UN Warns of Polio Risk in War Zones
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Sunday, 27th July

nprglobalhealth:

Images from an epidemic.

Shots in and around Kailahun, Sierra Leone where the worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded continues unabated.
The latest bad news is that the lead doctor at the largest government-run Ebola isolation ward has now also come down with the disease.

Photos:  Jason Beaubien, NPR

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Sunday, 27th July
pubhealth:

This graphic shows the life cycle of the ebolavirus. Bats are strongly implicated as both reservoirs and hosts for the ebolavirus. Of the five identified ebolavirus subtypes, four are capable of human-to-human transmission. Initial infections in humans result from contact with an infected bat or other wild animal. Strict isolation of infected patients is essential to reduce onward ebolavirus transmission.
(From CDC)

pubhealth:

This graphic shows the life cycle of the ebolavirus. Bats are strongly implicated as both reservoirs and hosts for the ebolavirus. Of the five identified ebolavirus subtypes, four are capable of human-to-human transmission. Initial infections in humans result from contact with an infected bat or other wild animal. Strict isolation of infected patients is essential to reduce onward ebolavirus transmission.

(From CDC)

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Sunday, 27th July
Cholera Vaccine Proved to Be Effective During Outbreak
Polio virus found in Brazil Sewage Sample

nprglobalhealth:

A Doctor Tries To Save A 9-Year-Old Stricken With Ebola

He was a little boy, 9 years old. He and his mother had both been infected with Ebola. She likely caught the virus while washing a deceased Ebola victim, as is often the custom for burials in Guinea. Then she probably infected her child.

Once she began showing symptoms, she and her son were locked in a house for four days because neighbors were so scared of the virus. Medical workers learned of the case. And the mother and son were driven to a treatment center in the back of a pickup truck, along a dirt road.

The mother died on the way. So the boy was admitted, alone. He was cared for by foreigners, wearing outfits that look like spacesuits to protect them from the deadly virus.

Dr. William Fischer of the University of North Carolina tended to the boy. At the time, he was working in an isolation area in Gueckedou, Guinea, as a member of the Doctors Without Borders team that’s treating people with Ebola. The virus first appeared in the area in February and has been steadily spreading ever since. Fischer shared the story of the boy’s case in a report on WUNC.

Continue reading.

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Sunday, 29th June
Ebola Outbreak in West Africa Getting Worse
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Sunday, 29th June

pubhealth:

Brazil confronts dengue fever fears amid World Cup frenzy

(From PBS NewsHour)

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Thursday, 19th June
MERS Reaches 20th Country
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Wednesday, 18th June
Why do millions of Indians defecate in the open?
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Tuesday, 17th June
A Simple Theory, and a Proposal, on H.I.V. in Africa
WHO wants action as alcohol kills 3.3 million people in 2012
Global life expectancy rises again, but new challenges loom
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Sunday, 18th May
nprglobalhealth:

MERS 101: What We Do (And Don’t) Know About The Virus
The virus with the mysterious name has been making headlines this spring, with a mysterious increase in cases. Here’s an update on what we know about MERS.
What is it? Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a new and potentially fatally virus from the same family as the common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus (SARS).
Symptoms: Affects the lower and upper respiratory tracts, leading to coughing, shortness of breath, fever and pneumonia. The virus aims for cells in the lungs and possibly the kidneys, which may explain instances of kidney failure. But some people who have been infected report no symptoms.
Source: Scientists say the virus may have been circulating in Arabian camels for more than 20 years. Evidence also points to bats as the initial culprit, possibly infecting camels, who then infect humans. Astudy published in mBio suggests that the MERS virus is capable of passing between camels and humans, but neither CDC nor the World Health Organization have confirmed the connection.
Who’s at risk: Some early victims either worked with camels, ate camel meat or drank camel milk, though it has yet to be confirmed that the virus passes from camels to humans. We don’t know exactly how it spreads – perhaps through air or bodily fluids. Many patients are health care workers and family members who came in close contact with an infected person.
Continue reading.
Photo: Fear of MERS is prompting Saudis to wear mouth and nose masks, like this man on the street of the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on April 27. (AFP/Getty Images)

nprglobalhealth:

MERS 101: What We Do (And Don’t) Know About The Virus

The virus with the mysterious name has been making headlines this spring, with a mysterious increase in cases. Here’s an update on what we know about MERS.

