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WHO draws up plan to eradicate Ebola
28 Apr 2015 at 12:09pm
The World Health Organization on Tuesday unveiled a plan to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus, aiming to identify and isolate the dwindling number of new cases by the end of May. In its new plan, the UN health agency stressed the importance of maintaining the massive efforts to rid the worst-affected nations -- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- of the viral disease, cases of which have already fallen sharply. "There is still a considerable effort required to stop all chains of transmission in the affected countries, prevent the spread of the disease to neighbouring countries and to safely re-activate life-saving essential health services," WHO said. The WHO's 28-page Strategic Response Plan announced Tuesday is a follow-up on the roadmap it launched last August as the Ebola virus began spreading exponentially.
FDA approves first generic for blockbuster antipsychotic Abilify
28 Apr 2015 at 11:55am
(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it approved the first copycat versions of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd's antipsychotic drug Abilify. Generic versions of the drug have been approved for mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. (http://1.usa.gov/1EO2DvW) The FDA said it granted approval for generics from four companies including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
Medical marijuana farm blooms in conservative Chile
28 Apr 2015 at 11:39am
By Rosalba O'Brien SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Latin America's first medical marijuana farm has taken root in a dusty yard at a secret location in Chile's capital, with the blessing of a prominent right-wing official and high hopes the idea could sprout elsewhere in the socially conservative nation. A debut crop of around 100 kilos (221 lbs) of prime cannabis bud - with a value of $2 million on the street - was harvested this month from the farm in La Florida, a middle-class Santiago neighborhood, and sent to a laboratory for processing. The project is the brainchild of a curious alliance between Rodolfo Carter, a right-wing municipal mayor with progressive tendencies, and a privately-funded foundation ran by Ana Maria Gazmuri, a 1980s TV soap star who is now an advocate for alternative "holistic" medicine. "If there is a therapeutic property to cannabis that relieves pain it would be a criminal irresponsibility as a leader not to give it to citizens who need it," Carter said at the farm, where the strong smell of marijuana lingers and security staff keep a watchful eye.
Fiancée chronicles love, life with man who died of Ebola in Texas
28 Apr 2015 at 11:31am
By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Thomas Eric Duncan became the face of a crisis when he was diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, but he was simply "Eric" to his fiancee, Louise Troh, who said she has endured threats and battled nightmares since his death in October. "It's hard to concentrate on anything else." Duncan became ill shortly after arriving in Dallas at the height of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States and died 11 days after being admitted. The case touched off waves of alarm in the United States, where Liberians and others from West Africa said they were ostracized and feared losing their jobs.
Man pulled alive from rubble around 80 hours after Nepal quake
28 Apr 2015 at 11:13am
A Nepali-French search and rescue team pulled a 28-year-old man, Rishi Khanal, from a collapsed apartment block in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu on Tuesday after he had spent around 80 hours in a room with three dead bodies. Khanal appeared to have had no access to food or water during his ordeal, which began at midday on Saturday when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, destroying buildings and killing at least 4,600 people. "It seems he survived by sheer willpower," said Akhilesh Shrestha, a doctor who treated him. Khanal had been on the second floor of a seven-storey building when the quake struck.
FDA warns about another illegal stimulant in supplements
28 Apr 2015 at 11:12am
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning companies to stop selling dietary supplements that include a stimulant known as DMBA, the latest in a series of moves to clamp down on potentially dangerous weight-loss and body-building products. AMP is also known as 1,3-Dimethylbutylamine, DMBA, 2-amino-4-methylpentane and methyl-2-pentanamine. The FDA said it considered Velocity adulterated because there is not enough information to provide reasonable assurance that DMBA is safe. Earlier this month the agency warned five companies to stop selling dietary supplements containing a stimulant known as beta-methylphenylethylamine, or BMPEA, which is often hidden in supplements containing Acacia rigidula.
Colombia's health ministry calls to suspend coca crop spraying
28 Apr 2015 at 11:02am
By Anastasia Moloney BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Colombia's health ministry has recommended suspending a herbicide used in aerial spraying of cocaine crops after a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) found it to be a likely cause of cancer. Over the past three decades, more than 1.6 million hectares of land in Colombia have been sprayed using glyphosate to wipe out coca plants, the raw ingredient used to make cocaine. "What's important about this study is that it summarizes scientific evidence on the issue (of glyphosate) .. we don't have another option but to ask for the suspension of glyphosate," Colombia's health minister, Alejandro Gaviria, told local W Radio station on Tuesday. He said his recommendation heeded a 2014 ruling by Colombia's constitutional court that said precautions in the use of glyphosate should be taken when there are credible health risks to humans.
