EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Apr 29, 2015

Most countries woefully unprepared to fight resistant superbugs: WHO

LONDON (Reuters) – Only 34 countries have national plans to fight the global threat of antibiotic resistance, meaning few are prepared to tackle “superbug” infections which put even basic healthcare at risk, the WHO said on Wednesday.

In a survey of government plans to tackle the issue, the World Health Organization said only a quarter of the 133 countries that responded were addressing the problem.

Apr 28, 2015

U.S.-African diet swap has dramatic impact on colon cancer risk

LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) – Black Americans who switched to
a high-fibre African diet for just two weeks saw a dramatic drop
in risk factors for colon cancer, a study published on Tuesday

A group of Africans who went the other way and started
eating American food rich in animal proteins and fats saw their
risks rise over the same short period, according to the paper in
the journal Nature Communications.

Apr 23, 2015

World’s first malaria vaccine moves closer to use in Africa

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) – The world’s first malaria
vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline, could be approved by
international regulators for use in Africa from October after
final trial data showed it offered partial protection for up to
four years.

The shot, called RTS,S and designed for children in Africa,
would be the first licensed human vaccine against a parasitic
disease and could help prevent millions of cases of malaria,
which currently kills more than 600,000 people a year.

Apr 21, 2015

Scientists to share real-time genetic data on deadly MERS, Ebola

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) – Genetic sequence data on two of the deadliest yet most poorly understood viruses are to be made available to researchers worldwide in real time as scientists seek to speed up understanding of Ebola and MERS infections.

The project, led by British scientists with West African and Saudi Arabian collaboration, hopes to encourage laboratories around the world to use the live data — updated as new cases emerge — to find new ways to diagnose and treat the killer diseases, and ideally, ultimately, prevent them.

Apr 21, 2015

First infant MRI study finds babies feel pain ‘like adults’

LONDON (Reuters) – The brains of babies “light up” in a similar way to adults when exposed to the same painful stimulus, suggesting they feel pain much like adults do, researchers said on Tuesday.

In the first of its kind study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), scientists from Britain’s Oxford University found that 18 of the 20 brain regions active in adults experiencing pain were also active in babies.

Apr 20, 2015

Type, frequency of e-cigarette use linked to quitting smoking

LONDON (Reuters) – Two new studies looking at whether electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit their deadly habit have found that while some of them can, it depends on the type and how often it is used.

The research — welcomed by experts in a field marked by a dearth of good scientific evidence and intense lobbying — suggests daily use of so-called “tank” e-cigarettes, designed to be refilled with nicotine-containing liquids, is most likely to help smokers quit.

Apr 20, 2015

Mindfulness therapy as good as medication for chronic depression – study

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) – Mindfulness-based cognitive
therapy (MBCT) may be just as effective as anti-depressants in
helping prevent people with chronic depression from relapsing,
scientists said on Tuesday.

Depression is one of the most common forms of mental
illness, affecting more than 350 million people worldwide. It is
ranked by the World Health Organization as the leading cause of
disability globally.

Mar 25, 2015

Ebola is most deadly among babies, young children, study finds

LONDON (Reuters) – The Ebola virus causing a devastating epidemic in West Africa is far more deadly in children than in adults, killing around 90 percent of babies under one who become infected, researchers said on Wednesday.

A study led by scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO) and Imperial College London found that, although infection rates are lower in children than adults, babies and toddlers who get the disease have a far slimmer chance of survival.

Mar 24, 2015

Views of terminally-ill children should be heard: new UK guidelines

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain issued new guidance on Tuesday for doctors treating severely or terminally ill children, strongly advising that children’s own views on whether they want to live or die should be taken into account.

The guidelines, from Britain’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child health, will be watched carefully around the world, experts said, since Britain is one of the few countries to have a framework to help doctors decide if and when to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from a child.

Mar 20, 2015

Cattle parasite study points to possible way to fight malaria

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) – Herds of African cattle may
hold the secret to new ways of fighting parasitic diseases like
malaria, which kills some 600,000 people a year, scientists said
on Friday.

The researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that
cows are protected from a parasite that causes a deadly disease
called East Coast Fever if they have previously been infected
with a closely-related but milder species of the parasite.

    • 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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