Archive for December 28th, 2013

Debilitating Virus Infects Island Paradise

28 December, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

A painful mosquito-borne disease is spotted in the Western Hemisphere for first time, boosting U.S. risk.

Given a choice between dengue fever or another mosquito-borne disease called chikungunya fever, choose dengue every time. Neither has an available vaccine or treatment, but chikungunya (pronounced chik-un-GUHN-ya) is far more severe – it literally means “that which bends up” because patients are often stooped over from debilitating joint pain.

If you’re a resident of the Caribbean island of St. Martin (or lucky enough to be traveling there for the holidays) you are now at risk of both. The island, roughly the size of Manhattan and located some 300 kilometers east of Puerto Rico, has the first confirmed outbreak of chikungunya in the Western Hemisphere. 

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

I hate to say it, but why is something only severe when it threatens the US?  As it is, global warming has now brought chikungunya (which comes from near where I grew up) to near the US – and it will almost certainly join West Nile as being endemic fairly soon.

Which means we may get a vaccine….

See on www.scientificamerican.com

New version of 2009 pandemic flu virus surges; targets healthy middle-aged people and young adults

28 December, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

Sacramento County, state and federal officials urge vaccination, saying a resurgence of a strain of the virus behind the worldwide flu pandemic in 2009 is causing a sharp increase in influenza cases.

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

…meaning we older folk should be fine…plus, this one is is in Africa, where it’s summer, and not flu season!

See on www.sacbee.com

Vietnam fears stronger virus strains amid bird flu resurgence

28 December, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu announced bird flu outbreak on a herd of more than 1,500 ducks Wednesday, fueling fears that new strains of the flu virus detected in China could hit Vietnam.

Tests on several samples of the dead ducks were positive for H5N1 virus.

Health authorities have been warning of bird flu pandemics ahead of the country’s biggest holiday Tet, when demand for fowl increases and fuels the smuggling of birds from rural areas to cities.

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

Sounds like South Africa…there’s a ban on moving animals?  Simple – do it by night, and by back roads!

See on www.thanhniennews.com