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Deadline to clear up health law eligibility near
13 Aug 2014 at 12:15am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The clock is ticking for hundreds of thousands of people who have unresolved issues affecting their coverage under the new health care law.
Ebola: Questions, answers about an unproven drug
12 Aug 2014 at 12:41am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? An experimental Ebola drug has been used to treat two American aid workers and a Spanish missionary priest. Could Liberian doctors be next?
Texas abortion law could send women across borders
12 Aug 2014 at 1:40pm
EL PASO, Texas (AP) ? Crossing borders is a part of life in El Paso in far West Texas, where people may walk into Mexico to visit family or commute to New Mexico for work. But getting an abortion doesn't require leaving town.
Ticks may transmit disease faster than currently thought
22 Aug 2014 at 10:12am
By Shereen Lehman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) ? Brazilian ticks that carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever passed the disease to animal hosts in as little as 10 minutes if they had recently fed on another animal, a new study found. ?The current literature, including medical textbooks and guidelines for the general public, has repeatedly advised that an infected tick requires a minimum feeding period varying from 2 to 10 hours to transmit Rickettsia rickettsii - the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever - to humans,? Marcelo Labruna told Reuters Health in an email. ?We believe our results will change some of our current recommendations for the prevention of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in endemic areas,? said Labruna, a researcher at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and senior author of the study. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the deadliest known rickettsial disease spread by several species of ticks that carry the bacteria and transmit them to the hosts they feed on, including dogs and humans.
WHO warns of 'shadow zones', hidden cases in Ebola outbreak
22 Aug 2014 at 9:45am
The scale of the world's worst Ebola outbreak has been concealed by families hiding infected loved ones in their homes and the existence of "shadow zones" that medics cannot enter, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. The U.N. agency issued a statement detailing why the outbreak in West Africa had been underestimated, following criticism that it had moved too slowly to contain the killer virus, now spreading out of control. Under-reporting of cases is a problem especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The stigma surrounding Ebola poses a serious obstacle to efforts to calibrate the outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, which has claimed far more victims than any other episode of the disease that was first discovered nearly 40 years ago in the forests of central Africa.
Nigeria confirms two new cases of Ebola, 14 in total
22 Aug 2014 at 9:27am
LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria confirmed two new cases of Ebola, both in patients who caught the disease from people who were primary contacts of the liberian man who first brought it to Lagos, the health minister said on Friday. The total number of recorded cases in the country is now 14, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu told a news conference. (Reporting by Camillus; Writing by Tim Cocks, editing by John Stonestreet)
Gaps remain in India's Ebola preparedness, says WHO
22 Aug 2014 at 9:27am
By Nita Bhalla NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India has been pro-active in preparing for an outbreak of Ebola, but authorities need to improve the surveillance of traveler and raise public awareness about the deadly virus, the World Health Organization said on Friday. There are nearly 45,000 Indian nationals living and working in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria - where more than 1,300 people have died of Ebola in the worst outbreak of the disease in history. There is also a large population of West Africans, mainly students, in India and there are concerns that the disease could be imported into the country. Asheena Khalakdina, the WHO's Team Leader for Communicable Diseases, said while the risk of Ebola coming to India was low, it was important that authorities put in place the precautionary measures outlined by the organization.
How big is your water footprint? You may be surprised
22 Aug 2014 at 9:24am
LONDON, Aug 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation)- If you recently bought a pair of jeans or ate a burger for dinner, followed by a nice cup of coffee, you probably didn't link the touch of cotton or the aroma of the food to the amount of water that was used to produce them. There is more to a cup of coffee than just the 125 ml of water poured into a cafetiere: an astounding 140 litres of water is needed to grow the coffee beans for one cup. Our decisions about what we consume affect water resources in places where the products are made. According to Ruth Mathews, director of the Water Footprint Network, which promotes sustainability and efficiency of water use, it?s time not just for big companies - many of which have already started calculating their water footprints - but also for individuals to be aware of the effects of their consumption.
Democrats reframe debate on health care
22 Aug 2014 at 9:15am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama's unpopular health care law is losing some of its political punch as vulnerable Democrats see it as less of an election-year minus and Republicans increasingly talk about fixing it instead of repealing.
Russia keeps up pressure on McDonald's with new inspections
22 Aug 2014 at 9:06am
By Vladimir Soldatkin MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities extended their scrutiny of McDonald's to several regions on Friday, carrying out inspections at a number of restaurants run by the U.S. The inspections are viewed by many businessmen as retaliation for Western sanctions against Russia because of its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, and they fear the retribution could spread to other symbols of Western capitalism. A spokeswoman for the country's food safety agency, Rospotrebnadzor, said the inspections were not related to the standoff. Checks in Tatarstan were announced on Thursday.
Dentist at center of hepatitis scare cedes license
22 Aug 2014 at 9:04am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) ? An Oklahoma oral surgeon whose filthy clinic conditions led to the testing of thousands of patients for HIV and hepatitis permanently surrendered his professional license on Friday.
Nigeria confirms 2 new Ebola cases
22 Aug 2014 at 8:34am
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) ? Two new cases of Ebola have emerged in Nigeria and, in an alarming development, they are outside the group of caregivers who treated an airline passenger who arrived with Ebola and died, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Friday.
Senegal blocks Liberia aid flight, imposes Ebola travel curbs
22 Aug 2014 at 8:30am
By Emma Farge DAKAR (Reuters) - Regional humanitarian hub Senegal said on Friday it had blocked a regional U.N. aid plane from landing and was banning all further flights to and from countries affected by Ebola, potentially hampering the emergency response to the epidemic. A number of aid agencies have their regional headquarters in politically stable Senegal. Both medical charity MSF and the United Nations, which are leading efforts to contain a West African Ebola epidemic that has killed at least 1,350 people, had planned to operate regional flights from the country. The World Health Organisation has repeatedly said it does not recommend travel or trade restrictions for countries affected by Ebola, saying such measures could heighten food and supply shortages.
Former U.S. swim star Van Dyken takes first steps since paralysis
22 Aug 2014 at 7:46am
Olympic swimming champion Amy Van Dyken took her first steps this week since being paralyzed from the waist down when she severed her spinal cord in an all-terrain vehicle crash earlier this summer. In videos and images she posted online, Van Dyken is seen standing and starting to walk with the help a robotic exoskeleton device aimed at supporting patients' bodies and helping them move. Another photograph shows Van Dyken, who won a total of six gold medals at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, standing alongside her husband, former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen. Van Dyken's steps come just eight days after her release from a rehabilitation center in Colorado.
American Ebola doc urges help fighting outbreak
22 Aug 2014 at 7:38am
ATLANTA (AP) ? As one of few Ebola survivors with medical expertise, Dr. Kent Brantly seems keenly aware of the position his painful experience has put him in. He hasn't spoken yet about his plans, but spent much of his first public appearance pleading for help for countries still struggling with the virus.