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France braces for major doctors' strike at Christmas
21 Dec 2014 at 10:16am
France is bracing for a major strike over the Christmas period by overworked doctors, including casualty staff and specialists unhappy about a new health bill. Emergency room doctors are due to kick off the protest Monday, demanding their work week be reduced to 48 hours, compared to around 60 currently, and better overtime pay. In Paris and its suburbs, hospitals have been ordered to activate a special crisis plan to help deal with the number of people who would normally have gone to a GP but will be going to a hospital instead.
Health minister named as Haiti's new interim prime minister
21 Dec 2014 at 9:25am
By Amelie Baron PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Haitian Health Minister Florence Duperval Guillaume was named interim prime minister on Sunday to replace Laurent Lamothe, who resigned a week ago following several weeks of protests. The announcement is part of an effort to resolve a mounting political crisis over long-delayed elections. Under Haiti's constitution, Guillaume can hold the interim position for up to 30 days before a permanent choice is nominated for approval by parliament. ...
Ebola response in rural Sierra Leone not yet rapid enough
21 Dec 2014 at 7:13am
By Emma Farge KOIDU, Sierra Leone (Reuters) - The rapid response team has arrived and the chaos is easing, but medics in a remote Sierra Leonean district are struggling to control a local Ebola outbreak when it's too late to nip it in the bud. A deployment of medical workers and equipment to Kono District has been the fastest so far in Sierra Leone, a country with nearly half the total Ebola cases,- under a strategy of tackling epidemic hotspots before they get too big. ...
BUSTED: 4 Common Myths About Catching Cold In Cold Weather
21 Dec 2014 at 6:17am
Does exposure to cold weather really make you more likely to catch a cold? No, it doesn't. In fact, as a new YouTube video entitled Cold Weather Myths explains, research suggests just the opposite: frigid temps lower the risk of catching cold by stimulating the body's production of infection-fighting immune cells known as granulocytes.And you...
As Ford closes, European rust belt seeks new ideas
21 Dec 2014 at 4:16am
By Robin Emmott and Robert-Jan Bartunek GENK, Belgium (Reuters) - In the heart of western Europe, the Belgian-Dutch-German rust belt has been dealt another blow. Two car plants closed this month as companies sought cheaper labor elsewhere, the final chapter of a manufacturing boom that began when coal mines fuelling Europe's industrialization shut in the 1960s. The final production day at Ford Motor Co?s plant in the eastern Belgian city of Genk came barely two weeks after General Motors closed its Opel Bochum factory across the border in Germany, both part of automakers' strategy to adapt to falling sales following the euro zone crisis. "I worked at Ford Genk for almost 40 years, I've never applied for another job in all my life," said Pierre Boonen, 57, after one of his last shifts at the plant that generated work directly or indirectly for around 10,000 people.
Britain lifts bird flu restrictions on duck farm
21 Dec 2014 at 1:45am
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Sunday lifted restrictions on the movement of poultry in a six-mile (9.7-km) zone around a duck farm in northern England where the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu strain was found last month. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said in a statement that all restrictions, including those covering the storage, transport and sourcing of meat products, had been lifted. ...
U.N.'s Ebola mission should be closed once battle won: Ban
20 Dec 2014 at 11:53pm
By Matthew Mpoke Bigg BAMAKO (Reuters) - The United Nations mission to fight Ebola should be wound down quickly once the battle is won, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday during his first tour of countries stricken with the virus. The U.N. emergency Ebola response mission, or UNMEER, was set up in September to coordinate policy and logistics for a campaign that includes governments, charities and healthcare workers from affected countries. Ban said UNMEER differed from peacekeeping missions and should not outlive its immediate purpose. ...
Liberian voter turnout low as Ebola overshadows senate election
20 Dec 2014 at 11:27pm
By James Harding Giahyue MONROVIA (Reuters) - Turnout for Liberian parliamentary elections on Saturday appeared to be low as concerns about Ebola kept many voters at home. Polling stations were largely empty after voting began at 8 a.m. (0800 GMT) in the seafront capital Monrovia, with voters occasionally drifting in, despite precautions put in place by the National Elections Commission (NEC). Staff with temperature guns at polling stations checked voters for any signs of the hemorrhagic fever, which is spread via bodily fluids. ...
South Korea halts U.S. poultry imports due to bird flu in U.S.
20 Dec 2014 at 7:42pm
By Meeyoung Cho SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea has suspended imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products because of an outbreak of bird flu in the United States, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The suspension, from Saturday, comes as South Korea is struggling to contain its own outbreak of bird flu in birds. "This import suspension is a quarantine measure to prevent the HPAI virus from entering the country," the ministry statement said, referring to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus. ...
Child tests negative for Ebola at Chicago hospital
20 Dec 2014 at 12:33pm
(Reuters) - A child being monitored for Ebola in a Chicago hospital has been discharged after testing negative for the virus, the state health agency said on Saturday. Federal officials screening for Ebola at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago detected a fever in the child, who had been held in isolation at the University of Chicago Medical Center for monitoring since Friday. "Tests by the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed a negative result for Ebola," the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement. ...
Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears
20 Dec 2014 at 11:04am
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) ? Health workers carrying thermometers and sanitizers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.
Sierra Leone peacekeepers to leave Somalia mission
20 Dec 2014 at 8:34am
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) ? A Sierra Leone military official says the country is withdrawing from the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia after being blocked from rotating its soldiers over concerns about the spread of Ebola.
WHO: Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000
20 Dec 2014 at 7:20am
CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) ? The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon continued his tour of Ebola-affected countries in West Africa on Saturday.
Child being observed at Chicago hospital to rule out Ebola
20 Dec 2014 at 6:52am
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - A child who arrived in Chicago with a fever was under observation on Friday at a city hospital to rule out the Ebola virus, hospital officials said. Federal officials screening arriving passengers at O'Hare International Airport detected the fever, but no other symptoms of the disease, the University of Chicago Medical Center said in a statement. The patient was isolated under strict quarantine protocols until the child?s condition improves and a diagnosis is established, the hospital said. The child was in stable condition. ...
Ebola death toll in three African countries hits 7,373: WHO
20 Dec 2014 at 5:57am
GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date there, the World Health Organization said on Saturday. The latest data, posted overnight on the WHO website, reflected nearly 500 new deaths from the worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since previous WHO figures were issued on Dec. 17. Sierra Leone accounts for the most cases, 8,759, against 7,819 for Liberia. ...