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9 in 10 People Are Breathing Deadly Air

China is the worst off in WHO study that finds serious health effects linked to air pollution

(Newser) - The vast majority of humanity is breathing dirty air, putting us at risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung disease, the World Health Organization says. The agency's most detailed analysis yet of air pollution reveals that 92% of the world's population is breathing air that fails to meet... More »

Gonorrhea May Beat All Known Drugs by 2021

WHO makes changes to recommended treatments

(Newser) - The WHO is changing up its policy for battling gonorrhea for the first time in more than a decade as antibiotic-resistant strains continue to spread worldwide . The organization now recommends that doctors give up using the class of antibiotics known as quinolones and instead prescribe another class called cephalosporins, reports... More »

WHO May Stop Classifying Transgender ID as Mental Disorder

New guidebook will likely make big update

(Newser) - For years, being transgender has been considered a mental disorder that's listed in the World Health Organization's "International Classification of Diseases" guidebook under "gender identity disorders." But now the WHO is considering declassifying transgender identity as such in the guide's new edition, the first... More »

WHO No Longer Thinks Coffee Will Give You Cancer

Unless it's served above 149 degrees

(Newser) - Celebrate the latest news from the WHO with a cup of joe: The organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer is set to reverse its rating of coffee as "possibly carcinogenic" Wednesday, noting there is "inadequate evidence" linking the beverage to cancers of the bladder, pancreas, and... More »

WHO: Zika Is an International Emergency

World Health Organization calls mosquito-borne virus 'extraordinary event'

(Newser) - The World Health Organization announced Monday that the explosive spread of the Zika virus in the Americas is an "extraordinary event" that merits being declared an international emergency, the AP reports. The agency convened a closed-door emergency meeting of independent experts Monday to assess the outbreak after noting a... More »

Scientists: Zika May Become 'Explosive Pandemic'

Don't mess this up like Ebola, they tell WHO

(Newser) - US scientists want the World Health Organization to call an emergency meeting to address the Zika virus , the mosquito-borne disease they say has "explosive pandemic potential," the BBC reports. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association , the scientists also warn the WHO not to make the... More »

Meat Industry: Bacon Causes Cancer? Baloney

Group says WHO report 'defies common sense'

(Newser) - Meat producers are out in full force to combat the WHO's assertion on Monday that processed meats cause cancer , while red meat is "probably" carcinogenic. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association says that though the WHO considered 800 studies, its report came from a panel of 22 experts... More »

WHO: Bacon Is a Carcinogen

Health agency issues controversial warning about processed meats

(Newser) - The World Health Organization delivered bad news to bacon lovers Monday morning, declaring that the breakfast staple causes cancer. In fact, the report by a WHO research arm found that all processed meats, including sausages, ham, and hot dogs, are carcinogens, reports the Guardian . Specifically, the report says that 50... More »

'Damning' Report: WHO 'Unfit' in Emergencies

It lacks 'capacity and culture,' bungled Ebola response

(Newser) - An independent report commissioned by the World Health Organization and deemed "damning" by the BBC has found the WHO lacks the "capacity and culture" to handle global health emergencies. The report notes the organization delayed too long in responding to the Ebola crisis—something the WHO has admitted... More »

Keep MERS Away by Laying Off the Camel Pee: WHO

Yes, this is a tip that the World Health Organization is offering

(Newser) - The MERS outbreak that's spread into South Korea has killed at least 10, sickened more than 120, and forced about 2,600 schools to shut down there, the AP reports. But South Korean officials believe the disease has peaked in the country, and the World Health Organization is offering... More »

WHO: 'Mystery Disease' May Be From Pesticides

At least 18 people have died so far in Ode-Irele, Nigeria

(Newser) - The World Health Organization said yesterday the cause of the frightening "mystery disease" that has killed at least 18 people in a town in Nigeria may be weed killer, AFP reports. The victims in Ode-Irele, located in the southwestern part of the state of Ondo, died within a day... More »

No Sex for Male Ebola Survivors, Says WHO

Health org says virus could stay in semen for 3 months

(Newser) - There hasn't been one documented case of Ebola being transmitted via sex yet, but the World Health Organization advises that male survivors of the virus refrain from sexual relations (including oral sex) for 90 days after being declared Ebola-free, Reuters reports. "Men who have recovered from Ebola virus... More »

Ebola Cases Surpass 10K

About half have died worldwide, says WHO

(Newser) - More than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola and nearly half of them have died, according to figures released today by the World Health Organization. The UN health agency said the number of confirmed, probable, and suspected cases has risen to 10,141. Of those cases, 4,922... More »

WHO: Trials of Ebola Vaccine Coming Soon

As CDC releases new guidelines for dealing with cases

(Newser) - A top World Health Organization official says the hunt for an Ebola vaccine will produce data about whether they're safe by December—and they could be in experimental field use by January. Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, an assistant director-general for WHO, says clinical trials planned or underway in Europe, Africa,... More »

WHO: Nigeria Is Officially Ebola-Free

Calls containment of disease a 'spectacular success story'

(Newser) - The World Health Organization has declared that Nigeria is now free of Ebola, a rare victory in the monthslong battle against the fatal disease. In an update issued today, the UN health agency says the country's containment of the lethal disease is a "spectacular success story." The... More »

Every 40 Seconds, Someone Commits Suicide: WHO

'Major public health problem' is No. 2 cause of death among people 15-29

(Newser) - With the suicide of Robin Williams still painfully fresh, the World Health Organization released a startling statistic today: Someone takes his or her own life every 40 seconds—which equates to about 800,000 deaths a year, reports the BBC . Other findings in the WHO study : Suicide is the second-leading... More »

WHO: Ban E-Cigs Indoors

Organization wants electronic cigarettes regulated more, citing health risks

(Newser) - More support for those who think it's too early to jump on the e-cigarette bandwagon: The vapor-producing devices may still pose a threat to users' and bystanders' health, says WHO, which suggests stronger regulations on the relatively new industry in a report released today, reports Reuters . The health... More »

WHO: Untested Ebola Drugs Are 'Ethical'

Says such meds are needed to fight virus in hard-hit areas

(Newser) - To combat "the largest, most severe, and most complex outbreak of [the] Ebola virus disease in history," the World Health Organization today gave the green light to use untested drugs. Despite questions about skipping the standard approval process, "it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as... More »

India Is Free of Polio

It has no new cases in 3 years, says WHO

(Newser) - The World Health Organization has declared India free of polio after three years of no new cases—meaning 80% of the world is now free of the virus. Progress has been steady since a vaccination campaign began among children in 1995, but India's vast population made eradication a constant... More »

Only 5% of Your Calories Should Be From Sugar: WHO

Drops recommendation from previous 10%

(Newser) - Just try sugar-coating this: The World Health Organization says your daily sugar intake should be just 5% of your total calories—half of what the agency previously recommended, according to new draft guidelines published yesterday. That includes sugars added to foods and those present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices,... More »

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