EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Jul 31, 2014

Taxis, planes and viruses: How deadly Ebola can spread

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.

Jul 30, 2014

Drug-resistant malaria reaches Southeast Asia borders, could spread to Africa

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.

Jul 24, 2014

GSK seeks approval for world’s first malaria vaccine

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).

Jul 23, 2014

Paracetamol no better than placebo for low back pain, study finds

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Paracetamol, a painkiller
universally recommended to treat people with acute low back
pain, does not speed recovery or reduce pain from the condition,
according to the results of a large trial published on Thursday.

A study published in The Lancet medical journal found that
the popular pain medicine was no better than placebo, or dummy
pills, for hastening recovery from acute bouts of low back pain
or easing pain levels, function, sleep or quality of life.

Jul 22, 2014

Celgene drug can drive HIV out of hiding -study

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – An anti-cancer drug made by the
U.S. biotech firm Celgene can re-activate hidden HIV in
patients so that it can be detected, bringing researchers closer
to being able to treat it, Danish scientists said on Tuesday.

In a small study presented at an international AIDS
conference in Australia, the researchers said the finding was a
“step in the right direction” towards finding a cure for the
viral disease but that many years of research are still needed.

Jul 22, 2014

MERS virus detected in air samples from Saudi camel barn

LONDON (Reuters) – Saudi scientists have found gene fragments of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in air from a barn housing an infected camel and say this suggests the disease may be transmitted through the air.

MERS, a serious respiratory illness caused by a virus known as a coronavirus (CoV), has infected at least 850 people since it first emerged two years ago and killed at least 327 of them, according to latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Jul 18, 2014

AIDS community mourns as top experts feared killed in downed plane

MELBOURNE/LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) – The world of AIDS
research was in a state of shock on Friday after dozens of
leading experts in the field were feared killed when a Malaysian
plane was shot down over Ukraine, dealing a blow to hopes of
curing the disease.

Among them was Joep Lange, who researched the condition for
more than 30 years and was considered a giant in the field,
admired for his tireless advocacy for access to affordable AIDS
drugs for HIV positive patients living in poor countries.

Jul 16, 2014

Scientific review finds asthma drugs suppress child growth

LONDON (Reuters) – Corticosteroid drugs given via inhalers to children with asthma may suppress their growth, according to two systematic reviews of scientific studies on the issue.

Health experts who conducted the review and published it in The Cochrane Library journal found that children’s growth slowed in the first year of treatment, although the effects were minimized by using lower doses.

Jul 16, 2014

Global AIDS epidemic can be controlled by 2030, U.N. says

LONDON (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Wednesday new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS were decreasing, making it possible to control the epidemic by 2030 and eventually end it “in every region, in every country”.

“More than ever before, there is hope that ending AIDS is possible. However, a business-as-usual approach or simply sustaining the AIDS response at its current pace cannot end the epidemic,” the U.N. AIDS program UNAIDS said in a global report issued ahead of an AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia next week.

Jul 15, 2014

In the brain, sex addiction looks the same as drug addiction

LONDON (Reuters) – Pornography triggers brain activity in sex addicts similar to the effect drugs have on the brains of drug addicts, researchers said on Friday – but that doesn’t necessarily mean porn is addictive.

Although there are no precise figures, experts in the field believe as many as one in 25 adults is affected by compulsive sexual behavior, more commonly known as sex addiction – an obsession with sexual thoughts, feelings or behavior they are unable to control.

    • 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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