational recurrence of preterm birth. Several studies have consistently shown that women born preterm are more likely to have preterm babies. Based on this evidence, it has been recommended to include...

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Dating app users more likely exhibit unhealthy weight control behaviors

In a study of 1,726 adults, users of dating apps had substantially elevated odds of unhealthy weight control behaviors such as diet pills. © yacobchuk / Getty Images / iStock Let’s admit it. Online dating can be a challenge. Yes, it’s quite easy to download one of the many available mobile dating apps on your smartphone. But then comes the task of creating a personal profile that often includes writing a brief personal bio and selecting that one photo you want other dating app users to see. That profile – especially the photo – is often the first thing...

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