THE OUTBREAK

Monthly Archives: February 2014

Forty African countries showed reductions in malaria transmission between 2000-2010, but despite this progress, more than half (57 per cent) of the population in countries endemic for malaria continue to live in areas of moderate to intense transmission, with infection rates over 10 per cent. The findings are based on a series of prevalence maps for malaria published this week in the Lancet. A team led by Dr Abdisalan Noor and Professor… Read More

Tiny and swift, viruses are hard to capture on video. Now researchers at Princeton University have achieved an unprecedented look at a virus-like particle as it tries to break into and infect a cell. The technique they developed could help scientists learn more about how to deliver drugs via nanoparticles — which are about the same size as viruses — as well as how to prevent viral infection from occurring. ‘KISS AND… Read More

Coronavirus has been infecting the animals for at least 20 years The coronavirus responsible for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is prevalent in camels throughout Saudi Arabia and has been around for at least 20 years, according to a study to be published on February 25 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. “Our study shows the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is widespread,” says senior study author W…. Read More

The number of children who have died from a mysterious disease in Deleig camp for the displaced in Central Darfur has increased to 23. The number of fatalities among donkeys stands at 59. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a sheikh of the Deleig camp in Wadi Salih locality reported that 23 children have died so far of a mysterious disease that affects children below the age of 12 and donkeys. The sheikh complained… Read More

US doctors are warning of an emerging polio-like disease in California where up to 20 people have been infected. A meeting of the American Academy of Neurology heard that some patients had developed paralysis in all four limbs, which had not improved with treatment. The US is polio-free, but related viruses can also attack the nervous system leading to paralysis. Doctors say they do not expect an epidemic of the polio-like virus… Read More

PHILADELPHIA – An international team of scientists has traced the origin of Plasmodium vivax, the second-worst malaria parasite of humans, to Africa, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications. Until recently, the closest genetic relatives of human P. vivax were found only in Asian macaques, leading researchers to believe that P. vivax originated in Asia. The study, led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University… Read More

The interspecies contact between us humans and the macaques is intimate, and bites and scratches are highly common – yes, yes, they are indeed biting the hand that feeds. Within local populations, worshippers, temple workers, nuns and monks, and market workers, the contact may be frequent and habitual. As Lisa Jones-Engel and her team of researchers quickly discovered while studying temple monkeys in Kathmandu, Nepal. Rebecca Kreston reports on the risks of… Read More

As winter turns to spring and many Northern Californians plan outdoor adventures, a mysterious, potentially debilitating threat looms. A newly recognized human pathogen with unknown health consequences has been found to occur over a large part of the San Francisco Bay Area. A study to be published in the March issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Disease details how researchers including Dan Salkeld, a research associate at the Stanford Woods Institute for… Read More

University of British Columbia scientists have found for the first time an infectious form of the cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii in western Arctic Beluga, prompting a health advisory to the Inuit people who eat whale meat. The same team also discovered a new strain of the parasite Sarcocystis, previously sequestered in the icy north, that is responsible for killing 406 grey seals in the north Atlantic in 2012. Presenting their findings today… Read More

Our response to societal pressures about vaccination has a direct effect on the spread of pediatric infectious diseases in areas where inoculation is not mandatory, says new research published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. By incorporating social norms into predictive mathematical modelling, a research team from the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo found that they can foresee the observed patterns of population behaviour and disease… Read More