Infectious disease

Category archives for Infectious disease

Ebola has long been known to be a zoonotic virus–one which jumps between species. Though it took several decades to find evidence of Ebola virus in bats, these animals had previously been associated with human index cases of Ebola disease have worked in bat-infested warehouses or traveled to caves where bats roost. Non-human primates have…

Uganda hit with Marburg

Uganda’s latest Ebola outbreak, which I covered back in July, was just officially declared over on October 5th, a mere two weeks ago. Now today there is a report that three are dead from an outbreak of Marburg virus. That makes 4 Ebola outbreaks and now 2 Marburg outbreaks in the country since 2000.

Guest post by Hillary Craddock Last week a new study regarding Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was published online (Bingham et.al.). EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause serious, and sometimes deadly, disease in humans and equines. In warmer parts of North America, the virus is spread year-round, but in areas where mosquitoes get killed…

Rabies is a disease without a public relations firm. In developed countries, human disease is incredibly rare–we see typically one or two deaths from rabies each year. In contrast, lightning is responsible for about 60 deaths each year. However, worldwide, rabies is another matter. Today is World Rabies Day, a reminder that 55,000 people still…

Despite its reputation as a scourge of antiquity, Yersinia pestis–the bacterium that causes bubonic plague–still causes thousands of human illnesses every year. In modern times, most of these occur in Africa, and to a lesser extent in Asia, though we have a handful of cases each year in the U.S as well. When Y. pestis…

“Spillover” by David Quammen

Regular readers don’t need to be told that I’m a bit obsessed with zoonotic disease. It’s what I study, and it’s a big part of what I teach. I run a Center devoted to the investigation of emerging diseases, and the vast majority of all emerging diseases are zoonotic. I have an ongoing series of…

Uganda just can’t catch a break. They’ve recently been hit with nodding disease, a mysterious syndrome where children repeatedly nod their heads and undergo serious seizures, typically leading to death. Now they’re in the grips of story notes that “The site where most of the cases occurred are close to Kibale forest where there are…

Using zombies to teach science

With my colleague Greg Tinkler, I spent an afternoon last week at a local public library talking to kids about zombies: The Zombie Apocalypse is coming. Will you be ready? University of Iowa epidemiologist Dr. Tara Smith will talk about how a zombie virus might spread and how you can prepare. Get a list of…

I know summer is winding down, but there’s still plenty of beach time left and some great books to take along with you. Two giants in the field have recently released memoirs of their respective fights against infectious diseases: William Foege’s House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox and Peter Piot’s No Time to…

This is the last of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Jessica Waters.  Climatologists have been warning us about the ongoing and impending consequences of global warming for years. But the results of climate change affect more than just polar bears and penguins  – if you live anywhere in the northeastern, north-central or west coast states of the…