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Keyword: pandemics

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  • 'The world is headed for a post-antibiotic era,' WHO official warns

    05/02/2014 2:50:11 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 20 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | May 2, 2014 | by Karen Kaplan
    Officials from the World Health Organization warned this week that the workhorse medications we rely on to keep viruses, bacteria and other pathogens in check are in real danger of becoming obsolete. In every region of the globe, health officials have witnessed “very high rates of resistance” to antimicrobial drugs designed to fight bugs like Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae, according to a new report. These bugs cause pneumonia and infections in the bloodstream, open wounds and the urinary tract.
  • WHO: New Virus Has Pandemic Potential (60% mortality -Haj pilgrims at greatest risk)

    06/14/2013 12:13:31 AM PDT · by presidio9 · 25 replies
    Voice of America ^ | June 10, 2013
    The World Health Organization is asking health workers around the world to be on alert for symptoms of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. Monday's warning came as WHO officials ended a six-day investigation in Saudi Arabia, where 40 of the 55 cases of the respiratory disease have occurred. Sixty percent of those people with known infections died. The United Nations agency is concerned that the MERS virus might spread among pilgrims expected to visit holy sites in Saudi Arabia next month during Ramadan, or the millions more expected in October for the annual Hajj to Mecca. Officials...
  • Diary From The HMNZ Tahiti During The 1918 Pandemic

    10/08/2012 12:00:43 PM PDT · by neverdem · 19 replies
    Avian Flu Diary ^ | OCTOBER 08, 2012 | Michael Coston
    For years historians, epidemiologists, and virologists have been attempting to peel back the cobwebs of time in order to analyze the deadliest pandemic in human history; the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. John Barry’s The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History, has probably done more to reawaken memories of that awful time than any other source, but many gaps in our knowledge remain. Jeffrey K. Taubenberger and David Morens - both researchers at NIAID – have added considerably to our understanding of the H1N1 virus and the events surrounding its emergence. Taubenberger was the first to...
  • Deadly bubonic plague found in Oregon: Back to the Middle Ages?

    06/17/2012 12:29:52 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 19 replies
    New Jersey Newsroom ^ | Saturday, 16 June 2012 11:00 | BOB HOLT
    A man has been hospitalized in Oregon who is believed to be suffering from the black plague, a disease that killed about one-third of the population of Europe during the Middle Ages. The unidentified man in his 50s became ill several days after being bitten when he tried to get a mouse out of the mouth of a stray cat, according to The man was listed in critical condition in a Bend hospital on Tuesday. NZ Herald News reported that the man showed classic symptoms of the plague—swollen lymph nodes in the groin and armpits. But doctors said he...
  • Ancient Mummy Child Had Hepatitis B

    06/02/2012 7:34:31 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    LiveScience ^ | Tuesday, May 29, 2012 | Staff
    A mummified child in Korea whose organs were relatively well preserved has produced the oldest full viral genome description. A liver biopsy of the mummy revealed a unique hepatitis B virus (HBV) known as a genotype C2 sequence, which is said to be common in Southeast Asia. The first discovery of hepatitis in a Korean mummy came in 2007. The new work provided more detailed analysis... Carbon 14 tests of the clothing of the mummy suggests that the boy lived around the 16th century during the Korean Joseon Dynasty. The viral DNA sequences recovered from the liver biopsy enabled the...
  • Korean Mummy Holds Clues to Disease

    07/26/2007 8:33:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies · 392+ views
    !oohaY ^ | Wednesday, Jul 25, 2007 | Jeanna Bryner
    The liver of a child mummy preserved for 500 years still holds samples of the hepatitis B virus... Mark Spigelman of the Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem... is a paleo-epidemiologist, who studies ancient diseases found on mummified bodies to shed light on the modern forms of such illnesses. This is the first time hepatitis B has been spotted in a mummified body. In South Korea, 12 percent of the population are hepatitis carriers, more than double the world average. The virus, responsible for about 1 million deaths each year,...
  • This Ancient, Deadly Disease Is Still Killing In Europe

    12/30/2011 3:33:45 PM PST · by blam · 38 replies
    TBI ^ | 12-30-3011 | John Donnelly
    This Ancient, Deadly Disease Is Still Killing In Europe John Donnelly, GlobalPost Dec. 30, 2011, 12:53 PM GENEVA, Switzerland – On the sidelines of a conference in Baku, Azerbaijan, just three months ago, a senior health official from Belarus met privately with Mario Raviglione, whose job here at the World Health Organization’s headquarters is to control the spread of tuberculosis around the world. Belarus needed help. It had just confirmed a study that found 35 percent of all TB cases in the capital of Minsk were multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) – the highest rate in the world ever recorded for...
  • Black death DNA unravelled (Genetic code of 'mother' of deadly bubonic plague reassembled)

    10/13/2011 1:35:49 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 10/12/2011
    Scientists used the degraded strands to reconstruct the entire genetic code of the deadly bacterium. It is the first time experts have succeeded in drafting the genome of an ancient pathogen, or disease-causing agent. The researchers found that a specific strain of the plague bug Yersinia pestis caused the pandemic that killed 100 million Europeans - between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of the total population - in just five years between 1347 and 1351. They also learned that the strain is the "mother" of all modern bubonic plague bacteria. "Every outbreak across the globe today stems from...
  • Deadly Black Death bug hasn't changed, but we have

