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Sierra Leone dismisses health minister over handling of Ebola

Gibson, the new mayor of Freetown, listens as Sierra Leone's President Koroma announces an operation in FreetownFREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma dismissed his Health Minister Miatta Kargbo on Friday over her handling of the Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 400 people in the West African country. A presidency statement said that Kargbo was removed "to create a conducive environment for efficient and effective handling of the Ebola outbreak". She will be replaced by her deputy Dr Abubakarr Fofanah, the statement said.


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Ebola outbreak reaches Senegal, riots break out in Guinea

A U.N. convoy of soldiers passes a screen displaying a message on Ebola on a street in AbidjanBy Diadie Ba and Saliou Samb DAKAR/CONAKRY (Reuters) - The West African state of Senegal became the fifth country to be hit by the world's worst Ebola outbreak on Friday, while riots broke out in neighbouring Guinea's remote southeast where infection rates are rising fast. In the latest sign that the outbreak of the virus, which has already killed at least 1,550 people, is spinning out of control, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that Ebola cases rose last week at the fastest pace since the epidemic began in West Africa in March. The epidemic has defied efforts by governments to control it, prompting the leading charity fighting the outbreak, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), to call for the U.N. Security Council to take charge of efforts to stop it. Including the fatalities, more than 3,000 have been infected since the virus was detected in the remote jungles of southeastern Guinea in March and quickly spread across the border to Liberia and Sierra Leone.


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Ghana to serve as UN base for supplies bound for Ebola countries

John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New YorkThe United Nations will use Ghana as a base for supplies bound for countries stricken by an Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 1,550 people in West Africa, the Ghanaian presidency said in a statement on Friday. UN chief Ban Ki-moon had a telephone conversation on Friday evening with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, who agreed to let international agencies use Ghana's capital Accra as a base for air lifting supplies and personnel to affected countries, the statement said. The statement said the UN and local authorities would work closely to put in place appropriate screening and prevention measures to avoid any adverse effects on Ghana as a result of the international operations.


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California to shift mentally ill inmates out of solitary confinement

California will move mentally ill prisoners from solitary confinement to special isolation units as part of a series of new policies outlined by corrections officials Friday to improve treatment for inmates with psychiatric illnesses. In 2013, about 28 percent of California's overcrowded prison population was diagnosed with some sort of mental illness, according to state and federal statistics. Complying with the federal order to amend how it deals with these inmates, the state earlier this month outlined changes to curb the use of force after video footage showed mentally ill prisoners screaming as guards doused them in pepper spray. Corrections officials are "focused on ensuring a strong collaborative environment between mental health and custody staff ... to ensure mental health input is fully considered in programming and housing decisions," Friday's filing said.

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Ebola hits 5th WAfrican state as Senegal confirms first case

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical staff wearing protective clothing treat the body of an Ebola victim at their facility in Kailahun, on August 14, 2014The Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 1,500 people across West Africa spread to a fifth country in the region on Friday with the first confirmed case of the deadly virus in Senegal. The case marks the first time a new country has been hit by the outbreak since July and comes a day after the World Health Organization warned the number of infections was increasing rapidly. On Friday, scientists writing in the journal Nature said 18 lab monkeys given high doses of the Ebola virus fully recovered after being given the prototype drug ZMapp, which reversed bleeding in the animals. ZMapp has been given to a handful of frontline health workers who have contracted Ebola, two of whom have recovered, and two of whom have died.


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Idaho attorney for boys in polygamous sect says he fears for them

By Laura Zuckerman SALMON Idaho (Reuters) - A court-appointed attorney for boys removed from the Idaho home of a follower of imprisoned polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs said on Friday he feared for the well-being of six of the children released to their parents' custody. Nathan Jessop, a follower of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was charged with misdemeanor child injury offenses after police raided the home on the outskirts of Pocatello last month and took away the eight teenagers. Their parents had agreed to the arrangement but, earlier this month after Jessop was charged, they traveled to Idaho from such states as Arizona and Kansas to reclaim custody of children they had not seen for years, authorities said. Bradley Willis, an attorney appointed by an Idaho court to represent the boys, was opposed to the state’s handoff of the six boys.

