BBC World Service

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Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.


The Deadly Disease Melioidosis

January 20th, 2016

Episode 70 of 158 episodes

Melioidosis was first discovered in Burma around 100 years ago, but is believed to have been around for thousands of years. It is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria burkholderia pseudomallei, which lives in soil and water and is commonly found in South-East Asia and Northern Australia. A team of researchers have just reviewed all reports of the disease, looked at environmental databases and used special modelling to predict where in the world the disease is. They found that the distribution is much wider than previously reported. Dr Direk Limmathurotskal from Mahidol University in Bangkok was first author on the resulting paper, which has just been published in Nature Microbiology. Pedicures for health Taking a bit of time to pamper yourself can provide an opportunity for rest and relaxation. One private clinic in Nairobi Kenya has decided to take this a step further and is now using pedicures as an incentive to women to get their health screenings done. The BBC’s Michael Kaloki in Nairobi decided to find out more. Survival from cardiac arrest If you are unconscious after a heart attack every minute is vital, and if you live in a tower block you may not want the penthouse suite. Researchers in Canada have found that delays getting let into buildings, waiting for the lift and finding their way once they reach the correct floor, result in it taking on average two minutes longer for paramedics to reach people above the third floor. When the researchers looked back at cases of cardiac arrest between 2007 and 2012 in two regions of Toronto, they saw a significant difference in survival rates and there was only a 0.9% survival rate for those living above the 16th floor. Ian Brennan, a paramedic himself, was lead author of the research. It was conducted by Rescu, a group that studies emergency health care, based at St. Michaels Hospital at the University of Toronto. (Photo; Cambodian woman uses a pair of water buffalo to plough a wet paddy field on the outskirts of Phnom Pen. Credit: Getty Images)

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