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Health, Wellness, Sex and Body Discuss Dengue, malaria, & other tropical diseases updates at the General Discussion; Dengue Outbreak in Sri Lanka... 'Unprecedented' Dengue Outbreak Kills Nearly 300 in Sri Lanka July 24, 2017 - The worst-ever ...

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Old 07-25-2017, 03:00 AM
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Dengue Outbreak in Sri Lanka...

'Unprecedented' Dengue Outbreak Kills Nearly 300 in Sri Lanka
July 24, 2017 - The worst-ever outbreak of dengue fever in Sri Lanka has killed nearly 300 people, with the number of cases rising rapidly.
Quote:
Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health reports that the number of dengue infections has climbed above 103,000 since the start of 2017, with 296 deaths. The number of cases this year is already nearly double the number of dengue infections recorded in all of 2016, when 55,150 people were diagnosed with the disease.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are rapidly scaling up emergency assistance to help contain the outbreak in the South Asian island nation. "Dengue is endemic here, but one reason for the dramatic rise in cases is that the virus currently spreading has evolved and people lack the immunity to fight off the new strain," said Dr. Novil Wijesekara, head of health at the Sri Lanka Red Cross.


A Sri Lankan municipal worker, center, along with army soldiers leave for Dengue fever eradication work in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Compounding the crisis, recent monsoon rains and floods have left pools of stagnant water and rotting rain-soaked trash — ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes. Ongoing downpours and worsening sanitation conditions raise concerns the disease will continue to spread. Dengue is common in South Asia — especially during the monsoon season which runs from June to September — and, if untreated, it can be lethal.

The International Federation of Red Cross said it had released new disaster emergency funds on Monday to help about 307,000 people in three districts where dengue is rampant. "The size of this dengue outbreak is unprecedented in Sri Lanka," Jagath Abeysinghe, president of Sri Lanka Red Cross, said in a statement.

https://www.voanews.com/a/unpreceden...a/3957345.html
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Australia Helping Sri Lanka Fight Dengue Outbreak
July 20, 2017 — Australia is contributing funds to help Sri Lanka combat its worst outbreak of dengue fever, which has claimed 250 lives and infected nearly 100,000 people so far this year in the Indian Ocean island nation.
Quote:
Visiting Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Wednesday night that Australia is giving $475,000 Australian (US $377,000) to the World Health Organization to implement immediate dengue prevention, management and eradication programs in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s hospitals are overcrowded with patients, and the government has deployed soldiers, police and health officials to inspect houses and clear rotting garbage, stagnant water pools and other potential mosquito-breeding grounds across the country. Health officials blamed the public for their failure to clear puddles and piles of trash after last month’s heavy monsoon rains.


Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, left, talks with her Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj as they leave for a delegation level meeting in New Delhi, India, July 18, 2017. Australia is contributing funds to help Sri Lanka combat its worst outbreak of dengue fever.

The number of infections nationwide is 38 percent higher than last year, when 55,150 people were diagnosed with dengue and 97 died, according to the Health Ministry. Cases were concentrated around the main city of Colombo, though they were occurring across the tropical island nation. Bishop is on a two-day visit and will meet Thursday with government leaders. She said Australia is offering an additional $1 million (US $795,000) for a research partnership between Australia’s Monash University and Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry to test the introduction of naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria to eradicate dengue fever from Sri Lanka.

She said the bacteria “prevent transmission of dengue virus between humans’’ and that it has shown success during the last six years in countries such as Brazil, Columbia, Australia, India, Vietnam and Indonesia where it was piloted. The bacteria have the ability to block other mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika and Chikungunya, the Australian embassy said in a statement.

https://www.voanews.com/a/australia-...r/3951643.html
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:36 AM
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Despite Boko Haram...

WHO: Nearly 900,000 Children in Nigeria Receive Anti-malaria Drugs
August 04, 2017 — The World Health Organization reports it has provided anti-malaria drugs to nearly 900,000 children in areas in northeast Nigeria formerly held by Boko Haram militants.
Quote:
The effort is part of a new strategy to tackle malaria, a major killer of children younger than 5 years old. The director of WHO's Global Malaria Program, Pedro Alonso, tells VOA the agency has completed the first round of an emergency approach to stop the disease. Alonso estimates about 10,000 lives will be saved by providing anti-malaria drugs to the same 900,000 children every month until November, when the period of high transmission will be over.


