Guilt may spoil restorative effects of entertainment

(Reuters Health) – People who play video games or watch television to unwind after a hard day may end up feeling worse about themselves, not better, says a new study. Although enjoying something pleasurable can restore “vitality” after a draining bout of demanding work, researchers found that users of entertainment media will get less benefit if they see the activity as procrastination rather than rest. The spent state following a period of self-control to complete […]

Malaria is the leading killer in Central African Republic: aid group

By Mirjam Donath UNITED NATIONS Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:15pm EDT (Reuters) – As a recent ceasefire deal boosts prospects for peace in Central African Republic, a key medical aid group warned on Thursday that malaria was the leading killer in the impoverished landlocked country. Malaria, a life-threatening disease transmitted to people via mosquitoes, kills more than half million people a year, mainly infants in the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors […]

U.S. CDC says it ‘may never know’ how bird flu mishap occurred

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:11pm EDT (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “may never know” how a fairly harmless form of bird flu was cross-contaminated with a dangerous bird flu strain before it was sent to a laboratory outside of the CDC, an agency spokesman said on Monday. That’s because most of the materials used in the experiment to culture the virus were discarded shortly after they […]

Gene therapy creates ‘biological pacemaker’ cells for the heart

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:03pm EDT (Reuters) – Researchers have succeeded in turning ordinary cardiac muscle cells into specialized ones that deliver a steady heartbeat using a gene therapy procedure they predict could become an alternative to implanted electronic pacemakers. A study published on Wednesday involved pigs with a condition called heart block that makes their hearts beat too slowly. By injecting a human gene into a tiny region of the […]

Stress, depression may affect how the body processes fat

(Reuters Health) – Stress and depression have long been linked with a heightened risk of weight gain, but a new study sheds light on how those mental states may alter the way the body processes fatty foods. Compared to women without stress in the study, stressed-out women burned both calories and fat more slowly for seven hours after eating the equivalent of an average fast-food burger meal. “Stress can promote weight gain by slowing your […]

As Ebola stalks West Africa, medics fight mistrust, hostility

By Saliou Samb and Adam Bailes CONAKRY Guinea/KENEMA Sierra Leone Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:36am EDT (Reuters) – Governments and health agencies trying to contain the world’s deadliest ever Ebola epidemic in West Africa fear the contagion could be worse than reported because suspicious locals are chasing away health workers and shunning treatment. From Guinea, where the four-month-old outbreak claimed the first of more than 500 lives, to Sierra Leone, scores of patients are hiding […]

Combining vaccines may help eradicate polio

By Kate Kelland LONDON Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:09pm EDT (Reuters) – Combining two types of polio vaccine, including one that is injected rather than given orally, appears to give better immunity and could speed efforts to eradicate the crippling disease, scientists said on Friday. British and Indian researchers said the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which is given by injection, could provide better and longer lasting protection if given alongside the more commonly used live […]

World Trade Center cleanup workers may renew health claims: U.S. appeals court

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:04pm EDT (Reuters) – A federal appeals court in New York has revived claims by 211 cleanup workers who sought compensation for their alleged exposure to toxic contaminants in buildings near the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday said a lower court judge erred in dismissing the claims, after the workers had answered […]

Fear, cash shortages hinder fight against Ebola outbreak

  BY KWASI KPODO (Reuters) – West African states lack the resources to battle the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola and deep cultural suspicions about the disease remain a big obstacle to halting its spread, ministers said on Wednesday. The outbreak has killed 467 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since February, making it the largest and deadliest ever, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). West African health ministers meeting in Ghana to […]

Chikungunya spreads to new areas

(World Health Organization) —  It’s like dengue, but more painful. It gives you high fever, severe headaches, and leaves you with severe joint pain, sometimes for years. It is chikungunya, a relatively new virus first detected in Africa in 1952, on the border of Mozambique and Tanzania. It spread to cities in Africa and Asia, and now there are cyclical outbreaks in nearly 40 countries. It arrived in the Americas in December 2013, and is […]