Weekly health roundup – 23rd January

International health news

Scientists believe they have potentially found a universal blood test for cancer. They hope to design a test that will catch cancer early and save lives.

A study suggests that testing all women for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene would prevent cancers and save lives and would actually be cost effective. Only women with the corrupted gene in their family are currently offered testing.

Country updates

A public health emergency has been declared in Brazil’s southeastern state of Minas Gerais after a deadly outbreak of yellow fever. At least 15 people have died from the disease since December.

Bangladesh continues to fight against an outbreak of diphtheria. In the past 2 months, 31 deaths have been reported along with 3,954 suspected cases.

Health advice

Doctors warn to not stifle a sneeze by clamping your nose and mouth shut as this can cause serious damage. A British man has ruptured his throat by trying to stop a sneeze.

Smear tests can prevent 75% of cervical cancers. Don’t be too embarrassed to have a smear test carried out as it could save your life.


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