A woman carrying a baby holds a treated mosquito net during a malaria prevention action in Nigeria, April 21, 2016. WHO is providing anti-malaria drugs to children in northeast Nigeria in an effort to combat the disease.

He says the drug clears the parasites that might already have invaded a child's system and provides protection for three to four weeks. "By repeating this operation to the same children every month over the next four or five months, which is the high transmission area," Alonso said, "we may potentially — unfortunately, it will not be perfect and therefore we will not be able to stop all deaths — but, we should be able to have a massive impact in terms of prevention of disease and death in that specific population group, which is the highest risk group and where mortality concentrates."

WHO estimates there are more than 8,000 cases of malaria every week, including seven deaths, among northeastern Nigeria's population of 3.7 million people. There are an estimated 1.1 million children aged three months to five years in the region.

https://www.voanews.com/a/who-childr...s/3972734.html
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Famine Looms in Former Boko Haram Stronghold in NE Nigeria
May 30, 2017 — The United Nations is warning that more than 1.4 million people in northeastern Nigeria could face famine by September because of a severe funding shortage. To date, only 28 percent of the U.N. appeal for more than $1 billion to provide humanitarian aid for nearly seven million people has been received.
Quote:
Since Boko Haram militants began their armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria in 2009, the United Nations estimates more than 20,000 people have been killed, nearly two million are internally displaced inside the country, and about 200,000 have taken refuge in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Government forces have recaptured much of the territory held by Boko Haram, but the security situation remains fragile.

The U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, says food is in short supply and traditional coping measures have been exhausted. "Although the humanitarian response has increased substantially, we have not turned the corner yet," he said. "If the funding situation is not sustained, the situation can easily relapse into a famine situation." Kallon says 43,000 people already are in a state of famine. Nigeria has entered the so-called lean season when food stocks are at their lowest. U.N. estimates indicate 2.8 million people will be in urgent need of food between June and September. This is also the rainy season, a period when disease outbreaks are expected.


A mother feeds her malnourished child at a feeding center run by Doctors Without Borders in Maiduguri, Nigeria

The situation means some of the 450,000 severely malnourished children could die, according to Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria Peter Lundberg. "If they die, they will most likely die from disease that could be easily prevented if their immune system had been much stronger," Lundberg told VOA. "So, what we will see is that people will die from diarrhea disease or malaria or anything else that they normally would be able to survive if they were in a much better nutritional condition."

The United Nations says people in northeastern Nigeria also are living through a protection crisis. It says thousands are victims of sexual violence and exploitation. According to government statistics, tens of thousands of children and women have been used by Boko Haram, some as suicide bombers.

https://www.voanews.com/a/famine-for...a/3877695.html
Related:

Insecurity, Underfunding Hamper Nigeria Hunger Relief
May 25, 2017 — Aid agencies warn that humanitarian efforts against hunger in northeastern Nigeria are dangerously underfunded and some communities remain cut off from aid and their farms as the military continues to battle Boko Haram.
Quote:
Communities in northeastern Nigeria are facing the dual threats of hunger and the terrorist group known as Boko Haram. The zone has been identified by aid agencies as one of four conflict-torn parts of the world at risk of famine this year. The United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that the number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition will reach 450,000 this year in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

Scott Paul, a senior humanitarian policy advisor for the international charity organization Oxfam America, was recently in northeastern Nigeria. He said the biggest driver for the humanitarian emergency is the inability for residents to access their farmlands, fishing sites and the markets. “I spoke with people who had to flee villages that were captured by Boko Haram and they’ve since come back but they can’t go a kilometer out of town to farm. Right now people are coming home sometimes under false pretenses," he said. "They’re being told that their homeland and home areas are safe and they’re coming home to find that the towns themselves might be safe but the farmlands outside aren’t safe. The markets aren’t safe. The roads aren’t safe. And in some areas that we’re working in there isn’t even clean and safe water to be procured.”


