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Gates: World Must Prepare for 'War' against a Global Pandemic

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates says the world must use the lessons from battling Ebola to prepare for any future "war" against a global killer disease, with the help of new technology.

Gates, in Berlin for a donor conference of the GAVI alliance bringing vaccines to poor countries, said the risk of a worldwide pandemic meant it was reckless not to act now.  

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Obama to Seek More Funds for Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

President Barack Obama will request a doubling of funds for fighting and preventing antibiotic-resistant bacteria in his 2016 budget, the White House said Tuesday.

The budget blueprint to be unveiled in February will request $1.2 billion, twice the amount granted by Congress in 2015.

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Liberia Closes Ebola Centre at Epicentre of Outbreak

Liberia's president on Monday announced the closure of an Ebola treatment facility which lay at the epicentre of the virus's worst outbreak in history, as the disease's spread has slowed in the country.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf warned Liberians that while they could not yet afford to relax, the country had made significant progress in the fight against Ebola, and thanked states who helped Monrovia combat the virus.

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Bird Flu Confirmed in Canadian Patient after China Trip

The first human case of H7N9 bird flue in North America has been confirmed in a Canadian woman who recently returned from a trip to China, health officials said Monday.

The patient in her 50s began feeling sick two days after returning home in Canada's westernmost British Columbia province and sought care from a doctor. 

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Senegal Opens Guinea Border as Ebola Recedes

Senegal reopened its land border with Guinea on Monday, pointing to the "significant efforts" of its neighbor in fighting an Ebola outbreak that has claimed thousands of lives.

People and goods can now "move freely by land between the two countries," the interior ministry said in a statement cited by the state-run Senegalese Press Agency.

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MDs: Medical Pot only OK for Sick Kids Failed by Other Drugs

With virtually no hard proof that medical marijuana benefits sick children, and evidence that it may harm developing brains, the drug should only be used for severely ill kids who have no other treatment option, the nation's most influential pediatricians group says in a new policy.

Some parents insist that medical marijuana has cured their kids' troublesome seizures or led to other improvements, but the American Academy of Pediatrics' new policy says rigorous research is needed to verify those claims.

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British Ebola Nurse Discharged from Hospital

A British nurse who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone said she was "happy to be alive" as she was discharged from hospital on Saturday having made a full recovery.

Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey was diagnosed in Glasgow on December 29 before being transferred to Britain's only isolation ward for Ebola patients at London's Royal Free Hospital.

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U.S. Approves 2nd Vaccine against Meningitis Strain

U.S. government health regulators have approved a second vaccine to prevent a strain of bacteria that can cause deadly cases of meningitis.

The Food and Drug Administration said it cleared Novartis' Bexsero vaccine against a subtype of meningococcal bacteria in people ages 10 to 25. The agency cleared a similar vaccine from Pfizer last October. Prior to that, vaccines available in the U.S. only covered four of the five main subtypes of bacteria that cause meningococcal disease.

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Disney Measles Outbreak Spreads to More U.S. States, Mexico

A measles outbreak centered around Disneyland in California has spread to six more U.S. states and Mexico, and an international visitor to the theme park likely sparked the health alert, officials said Friday.

Fifty-one confirmed cases of measles have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since late December, the U.S. government agency said in a statement, most in California but others as far afield as Nebraska and Washington states.

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U.N.: Just Five Ebola Cases Left in Liberia

The United Nations said on Saturday Liberia was dealing with just five remaining cases of Ebola, in the clearest sign yet that the country is nearing the end of the outbreak.

The worst outbreak of the virus in history has seen the west African nation and its neighbors Guinea and Sierra Leone register almost 9,000 deaths in a year, although experts believe the real toll could be far higher. 

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