Source Match Health News
An outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 31 people and the epidemic remains contained in a remote northwestern region, UN the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday. "There are now 31 deaths," Eugene Kambambi, the WHO's head of communication in DR Congo, told AFP, citing Congolese authorities and stressing that the epidemic "remains contained" in an area around 800 kilometres (500 miles) north of the capital Kinshasa. Health officials had previously given a death toll of 13 people from the lethal haemorrhagic fever since August 11 around the isolated town of Boende, surrounded by dense tropical forest in Equateur province. Kabambi was speaking by telephone from Mbandaka, the provincial capital, where he was accompanied by Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi and the WHO representative in DRC, Joseph Cabore.
The world's worst Ebola epidemic has put harvests at risk and sent food prices soaring in West Africa, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Tuesday, warning the problem would intensify in coming months. The FAO issued a special alert for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three countries most affected by the outbreak, which has killed around 1,550 people since the virus was detected in the remote jungles of southeastern Guinea in March. Restrictions on people's movements and the establishment of quarantine zones to contain the spread of the hemorrhagic fever has led to panic buying, food shortages and price hikes in countries ill-prepared to absorb the shock. "Even prior to the Ebola outbreak, households in some of the most affected areas were spending up to 80 percent of their incomes on food," said Vincent Martin, head of an FAO unit in Dakar which is coordinating the agency's response.
Among the issues that Obama is likely to find is that the program lacks oversight and accountability. Once Pentagon weapons reach the 8,000 police departments that participate in the program, many of them in tiny towns, the federal government has little control over them. The departments are not allowed to sell or dispose of any of the 1033 program's “controlled” items, which include small arms and tactical vehicles. An agency in each state takes over responsibility for checking the inventory once a year and reporting anything missing to the Defense Department’s Defense Logistics Agency.
Russia vowed on Tuesday to adopt a beefed-up military doctrine over NATO's plans to establish a rapid-response team that could ward off the Kremlin's expansion into Ukraine and feared push further west. Moscow's surprise announcement added a new and threatening new layer of tensions ahead of NATO's two-day summit that starts Thursday in Wales and will see Ukraine's beleaguered leader Petro Poroshenko personally lobby US President Barack Obama for military help.
A worsening outbreak of dengue fever in Japan has claimed its first celebrities -- two young models sent on assignment to the Tokyo park believed to be its source. The details emerged as the government said Tuesday that at least 34 people have now caught the disease, which has not been seen in Japan for seven decades apart from cases contracted overseas. The two women -- Saaya, 20, and Eri Aoki, 25 -- were sent to Yoyogi Park last month for the Saturday variety show on which they appear, the Nikkan Sports said. The revelation that the two beauties had succumbed to the mosquito-borne disease provided fodder for the self-referencing TV shows that fill daytime schedules in celebrity-obsessed Japan.
Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk said on Tuesday it has decided to stop its activities within inflammatory disorders and only focus on the treatment and prevention of diabetes and obesity. The decision follows a discontinuation for the company's most advanced drug candidate within the area, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and known as anti-IL-20, announced on Aug. 7 together with its with second quarter results. "The discontinuation of anti-IL-20 delays our earliest possible entrance into the market for anti-inflammatory therapeutics to the late 2020s," Chief Science Officer Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen said in a statement. Novo Nordisk said 400 employees would be affected by the decision but that it hoped to offer other positions within the company to more than half of those.
By Daniel Flynn and Tim Cocks DAKAR/LAGOS (Reuters) - The world's "disastrously inadequate response" to West Africa's Ebola outbreak means many people are dying needlessly, the head of the World Bank said on Monday, as Nigeria confirmed another case of the virus. In a newspaper editorial, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Western healthcare facilities would easily be able to contain the disease, and urged wealthy nations to share the knowledge and resources to help African countries tackle it. "Many are dying needlessly," read the editorial, co-written by Harvard University professor Paul Farmer, with whom Kim founded Partners In Health, a charity that works for better healthcare in poorer countries. In a vivid sign of the danger posed by inadequate health provision, a man escaped from an Ebola quarantine centre in Monrovia on Monday and sent people fleeing in fear as he walked through a market in search of food, a Reuters witness said.
The protests, announced on Twitter by organizer Fight For 15, come as cities across the nation propose minimum wage increases while Democrats seek to raise the federal minimum wage ahead of this year's mid-term congressional elections. Fast food workers have launched a series of protests over the last nearly two years to bring awareness to their demands, which include the right to unionize without retaliation. In one of the last major actions, restaurant workers launched rallies in 150 cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York and Miami in May. This time, organizers are staging walkouts in more than 100 cities and plan to use nonviolent civil disobedience tactics such as sit-ins, The New York Times reported.
Hong Kong police said on Tuesday they arrested 19 people during scuffles with pro-democracy activists prompted by China's decision not to allow the Asian financial hub to choose its next leader. The 19, aged between 20 and 45, were arrested on Monday for illegal assembly, trying to force their way on to a carriageway, charging a police line and for pushing barriers, a police spokeswoman said. Police used pepper spray to disperse activists as Hong Kong center braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China's decision. Hong Kong is in the midst of a political upheaval as activists in the former British colony push for full democracy.
Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation. John Tugbeh, spokesman for the strikers at Monrovia's John F Kennedy hospital, said the nurses would not return to work until they are supplied with "personal protective equipment (PPEs)", the hazmat-style suits which guard against infectious diseases. "From the beginning of the Ebola outbreak we have not had any protective equipment to work with. The Ebola virus, transmitted through contact with infected bodily fluids, has killed more than 1,500 people in four countries since the start of the year -- almost 700 of them in Liberia.
The Japanese unit of Swiss pharma giant Novartis has admitted it did not report more than 2,500 cases of serious side effects in patients using its leukaemia and other cancer drugs, reportedly including some fatalities. The revelations, which marked the latest in a string of scandals at the company's Japanese subsidiary, come after local authorities slapped the firm on the wrist, saying it had to clean up its operations. On Friday, Novartis issued a statement saying it had failed to report to regulators at least 2,579 cases where patients had suffered serious potential side effects from its drugs. Japanese media said the number of cases involved could rise as Novartis probes 6,000 other cases.