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California bill would remove guns from potential offenders

A bill allowing family members to ask a judge to order firearms removed from people likely to commit gun violence was sent to California Governor Jerry Brown on Friday for signing into law. The bill, one of several gun control measures up for votes in the last week of the state's legislative session, was introduced after police near Santa Barbara said they were unable to confiscate weapons from a man who later went on a rampage and killed six people, despite concern from his family that he was in poor mental health and might become violent.     The bill passed the Assembly 47-25.     If Brown, who has steered a centrist course on gun control legislation, signs the bill, California would be the first U.S.

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U.S. judge halts major part of Texas law restricting abortions

District Judge Lee Yeakel said the so-called "ambulatory surgical center requirement" was unjust because it placed an undue burden on women by reducing the number of clinics where they could seek abortions and the regulations had no compelling public health interests. "The court concludes, after examining the act and the context in which it operates, that the ambulatory-surgical center requirement was intended to close existing licensed abortion clinics," Yeakel wrote in the decision. The requirement was to have gone into effect on Sept. 1. Under it, clinics would have had to meet a set of building standards ranging from widening halls to having facilities for certain surgeries that abortion rights advocates said were unnecessary, especially when an abortion is medically induced.

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Porn film moratorium lifted after HIV result proves false positive

The moratorium marked at least the third consecutive summer that the porn industry has voluntarily shut down productions under its health-screening system because of performers who tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease. "We always err on the side of caution," said Diane Duke, chief executive of the Los Angeles-based Free Speech Coalition, the porn trade industry group. Because false positives are relatively rare with the type of screening the group conducts, its policy is to immediately halt shooting even before exposure to the AIDS virus is confirmed, she said.

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Better education on breast reconstruction may be needed after cancer

By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – When it comes to deciding to have breast reconstruction after surgery for breast cancer, most women are generally satisfied with the decision-making process, a new study suggests. “Our findings generally were good news - women who wanted reconstruction got it, those who didn’t were generally satisfied with the decision process,” said Dr. Monica Morrow, the study’s lead author from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. For example, some women who didn’t undergo breast reconstruction said they worried that the implants would interfere with cancer screenings later on, or that they feared the implants. “Our study points to specific topics doctors can address with patients - safety of implants, lack of interference with cancer detection by reconstruction that are of concern to patients,” Morrow wrote in an email.

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Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study

An experimental Ebola drug healed all 18 monkeys infected with the deadly virus in a study, boosting hopes that the treatment might help fight the outbreak raging through West Africa — once more of it ...

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Ebola Survivor 'Walked Through the Valley of Death'

Ebola Survivor 'Walked Through the Valley of Death'Dr. Philip Ireland Will Go Back to Treating Patients


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African-Americans may be getting inferior breastfeeding advice

By Ronnie Cohen NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Mothers who give birth in areas with higher concentrations of African-Americans are less likely to get breastfeeding support on maternity wards than mothers in other communities, a new study shows. The study of 2,727 American hospitals and birth centers sought to uncover the reasons for the racial disparities. “What this study suggests is that hospital practices, not just women’s choices, beliefs or values, contribute to the observed racial disparities in infant feeding,” sociologist Elizabeth Armstrong told Reuters Health in an email.

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Ebola Outbreak: Dr. Besser's Look at Life Inside the Hot Zone

Dr. Richard Besser reports on the growing outbreak from Monrovia, Liberia.

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R&B singer CeeLo Green pleads no contest to ecstasy charge

File photo of singer CeeLo Green at a preliminary hearing for an ecstasy possession charge at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los AngelesGrammy-winning R&B singer and former "The Voice" judge CeeLo Green pleaded no contest on Friday to giving a woman the drug ecstasy in 2012. Green, 39, whose real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, was charged last year by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office with one count of furnishing a controlled substance. He was sentenced to three years of formal probation by Superior Court Judge Mark Young and ordered to complete 52 Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings as well as 360 hours of community service. "CeeLo Green is pleased that the District Attorney's office would allow him the opportunity to resolve this appropriately and maintain his innocence.


