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World Health Organisation approves first rapid Ebola test

The World Health Organisation has approved the first rapid Ebola test.

Produced by US firm Corgenix the test is intended to enable "rapid, sensitive, safe and simple diagnostic testing" of suspected Ebola patients.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said the test is less accurate than the standard test but is easy to perform, does not require electricity, and can give results within 15 minutes.

Faulty insulin pens recalled

Diabetes sufferers are being warned to check their insulin pens after the Medicines and healthcare products regulatory gency (Mhra) issued a recall of the pens today.

The Mhra said some the insulin pens sold by manufacturer Owen Mumford have faulty dose selectors that are erroneously reverting to zero, and could cause an under-dose of insulin to be given.

Pens with the three-letter codes 7VJ, 7WB, 7WC, 7WD, 8CN, 8CP, 8CR, 8EL, 8EM, 8JK, 8JM, 8JN, 8JP, 8VV, or 8VW printed on their packaging or with the codes 7RT, 7PN, 7PP, 7RV, 8KK, or 8XD printed on the lower part of the pen body are reportedly affected by the fault.

WHO: More than 2,400 killed by Ebola in West Africa

More than 2,400 people have died as a result of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa but the figure could be an underestimate, the World Health Organisation has said.

Margaret Chan, WHO director general, warned the number of cases of the disease were increasing faster than the authorities' ability to manage them.

She called for international support for more healthcare workers, medical supplies and aid to be sent to the worst-affected countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Antibiotic resistance is 'around the corner' warns GP

A GP has warned that the prospect of antibiotic resistance is "around the corner" as research struggles to keep up with the pace with growing bacterial resistance.

Sarah Jarvis said that doctors have warning about the overuse of the drugs for years but face"so much pressure" from patients who are determined to get the medication.

She said that action is needed to help develop new classes of the drug, but warned against complacency from patients.

This isn't a situation that is 100 years from now," she said. "This is around the corner."

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Medics 'treating antibiotics as cure-all miracle pills'

Antibiotics have for too long been treated as a "bottomless pit of cure-all miracle treatments" a report from MPs has warned.

It said that urgent steps were needed to stop doctors and vets from prescribing antibiotics when they were not needed amid a fight to prevent the spread of superbugs.

Committee chair Andrew Miller has said some doctors are giving out the drugs as a placebo to complaining patients Credit: PA

"Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses and other diseases that are not caused by bacteria and the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics has contributed to the acceleration of antibiotic resistance," said the dossier from the Science and Technology Committee.

It said that urgent steps were needed to stop doctors and vets from prescribing antibiotics when they were not needed amid a fight to prevent the spread of superbugs.

They have also called for the Government to offer financial incentives to ensure that new drugs are developed "before the pipeline of antibiotics runs dry".

'Decisive and urgent' steps needed on antibiotics

David Cameron must take "decisive and urgent action" to tackle the threat of antibiotic resistance, a committee of MPs has warned.

The Prime Minister last week launched a review into the issue, which he said threatened to send medicine "back to the dark ages". He was urged not to wait two years for its outcome before taking steps to stop unnecessary prescription and boost research to find new classes of lifesaving drugs.

MPs outlined plans for a package of measures including better training of doctors, "rigorous" public awareness campaigns, and "cheap, rapid and accurate diagnostic tests".

Doctors urged to prescribe fewer antibiotics

Doctors must stop prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily under measures needed to preserve the power of the life-saving drugs, the Science and Technology Committee of MPS has warned.

The report said that 'decisive and urgent' action was needed on the issue Credit: PA

They called for "decisive and urgent action" from the Government to prevent the spectre of antibiotic resistance, including steps to prevent both doctors and vets from giving out the drugs to people and animals who do not need them.

Andrew Miller MP, who chairs the committee, said they had heard of GPs prescribing antibiotics simply as "dummy" placebos or to "placate patients with distressing symptoms".

He said there was also a suspicion that the drugs were routinely given to health animals on farms, also raising the risk of growing bacterial resistance to the drugs, making them less effective over time.

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