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An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) announces.

At least one person has died after contracting the Ebola virus in the DR Congo’s north-east, the WHO says.

Local health ministry had notified the WHO of a “lab-confirmed case” of Ebola, the WHO said on Twitter.

More than 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2014 and 2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The last outbreak of Ebola in the DR Congo was in 2014 and killed 42 people.

The case was confirmed from tests on nine people who came down with a hemorrhagic fever on or after April 22 in Bas-Uele province in the country’s far north, a health ministry statement said.

WHO Congo spokesman Eric Kabambi told Reuters: “It is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky. Bu we always take this very seriously.”

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that a highly effective vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus could be available by 2018.

Trials conducted in Guinea, one of the West African countries most affected by an outbreak of Ebola that ended this year, show the vaccine offers 100% protection.

The vaccine is now being fast-tracked for regulatory approval.


Manufacturer Merck has made 300,000 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine available for use should Ebola strike.

GAVI, the global vaccine alliance, provided $5 million for the stockpile.

Photo Flickr

The trial’s results, published in The Lancet medical journal, show of nearly 6,000 people receiving the vaccine, all were free of the virus 10 days later.

In a group of the same size not vaccinated, 23 later developed Ebola.

Only one person who was vaccinated had a serious side effect that the researchers think was caused by the jab. This was a very high temperature and the patient recovered fully.

It is not known how well the vaccine might work in children since this was not tested in the trial.

The trial was led by the WHO, working with Guinea’s health ministry and international groups.

WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, who is the lead author of the study, said the results could help combat future outbreaks: “While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenseless.”

Other drug companies are developing different Ebola vaccines that could be used in the future too.

The Ebola virus was first identified in 1976 but the recent outbreak in West Africa, which killed more than 11,000 people, highlighted the need for a vaccine.

The Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in 2013 and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes now affects nearly one in 11 adults.

In a major report, the WHO warned cases had nearly quadrupled to 422 million in 2014 from 108 million in 1980.

High blood sugar levels are a major killer – linked to 3.7 million deaths around the world each year, it says.

WHO officials said the numbers would continue to increase unless “drastic action” was taken.

The report lumps both type 1 and type 2 diabetes together, but the surge in cases is predominantly down to type 2 – the form closely linked to poor lifestyle.Diabetes report 2016

As the world’s waistlines have ballooned – with one-in-three people now overweight, so too has the number of diabetes cases.

Failing to control levels of sugar in the blood has devastating health consequences.

Diabetes triples the risk of a heart attack and leaves people 20 times more likely to have a leg amputated, as well as increasing the risk of stroke, kidney failure, blindness and complications in pregnancy.

The disease itself is the eighth biggest killer in the world, accounting for 1.5 million deaths each year.

A further 2.2 million deaths are linked to high blood sugar levels. And 43% of the deaths were before the age of 70.

In the 1980s the highest rates were found in affluent countries.

In a remarkable transformation, it is now low and middle income countries bearing the largest burden.

The Middle East has seen the prevalence of diabetes soar from 5.9% of adults in 1980 to 13.7% in 2014.

More than three quarters of teenagers in the region are doing less than the recommended level of exercise.

The WHO report said the solution required the whole of society to act.

It is only by keeping blood sugar levels in check that the deadly complications of the disease can be contained.

The report showed that two thirds of low income countries were not able to provide blood sugar monitors or drugs such as insulin or metformin for most people.

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The World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting in Geneva to discuss the “explosive” spread of the Zika virus.

The meeting will decide whether to declare a global emergency.

According to WHO officials, Zika as moving “from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions”.

Most cases will have no symptoms but the virus has been linked to brain abnormalities in thousands of babies in Brazil.

Meanwhile Brazilian officials have been given permission to break into properties that could be harboring mosquito breeding grounds.

They will be able to force entry when the place is abandoned or when nobody is there to give access to the house.

Declaring a “public health emergency of international concern” would establish Zika as a serious global threat and lead to money, resources and scientific expertise being thrown at the problem both in South America and in laboratories around the world.WHO Zika meeting

The WHO’s actions are under intense scrutiny after its handling of the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

Its efforts to prevent the spread of the virus were widely criticized and it was deemed to have been too slow to declare an emergency.

At the meeting, experts in disease control, virology and vaccine development will brief WHO director general Dr. Margaret Chan.

Last week, Margaret Chan said: “The level of concern is high, as is the level of uncertainty.

“Questions abound – we need to get some answers quickly.

