Experts warn the Ebola epidemic could return with a vengeance unless lessons about medical trials are learnt

Health experts have warned that a greater flexibility must be brought to medical trials to combat diseases like Ebola to avoid facing another nightmare outbreak.

Pic credit: Maurizio De Angelis, Wellcome Images

The rapidity and spread of the Ebola outbreak and the urgency of a response led to many challenges not least of which was to advise those managing people on the ground of the best way to treat the illness and which treatments might be effective.

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Smoking at trendy hubble-bubble cafes may increase risk of heart disease, say experts

People who smoke shisha regularly could be increasing the threat of heart disease, according to new research.

Shisha smoking, which is also called hookah or hubble-bubble smoking, is a way of smoking tobacco which is sometimes mixed with flavouring, through a bowl using a hose or tube which has become fashionable in Middle Eastern-style cafes.

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Exercise and the heart: the good, the bad, and the ugly

In a new paper about exercise and the impact on the heart, cardiologist Professor Sanjay Sharma says: "The benefits of exercise are irrefutable. Individuals engaging in regular exercise have a favourable cardiovascular risk profile for coronary artery disease and reduce their risk of myocardial infarction (heart attacks) by 50%."

 

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Ethics expert: "Call time on soft approach to Big Alcohol"

Dr Carwyn Hooper, Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law at St George's, University of London, says: "Ten years ago the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) came into force. It was not the first international health treaty negotiated by the WHO, but in many ways it was the most remarkable. Achieving global consensus around any kind of public health treaty is quite a feat. So achieving a consensus when the main target of the treaty was, in effect, that most slippery and dangerous of customers – Big Tobacco – was close to miraculous.

"Within a year, 168 states had signed the treaty and many more are now parties to the convention. As the WHO loudly (and rightly) trumpets, this makes it “one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in the history of the United Nations”.

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Experts test new Ebola vaccine on front-line medical personnel and at risk groups after promising results

Experts at St George’s, University of London, are working in collaboration with other international researchers on one of these vaccines called rVSV-ZEBOV-GP. Researchers are now vaccinating a larger population to examine the efficacy of this vaccine.

The initial study, which tested the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine, has been successfully completed, with the first volunteer vaccinated in November 2014. Volunteers in Kenya, Gabon, Geneva and Hamburg participated in this harmonised phase I clinical trial.

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