Category: MILITARY MADNESS


It’s all scripted! Ebola outbreak and impossibly rapid vaccine response clearly scripted; U.S. govt. patented Ebola in 2010 and now owns all victims’ blood


It’s all scripted! Ebola outbreak

and impossibly rapid vaccine

response clearly scripted; U.S.

govt. patented Ebola in 2010

and now owns all victims’ blood

September 21, 2014 2:39 pm EST

By Mike Adams | Natural News

On the very same day that vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline is being fined $490 million by Chinese authorities for running an illegal bribery scheme across China [3], the media is announcing the “astonishing” launch of human trials for an Ebola vaccine.

Care to guess who will be manufacturing this vaccine once it is whitewashed and rubber-stamped as “approved?” GlaxoSmithKline, of course. The same company that also admitted to a massive criminal bribery network in the United States, where felony crimes were routinely committed to funnel money to over 40,000 physicians who pushed dangerous prescription drugs onto patients.

This is the company that is now — today! — injecting 60 “volunteers” with an experimental Ebola vaccine.

Spontaneous vaccine development a scientific impossibility

“Normally it would take years of human trials before a completely new vaccine was approved for use,” reports the BBC. [1] “But such is the urgency of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa that this experimental vaccine is being fast tracked at an astonishing rate.”

Yes, it’s astonishing because it’s impossible.

As any vaccine-related virologist already knows, the process of going from an in-the-wild infection of Ebola to a manufactured vaccine ready for human trials simply cannot be achieved in a matter of a few weeks or months. Apparently, we are all to believe that a spontaneous scientific miracle has now taken place — a literal act of vaccine magic — which has allowed the criminal vaccine industry to skip the tedious R&D phases and create a vaccine ready for human trials merely by waving a magic wand.

“The first of 60 healthy volunteers will be injected with the vaccine,” says the BBC today, and vaccine pushers are of course lining up to proclaim the vaccine miracle which has spontaneously appeared before them like a burning bush:

Professor Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute in Oxford, who is leading the trial, said: “This is a remarkable example of how quickly a new vaccine can be progressed into the clinic, using international co-operation.”

Near-proof that this was all scripted

The far more likely explanation, of course, is that all this was scripted in advance: the outbreak, the international cry for help, the skyrocketing of the stock price for Tekmira (which has received financial investments from Monsanto), the urgent call for a vaccine and now the spontaneous availability of human vaccine trials. It’s all beautifully scripted from start to finish, better than a Shakespearean tragedy played out on the international stage.

The “heroes” of this theater have been pre-ordained to be drug companies and vaccines, and it is already written in the script that vaccines will be heralded as lifesaving miracles of modern science even if they infect people and cause widespread damage as has now happened to young girls in Colombia who are being hospitalized en masse after being injected with HPV vaccines. [2]

Incredibly, the official response from vaccine-pushing health authorities in Colombia is that all these girls who are suffering from paralysis are merely “imagining” their symptoms and suffering from “mass hysteria.” Obviously, if vaccines are created by the gods of modern science — the new cult of our delusional world — then they must be perfect and infallible. Therefore, anyone who suffers side effects of such perfect vaccines must obviously be imagining things. Such is the delusional dogma of modern vaccine pushers.

This will be the exact same explanation leveled against anyone who suffers harmful effects from an Ebola vaccine, too. After all, the discovery of vaccine side effects simply isn’t in the script being played out before us. Therefore, it cannot be allowed, and any person who actually suffers side effects will be immediately deemed to be mentally ill. (Yes, this is how insane and Orwellian the vaccine industry has become. All who do now bow down to the voodoo of dangerous vaccines are labeled mental patients and then treated with psychiatric drugs. The vaccine industry has quite literally become the Heaven’s Gate Cult of modern medicine…)

The United States government now owns the patent on Ebola

This plot gets even more interesting when you realize that a patent on Ebola was awarded to the United States government just four years ago, in 2010.

That patent, number CA2741523A1, is available here.

