EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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May 1, 2013

New bird flu poses ‘serious threat’ – scientists

LONDON (Reuters) – A new strain of bird flu that is causing a deadly outbreak among people in China is a threat to world health and should be taken seriously, scientists said on Wednesday.

The H7N9 strain has killed 24 people and infected more than 125, according to the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), which has described it as “one of the most lethal” flu viruses.

Apr 29, 2013

Scientists divided on pesticides and bee health

LONDON (Reuters) – Bee populations have been declining steadily in recent decades but there is scientific disagreement over the contribution of pesticides called neonicotinoids to falling bee numbers.

Europe is expected to impose a temporary ban on the pesticides after EU governments failed on Monday to agree whether or not their use should be halted.

Apr 28, 2013

Austerity is hurting our health, say researchers

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – Austerity is having a
devastating effect on health in Europe and North America,
driving suicide, depression and infectious diseases and reducing
access to medicines and care, researchers said on Monday.

Detailing a decade of research, Oxford University political
economist David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, an assistant professor
of medicine and an epidemiologist at Stanford University, said
their findings show austerity is seriously bad for health.

Apr 25, 2013

Scientists confirm new H7N9 bird flu has come from chickens

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – Chinese scientists have
confirmed for the first time that a new strain of bird flu that
has killed 23 people in China has been transmitted to humans
from chickens.

In a study published online in the Lancet medical journal,
the scientists echoed previous statements from the World Health
Organization (WHO) and Chinese officials that there is as yet no
evidence of human-to-human transmission of this virus.

Apr 25, 2013

New $5.5 billion plan aims to rid world of polio by 2018

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – Health groups said on Thursday
they could rid the world of polio by 2018 with a $5.5 billion
vaccination and monitoring plan to stop the disease taking hold
once more now there are only a handful of cases worldwide.

Experts say the plan offers the best chance yet to eradicate
a disease that until the 1950s crippled many thousands of people
every year but has been brought almost to extinction though
effective vaccine campaigns.

Apr 24, 2013

Sugary drinks can raise diabetes risk by 22 percent -study

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) – Drinking just one can of
sugar-laced soda drink a day increases the risk of developing
diabetes by more than a fifth, according to a large European
study published on Wednesday.

Using data from 350,000 people in eight European countries,
researchers found that every extra 12 fluid ounce (340 ml)
serving of sugar-sweetened drink raises the risk of diabetes by
22 percent compared with drinking just one can a month or less.

Apr 24, 2013

WHO says new bird strain is “one of most lethal” flu viruses

BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) – A new bird flu strain that has killed 22 people in China is “one of the most lethal” of its kind and transmits more easily to humans than another strain that has killed hundreds since 2003, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Wednesday.

The H7N9 flu has infected 108 people in China since it was first detected in March, according to the Geneva-based WHO.

Apr 23, 2013

Twin study shows environment interacts with genes in autism

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – Scientists have found patterns
of change in gene activity involved in autism in a study that
shed light on how environmental factors can work to turn certain
genes on or off and contribute to the development of the brain

In the largest study of its kind, researchers analysed data
from 50 sets of twins to try to find out what might have caused
some of them to develop autism while their genetically identical
siblings did not.

Apr 19, 2013

Gene data show China bird flu mutated “under the radar”

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) – The new strain of bird flu that
has killed 17 people in China has been circulating widely “under
the radar” and has acquired significant genetic diversity that
makes it more of a threat, scientists said on Friday.

Dutch and Chinese researchers who analysed genetic data from
seven samples of the new H7N9 strain say it has already acquired
similar levels of genetic diversity as much larger outbreaks of
other H7 strains of flu seen previously in birds.

Apr 19, 2013

Mystery of Chinese bird flu outbreak grows

BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) – Health officials raised further questions on Friday about the source of a new strain of bird flu infecting humans in China after data indicated that more than half of patients had had no contact with poultry.

The H7N9 virus has been found in 87 people, mostly in eastern China, and killed 17. But it is not clear how people are becoming infected and the World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no evidence of the most worrying scenario – sustained transmission between people.

    • 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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