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Why Killer Viruses Are On The Rise

       

Once called the "Dutchmen" because of their large noses and large bellies, proboscis monkeys live only in Borneo. Ecosystems that have a lot of diverse animals, like this monkey, also tend to have a lot of diverse viruses.  Charles Ryan

npr.org - by Michaeleen Doucleff and Jane Greenhalgh - February 14, 2017

The next troubling outbreak could come from a rain forest . . . And a big reason why: all the crazy animals that live here.

. . . Wild animals are now refugees. They have no home. So they come live in our backyards. They pee on our crops. Share our parks and playgrounds. Giving their viruses a chance to jump into us and make us sick.

"So it's really the human impact on the environment that's causing these viruses to jump into people," Olival says.

And cause an outbreak? I ask. Or a pandemic, says Olival.

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Turning the Tide Against Cholera

Map of the Sundarbans, part of the Ganges River Delta, where Cholera first emerged. Source: World Wildlife Fund

Image: Map of the Sundarbans, part of the Ganges River Delta, where Cholera first emerged. Source: World Wildlife Fund

nytimes.com - February 6th 2017 - Donald G. McNeil Jr.

Two hundred years ago, the first cholera pandemic emerged from these tiger-infested mangrove swamps.

It began in 1817, after the British East India Company sent thousands of workers deep into the remote Sundarbans, part of the Ganges River Delta, to log the jungles and plant rice. These brackish waters are the cradle of Vibrio cholerae, a bacterium that clings to human intestines and emits a toxin so virulent that the body will pour all of its fluids into the gut to flush it out.

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Yellow Fever Deaths Climb to 60 in Brazil Outbreak

           

Aedes Aegypti mosquito. SHUTTERSTOCK KOMUNIKA ONLINE

CLICK HERE - CDC - Yellow Fever in Brazil

en.tempo.co - February 5, 2017

TEMPO.CO, Rio de Janeiro - The Brazilian government announced Friday that the number of confirmed deaths caused by a yellow fever outbreak has reached 60, while 87 more suspicious deaths are being investigated.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said that 53 of the deaths had come in the state of Minas Gerais, where the outbreak started before spreading to other states. Four people have died in Espirito Santo and three more in the state of Sao Paulo.

Since the start of the outbreak, 150 deaths were potentially attributed of yellow fever, 60 of which have been confirmed, 87 are still under investigation and three have been eliminated.

In total, 921 people have been suspected of being infected, 804 of which happened in Minas Gerais. 702 are being investigated, 161 have been confirmed and 58 have been ruled out.

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Miami Doctors Publish Study of First Locally-Acquired Zika Transmission

This is a rash on patient's stomach.
Credit: The New England Journal of Medicine

submitted by Alicia Juarrero

sciencedaily.com - January 12, 2017

Source: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Summary: Following the recent Zika outbreak in Miami-Dade County, a multidisciplinary team of physicians has published a case study describing in detail the nation's first locally-transmitted case of Zika.

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CLICK HERE - NEJM - Cutaneous Eruption in a U.S. Woman with Locally Acquired Zika Virus Infection

 

 

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We Are Grossly Unprepared for Major Outbreaks

submitted by Alicia Juarrero

           

CLICK HERE - The BMJ - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action

CLICK HERE - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action (8 page .PDF report)

globalbiodefense.com - January 26, 2017

The world remains “grossly underprepared” for outbreaks of infectious disease, which are likely to become more frequent in the coming decades, warn a team of international experts in The BMJ.

They reviewed reports on the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and say better preparedness and a faster, more coordinated response could have prevented most of the 11,000 deaths directly attributed to Ebola and also the broader economic, social, and health crises that ensued.

. . . a research team, led by Suerie Moon at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, synthesized seven major post-Ebola reports and laid out the key problems and recommendations they highlighted.

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Suspected Yellow Fever Outbreak in Brazil

According to the World Health Organization, relatively low vaccination coverage in the state of Minas Gerais “could favor the rapid spread of the disease.”

           

WIKIMEDIA, CDC

CLICK HERE - WHO - Yellow Fever - Brazil

the-scientist.com - by Tracy Vence - January 19, 2017

More than 120 people may have been infected with the Yellow Fever virus in Brazil since December, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Thirty of them have died. In a January 13 report, the WHO noted that relatively low vaccination coverage in one region where the virus is suspected to be spreading, in the state of Minas Gerais, “could favor the rapid spread of the disease.”

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Donors and Drug Makers Offer $500 Million to Control Global Epidemics

           

A child born with microcephaly caused by the Zika virus, during an evaluation at Fundação Altino Ventura in Recife, Brazil. A group of prominent donors announced Wednesday that they had raised almost $500 million for a new partnership to stop epidemics before they spiral out of control. Credit Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. - January 18, 2017

Stung by the lack of vaccines to fight the West African Ebola epidemic, a group of prominent donors announced Wednesday that they had raised almost $500 million for a new partnership to stop epidemics before they spiral out of control.

The partnership, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, will initially develop and stockpile vaccines against three known viral threats, and also push the development of technology to brew large amounts of vaccine quickly when new threats, like the Zika virus, arise.

With enough money and scientific progress, the strategy could bring a drastic change in the way the world tackles pandemics.

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7 Forgotten World Crises That Urgently Need Your Support

The global need for humanitarian aid has reached a level not seen since World War II. More than 128 million people in 33 countries are now affected by crises, including conflict and natural disaster.

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First Ebola-Related Death from Breast Milk Transmission Reported in Guinea

Sissoko D, et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2016;doi:10.1093/cid/ciw79.

CLICK HERE - STUDY -  Ebola virus persistence in breast milk after no reported illness: a likely source of virus transmission from mother to child

healio.com - January 10, 2017

Genomic analysis confirmed that the 2015 death of a 9-month-old Guinean infant from Ebola virus was the result of transmission through the breast milk of her asymptomatic mother, according to a recent case study.

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Ebola RNA Found Hiding in Healthcare Worker’s Lungs

           

WIKIMEDIA, HELLERHOFF

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Detection of Viral RNA in Tissues following Plasma Clearance from an Ebola Virus Infected Patient

A case study reports evidence of viral replication lingering in the respiratory tract of an infected person, even after their blood was Ebola free.

the-scientist.com - by Bob Grant - January 5, 2017

Ebola virus may linger and continue to replicate in the lungs of patients recovering from infection, even after viral RNA is no longer detectable in their bloodstreams, according to a case study published today (January 5) in PLOS Pathogens. . . .

 . . . Ippolito and his colleagues monitored the Ebola-infected patient, who was moved from West Africa to a hospital in Italy in 2015, over the course of their infection. They found viral RNA and other markers of viral replication in the patient’s lungs five days after such markers were no longer detectable in the blood.

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