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Colombia arrests suspected drug trafficker for major Mexico cartel

Colombian authorities have arrested a Costa Rican man accused of trafficking shipments of cocaine to the United States on behalf of Mexico's infamous Sinaloa cartel. Oscar Antonio Berrocal, 52, was detained late on Thursday after arriving in the Colombian capital Bogota on a flight from Ecuador, where he lives. "Berrocal, known to authorities under the aliases Charlie, the Chef, Finquero and Rolex, is required by U.S. "In Colombia there is a valid order for his arrest and extradition." Authorities said Berrocal is accused of coordinating the shipment of large quantities of cocaine to the United States for the Sinaloa cartel, one of the world's largest drug trafficking organizations, often via smuggling networks in Central America.

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Prototype Ebola drug clears early test hurdle

Health workers, wearing a protective suit, conduct an ebola prevention drill at the port in Monrovia, Liberia on August 29, 2014A prototype drug that has been urgently given to a handful of patients with Ebola has cleared an important test hurdle, showing that it cured lab monkeys with the disease, scientists said Friday. Normally, experimental drugs are tested first on animals and then on progressively larger groups of humans to ensure they are safe and effective. Reporting online in the British journal Nature, researchers at the Public Health Agency of Canada said 18 rhesus macaque monkeys given high doses of Ebola virus fully recovered after being given ZMapp, even when it was administered five days after infection. The 21 animals had been given the so-called Kikwit strain of Ebola, named after a location in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country where the haemorrhagic fever was discovered in 1976.


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Kraft issues voluntary recall of some American Singles cheese product

Kraft food products are displayed in a market in San Francisco, CaliforniaBy Anjali Athavaley NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kraft Foods Group Inc said on Friday it is voluntarily recalling 7,691 cases of some varieties of its Kraft American Singles as a precautionary measure after a supplier failed to store an ingredient correctly. The Northfield, Illinois-based company said the recall affects four varieties of Kraft American Singles Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product. A supplier did not store an ingredient in accordance with Kraft's temperature standards. Kraft said it has had no consumer illness complaints for the product associated with the recall.


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Fears of addiction keep cancer patients from getting pain relief

By Randi Belisomo NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Fears of opioid abuse and addiction might be keeping patients with advanced cancer from getting enough pain medicine, researchers say. “At the end of life, we should feel comfortable providing whatever necessary to control pain,” said Joel Hyatt, assistant regional director at Kaiser Permanente. Concerns about overdose and addiction, he told Reuters Health, should not prevent terminally ill patients from obtaining relief. Pain undertreatment is estimated to affect half of cancer patients, according to a recent report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Ebola Survivor ‘Walked Through the Valley of Death’

Dr. Philip Ireland remembers the moment he realized he had Ebola.

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ALS Association backs down on 'Ice Bucket' trademark attempt

In the wake of criticism over its attempt to trademark the words "ice bucket challenge," the ALS Association said it is withdrawing its applications from the U.S. Following a blog post by a Virginia trademark attorney that was critical of the trademark application and a report by Internet tech news site Techdirt that said ALS did not originate the ice bucket challenge, criticism of the trademark move grew on Twitter and other social media sites.

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Ebola Outbreak Spreads: Senegal Reports 1st Case

The Ebola outbreak is expected to reach 20,000 in six months.

