Yuen Kwok-yung - the stoic scientist soldiers on

Yuen Kwok-yung - the stoic scientist soldiers on

Long before the H7N9 novel coronavirus emerged in the mainland, University of Hong Kong microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung, along with other researchers, warned the world that if another Sars-like pandemic struck, the disease would likely come from an animal. Some even went as far as to pinpoint the bird as a carrier.

Monday, 22 April, 2013, 4:52am

H7N9 may mutate 8 times faster than regular flu

A doctor looks at lung CT images and chest films of a man infected with H7N9. The new bird flu could be mutating up to eight times faster than an average flu virus. Photo: Xinhua

The new bird flu could be mutating up to eight times faster than an average flu virus around a protein that binds it to humans, a team of research scientists in Shenzhen says.

10 Apr 2013 - 12:24pm

Three medical leaps that could transform disease treatments

Graphic: SMP

More than once last year, researchers described leaps in medical science that were so breathtaking, and held so much potential for patients, that they immediately joined the list of fields to watch in the year ahead. In most cases, the work was, and is, at an early stage and its success far from certain. But some may go down in history for transforming how medicine is done.

6 Jan 2013 - 2:48am

New fish bacteria named after Hong Kong

Hong Kong has earned another accolade, with a new bacteria named after the city.

Streptococcus hongkongensis was discovered when a worker at one of the city's fish stalls cut his thumb on a fish fin.

30 Dec 2012 - 4:55am 1 comment

Shanghai researchers identify bacteria linked to obesity

Mainland researchers have identified a bacteria which may cause obesity.

A new paper suggests diets that alter the presence of microbes in humans could combat the condition.

Researchers in Shanghai found that mice bred to be resistant to obesity even when fed high-fat foods became excessively overweight when injected with a kind of human bacteria and subjected to a rich diet.

20 Dec 2012 - 4:12am

Hong Kong has right conditions for outbreaks of drug-resistant superbugs

The New Delhi-Metallo-1 superbug. Photo: SMP

In August, Princess Margaret Hospital reported the second case of the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) Enterobacteriaceae, a lengthy name for a microbe that can simply be called a superbug.

4 Nov 2012 - 1:38am

Case History: Rise of the superbugs

Illustration: Angela Ho

Madam Thila's health worsened dramatically after a fall at home. It left Thila (whose name has been changed for patient confidentiality reasons) with acute subdural haematoma, or bleeding in the brain, a potentially fatal condition where blood fills the skull cavity, pressing on the brain.

9 Oct 2012 - 9:44am

Nutrition: coconut oil could combat tooth decay

With chemical additives in personal care products causing increasing concern, new research unveiling a natural antibiotic for oral health couldn't have come at a better time. Digested coconut oil is able to attack bacteria that cause tooth decay, a team from the Athlone Institute of Technology has found.

4 Sep 2012 - 11:28am

US faces mosquito-borne West Nile virus outbreak, as cases climb 60pc

The number of West Nile virus infections in the United States has jumped more than 60 per cent in the past week in what officials say is one of the country's biggest-ever outbreaks of the disease.

24 Aug 2012 - 4:04am

New virus strain linked to increase in gastroenteritis cases in Hong Kong

A virus strain new to Hong Kong may be the reason for an abnormal surge of gastroenteritis cases this month.

Outbreaks in places such as homes for the elderly are five times last year's monthly number, while private doctors and public hospitals have seen a three-fold increase.

24 Aug 2012 - 3:02am

Fact file: Necrotising fasciitis

Necrotising fasciitis is a bacterial infection that attacks the soft tissue and fascia that bind together muscles and organs.

The bacteria usually enter via a cut, blister or small injury, but sometimes there is no visible entry point. The disorder is rare, but often fatal.

19 Aug 2012 - 10:05am

Couple's happy reunion cut short by killer disease

Ronald Ancheta, who died of flesh-eating disease.Photo: SCMP Pictures

Ronald Ancheta counted the days until he would join his wife in Hong Kong so they could live together for the first time in their nine-year marriage. Their dream lasted just one week, cut short by something they could never have imagined.

19 Aug 2012 - 10:01am

Virus puts the boot into team

The public health agency of Seattle and King County in the US state of Washington received a call alerting it to an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis among participants at a soccer tournament held in the county one weekend.

24 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Flu prediction tool shunned

Hong Kong has no plans to link up with a real-time initiative called Google Flu Trends, which claims to predict an epidemic within days

A spokeswoman for the Centre for Health Protection said the city's influenza surveillance systems were extensive and it had no plans to partner with Google's flu prediction tools.

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Little to fear from bird flu - unless you're a chicken

As you read the news, perhaps you ask yourself: 'Why aren't half of us dead from bird flu?'

After all, renowned flu hunter Robert Webster remarked in 2006 that 'society just can't accept the idea that 50 per cent of the population could die... I'm sorry if I'm making people a little frightened, but I feel it's my role.'

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am