HEALTH -- December 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM ET
Top 5 Global Health Headlines: Flu Spikes in U.K., Cholera Threatens Haiti Rice Harvest
Flu Cases Spike in U.K.
The British Department of Health says the numbers are in line with an average flu season, but there is rising alarm among the population over the rise in cases and the prevalence of the H1N1 flu strain, which has been linked to 36 deaths so far.
Other countries in Europe, Canada and the United States are also reporting more modest upticks in cases as the flu season kicks in.
Cholera Threatens Haiti Harvest
As the death toll from cholera nears 3,000 in Haiti, the United Nations is reporting the disease is also putting the country's rice harvest at risk.
Many farmers are avoiding harvesting their rice for fear that the water in their paddy fields could be contaminated with the bacteria.
Health Benefits of Treating Depression
Patients with diabetes or heart disease who also suffer from depression have significantly better treatment results when both problems are addressed, according to new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Symptoms of depression--like inactivity, poor diet and high stress levels--can lead to complications of chronic illnesses, so managing depression as part of treatment improved outcomes, the study said.
Foot-and-Mouth Disease Outbreak in S. Korea
South Korea raised its outbreak alert to the highest level Wednesday as foot-and-mouth disease continued to sweep through livestock. More than 495,000 livestock have been culled and 60 cases have been confirmed.
The disease does not spread to humans, but the price of meat products has risen sharply as the supply has become increasingly restricted.
World's First Organ Donor Dies
Ronald Herrick became the world's first organ donor and helped open up a new arena of medicine when he gave a kidney to his ailing twin brother in 1954. The groundbreaking operation later won surgeon Joseph Murray a Nobel Prize. Ronald died Wednesday at the age of 79--his brother Richard lived for eight years following the transplant.