Indonesia Reports 103rd Bird Flu Death

JAKARTA ~ A 29-year-old woman has become Indonesia’s latest bird flu fatality, the Health Ministry confirmed this week, bringing the toll to 103 in the nation worst hit by the virus.

Nine people have died from bird flu in Indonesia so far this year, all of them from Jakarta and its surrounding sprawl.

“We are now at 126 infection cases, 103 of them fatal,” the ministry’s director general for contagious disease control, I Nyoman Kandun, said.

Health Agencies Stick to Condom Advice

GENEVA ~ Using a condom is still the safest protection against AIDS, United Nations health agencies said, after Swiss researchers claimed patients on retroviral drugs do not transmit the virus.

UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation said in a joint statement that they “strongly recommend a comprehensive package of HIV prevention approaches, including correct and consistent use of condoms.”

Switzerland’s Federal AIDS Commission published a report last week claiming that couples where one partner is HIV positive do not need to use a condom to prevent transmitting the disease, as long as retroviral therapy is followed regularly and has suppressed the virus in the blood for at least six months.

Vitamin Deficiency Linked to Dementia

Lack of folate, also called vitamin B-9, may triple the risk of developing dementia in old age, according to a study published on Tuesday.

Researchers in South Korea measured naturally occurring folate levels in 518 elderly persons, none of whom showed any signs of dementia, and then tracked their development over 2.4 years.

At the end of the period, 45 of the patients had developed dementia, including 34 diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, said the study, published by the British Medical Association’s Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

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