Latin America Has No Antibodies to Fight Chikungunya Fever
Human vs superbug: Too late to turn the tide?
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Monday, 25th August
nprglobalhealth:

Fake Cures For AIDS Have A Long And Dreadful History
Electromagnetism can detect AIDS. The “Complete Cure Device” can wipe out the virus.
The Egyptian military made those claims earlier this year, but now they have backtracked after the announcement was widely denounced by scientists, including Egypt’s own science adviser.
Nonetheless, people are still eager to believe the unbelievable. Egypt’s announcement prompted 70,000 people to send emails asking to try the new treatment.
The Complete Cure Device is just one more false promise in the ongoing fight against AIDS. It is a reminder, too, that for 15 years, beginning in the early 1980s, AIDS was a slaughter, shrouded in mystery, of people in the prime of their lives.
Then came a breakthrough in 1996: A combination of drugs could control the virus, allowing infected people to live long and productive lives. Today, antiretroviral treatment for HIV and AIDS is widely available. An outright cure still eludes scientists, but the once deadly disease has become manageable.
So any claim for an unproven cure, offering hope that could deter patients from effective treatment, is cruel. But myths, false claims and outright fraud have persisted in the AIDS epidemic.
Continue reading.
Photo: Over a decade ago, rumors spread in South Africa that sex with a virgin could cure HIV/AIDS. In 2001, 150 people gathered in Cape Town to protest the rape of children and even babies, allegedly as a result of belief in this canard. (Anna Zieminski/AFP/Getty Images)

nprglobalhealth:

Fake Cures For AIDS Have A Long And Dreadful History

Electromagnetism can detect AIDS. The “Complete Cure Device” can wipe out the virus.

The Egyptian military made those claims earlier this year, but now they have backtracked after the announcement was widely denounced by scientists, including Egypt’s own science adviser.

Nonetheless, people are still eager to believe the unbelievable. Egypt’s announcement prompted 70,000 people to send emails asking to try the new treatment.

The Complete Cure Device is just one more false promise in the ongoing fight against AIDS. It is a reminder, too, that for 15 years, beginning in the early 1980s, AIDS was a slaughter, shrouded in mystery, of people in the prime of their lives.

Then came a breakthrough in 1996: A combination of drugs could control the virus, allowing infected people to live long and productive lives. Today, antiretroviral treatment for HIV and AIDS is widely available. An outright cure still eludes scientists, but the once deadly disease has become manageable.

So any claim for an unproven cure, offering hope that could deter patients from effective treatment, is cruel. But myths, false claims and outright fraud have persisted in the AIDS epidemic.

Continue reading.

Photo: Over a decade ago, rumors spread in South Africa that sex with a virgin could cure HIV/AIDS. In 2001, 150 people gathered in Cape Town to protest the rape of children and even babies, allegedly as a result of belief in this canard. (Anna Zieminski/AFP/Getty Images)

(via pubhealth)

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Sunday, 24th August
nprglobalhealth:

Ebola In The Skies? How The Virus Made It To West Africa
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most explosive in history. One reason the virus spread so fast is that West Africa was blindsided. Ebola had never erupted in people anywhere close to West Africa before.
The type of Ebola causing the outbreak — called Zaire — is the deadliest strain. Until this year, it had been seen only in Central Africa, about 2,500 miles away. That’s about the distance between Boston and San Francisco.
So how did it spread across this giant swath of land without anybody noticing?
To answer that, ecologist Peter Walsh says we need to look at the history of Ebola Zaire.
Back in the summer of 1976, a young Zairian doctor named Ngoy Mushola traveled to a rural village in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He heard people were dying of a strange disease, near the shores of the Ebola River. They had fevers, stomachaches and rashes. Some had internal bleeding.
"What’s so nasty about it is that it effectively melts your blood vessels," says Walsh, who’s at the University of Cambridge.
Continue reading.
Illustration by Leif Parsons for NPR

nprglobalhealth:

Ebola In The Skies? How The Virus Made It To West Africa

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most explosive in history. One reason the virus spread so fast is that West Africa was blindsided. Ebola had never erupted in people anywhere close to West Africa before.