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Russian minister to take off from after forced stop in Bratislava

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's plane will leave Bratislava airport shortly after making a brief stop there when Poland refused to allow the flight into its airspace, the Slovak Interior Ministry said on Friday. Poland said it had denied entry to the flight earlier on Friday because it had changed its status to military from civilian, and that it would grant permission once it was re-coded. Shoigu had attended a ceremony marking an anti-Nazi uprising in Slovakia earlier on Friday. (Reporting by Jan Lopatka; edited by Ralph Boulton)

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U.N. urges U.S. to stop police brutality after Missouri shooting

Michael Brown Sr, yells out as his son's casket is lowered into the ground at St. Peter's Cemetery in St. LouisBy Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. "Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation, access to health care and housing," Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman, told a news briefing.


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Want To Be Invited Into You? A Pre-Labor Day Meditation

Labor Day is one of those highlighted high points of the year. The end of summer, the beginning of school, shorter days with slight weather changes branded with BBQs and celebrations and sometimes, leftover fireworks from the Fourth Of July. Mostly, this time of the year is a liminal space between here and there, then and now and you and me....

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Obesity on the Nile

Obesity on the NileYes, there is obesity in Egypt; although the situation is far worse in other Middle Eastern countries that have undergone more dramatic cultural transitions in recent years. But that's not really my subject today anyway. Rather, I am invoking the well-known observation that the Nile -- or, rather, "denial" -- is not just a river in Egypt.Denial...


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New test may predict worker hearing loss

By Madeline Kennedy NEW YORK (Reuters) - Not everyone exposed to high noise levels at work experiences hearing loss as a result, and a new study suggests a simple test can predict which workers will be affected. Researchers caution that low accuracy in predicting who would not suffer hearing loss means the test shouldn’t be used to select employees to work under high noise conditions. In the study, the test did do a better job of predicting which workers would experience hearing loss than traditional risk factors like how long workers were exposed to noise and how often they wore hearing protection.

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No respite for South Sudan: cholera down but malaria, parasitic disease up: MSF

By Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - South Sudan's cholera crisis is waning but humanitarian workers are now battling increased cases of malaria and the parasitic disease kala azar, with children most affected. At least 10,000 people have been killed since the fighting erupted in late 2013, pitting President Salva Kiir's government forces against supporters of Riek Machar, his former deputy and longtime political rival. While a cholera outbreak appears to be under control, other diseases are plaguing South Sudan's hungry, displaced people. The latest emergency operations are focusing on malaria and kala azar, a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of a sandfly which is usually fatal without treatment.

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More than a dozen injured in bus crash at Chicago's O'Hare airport

A shuttle bus crash on Friday at O'Hare International Airport injured at least 13 people, four of them seriously, Chicago fire officials said. The bus hit a concrete median at about 6:30 a.m. on a road leading to terminals at O'Hare, the country's second busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic, said Fire Chief Juan Hernandez.

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Germany's Bayer to launch three new Xarelto trials

Germany's Bayer unveiled plans to launch three new studies to expand the uses of its anti-clotting drug Xarelto, one of its top five new medicines. Xarelto, which competes with the Eliquis pill developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer in stroke prevention, reached sales of $1.7 billion in the 12 months to June. Bayer said on Friday that a Phase III trial involving about 7,000 patients would examine whether Xarelto can help prevent the recurrence of strokes in patients who have suffered strokes of undetermined cause. "We really have just as many strokes due to undetermined causes as to atrial fibrillation," Frank Misselwitz, head of the Therapeutic Area Cardiovascular and Coagulation at Bayer HealthCare, told Reuters.

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Missionaries who were exposed to Ebola released from U.S. quarantine

WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - Missionaries who were quarantined in North Carolina to ensure they were not infected with Ebola while working in Liberia have been released without showing signs of the virus, a local government spokesman said on Friday. Health officials in Charlotte required the temporary quarantine as a precaution after three missionaries with Christian organization SIM USA returned to the United States on Aug. 10 amid the worst outbreak on record of the deadly virus. The group included two doctors who cared for Ebola patients and missionary David Writebol, whose wife Nancy was one of two American relief workers who contracted the disease that has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. The missionaries' 21-day health monitoring periods ended at different times depending on when each person had last been in contact with Ebola patients.

