Various viruses

Category archives for Various viruses

Ebola has long been associated with wildlife. From the early days, bats were viewed as a potential reservoir (though it wasn’t confirmed that they actually harbored the virus until 2005). Contact with wild animals–particularly primates which were butchered for food–was also long thought to be a risk factor, and now we know that primates can…

Via H5N1 and other sources, there’s at least one new Ebola case in Uganda: The rare and deadly Ebola virus has killed a 12-year-old Ugandan girl and health officials said on Saturday they expected more cases. The girl from Luwero district, 75 km (45 miles) north of the capital Kampala, died on May 6, said…

Measles in Arizona by the numbers

Maryn McKenna has an excellent post on 2008′s measles outbreak in Arizona. 14 confirmed patients, 8,321 individuals tracked down, 15,120 work hours lost at 7 Arizona hospitals due to furloughs of staff who were not appropriately vaccinated, and almost $800,000 spent by 2 hospitals just to contain the disease–and it all could have been prevented.

Margulis does it again

We all know of once-respected scientists who ended up going off the deep end, adhering to an unproven idea despite massive evidence to the contrary. Linus Pauling and his advocacy of megadoses of Vitamin C, or Peter Duesberg’s descent into HIV denial. It’s all the more disappointing when the one taking a dive is a…

“Pox” by Michael Willrich

Next to Ebola, my favorite virus would probably be smallpox (Variola virus). I mean, now that it’s eradicated in nature, what’s not to love about the mysteries it’s left us–where it came from, why it was so deadly (or, not so deadly, as in the emergence of the “mild” form, variola minor), and will a…

Twittering in the classroom

Readers may be interested in participating in this, from Dave Wessner at Davidson College: Building on a project I piloted last fall, I will explore the potential role of Twitter more intentionally this fall in a course I teach on HIV/AIDS at Davidson College. I invite you to join me in this exploration. Here are…

Biblical flu paper going bye-bye

Well, that was quick. Yesterday’s post highlighting a really terrible paper in BMC’s Virology Journal drew a lot of comments here and at Pharyngula, and attention at the journal (where it currently stands as the 5th most-accessed article in the last 30 days). The journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Robert F. Garry, this in the comments section…

Dengue in Florida

At his new digs, PalMD discusses recent news revealing the presence of dengue virus in the Florida Keys–the first appearance in the state in almost 75 years. Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause serious disease, including a hemorrhagic manifestation, and the current outbreak is pitting public health professionals against the tourism industry in…

Student guest post Dayna Groskreutz Pulmonary hypertension (PH) refers to a condition in which there is high blood pressure in the vessels carrying blood from the heart to the lungs. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a subset of PH referring specifically to an increase in the pressure within the pulmonary arteries (rather than the pulmonary…

Student guest post by Raj Nair. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS) consisting of the brain and the spinal cord [1]. It is thought to be an autoimmune disease since individual’s immune system attacks their own healthy tissues [1]. However, studies to ascertain triggering factors…