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Vaccine success holds hope for end to deadly scourge of Ebola
31 Jul 2015 at 7:20am
By Kate Kelland and Tom Miles LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) - The world is on the verge of being able to protect humans against Ebola, the World Health Organization said on Friday, as a trial in Guinea found a vaccine to have been 100 percent effective. Initial results from the trial, which tested Merck and NewLink Genetics? VSV-ZEBOV vaccine on some 4,000 people who had been in close contact with a confirmed Ebola case, showed complete protection after 10 days. The results were described as "remarkable" and "game changing" by global health specialists. ...
Ebola: Three questions about the killer virus
31 Jul 2015 at 6:52am
The highly contagious Ebola virus, which has killed almost 11,300 people in west Africa since December 2013 and has fuelled global alarm, is among the most dangerous ever identified. Like AIDS, which began in Kinshasa in the 1920s before spreading worldwide, according to a recent study, Ebola was first identified in central Africa. The tropical virus was named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo -- then known as Zaire -- where it came to light in 1976.
Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa
31 Jul 2015 at 6:48am
LONDON (AP) ? An experimental vaccine tested on thousands of people in Guinea exposed to Ebola seems to work and might help shut down the ongoing epidemic in West Africa, according to interim results from a study published Friday.
Vaccine offers 100% Ebola protection: trial results
31 Jul 2015 at 5:59am
An Ebola vaccine provided 100-percent protection in a field trial in hard-hit Guinea, researchers and officials said Friday, mooting "the beginning of the end" of the killer West African outbreak. The world is "on the verge of an effective Ebola vaccine," the World Health Organization (WHO) said, hailing the results from the first efficacy test of the VSV-ZEBOV vaccine among people living in a high-danger zone. About 28,000 people have been infected in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the worst Ebola outbreak in history, according to the WHO, and more than 11,000 have died.
Gunmen open fire at Sri Lanka election rally, one dead
31 Jul 2015 at 5:07am
By Shihar Aneez COLOMBO (Reuters) - One person was killed and 12 wounded on Friday in a drive-by shooting at a Sri Lankan election rally attended by the finance minister, in the latest political violence in a nation still recovering from civil war. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake called the attack an "act of political terrorism" and blamed forces loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is attempting a comeback at next month's general election. The body of a woman was brought to Colombo National Hospital and 13 were admitted with gunshot wounds.
UN Ebola mission winds down, WHO takes reins in West Africa
31 Jul 2015 at 4:43am
LONDON (AP) ? The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response is officially winding down Friday, handing its leadership role and senior staff to the Geneva-based World Health Organization as efforts to contain the deadly virus continue.
Healthcare deals lift July to 7th busiest M&A month on record
31 Jul 2015 at 4:08am
A surge of takeover activity involving healthcare, financial and retail companies lifted the value of deals in July over $430 billion, making it the seventh-busiest mergers and acquisition month on record, Thomson Reuters data showed. Goldman Sachs was the busiest investment bank in July, by value of transactions, advising on deals worth $148.8 billion. It worked on 35 deals, including five of the month's top 10, according to Thomson Reuters.
WHO's Chan says initial results from Ebola vaccine trial 'promising'
31 Jul 2015 at 2:51am
GENEVA (Reuters) - Initial results from an Ebola vaccine trial in Guinea are "exciting" and "promising" and suggest the shot could help bring an end to West Africa's epidemic, World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan said on Friday. "If proven effective, this is going to be a game changer, and it will change the management of the current Ebola outbreak and future outbreaks," Chan told reporters at a news conference. Data from a trial of an Ebola vaccine known as VSV-EBOV developed by Merck and NewLink Genetics are expected to be published later on Friday. ...
Get up, stand up: stand up for your waist!
31 Jul 2015 at 2:48am
Replacing sitting time with standing time appeared to improve sugar, fat and cholesterol levels in the blood, researchers wrote in the European Heart Journal. The findings suggest that making small changes to a sedentary lifestyle can have a big impact on health -- and that you don't need to go as far as taking up marathon running. "An extra two hours per day spent standing rather than sitting was associated with approximately two percent lower average fasting blood sugar levels and 11 percent lower average triglycerides (fats in the blood)," said a press statement.
Ebola disrupts Liberia birth records, poses trafficking threat-UN
31 Jul 2015 at 12:32am
By Kieran Guilbert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - West Africa's Ebola epidemic has disrupted birth registrations in Liberia, leaving hundreds of thousands of children without citizenship and in danger of being trafficked or illegally adopted, the U.N. children's agency UNICEF said on Friday. The closure of health facilities and limited health services due to the Ebola outbreak has halted Liberia's progress in registering births in recent years, according to UNICEF.
Woman jailed for outburst during Colorado movie massacre trial
30 Jul 2015 at 8:50pm
A woman protesting against capital punishment stood up in court on Thursday and shouted "Don't kill him!" before bailiffs tackled her during the penalty phase of James Holmes' mass murder trial in Colorado. The disturbance by spectator Deborah Cave came as the district attorney addressed jurors who will ultimately decide whether Holmes, convicted of fatally shooting 12 people in a movie theater in 2012, will be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. It is mental illness!" Caves cried as she climbed over rows of seats toward Holmes, 27, in the crowded courtroom at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on the outskirts of Denver.
Fluoride debate hits Colorado's largest water utility
30 Jul 2015 at 7:02pm
DENVER (AP) ? Colorado's largest supplier of public drinking water is in the midst of a debate over how much fluoride ? if any ? to put into its delivery system after the federal government announced new standards in April.
Health fallout from Fukushima mainly mental: studies
30 Jul 2015 at 4:45pm
The most lasting health impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster will likely be psychological not physical, according to a trio of studies published Friday in The Lancet. The meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi facility in March 2011, provoked by a massive earthquake and tsunami, is one of only five nuclear power plant accidents to be rated five or higher since the advent of atomic energy. In contrast to the 1986 explosion in Chernobyl that provoked an increase in thyroid cancer among children in affected areas and perhaps other cancers yet to be detected, the Fukushima debacle is unlikely to cause hikes in cancer rates due to radiation exposure, according the a 2013 UN scientific report.
Canadian oil sands producer Athabasca Oil cuts capex
30 Jul 2015 at 4:11pm
(Reuters) - Canada's Athabasca Oil Corp , which processes oil sands to produce crude, said it would cut its capital expenditure by nearly 5 percent as oil prices stay low. The company said it would now spend C$291 million ($224 million) this year, down from its earlier estimate of C$305 million due to a reduction in planned thermal oil expenditure. Weak prices have curbed growth in Canada's oil sands, cutting production and discouraging investment in the world's third-largest crude reserve.
Mental health suffers most in major nuclear accidents, studies find
30 Jul 2015 at 4:03pm
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - People caught up in a nuclear disaster are more likely to suffer severe psychological disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder rather than any harm from radiation, scientists said on Friday. The studies counter the misconception that nuclear disasters have caused widespread death and physical illness, with the researchers finding that the mental health effects were far more profound. "In most nuclear accidents very few people are exposed to a life-threatening dose of radiation," wrote Akira Ohtsuru of the Fukushima Medical University (FMU).