    10/12/2011 6:26:05 PM PDT · by decimon · 46 replies
    Associated Press ^ | October 12, 2011 | Seth Borenstein
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have cracked the genetic code of the Black Death, one of history's worst plagues, and found that its modern day bacterial descendants haven't changed much over 600 years. Luckily, we have. > In devastating the population, it changed the human immune system, basically wiping out people who couldn't deal with the disease and leaving the stronger to survive, said study co-author Hendrik Poinar of McMaster University in Ontario. >
  • New study re-examines bacterial vaccine studies conducted during 1918 influenza pandemic

    11/02/2010 9:03:47 AM PDT · by decimon · 3 replies
    WHAT: Secondary infections with bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, which causes pneumonia, were a major cause of death during the 1918 flu pandemic and may be important in modern pandemics as well, according to a new article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases co-authored by David M. Morens, M.D., senior advisor to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The researchers examined 13 studies published between 1918 and 1920. During this time, many scientists erroneously believed that influenza was caused by bacteria, not a virus. As a result, researchers...
  • (UK)Swine flu: 100,000 infected in a week

    07/27/2009 1:57:14 AM PDT · by blueplum · 11 replies · 510+ views
    Telegraph UK ^ | July 23rd, '09 | Rebecca Smith
    Weekly cases of the H1N1 virus have almost doubled in a week and Justin McCracken, chief executive of the Health Protection Agency, said the number of GP consultations about flu are in line with epidemic levels. "We are there or there abouts," he said. An epidemic is officially declared when the number of GP consultations recorded by the Royal College of GP exceeds 200 per 100,000 population. Last week the figure stood at 155 consultations per 100,000 population but another, larger, database which is more up to date has recorded 221.4 consultations per 100,000 population. Mr McCracken said taking the...
  • How swine flu could be a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear warfare

    04/26/2009 5:04:44 PM PDT · by Flavius · 58 replies · 2,220+ views
    daily mail ^ | 27th April 2009 | By Michael Hanlon
    When a new animal virus emerges in some crowded corner of the Third World and the experts start talking gravely about pandemics, the inevitable question is: How much should we worry? Well, it probably isn't time, quite yet, to be heading for the hills but the emergence of a new and deadly strain of swine flu in Mexico is a matter of serious concern. If we are lucky, we will see something like a rerun of the SARS or bird flu scares seen earlier this decade - scary but containable outbreaks of disease which have (so far) killed a few...
  • Synthesizing Bioterror - Are mail order pandemics in your future? (Read comment# 1 please.)

    11/01/2007 11:38:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies · 193+ views
    Reason ^ | October 30, 2007 | Ronald Bailey
    Want to create a pathogen? Just download its gene sequence information from the Internet and place an order with a gene sequencing company. The genes arrive in the mail a couple of days later. Mix it in your basement lab and then release on an unprotected public. Is this nightmarish vision of mail-order bioterrorism really possible? Most experts agree that basement bioterrorism is unlikely right now. But rapid improvements in the technologies that allow researchers to generate genetic material starting from just information and raw chemicals could make such bioterror attacks possible in the next decade or so. The synthesis...
  • Avian Flu Vaccine Called Effective in Human Testing

    08/06/2005 1:04:49 PM PDT · by wagglebee · 18 replies · 673+ views
    New York Times ^ | 8/7/05 | LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN
    WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 - Government scientists say they have successfully tested in people a vaccine that they believe can protect against the strain of avian influenza that is spreading in birds through Asia and Russia. Health officials have been racing to develop a vaccine because they worry that if that strain mutated and combined with a human influenza virus to create a new virus, it could spread rapidly through the world. (The vaccine cannot lead to such a situation because it is made from killed virus.) Tens of millions of birds have died from infection with the virus and culling...
  • Senate Leader Backs Initiative on Biodefense

    06/02/2005 5:48:23 PM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies · 562+ views
    THE NEW YORK TIMES ^ | June 2, 2005 | NA
    BOSTON, June 1 - A federal initiative as ambitious as the Manhattan Project is needed to protect the nation from infectious diseases, Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said Wednesday in a lecture at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Frist, who studied medicine at Harvard, said the effort would defend against both bioterrorism and diseases that are spread naturally. He said that the United States and the rest of the world were unprepared for a potential pandemic despite signs that emerging viruses like the avian flu are capable of causing sharp losses of life. "Any number of known and...
  • History's pandemics should prepare us

    05/01/2003 10:42:41 PM PDT · by FairOpinion · 15 replies · 948+ views
    Denver Post ^ | May 1, 2003 | Penelope Purdy
    Ring around the rosy. Bubonic plague creates reddish welts on the neck. Pocket full of posies. Medieval people thought putting flowers in their clothes staved off death. Ashes, ashes. Houses of the dead sometimes were torched. We all fall down. Entire families perished. Some historians believe the common children's rhyme may have been an attempt by children to cope with the long-ago horrors that swept Europe from about 1300 to about 1600. In the first five years that the plague ravaged Europe, it killed at least 25 million people. Millions more succumbed in the pandemic's later waves - dwarfing today's...
  • Doctors say this isn?t the big one ? at least not yet

    04/25/2003 5:19:00 PM PDT · by Prince Charles · 4 replies · 281+ views
    Times of London ^ | 4-26-03 | Anthony Brown
    April 26, 2003 Doctors say this isn't the big one -- at least not yet By Anthony Brown LIKE earthquakewatchers in California, doctors around the world have been waiting for the 'big one'. Diseases come and diseases go, but it is thought inevitable that one of them at one time will be so quick to spread, incurable and so lethal that even the full force of modern science could not stop millions of deaths. The bubonic plague killed 25 million people in Europe in the 14th century, the Spanish flu in 1918 killed 70 million. Aids has killed 12 million...