The Health News – 18 January 2016

Overview:
• Sierra Leone’s Government has urged the public not to panic as it announced more than 100 people had been quarantined following a new death from Ebola, just as the country seemed to have overcome the epidemic. The World Health Organisation on Friday confirmed that a 22-year-old woman, who died after falling ill near the Guinean border last week.

•  The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a travel warning for 14 countries and territories in the Caribbean and Latin America where infection with Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, is a risk. Particularly pregnant women not to travel to those areas.

• One person has been left brain-dead and three others face irreversible brain damage after taking part in a new medication meant to treat mood disorders such as anxiety developed by the Portuguese pharmaceutical company Bial, in France.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th January 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-17/sierra-leone-ebola-case-more-than-100-quarantined/7093744

Sierra Leone’s Government has urged the public not to panic as it announced more than 100 people had been quarantined following a new death from Ebola, just as the country seemed to have overcome the epidemic.

The World Health Organisation on Friday confirmed that a 22-year-old woman, who died after falling ill near the Guinean border last week, had tested positive for the tropical fever.

The announcement came a day after West Africa was celebrating the end of the outbreak whenLiberia became the last of the three worst-hit countries in the region to be declared Ebola-free.

Sierra Leone had received the all-clear last November, and Guinea in December.

Health officials in Freetown said they had placed a total of 109 people who had been in contact with the student before her death in isolation.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-16/us-issues-travel-alert-over-zika-virus-in-14-countries/7092902

United States health officials have issued a travel warning for 14 countries and territories in the Caribbean and Latin America where infection with Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, is a risk.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in particular cautioned pregnant women not to travel to those areas, as Zika has been linked to serious birth defects.

The travel alert applies to Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

It also includes advice that women who are trying to become pregnant should consult with their doctor before travelling to those areas.

Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes species mosquitoes, which also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses and are common in Texas, Florida and elsewhere in the US.

Zika is usually a mild illness with fever, rash and joint pain. There is no preventive vaccine or treatment, according to the CDC.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-15/one-person-brain-dead-following-french-drug-trial/7092558

One person has been left brain-dead and three others face irreversible brain damage after taking part in a drugs trial in France.

Six volunteers were hospitalised last week after taking part in the phase one trial of a new medication meant to treat mood disorders such as anxiety, developed by Portuguese pharmaceutical company Bial.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said the men, aged between 28 and 49, were part of a group of 90 people who had taken the drug, while about 30 others had received a placebo.

All were given varying doses and the six men hospitalised were the group who were taking the drug “regularly”.

The group which fell ill started taking the drug on January 7 and the first patient began showing negative symptoms on January 10, Ms Touraine said.

Bial halted the trial a day later, she added.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said an investigation had been opened.