“For all these reasons, I have decided to convene an emergency committee.

“I am asking the committee for advice on the appropriate level of international concern and for recommended measures that should be undertaken in affected countries and elsewhere.”

Since the mosquito-borne disease was first detected in Brazil in May 2015, the Zika virus has spread to more than 20 countries.

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American specialists have urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to take urgent action over the Zika virus, which they say has “explosive pandemic potential”.

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the scientists called on the WHO to heed lessons from the Ebola outbreak and convene an emergency committee of disease experts.

They said a vaccine might be ready for testing in two years but it could be a decade before it is publicly available.

Zika, linked to birth defects as microcephaly, has caused panic in Brazil.

Thousands of people have been infected there and it has spread to some 20 countries.

Brazilian President Dilma Roussef has urged Latin America to unite in combating the virus.Zika virus pandemic potential

Dilma Rousseff told a summit in Ecuador that sharing knowledge about the disease was the only way that it would be beaten. A meeting of regional health ministers has been called for next week.

In the JAMA article, Daniel R. Lucey and Lawrence O. Gostin say the WHO’s failure to act early in the recent Ebola crisis probably cost thousands of lives.

They warn that a similar catastrophe could unfold if swift action is not taken over the Zika virus.

“An Emergency Committee should be convened urgently to advise the Director-General about the conditions necessary to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” Daniel R. Lucey and Lawrence O. Gostin wrote.

They added: “The very process of convening the committee would catalyze international attention, funding, and research.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on January 27 the US government intended to make a more concerted effort to communicate with Americans about the risks associated with the virus.

There is no cure for the Zika virus and the hunt is on for a vaccine, led by scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

The researchers have visited Brazil to carry out research and collect samples and are now analyzing them in a suite of high-security laboratories in Galveston, Texas.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Zika virus is likely to spread across nearly all of the Americas.

The Zika virus, which causes symptoms including mild fever, conjunctivitis and headache, has already been found in 21 countries in the Caribbean, North and South America.

It has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains and some countries have advised women not to get pregnant.

No treatment or vaccine is available.

The Zika virus was first detected in 1947 in monkeys in Africa. There have since been small, short-lived outbreaks in people on the continent, parts of Asia and in the Pacific Islands.

It has spread on a massive scale in the Americas, where transmission was first detected in Brazil in May 2015.

Large numbers of the mosquitoes which carry the virus and a lack of any natural immunity is thought to be helping the infection to spread rapidly.

Zika is transmitted by the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, which are found in all countries in the region except Canada and Chile.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

In a statement, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional office of the WHO, said: “PAHO anticipates that Zika virus will continue to spread and will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found.”

PAHO is advising people to protect themselves from the mosquitoes, which also spread dengue fever and chikungunya.

It also confirmed the virus had been detected in semen and there was “one case of possible person-to-person transmission” but further evidence was still needed.

Around 80% of infections do not result in symptoms.

However, the biggest concern is the potential impact on babies developing in the womb. There have been around 3,500 reported cases of microcephaly – babies born with tiny brains – in Brazil alone since October.

PAHO warned pregnant women to be “especially careful” and to see their doctor before and after visiting areas affected by the Zika virus.

Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica last week recommended women delay pregnancies until more was known about the virus.

Although officially PAHO says “any decision to defer pregnancy is an individual one between a woman, her partner and her healthcare provider”.

Prof. Laura Rodrigues, a fellow of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said some data suggested that up to one-in-fifty babies had birth defects in one of the worst hit areas – Pernambuco state in Brazil.

She said: “Until November we knew nothing, this has caught us by surprise and we’re trying to learn as fast as we can.

“Wherever there is dengue, there is mosquito, then it will spread and not just in Americas I think there is a very real chance it will spread in Asia.”

PAHO advice is to ensure all containers that can hold even small amounts of water should be emptied and cleaned to prevent mosquitoes breeding.

People should protect themselves by using insect repellent, covering up and keeping windows and doors closed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Guinea free of Ebola, two years after the epidemic began in the country.

Guineans are expected to celebrate the landmark with concerts and fireworks.

Ebola killed more than 2,500 people in Guinea and a further 9,000 in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola in November, but new cases have emerged in Liberia, which had been declared Ebola-free in September.

A country is considered free of human-to-human transmission once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case tested negative for a second time.

Photo WHO

Photo WHO

Local health workers echoed a warning from medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres that vigilance was still vital despite the mood of celebration.

