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Sweden close to becoming first 'smoke free' country in Europe

Summer is in the air, cigarette smoke is not, in Sweden's outdoor bars and restaurants.

As the World Health Organization marks "World No Tobacco Day" on Wednesday, Sweden, which has the lowest rate of smoking in the Europe Union, is close to declaring itself "smoke free" — defined as having fewer than 5% daily smokers in the population.

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1 in 10 get long COVID after omicron, starts identifying key symptoms

About 10% of people appear to suffer long COVID after an omicron infection, a lower estimate than earlier in the pandemic, according to a study of nearly 10,000 Americans that aims to help unravel the mysterious condition.

Early findings from the National Institutes of Health's study highlight a dozen symptoms that most distinguish long COVID, the catchall term for the sometimes debilitating health problems that can last for months or years after even a mild case of COVID-19.

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Hundreds of millions of life years lost to pandemic

Nearly 337 million life years were lost in the two first years of the Covid-19 pandemic, as millions of people died prematurely, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

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UN says one billion threatened by cholera

A billion people in 43 countries are at risk of cholera, the United Nations warned Friday, and though the outbreaks could be stopped, the United Nations said resources were desperately lacking.

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Study: Simple measures can prevent million baby deaths a year

Providing simple and cheap healthcare measures to pregnant women -- such as offering aspirin -- could prevent more than a million babies from being stillborn or dying as newborns in developing countries every year, new research said on Tuesday.

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Ukraine, Sudan conflicts fuel alarming surge in tuberculosis

Top U.N. officials, health industry leaders and activists have demanded that the world invest more to develop new vaccines and tackle a surge in tuberculosis fueled by the impact of COVID-19 and conflicts including Ukraine and Sudan.

At a crowded meeting punctuated by activists chanting "End TB Now," there were speeches from many TB sufferers and a keynote by U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who spoke about how her father passed on tuberculosis to her two-year-old sister: TB claimed his life at the age of 60, but her sister, now 50, is a survivor.

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WHO says Covid no longer a global health emergency

The World Health Organization said Friday that COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency, marking a symbolic end to the devastating coronavirus pandemic that triggered once-unthinkable lockdowns, upended economies worldwide and killed at least 7 million people worldwide.

WHO said that even though the emergency phase was over, the pandemic hasn't come to an end, noting recent spikes in cases in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The U.N. health agency says that thousands of people are still dying from the virus every week.

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WHO experts mull Covid emergency status

The World Health Organization's emergency committee is meeting Thursday to discuss if Covid-19 is still a global health emergency.

The panel's 15th meeting on the crisis comes more than three years after it first sounded the WHO's highest emergency alarm as what was then called the novel coronavirus began spreading outside China.

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Deadly heat waves threaten older people as summer nears

Paramedics summoned to an Arizona retirement community last summer found an 80-year-old woman slumped inside her mobile home, enveloped in the suffocating 99-degree (37 C) heat she suffered for days after her air conditioner broke down. Efforts to revive her failed, and her death was ruled environmental heat exposure aggravated by heart disease and diabetes.

In America's hottest big metro, older people like the Sun Lakes mobile home resident accounted for most of the 77 people who died last summer in broiling heat inside their homes, almost all without air conditioning. Now, the heat dangers long known in greater Phoenix are becoming familiar nationwide as global warming creates new challenges to protect the aged.

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Loneliness poses risks as deadly as smoking

Widespread loneliness in the U.S. poses health risks as deadly as smoking a dozen cigarettes daily, costing the health industry billions of dollars annually, the U.S. surgeon general said Tuesday in declaring the latest public health epidemic.

About half of U.S. adults say they've experienced loneliness, Dr. Vivek Murthy said in a report from his office.

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