Bacterial Infections the 'Second Leading Cause of Death Worldwide'

Hand washing is advised to prevent infection with the pathogens S. aureus and E. coli, which are behind a huge number of deaths every year JENS SCHLUETER AFP/File
Hand washing is advised to prevent infection with the pathogens S. aureus and E. coli, which are behind a huge number of deaths every year JENS SCHLUETER AFP/File
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Bacterial Infections the 'Second Leading Cause of Death Worldwide'

Hand washing is advised to prevent infection with the pathogens S. aureus and E. coli, which are behind a huge number of deaths every year JENS SCHLUETER AFP/File
Hand washing is advised to prevent infection with the pathogens S. aureus and E. coli, which are behind a huge number of deaths every year JENS SCHLUETER AFP/File

Bacterial infections are the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for one in eight of all deaths in 2019, the first global estimate of their lethality revealed on Tuesday.

The massive new study, published in the Lancet journal, looked at deaths from 33 common bacterial pathogens and 11 types of infection across 204 countries and territories, AFP said.

The pathogens were associated with 7.7 million deaths -- 13.6 percent of the global total -- in 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic took off.

That made them the second-leading cause of death after ischaemic heart disease, which includes heart attacks, the study said.

Just five of the 33 bacteria were responsible for half of those deaths: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

S. aureus is a bacterium common in human skin and nostrils but behind a range of illnesses, while E. coli commonly causes food poisoning.

The study was conducted under the framework of the Global Burden of Disease, a vast research program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation involving thousands of researchers across the world.

"These new data for the first time reveal the full extent of the global public health challenge posed by bacterial infections," said study co-author Christopher Murray, the director of US-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

"It is of utmost importance to put these results on the radar of global health initiatives so that a deeper dive into these deadly pathogens can be conducted and proper investments are made to slash the number of deaths and infections."

The research points to stark differences between poor and wealthy regions.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, there were 230 deaths per 100,000 population from bacterial infections.

That number fell to 52 per 100,000 in what the study called the "high-income super-region" which included countries in Western Europe, North America and Australasia.

The authors called for increased funding, including for new vaccines, to lessen the number of deaths, also warning against "unwarranted antibiotic use".

Hand washing is among the measures advised to prevent infection.



Melania Trump to Tell Her Story in Memoir, ‘Melania,’ Scheduled for This Fall 

Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump (L) stands with his wife Melania (R) after speaking on the final day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 18 July 2024. (EPA)
Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump (L) stands with his wife Melania (R) after speaking on the final day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 18 July 2024. (EPA)
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Melania Trump to Tell Her Story in Memoir, ‘Melania,’ Scheduled for This Fall 

Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump (L) stands with his wife Melania (R) after speaking on the final day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 18 July 2024. (EPA)
Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump (L) stands with his wife Melania (R) after speaking on the final day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 18 July 2024. (EPA)

Former first lady Melania Trump has a memoir coming out this fall, “Melania,” billed by her office as “a powerful and inspiring story of a woman who has carved her own path, overcome adversity and defined personal excellence.”

It's the first memoir by Trump, who has been mostly absent as her husband, former President Donald Trump, seeks to return to the White House.

“Melania" will be released by Skyhorse Publishing, which has published such Donald Trump supporters as former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and attorney Alan Dershowitz. Skyhorse also has worked with third-party candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former Trump insider Michael Cohen, who later became one of his harshest critics. Some Skyhorse books include forewords by Trump ally Steve Bannon.

Melania Trump's memoir was announced Thursday by her office, which neither provided a specific release date nor mentioned whether it would come out before Election Day in November. Trump has been the subject of other books, including one by former adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, but she has never told her own story at length before.

The former first lady “invites readers into her world, offering an intimate portrait of a woman who has lived an extraordinary life,” the announcement reads in part. “‘Melania’ includes personal stories and family photos she has never before shared with the public.”

A spokesperson said no information was available beyond what was included in the release, which made no reference to financial terms, promotional plans or if she worked with a co-author.

Melania Trump, Donald Trump's third wife, has been an enigmatic figure since her husband announced he was running in the 2016 election. She has sought to maintain her privacy even as she served as first lady, focusing on raising their son, Barron, and promoting her “Be Best” initiative to support the “social, emotional, and physical health of children.”

While she appeared at her husband’s campaign launch event for 2024 and attended the closing night of last week’s Republican National Convention, she has otherwise stayed off the campaign trail. Her decision not to deliver a speech at this year's convention marked a departure from tradition for candidates' wives, and from the 2016 and 2020 Republican gatherings.

According to her office, the memoir will come in two versions: a $150 “Collector's Edition,” 256 pages, “in full color throughout, with each copy signed by the author,” and a “Memoir Edition,” 304 pages, including 48 pages of never-before-seen photographs. The book is listed at $40, with signed editions going for $75.

Both editions are available for pre-order exclusively through the first lady's web site, MelaniaTrump.com. A spokesperson did not have any immediate comment on when or whether it could be ordered elsewhere.

Unlike other former presidents and first ladies, Donald and Melania Trump have not released any post-White House books through mainstream New York publishers. Donald Trump published numerous books before his presidency, working with Random House and Simon & Schuster among others, but many shunned him after the siege of the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

He has released two books since leaving Washington, a picture book commemorating his time at the White House and a compilation of letters from world leaders and celebrities. Both came out through Winning Team Publishing, co-founded in 2021 by Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign staffer Sergio Gor.