Tyson Foods to end use of human antibiotics in U.S. chickens by 2017
28 Apr 2015 at 9:22am
Tyson Foods Inc , the largest U.S. poultry producer, plans to eliminate use of human antibiotics in its chicken flocks by September 2017, one of the most aggressive timetables yet set by an American poultry company. Public health experts and federal regulators are concerned that routine feeding of antibiotics to animals could spur creation of antibiotic-resistant superbugs in humans, creating a health hazard. Tyson's move will help the company meet a deadline recently outlined by McDonald's Corp for its U.S. restaurants to gradually stop buying chicken raised with human antibiotics over the next two years. But Tyson's timetable was not synchronized with that of McDonald's, to which Tyson is a leading chicken supplier, Chief Executive Donnie Smith said on a conference call Tuesday.
Rare elephant bird egg could fetch more than $70,000 at auction
28 Apr 2015 at 9:02am
Believed to be more than 400 years old and nearly 200 times the size of a chicken egg, an extremely rare elephant bird egg will be auctioned in London this week, with an estimated price tag of up to $76,000. The egg, over 30 centimeters (11.81 inches) high, was laid by the now extinct elephant bird, a giant flightless bird indigenous to Madagascar, according to auction house Sotheby's. The bird, believed to be the largest ever on earth at about three meters high and half a ton in weight, became extinct between the 13th and 17th centuries due to hunting. "It's the largest egg from the largest bird that ever existed," David Goldthorpe, senior director of Sotheby's books and manuscripts department, told Reuters.
Why Our Right to Choose Keeps Us Healthy
28 Apr 2015 at 9:01am
How choice helps us to recover from illness and stay healthy.Recently in my family, an elderly relative became unwell; she was not so unwell that she needed to be admitted into hospital, but was too unwell to be home alone, unattended. Many families face this kind of situation, and aside from any of the wider or longer-term implications, one of...
Genetic testing moves into world of employee health
28 Apr 2015 at 8:34am
Your employer may one day help determine if your genes are why your jeans have become too snug.
U.S.-African diet swap has dramatic impact on colon cancer risk
28 Apr 2015 at 8:01am
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Black Americans who switched to a high-fiber African diet for just two weeks saw a dramatic drop in risk factors for colon cancer, a study published on Tuesday found. A group of Africans who went the other way and started eating American food rich in animal proteins and fats saw their risks rise over the same short period, according to the paper in the journal Nature Communications. Researchers said they were not surprised that eating more fiber appeared to lower colon cancer risk, but were struck by how quickly and dramatically the effects showed. The findings raised concerns about Western diet and about how the increasing "Westernization" of diets in Africa could turn colon cancer into a major health issue there, said Jeremy Nicholson from Imperial College London who co-led the study.
Nepal quake victims still stranded, PM says toll could be 10,000
28 Apr 2015 at 7:36am
By Sanjeev Miglani and Rupam Jain Nair JHARIBAR/SINDHUPALCHOWK, Nepal (Reuters) - People stranded in remote villages and towns across Nepal were still waiting for aid and relief to arrive on Tuesday, four days after a devastating earthquake destroyed buildings and roads and killed more than 4,600 people. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told Reuters the death toll could reach 10,000, as information of damage from far-flung villages and towns has yet to come in. "It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal." In Jharibar, a village in the hilly Gorkha district of Nepal close to the quake's epicenter, Sunthalia dug for hours in the rubble of her collapsed home on Saturday to recover the bodies of two of her children, a 10-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son.
New bird flu cases probable in Iowa, millions of birds affected: Iowa
28 Apr 2015 at 6:58am
By P.J. Huffstutter CHICAGO (Reuters) - (This April 27, 2015 story was refiled to correct the seventh paragraph to show that the USDA corrects to chicken farm from turkey farm.) Initial tests have found probable avian influenza outbreaks at five new commercial poultry sites in Iowa, affecting more than 6 million birds, the state's agriculture department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday. In the avian influenza outbreak of 1983 to 1984 in the northeast, which was the largest in U.S. history, about 17 million birds were culled. "This is a big deal," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said during a conference call on Monday. Or does this mean more birds as we go forward." Iowa state officials have quarantined the five farm sites, Northey said.
UN says it will try to identify all Ebola cases by June
28 Apr 2015 at 6:38am
LONDON (AP) ? The World Health Organization says it aims to identify and isolate all new Ebola cases in West Africa by the end of May to stop the spread of the lethal virus before the rainy season.