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Liberia Shuts Schools in Battle against Ebola

Liberia announced Wednesday it was shutting all schools and placing "non-essential" government workers on 30 days' leave in a bid to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic raging in west Africa.

"All schools are ordered closed following further directives from the ministry of education," President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said in a televised address to the nation.

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Fatigue, Fear Are Daily Lot of Ebola Fighters

Doctors, nurses and hospital workers fighting the Ebola epidemic in west Africa are struggling with a daily burden of exhaustion, shortage of staff and fear for themselves over the deadly virus, specialists say.

Containing an outbreak by a lethal pathogen places big demands on workers in any health system, but this is especially the case in one of the world's poorest regions, they say.

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EU Ready for Ebola Threat

The European Union is equipped and ready to treat victims should the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed hundreds in West Africa, be found in member states, EU sources said Wednesday.

"We cannot rule out the possibility that an infected person arrives in Europe but the EU has the means to track and contain any outbreak rapidly," one EU source said.

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Pacific Launches Flab Fight in World's Fattest Region

The new chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) said Wednesday that he was determined to change the unhealthy lifestyle choices that have made his region the fattest in the world.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau said that junk food had become a blight on Pacific island communities, leading to epidemic rates of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure among an increasingly obese population.

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India's Meth Addiction Grows as Criminals Tap Chemical Hub

The teenager sits quietly in a Mumbai rehab clinic, a victim of India's emerging fad for the drug crystal meth, which experts say is spurred by loopholes in the country's giant chemical industry.

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Fruit and Veg: Five-a-Day is OK, Says Study

British nutritionists threw down the gauntlet to dietary guidelines in April by declaring seven daily portions of fresh fruit and vegetables, rather than the recommended five, were the key to health.

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Airlines Could Face New Protocols to Curb Ebola Spread

The deadly Ebola virus hitchhiking across borders for the first time aboard a pan-African airline could spell new flight restrictions aimed at containing outbreaks, the world aviation agency said Tuesday.

International Civil Aviation Organization Secretary General Raymond Benjamin said, "Until now (the virus) had not impacted commercial aviation, but now we're affected."

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Doctor Who Contracted Ebola in Grave Condition

Kent Brantly always wanted to be a medical missionary, and he took the work seriously, spending months treating a steady stream of patients with Ebola in Liberia.

Now Brantly is himself a patient, fighting for his own survival in an isolation unit on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, after contracting the deadly disease.

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McDonald's Japan to Strengthen Checks on Chicken

McDonald's in Japan is increasing its checks on chicken from vendors in China and Thailand after allegations a Chinese supplier sold expired chicken. It says the scare will hurt its earnings.

The U.S. fast-food chain's Japan unit on Tuesday withdrew this year's earnings and sales forecasts, citing uncertainties from the food scandal.

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$1,000 Pill Now Hepatitis C Treatment of Choice

A $1,000-per-pill drug that insurers are reluctant to pay for has quickly become the treatment of choice for a liver-wasting viral disease that affects more than 3 million Americans.

In less than six months, prescriptions for Sovaldi have eclipsed all other hepatitis C pills combined, according to new data from IMS Health. The prospect of a real cure, with fewer nasty side effects, is enticing thousands of patients to get treated for the first time.

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