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Fergus Walsh, Medical correspondent

Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent

This is my take on the medical and health issues of the day, especially those involving research and ethics

Ebola trial volunteer immunised

  • 17 September 2014
  • From the section Health

The first healthy volunteer has received an experimental Ebola vaccine in Oxford.

Ruth Atkins, an NHS communications manager said afterwards she felt "absolutely fine".

She is the first of 60 volunteers who will receive the jab in Oxford, with further trials due to begin in Africa next month.

Ms Atkins heard about the need for volunteers while driving home listening to BBC Radio Oxford.

She said: "I volunteered because the situation in West Africa is so tragic and I thought being part of this vaccination process was something small I could do to hopefully make a huge impact. "

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Ebola vaccine trial begins

  • 17 September 2014
  • From the section Health
First patient
The vaccine being tested is similar to one being trialled in the United States

A trial of an experimental vaccine against the Ebola virus is to begin in Oxford.

The first of 60 healthy volunteers will be injected with the vaccine.

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Why do 17,000 under-fives die daily?

  • 16 September 2014
  • From the section Health
Mothers and newborn babies
"Kangaroo care" in action in Malawi - skin-to-skin contact helps keep premature babies warm

A "staggering" number of children around the world are dying before the age of five, according to the United Nation's child agency.

Unicef' s latest figures estimate every day 17,000 under-fives die - 6.3 million a year - from largely preventable causes.

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Boy has ears created from ribs

  • 11 August 2014
  • From the section Health

A boy who was born without ears has had a pair created from his ribs.

Nine-year-old Kieran Sorkin had the surgery at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.

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Analysis: Assisted dying debate

  • 18 July 2014
  • From the section UK
Nurse and patient holding hands

There is a profound gulf between those who see assisted dying as a fundamental human right for the terminally ill and those who fear that right could easily turn into a duty for the disabled and vulnerable.

It was the case of the late Tony Nicklinson, who had locked-in syndrome and wanted doctors to help him die, which proved a powerful talisman for the pro-lobby.

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Tanni Grey-Thompson: Assisted dying 'a dangerous path'

  • 17 July 2014
  • From the section Health

Paralympic multi-gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, has spoken out against the legalisation of assisted dying.

She warned that a bill proposed by former Labour Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer does not have "adequate safeguards".

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Stephen Hawking: Why I support Assisted Dying

  • 16 July 2014
  • From the section Health

Cambridge scientist Stephen Hawking is backing the Assisted Dying Bill which is being debated by peers on Friday.

The 72-year-old cosmologist said it was "discrimination against the disabled to deny them the right to kill themselves that able bodied people have."

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Antibiotic resistance: Cameron warns of medical 'dark ages'

  • 2 July 2014
  • From the section Health

The world could soon be "cast back into the dark ages of medicine" unless action is taken to tackle the growing threat of resistance to antibiotics, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

He has announced a review into why so few anti-microbial drugs have been introduced in recent years.

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How can I cut down on sugar?

  • 27 June 2014
  • From the section Health

Let me confess. I love sugar.

I don't have it in tea or coffee, but I'm partial to biscuits, cakes, sweets and fruit juice, which are packed with the stuff.

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About Fergus

Fergus began working for the BBC in 1984 and has reported on health, science and medicine for nearly 20 years.

He has reported for the BBC from around the world on topics such as stem cells, obesity, HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, polio and swine flu.

Fergus has had his genes sequenced, his heart, brain and other body parts scanned, as well as being vaccinated against bird flu for his reports.

He appeared in a BBC TV drama with Julie Walters. He didn't win any awards for his acting, but has won several for his journalism.

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