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Ebola Arrives in Senegal as Outbreak Accelerates

Senegal confirms its 1st case of Ebola, underscoring W Africa outbreak is not under control

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Medical charity MSF wants U.N. to take lead on Ebola epidemic

By Marine Pennetier PARIS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council must lead efforts to stop the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, a senior official from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Friday, warning the current response risked aggravating the crisis. Mego Terzian, head of the medical charity's French arm, said the epidemic was getting worse each day and neither MSF, the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea had the means to contain it. "I am extremely pessimistic if there is not a substantial international mobilisation," Terzian told Reuters in an interview in Paris. MSF is the leading private charity battling Ebola, with about 2,000 staff in the four countries - Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria - previously affected.

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People Need People

People Need PeopleToday is an example of a bad day with depression. I have shut the door, turned the lights off, closed the curtains and isolated myself from everyone. I have had numerous hours of sleep today because I cannot face the world, not even my family. This happens all the time. I lay here thinking horrible things, and it wasn't until I picked my phone...


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Guinean security forces break up riot in Ebola-racked south

A U.N. convoy of soldiers passes a screen displaying a message on Ebola on a street in AbidjanRiots broke out in Guinea's second-largest city Nzerekore over rumours that health workers had infected people with the deadly Ebola virus, a Red Cross official and residents said on Friday. A crowd of young men, some armed with clubs and knives, set up barricades across the southern city on Thursday and threatened to attack the hospital before security forces moved in to restore order. Gunshots were fired and several people were injured, said Youssouf Traore, president of the Guinean Red Cross. "People revolted and resorted to violence, prompting soldiers to intervene." Local Red Cross workers had to flee to the military camp with their medical equipment.


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Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students

Dr. Robert Palinkas, director of the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois, poses in an exam room in Urbana, Ill., Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. Extra health checks are part of protocols campuses throughout the United States have in place as they prepare for as many as 10,000 students from Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where more than 1,000 people have died in the worst Ebola outbreak in history. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — College students from West Africa may be subject to extra health checks when they arrive to study in the United States as administrators try to insulate campuses from the worst Ebola outbreak in history.


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McDonald's says 12 Russian branches temporarily closed

A man walks past a closed McDonald's restaurant, one of four temporarily closed by the state food safety watchdog, in MoscowMcDonald's said on Friday that a total of 12 of its branches in Russia had been temporarily closed over the state food safety regulator's allegations of sanitary violations.


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Guinean student is first case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

Senegal, a major hub for the business and aid community in West Africa, became the region's fifth country to confirm a case of Ebola on Friday after a student arrived from neighboring Guinea carrying the disease. Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck told a news conference the young man had turned up for treatment at a hospital in the Senegalese capital Dakar on Tuesday but concealed that he had had close contact with victims in his home country. "The results of tests carried out by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar were positive (for Ebola)," the minister said. The worst ever outbreak of the deadly virus, first detected in the jungles of southeast Guinea in March, has killed more than 1,550 people.

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Train Your Brain to Thrive From 9 to 5

Train Your Brain to Thrive From 9 to 5The majority of employers throughout the world are "strongly committed to creating a workplace culture of health" and are investing in programs to achieve these goals, according to Buck Consultants at Xerox, describing their newly released survey, "Working Well: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies." That's...


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BioCryst expects to begin Ebola study in weeks

Some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion is revealed in this undated handout colorized transmission electron micrograph(Reuters) - BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc said it expects to initiate a study within weeks to test its antiviral in primates for use against Ebola infections The biotechnology company's stock was up about 5.4 percent in premarket trading after it also said it had received an additional $2.4 million in U.S. The World Health Organization has allowed for people infected in the West African epidemic to be given untested drugs, ushering in an opportunity for makers of potential therapies. This $2.4 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funding is in addition to the $22 million contract awarded to BioCryst by the agency last September. The company received $4.1 million from NIAID earlier this month to advance development of an intramuscular formulation of its drug, BCX4430.






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