Various viruses

Category archives for Various viruses

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…

“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…

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…

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…

Is history repeating itself?

This is the fifteenth of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Cassie Klostermann.  One of the major accomplishments that public health professionals pride themselves in is the reduction of people getting sick or dying from preventable infectious diseases. Unfortunately, these debilitating, historic diseases that health professionals had once thought they had under control are starting to rear their…

Coexisting with Coyotes

This is the twelfth of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Stanley Corbin. Disease in wildlife is an important concern to the health and safety of humans and domestic animals. The expanding growth of our nation and resultant land use changes with urbanization has resulted in a shrinking habitat and fragmentation for all animals, including humans. The…

This is the eleventh of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Ilze Berzins.  When one hears the words “food-borne illness”, what comes to mind?  For me, I think of a medium rare, pink, juicy hamburger, or something like potato salad that may be made with mayonnaise containing raw eggs, or maybe a fresh green garden salad sprinkled…

This is the second of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Eileen Ball. The beauty of dogs and cats as companions is that we don’t have to raise them to go out into the world and be successful.  As pet parents we can set the household “rules” according to what works for us and get on with…

Holy influenza, batman!

Typically when we think of flying things and influenza viruses, the first images that come to mind are wild waterfowl. Waterbirds are reservoirs for an enormous diversity of influenza viruses, and are the ultimate origin of all known flu viruses. In birds, the virus replicates in the intestinal tract, and can be spread to other…