Astonishingly, the patent claims U.S. government ownership over all variants of Ebola which share 70% or more of the protein sequences described in the patent: “[CLAIMS] …a nucleotide sequence of at least 70%-99% identity to the SEQ ID…”

Furthermore, the patent also claims ownership over any and all Ebola viruses which are “weakened” or “killed,” meaning the United States government is literally claiming ownership over all Ebola vaccines.

What this means, of course, is that the U.S. government can demand royalties on all Ebola vaccines.

Even more Orwellian is the fact that the U.S. government can use this patent to halt all other research for treatments or cures for Ebola.

Patent monopoly gives U.S. government legal right to block all non-vaccine Ebola treatments, cures or research

Do you remember the massive medical controversy over the BRCA1 gene tied to breast cancer in women? One corporation claimed patent ownership over the gene and then they used that patent to shut down all other research, testing or diagnosis of breast cancer related to that gene. To date, nearly 20% of the human genome has been claimed as “owned” by corporations, universities and even the government.

The controversy went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court which ultimately ruled that human genes cannot be patented. But the Supreme Court decision actually protected patents on gene sequences for viruses and other pathogens.

The truth of the matter is that anyone who owns the Ebola gene patent can legally use that patent to shut down all research on Ebola, including research for non-vaccine medical treatments and cures. This is how medical monopolies are reinforced: by monopolizing all the research and all the “cures.”

Even more frightening, the “ownership” over Ebola extends to Ebola circulating in the bodies of Ebola victims. When Dr. Kent Brantly was relocated from Africa to the CDC’s care in Atlanta, that entire scene was carried out under the quasi-legal justification that the U.S. government “owned” the Ebola circulating in Dr. Brantly’s blood. Thus, one of the very first things that took place was the acquisition of his blood samples for archiving and R&D by the CDC and the U.S. Department of Defense.

(Only the gullible masses think that was about saving the life of a doctor. The real mission was to acquire the Ebola strain circulating in his body and use it for weaponization research, vaccine research and other R&D purposes.)

Anyone infected with Ebola now deemed to be carrying “government property” in the form of a patented virus

This brings us to the quarantine issue. As the whole world knows by now, the entire nation of Sierra Leone is now under a state of medical martial law, where Ebola victims are now being hunted down like fugitives in door-to-door manhunts. [4]

Simultaneously, the United States government is now operating under Obama’s executive order #13674, signed on July 31, 2014, which allows the U.S. federal government to arrest and quarantine any person who shows symptoms of infectious disease. [5]

This executive order allows federal agents to forcibly arrest and quarantine anyone showing symptoms of:

…Severe acute respiratory syndromes, which are diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled.

Part of the legal argument for justifying such a quarantine in the case of Ebola goes like this: If you are carrying Ebola in your body, then you are in possession of U.S. government property!

The fact that the virus is replicating in your body is, legally speaking, a violation of patent law. Because you are providing a host environment for the replication of the virus, you technically are breaking federal laws that restrict the copying and distributed of patented properties, which in this case include the Ebola virus.

Thus, the government has every right to “relocate” you and prevent you from violating patent law by replicating, distributing or spreading THEIR intellectual property (i.e. the Ebola virus).

Lest you think this legal argument sounds insane, just remember that the legal system is full of lawyers who make far more insane arguments on a daily basis, including the argument that human genes could be patented in the first place. And medical officials also make insane, irrational arguments almost constantly, including the argument that all those girls in Colombia who are suffering convulsions and paralysis from the HPV vaccine are merely “imagining” their symptoms. Such explanations flatly defy any attachment to sane thinking.

Ultimately, the patent on the Ebola virus provides the legal justification for forced government quarantines — and even medical research — on Ebola victims.

“Ebola is a genetically modified organism”

What I’ve outlined in this story is just a small taste of the crime against humanity which is taking place right before our eyes. I am now convinced that this Ebola outbreak is very likely not an accident, and many scientists in Africa wholeheartedly agree that the outbreak is actually the deployment of a biological weapon.

“Ebola is a genetically modified organism (GMO),” declared Dr. Cyril Broderick, Professor of Plant Pathology, in a front-page story published in the Liberian Observer. [6]

He goes on to explain:

[Horowitz] confirmed the existence of an American Military-Medical-Industry that conducts biological weapons tests under the guise of administering vaccinations to control diseases and improve the health of “black Africans overseas.”

