Mysterious Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak Stumps Disease Detectives in South Sudan

                                             

CLICK HERE - WHO - Disease Outbreak News - Haemorrhagic fever syndrome – South Sudan - 19 May 2016

npr.org - Michaeleen Doucleff - May 31, 2016

The last time, we heard about a "mysterious hemorrhagic fever" in a country, it was February 2014. The outbreak was in Guinea. And by the time doctors had pinpointed the culprit, Ebola was spiraling out of control in West Africa.

The situation in South Sudan today is a far cry from that in West Africa a few years ago. But it's still concerning, the World Health Organization said.

So far, there have been 51 cases — including 10 deaths — from an unknown disease in the northern part of South Sudan. The main symptoms of the disease are similar to those seen with Ebola: unexplained bleeding, fever, fatigue, headache and vomiting.

But the culprit definitely isn't Ebola.

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How Zika Virus Is Passed From Mother To Baby

Zika virus particles (red) under a microscope (Image by NIAID)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Zika Virus Infects Human Placental Macrophages

forbes.com - by J. V. Chamary - May 30, 2016

While the Zika virus often causes disease without symptoms in adults, it has become notorious for its link to microcephaly — a birth defect where infants have an abnormally small head.

Women infected with Zika can transmit it to their unborn child during pregnancy, but precisely how this happens has remained a mystery. Scientists have now revealed one potential route.

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WHO Experts Say Zika May Cause Birth Defects in Thousands of Babies

                                                  

CLICK HERE - WHO - Defining the syndrome associated with congenital Zika virus infection

who.int - reuters.com - by Bill Berkrot - June 3, 2016

World Health Organization officials on Friday cautioned that "many thousands" of infants infected with Zika virus could suffer neurological abnormalities and said nations dealing with an outbreak need to watch for problems beyond the widely reported cases of microcephaly.

These include spasticity, seizures, irritability, feeding difficulties, eyesight problems and evidence of severe brain abnormalities.

Health officials had previously concluded that Zika infection in pregnant women was a cause of microcephaly in babies, a rare birth defect characterized by unusually small heads and potentially severe developmental problems. They now believe the range of potential neurological problems in infants could be much wider.

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WHO Emergency Panel to Meet in June on Zika and Olympics: Spokeswoman

           

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are displayed at an exhibition on Jan. 28 in Brazil. The mosquitoes can be carriers of the Zika virus.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

reuters.com - by STEPHANIE NEBEHAY and BILL BERKROT - June 3, 2016

With debate growing over the safety of holding the Olympics in Brazil amid the ongoing Zika virus outbreak, the World Health Organization's Emergency Committee on Zika will meet in the coming weeks to evaluate the risks tied to going on with the Games in August, a WHO spokeswoman said on Friday.

"The Emergency Committee meeting will consider the situation in Brazil, including the question of the Olympics," WHO spokeswoman Nyka Alexander told Reuters in response to a query.

WHO makes risk assessments of a public health issue and it would be up to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to decide on holding the event in Rio de Janeiro, due to start on Aug. 5, she said.

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DSHS Announces First Texas-Acquired Chikungunya Case

                          

dshs.state.tx.us - May 31, 2016

Recently reported case contracted in 2015 

The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed the first locally acquired case of chikungunya, a mosquito borne illness. A Cameron County resident got sick with the illness in November 2015 and was diagnosed with a lab test in January 2016. The case, however, was not reported to the local health department until last month. The investigation performed by the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services determined the patient had not traveled, and the case was confirmed last week by testing at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chikungunya disease is a viral illness spread by mosquitoes and was first detected in travelers returning to Texas from areas with local transmission in 2014. All previous Texas residents who contracted the illness were infected while traveling abroad. Because this case was contracted more than six months ago and mosquito surveillance has not found chikungunya in local mosquitoes, the primary risk of infection remains related to travel. DSHS encourages people to protect themselves from mosquito bites at home and while traveling to stop the spread of chikungunya, Zika and West Nile virus.

