EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Jul 31, 2015

Vaccine success holds hope for end to deadly scourge of Ebola

LONDON (Reuters) – The world is for the first time on the verge of being able to protect humans against Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as data from a trial in Guinea showed a vaccine was 100 percent effective.

    Initial results from the trial, which tested Merck (MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and NewLink Genetics’ (NLNK.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) VSV-ZEBOV vaccine on some 4,000 people who had been in close contact with a confirmed Ebola case, showed 100 percent protection after 10 days.

Jul 31, 2015

Merck’s Ebola vaccine proves fully effective in Guinea trial

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – An Ebola vaccine developed in
record time has proved highly effective against the deadly virus
in a large trial in Guinea and could now be used to help end a
vast outbreak in West Africa, researchers said on Friday.

Results of the trial, which tested Merck and NewLink
Genetics’ VSV-ZEBOV vaccine on more than 4,000 people
who had been in close contact with a confirmed Ebola case,
showed it gave 100 percent protection after 10 days in those
immunised.

Jul 30, 2015

Mental health suffers most in major nuclear accidents, studies find

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.

Factors such as having to evacuate homes or simply fear contribute to the trauma, the scientists said in studies published in The Lancet to mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Jul 27, 2015

UK checking two suspected MERS cases in northern England

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Health officials were
investigating two suspected cases of the Middle Eastern
Respiratory Virus Syndrome (MERS) on Monday at a hospital in
northern England that briefly closed its emergency department.

The two suspected patients at Manchester Royal Infirmary
were placed in isolation, but there was no significant risk to
others at the hospital or to the general public, Central
Manchester University Hospitals Trust said.

Jul 24, 2015

World’s first malaria vaccine gets go-ahead from EU regulators

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – The world’s first malaria
vaccine got a green light on Friday from European drugs
regulators who recommended it should be licensed for use in
babies in Africa at risk of the mosquito-borne disease.

The shot, called RTS,S or Mosquirix and developed by British
drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria
Vaccine Initiative, would be the first licensed human vaccine
against a parasitic disease and could help prevent millions of
cases of malaria in countries that use it.

Jul 23, 2015

Nigeria marks polio-free year, raising global eradication hopes

LONDON, (Reuters) – Nigeria marked its first year without a single case of polio on Friday, reaching a milestone many experts had thought would elude it as internal conflict hampered the battle against the crippling disease.

It means the country could come off the list of countries where polio is endemic in a few weeks, once the World Health Organization (WHO) can confirm that the last few samples taken from people in previously affected areas are free of the virus.

Jul 22, 2015

Health specialists call for $2 billion global fund for vaccines

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Global health experts called on Wednesday for the creation of a $2 billion vaccine development fund to feed a pipeline of potential new shots against priority killer diseases like Ebola, MERS and the West Nile virus.

The fund would help bridge the gap between early stage drug discovery work carried out at universities and small biotech firms, and the late stage development and large-scale clinical trials needed to get a new vaccine to market.

Jul 15, 2015

Large UK trial to ask if mindfulness boosts teenage mental health

LONDON (Reuters) – Nearly 6,000 British school children are to take part in a major trial designed to assess whether mindfulness training for teenagers can improve their mental health.

Mindfulness is based on the idea of being more aware of the present by intentionally focusing on emotions, thoughts and sensations and viewing them with acceptance. Advocates say this understanding helps people to respond in ways that are more purposeful, rather than reacting on “automatic pilot”.

Jul 15, 2015

Two new trials of Ebola vaccines begin in Europe and Africa

LONDON (Reuters) – Two new Ebola vaccine trials began on Wednesday with volunteers in Britain, France and Senegal getting “prime-boost” immunizations developed by Bavarian Nordic, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson.

The mid-stage, or Phase II, trials are designed primarily to test the vaccines’ safety, but will also assess whether they provoke an immune response against the deadly virus.

Jul 14, 2015

Caveats, costs and complexities shadow first malaria vaccine

LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) – It’s a showpiece drug that has
the potential to end a disease that kills half a million African
children a year. Yet even before it wins a licence, the world’s
first malaria vaccine has lost some of its sheen.

Backed by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and
developed by GlaxoSmithKline, the vaccine — called RTS,S or
Mosquirix — is being assessed by regulators and global health
authorities.

    • About Kate

      "I cover health and science news for the region of Europe, Middle East and Africa -- from flu pandemics to the newest planetary discovery to the latest drug and research developments. I joined Reuters in 1993 and worked in London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt before moving to BBC television to work on European politics for Newsnight for 2 years. Since returning to Reuters, I have also worked as a parliamentary correspondent in Westminster and on the main news desk of the London bureau."
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