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World Health Organization Eyes Reform After Slow Ebola Response

January 26, 2015 10:46 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

The World Health Organization has proposed reforms that could overhaul its structure after botching the response to the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives.  WHO's chief, Dr. Margaret Chan, acknowledged Sunday that WHO was too slow to grasp the significance of the Ebola outbreak, which is estimated to have killed more than 8,600 people.

Be Prepared for Outbreaks of All Sizes

January 22, 2015 10:57 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Those fighting Ebola need to stay on their toes and continue to battle the virus until the...

Measles Outbreak at Disneyland Infects 70

January 22, 2015 10:39 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Seventy people have been infected in a measles outbreak that led California public health...

Ebola Fight Not Over Yet, U.N. Mission Chief Cautions

January 21, 2015 4:17 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Close to 1,000 new cases of Ebola were recorded in the last three weeks despite progress in...

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China's Slowing Economy Beginning to Impact Others

January 21, 2015 4:13 pm | by Kelvin Chan and Paul Wiseman, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

The global economy, slowed by stagnation in Europe and Japan, is being further hampered by China's decelerating growth.  The Chinese economy grew 7.4 percent in 2014, its weakest performance in nearly a quarter-century. And its growth is forecast to slow even more over the next two years.

Dutch Navy Finds Three Stowaways After Delivering Ebola Aid

January 20, 2015 10:56 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Dutch navy says it has discovered three stowaways on board a ship that delivered aid to Ebola-hit nations in West Africa.  According to the navy, the men were immediately given medical checks and showed no symptoms of Ebola or any other acute illness.

Koroma Predicts Sierra Leone Will be 'Ebola Free' by May

January 16, 2015 10:41 am | by Clarence Roy-Macaulay, Associated Press | News | Comments

Even as his country registered 19 new Ebola cases over a 24-hour period, Sierra Leone's president is predicting there will be zero new confirmed cases by the end of March.  President Ernest Bai Koroma also predicted that his West African country  would be Ebola-free by World Health Organization standards by May. 

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Hong Kong Protests Hurting Burberry's Bottom Line

January 16, 2015 10:13 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Luxury goods maker Burberry is reporting falling sales in Asia because pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong disrupted trade during China's crucial "Golden Week" national holiday.  Comparable sales were up 8 percent overall but in the Asia-Pacific region, the company delivered low single-digit percentage growth.

'CyberCaliphate' Hacks Military Twitter and YouTube Accounts

January 13, 2015 10:42 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Hackers supporting Islamic militants took over the Twitter and YouTube accounts of a major U.S. military command, in what the Pentagon called an annoying prank that did not breach military networks or access classified data.  The hacker group, calling itself CyberCaliphate, was already under FBI investigation for incursions into the Twitter feeds or websites of media outlets.

Bridal Shop Visited by Ebola Survivor to Close its Doors

January 9, 2015 9:14 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Operators of a northeast Ohio bridal shop linked to an Ebola survivor say the store is closing because it lost significant business and has been stigmatized.  Dallas nurse Amber Vinson was diagnosed with Ebola days after visiting Coming Attractions Bridal & Formal store in Akron in October.

Health Care Worker Being Monitored for Ebola at Nebraska Hospital

January 6, 2015 8:11 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

An American health care worker who experienced high-risk exposure to the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone arrived at a Nebraska hospital for observation.  The patient has been transported to Nebraska Medical Center, which has a specialized biocontainment unit.

Lessons Learned About Ebola in 2014

January 2, 2015 10:51 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

It's been nearly 40 years since Ebola first appeared on our radar, and in those years nearly two dozen outbreaks have occurred.  In 2014, the catastrophic and ongoing West African outbreak has taught the world a number of things about this deadly disease.

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Ebola Causing Difficulty for Nations Also Battling Malaria

December 30, 2014 11:48 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

West Africa's fight to contain Ebola has hampered the campaign against malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that is claiming many thousands more lives than the dreaded virus.  In Gueckedou, near the village where Ebola first started killing people in Guinea's tropical southern forests a year ago, doctors say they have had to stop pricking fingers to do blood tests for Malaria.

New Ebola Cases in Liberia a Major Setback

December 30, 2014 10:38 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

 Dozens of new Ebola cases have erupted in Liberia, near the border with Sierra Leone, Liberian health officials warned , marking a setback amid recent improvements.  The flare-up is due to a number of factors including people going in and out of Liberia and traditional practices such as the washing of bodies, said Liberia's Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah.

Ebola Survival Rate up in Hard-Hit Area of Sierra Leone

December 26, 2014 10:30 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

One year into the world's worst Ebola outbreak, doctors are reporting an encouraging sign: About 70 percent of patients in a hard-hit area of Sierra Leone now survive.  The Ebola death rate has fallen even though there are no specific medicines or vaccines to fight the virus.