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World Health Organization Declares End of Ebola Virus in Guinea

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Republic of Guinea Ebola-free today.

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New Anesthesia Machine Could Improve Surgeries in Sierra Leone

BO, SIERRA LEONE—

Yatta Lahai and Fatama Alieu — two 30-year-old women in Sierra Leone — are waiting to have surgery that will restore their self-respect.

Both women have fistula, a condition caused by prolonged obstructed labor that leaves a woman unable to control her urine, feces or both.

Lahai says she lost her husband and the rest of her family because of the condition. Alieu says she avoids going out in public because of the embarrassment.

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NJADO Awards Scholarships to Ebola Orphans

The Njaluahun Development Organization (NJADO) on Friday 27th May 2016 awarded scholarships to 54 Ebola orphans in Segbwema Town, Njaluahun Chiefdom Kailahun District. The ceremony was held at the Segbwema Community Center. The scholarships which is estimated around two thousand United States Dollars is offered to improve the educational standards of the pupils whose parents/guardians died during the course of the Ebola scourge. Donation of special text books to 18 schools in Segbwema also formed part of the scholarship award.

In his opening statement, the Chairman of Ceremony, John Jauna who doubles as Lecturer of Njala University College, Bo Campus said the Ebola situation was rather unfortunate and therefore NJADO is in solidarity with the prevailing circumstances that led to the demise of many compatriots. He said one way anybody can help now is to give support to the victims. According to him, Njaluahun has many prominent people, but just few of them, including those in Diaspora decided to establish NJADO with the aim of give their unreserved support to Njaluahun.  

 

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Zika in the U.S.: Can We Manage the Risk?

wilsoncenter.org - May 24, 2016

On May 24, representatives from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Google joined a conversation with NPR Global Health and Development Correspondent Jason Beaubien to give an update on how the United States is managing Zika virus disease.

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4 reasons we're seeing more infectious disease outbreaks around the world

MERS, H1N1, swine flu, chikungunya, Zika: Another virus with a peculiar name always seems to be right around the corner, threatening to become a pandemic.

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Travel clinics try to ease threat of disease

As summer vacation nears, thousands of central Ohioans are planning a trip to an exotic locale -- perhaps to Brazil for the Summer Olympics.

Some doctors warn, however, there are more than sandy beaches, crystal blue waters and margaritas waiting for you: Dangerous parasites, viruses and bacteria can ruin your vacation -- or worse.

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President Obama visits Hiroshima, speaks out against nuclear weapons

The Hiroshima Memorial.

Image: The Hiroshima Memorial.

inhabitat.com - May 30th 2016 - Lacy Cooke

About 71 years after the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, President Obama visited the site and placed a wreath before the cenotaph at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It is the first visit by a “sitting U.S. President.” Both Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Obama delivered speeches, and Obama spoke out against nuclear weapons.

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Utopian off-grid Regen Village produces all of its own food and energy

inhabitat.com - May 27th 2016 - Lacy Cooke

Danish architectural firm EFFEKT envisioned a future where self-sustaining communities could grow their own food and produce their own energy. They incorporated that vision into the ReGen Village, a planned off-grid community that addresses issues ranging from climate change to food security through sustainable design. They plan to start building these utopian communities this summer.

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Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun’s Energy for Nighttime Fuel-Free Grilling

Many of us will be firing up our grills this weekend for some well-deserved barbecue time. After all, barbecuing is one of America’s greatest pastimes, but it certainly isn’t one of our most environmentally friendly. Whether you prefer charcoal, wood chips or propane, grilling releases emissions and contributes to poor air quality.

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Metagenomics pathogen detection tool could change how infectious diseases are diagnosed

Infectious diseases are one of the biggest killers in the world. Almost 5 million children under age 5 die each year from infectious diseases worldwide, yet many infections are treatable if the pathogen culprit can be quickly and accurately identified.

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