First confirmed infantile death from enterovirus in Catalonia

September 13, 2016 06:22 PM | ACN

The first fatal victim of enterovirus has been confirmed this Tuesday in Catalonia. The victim was a baby who had been admitted to Parc Taulí Hospital in Sabadell, suffering from flu and vomiting followed by somnolence and flaccidity, on the 31st of July and who died on Monday, Catalonia’s Health Department confirmed. “This is the first case in which we have been able to identify the virus, which was A-71”, CatSalut director, Josep Maria Argimon, explained. 110 enterovirus-related cases have been found in Catalonia since April and another baby is currently in the hospital as well. During a press conference this Tuesday, the head of paediatrics at Barcelona Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Carlos Rodrigo, pointed to the fact that only between 3% and 5% of enterovirus cases end up being fatal.

Four new infected with Zika virus cases, including another pregnant woman

May 17, 2016 06:30 PM | ACN

The Catalan Ministry for Health has confirmed this Tuesday that there are four new cases of people infected with Zika virus in Catalonia, one of which is a pregnant woman. Thus, the number of infected with Zika virus in Catalonia totals 45, 29 women and 16 men. The disease is especially grave for pregnant women as it may cause malformations in the baby’s brain, which may lead to it being underdeveloped. Indeed, in the beginning of May the health authorities in Catalonia confirmed the first case of Zika-linked microcephaly, as the foetus of an infected woman suffered from several malformations. All those affected by the virus reported having been in South or Central America, in those areas where Zika is most active, and confirmed that they were bitten by mosquitoes during their stay.

First pregnant woman in Catalonia to be infected with Zika virus

February 4, 2016 07:20 PM | ACN

The Catalan Ministry for Health has confirmed this Thursday two new cases of Zika virus infection in Catalonia. One of them is a pregnant woman, the first of this type of case detected in Catalonia. The woman is between 13 and 14 weeks pregnant and is said to have contracted the virus on a trip to Colombia. These new cases are to be added to the other four detected on Wednesday and there are thus now already six people, four men and two women, infected with the Zika virus. Zika is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains. It is spreading through the Americas and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease linked to the virus a global public health emergency. 

Type 1 diabetes vaccine could be on the way as Catalan researchers take a step forward

June 4, 2015 09:36 PM | ACN

Researchers at the Hospital Germans Trias in Badalona (Greater Barcelona) have taken an important step toward creating a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes, which currently has no cure. The discovery, published in the scientific journal 'Plos One', consists of the preparation of nanoparticles in the laboratory that, once introduced into the body, slow down the destruction of beta cells (whose primary function is to store and release insulin). With Type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks these insulin-producing cells located in the pancreas and destroys them. Currently, to combat the disease, patients must take insulin injections. In recent years, Catalonia has become a global hub for biomedical investigation, developing cutting-edge research initiatives and participating in leading international projects. With just 0.1% of the world’s population, Catalonia accounts for nearly 1% of global scientific production and attracts 2.2% of European competitive funds and 3.5% of European Research Council (ERC) grants.

Catalonia has 34 blood donors per thousand of population, almost double the European average

February 14, 2015 12:31 AM | Neus Gutiérrez

Every day in every hospital in the world blood is needed. The only way to get it is from donations, since blood cannot be created artificially. Each altruist action may serve to help three different patients. In Catalonia, for the system to work optimally 1,000 donations a day would be needed but the average donation figure is lower. Everyone can donate if they weigh over 50kg, since a donation is 450ml of blood and a minimum weight is required. Men can do it four times a year and women three times. There are now various mobile units that travel throughout Catalonia to make donating more accessible to donors.

Scabies infection threatens the last population of Iberian wild goats in Catalonia

February 13, 2015 11:17 PM | ACN / Nisse Laiho-Murdoch

Hunters and park rangers are currently working together to try to contain the outbreak of Scabies in the wild population of Iberian ibex in the mountainous area of Terra Alta, in the south of Catalonia. This is the last surviving population of this local species throughout Catalonia, after it became extinct from the Pyrenees. Negotiations between the two parties began late last month after the Catalan Government's Department of Agriculture granted permission to hunt and kill the infected specimen before the disease spreads. A previous case in 1987, which eliminated 97% of the goat population, has meant that the Department of Agriculture is not taking this news lightly and want a swift yet controlled extermination of the diseased animals in order to prevent the extinction of the species in Catalonia.

Treating HIV just after the infection delays the damage to the immune system

January 18, 2013 12:11 AM | CNA

An international study with the participation of the Hospital Clínic IDIBAPS, which is a leading research centre at a world level on AIDS/HIV and other common diseases, has proved that an anti-retroviral treatment carried out just after the infection delays the damage to the patient’s immune system and reduces the risk of transmission. The results of clinical tests on 366 infected individuals confirmed that the sooner and longer an initial anti-retroviral treatment is applied, the later the life-long treatments have to start. However, despite the results, researchers insist that is still too soon to change the current AIDS/HIV treatment protocols.