The type of Ebola causing the outbreak — called Zaire — is the deadliest strain. Until this year, it had been seen only in Central Africa, about 2,500 miles away. That’s about the distance between Boston and San Francisco.

So how did it spread across this giant swath of land without anybody noticing?

To answer that, ecologist Peter Walsh says we need to look at the history of Ebola Zaire.

Back in the summer of 1976, a young Zairian doctor named Ngoy Mushola traveled to a rural village in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He heard people were dying of a strange disease, near the shores of the Ebola River. They had fevers, stomachaches and rashes. Some had internal bleeding.

"What’s so nasty about it is that it effectively melts your blood vessels," says Walsh, who’s at the University of Cambridge.

Continue reading.

Illustration by Leif Parsons for NPR

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Saturday, 23rd August
nprglobalhealth:

Experimental Vaccine For Chikungunya Passes First Test
Scientists have taken the first steps to developing a vaccine for chikungunya — an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has infected more than a half million people in the Western Hemisphere this year. About 600 Americans have brought the virus to 43 states.
The study was small. Only 25 people were given the experimental vaccine. But the findings are promising. They demonstrate that the vaccine is safe and that it triggers a strong response from the immune system, scientists reported Friday in the Lancet journal.
Until last year, chikungunya was found only in parts of Africa and Asia. Then in December, the virus started circulating on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean.
From there, chikungunya spread like wildfire. It hopped from island to island in the Caribbean and spilled over into Central America and parts of South America. By July, chikungunya had found its way to Florida. At least four people have caught the virus in Florida. And the state has recorded 138 imported cases. New York state has the second largest number of imported cases, 96.
Chikungunya usually isn’t fatal. But it causes a high fever, headache, nausea and extreme joint pain — which can linger for months. And there’s no cure or vaccine.
Continue reading.
Photo: Residents walk amid fumes as workers spray chemicals to exterminate mosquitoes in a neighborhood of Petion Ville in Port-au-Prince on May 21. The virus swept through Haiti this spring, infecting more than 40,000 people. (Hector Retamala/AFP/Getty Images)

nprglobalhealth:

Experimental Vaccine For Chikungunya Passes First Test

Scientists have taken the first steps to developing a vaccine for chikungunya — an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has infected more than a half million people in the Western Hemisphere this year. About 600 Americans have brought the virus to 43 states.

The study was small. Only 25 people were given the experimental vaccine. But the findings are promising. They demonstrate that the vaccine is safe and that it triggers a strong response from the immune system, scientists reported Friday in the Lancet journal.

Until last year, chikungunya was found only in parts of Africa and Asia. Then in December, the virus started circulating on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean.

From there, chikungunya spread like wildfire. It hopped from island to island in the Caribbean and spilled over into Central America and parts of South America. By July, chikungunya had found its way to Florida. At least four people have caught the virus in Florida. And the state has recorded 138 imported cases. New York state has the second largest number of imported cases, 96.

Chikungunya usually isn’t fatal. But it causes a high fever, headache, nausea and extreme joint pain — which can linger for months. And there’s no cure or vaccine.

Continue reading.

Photo: Residents walk amid fumes as workers spray chemicals to exterminate mosquitoes in a neighborhood of Petion Ville in Port-au-Prince on May 21. The virus swept through Haiti this spring, infecting more than 40,000 people. (Hector Retamala/AFP/Getty Images)

(via pubhealth)

The First Malaria Vaccine Could Be Available In A Year
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Thursday, 14th August
Progress in African Medical Education
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Wednesday, 13th August
Key Anti-Malarial Drug Becomes Less Effective
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Thursday, 7th August
Northern Virginia: 'Ground Zero' for Kissing Bug Disease
Can the Female Condom Go Mainstream?
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Tuesday, 5th August
Taliban In Pakistan Derail World Polio Eradication
After Ebola - The New Yorker
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Sunday, 3rd August
WHO urges China to tackle state tobacco monopoly in battle on smoking
Why Ebola Patients are Rejecting Care
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Saturday, 2nd August
Short Staff Tries to Cope with Ebola
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Saturday, 2nd August