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  #111  
Old 05-10-2015, 08:19 PM
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EBOLA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/wo...ef=health&_r=0

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Liberia Is Declared Free of Ebola, but Officials Sound Note of Caution

The World Health Organization declared Liberia free of Ebola on Saturday, making it the first of the three hardest-hit West African countries to bring a formal end to the epidemic.

“The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over,” the W.H.O. said in a statement read by Dr. Alex Gasasira, the group’s representative to Liberia, in a packed conference room at the emergency command center in Monrovia, the capital.

Just before Dr. Gasasira’s statement, Luke Bawo, an epidemiologist, showed a map depicting all of Liberia in green with the number 42 superimposed on it. This represented that two maximum incubation periods of the virus, a total of 42 days, had passed since the safe burial of the last person confirmed to have had Ebola in the country, fulfilling the official criteria for concluding that human-to-human transmission of the virus has ended.

The room, packed with reporters, workers from Doctors Without Borders and other aid agencies and dignitaries, including the American ambassador to Liberia, Deborah R. Malac, burst into applause, and some people cried, according to health officials who were present.

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  #112  
Old 05-11-2015, 11:19 AM
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Interesting. I remember my father telling me that in the early 1950s, his mother was on the verge of being institutionalized before they discovered it was some sort of kidney infection and then she was fine.
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  #113  
Old 05-27-2015, 03:25 PM
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LASSA FEVER


http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsand...ut-lassa-fever

Quote:
An unidentified New Jersey man died after returning home from West Africa, where he had contracted Lassa fever, a virus that has symptoms similar to those of Ebola. Federal health officials are treating the case with caution because the virus, which commonly is spread by rodents, can occasionally spread from person to person.

Lassa fever can cause internal bleeding. Other symptoms include respiratory distress, vomiting, facial swelling, and back and abdominal pain. Dr. Tom Frieden, who heads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the virus is not nearly as deadly as Ebola. Ninety-nine percent of people with Lassa fever survive.

"It's not that rare a disease in West Africa," says Frieden. "One in six hospitalized patients may have Lassa."

The virus hardly ever makes its way to the United States. But it did on May 17, when a man returning from Liberia by way of Morocco landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He fell ill a few days later and went to a hospital in New Jersey.

Frieden says the patient was sent home. A few days later he returned to the hospital feeling worse. Initially, Frieden says, the patient was asked if he'd been to West Africa and he said no.

Doctors later learned the man had traveled to Liberia. According to Frieden, he was a frequent visitor because he worked in the mining industry. So they suspected he might have Lassa fever and sent him to an isolation facility that had been equipped to assess patients who might have Ebola.

By Monday morning, the CDC had run tests that confirmed that the man had Lassa fever, not Ebola. That night he died of the disease.





http://www.nj.com/healthfit/index.ss...y_patient.html

Quote:
The identity and the hometown of a New Jersey man who died of Lassa Fever on Memorial Day will not be disclosed because disclosure is unnecessary to protect the public, say state health officials.

The only people who were at risk of contracting the disease from him are those who had close contact with the patient after he developed symptoms, officias said. A list of those people is being compiled by the N.J. Department of Health in conjunction with local health officials and the two hospitals where he was treated.

"The department and the CDC do not reveal individual names because of the privacy issue," said Dr. Tina Tan, the state epidemiologist. "And from a public health perspective, we feel comfortable with the information we have."

"The risk to the public is extremely low," she added.

There has never been a case of secondary Lassa Fever - or fever passed from one person to another - in the United States, she said. This latest case is only the sixth time the hemorrhagic fever has occurred in the United States.

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  #114  
Old 06-02-2015, 03:24 PM
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EBOLA

http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/s...ebola-outbreak

Quote:
How Computer Modelers Took On the Ebola Outbreak

Did real-time epidemic modeling save lives in West Africa?


Here’s what we know for sure. On the afternoon of Friday, 3 October 2014, Pyrros A. Telionis got a telephone call from the U.S. government’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). He was sitting in a featureless cubicle in Blacksburg, Va., that would have made the cartoon office drudge Dilbert feel right at home. The voice on the phone was brisk and professional. And highly specific. Could Telionis provide, by 8 o’clock Monday morning, a list of the best places to build Ebola treatment centers in Liberia’s six southernmost counties?

