Lancet reviews the health stories of 2019


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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As 2019 draws to a close, the Lancet has looked back at the medicine and health stories that made the headlines over the past 12 months. 

Top of their list is the e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) outbreak in the United States, which has been implicated in the deaths of more than 50 people since it was first declared earlier this year. 

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo also received much coverage this year, with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern last July - only the fifth in WHO's history.

Also, making the list of the key health stories of 2019 is the climate emergency, with the journal highlighting the excess deaths during a heatwave in Europe; wildfires in Australia and California; and severe Atlantic hurricanes and storms causing death and destruction in places such as the Bahamas and Bermuda. 

A number of other stories were highlighted, including the surge in measles cases in 2019, the 10th anniversary of the launch of China’s health system reform, the resurgence of dengue and the first UN high-level meeting on universal health coverage.