EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Jun 16, 2014

cigarettes mostly used by young smokers, would-be quitters

LONDON (Reuters) – Nearly 30 million people across Europe now use e-cigarettes and are most likely to be aged between 15 and 24, who smoke tobacco regularly and are trying to quit, a new analysis shows.

The rising number of users has led to “staggering” growth in the availability of e-cigarettes with around 10 new brands coming to market every month, a second study showed.

Jun 12, 2014

Insight – Saudi MERS response hobbled by institutional failings

RIYADH/LONDON (Reuters) – When Saudi Arabia announced last week it had found 113 more cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), it didn’t just force a rethink of the threat the virus poses, it exposed institutional failings.

Saudi health sources and international virologists said poor communication and a lack of accountability in government departments, inadequate state oversight and a failure to learn from past mistakes have all hindered Saudi Arabia’s battle against the SARS-like virus.

Jun 12, 2014

Saudi MERS response hobbled by institutional failings

RIYADH/LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) – When Saudi Arabia
announced last week it had found 113 more cases of the deadly
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), it didn’t just force a
rethink of the threat the virus poses, it exposed institutional
failings.

Saudi health sources and international virologists said poor
communication and a lack of accountability in government
departments, inadequate state oversight and a failure to learn
from past mistakes have all hindered Saudi Arabia’s battle
against the SARS-like virus.

Jun 10, 2014

Genetically modified mosquitoes offer hope in malaria fight

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have found a way of genetically modifying mosquitoes to produce sperm that only creates males, offering a potential fresh approach to fighting and eventually eradicating malaria.

Researchers from Imperial College London tested a genetic method that distorts the sex ratio of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the main transmitters of the malaria parasite, so that the female mosquitoes that bite and pass the disease to humans are no longer produced.

Jun 6, 2014

WHO experts find hospital breaches worsened MERS outbreak in UAE

LONDON (Reuters) – Lapses in hospital infection control measures exacerbated an outbreak of a deadly new viral disease which has infected more than 60 people and killed at least 10 in the United Arab Emirates, health investigators said on Friday.

Reporting the findings of a five-day mission to the UAE, experts from the World Health Organisation said, however, that they found no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Jun 5, 2014

Scientists question Saudi openness on deadly MERS virus outbreak

LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) – A dramatic upward revision in the
number of people killed by the MERS virus in Saudi Arabia may
signal a fresh approach from Riyadh, but also raises new
questions about how the two-year-old outbreak has been handled.

Experts in global health and infectious diseases say
transparency with data is critical to learning more about the
virus, which until two years ago had never been seen in humans
but has now killed more than 300 people worldwide.

Jun 4, 2014

Saudi study strengthens case against camels in MERS outbreak

LONDON (Reuters) – A Saudi man who became infected with and died of the new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus contracted the disease from a camel in his own herd which was also sick, scientists said on Wednesday.

In a study which reinforces the case against camels as the prime suspects for transmitting the deadly virus from the animal world into people, researchers said that in this case it was highly likely the animal’s nasal secretions were to blame.

Jun 3, 2014

Saudi Arabia sacks minister criticized over handling of MERS

RIYADH/LONDON (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has sacked Deputy Health Minister Ziad Memish who has been criticized by some international scientists over his handling of the deadly MERS virus that has infected 575 people in the kingdom and spread around the world.

Memish was a key figure in Saudi Arabia’s efforts to contain the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a virus that causes coughing, fever and sometimes fatal pneumonia.

Jun 3, 2014

UK scientific panel backs potential “three-parent” IVF babies

LONDON, June 3 (Reuters) – A British expert scientific panel
gave its backing on Tuesday to potential new 3-way fertility
treatments that would for the first time allow genetically
modified embryos to be implanted into women.

The “three-parent” IVF techniques are designed to help
families with particular genetic faults who want to avoid
passing on incurable diseases to their children. They could be
available for patients in two years, the scientists told
reporters at a briefing in London.

May 22, 2014

Superbug threat as grave as climate change, say scientists

LONDON (Reuters) – Superbugs resistant to drugs pose a serious worldwide threat and demand a response on the same scale as efforts to combat climate change, infectious disease specialists said on Thursday.

Warning that a world without effective antibiotics would be “deadly”, with routine surgery, treatments for cancer and diabetes and organ transplants becoming impossible, the experts said the international response had been far too weak.

    • 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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