There may or may not have been a U.S. Air Force cargo plane on a tarmac somewhere, loaded with construction materials, awaiting Telionis’s list of locations. IEEE Spectrum couldn’t confirm that part of the story.

At first glance Telionis, a Ph.D. student in computational biology at Virginia Tech, might not seem the obvious person to advise the Department of Defense, which was preparing to send about 3,000 people to West Africa to help combat the worst outbreak of Ebola virus the world has ever seen. The military personnel planned to build Ebola treatment centers, mobile labs, and a hospital for infected health care workers.

Telionis did, however, bring hidden strengths to the Defense Department’s urgent assignment. Behind him was the expertise and computing power of the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory, which is part of the 250-person Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. Split between Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus in rural southwest Virginia and an office building near Washington, D.C., the lab has done epidemic modeling for the Pentagon for nine years. Just that week, Telionis had run an experimental program he’d written to determine the best locations for Ebola treatment centers in a few Liberian counties. DTRA was impressed by the exercise, and now the agency wanted him to do it for real.

First, Telionis had a decision to make. It was the last day to drop classes at Virginia Tech without penalty. He abandoned Advanced Methods of Regression Analysis and spent the next 64 hours working for DTRA.

.....
Did the Virginia Tech models make a difference to the Ebola response? We may never know for sure. The map of the treatment centers that the Defense Department built certainly looks a lot like the one that Telionis and Schlitt turned in. Beyond that, it’s impossible to say, because Defense Department officials won’t comment.

.......
The experts swear their models will work better next time. The Virginia Tech group is now creating an epidemic model that will represent the entire world and its complicated human occupants. Every country will have a “synthetic” population that stands in for the real one. There will be the right number of elementary school students per square mile, the right number of women in workplaces with more than 50 employees, the right number of households with fewer than five people, and myriad other demographic data slices. The model will also attempt to capture, at least roughly, what people do each day—the probability of leaving the home, going to a farm, getting on a bus or an airplane. Researchers don’t have those details for many places and will often have to infer them. For example, in estimating how many people labor in Liberia’s various types of workplaces, the Virginia Tech modelers are using data from Mexico. In other cases, an available database can give analysts a good approximation of unavailable information. Tracking the locations from which cellphone calls are made, for instance, gives a good moment-by-moment view of how people are moving in a region.

These “agent-based” models will give a more nuanced picture of how pathogens affect and sicken a population. “This is the wave of the future,” says Stephen Eubank, deputy director of the Virginia Tech lab. “It’s going to take a concerted effort to gather the data and the expertise. But it’s going to happen.”

And so, too, will another Ebola outbreak.

This article originally appeared in print as “Computer Modelers vs. Ebola.”

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  #115  
Old 06-03-2015, 02:31 PM
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MERS

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/...html?cid=fbint

Quote:
South Korea reports five more cases of MERS illness

South Korea confirmed five more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Wednesday, bringing to 30 the number of infected people since the outbreak began in the country two weeks ago. Two people have died.

While there has been no sustained human-to-human transmission, the nightmare scenario is the virus changes and spreads rapidly, as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) did in 2002-2003, killing about 800 people around the world.

MERS was first identified in humans in 2012 and is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered SARS. But MERS has a much higher death rate at 38 percent, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures.

There is no cure or vaccine.

China last week reported its first MERS case, that of a South Korean man who tested positive after breaking a voluntary house quarantine and travelling to Hong Kong and on to mainland China.

.....
The new cases would bring the total number globally to 1,166, based on World Health Organization (WHO) data, with at least 436 related deaths.

The WHO has not recommended trade or travel restrictions for South Korea, although South Korean border control authorities have put a ban on overseas travel for people isolated for possible infection, a health ministry official said.

Pressure is growing for the government to identify the hospitals treating infected patients as fear and confusion mount.

