Tag: Ebola

Fixing ‘Leaky’ Blood Vessels To Combat Severe Respiratory Ailments And, Perhaps, Ebola

Fixing ‘Leaky’ Blood Vessels To Combat Severe Respiratory Ailments And, Perhaps, Ebola

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When you get an infection, your immune system responds with an influx of inflammatory cells that target the underlying bacteria or viruses. These immune cells migrate from your blood into the infected tissue in order to release a cocktail of pro-inflammatory proteins and help eliminate the infectious threat. During this inflammatory response, the blood vessel barrier becomes “leaky.” This allows for an even more rapid influx of additional immune cells. Once the infection resolves, the response cools off, the entry of immune cells gradually wanes and the integrity of the blood vessel barrier is restored. But if the infection is so severe that it overwhelms the immune response or if the patient is unable to restore the blood vessel barrier, fluid moves out of the bloo
4 Reasons Why You Won’t Catch Ebola On The Subway

4 Reasons Why You Won’t Catch Ebola On The Subway

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Ebola has now arrived in New York City, which has prompted fears about the potential of the disease to spread across the city. It’s understandable that this news would be frightening to people. After all, New York is the most populous city in the country, and Ebola is a foreign disease with no cure. Not to mention, the typical morning commute involves being squished into a confined space with a plethora of strange people. The subway is incredibly convenient, but it’s not always the most comfortable. Likewise, it’s a hypochondriac’s nightmare. The NYC Ebola patient, Dr. Craig Spencer, reportedly rode the subway before he was hospitalized. He also went bowling. Despite this fact, New Yorkers are highly unlike to contract Ebola via traveling on publ...
Travel in the time of Ebola: What it’s like to travel to West Africa during the outbreak

Travel in the time of Ebola: What it’s like to travel to West Africa during the outbreak

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A woman walks past an Ebola health care center, rear, to be used for screening for Ebola virus patients at the border village of Kouremale, Mali, between Mali and Guinea, Nov. 17, 2014.Image: Baba Ahmed/Associated PressThe threat of the Ebola virus in Mali was evident before I even entered the airport after landing in the capital city. As I exited the bus carrying us from the tarmac to the terminal at Bamako, the passengers in front of me swiftly headed toward makeshift hand washing stations with signs warning of Ebola and instructing everyone to wash their hands for at least 20-30 seconds. Most obvious sign of Ebola threat in Mali: hand washing stations set up outside almost every building in Bamako and Bougouni. — Katie Aune (@katieaune) November 25, 2014 Next up — still before even en
Ebola Outbreak In West Africa Is Outpacing Control Efforts

Ebola Outbreak In West Africa Is Outpacing Control Efforts

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“If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic,” the director-general of the World Health Organization said Friday. Updated — 4 p.m. ET View this image › An employee of the Monrovia City Corporation sprays disinfectant inside a government building in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, on Friday. Abbas Dulleh/Associated Press The Ebola outbreak is moving faster than the efforts to control it and the consequences could be catastrophic, Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, told the presidents of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone at a meeting Friday to introduce a $100 million plan to fight the spread of the disease. “If the s...
Nigeria And Senegal: How These Two African Countries Became Ebola Free

Nigeria And Senegal: How These Two African Countries Became Ebola Free

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On October 20, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Nigeria had become officially Ebola free, with no new outbreaks in the past six weeks. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, and this is extremely encouraging news. Three days prior to this announcement, it was declared that Senegal had also seen an end to its Ebola outbreak. Ebola arrived in Nigeria in July, yet only 20 people were infected and eight died. In comparison to the parts of West Africa most impacted by this outbreak, these numbers are quite miniscule. This is proof that the virus can be contained and defeated, and both of these countries provide a model for how to respond to this disease. Ebola continues to ravage the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The sit
Chimps And Gorillas Desperately Need Ebola Vaccine Too – Virus Has Wiped Out A Third Of Them

Chimps And Gorillas Desperately Need Ebola Vaccine Too – Virus Has Wiped Out A Third Of Them

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There is a side to the Ebola crisis that, perhaps understandably, has received little media attention: the threat it poses to our nearest cousins, the great apes of Africa. At this moment in time Ebola is the single greatest threat to the survival of gorillas and chimpanzees. The virus is even more deadly for other great apes as it is for humans, with mortality rates approximately 95% for gorillas and 77% for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Current estimates suggest a third of the world’s gorillas and chimpanzees have died from Ebola since the 1990s. As with humans, these deaths tend to come in epidemics. In 1995, an outbreak is reported to have killed more than 90% of the gorillas in Minkébé Park in northern Gabon. In 2002-2003 a single outbreak of ZEBOV (the Zaire
Ten Things You Really Should Know About Ebola