“We have to be very careful, because even if open transmission has been stopped, the disease has not been totally defeated,” said Alpha Seny Souhmah, a Guinean health worker and Ebola survivor.

According to the UN, 6,220 Guinean children have lost one or both parents to Ebola.

More than 100 health workers also lost their lives in the fight against the disease.

Many survivors still live in fear of the stigma and long-term side effects associated with the virus.

Guinea’s government has blamed the virus for poor economic performance and says it has also caused people to distrust the country’s health services.

President Alpha Conde has doubled the health budget since winning re-election in October 2015.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to confirm that Sierra Leone is free of Ebola.

The Ebola outbreak killed almost 4,000 people in Sierra Leone over the past 18 months.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Freetown, last night marking 42 days without a single declared case of the disease.

Many gathered around a giant cotton tree in Freetown’s center, where some lit candles in memory of the victims, and others danced with joy.

According to the WHO, a country is considered free of human-to-human transmission once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case tested negative for a second time.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma is due to address crowds in the city later,

On November 6, Ernest Bai Koroma blamed the WHO for delaying Sierra Leone declaring a state of emergency and restricting movement during the Ebola outbreak.

The president said his government did at the time what it could do and did not have the knowledge to fight the disease.

Ernest Bai Koroma said his government had to put up with the delays because international organizations such as the WHO “were the experts”.

Neighboring Liberia was declared Ebola-free in September following 4,800 deaths there.

A handful of cases are still being reported in neighboring Guinea, and Sierra Leone has said it will take heightened security and health screening measures at their shared border.

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According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, processed meats – such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages and ham – do cause cancer.

The WHO’s report said 50g of processed meat a day – less than two slices of bacon – increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.

Meanwhile, the health agency said red meats were “probably carcinogenic” but there was limited evidence.

The WHO did stress that meat also had health benefits.

Processed meat is meat that has been modified to increase its shelf-life or alter its taste – such as by smoking, curing or adding salt or preservatives.

It is these additions which could be increasing the risk of cancer. High temperature cooking, such as on a barbeque, can also create carcinogenic chemicals.

The WHO has come to the conclusion on the advice of its International Agency for Research on Cancer, which assesses the best available scientific evidence.Processed meat and cancer

The International Agency for Research has now placed processed meat in the same category as plutonium, but also alcohol as they definitely do cause cancer.

However, this does not mean they are equally dangerous. A bacon sandwich is not as bad as smoking.

“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal [bowel] cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” Dr. Kurt Straif from the WHO said.

Estimates suggest 34,000 deaths from cancer every year could be down to diets high in processed meat.

That is in contrast to one million deaths from cancer caused by smoking and 600,000 attributed to alcohol each year.

Red meat does have nutritional value too and is a major source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

However, the WHO said there was limited evidence that 100g of red meat a day increased the risk of cancer by 17%.

The WHO said its findings were important for helping countries give balanced dietary advice.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is to reveal whether some meats should be classed as carcinogens.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the WHO, has been reviewing evidence on whether red and processed meats increase the risk of bowel and other cancers.

According to experts, eating a lot of red and processed meat probably increases the risk of bowel cancer.

However, red meat can be part of a healthy diet.

Red meat includes beef, lamb, and pork. It looks darker in color than white meat, like poultry, because of higher levels of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the iron and oxygen-binding proteins you find in blood and muscle.

Processed meat is not fresh meat, in other words something has been done to it to extend its shelf life or change its taste such as smoking, curing or adding salt or preservatives.Red meat cancer risk

Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, salami and ham. Simply putting fresh meat through a mincer does not make it processed

Meat is a good source of protein, B vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc.

Expert scientists’ advice is to consume healthier meat or meat products, such as lean cuts and lean mince, and cut down on processed meat.

Since 1971, more than 900 agents, including lifestyle factors and chemicals, have been evaluated by expert scientists for the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

More than 400 have been identified as carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, or possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Bacon, ham and sausages are set to be classed alongside cigarettes, arsenic and asbestos as cancer-causing by global health experts.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone recorded their first week with no new cases of Ebola since the outbreak began in March 2014.

The Ebola outbreak has so far killed more than 11,000 people in the three West African countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

New Ebola cases have fallen sharply in 2015, but the WHO has warned that the disease could break out again.Ebola outbreak 2015 West Africa

The epidemic is the worst known occurrence of Ebola in history.

