EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
Kate's Feed
Nov 4, 2013

Could concentrated HIV epidemics make AIDS unbeatable?

LONDON (Reuters) – HIV epidemics are becoming more concentrated in marginalized groups such as sex workers, drug users and gay men, and could defy global attempts to combat AIDS without a change in attitudes, according to a U.N. special envoy.

Michel Sidibe, formerly head of UNAIDS and now tackling HIV and AIDS in Eastern Europe, says he would like to be able to celebrate without reservation vast global progress made in the past decade, but stubborn infection rates and alarming growth of outbreaks in hard-to-reach populations make that difficult.

Oct 31, 2013

Shale gas fracking a low risk to public health -UK review

LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) – The risks to public health from
emissions caused by fracking for shale oil and gas are low as
long as operations are properly run and regulated, the British
government’s health agency said on Thursday.

Public Health England (PHE) said in a review that any health
impacts were likely to be minimal from hydraulic fracturing, or
fracking, which involves the pumping of water and chemicals into
dense shale formations deep underground.

Oct 31, 2013

Shale gas fracking a low risk to public health, review finds

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.

Oct 31, 2013

Market closures dramatically cut cases of new China bird flu: study

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.

Oct 29, 2013

In Syria outbreak, polio exploits conflict once more

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.

Oct 24, 2013

New China H7N9 bird flu cases ‘signal potential winter epidemic’

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
the summer.

Oct 23, 2013

Rising drug resistance threatens global progress against TB

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.

Oct 23, 2013

Feature: New China H7N9 strain gives kick to mutant bird flu research

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.

Oct 23, 2013

New China H7N9 strain gives kick to mutant bird flu research

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.

Oct 18, 2013

Pakistan polio outbreak puts global eradication at risk

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.

    • 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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