Despite Some Success, 2014 a Rough Year for Public Health

December 23, 2014 11:18 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Health officials are celebrating some important victories in 2014, and Time magazine even named Ebola fighters the persons of the year. Nevertheless, this was a black-eye year for public health.  Some vital vaccines did not work well. Federal laboratories were careless with dangerous pathogens. And international health officials failed to stop a West Africa outbreak from exploding into the worst Ebola epidemic ever.

Officials Calling Sony Hack 'Most Damaging Ever'

December 19, 2014 8:21 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The unprecedented hack of Sony Pictures which a U.S. official says is linked to North Korea may be the most damaging cyberattack ever inflicted on an American business.  The fallout from the hack that exposed a trove of sensitive documents, and this week escalated to threats of terrorism, forced Sony to cancel release of the North Korean spoof movie "The Interview."

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Army Virologist Found Traces of Ebola in West Africa Long Before Outbreak

December 19, 2014 8:17 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

An Army virologist using diagnostic tools found traces of Ebola virus in patient samples in West Africa -- a region thought to be untouched by the disease -- seven years before the largest, deadliest Ebola outbreak took the world by surprise in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. 

Senatorial Elections in Liberia Postponed Due to Ebola

December 15, 2014 3:34 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

 Officials in Ebola-stricken Liberia have postponed senatorial elections elections until the end of the week, while some urged calling off the vote for fear the results would not be credible.  Ebola has killed nearly 3,200 people this year in Liberia, and many question whether elections can be held at all under such circumstances.

Nurse Exposed to Ebola Being Monitored For Virus

December 11, 2014 4:18 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

An American nurse who was exposed to the Ebola virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone is being admitted to the National Institutes of Health near Washington, D.C.  The NIH says in a statement that the nurse was expected to be admitted to the Bethesda, Maryland, facility on Thursday. 

FBI Affidavit Says Former Freedom Industries President Lied About Role in Chemical Spill

December 11, 2014 4:14 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

In bankruptcy court hearings and meetings, former Freedom Industries President Gary Southern repeatedly said he had little to do with the company before it was sold a few weeks prior to the January chemical spill. But an FBI affidavit said Southern had overseen day-to-day operations at the chemical storage company, hired employees and executed contracts for several years, according to a complaint.

Sierra Leone's President Urges Traditional Leaders to Stop Unsafe Burials

December 11, 2014 3:36 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Sierra Leone's president implored the country's traditional leaders  to stop cultural practices that have been blamed for spreading Ebola, like burials that involve touching corpses.  Officials have said up to 70 percent of new infections in Sierra Leone are linked to unsafe burials. The bodies of people who have died from Ebola are highly contagious and must be handled carefully.

'Bad Data' A Serious Problem in the Midst of the Ebola Outbreak

December 8, 2014 3:14 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

As health officials struggle to contain the world's biggest-ever Ebola outbreak, their efforts are being complicated by another problem: bad data.  Having accurate numbers about an outbreak is essential not only to provide a realistic picture of the epidemic, but to determine effective control strategies.

Ebola, Quarantines Causing Difficulty for Volunteer Healthcare Workers

December 5, 2014 9:58 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Medical missionary organizations have said they are concerned that the mandatory quarantines several states have put in place for medical workers returning from three West African countries will stop some medical workers from volunteering.  

Dallas Officials Say Emergency Ebola Response Cost City About $155,000

December 5, 2014 8:41 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials say the emergency response to the Ebola crisis in Dallas cost the city about $155,000, including nearly $27,000 to care for the dog of a nurse infected with the virus.  City officials released a statement Wednesday outlining the expenses incurred since Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in September.

Sierra Leone to Get More Ebola Treatment Beds, Still Understaffed

December 2, 2014 9:29 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Sierra Leone will soon see a dramatic increase in desperately needed Ebola treatment beds, but it's still not clear who will staff them, according to the top United Nations official in the fight against the disease.  Ebola has sickened more than 16,000 people of whom nearly 7,000 have died, according to figures released by the World Health Organization.

Lack of Indictment in Ferguson Leads to More Protests

December 2, 2014 9:19 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Protesters turned out in several U.S. cities on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday, in response to a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Officials Already Preparing for Next Outbreak

November 25, 2014 9:55 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, public health officials are girding for the next health disaster.   Less than 20 percent of countries have reported meeting World Health Organization requirements showing they are adequately prepared to respond to emerging infectious threats.

New Ebola Cases in Mali Raising Concern

November 25, 2014 9:30 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities are closely watching a new front in the outbreak, a cluster of cases in Mali linked to the death of a 70-year-old Muslim imam who was brought to Mali's capital, Bamako, from neighboring Guinea — and health officials didn't immediately recognize that he had Ebola.

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