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H7N9 virus: Should SA be worried?

H7N9 virus: Should SA be worried? | Virology News | Scoop.it

It has been described as one of the world’s most lethal flu viruses.

More than 20 people have already died from it in China, and more than 100 are infected.

The new strain of bird flu, the H7N9, has caused such a stir in the medical field that local practitioners are on a drive to educate South Africans on the importance of getting flu vaccines.

“This strain is actually nothing new, but the virus is changing itself… it’s becoming bigger and it is absolutely critical that everyone be vaccinated. It doesn’t appear that any South Africans have contracted or are in danger of the virus. but flu spreads quickly, and while we don’t want to scare people, there needs to be awareness,” said Professor Lynne Webber, head of the medical virology department at the University of Pretoria.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Seconded on people getting flu vaccines...although there IS no available vaccine that would protect against this one, so the point is moot!

 

What this points up rather strongly is that SA needs a capacity to make emergency response vaccines - because we most definitely will not get any from anyone else, if this one goes pandemic, just as happened in 2009 with the H1N1pdm virus.

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Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people. And other things.
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Cuba to commit large health corps to Ebola fight

Cuba to commit large health corps to Ebola fight | Virology News | Scoop.it
Tiny island nation will send 165 doctors and nurses to Sierra Leone
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Engineering of inducible resistance in maize to Maize streak virus: a history, and a model for South-South collaboration

Engineering of inducible resistance in maize to Maize streak virus: a history, and a model for South-South collaboration | Virology News | Scoop.it
I blogged on this paper from our group over at Virology News, but then I decided to do it again here. Because, as I said there, "This is a big deal: seriously. It's the culmination of some 24 years...
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U.S. Military to Send 3,000 to Battle Ebola Virus

U.S. Military to Send 3,000 to Battle Ebola Virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
The U.S. military will deploy about 3,000 personnel to West Africa to coordinate international aid, build treatment centers and train health-care workers as part of President Barack Obama's offensive against a worsening Ebola outbreak, a senior...
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US Ebola Patient Gets Serum From Recovered Victim to Fight Virus

US Ebola Patient Gets Serum From Recovered Victim to Fight Virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
ABC News
US Ebola Patient Gets Serum From Recovered Victim to Fight Virus
ABC News
An American Ebola survivor has donated blood to help an infected U.S. doctor fight the deadly disease. Dr.
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The not so famous HIV prevention method

The not so famous HIV prevention method | Virology News | Scoop.it
The not so famous HIV prevention method
News24
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends PrEP be considered for people who are HIV-negative and at substantial risk for HIV infection.
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Special Collection: Ebola

Special Collection: Ebola | Virology News | Scoop.it
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U.S. to announce major increase in aid to fight Ebola

U.S. to announce major increase in aid to fight Ebola | Virology News | Scoop.it
President Obama is expected to lay out details during visit to CDC on Tuesday.

President Obama plans to announce a significant boost in the U.S. response to the worst Ebola outbreak in history in West Africa, including more involvement of the U.S. military, according to an administration official.

Among the likely moves are setting up more field hospitals, sending more health-care personnel and training health workers in the hardest-hit countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The Pentagon announced last week that it would send a 25-bed hospital to Liberia. The hospital is intended to treat health-care workers, including Liberians, and eventually will be turned over to the Liberian government. But it will be at least a month before the hospital is delivered. “There will be some additional facilities in the works,” the official said.

Obama is expected to lay out details during his visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Tuesday, the official said.

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Mers: Saudis in push to keep Hajj free from deadly virus

Mers: Saudis in push to keep Hajj free from deadly virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
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Viruses spread easily from a single doorknob

Scientists have used special tracer viruses to show that contamination of just a single doorknob can leads to the spread of viruses throughout an entire office building. The idea was to see how easily something unpleasant like norovirus spreads.

Via Chris Upton + helpers
Ed Rybicki's insight:

"Tracer viruses".  They put viruses on a doorknob??  Phages, obviously - and MS2 coliphage, to boot.  I would like to take a look at that ethics application...!

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How to respond to the new anti-vaccine “bombshell”

I've already written many posts. I even made a video. Here it is: 

But there’s a new “bombshell” that everyone on my twitter feed seems to want me to address. I just don’t feel up to it. Luckily I don’t have to. David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine knocked it out of the park. “Did a high ranking whistleblower really reveal that the CDC covered up proof that vaccines cause autism in African-American boys?“:

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Epstein-Barr Virus: The Path from Association to Causality for a Ubiquitous Human Pathogen

Epstein-Barr Virus: The Path from Association to Causality for a Ubiquitous Human Pathogen | Virology News | Scoop.it

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a herpes virus, is now accepted as a bona fide human tumor virus and has been found to be a risk factor for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Epidemiological studies and molecular virology have been combined to establish EBV's causal roles in several lymphomas and carcinomas. The success of these combined approaches illustrates what insights will be needed to confirm or refute EBV as a cause of MS.

