Outbreak

Category archives for Outbreak

I have a post up today at the Scientific American Guest blog, discussing how an earthquake and denial led to prairie dog plague. It details an outbreak of plague in Victorian San Francisco–the first time plague hit the United States–and the many downstream consequences of that outbreak (which began in 1900 and wasn’t really contained…

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.

Ebola: Back in the DRC

August, 1976. A new infection was causing panic in Zaire. Hospitals became death zones, as both patients and medical staff succumbed to the disease. Reports of nightmarish symptoms trickled in to scientists in Europe and the US, who sent investigators to determine the cause and stem the epidemic. Concurrently, they would find out, the same…

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…

This is the tenth of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Jean DeNapoli.  I own a small back yard flock of sheep and lambing season is the most exciting and rewarding time of the year.  Nothing is more enjoyable than watching a lamb who takes a few wobbly steps and nurses for the first time as her…

This is the eighth of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Michelle Formanek.  For many of us in the scientific world, particularly budding infectious disease epidemiologists like myself, the Plague (or, more dramatically, the “Black Death”) is a prime example of the rapid and devastating spread of an infectious disease. So devastating, in fact, that it wiped…

The emergence of “new” diseases is a complicated issue. “New” diseases often just means “new to biomedical science.” Viruses like Ebola and HIV were certainly circulating in Africa in animal reservoirs for decades, and probably millenia, before they came to the attention of physicians via human infections. Hantavirus in the American southwest has likely infected…

Just a quick post as I’m in end-of-semester hell. Via Maryn McKenna on Twitter, the CDC has released a report of Campylobacter illnesses due to not food consumption, but because of castrating lambs. With their teeth. On June 29, 2011, the Wyoming Department of Health was notified of two laboratory-confirmed cases of Campylobacter jejuni enteritis…

It appears that the E. coli O104 sproutbreak is starting to wind down, with more than 3,500 cases diagnosed to date and 39 deaths. Though sprouts remain the key source of the bacterium, a recent report also documents that human carriers helped to spread the organism (via H5N1 blog). In this case, it was a…