Weekly Health Roundup – 8th August

International health news

Scientists have successfully genetically modified a human embryo, separating the gene for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This prevents the coronary disease from being inherited. In addition to editing the gene, researchers were able to avoid only part of the cells being repaired which is known as ‘mosaicism’.

The suicide rate amongst girls aged 15 to 19 has doubled in the past decade, reaching its 40-year peak in 2015. There has also been an increase in suicides by older teenage boys, and girls aged 10 to 14 years of age. Stigma surrounding mental health problems seems to prevent these vulnerable groups from seeking help.

The impact of social isolation is an ongoing and growing problem that could pose a greater public health threat than obesity. Researchers say that around 42.6 million over-45s in the US are suffering from chronic loneliness, which can increase the risk of early death by up to 50%.

Country updates

A fertility doctor has been warned against using technology that has not yet been approved in the US. Dr. John Zhang was marketing a three-donor treatment to avoid the transmission of hereditary diseases with the use of two egg cells and a sperm cell.

The cholera outbreak in Yemen has claimed 1,900 lives since late April. 60% of the country are food insecure, many health services have been disrupted by civil war and poor treatment of contaminated water is causing the disease to spread rapidly.

An Australian teenager has been attacked by sea fleas, or lyssianasid amphipods in waters at Brighton beach, Melbourne. The scavenging animals rarely attack humans.

Health advice

Pets have their own, heavy carbon footprints. As carnivores that consume up to 19% as many calories as humans, cats and dogs are responsible for 64 million tonnes of greenhouse gases annually.

A drug to treat all forms of Hepatitis C in as little as 8 weeks has been approved by the Food and Drug Association. It has been approved for use in adults without significant cirrhosis.

Sparkly liquid inside glitter iPhone cases has been leaking and causing burns and irritation to skin, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Over 260,000 iPhone cases distributed worldwide by MixBin Electronics have been recalled over health and safety concerns.

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