Dr. Rick Sacra knew what he was getting into when he went to Liberia in early August to treat very ill pregnant women and deliver babies at a time when the West African nation was dealing with an outbreak of Ebola.
But Sacra, who contracted Ebola and was treated successfully in an isolation unit at the Nebraska Medical Center before returning home to Massachusetts, shrugged off any suggestion that he was a hero. He said there are many people, including firefighters, police officers and military personnel, who head toward dangerous situations instead of steering away.Full Story
An excruciating mosquito-borne illness that arrived less than a year ago in the Americas is raging across the region, leaping from the Caribbean to the Central and South American mainland, and infecting more than 1 million people. Some cases have already emerged in the United States.
While the disease, called chikungunya, is usually not fatal, the epidemic has overwhelmed hospitals, cut economic productivity and caused its sufferers days of pain and misery. And the count of victims is soaring.Full Story
The International Monetary Fund fast-tracked $130 million (102.5 million euros) in aid Friday to fight the Ebola epidemic after the governments of the worst-hit countries in west Africa said they were desperately counting on promises of global aid to be backed up with cash.
The IMF's executive board said it wanted to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone respond to the rapidly spreading outbreak that has killed some 3,000 people since December.Full Story
An Egyptian man reportedly cured of Ebola has been quarantined in Cairo as a precaution after returning from Sierra Leone, state media reported Friday.
The 35-year-old had received treatment in Sierra Leone and tested negative for the virus before landing in Cairo on Thursday, the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website.Full Story
Thousands of experimental Ebola vaccine doses from British GSK and U.S. NewLink should be ready for use by early 2015 in countries affected by the epidemic, the World Health Organization said Friday.
"If everything goes well, we may be able to begin using some of these vaccines in some of the affected countries at the very beginning of next year," said WHO assistant director general Marie-Paule Kieny.Full Story
The European Union banned Thursday the party drug nicknamed "bath salts" and other so-called legal highs that have been linked to nearly 150 deaths.
The synthetic stimulant MPDV can spark a psychotic experience for users and was linked to a grisly attack in the United States in which a man chewed off another's face.Full Story
Health experts from 16 European countries beseeched their governments Friday to massively scale up manpower and resources to fight west Africa's Ebola epidemic, now threatening "the entire world".
European countries should urgently send trained medical staff, field laboratories, protective clothing, disinfectants and basic tools like electricity generators, the 44 public health professionals and academics wrote in The Lancet medical journal.Full Story
In the wood-panelled rooms of Vienna's traditional coffee houses, tobacco-lovers can still light up pretty much as they please. But one of the last smokers' havens in Europe may be on course to kick the habit.
Even diehard smokers, when arriving in Austria, are in for a shock at the clouds of blue haze filling bars and restaurants, long after the rest of western and central Europe stubbed out puffing in public places.Full Story
Cuba said it will send nearly 300 more doctors and nurses to west Africa to help fight the Ebola epidemic.
This will raise to 461 the number of Cuban medical personnel that the country will send to battle the disease.Full Story
Sierra Leone has ordered the quarantine "with immediate effect" of three districts and 12 tribal chiefdoms -- affecting more than one million people -- in the largest lockdown in west Africa's deadly Ebola outbreak.
President Ernest Bai Koroma, in a national televised address late Wednesday, announced that the northern districts of Port Loko and Bombali were to be closed off along with the southern district of Moyamba -- effectively sealing off around 1.2 million people.Full Story