More than 500 people believed to have had dangerous contact with an Ebola patient remain under follow-up in Guinea, the WHO said in a report.

The health agency also said several “high-risk” people linked to recent patients in Guinea and Sierra Leone had been lost track of.

Liberia has already been declared free of the disease after 42 days without a new case. It is the second time the country received the declaration, following a flare-up in June.

Sierra Leone released its last known Ebola patients on September 28 and must now wait to be declared free of the disease.

Guinea’s most recent cases were recorded on September 27.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), everyone who has HIV should be offered antiretroviral drugs as soon as possible after diagnosis.

The health agency’s latest policy removes previous limits suggesting patients wait until the disease progresses.

The WHO has also recommended people at risk of HIV be given the drugs to help prevent the infection taking hold.

UNAIDS said these changes could help avert 21 million AIDS-related deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030.Antiretrovirals HIV treatment

The recommendations increase the number of people with HIV eligible for ARVs from 28 million to 37 million across the world.

The challenge globally will be making sure everyone has access to them and the funds are in place to pay for such a huge extension in treatment. Only 15 million people currently get the drugs.

Michel Sidibe, of UNAIDS, added: “Everybody living with HIV has the right to life-saving treatment. The new guidelines are a very important steps towards ensuring that all people living with HIV have immediate access to antiretroviral treatment.”

The WHO announcement comes after extensive research into the issue.

A US National Institutes of Health study due to run until 2016 was stopped early after an interim analysis found giving treatment straight after diagnosis cut deaths and complications, such as kidney or liver disease, by half.

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Ebola vaccine VSB- EBOV has led to 100% protection and could transform the way the virus is tackled, preliminary results suggest.

There were no proven drugs or vaccines against Ebola virus at the start of the largest outbreak of the disease in history, which began in Guinea in December 2013.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the findings, being published in the Lancet, could be a “game-changer”.

Experts said the results were “remarkable”.

This trial centered on the VSV-EBOV vaccine, which was started by the Public Health Agency of Canada and then developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck.Ebola vaccine VSV EBOV

It combined a fragment of the Ebola virus with another safer virus in order to train the immune system to beat Ebola.

A unique clinical trial took place in Guinea. When a patient was discovered, their friends, neighbors and family were vaccinated to create a “protective ring” of immunity.

One hundred patients were identified in the trial between April and July and then close contacts were either vaccinated immediately, or three weeks later.

In the 2,014 close contacts who were vaccinated immediately there were no subsequent cases of Ebola.

In those vaccinated later there were 16 cases, according to the results published in the Lancet medical journal.

The WHO says it is so far 100% effective, although that figure may change as more data is collected.

Close contacts of Ebola patients in Guinea will now be vaccinated immediately. Since the vaccine has been shown to be safe the process will also be extended to include children.

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) is involved with this research, and is part of a parallel trial for frontline healthcare workers.

Medical director Bertrand Draguez said the Lancet results should spur instant action.

“With such high efficacy, all affected countries should immediately start and multiply ring vaccinations to break chains of transmission and vaccinate all frontline workers to protect them.”

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The World Health Organization (WHO) calls for immediate measles vaccinations across Europe and central Asia after a series of outbreaks.

The WHO officials say they have been “taken aback” by more than 22,000 cases in 2014 and the first months of 2015.

The health organization demands that counties control the outbreaks with “no exception”.

It says the surges threaten the goal of eliminating measles in the region by the end of 2015.

Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe, said: “When we consider that over the past two decades we have seen a reduction of 96% in the number of measles cases in the European region, and that we are just a step away from eliminating the disease, we are taken aback by these numbers. Measles outbreak 2015 vaccination

“We must collectively respond, without further delay, to close immunization gaps.

“It is unacceptable that, after the last 50 years’ efforts to make safe and effective vaccines available, measles continues to cost lives, money and time.”

According to the WHO, a growing number of parents are refusing to vaccinate their children or are facing barriers in getting the immunizations they need.

Dr. Nedret Emiroglu, from the WHO, says: “The priority is now to control current outbreaks through immunization activities targeting people at risk.

“At the same time, all countries, with no exception, need to keep a very high coverage of regular measles vaccination, so that similar outbreaks won’t happen again in our region, and measles can be eliminated once and for all.”

The news comes after an 18-month-old boy died of measles in Germany, sparking a nationwide debate about whether immunizations should be made compulsory.

In California, the department of public health has reported an outbreak of measles with more than 100 registered cases so far. Most of those showing symptoms of the disease were not vaccinated.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that smart syringes that break after one use should be used for injections by 2020.