SITES AROUND AFRICA, AND IN WEST AFRICA, HAVE OVER THE YEARS BEEN SET UP FOR TESTING EMERGING DISEASES, ESPECIALLY EBOLA

The World Health Organization (WHO) and several other UN Agencies have been implicated in selecting and enticing African countries to participate in the testing events, promoting vaccinations, but pursuing various testing regiments.

AFRICAN LEADERS AND AFRICAN COUNTRIES NEED TO TAKE THE LEAD IN DEFENDING BABIES, CHILDREN, AFRICAN WOMEN, AFRICAN MEN, AND THE ELDERLY. THESE CITIZENS DO NOT DESERVE TO BE USED AS GUINEA PIGS!

Africa must not relegate the Continent to become the locality for disposal and the deposition of hazardous chemicals, dangerous drugs, and chemical or biological agents of emerging diseases. There is urgent need for affirmative action in protecting the less affluent of poorer countries, especially African citizens, whose countries are not as scientifically and industrially endowed as the United States and most Western countries, sources of most viral or bacterial GMOs that are strategically designed as biological weapons. It is most disturbing that the U. S. Government has been operating a viral hemorrhagic fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Sierra Leone.

The world must be alarmed. All Africans, Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners, Asians, and people from every conclave on Earth should be astonished. African people, notably citizens more particularly of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are victimized and are dying every day.

Learn the truth at BioDefense.com

If you really want to learn the truth about all this, listen to the free Pandemic Preparedness audio course available right now at www.BioDefense.com

All MP3 files are freely downloadable, and new episodes are being posted every few days.

Also check out these 11 horrifying truths about Ebola that you’re not supposed to know.

Nearly one million people have now visited www.BioDefense.com since its launch last week. Find out there what the mainstream media won’t dare tell you. Your life may quite literally depend on it.

Sources for this article include:
[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29230157

[2] http://news.yahoo.com/mystery-illness-plague…

[3] http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29274822

[4] http://www.naturalnews.com/046945_medical_ma…

[5] http://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014…

[6] http://www.liberianobserver.com/security/ebo…

[7] http://www.google.com/patents/CA2741523A1

[8] http://www.naturalnews.com/036417_Glaxo_Merc…

[9] http://www.naturalnews.com/046259_ebola_outb…

[10] http://www.naturalnews.com/040400_gene_paten…

[11] http://www.naturalnews.com/028492_BRCA1_huma…

[12] http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2014/09/17…

This article originally appeared on Natural News.

Washington’s Web of Lies and Deception


Washington’s Secret Agendas
The public continues to fall for the lies

Washington’s Secret Agendas

by Paul Craig Roberts | Infowars.com | September 29, 2014

One might think that by now even Americans would have caught on to the constant stream of false alarms that Washington sounds in order to deceive the Washington people into supporting its hidden agendas.

The public fell for the lie that the Taliban in Afghanistan are terrorists allied with al Qaeda. Americans fought a war for 13 years that enriched Dick Cheney’s firm, Halliburton, and other private interests only to end in another Washington failure.

The public fell for the lie that Saddam Hussein in Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” that were a threat to America and that if the US did not invade Iraq Americans risked a “mushroom cloud going up over an American city.” With the rise of ISIS, this long war apparently is far from over. Billions of dollars more in profits will pour into the coffers of the US military security complex as Washington fights those who are redrawing the false Middle East boundaries created by the British and French after WW I when the British and French seized territories of the former Ottoman Empire.

The American public fell for the lies told about Gaddafi in Libya. The formerly stable and prosperous country is now in chaos.

The American public fell for the lie that Iran has, or is building, nuclear weapons. Sanctioned and reviled by the West, Iran has shifted toward an Eastern orientation, thereby removing a principal oil producer from Western influence.

The public fell for the lie that Assad of Syria used “chemical weapons against his own people.” The jihadists that Washington sent to overthrow Assad have turned out to be, according to Washington’s propaganda, a threat to America.

The greatest threat to the world is Washington’s insistence on its hegemony. The ideology of a handful of neoconservatives is the basis for this insistence. We face the situation in which a handful of American neoconservative psychopaths claim to determine the fate of countries.

