Health

Zika Virus Scare Spreads as Brazil Gears Up for Carnival, Olympics

By Paulo Prada RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 18 – Olympic and tourism officials in Brazil downplayed risks for foreign visitors from the mosquito-borne Zika virus on Monday, even as the health ministry warned pregnant women to consult doctors before visiting the country amid a widening scare. Alarm over the virus, linked to a rising number

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US Deploys Newly Minted Bird Flu Plan to Protect Humans, Poultry

By Tom Polansek and Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO, Jan 18 – U.S. farm and health officials are racing to assess the threat that a type of bird flu never before seen in the country poses to humans and poultry, employing emergency plans drawn up in the wake of a devastating outbreak in birds last year. The

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Experts Fear Spike in Dengue Cases in Thailand

By Alisa Tang BANGKOK, Jan 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The number of dengue cases in Thailand is expected to spike this year, a researcher said, as experts from across Asia met to discuss introduction of the first ever dengue vaccine to control and prevent the disease. Dengue – which causes flu-like symptoms and can

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Ebola Epidemic Ended in W. Africa But Flare Ups Possible: WHO

GENEVA, Jan 14 (Reuters) – The World Health Organization on Thursday announced an end to the latest flare-up of the Ebola virus in Liberia, a milestone that marks the first time since the epidemic began in 2013 that there have been no known cases of the disease in West Africa. It said, however, that it

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EU Food Safety Watchdog Hits Back at Scientists in Glyphosate Spat

By Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS, Jan 13 – The head of Europe’s food safety watchdog has written to a group of nearly 100 senior scientists strongly rejecting their criticisms in an ongoing row about the safety of weed-killer ingredient glyphosate. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which advises EU policymakers, in November issued an opinion that

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Mobile Clinics, Medical Teams Needed in Madaya – WHO

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA, Jan 12 – The World Health Organization has asked the Syrian government for permission to send mobile clinics and medical teams to the besieged town of Madaya to assess the extent of malnutrition and evacuate the worst cases, its representative said on Tuesday. An aid convoy on Monday brought the first

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Iraq Bans Poultry Imports from 24 Countries over Avian Flu Threat

BAGHDAD, Jan 10 – Iraq has extended a ban on imports of frozen and live poultry products to cover two dozen countries, including China and South Africa, the government said on Sunday. Baghdad last month restricted poultry imports from France, where an outbreak of avian flu has been reported. “The import of poultry and birds of

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Gaza Strip Gets First New Hospital in a Decade

GAZA, Jan 6 – The Gaza Strip’s struggling healthcare system will get some much needed help in 2016 after the first new hospital in a decade opened its doors in the territory last month and as two more foreign-funded clinics are set to launch this year. After nearly five years of construction, with delays caused

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Hong Kong on Health Alert After China Bird Flu Death

HONG KONG, Jan 6 – A woman in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has died after being infected with the highly contagious H5N6 bird flu virus, days after she was admitted to hospital, Hong Kong’s Health Department said on Wednesday. The 26-year-old woman’s death last week comes ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday

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Britain Set for First Mass Strike by Doctors in 40 Years

LONDON, Jan 5 – The British government said it was seeking to hold talks with doctors in its state-funded health service in a last-ditch bid to avert a series of mass walkouts, potentially the first such strikes for four decades. Junior doctors, or doctors in training who represent just over half of all doctors in

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