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WHO: Use Ebola survivors' blood to treat patients

WHO: Use Ebola survivors' blood to treat patients | Virology News | Scoop.it
Desperate to restore hope amid the Ebola crisis, the World Health Organization said Friday it would accelerate the use of experimental treatments and vaccines to contain the expanding epidemic in West Africa.
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Many in West Africa May Be Immune to Ebola Virus

Many in West Africa May Be Immune to Ebola Virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
New York Times
Many in West Africa May Be Immune to Ebola Virus
New York Times
Although few medical experts realize it, part of the population in West Africa is immune to the Ebola virus, according to virologists who specialize in the disease.
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From Cedar and Peanut allergies to Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics: The future of DNA vaccines

From Cedar and Peanut allergies to Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics: The future of DNA vaccines | Virology News | Scoop.it
From Cedar and Peanut allergies to Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics: This is the future of DNA vaccine technology
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Anti-vaccine movement may have global repercussions

Anti-vaccine movement may have global repercussions | Virology News | Scoop.it
Opposition to vaccines threatens well-being of all children.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

People who refuse to vaccinate their children ought to be ostracised: not allowed to school their kids, not allowed to go to supermarkets....

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5 Diseases That Need Vaccines Even More Than Ebola

While the Ebola numbers seem staggering, infectious diseases like malaria and influenza kill hundreds of thousands of people every single year. (5 Diseases That Need Vaccines or Improvements: Malaria, dengue, tuberculosis, influenza, HIV.
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Ebola in the air? A nightmare that could happen

Ebola in the air? A nightmare that could happen | Virology News | Scoop.it
Every time the Ebola virus copies itself, it mutates. These mutations could change the way the virus behaves.
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Child respiratory virus rapidly sweeping across US

Eight states have confirmed cases of Enterovirus 68. Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University, discusses the spread of the virus with the "CBS This...
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Ebola Virus - YouTube

https://www.facebook.com/ArmandoHasudungan Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/
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A virus hunter faces the big one: Ebola

A virus hunter faces the big one: Ebola | Virology News | Scoop.it
For years, Joseph Fair dreamed of fighting Ebola. Then he got his chance. It wasn’t what he expected.
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New analysis of old HIV vaccines finds potentially protective immune response

Applying the benefit of hindsight, researchers at Duke Medicine have reanalyzed the findings of two historic pediatric HIV vaccine trials with encouraging results. The vaccines had in fact triggered an antibody response -- now known to be associated with protection in adults -- that was previously unrecognized in the infants studied in the 1990s.
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Ebola Cases Rise Rapidly in Congo

Ebola Cases Rise Rapidly in Congo | Virology News | Scoop.it
The World Health Organization said that the number of Ebola cases in the country was 62, up from 31 a week earlier, and that more than half the afflicted patients had died.
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WHO meeting chooses untried interventions to defeat Ebola

WHO meeting chooses untried interventions to defeat Ebola. By - John Maurice
Delegates met in Geneva on Sept 4—5 to prioritise experimental therapies and vaccines that could be rapidly used to help curb the present Ebola outbreak in west Africa. John Maurice reports.“Right now the epidemic is out of control. The situation is drastic and calls for drastic measures.” This statement, by Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, encapsulates the mood of a WHO consultation meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sept 4—5, 2014, that brought together more than 150 international experts involved in the current Ebola outbreak in west Africa. Their task was to determine if and how experimental vaccines and therapies for Ebola could be pulled out of the development pipeline and put to work to halt transmission of the virus and alleviate the suffering of its victims.“This 2-day meeting was in itself a drastic measure”, Kieny told The Lancet. “Delegates came from 29 countries, including the three west African countries severely affected by the outbreak. Just about every sector of the international health community was represented. What impressed me most was the willingness that everyone expressed to take action to curb the epidemic.” The number of people affected by this epidemic certainly calls for action. As of Sept 5, the last day of the meeting, there were, according to a WHO Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report, 3944 probable, confirmed, and suspected cases of Ebola and 2097 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—nearly twice as many cases and deaths as for all previous outbreaks that have occurred since the Ebola virus first appeared in 1976, and nearly ten times as many as there were for the biggest previous outbreak, in Uganda in 2000—01. The heaviest burden right now is in Liberia, where 14 of 15 counties are affected, with 1871 cases and 1089 deaths, mostly in the capital, Monrovia.
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The origins of giant viruses, virophages and their relatives in host genomes

Giant viruses have revealed a number of surprises that challenge conventions on what constitutes a virus. The Samba virus newly isolated in Brazil expands the known distribution of giant mimiviruses to a near-global scale. These viruses, together with the transposon-related virophages that infect them, pose a number of questions about their evolutionary origins that need to be considered in the light of the complex entanglement between host, virus and virophage genomes.

 
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Where Is The Ebola Outbreak? Updated Map

Where Is The Ebola Outbreak? Updated Map | Virology News | Scoop.it
Where Is The Ebola Outbreak? Updated Map Of Ebola Virus Outbreak As Death ...
International Business Times
One person tested positive for the virus in Senegal, which furthered the international community's fears of the spreading epidemic.
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