Ten Things You Really Should Know About Ebola

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The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease has been all over the news lately, and of course, many rumors and much misinformation has been spread. Here are ten questions regarding the outbreak that will set the record straight about what is going on in West Africa: What is Ebola virus disease? Ebola virus disease (EVD) is an acute viral illness that used to be known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever. It is caused by three of the five species within the Ebolavirus genus. Two species are capable of infecting humans, but do not seem to cause illness - so you can catch it, but you won't notice it. The other three can cause variable degrees of illness. Unfortunately, the Zaire Ebola virus is the most deadly strain, and has been identified as the cause of the current outbreak. I...
In Largest-Ever Outbreak, Ebola Spreads To Nigeria

In Largest-Ever Outbreak, Ebola Spreads To Nigeria

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The deadly disease has spread to at least three major West African urban centers. The World Health Organization reports at least 660 have died from the disease since February. View this image › A health worker with disinfectant spray walks down a street outside the government hospital in rural Sierra Leone on July 10. Stringer / Reuters Nigeria’s national health minister confirmed that a Liberian man who died in a Nigerian megacity on Friday tested positive for Ebola, an often fatal virus that has killed nearly 700 people in the largest outbreak on record. Reuters reported that the man collapsed at the Lagos, Nigeria, airport on Sunday and was taken to the hospital, where he was put in quarantine. He died five days later. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigeria’s nati...
The Doctor Leading The Fight Against The Spread Of Ebola In West Africa Is Now Infected With The Disease

The Doctor Leading The Fight Against The Spread Of Ebola In West Africa Is Now Infected With The Disease

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Doctor Sheik Umar Khan has helped save more than 100 people. This is Sheik Umar Khan, 39, the head doctor fighting the spread of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone — and now he has contracted the deadly tropical virus as well, according to government officials cited by the Washington Post. View this image › Staff / Reuters Ebola causes people to develop hemorrhagic fevers and can cause people to bleed to death. It is fatal in 90% of cases, according to the World Health Organization. View this image › Health workers carry the body of an Ebola victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone, in June. People contract the virus by coming into contact with infected bodily fluids from humans or animals, including bushmeat. Stringer / Reuters The current outbreak has killed...
Why Threats Like Ebola Make Conservatives More Conservative

Why Threats Like Ebola Make Conservatives More Conservative

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U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, N.H. March 14, 2014.Image: REUTERS/GRETCHEN ERTLThomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the United States, came to this country by air. He did not cross the U.S.-Mexico border. And yet, for some conservative politicians, the arrival of Ebola here has piqued concerns about the security of the southern border. "If people are coming through normal channels [with Ebola]," U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown said recently in a radio interview, "can you imagine what they can do through our porous borders?" Other politicians are like-minded, calling for the outright closure of the border. The scenario that Ebola enters the U.S. through Mexico is not outright impossible. It's just unlikel...
Ebola patient zero may have been infected by a bat

Ebola patient zero may have been infected by a bat

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Mexican free-tail bats flying at night in Texas. Image: USFWS/Ann FroschauerIn the small village of Meliandou, in Guinea, stood a tall, hollowed-out tree where children loved to play. But thousands of bats lived in the tree, and one toddler — a 2-year-old named Emile Ouamouno — may have contracted Ebola from playing there. Emile, who died in December 2013, was "patient zero," or the first person known to have contracted Ebola in the current outbreak that has now claimed at least 7,600 lives in the region. In a new study, researchers looking for the source of the outbreak found that free-tailed bats (Mops condylurus) lived in the tree. These bats are likely a reservoir of the disease, the researchers concluded. The tree was about 165 feet away from Emile's house, in the village of 31 house
3 Reasons The Doctors Who Treat Ebola Patients In Africa Are Heroes

3 Reasons The Doctors Who Treat Ebola Patients In Africa Are Heroes

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Last night, New York City found itself panicking following the first confirmed diagnosis of Ebola within the city. The patient is a 33-year-old doctor, Craig Spencer, who recently returned to the United States from Guinea, one of the countries most heavily impacted by Ebola in West Africa. Spencer had been working in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders (MSF). MSF is one of the most respected humanitarian organizations in the world. It provides medical aid to people in some of the most dangerous locations across the globe. From what we know, Spencer returned to the United States on October 17. He monitored himself closely upon his return, taking all of the proper precautions, and didn’t show any signs of the virus until Thursday morning (Oct. 23). Upon that time, D...
Monkeys Photographed Eating Bats For The First Time

Monkeys Photographed Eating Bats For The First Time

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For the first time, researchers have recorded African monkeys eating bats. And both are known to harbor diseases that can spread to people. These so-called zoonotic diseases include Ebola virus disease, and primates can become infected when they eat fruits contaminated by bat saliva or feces. But according to these new findings, published in EcoHealth this month, theres an alternate and more direct route of disease transmission. Cercopithecus monkeys are found in forests throughout Africa, and they prefer to eat fruit. But as opportunistic omnivores, theyve also been known to eat leaves, bugs, and even lizards, snakes, birds, mice, and flying squirrels. These primates also share habitat and food resources with bats, but their predator-prey interactions have been poorly do...