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Many still believe Washington’s lies, but increasingly the world sees Washington as the greatest threat to peace and life on earth. The claim that America is “exceptional and indispensable” is used to justify Washington’s right to dictate to other countries.

The casualties of Washington’s bombings are invariably civilians, and the deaths will produce more recruits for ISIS. Already there are calls for Washington to reintroduce “boots on the ground” in Iraq. Otherwise, Western civilization is doomed, and our heads will be cut off. The newly created propaganda of a “Russian threat” requires more NATO spending and more military bases on Russia’s borders. A “quick reaction force” is being created to respond to a nonexistent threat of a Russian invasion of the Baltics, Poland, and Europe.

Usually it takes the American public a year, or two, three, or four to realize that it has been deceived by lies and propaganda, but by that time the public has swallowed a new set of lies and propaganda and is all concerned about the latest “threat.” The American public seems incapable of understanding that just as the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth, threat was a hoax, so is the sixth threat, and so will be the seventh, eighth, and ninth.

Moreover, none of these American military attacks on other countries has resulted in a better situation, as Vladimir Putin honestly states. Yet, the public and its representatives in Congress support each new military adventure despite the record of deception and failure.

Perhaps if Americans were taught their true history in place of idealistic fairy tales, they would be less gullible and less susceptible to government propaganda. I have recommended Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s The Untold History of the US, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the US, and now I recommend Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers, the story of the long rule of John Foster and Allen Dulles over the State Department and CIA and their demonization of reformist governments that they often succeeded in overthrowing. Kinzer’s history of the Dulles brothers’ plots to overthrow six governments provides insight into how Washington operates today.

In 1953 the Dulles brothers overthrew Iran’s elected leader, Mossadegh and imposed the Shah, thus poisoning American-Iranian relations through the present day. Americans might yet be led into a costly and pointless war with Iran, because of the Dulles brothers poisoning of relations in 1953.

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The Dulles brothers overthrew Guatemala’s popular president Arbenz, because his land reform threatened the interest of the Dulles brothers’ Sullivan & Cromwell law firm’s United Fruit Company client. The brothers launched an amazing disinformation campaign depicting Arbenz as a dangerous communist who was a threat to Western civilization. The brothers enlisted dictators such as Somoza in Nicaragua and Batista in Cuba against Arbenz. The CIA organized air strikes and an invasion force. But nothing could happen until Arbenz’s strong support among the people in Guatemala could be shattered. The brothers arranged this through Cardinal Spellman, who enlisted Archbishop Rossell y Arellano. “A pastoral letter was read on April 9, 1954 in all Guatemalan churches.”

A masterpiece of propaganda, the pastoral letter misrepresented Arbenz as a dangerous communist who was the enemy of all Guatemalans. False radio broadcasts produced a fake reality of freedom fighter victories and army defections. Arbenz asked the UN to send fact finders, but Washington prevented that from happening. American journalists, with the exception of James Reston, supported the lies. Washington threatened and bought off Guatemala’s senior military commanders, who forced Arbenz to resign. The CIA’s chosen and well paid “liberator,” Col. Castillo Armas, was installed as Arbenz’s successor.

We recently witnessed a similar operation in Ukraine.

President Eisenhower thanked the CIA for averting “a Communist beachhead in our hemisphere,” and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles gave a national TV and radio address in which he declared that the events in Guatemala “expose the evil purpose of the Kremlin.” This despite the uncontested fact that the only outside power operating in Guatemala was the Dulles brothers.

What had really happened is that a democratic and reformist government was overthrown because it compensated United Fruit Company for the nationalization of the company’s fallow land at a value listed by the company on its tax returns. America’s leading law firm or perhaps more accurately, America’s foreign policy-maker, Sullivan & Cromwell, had no intention of permitting a democratic government to prevail over the interests of the law firm’s client, especially when senior partners of the firm controlled both overt and covert US foreign policy. The two brothers, whose family members were invested in the United Fruit Company, simply applied the resources of the CIA, State Department, and US media to the protection of their private interests. The extraordinary gullibility of the American people, the corrupt American media, and the indoctrinated and impotent Congress allowed the Dulles brothers to succeed in overthrowing a democracy.

