LONDON (Reuters) – West Africa’s Ebola epidemic is an “extraordinary event” and now constitutes an international health risk, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.
The Geneva-based U.N. health agency said the possible consequences of a further international spread of the outbreak, which has killed almost 1,000 people in four West African countries, were “particularly serious” in view of the virulence of the virus.
By Kate Kelland
LONDON (Reuters – Scientists who believed they had started to decipher links between a GlaxoSmithKline H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine and the sleep disorder narcolepsy have retracted a study after saying they cannot replicate their findings.
The paper, originally published in the journal Science Translational Medicine in December 2013, suggested narcolepsy can sometimes be triggered by a scientific phenomenon known as “molecular mimicry,” offering a possible explanation for its link to GSK’s “swine flu” vaccine, Pandemrix.
LONDON (Reuters) – Women with mutations in a gene called PALB2 have a one in three chance of developing breast cancer by age 70, according to research that suggests PALB2 is almost as important a risk factor as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are widely known as breast cancer risk genes. Women with a mutation in one or both often decide to have their breasts removed so they do not develop the disease.
GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) – The use of an experimental drug on two U.S. charity workers with the deadly Ebola virus has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to consider the implications of making such treatments more widely available, it said on Wednesday.
The Geneva-based agency, which is hosting a two-day Emergency Committee of experts to decide on the international response to the disease that has killed nearly 1,000 people in West Africa, said it would convene a meeting of medical ethics experts early next week.
LONDON (Reuters) – Taking a small daily dose of aspirin can significantly reduce the risk of developing – or dying from – bowel, stomach and oesophageal cancer, according to a large review of scientific studies.
Researchers who analyzed all available evidence from studies and clinical trials assessing benefits and harm found that taking aspirin for 10 years could cut bowel cancer cases by around 35 percent and deaths from the disease by 40 percent.
LONDON, (Reuters) – Three of the world’s leading Ebola specialists called on Tuesday for experimental drugs and vaccines to be offered to people in West Africa, where a vast outbreak of the deadly disease is raging in three countries.
Noting that American aid workers who contracted the disease in Liberia were given an unapproved medicine before being evacuated back to the United States, the specialists – including Peter Piot, who co-discovered Ebola in 1976 – said Africans affected by the same outbreak should get the same chance.
LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – The death rate so far in the
world’s worst outbreak of Ebola is not as extreme as recorded in
the past, but experts expect it to prove no less virulent in the
end, once more victims succumb and the grim data is tallied up.
Latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO)
record 1,603 cases of Ebola in the West African outbreak and 887
deaths – giving a death rate of just over 55 percent.
LONDON, (Reuters) – For scientists tracking the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, it’s not about complex virology and genotyping, but about how contagious microbes – like humans – use planes, bikes and taxis to spread.
So far, authorities have taken no action to limit international travel in the region. The airlines association IATA said on Thursday that the World Health Organisation is not recommending any such restrictions or frontier closures.
LONDON (Reuters) – Drug-resistant malaria parasites have spread to border regions of Southeast Asia, seriously threatening global efforts to control and eliminate the mosquito-borne disease, researchers said on Wednesday.
The scientists, who analyzed blood samples from 1,241 malaria patients in 10 countries across Asia and Africa, found resistance to the world’s most effective antimalarial drug, artemisinin, is now widespread in Southeast Asia.
LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday it is applying for regulatory approval for the world’s first vaccine against malaria, designed for use in children in Africa.
The British drugmaker said the shot, called RTS,S, is intended exclusively for use outside the European Union but will be evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).