By Kate Kelland
LONDON(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia suspects a virus that has killed hundreds of people there may have arrived in camels from the Horn of Africa, and could ban such imports until it knows more, the kingdom’s chief scientist told Reuters.
Any ban on the camel trade with the region would badly hurt the already fragile economy of Somalia, which is a major livestock exporter to Saudi Arabia.
LONDON (Reuters) – Genes that increase the risk of a person developing schizophrenia may also increase the chance they will use cannabis, researchers said on Tuesday after studying more than 1,000 users of the drug.
The results chime with previous studies linking schizophrenia and cannabis, but suggest the association may be due to common genes and might not be a causal relationship where cannabis use leads to increased schizophrenia risk.
LONDON (Reuters) – The discovery of a schistosomiasis parasite egg in a 6,200-year-old grave in Syria may be the earliest evidence that agricultural irrigation systems in the Middle East contributed to a vast spread of disease, scientists said on Friday.
Schistosomiasis – also known as bilharzia, snail fever, or Katayama fever – is caused by flatworm parasites that live in the blood vessels of the bladder and intestines. The infection can lead to anaemia, kidney failure and bladder cancer.
LONDON, June 17 (Reuters)- The deadly MERS virus remains a
serious public health problem, especially with the approach of
haj pilgrimages, but a recent surge in Saudi cases of the
respiratory disease appears to be abating, the World Health
Organisation said on Tuesday.
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, which
causes coughing, fever and sometimes fatal pneumonia, has been
reported in more than 800 patients, mainly in Saudi Arabia.
LONDON (Reuters) – Nearly 30 million people across Europe now use e-cigarettes and are most likely to be aged between 15 and 24, who smoke tobacco regularly and are trying to quit, a new analysis shows.
The rising number of users has led to “staggering” growth in the availability of e-cigarettes with around 10 new brands coming to market every month, a second study showed.
RIYADH/LONDON (Reuters) – When Saudi Arabia announced last week it had found 113 more cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), it didn’t just force a rethink of the threat the virus poses, it exposed institutional failings.
Saudi health sources and international virologists said poor communication and a lack of accountability in government departments, inadequate state oversight and a failure to learn from past mistakes have all hindered Saudi Arabia’s battle against the SARS-like virus.
RIYADH/LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) – When Saudi Arabia
announced last week it had found 113 more cases of the deadly
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), it didn’t just force a
rethink of the threat the virus poses, it exposed institutional
Saudi health sources and international virologists said poor
communication and a lack of accountability in government
departments, inadequate state oversight and a failure to learn
from past mistakes have all hindered Saudi Arabia’s battle
against the SARS-like virus.
LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have found a way of genetically modifying mosquitoes to produce sperm that only creates males, offering a potential fresh approach to fighting and eventually eradicating malaria.
Researchers from Imperial College London tested a genetic method that distorts the sex ratio of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the main transmitters of the malaria parasite, so that the female mosquitoes that bite and pass the disease to humans are no longer produced.
LONDON (Reuters) – Lapses in hospital infection control measures exacerbated an outbreak of a deadly new viral disease which has infected more than 60 people and killed at least 10 in the United Arab Emirates, health investigators said on Friday.
Reporting the findings of a five-day mission to the UAE, experts from the World Health Organisation said, however, that they found no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) – A dramatic upward revision in the
number of people killed by the MERS virus in Saudi Arabia may
signal a fresh approach from Riyadh, but also raises new
questions about how the two-year-old outbreak has been handled.
Experts in global health and infectious diseases say
transparency with data is critical to learning more about the
virus, which until two years ago had never been seen in humans
but has now killed more than 300 people worldwide.