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Mob attacks Ebola treatment centre in Guinea, suspected cases reach Mali

BAMAKO/CONAKRY, April 4 (Reuters) - An angry crowd attacked an Ebola treatment centre in Guinea on Friday, accusing its staff of bringing the deadly disease to the town, Medecins Sans Frontieres said, as Mali identified its first suspected cases.

More than 90 people have already died in Guinea and Liberia in what medical charity MSF, or Doctors without Borders, has warned could turn into an unprecedented epidemic...

Please click HERE for more of this article

Guinea Ebola Outbreak - by Christabelle Fombu and Susanna Capelouto - March 23, 2014

(CNN) -- An Ebola outbreak has killed at least 59 people in Guinea, UNICEF said, as the deadly hemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from southern communities in the West African nation.

Experts in the country had been unable to identify the disease, whose symptoms -- diarrhea, vomiting and fever -- were first observed last month.

Health Minister Remy Lamah said Saturday initial test results confirm the presence of a viral hemorrhagic fever, which according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refers to a group of viruses that affect multiple organ systems in the body.


Deadly MERS Virus Circulates Among Arabian Camels


Jockeys take their camels home after racing in Egypt's El Arish desert. The annual race draws competitors from around the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, where camels carry the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus.  Nasser Nouri/Xinhua /Landov

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection in Dromedary Camels in Saudi Arabia - by Richard Knox - February 25, 2014

Scientists have gotten close to pinning down the origin of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a dangerous respiratory disease that emerged in Saudi Arabia 17 months ago.

It turns out the MERS virus has been circulating in Arabian camels for more than two decades, scientists report in a study published Tuesday.

So far MERS has sickened more than 180 people, killing at least 77 of them — an alarming 43 percent.


Bird Flu Isn’t Just China’s Problem Anymore

Computer rendering of an avian influenza virus
Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF

With the Chinese New Year and the Olympics on the horizon, health officials can only watch and wait for a potential pandemic - by Alice Park - January 29, 20114

Madagascar Hit by Pneumonic and Bubonic Plague


An ICRC-led programme is working to reduce prison rat populations

Two cases of pneumonic plague - more deadly than bubonic plague - have been reported in Madagascar, a health official has told the BBC. - December 11, 2013

It comes after it was confirmed that there was a deadly outbreak of the bubonic plague in a village in the north-west of the island.

Pneumonic plague can be inhaled and transmitted between humans without involvement of animals or fleas.

It is the most virulent and least common form of plague.

It can kill within 24 hours.



Air Transportation Data Helps Identify, Predict Pandemics

submitted by Luis Kun - December 13, 2013

Computational model demonstrates how disease spreads in a highly connected world. The computational work has led to a new mathematical theory for understanding the global spread of epidemics. The resulting insights could not only help identify an outbreak’s origin but could also significantly improve the ability to forecast the global pathways through which a disease might spread. . .

. . . Their study is published today (13 December) in the journal Science.


RESEARCH - Science - The Hidden Geometry of Complex, Network-Driven Contagion Phenomena


WHO - Poliovirus Detected From Environmental Samples in Israel

Global Alert and Response (GAR)

In Israel, wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was isolated from sewage samples collected on 9 April 2013 in Rahat, southern Israel. The virus has been detected in sewage only; no case of paralytic polio has been reported. Genetic sequencing and epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine its origin. Preliminary analyses indicate the strain is not related to the virus currently affecting the Horn of Africa. The virus isolate was detected through routine environmental surveillance in Israel that involves regular testing of sewage water. Israel has been free of indigenous WPV transmission since 1988. In the past, wild poliovirus has been detected in environmental samples collected in this region between 1991 and 2002 without occurrence of cases of paralytic polio in the area.

Disease: The Next Big One

BOZEMAN, Montana — Grim prognostications of pestilence are as old as the Book of Revelation, but they have not gone out of style or been rendered moot. Plague is a tribulation that science, technology and social engineering haven’t fixed. In the mid-1960s, some public health officials imagined that antibiotics and other modern therapies would enable us to “close the book” on infectious diseases and so make it possible to focus on noncommunicable afflictions, like heart attack, diabetes and stroke. But that optimism was mistaken...


Smartphone attachment detects viruses and bacteria - The Engineer - September 18, 2013

Researchers at UCLA have developed a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform field testing to detect viruses and bacteria.

This cellphone-based imaging platform could be used for specific and sensitive detection of sub-wavelength objects, including bacteria and viruses and therefore could enable the practice of nanotechnology and biomedical testing in field settings and even in remote and resource-limited environments,’ Aydogan Ozcan, professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, said in a statement.

Using this device, which attaches directly to the camera module on a smartphone, Ozcan’s team was able to detect single human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) particles.

- Read Full Article -

H7N9 Bird Flu in China Likely Spread Between People, Researchers Find


submitted by Luis Kun - - reuters - by Kate Kelland
August 6, 2013

CLICK HERE - BMJ - Research - Probable person to person transmission of novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus in Eastern China, 2013: epidemiological investigation

LONDON - The first scientific analysis of probable human-to-human transmission of a deadly new strain of bird flu that emerged in China this year gives the strongest evidence yet that the H7N9 virus can pass between people, scientists said on Wednesday.

Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) analyzing a family cluster of cases of H7N9 infection in eastern China found it was very likely the virus "transmitted directly from the index patient (a 60-year-old man) to his daughter."

Experts commenting on the research said while it did not necessarily mean H7N9 is any closer to becoming the next flu pandemic, "it does provide a timely reminder of the need to remain extremely vigilant."



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