Reusing syringes leads to more than two million people being infected with diseases including HIV and hepatitis each year.

The new needles are more expensive, but the WHO says the switch would be cheaper than treating the diseases.

More than 16 billion injections are administered annually.

Normal syringes can be used again and again.Smart syringe turns red

The smart ones prevent the plunger being pulled back after an injection or retract the needle so it cannot be used again.

This is also a problem in rich Western countries.

An outbreak of hepatitis C in Nevada was traced back to a doctor who used the same syringe to give anaesthetic to multiple patients.

Standard syringes cost between 2 cents and 4 cents. The smart syringes cost between 4 and 6 cents.

The WHO describes it as a “small increase”. However, the tiny difference in the price of one needle becomes huge when it is scaled up to 16 billion injections.

The health agency is also calling for sheathed needles that prevent doctors accidentally pricking their fingers.

This has happened many times during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

They would treble the cost of the syringes and the WHO says these would have to be introduced “progressively”.

The WHO is calling on industry to expand production and find ways of reducing the cost of the safer needles.

But the measure will not be the end of the typical syringe.

They will be needed for needle exchange programs for drug users as well as in some treatments in which multiple medicines are mixed in the syringe before being injected.

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The Ebola outbreak death toll has risen to 5,160, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced in a new report.

The frequency of new cases no longer appears to be increasing nationally in Guinea and Liberia but remains high in Sierra Leone, the WHO added.

The Ebola outbreak is thought to have infected more than 14,000 people, almost all of them in West Africa.

The deaths of three more people in Mali have been reported in the past day.

The Ebola outbreak death toll has risen to 5,160

The Ebola outbreak death toll has risen to 5,160

“Transmission remains intense in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone” and the frequency of new cases is still increasing in Sierra Leone, the WHO said in its situation report.

Health experts have argued that the rate of new cases is more significant that the total death toll, as it reflects how fast the virus is spreading.

More than 2,830 people have died from Ebola in Liberia, with more than 1,100 deaths in both Guinea and Sierra Leone, the WHO said.

Mali has reported four deaths from Ebola, while there were eight reported Ebola deaths in Nigeria, and one in the US.

The total number of deaths has increased by 200 since the WHO’s last situation report on November 7.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO) latest report, the number of cases in the Ebola outbreak has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths.

Only 27 of the cases have occurred outside the three worst-hit countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Those three countries account for all but 10 of the fatalities.

Mali became the latest nation to record a death, a two-year-old girl. More than 40 people known to have come into contact with her have been quarantined.

The latest WHO situation report says that Liberia remains the worst affected country, with 2,705 deaths. Sierra Leone has had 1,281 fatalities and there have been 926 in Guinea.

Nigeria has recorded eight deaths and there has been one in Mali and one in the US.

The number of cases in the Ebola outbreak has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths

The number of cases in the Ebola outbreak has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths

The WHO said the number of cases was now 10,141 but that the figure could be much higher, as many families were keeping relatives at home rather than taking them to treatment centers. It said many of the centers were overcrowded.

The latest report also shows no change in the number of cases and deaths in Liberia from the WHO’s previous report, three days ago.

Eight countries have registered cases in the outbreak. In West Africa, Senegal and Nigeria have now been declared virus-free by the WHO.

In the US, the governors of the states of New York and New Jersey have ordered a mandatory 21-day quarantine period for all doctors and other travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa.

Anyone arriving from affected West African countries without having had confirmed contact with Ebola victims will be subject to monitoring by public health officials.

The move follows the diagnosis in New York of Dr. Craig Spencer, who had been working in Guinea.

The first person to be quarantined under the rules was a female health worker who arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on October 24.

She had no symptoms then but later developed a fever. A preliminary test came back negative for Ebola, the New Jersey health department said on October 25, but the woman remains in isolation.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia.

Liberia is one of the West African countries worst hit by the Ebola virus.

Speaking in Geneva, Dr. Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015.

The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people.

Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Dr, Marie Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director general for health system and innovation, said: “There are partnerships which are starting to be put in place to have capacity in the three countries to safely extract plasma and make preparation that can be used for the treatment of infective patients.

“The partnership which is moving the quickest will be in Liberia where we hope that in the coming weeks there will be facilities set up to collect the blood, treat the blood and be able to process it for use.”

Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia

Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia

It is still unclear how much will become available and whether it could meet demand.