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Keep in mind that this use of the US government in behalf of private interests occurred 60 years ago long before the corrupt Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes. And no doubt in earlier times as well.

The Dulles brothers next intended victim was Ho Chi Minh. Ho, a nationalist leader, asked for America’s help in freeing Vietnam from French colonial rule. But John Foster Dulles, a self-righteous anti-communist, miscast Ho as a Communist Threat who was springing the domino theory on the Western innocents. Nationalism and anti-colonialism, Foster declared, were merely a cloak for communist subversion.

Paul Kattenburg, the State Department desk officer for Vietnam suggested that instead of war, the US should give Ho $500 million in reconstruction aid to rebuild the country from war and French misrule, which would free Ho from dependence on Russian and Chinese support, and, thereby, influence. Ho appealed to Washington several times, but the demonic inflexibility of the Dulles brothers prevented any sensible response. Instead, the hysteria whipped-up over the “communist threat” by the Dulles brothers landed the United States in the long, costly, fiasco known as the Vietnam War. Kattenburg later wrote that it was suicidal for the US “to cut out its eyes and ears, to castrate its analytic capacity, to shut itself off from the truth because of blind prejudice.” Unfortunately for Americans and the world, castrated analytic capacity is Washington’s strongest suit.

The Dulles brothers’ next targets were President Sukarno of Indonesia, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of Congo, and Fidel Castro. The plot against Castro was such a disastrous failure that it cost Allen Dulles his job. President Kennedy lost confidence in the agency and told his brother Bobby that after his reelection he was going to break the CIA into a thousand pieces. When President Kennedy removed Allen Dulles, the CIA understood the threat and struck first.

Warren Nutter, my Ph.D. dissertation chairman, later Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, taught his students that for the US government to maintain the people’s trust, which democracy requires, the government’s policies must be affirmations of our principles and be openly communicated to the people. Hidden agendas, such as those of the Dulles brothers and the Clinton, Bush and Obama regimes, must rely on secrecy and manipulation and, thereby, arouse the distrust of the people. If Americans are too brainwashed to notice, many foreign nationals are not.

The US government’s secret agendas have cost Americans and many peoples in the world tremendously. Essentially, the Foster brothers created the Cold War with their secret agendas and anti-communist hysteria. Secret agendas committed Americans to long, costly, and unnecessary wars in Vietnam and the Middle East. Secret CIA and military agendas intending regime change in Cuba were blocked by President John F. Kennedy and resulted in the assassination of a president, who, for all his faults, was likely to have ended the Cold War twenty years before Ronald Reagan seized the opportunity.

Secret agendas have prevailed for so long that the American people themselves are now corrupted. As the saying goes, “a fish rots from the head.” The rot in Washington now permeates the country.

Paul Craig Roberts


35 of the Most Dangerous Viruses and Bacteria’s in the World Today

The Black Plague, Marburg, Ebola, Influenza, Enterovirus virus may all sound terrifying, but it’s not the most dangerous virus in the world. It isn’t HIV either. Here is a list of the most dangerous viruses and Bacteria’s on the Planet Earth.

High security laboratory

1. Marburg Virus The most dangerous virus is the Marburg virus. It is named after a small and idyllic town on the river Lahn – but that has nothing to do with the disease itself. The Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever virus. As with Ebola, the Marburg virus causes convulsions and bleeding of mucous membranes, skin and organs. It has a fatality rate of 90 percent.  The Marburg virus causes a rare, but severe hemorrhagic fever that has a fatality rate of 88%. It was first identified in 1967 when outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever cropped up simultaneously in Marburg, where the disease got its name, Frankfurt in Germany and Belgrade, Serbia.

marburg

Marburg and Ebola came from the Filoviridae family of viruses. They both have the capacity to cause dramatic outbreaks with the greatest fatality rates. It is transmitted to humans from fruit bats and spreads to humans through direct contact with the blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of infected humans. No anti-viral treatment or vaccine exists against the Marburg virus. In 1967, a group of lab workers in Germany (Marburg and Frankfurt) and Serbia (then Yugoslavia) contracted a new type of hemorrhagic fever from some virus-carrying African green monkeys that had been imported for research and development of polio vaccines. The Marburg virus is also BSL-4, and Marburg hemorrhagic fever has a 23 to 90 percent fatality rate. Spread through close human-to-human contact, symptoms start with a headache, fever, and a rash on the trunk, and progress to multiple organ failure and massive internal bleeding.