Internally displaced persons wait to be served with food at Dikwa camp, in northeast Nigeria's Borno state

Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency says people internally displaced by the conflict can voluntarily go back to liberated areas as long as they feel safe. The Nigerian army provides road escorts several times a week from Maiduguri to certain communities. But aid groups say many communities are simply not prepared for the large numbers of people coming back. The Norwegian Refugee Council noted more than one million people have returned to northeast Nigeria since October 2015, and they are returning to towns that have no basic services or infrastructure. Nearly one million homes were destroyed or damaged by years of fighting, according to Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima.

Earlier this month, Shettima told reporters it is still not safe for many internally displaced people to return to their homes. The governor said the IDP camps will remain open indefinitely, but that he hopes Borno state will be safe enough for full rehabilitation very soon. The state capital, Maiduguri, is home to more than a dozen camps for those displaced by Boko Haram. Those camps have repeatedly been targeted by suicide bombings.

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Old 08-19-2017, 09:38 AM
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Vietnam Dengue Cases go up 42%...

Vietnam Dengue Cases Soar 42 Percent
August 18, 2017 — Vietnam has been battling raging dengue fever outbreaks, with more than 10,000 new infections reported in the past week stretching its medical system.
Quote:
The number of admitted patients represents a 42 percent increase over the same period last year along with seven more deaths, the Ministry of Health said Friday. A total of 90,626 people have been infected, of whom 76,848 are hospitalized and 24 have died. The ministry attributed the rise of dengue outbreaks to higher temperatures, more rains and rapid urbanization that promote the breeding of virus-carrying mosquitoes.

Hospitals strained

Dr. Vu Minh Dien of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, where the most severe cases were being treated, said that 800-1,000 people have been checking in daily complaining of fever. That compares to only several cases that reported to the hospital in June and July last year, he said. Dien said about 300 dengue patients were being treated, stretching the hospital’s resources, including longer working hours without weekend leaves.


Mosquitoes with the dengue-blocking Wolbachia bacteria were released in the Tubiacanga neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Sept. 24, 2014. Similar actions took place in Australia, Vietnam and Indonesia to fight dengue fever.

Tran Thi Xuyen, a fruit and vegetable seller in a small market in Son La province, said she did not know how she contracted dengue fever, which also infected her fellow saleswoman. “I took antibiotics prescribed by the local district hospital for four days, but the fever did not go away and I admitted myself to this hospital where doctors said I had dengue fever,” she said from her hospital bed.

Mosquito-killing campaign

There is no cure for any of the four strains of the mosquito-borne virus that causes high fever, exhaustion and in some cases a vicious skin rash. Patients most at risk of dying are the elderly, children or those with other medical complications. Hanoi and the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City are the hardest hit.

The government Thursday urged residents to actively engage in killing mosquitoes and mosquito larvae, particularly at construction sites and housing for workers. “The joint efforts by the people as well as our political system in searching and eliminating mosquito larvae, emptying water containers, which are fertile for larvae to breed, and spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes are key factors to curb dengue fever,” Dien said.

https://www.voanews.com/a/vietnam-de...s/3990852.html
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Researchers Blame Saudi-Led Coalition for 'Worst Cholera Outbreak in the World' in Yemen
August 18, 2017 - The majority of deaths from Yemen's cholera outbreak have occurred in rebel-controlled areas cut off from supplies due to airstrikes and blockades by a Saudi-led military coalition, according to research published on Friday.
Quote:
The study by London's Queen Mary University found eight out of 10 cholera deaths took place in regions controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels who have fought a two-year war against Saudi-aligned forces backing Yemen's government. Yemen is battling against the "world's worst cholera outbreak", according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than half a million people have been infected with cholera since the epidemic began four months ago and almost 2,000 people have died, the WHO said on Monday. "Saudi-led airstrikes have destroyed vital infrastructure, including hospitals and public water systems, hit civilian areas, and displaced people into crowded and insanitary conditions", Jonathan Kennedy, Andrew Harmer and David McCoy, the study's researchers, wrote.


