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Saudi Arabia must be transparent to fight MERS virus

Saudi Arabia must be transparent to fight MERS virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
MERS virus provides another reason for Saudi Arabia to be transparent.

SLOWLY OVER the past year, a novel respiratory virus has claimed victims in the Middle East, primarily in Saudi Arabia. It comes from a species known as coronavirus, which, through an electronic microscope, looks like a spiky blob. The virus has been named Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), of the 157 laboratory-confirmed cases since September 2012, 66 people have died.

It is not uncommon for humans and animals to exchange dangerous pathogens. In the past decade, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, also a coronavirus, rose out of China, perhaps from bats; the swine flu pandemic originated in Mexico; and avian flu has remained an ever-present threat to humans. What’s most important about these diseases is whether they are transmissible from human to human. It turned out that SARS and swine flu spread quickly among people.

Transfer from animals is also suspected in MERS; reports have pointed to bats and camels as possible sources. But there is a big puzzle: Many of the people who came down with MERS were not exposed to bats or camels. So far, close contact between humans seems to provide some means of transmission, although it is still not clear how readily. The fear is that if the virus did become easily transmissible, it could spread fast and be fatal to many.

A study published this month in the Lancet Infectious Diseases carried some unsettling findings about MERS. The study, by an international team, suggested that many cases are being missed, perhaps because they are not severe. The researchers estimated that 62 percent of the cases with human symptoms may not have been diagnosed as MERS.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Frightening stuff...the fact that a MERS epidemic may be growing slowly under our noses, because of the security concerns and traditional lack of access by outsiders to Saudi information, is highly concerning for the rest of us.

Do people learn NOTHING from history?  The only reason SARS got to be a problem was because Chinese authorities sat on information - and the only reason we later got on top of SARS was by sharing information.

Yet here we are, a decade or so later, and the same thing is happening with MERS.

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Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
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CRISPR “Kill Switches” for GMOs

CRISPR “Kill Switches” for GMOs | Virology News | Scoop.it
Researchers create an inducible method to remove specific genes and even kill escaped genetically modified organisms.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Right: that SHOULD take care of all but the most rabid anti-GMO campaigners - because there's no pleasing them!

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The only person ever cured of AIDS?

The only person ever cured of AIDS? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Timothy Ray Brown, commonly referred to as the “Berlin patient,” does not want to be the only person cured of AIDS.
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Mandatory Vaccine Bill Passes In California Senate

Mandatory Vaccine Bill Passes In California Senate | Virology News | Scoop.it
A bill that would make vaccines mandatory for nearly every child in California passed the state Senate on Thursday morning.

The controversial bill ensures that parents enrolling their children in C
Ed Rybicki's insight:

...and it'll all be a trick by Obama to enslave and/or kill Americans.  But at least it may stop measles at Disneyland.

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Scientists Crack A 50-Year-Old Mystery About The Measles Vaccine

Scientists Crack A 50-Year-Old Mystery About The Measles Vaccine | Virology News | Scoop.it
When the U.S. introduced the measles vaccine, childhood deaths from all infections plummeted. Scientists think they might know why: Benefits of the measles vaccine go way beyond the measles.
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Cuba's Lung Cancer Vaccine Stuns But The Real Surprise Is The Price

"When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) headed to Havana on a historic trade mission in April, he returned with the promise of an important commodity: a ...
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Tracing the bird flu outbreak in North American poultry flocks

(Reuters) - The United States is facing its worst outbreak on record of avian influenza as three deadly strains have hit North American poultry flocks since December, with the spread of infection picking
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Useful timeline!

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Natural measles virus infection weakens immunity for years after infection

Natural measles virus infection weakens immunity for years after infection | Virology News | Scoop.it
The vaccine indirectly protects for more than measles.
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Swaziland has world's highest HIV/AIDS rate; young women most affected

Swaziland has world's highest HIV/AIDS rate; young women most affected | Virology News | Scoop.it
Free Speech Radio News
Swaziland has world's highest HIV/AIDS rate; young women most affected
Free Speech Radio News
Swaziland has the world's largest HIV epidemic, affecting roughly one in four people.
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Study finds no link between HPV vaccination and increase in STIs

Study finds no link between HPV vaccination and increase in STIs | Virology News | Scoop.it
Researchers have demonstrated that human papillomavirus vaccination is not associated with an increase in sexually transmitted infections, offering reassurance that the vaccine does not promote risky sexual disinhibition.
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Bird flu could threaten Thanksgiving turkey supply

Bird flu could threaten Thanksgiving turkey supply | Virology News | Scoop.it
The largest-ever U.S. outbreak of avian influenza (AKA bird flu) has taken a toll on poultry and egg producers in recent weeks.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

They think that's all they have to worry about??  Fortunately for us, we don't do Thanksgiving - and are not too fond of turkey, either.

