LONDON (Reuters) – The risks to public health from exposure to emissions from shale gas extraction or fracking are low as long as operations are properly run and regulated, the British government’s health agency said on Thursday.
In a review of the potential health impact of fracking, which involves the pumping of water and chemicals into dense shale formations to push out gas and oil, Public Health England (PHE) said any health impacts were likely to be minimal.
LONDON (Reuters) – China should close live poultry markets in big cities to disrupt the spread of a new strain of bird flu that resurfaced there earlier this month, scientists said, after a previous shutdown was found to have slashed the number of human cases.
In a study published in The Lancet medical journal on Thursday, researchers from Hong Kong and China said that while closing markets during the height of the first outbreak of H7N9 in April may have been costly, it reduced human infections dramatically and should be done again if cases rise as feared.
LONDON (Reuters) – With the world tantalizingly close to wiping out polio, conflict in Syria has allowed the crippling disease to take hold again, putting at risk the rest of the region as well as plans for global eradication.
War, unrest and poverty have often hindered the long fight against polio, but experts say these obstacles can be overcome, even in Syria where the highly contagious virus has taken advantage of a fall in vaccination rates due to the fighting.
LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Fresh human cases in eastern
China of a deadly new strain of bird flu signal the potential
for “a new epidemic wave” of the disease in coming winter
months, scientists said on Thursday.
The strain, known as H7N9, emerged for the first time in
humans earlier this year and killed around 45 of the some 135
people it infected before appearing to peter out in China During
LONDON (Reuters) – Cases of people infected with tuberculosis and the number of deaths from it fell in 2012, but progress on controlling the contagious lung disease is under threat from growing drug resistance.
In its annual report on tuberculosis, the World Health Organisation said the world was on track to meet U.N. goals for 2015 of reversing TB incidence and cutting the death rate by 50 percent compared to 1990.
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuters) – Dutch scientists hidden away in a top-security laboratory are seeking to create mutant flu viruses, dangerous work designed to prepare the world for a lethal pandemic by beating nature to it.
The idea of engineering viral pathogens to be more deadly than they are already has generated huge controversy, amid fears that such viruses could leak out or fall into the wrong hands.
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Dutch scientists
hidden away in a top-security laboratory are seeking to create
mutant flu viruses, dangerous work designed to prepare the world
for a lethal pandemic by beating nature to it.
The idea of engineering viral pathogens to be more deadly
than they are already has generated huge controversy, amid fears
that such viruses could leak out or fall into the wrong hands.
LONDON (Reuters) – A Taliban ban on vaccination is exacerbating a serious polio outbreak in Pakistan, threatening to derail dramatic progress made this year towards wiping out the disease worldwide, health officials say.
Health teams in Pakistan have been attacked repeatedly since the Taliban denounced vaccines as a Western plot to sterilize Muslims and imposed bans on inoculation in June 2012.
LONDON/GENEVA, Oct 17 (Reuters) – The air we breathe is
laced with cancer-causing substances and is being officially
classified as carcinogenic to humans, the World Health
Organisation’s cancer agency said on Thursday.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cited
data indicating that in 2010, 223,000 deaths from lung cancer
worldwide resulted from air pollution, and said there was also
convincing evidence it increases the risk of bladder cancer.
LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Scientists have found “profound abnormalities” in scans of brain activity in a group of retired American football players, adding to evidence indicating that repeated blows to the head can trigger longer-term aggression and dementia.
Although the former National Football League (NFL) players in the study were not diagnosed with any neurological conditions, brain-imaging tests showed unusual activity that correlated with the number of times they had left the field with a head injury during their football careers.