Live updates

WHO and UNICEF send experts to investigate vaccination deaths

The World Health Organisation and UNICEF have said they are providing a team of experts to help investigate how 15 children died following a vaccination programme in northern Syria.

Children take shelter at a camp for internally-displaced people in Idlib province Credit: REUTERS/Badi Khlif

A joint statement said that they supported the suspension of the programme "for as long as the facts remain unclear" but that it was vital to start it again as soon as possible.

Syrian opposition: Muscle relaxant wrongly used in vaccinations

A spokesman for the Syrian opposition's interim government has said that a muscle relaxant was wrongly used in vaccinations against measles.

The relaxant, which had similar packaging, was used instead of the dilute for the vaccine in the second round of vaccinations.

"The investigation is continuing to find out who is responsible," Mohammed Saad said.

Advertisement

15 children die after measles vaccination in Syria

Fifteen children have died after receiving vaccinations against measles in the northern Syrian province of Idlib.

The children, who died on Tuesday, were under two years old and dozens more were made sick. It was initially feared that as many as 40 children died.

The vaccination programme, which began in Idlib and Deir ez Zor on Monday, has been suspended while an investigation takes place.

Study finds wild berry effective in cancer treatment

Scientists believe a wild berry native to North America may strengthen the effectiveness of a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer.

Researchers at King's College Hospital and the University of Southampton found that adding extracts of the berry to chemotherapy cycles may improve the effectiveness of conventional drugs.

The team tested the effectiveness of chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) in killing off cancer cells.

Chokeberry is a wild berry that grows on the eastern side of North America and is high in vitamins and antioxidants.

The research was published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

UK to step up Ebola aid to west Africa

The UK will provide hundreds of extra beds to treat victims of the Ebola virus as part of a £100m aid package.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said without more humanitarian aid the outbreak could become "a global catastrophe with disastrous consequences".

Speaking after chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency committee today, Mr Hammond said: "The UK will now deliver a further 500 beds over the coming months, working with partners to provide and train the international staff and support needed to operate those beds."

It comes after the Government pledged last week to set up a 62-bed treatment centre in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

British Ebola survivor flies to US to help victim

A British man who survived the Ebola virus has apparently travelled to the US in the hope of helping a new victim of the deadly disease.

Will Pooley has reportedly offered to undergo a blood transfusion to help the American, who has not been named, overcome the virus.

Will Pooley hopes to be able to help an American victim of Ebola. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Foreign Office said the 29-year-old nurse had flown to Atlanta over the weekend after he was issued with an emergency passport to help facilitate the trip.

Mr Pooley's blood will now contain natural antibodies that could help protect against the virus.

Advertisement

French volunteer contracts Ebola in Liberia

A French volunteer with charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia.

The aid worker, who is the first French national to contract the disease during this outbreak, was put in quarantine on September 16 when she started showing symptoms of the disease.

She will be evacuated to a specialist treatment in France.

IMF could provide extra $127m to deal with Ebola

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it could provide Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with an extra $127m to fight the spread of the Ebola virus.

A woman being tested for fever - a symptom of Ebola, in Sierra Leone. Credit: TT News Agency/Press Association Images

The money has not been approved by the IMF's executive board, but it could help cover gaps in the west African nations' finances.

"The Ebola outbreak is a severe human, social and economic crisis that requires a resolute response from the international community," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement.

'We've done in days what might take weeks or months'

The response to trying to find an Ebola vaccine is one of the fastest to any epidemic ever seen, the professor who is leading the British trial said.

Professor Adrian Hill told ITV News it was "totally unprecedented" and added: "I've never seen anything happen so quickly before in terms of getting a vaccine trial started.

"We've done in days what might take months, or certainly weeks, so it's been fantastic to see that in a month we've gone from deciding to do this to actually vaccinating people."

The professor warned "lots could go wrong" but said so far he believed the vaccine was safe.

The current trials are expected to commence in December after being tested on 140 people both in Britain and in Africa.

If the results show it has been successful, stockpiles of the drug will then be distributed to those most in need.

Load more updates