Public health authorities have insisted it was "helpful" to keep the names of the hospitals from the public, but in an opinion poll published on Wednesday 83 percent of respondents demanded that the government identify them.

Ian Jones, a specialist virologist at Britain’s University of Reading who has followed MERS since it emerged, said transparency would help in the effort to stop the outbreak.

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  #116  
Old 06-07-2015, 10:51 PM
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Of the past several pages worth you've shared, this one freaks me out the most.
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  #117  
Old 06-07-2015, 11:33 PM
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Of the past several pages worth you've shared, this one freaks me out the most.
"all those affected began showing symptoms between April 13 and 15."

That sounds like it could be a toxin. Possibly man-made or a weird environmental thing and not a disease.
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  #118  
Old 06-08-2015, 04:37 AM
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"all those affected began showing symptoms between April 13 and 15."

That sounds like it could be a toxin. Possibly man-made or a weird environmental thing and not a disease.
sorry, I didn't follow up on this.

it was exposure to pesticide or drinking methanol

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ern-world.html

or angering a local god
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  #119  
Old 06-08-2015, 08:23 AM
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How bout that MERS in SK, they had another article about it in the WSJ this morning
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  #120  
Old 06-08-2015, 09:54 AM
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How bout that MERS in SK, they had another article about it in the WSJ this morning
ok

MERS
SOUTH KOREA

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/07/world/...mers-outbreak/

Quote:
Seoul, South Korea (CNN)Fears of MERS in South Korea are growing by the day, with more than 2,300 people quarantined as the country grapples with the outbreak.

More than 1,800 schools will be closed for several days amid concerns of the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome. They include at least 1,255 schools in Gyeonggi province, the area outside Seoul where the outbreak started and where a South Korean air force member stationed at a U.S. air base has been isolated with the illness.

Other closed schools are in the Gangnam region, near the Samsung Seoul hospital -- the most affected hospital in the city.

In total, 87 people have contracted the virus, and six people have died, according to official numbers.


Potential exposure through doctor

South Korea's capital has asked more than 1,500 people to self-quarantine because they unknowingly attended a symposium with a doctor who was infected with MERS, Seoul's mayor said.

Mayor Park Won-soon said all 1,565 people who attended the symposium should stay at home as a precaution to avoid spreading MERS in the unlikely event they contracted it at the meeting.

The mayor said the city is considering measures that would force these people to stay at home, and that officials are trying to determine where else the doctor traveled while he had symptoms.

MERS v EBOLA

http://time.com/3910571/mers-ebola/

Quote:
Currently, MERS doesn’t appear to be able to spread like Ebola can. Though it’s in the same family of viruses as SARS and the common cold—both highly contagious—MERS appears to be less transmittable. While Ebola spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, MERS doesn’t spread easily from person to person, and though it spreads through the respiratory tract, very close contact is needed, which is why the risk is higher for health care workers.

.....
The chance that MERS could change to become more transmittable worries experts. “Personally, I am more concerned about MERS following the course of SARS than I ever will be regarding Ebola becoming widespread outside of certain regions of Africa,” says Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior associate at the Center for Health Security at the University of Pittsburgh.

MERS has yet to take that course, Frieden says, but hospitals can be hotbeds for the infection. Through intensive investigations in affected countries, the CDC has determined that more than 90% of the cases could be traced health care exposures. So far there hasn’t been evidence of sustained community spreading. “Hospitals can become amplification points,” says Frieden. “It’s the case in measles, it’s the case for drug-resistant tuberculosis, it’s the case for MERS and SARS and Ebola. That’s where sick people go and that’s where vulnerable people are. It really emphasizes the importance of good infection control in the health care system.”

In May of 2014, the U.S. experienced two cases of MERS. In both instances, the patients were health care providers who lived and worked in the Middle East. Health departments around the U.S. have the ability to test for the virus, and the U.S. has already tested around 550 people in 45 states as a precaution since the disease first emerged in 2012.

MERS and Ebola share an important similarity: a lack of treatments or vaccinations. There’s currently no vaccine. “If there were a vaccine, it’s the kind of thing that might be useful in the camel population, but that’s very theoretical for the future,” Frieden says.

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