People are treated for suspected cholera infection at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen

The Saudi ministry for foreign affairs did not immediately respond to written questions or telephone calls. Yemen's devastating civil war has pitted a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia against an Iran-backed armed Houthi group, and economic collapse has made it difficult to deal with disease outbreaks such as cholera and mass hunger. The study compared data from the WHO with maps of government-controlled and rebel-controlled areas. The researchers found 78 percent of cholera cases and 81 percent of deaths from cholera occurred in Houthi-controlled regions. Only 10.4 per cent of deaths occurred in government-controlled areas.

The researchers said the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for the deadly outbreak, by causing shortages of food, medical supplies, fuel and chlorine, and restricting humanitarian access. Each day there are more than 5,000 new cases of cholera, which causes acute diarrhea and dehydration, in Yemen where the health system has collapsed after more than two years of war, according to the WHO. Cholera, spread by ingestion of food or water tainted with human feces, can kill within hours if untreated. It has been largely eradicated in developed countries equipped with sanitation systems and water treatment.

https://www.voanews.com/a/researcher...n/3992205.html
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:07 PM
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Vietnam Dengue Cases go up 42%...

Vietnam Dengue Cases Soar 42 Percent
August 18, 2017 — Vietnam has been battling raging dengue fever outbreaks, with more than 10,000 new infections reported in the past week stretching its medical system.
Quote:
The number of admitted patients represents a 42 percent increase over the same period last year along with seven more deaths, the Ministry of Health said Friday. A total of 90,626 people have been infected, of whom 76,848 are hospitalized and 24 have died. The ministry attributed the rise of dengue outbreaks to higher temperatures, more rains and rapid urbanization that promote the breeding of virus-carrying mosquitoes.

Hospitals strained

Dr. Vu Minh Dien of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, where the most severe cases were being treated, said that 800-1,000 people have been checking in daily complaining of fever. That compares to only several cases that reported to the hospital in June and July last year, he said. Dien said about 300 dengue patients were being treated, stretching the hospital’s resources, including longer working hours without weekend leaves.


Mosquitoes with the dengue-blocking Wolbachia bacteria were released in the Tubiacanga neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Sept. 24, 2014. Similar actions took place in Australia, Vietnam and Indonesia to fight dengue fever.

Tran Thi Xuyen, a fruit and vegetable seller in a small market in Son La province, said she did not know how she contracted dengue fever, which also infected her fellow saleswoman. “I took antibiotics prescribed by the local district hospital for four days, but the fever did not go away and I admitted myself to this hospital where doctors said I had dengue fever,” she said from her hospital bed.

Mosquito-killing campaign

There is no cure for any of the four strains of the mosquito-borne virus that causes high fever, exhaustion and in some cases a vicious skin rash. Patients most at risk of dying are the elderly, children or those with other medical complications. Hanoi and the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City are the hardest hit.

The government Thursday urged residents to actively engage in killing mosquitoes and mosquito larvae, particularly at construction sites and housing for workers. “The joint efforts by the people as well as our political system in searching and eliminating mosquito larvae, emptying water containers, which are fertile for larvae to breed, and spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes are key factors to curb dengue fever,” Dien said.

https://www.voanews.com/a/vietnam-de...s/3990852.html
See also:

Researchers Blame Saudi-Led Coalition for 'Worst Cholera Outbreak in the World' in Yemen
August 18, 2017 - The majority of deaths from Yemen's cholera outbreak have occurred in rebel-controlled areas cut off from supplies due to airstrikes and blockades by a Saudi-led military coalition, according to research published on Friday.
Quote:
The study by London's Queen Mary University found eight out of 10 cholera deaths took place in regions controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels who have fought a two-year war against Saudi-aligned forces backing Yemen's government. Yemen is battling against the "world's worst cholera outbreak", according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than half a million people have been infected with cholera since the epidemic began four months ago and almost 2,000 people have died, the WHO said on Monday. "Saudi-led airstrikes have destroyed vital infrastructure, including hospitals and public water systems, hit civilian areas, and displaced people into crowded and insanitary conditions", Jonathan Kennedy, Andrew Harmer and David McCoy, the study's researchers, wrote.