If a person has successfully fought off the infection, it means their body has learned how to combat the virus and they will have antibodies in their blood that can attack Ebola.

Doctors can then take a sample of their blood and turn it into a treatment called serum – by removing the red blood cells but keeping the important antibodies – for other patients.

Teresa Romero, the Spanish nurse who became the first person to contract Ebola outside West Africa, tested negative for the virus after reportedly receiving human serum containing antibodies from Ebola survivors.

Dr. Marie Paule Kieny said the treatment was not without risks, and WHO has already issued guidelines to ensure safety. Any donor blood will need to be screened for infections such a hepatitis and HIV, for example.

She said trials of two possible Ebola vaccines could produce initial results by the end of the year.

The vaccines will be tested first to see if they are safe for humans, and if they can protect people from the Ebola virus.

Once these questions have been answered, the WHO hopes to extend the trials to a much wider group of people and start giving it to Africa.

“These trials will all start in the coming two weeks… and continue for six months to a year but to have initial results about safety and immunogenicity to have a choice of a dose level by the end of this year in December.”

Dr. Marie Paule Kieny said there were a number of drugs being tested and developed in different countries.

A partnership between Oxford University and the Wellcome Trust is now visiting sites in the three affected African countries to identify which treatment centers would be adequate and willing to start testing drugs soon, she said.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared Nigeria free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases.

Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous country, won praise for its swift response after an infected Liberian diplomat brought the disease there in July.

The WHO officially declared Senegal Ebola-free on Friday, October 17.

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

The WHO has officially declared Nigeria free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases

The WHO has officially declared Nigeria free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases

An estimated 70% of those infected have died in those countries.

Meanwhile, European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Luxembourg to discuss how to strengthen their response to the threat posed by Ebola.

European countries have committed more than 500 million euros ($600 million).

The money is being sought to help reinforce over-stretched healthcare systems in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and to mitigate the damage Ebola is doing to their economies.

Ahead of the talks, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier suggested the EU could send a civilian EU mission to West Africa that would serve as a platform for sending medical staff.

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WHO Director of Strategy, Dr. Christopher Dye, has said in a recent interview that leading global health experts did not anticipate the scale of the Ebola outbreak.

He said the international response was helping but needed to continue.

Ebola is entrenched in the capitals of the worst-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the WHO says.

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 3,860 people in 2014, mainly in West Africa.

More than 200 health workers are among the victims.

Christopher Dye said that that although no-one was in a position to anticipate the scale of the current outbreak, the important thing was to look forward.

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 3,860 people in 2014, mainly in West Africa

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 3,860 people in 2014, mainly in West Africa

“We’ve asked for a response of about $1 billion; so far we have around $300 million with more being pledged, so a bit less than half of what we need but it’s climbing quickly all the time,” he told BBC.

In April 2014, the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned of the potential spread of the virus, but the WHO played down the claims, saying that Ebola was neither an epidemic, nor was it unprecedented.

On October 10, MSF reported a sharp increase of Ebola cases in the Guinean capital, Conakry, dashing hopes that the disease was being stabilized there.

Meanwhile in Mali, an experimental serum is being tested on volunteer health workers.

The trial spans several countries, and the results will be sent to experts to determine whether it is able to protect against Ebola.

Meanwhile in Spain, seven more people are being monitored in hospital for Ebola.

They include two hairdressers who came into contact with Teresa Romero, a Madrid nurse who looked after an Ebola patient who had been repatriated from West Africa.

Teresa Romero is now reported to be gravely ill but stable.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that more Ebola cases can be expected among medical staff – even in developed countries with modern health care systems.

The WHO adviser, Prof. Peter Piot, said he was not surprised that a Spanish nurse had contracted the disease.

The nurse, Teresa Romero, is the first person known to have contracted the deadly virus outside West Africa.

She treated two Spanish missionaries who died of Ebola in Madrid.

Teresa Romero, a 40-year-old auxiliary nurse, had been part of a team of about 30 staff at the Carlos III hospital in Madrid looking after Manuel Garcia Viejo and Miguel Pajares when they were repatriated from Sierra Leone and Liberia respectively.

She remains in quarantine in the Spanish capital along with her husband and three other people.

A fifth person was admitted on Wednesday morning with a slight fever. She is said to be a friend of Teresa Romero and, like her, an auxiliary nurse in the Carlos III Ebola care unit.

In all, more than 50 people in Spain are under observation.