There is no cure, and the latest cases were reported out of Uganda at the end of 2012. An American tourist who had explored a Ugandan cave full of fruit bats known to be reservoirs of the virus contracted it and survived in 2008. (But not before bringing his sick self back to the U.S.)

2. Ebola Virus  There are five strains of the Ebola virus, each named after countries and regions in Africa: Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo and Reston. The Zaire Ebola virus is the deadliest, with a mortality rate of 90 percent. It is the strain currently spreading through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and beyond. Scientists say flying foxes probably brought the Zaire Ebola virus into cities.

Typically less than 100 lives a year. UPDATE: A severe Ebola outbreak was detected in West Africa in March 2014. The number of deaths in this latest outbreak has outnumbered all other known cases from previous outbreaks combined. The World Health Organization is reporting nearly 2,000 deaths in this latest outbreak.
Once a person is infected with the virus, the disease has an incubation period of 2-21 days; however, some infected persons are asymptomatic. Initial symptoms are sudden malaise, headache, and muscle pain, progressing to high fever, vomiting, severe hemorrhaging (internally and out of the eyes and mouth) and in 50%-90% of patients, death, usually within days. The likelihood of death is governed by the virulence of the particular Ebola strain involved. Ebola virus is transmitted in body fluids and secretions; there is no evidence of transmission by casual contact. There is no vaccine and no cure.

Its melodic moniker may roll off the tongue, but if you contract the virus (above), that’s not the only thing that will roll off one of your body parts (a disturbing amount of blood coming out of your eyes, for instance). Four of the five known Ebola viral strains cause Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), which has killed thousands of people in sub-Saharan African nations since its discovery in 1976.

The deadly virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where it was first reported, and is classified as a CDC Biosafety Level 4, a.k.a. BSL-4, making it one of the most dangerous pathogens on the planet. It is thought to spread through close contact with bodily secretions. EHF has a 50 to 90 percent mortality rate, with a rapid onset of symptoms that start with a headache and sore throat and progress to major internal and external bleeding and multiple organ failure. There’s no known cure, and the most recent cases were reported at the end of 2012 in Uganda.

3. The Hantavirus describes several types of viruses. It is named after a river where American soldiers were first thought to have been infected with the Hantavirus, during the Korean War in 1950. Symptoms include lung disease, fever and kidney failure.

70,000 Deaths a Year
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection. Also known as House Mouse Flu. The symptoms, which are very similar to HFRS, include tachycardia and tachypnea. Such conditions can lead to a cardiopulmonary phase, where cardiovascular shock can occur, and hospitalization of the patient is required.

There are many strains of hantavirus floating around (yep, it’s airborne) in the wake of rodents that carry the virus. Different strains, carried by different rodent species, are known to cause different types of illnesses in humans, most notably hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)—first discovered during the Korean War—and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which reared its ugly head with a 1993 outbreak in the Southwestern United States. Severe HFRS causes acute kidney failure, while HPS gets you by filling your lungs with fluid (edema). HFRS has a mortality rate of 1 to 15 percent, while HPS is 38 percent. The U.S. saw its most recent outbreak of hantavirus—of the HPS variety—at Yosemite National Park in late 2012.

4. Avian Influenza Bird Flu The various strains of bird flu regularly cause panic – which is perhaps justified because the mortality rate is 70 percent. But in fact the risk of contracting the H5N1 strain – one of the best known – is quite low. You can only be infected through direct contact with poultry. It is said this explains why most cases appear in Asia, where people often live close to chickens.

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This form of the flu is common among birds (usually poultry) and infects humans through contact with secretions of an infected bird.

Although rare, those infected have a high incidence of death. Symptoms are like those of the more common human form of influenza.