People are treated for suspected cholera infection at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen

The Saudi ministry for foreign affairs did not immediately respond to written questions or telephone calls. Yemen's devastating civil war has pitted a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia against an Iran-backed armed Houthi group, and economic collapse has made it difficult to deal with disease outbreaks such as cholera and mass hunger. The study compared data from the WHO with maps of government-controlled and rebel-controlled areas. The researchers found 78 percent of cholera cases and 81 percent of deaths from cholera occurred in Houthi-controlled regions. Only 10.4 per cent of deaths occurred in government-controlled areas.

The researchers said the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for the deadly outbreak, by causing shortages of food, medical supplies, fuel and chlorine, and restricting humanitarian access. Each day there are more than 5,000 new cases of cholera, which causes acute diarrhea and dehydration, in Yemen where the health system has collapsed after more than two years of war, according to the WHO. Cholera, spread by ingestion of food or water tainted with human feces, can kill within hours if untreated. It has been largely eradicated in developed countries equipped with sanitation systems and water treatment.

https://www.voanews.com/a/researcher...n/3992205.html
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:33 PM
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Malaria Outbreak at Kenyan Refugee Camp Kills 4 ...

Malaria Outbreak Kills 4 at Kenyan Refugee Camp
October 20, 2017 - A malaria outbreak has killed at least four people at a refugee camp in northwestern Kenya, according to local residents and health officials.
Quote:
Hundreds of people have come down with the infectious disease at the Kalobeyei refugee complex in Kenya's Turkana County. "Already four to six people have died due to malaria," Galama Guyo, a health care professional at Kalobeyei, told VOA's Horn of Africa service. "Weekly, we report more than 200 malaria cases, especially people with low body resistance [immunity]."


An aerial view shows houses at the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana District, northwest of Kenya's capital Nairobi, June 20, 2015. A malaria outbreak in the nearby Kalobeyei refugee complex has killed at least 4 people.

Health care providers do not have enough drugs to treat patients, and there is no major hospital in the area, so some patients have to travel to up to 30 kilometers for treatment, he said. The type of malaria hitting the camps is plasmodium falciparum, one of four types common in the Horn of Africa, said Guyo.

The U.N. refugee agency is tracking the situation at Kalobeyei and the nearby town of Kakuma, says the agency's communication director in Nairobi, Yvonne Ndege. "Our health partners have mobilized some resources to ensure they procure enough drugs and diagnostic kits to treat the increased cases of malaria that we have seen in Kakuma and Kalobeyei," she said. "UNHCR is also planning to provide additional drugs to help address the situation." Located in a very arid region, Kalobeyei hosts thousands of African immigrants, mostly from Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan.

https://www.voanews.com/a/malaria-de...p/4079253.html
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:50 PM
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New typhoid vaccine...

Typhoid vaccine set to have 'huge impact'
Tue, 24 Oct 2017 - Around 22 million people get typhoid fever each year and 220,000 die.
Quote:
A new vaccine that could prevent up to nine-in-10 cases of typhoid fever has been recommended by the World Health Organization. Experts say it could have a "huge impact" on the 22 million cases, and 220,000 deaths, from typhoid each year. Crucially it works in children, who are at high-risk of the infection, unlike other typhoid vaccines. It is hoped the vaccine could eventually help countries eliminate typhoid.

Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella Typhi bacteria and patients have:

* prolonged fever
* headache
* nausea
* loss of appetite
* constipation
* in one-in-100 cases it causes fatal complications


Typhoid is spread through dirty water and contaminated food.

The bacteria are highly contagious and spread through contaminated food or water. The infection is most common in countries with poor sanitation and a lack of clean water, particularly in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Two typhoid vaccines already approved to help reduce the number of cases, but none are licensed for children under the age of two. The decision to recommend the new conjugate typhoid vaccine was made by the WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (Sage).

Prof Alejandro Cravioto, the chairman of Sage, said: "For the first time I think we do have a very effective vaccine." Sage recommended the vaccine should be given to children aged six-months old and said catch-up campaigns focusing on children up to 15 years old should also take place. Prof Cravioto said the vaccine was vital as the world was "reaching the limit" of current treatments due to the "crazy amount" of antibiotic resistance the typhoid bacterium had acquired.