Teresa Romero told El Mundo on October 8 that she had followed the correct protocol and had “no idea” how she had become infected. She said she was feeling “a little better” but was very tired.

Officials say earlier she had twice gone into Manuel Garcia Viejo’s hospital room, first to treat him and later to disinfect the room after his death.

Spanish media say neighbors of the infected nurse have been calling emergency services, asking how to protect their children after sharing lifts and public spaces.

Prof. Peter Piot is a world specialist in Ebola brought in by the WHO as a scientific adviser

Prof. Peter Piot is a world specialist in Ebola brought in by the WHO as a scientific adviser

Promising “total transparency”, Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy appealed for calm while at the same time urging vigilance.

“Let the professionals do their work. Spain’s health system is one of the best in the world,” he told parliament on October 8.

In another development, Teresa Romero’s husband, Javier Limon, is reported to be fighting a court order to have their pet dog put down over fears that it could be carrying the disease. Animal rights groups have also criticized the move, saying there is no evidence that Ebola has been spread by dogs.

Some 3,400 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak with most of the deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

There have been nearly 7,500 confirmed Ebola infections worldwide, with officials saying the figure is likely to be much higher in reality.

WHO experts have insisted that modern hospitals with rigorous disease control measures would prevent infection – but the case of the Madrid nurse proves that is far more difficult than many thought.

Prof. Peter Piot, a world specialist in Ebola brought in by the WHO as a scientific adviser, warned that even the simplest movement, like rubbing your eyes, is a risk.

“The smallest mistake can be fatal,” he said.

“For example, a very dangerous moment is when you come out of the isolation unit you take off your protective gear, you are full of sweat and so on.”

Many of those who have died of Ebola in West Africa have been health care workers.

Meanwhile the US military is stepping up its efforts to respond to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has passed 3,000.

The latest figures indicate that more than 6,500 people are believed to have been infected in the region.

Liberia is the worst affected country, having recorded around 1,830 deaths linked to the latest outbreak.

The Ebola outbreak is the world’s most deadly and President Barack Obama has called it a “threat to global security”.

Some studies have warned that the numbers of infected could rise to more than 20,000 by early November.

The WHO report said two new areas, in Guinea and Liberia, have recorded their first confirmed cases of Ebola in the last seven days.

It also highlights the risk of infection for health workers trying to stem the outbreak.

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has passed 3,000

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has passed 3,000

It says 375 workers are known to have been infected, and that 211 have so far died from the virus.

The deaths and sickness have made it even more difficult for the already weak healthcare systems in the affected countries to cope with the outbreak.

There is a severe shortage of hospital beds, especially in Liberia.

The US is sending some 3,000 troops to help Liberia tackle the disease, and set up emergency medical facilities.

Sierra Leone last weekend enforced a three-day lockdown in an attempt to quell the outbreak in the country.

During the curfew more than a million households were surveyed and 130 new cases discovered, the authorities say.

On September 24, Sierra Leone extended the quarantine area to three new districts, meaning more than a third of the country’s six million people cannot move freely.

Some 600 people have died in Sierra Leone and a similar number in Guinea, where the outbreak was first confirmed in March.

Nigeria and Senegal, two other West Africa countries that have also been affected by the Ebola outbreak, have not recorded any new cases or deaths in the last few weeks, the latest WHO report says.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Ebola infections will treble to 20,000 by November if efforts to tackle the outbreak are not stepped up.

A new analysis suggests about 70% of those infected have died, higher than the 50% previously reported.

There have been 2,800 deaths so far and the disease remains “a public health emergency of international concern”, the UN agency said.

Trials of experimental drugs are being fast tracked in West Africa.

Meanwhile, more information on the spread and likely scale of the epidemic has emerged.

Projections published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggest by early November there will have been nearly 20,000 cases.

A new analysis of confirmed cases suggests death rates are higher than previously reported at about 70% of all cases.

The WHO has warned that Ebola infections will treble to 20,000 by November 2014 if efforts to tackle the outbreak are not stepped up

The WHO has warned that Ebola infections will treble to 20,000 by November 2014 if efforts to tackle the outbreak are not stepped up

And WHO scientists said numbers were predicted to rise exponentially, raising the possibility that the disease could become endemic [regularly found] in West Africa.

Nearly all of the deaths in the world’s worst Ebola outbreak have been recorded in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Christopher Dye, Director of Strategy for WHO, said projections suggest “unless control measures – including improvements in contract tracing, adequate case isolation, increased quality of care and capacity for clinical management, greater community engagement, and support from international partners – improve quickly, these three countries will soon be reporting thousands of cases and deaths each week”.