What is it? Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a new and potentially fatally virus from the same family as the common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus (SARS).

Symptoms: Affects the lower and upper respiratory tracts, leading to coughing, shortness of breath, fever and pneumonia. The virus aims for cells in the lungs and possibly the kidneys, which may explain instances of kidney failure. But some people who have been infected report no symptoms.

Source: Scientists say the virus may have been circulating in Arabian camels for more than 20 years. Evidence also points to bats as the initial culprit, possibly infecting camels, who then infect humans. Astudy published in mBio suggests that the MERS virus is capable of passing between camels and humans, but neither CDC nor the World Health Organization have confirmed the connection.

Who’s at risk: Some early victims either worked with camels, ate camel meat or drank camel milk, though it has yet to be confirmed that the virus passes from camels to humans. We don’t know exactly how it spreads – perhaps through air or bodily fluids. Many patients are health care workers and family members who came in close contact with an infected person.

Continue reading.

Photo: Fear of MERS is prompting Saudis to wear mouth and nose masks, like this man on the street of the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on April 27. (AFP/Getty Images)

nprglobalhealth:

The Comeback Of Polio Is A Public Health Emergency
It is, says the World Health Organization, “an extraordinary event.” Polio is spreading to a degree that constitutes a public health emergency.
The global drive to wipe out the virus had driven the number of polio cases down from 300,000 in the late 1980s to just 417 cases last year. The World Health Organization has set a goal of wiping out polio by 2018.
But this year, polio has been reported in 10 countries, and there are fears the number could rise. Bruce Aylward, the head of WHO’s polio program, says if the international spread isn’t halted, the virus could easily re-establish itself, particularly in conflict-torn countries like the Central African Republic and South Sudan. The unrest makes it difficult to sustain vaccination efforts, and poor sanitary conditions cause the disease to spread.
Although polio mainly afflicts children under 6, a WHO emergency committee has stated that adults are to blame. The committee noted that there is “increasing evidence that adult travelers [from Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon] contributed” to the polio surge.
As a result, the World Health Organization has taken the unusual step of ordering these three countries to vaccinate any resident who travels internationally. In addition, WHO is calling for the three countries to continue efforts to inoculate their children. The mandate was issued by the director-general’s Emergency Committee on International Health Regulations.
Aylward says this focus on travelers is critical to stem the virus, which causes paralysis and can be fatal
Continue reading.
Photo: A health worker administers polio vaccine drops to a child at Karachi International Airport in Pakistan. The country’s government has set up immunization points at airports to help stop its polio outbreak from spreading abroad. (Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images)

nprglobalhealth:

The Comeback Of Polio Is A Public Health Emergency

It is, says the World Health Organization, “an extraordinary event.” Polio is spreading to a degree that constitutes a public health emergency.

The global drive to wipe out the virus had driven the number of polio cases down from 300,000 in the late 1980s to just 417 cases last year. The World Health Organization has set a goal of wiping out polio by 2018.

But this year, polio has been reported in 10 countries, and there are fears the number could rise. Bruce Aylward, the head of WHO’s polio program, says if the international spread isn’t halted, the virus could easily re-establish itself, particularly in conflict-torn countries like the Central African Republic and South Sudan. The unrest makes it difficult to sustain vaccination efforts, and poor sanitary conditions cause the disease to spread.

Although polio mainly afflicts children under 6, a WHO emergency committee has stated that adults are to blame. The committee noted that there is “increasing evidence that adult travelers [from Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon] contributed” to the polio surge.

As a result, the World Health Organization has taken the unusual step of ordering these three countries to vaccinate any resident who travels internationally. In addition, WHO is calling for the three countries to continue efforts to inoculate their children. The mandate was issued by the director-general’s Emergency Committee on International Health Regulations.

Aylward says this focus on travelers is critical to stem the virus, which causes paralysis and can be fatal

Continue reading.

Photo: A health worker administers polio vaccine drops to a child at Karachi International Airport in Pakistan. The country’s government has set up immunization points at airports to help stop its polio outbreak from spreading abroad. (Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images)