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Ecuador latest to impose nationwide ban on US poultry due to bird flu

Ecuador latest to impose nationwide ban on US poultry due to bird flu | Virology News | Scoop.it
The Ecuadorian agricultural authority Agrocalidad has banned all imports of live foul, poultry meat and poultry products, as well as genetic material, including chicks and hatching eggs, from the US, in response to the recent avian influenza...
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Do Babies Get Too Many Vaccines? [No]

Paul A. Offit, MD, discusses the immunological components in vaccines to address parents' concerns with “too many vaccines.” Visit the Vaccine Education ...
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ProMED-mail and avian flu

ProMED-mail and avian flu | Virology News | Scoop.it

Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses have been reported thus far this year in flocks in Nigeria, Indonesia, Iraq, and Burkina Faso (all H5N1), Hungary, USA, and China (H5N8), Mexico (H7N3), and Taiwan (H5N2). In Viet Nam, H5N6 is epizootic. The disease has affected humans in Egypt (H5N1) and China (H5N6 and H7N9). In March, U.S. researchers reported that two flu strains (H10N8 and H6N1), had begun causing sporadic infections among people on the Chinese mainland and in Taiwan, but were still not able to infect humans easily.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease reported recently that the HPAI H5N2 virus detected in poultry in British Columbia was sequenced and found to contain gene segments from the HPAI Eurasian H5N8 virus, terming this the first time a "Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic H5 virus has caused an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in North America." In the US, every day brings news of new sites in the current outbreak of H5N2. Since March, the virus has led to the loss of well over 30 million birds in 13 states. The pattern and speed of this outbreak's spread is causing scientists to re-think the assumption that avian influenza spreads solely through the intermingling of wild birds with domestic flocks.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

An organisation that brought you Ebola as it happened, in 1995 - and still well worth supporting!

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Real-time visualization of circulating influenza strains – FluViruses.com

submitted by trvrbedford [link] [comment] Read more here: http://www.reddit.com/r/flu/comments/2yt7uk/realtime_visualization_of_circulating_influenza/
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Video to debunk HIV cure fallacy in S Africa

Video to debunk HIV cure fallacy in S Africa | Virology News | Scoop.it
South Africa's Premier Online News Source. Discover the world of IOL, News South Africa, Sport, Business, Financial, World News, Entertainment, Technology, Motoring, Travel, Property, Calssifieds & more.
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The Feverish Roots of Today's Anti-Vaccine Movement

The Feverish Roots of Today's Anti-Vaccine Movement | Virology News | Scoop.it
How the history of inoculation gave birth to the anti-vaccine movement.
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A huge US food distributor says bird flu could hurt egg supply for the next year

A huge US food distributor says bird flu could hurt egg supply for the next year | Virology News | Scoop.it
The U.S. poultry and egg industry is grappling with the country's biggest outbreak on record of avian influenza.
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SABC News - South Africans warned against H3N2 strain

SABC News - South Africans warned against H3N2 strain | Virology News | Scoop.it
Global health authorities have cautioned that current flu vaccines may not prevent a severe new strain of influenza, namely the H3N2 strain.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Yup!  Still worth getting vaccinated, though - because you might get one of the OTHER ones!

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The Vaccine Culture War in America: Are You Ready?

Discrimination, societal sanctions, it all started with a few measles cases at Disneyland. More than 1.2 million people in the US are infected with HIV, about two ...
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Widespread male circumcision could prevent more than a million HIV infections

Widespread male circumcision could prevent more than a million HIV infections HSPH News May 11, 2015—More than a million HIV infections could be prevented over the next 15 years by increasing circumcision of uninfected men in the five countries in...
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Diary of a fieldworker in Liberia: ‘No touch’ and other stories

Diary of a fieldworker in Liberia: ‘No touch’ and other stories | Virology News | Scoop.it
On 9 May, Liberia was officially declared Ebola-free. It was a long, hard road to get to this point – and a nervy 42-day wait without new patients before the declaration could be made.
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Why scientists put dinosaur snouts on chickens

Why scientists put dinosaur snouts on chickens | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists have transformed chicken embryos to give them a snout and palate configuration similar to that of small dinosaurs like Velociraptor and Archaeopteryx.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Because. Velociraptors!  Who wouldn't want little velocichickens running around??

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The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 and Your Ancestors

The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 and Your Ancestors | Virology News | Scoop.it
The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 was a global catastrophe that is estimated to have killed between 40 and 50 million people.
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Nice little piece, personalising the 1918 pandemic.

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Are Combination Vaccines Safe? [Yes]

Paul A. Offit, MD, talks about the safety of combination vaccines, such as the MMR and DTaP vaccines. Visit the Vaccine Education Center to learn more about ...
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