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Professors at three leading British universities say International Monetary Fund policies favoring the repayment of international debts over social welfare spending contributed to the Ebola crisis by inhibiting an effective response by health care professionals in the three worst-hit African countries.

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On Thursday, a day after the Ebola virus claimed the first person diagnosed with the disease in the U.S., the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention invoked another recent and ongoing health crisis while fundraising in Washington, D.C.

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The world's leading medical organizations are sounding the alarm over an outbreak of the Ebola virus, which has now spread to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Of the 3,500 confirmed cases, 1,500 people have died.

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Flu is leading the winter sickness season as three trends stand out: The illness is striking early, a new norovirus is surging and health care professionals are witnessing the worst whooping cough outbreak in 60 years.

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