'A valuable weapon'
See also:

Every childhood vaccine may go into a single jab
15 September 2017 - A technology that could eventually see every childhood vaccine delivered in a single injection has been developed by US researchers.
Quote:
Their one-shot solution stores the vaccine in microscopic capsules that release the initial dose and then boosters at specific times. The approach has been shown to work in mouse studies, described in the journal Science. The researchers say the technology could help patients around the world.

Childhood immunisations come with tears and screams. And there are a lot of them.

* Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Hib and hepatitis B at eight, 12 and 16 weeks.
* Pneumococcal jab at eight weeks, 16 weeks and one year
* Men B vaccine at eight weeks, 16 weeks and one year
* Hib/Men C vaccine at one year
* Measles, mumps and rubella at one year and three years and four months

Source: NHS Choices


A team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has designed a new type of micro-particle that could combine everything into a single jab. The particles look like miniature coffee cups that are filled with vaccine and then sealed with a lid. Crucially, the design of the cups can be altered so they break down and spill their contents at just the right time. One set of tests showed the contents could be released at exactly nine, 20 and 41 days after they were injected into mice. Other particles that last for hundreds of days have also been developed, the researchers say. The approach has not yet been tested on patients.

'Significant impact'

Prof Robert Langer, from MIT, said: "We are very excited about this work. "For the first time, we can create a library of tiny, encased vaccine particles, each programmed to release at a precise, predictable time, so that people could potentially receive a single injection that, in effect, would have multiple boosters already built into it. "This could have a significant impact on patients everywhere, especially in the developing world." The work differs from previous attempts, which slowly released medicines over a long period of time. The idea is the short, sharp bursts of vaccine more closely mimic routine immunisation programmes. Fellow researcher Dr Kevin McHugh said: "In the developing world, that might be the difference between not getting vaccinated and receiving all of your vaccines in one shot."

Every childhood vaccine may go into a single jab - BBC News
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:15 AM
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Monkeypox On The Rise...

Monkeypox On The Rise: How Worried Should We Be?
November 16, 2017 - Earlier this month, the Washington Post ran a big, feature about a seemingly scary disease, called monkeypox. "It kills up to 1 in 10 of its victims, similar to pneumonic plague, and is particularly dangerous in children," the story observes at the beginning.
Quote:
Plus, the virus appears to be on rise. "Since 1970, 10 countries in Africa have had at least one recorded human case of monkeypox," the story says. A map shows the disease popping up across countries in West and Central Africa, including the Congo Republic, where the story takes place. The country is fighting an outbreak with 88 cases and six deaths, the World Health Organization says. The story chronicles a thrilling hunt to find the source of monkeypox: Is it a giant pouched rat? An African brush-tailed porcupine?


A woman shows symptoms of monkeypox in 2008 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

And it put monkeypox at the forefront of national media. Even Fox News picked up on the idea and ran a segment entitled: "Monkeypox & Black Death Plague Resurface," read a headline for a Tucker Carlson segment. "It could reach this country before we know it's coming," Carlson said. There's no question monkeypox can be a serious disease. It causes a fever, and a rash, which can turn into painful, fluid-filled blisters on the face, hands and feet. But here at Goats and Soda, we wanted to know more. Where on Earth does this virus come from? And how dangerous is it compared to other threats, like Ebola or H7N9 bird flu?

To get the lowdown, we talked to two monkeypox experts: Anne Rimoin at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has studied monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of Congo for 15 years; and Jay Hooper at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who is working to develop a better monkeypox vaccine. Here are some of the questions we asked and some of their surprising answers.


The lesions from monkeypox are similar to those from a smallpox infection.

Where does it come from? Monkeys?

No! "The name is actually a little bit of a misnomer," Rimoin says. Perhaps it should be called "rodentpox" instead. Yes, monkeys can get monkeypox. But they aren't major carriers. Instead, the virus likely persists in squirrels or another rodent.

How do you catch it?
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