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Climate Change


* Climate change is making it harder to eradicate deadly epidemics, especially malaria, as rising temperatures help mosquitoes spread the disease at higher elevations in Africa, says Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.



Infectious Diseases


* Ebola. The European Commission has granted marketing authorization to Merck Sharp and Dohme B.V. for Ervebo, a vaccine against Ebola. The vaccine has been in development since the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and is already in use as part of a protocol to protect at-risk individuals, such as health care workers.


* Measles claimed more than 5,000 lives-most of them children younger than five years of age-in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019. In Samoa, over 4,000 cases and 70 deaths have been reported since a new outbreak was declared in October.


* Zika virus. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has confirmed that three people became infected with Zika virus in the French Riviera last August, and that the cases were transmitted locally. These are the first known cases of vector-borne transmission of Zika virus in Europe; still, the risk for the population, including for pregnant women, is considered low.



Women's Reproductive Health


* More women and girls in low-income countries are using family planning, but global efforts to widen access to contraception are still falling well behind targets, according to a report by the Family Planning Partnership: The biggest improvement in access to modern contraception was seen across eastern and southern Africa.