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Lather Against Ebola', an 'Ice Bucket' Challenge against the Virus

Bringing a soapy twist to the "Ice Bucket Challenge" that has swept the world in recent weeks, Ivorians are raising awareness about the deadly disease outbreak in west Africa with a new "Lather Against Ebola" campaign.

People in Ivory Coast do use ice in their variation, but have added a good head of lather to alert others to the need for hygiene to ward off the Ebola epidemic raging in neighbouring countries.

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Mystery Illness Plagues Girls in Colombia

First their hands and feet feel cold. Then they go pale and cannot move. Some convulse and fall to the floor.

A mystery illness is plaguing girls in this town in northern Colombia, and locals say a vaccine against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV, is to blame.

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Abou Faour Says Lebanon Free of Ebola, to Send Aid to Expats in Africa

Minister of Public Health Wael Abou Faour confirmed Wednesday that “Lebanon is free of any Ebola case till now,” denying media reports that a Lebanese young man has been killed by the disease.

“The media reports on the death of a Lebanese young man because of this virus are not true,” Abou Faour said.

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Severe Respiratory Illness Confirmed in 12 States

Health officials say 12 states now have respiratory illnesses caused by an uncommon virus — enterovirus 68.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania together have 130 lab-confirmed cases. All are children.

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Obama: Ebola Crisis 'Spiraling Out of Control'

President Barack Obama issued a global call to action to fight West Africa's Ebola epidemic on Tuesday, warning the deadly outbreak was unprecedented and "spiraling out of control," threatening hundreds of thousands of people.

Speaking as he unveiled a major new U.S. initiative which will see 3,000 U.S. military personnel deployed to West Africa to combat the growing health crisis, Obama said the outbreak was spreading "exponentially."

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Ministry: First Domestic Case of Chikungunya in Brazil

Brazil’s authorities on Tuesday reported the first domestically contracted cases of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, prompting the government to announce it was stepping up attempts to control the disease.

The joint disease, which causes high fever and painful arthritis, is endemic to Africa and south Asia but has been moving north as well as west.

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U.N. Security Council to take action on Ebola

Describing the Ebola outbreak as a threat to world peace, the U.N. Security Council is set to adopt a resolution urging countries to provide field hospitals and other urgent aid to West Africa.

A draft of the resolution obtained by AFP on Tuesday also calls on nations to lift travel and border restrictions, and asks airlines and shipping companies to maintain their links with affected countries.

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Smoking Rates on the Rise in New York City

For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, according to data released Monday, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that were emulated nationally.

Sixteen percent of adult New Yorkers smoked in 2013, up from 14 percent in 2010, which was the city's lowest recorded rate, according to the findings released by New York City's Department of Health.

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Chinese Ups its Medics in Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone to 174

China will send more medics to Ebola-hit Sierra Leone to help boost laboratory testing for the virus, raising the total number of Chinese medical experts there to 174, the UN said Tuesday.

"The most urgent immediate need in the Ebola response is for more medical staff," World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan said in a statement, hailing the Chinese commitment.

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U.S. to Assign 3,000 from U.S. Military to Fight Ebola

The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic.

President Barack Obama planned to announce the stepped up effort Tuesday during a visit to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta amid alarm that the outbreak could spread and that the deadly virus could mutate into a more easily transmitted disease.

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