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Fourth patient linked to mold outbreak at Pittsburgh hospital dies
7 Feb 2016 at 1:01pm
UPMC on Sunday confirmed the death of Che DuVall, 70, and extended its sympathies to his family. DuVall, who had a lung transplant, is the fourth transplant patient at the hospital system who contracted infection and died. "We again want to reassure our patients that we have taken every possible precaution to make our hospitals as safe as is humanly possible and have followed all recommendations made by federal and state regulators," UPMC said in a statement.
Loan rejection may have been early warning of Taiwan building collapse
7 Feb 2016 at 12:55pm
By Yimou Lee TAINAN, Taiwan (Reuters) - Before their apartment tower collapsed in a Taiwan earthquake at the weekend, a young couple living on the 14th floor had already been given a clue that the building was unsafe. Chen Yi-ting and her husband bought the apartment in the center of Tainan city five years ago, having relocated from an outlying district.
Decrying graft, Pope to tour poor, violent corners of Mexico
7 Feb 2016 at 12:31pm
By Lizbeth Diaz and Simon Gardner MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis will visit some of the poorest and most violent corners of Mexico on his first visit as pontiff, and will also head to the northern border to address the plight of migrants trying to reach the United States. More than 100,000 people have been killed in Mexico's drug wars over the last decade and its reputation was battered by the case of 43 students abducted and apparently massacred in 2014. President Enrique Pena Nieto´s government botched the investigation, and relatives of the victims are looking to Francis for help in getting to the truth.
4th patient infected during mold outbreak at hospital dies
7 Feb 2016 at 11:00am
PITTSBURGH (AP) ? A fourth transplant patient who contracted a fungal infection during a mold outbreak at a western Pennsylvania hospital has died, officials said Sunday.
Carnival roars ahead in Brazil despite Zika health scare
7 Feb 2016 at 10:23am
The worst health scare in recent history is not keeping Brazilians from their annual Carnival revelry, with millions of partiers swarming streets and some making fun of the mosquito that spreads Zika and other viruses. "It's one more thing to worry about," said Juliana Araujo, a 48-year-old schoolteacher at a street party in Rio de Janeiro, where other problems, like an economic recession and impeachment proceedings against Brazil's president, seemed distant concerns. Recent news that traces of the virus had been identified in blood, saliva and other bodily fluids of patients known to have been infected with Zika would not do much to dampen a festival known for its fair share of casual sex, she predicted: "People aren't going to stop having fun and hooking up." Over a million people hit the streets in cities like Rio, home to the country's best-known Carnival celebration, and the northeastern capitals of Salvador and Recife, two cities hard hit by the outbreak.
Doctors puzzle over severity of defects in some Brazilian babies
7 Feb 2016 at 6:57am
By Bill Berkrot and Anthony Boadle NEW YORK/BRASILIA (Reuters) - Experts on microcephaly, the birth defect that has sparked alarm in the current Zika virus outbreak, say they are struck by the severity of a small number of cases they have reviewed from Brazil. Consultations among doctors in Brazil and the United States have increased in the last two weeks, and some of the leading authorities on the condition are finding patterns of unusual devastation in scans of the newborns' malformed brains. While it's not known how representative the scans are, the early observations of these doctors point to a tough road ahead for the babies, their families and their communities and heighten the concern surrounding Zika, which is suspected of causing microcephaly.
France restricts blood transfusions over Zika virus
7 Feb 2016 at 6:08am
Travelers coming back from any outbreak zones of the Zika virus will need to wait at least 28 days before giving blood to avoid any risk of transmission, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Sunday. Zika, which is rapidly spreading through the Americas and has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites. "Someone who comes from a zone where there is Zika can not give blood for 28 days," Touraine said in an interview with Europe 1 radio, news channel iTele and Le Monday daily.
Rio carnival goers tell Zika mosquito to buzz off
7 Feb 2016 at 6:01am
A massive, fleshy crowd of semi-naked people might seem like the Zika-transmitting mosquito's paradise, but Rio Carnival goers Saturday said nothing -- not even an international health emergency -- can stop the party. The peak weekend of Rio de Janeiro's Carnival season got underway with an estimated one million people cramming into the city center for the Cordao da Bola Preta street party.
Bootleg liquor kills at least 24 in Indonesian village: media
7 Feb 2016 at 5:19am
Bootleg liquor has killed at least two dozen people in a village in Indonesia's Central Java province over the last few days, MetroTV said on Sunday quoting police. Police have arrested two people in the village of Sleman for selling homemade liquor that was believed to have contained harmful substances. "Police have sent the hard liquors mixed with harmful substances to the laboratory in Semarang to be tested," MetroTV quoted Sleman police chief Yulianto as saying.
Exclusive: Zika virus discourages many Americans from Latin America travel
7 Feb 2016 at 5:15am
The rapidly spreading Zika virus is discouraging many Americans from traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean, with 41 percent of those aware of the disease saying they are less likely to take such a trip, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows. Airlines and cruise ship operators have yet to report drops in bookings because of Zika, and analysts have downplayed the impact that newly sedentary parents-to-be could have on their revenue. "I am actively trying to get pregnant with my husband, so I am a little bit concerned," said Erica, a respondent who said she was bitten by a mosquito during a January trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Zika has been reported.
Duchess of Cambridge: Support children's mental health
7 Feb 2016 at 4:24am
LONDON (AP) ? The Duchess of Cambridge says in a new video that she and Prince William want all children to get support during difficult times to help them overcome mental health challenges.
Cricket-Pakistan's Shah banned for three months for doping offence
7 Feb 2016 at 3:58am
Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah has been given a three-month ban after pleading guilty to an inadvertent doping offence, the International Cricket Council said on Sunday. Chlortalidone is a diuretic drug which features in the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) list of prohibited substances. Shah pleaded guilty to the charge and said he had mistakenly taken his wife's blood pressure medication which contained the banned substance.
Athletes weigh gold lust against Zika health fears
7 Feb 2016 at 3:46am
By Ossian Shine and Joshua Schneyer LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As global health chiefs try to bring a Zika virus epidemic under control, aspiring Olympic athletes are weighing their lust for gold against health fears surrounding the mosquito-borne virus in Brazil. Alarm has grown since the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday declared Zika an international health emergency that could infect as many as 4 million people in the Americas. Zika is carried by mosquitoes, which transmit the virus to humans, while two cases in the United States suggest it may also be transmitted sexually.
Australia pledges aid to help Tonga, Pacific with Zika
7 Feb 2016 at 1:53am
By Morag MacKinnon PERTH (Reuters) - Australia pledged up to A$500,000 ($354,000) in aid for its Pacific island neighbors on Sunday to help combat the spread of the Zika virus after an outbreak in Tonga last week raised concern in the region. The initial focus on strengthening the fight against the mosquito-borne virus would be in Tonga, Steven Ciobo, minister for the Pacific, said in a statement. Australia would work with World Health Organization (WHO) officials and the Tongan government to control the mosquito population and increase access to testing, he said.
Despite treatment advances, AIDS stigma lingers in rural South Africa
7 Feb 2016 at 1:45am
By Laurie Goering QUDENI, South Africa (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Eunice Khanyile opened a soup kitchen in a rural village in South Africa last year to help HIV-positive residents get the nutrition needed to stay healthy, not one person came. When it comes to AIDS, "the stigma is a huge problem", she said. People do not want to open up to others about their status." Today, just over 200 people eat the lunch cooked daily at the yellow-painted cement block kitchen in Qudeni, drawn by the smell of butternut and lentils and the banging of pots and pans.