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  • New 15-minute test for Ebola to undergo trials in West Africa

    Some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion is revealed in this undated handout colorized transmission electron micrographLONDON (Reuters) - A new test designed to rapidly diagnose Ebola virus infection is to be tried out at a treatment centre for the disease in Guinea, international health charity The Wellcome Trust said on Friday. Researchers developing the 15-minute Ebola test say it is six times faster than similar ones currently in use and, if it proves successful, could help medical staff identify and isolate confirmed Ebola patients faster and start treating them sooner. ...


  • Brazil's Pele improving, still in intensive care: hospital

    Brazilian soccer legend Pele laughs during the inauguration of a refurbished soccer field at the Mineira slum in Rio de JaneiroSAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian soccer great Pele "is in better condition" though he remains in an intensive care unit being treated for a urinary tract infection, the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said on Friday. Pele, 74, is receiving renal support treatment, which helps kidneys to filter waste products from the blood, after surgery to remove kidney stones earlier this month. He is not on vasoactive drugs or other supportive therapies, the hospital said. ...


  • Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster

    A girl who suffers from hearing and speech disorders reacts to the camera at a rehabilitation centre for children who were born with mental and physical disabilities in BhopalBy Danish Siddiqui and Nita Bhalla BHOPAL/NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Beyond the iron gates of the derelict pesticide plant where one of the world's worst industrial disasters occurred, administrative buildings lie in ruins, vegetation overgrown and warehouses bolted. Massive vessels, interconnected by a multitude of corroded pipes that once carried chemical slurries, have rusted beyond repair. In the dusty control room, a soiled sticker on a wall panel reads "Safety is everyone's business". On the night of Dec. 2, 1984, the factory owned by the U.S. ...


  • Czechs raise security after ministers get poison by mail

    PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Interior Ministry will tighten security at government offices after unknown culprits sent envelopes with deadly doses of poison to two ministries in recent days, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Friday. The two poisoned letters were intercepted before reaching the addressees and no one was hurt. They envelopes were sent by mail from Sweden and Slovenia, addressed to Finance Minister Andrej Babis and Interior Minister Milan Chovanec. The Czech Republic, a member of NATO and the European Union, does not have a record of terrorist attacks in the past decades. ...

  • WHO advises male Ebola survivors to abstain from sex

    A volunteer wearing a protective suit walks in a 'high risk' zone during Red Cross Ebola training excercise in WuerzburgLONDON (Reuters) - Men who recover from Ebola should abstain from sex for three months to minimize the risk of passing the virus on in their semen, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. Ebola, a disease that has infected and killing thousands in a vast epidemic in West Africa, normally spreads via bodily fluids such as blood, saliva and faeces. Although sexual transmission of Ebola virus disease has never been documented, the virus has been detected in the survivors' semen. ...


  • China drafts policy on emergency Ebola diagnosis, approves products

    Health inspection and quarantine researchers work in their laboratory at an airport in QingdaoSHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has drafted a policy on the emergency use of diagnostic products for the Ebola virus disease and clinical trials, the country's drug regulator said on Friday, as the number of people affected globally by the epidemic nears 16,000. In a brief statement, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) said it had also approved three companies to produce Ebola diagnosis products for emergency reserve use. "These (products) provide key technological safeguards for China to diagnose the Ebola virus and defend against any epidemic situation," it said. ...


  • Nepal devotees sacrifice thousands of animals in Hindu ritual

    Butchers raise their swords while performing rituals before the sacrificial ceremony of the "Gadhimai Mela" festival held in BariyapurBy Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Sword-wielding Hindu devotees in Nepal began slaughtering thousands of animals and birds in a ritual sacrifice on Friday, ignoring calls by animal rights activists to halt what they described as the world's largest such exercise. More than 80 percent of Nepal's 27 million people are Hindus, but unlike most of their counterparts in neighboring India, they frequently sacrifice animals to appease deities during festivals. Authorities deployed hundreds of police personnel to make sure there were no clashes between activists and the devotees. ...


  • China writer goes on trial for media censorship protest after long delay

    Policemen guard in front of an entrance to a court where the trial of Chinese rights activist Guo Feixiong's was taking place, in GuangzhouBy James Pomfret HONG KONG (Reuters) - The long-awaited trial of a prominent Chinese writer and activist resumed in southern China on Friday, more than two months after his lawyers boycotted an earlier hearing with Beijing showing little sign of easing its clampdown against rights campaigners. Guo Feixiong, 48, was arrested for taking part in a rare public protest against media censorship outside the offices of the Southern Weekly newspaper in January last year in the southern city of Guangzhou. ...


  • Soccer great Pele in intensive care, condition improving -hospital

    Brazilian soccer legend Pele waves next to a public telephone booth with an image of his face painted by Brazilian artist Sipros after he autographed it, during the Call Parade art exhibition in Sao PauloSAO PAULO (Reuters) - Retired Brazilian soccer great Pele is in the intensive care unit in a Sao Paulo hospital where he is being treated for a urinary tract infection, but his condition is improving, the hospital said on Thursday. The Albert Einstein Hospital said Pele, 74, was receiving renal support treatment, which helps kidneys to filter waste products from the blood, after he had an operation to remove kidney stones earlier this month. A series of tweets in English from the former player's account aimed to calm concerns over his health. One read: "Want to let you know I am doing fine. ...


  • Canada to deploy military health staff to Sierra Leone in Ebola fight

    By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will send up to 40 military staff to Sierra Leone to help battle Ebola, the government said on Thursday as it also launched a campaign to recruit healthcare workers to help operate treatment centers in three West African countries. The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic had risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries as of Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. ...