EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
Kate's Feed
Nov 21, 2014

Saudi Arabia tackles MERS virus, still hunting source

LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has not yet traced the source of a mysterious camel virus, leaving many questions about a disease that has killed 346 people in the Kingdom.

The lack of scientific evidence about how camels contract the virus, which causes an often fatal illness called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in people, echoes wider concerns about the threat posed to human health by animal-borne pathogens, including the Ebola virus.

Nov 20, 2014

“Back boost” could help future-proof flu vaccines

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – An international team of
scientists has found it may be possible to make seasonal flu
vaccines more effective by using an idea known as “back boost”
and pre-empting flu virus evolution.

In a study published on Thursday in the journal Science, the
University of Cambridge-led team said their finding should
enable people to be immunised against future likely flu strains
as well as ones currently circulating.

Nov 19, 2014

Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds

LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – A banking culture that implicitly
puts financial gain above all else fuels greed and dishonesty
and makes bankers more likely to cheat, according to the
findings of a scientific study.

Researchers in Switzerland studied bank workers and other
professionals in experiments in which they won more money if
they cheated, and found that bankers were more dishonest when
they were made particularly aware of their professional role.

Nov 18, 2014

UN says fast-track plan can end global AIDS threat by 2030

LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – A five-year, fast-track battle
against HIV could end the global threat of the AIDS epidemic by
2030, the United Nations said on Tuesday, but failing to move
quickly might allow the deadly virus to spring back.

UNAIDS said reaching its new fast-track targets would avert
nearly 28 million new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
infections by 2030, and effectively bring to an end the
worldwide health threat it poses.

Nov 17, 2014

No safety concerns yet in trials of GSK’s Ebola vaccine

LONDON (Reuters) – Almost 200 people have received GlaxoSmithKline’s experimental Ebola vaccine in trials in the United States, Britain, Mali and Switzerland, and the safety data so far are “very satisfactory”, scientists said on Monday.

The trials, which began just over two months ago, have been using healthy volunteers, rather than patients with Ebola, to test whether the vaccine is safe for humans.

Nov 17, 2014

Last-line drug resistance poses ‘alarming’ European health threat

LONDON (Reuters) – More and more infections in Europe are proving able to evade even the most powerful, last-resort antibiotics, posing an alarming threat to patient safety in the region, health officials said on Monday.

Releasing annual data on antibiotic resistant superbugs, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said bacterial infections resistant to carbapenems — a major last-line class of antibiotics used to treat hospital-acquired superbugs — are ever more common in the European Union.

Nov 13, 2014

Progress on eliminating measles has stalled, WHO warns

LONDON (Reuters) – Progress toward wiping out measles worldwide has stalled, with deaths from the highly contagious disease rising last year and poor vaccine coverage leading to large outbreaks, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

More than 145,000 people died of measles in 2013, up from 122,000 in 2012, the WHO said. Epidemics in China, Congo and Nigeria contributed to this, but there were also outbreaks in the WHO’s European region, including in Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Nov 11, 2014

One in seven women risk dying in childbirth in Ebola-hit countries

LONDON (Reuters) – The rate of women dying in childbirth in West African countries hit by the Ebola epidemic is soaring, with as many as one in seven at risk of death as fear of contact with bodily fluids prevents people helping them, aid charities warned on Tuesday.

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 800,000 women in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are due to give birth in the next 12 months.

Nov 11, 2014

Studies of “vaping” brain may offer clues on smoking addiction

LONDON, Nov 11 (Reuters) – British scientists say they have
found the best way yet to analyse the effects of smoking on the
brain — by taking functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
scans of people while they puff on e-cigarettes.

In a small pilot study, the researchers used electronic
cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, to mimic the behavioural aspects of
smoking tobacco cigarettes, and say future studies could help
scientists understand why smoking is so addictive.

Nov 7, 2014

Drug-resistant superbug found in 1915 soldier killed by dysentery

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists who unlocked the genetic code of bacteria grown from a soldier who died of dysentery in World War I say it revealed a superbug already resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics decades before they were in common use.

The discovery sheds light on the history of antibiotic resistance – now a global health threat – and offers fresh clues on how to tackle dysentery, a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of children every year in developing countries.

    • 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."
    • Follow Kate