Dr. Christopher Dye, co-author of the study, called for “the most forceful implementation of present control measures and for the rapid development and deployment of new drugs and vaccines”.

It came as The Wellcome Trust charity announced that experimental drugs would be tested in West Africa for the first time.

Several drugs are under development, but they have not been fully tested and most are in very short supply.

They include the drug ZMapp, which has been given to a handful of infected health workers.

Dr. Peter Horby, of the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at the University of Oxford, said the first trials could begin in West Africa as early as November.

Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said therapeutics alone were not an answer.

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UN’s Ebola co-ordinator David Nabarro has said that more than $1 billion is needed to fight the West Africa Ebola outbreak – a tenfold increase in the past month.

David Nabarro made the announcement as the World Health Organization (WHO) described the health crisis as “unparalleled in modern times”.

The Ebola virus has killed 2,461 people this year, half of the 4,985 infected, the global health body said.

There has been criticism of the slow international response to the epidemic.

Later, President Barack Obama is to announce plans to send 3,000 troops to Liberia, one of countries worst-affected by the outbreak, to help fight the virus.

It is understood the US military will oversee building new treatment centers and help train medical staff.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) called on other countries to follow the US lead as the response to outbreak continued to fall “dangerously behind”.

The outbreak began in Guinea before spreading to its neighbors Sierra Leone and Liberia.

More than $1 billion is needed to fight the West Africa Ebola outbreak

More than $1 billion is needed to fight the West Africa Ebola outbreak (photo AFP)

Nigeria and Senegal have reported some cases, but seem to have contained the transmission of the virus.

“We requested about $100 million a month ago and now it is $1 billion, so our ask has gone up 10 times in a month,” David Nabarro told a briefing in Geneva.

“Because of the way the outbreak is advancing, the level of surge we need to do is unprecedented, it is massive.”

At the briefing WHO deputy head Bruce Aylward announced the new Ebola case figures.

“Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, this health crisis we’re facing is unparalleled in modern times. We don’t know where the numbers are going on this,” he said.

When the WHO had said it needed the capacity to manage 20,000 cases two weeks ago “that seemed like a lot”, Dr. Bruce Aylward said.

“That does not seem like a lot today,” he added.

At the same briefing, MSF president Joanne Liu said there needed to be “co-ordinated response, organized and executed under clear chain of command”.

Sick people in the Liberian capital were banging on the doors of MSF Ebola care centers desperate for a safe place in which to be isolated, Dr. Joanne Liu said.

“Tragically, our teams must turn them away; we simply do not have enough capacity for them,” Dr. Joanne Liu said.

“Highly infectious people are forced to return home, only to infect others and continue the spread of this deadly virus. All for a lack of international response.”

On September 16, the WHO welcomed China’s pledge to send a mobile laboratory team to Sierra Leone, which will include epidemiologists, clinicians and nurses.

“The most urgent immediate need in the Ebola response is for more medical staff,” WHO head Margaret Chan said in the statement.

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According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed 2,288 people, with half of them dying in the last three weeks.

The WHO said that 47% of the deaths and 49% of the total 4,269 cases had come in the 21 days leading up to September 6.

It also warned that thousands more cases could occur in Liberia, which has had the most fatalities.

The Ebola outbreak, which was first reported in Guinea in March this year, has also spread to Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

In Nigeria, eight people have died out of 21 cases, while one case of Ebola has been confirmed in Senegal, the WHO said in its latest update.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed 2,288 people, with half of them dying in the last three weeks

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed 2,288 people, with half of them dying in the last three weeks

On Monday, the agency called on organizations combating the outbreak in Liberia to scale up efforts to control the outbreak “three-to-four fold”.

Ebola spreads between humans by direct contact with infected blood, bodily fluids or organs, or indirectly through contact with contaminated environments.

However, the WHO says conventional means of controlling the outbreak, which include avoiding close physical contact with those infected and wearing personal protective equipment, were not working well in Liberia.

Meanwhile, the US says it will help the African Union mobilize 100 African health workers to the region and contribute an additional $10 million in funds to deal with the outbreak.

The announcement comes as a fourth US aid worker infected with the deadly virus was transported to a hospital in Atlanta for treatment.

Two other aid workers who were treated at the same hospital have since recovered from an Ebola infection.

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