Bird flu (H5N1) has receded from international headlines for the moment, as few human cases of the deadly virus have been reported this year. But when Dutch researchers recently created an even more transmissible strain of the virus in a laboratory for research purposes, they stirred grave concerns about what would happen if it escaped into the outside world. “Part of what makes H5N1 so deadly is that most people lack an immunity to it,” explains Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) who studies the spread of infectious diseases. “If you make a strain that’s highly transmissible between humans, as the Dutch team did, it could be disastrous if it ever escaped the lab.”

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H5N1 first made global news in early 1997 after claiming two dozen victims in Hong Kong. The virus normally occurs only in wild birds and farm-raised fowl, but in those isolated early cases, it made the leap from birds to humans. It then swept unimpeded through the bodies of its initial human victims, causing massive hemorrhages in the lungs and death in a matter of days. Fortunately, during the past 15 years, the virus has claimed only 400 victims worldwide—although the strain can jump species, it hasn’t had the ability to move easily from human to human, a critical limit to its spread.

H5N1virus

That’s no longer the case, however. In late 2011, the Dutch researchers announced the creation of an H5N1 virus transmissible through the air between ferrets (the best animal model for studying the impact of disease on humans). The news caused a storm of controversy in the popular press and heated debate among scientists over the ethics of the work. For Lipsitch and many others, the creation of the new strain was cause for alarm. “H5N1 influenza is already one of the most deadly viruses in existence,” he says. “If you make [the virus] transmissible [between humans], you have to be very concerned about what the resulting strain could do.”

h5n1

To put this danger in context, the 1918 “Spanish” flu—one of the most deadly influenza epidemics on record—killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide, or roughly 3 to 6 percent of those infected. The more lethal SARS virus (see “The SARS Scare,” March-April 2007, page 47) killed almost 10 percent of infected patients during a 2003 outbreak that reached 25 countries worldwide. H5N1 is much more dangerous, killing almost 60 percent of those who contract the illness.

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If a transmissible strain of H5N1 escapes the lab, says Lipsitch, it could spark a global health catastrophe. “It could infect millions of people in the United States, and very likely more than a billion people globally, like most successful flu strains do,” he says. “This might be one of the worst viruses—perhaps the worst virus—in existence right now because it has both transmissibility and high virulence.”

Influenza A Pandemics

Ironically, this is why Ron Fouchier, the Dutch virologist whose lab created the new H5N1 strain, argues that studying it in more depth is crucial. If the virus can be made transmissible in the lab, he reasons, it can also occur in nature—and researchers should have an opportunity to understand as much as possible about the strain before that happens.

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Lipsitch, who directs the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at HSPH, thinks the risks far outweigh the rewards. Even in labs with the most stringent safety requirements, such as enclosed rubber “space suits” to isolate researchers, accidents do happen. A single unprotected breath could infect a researcher, who might unknowingly spread the virus beyond the confines of the lab.

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In an effort to avoid this scenario, Lipsitch has been pushing for changes in research policy in the United States and abroad. (A yearlong, voluntary global ban on H5N1 research was lifted in many countries in January, and new rules governing such research in the United States were expected in February.) Lipsitch says that none of the current research proposals he has seen “would significantly improve our preparational response to a national pandemic of H5N1. The small risk of a very large public health disaster…is not worth taking [for] scientific knowledge without an immediate public health application.” His recent op-eds in scientific journals and the popular press have stressed the importance of regulating the transmissible strain and limiting work with the virus to only a handful of qualified labs. In addition, he argues, only technicians who have the right training and experience—and have been inoculated against the virus—should be allowed to handle it.

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These are simple limitations that could drastically reduce the danger of the virus spreading, he asserts, yet they’re still not popular with some researchers. He acknowledges that limiting research is an unusual practice scientifically but argues, “These are unusual circumstances.”

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Lipsitch thinks a great deal of useful research can still be done on the non-transmissible strain of the virus, which would provide valuable data without the risk of accidental release. In the meantime, he hopes to make more stringent H5N1 policies a priority for U.S. and foreign laboratories. Although it’s not a perfect solution, he says, it’s far better than a nightmare scenario.

5. Lassa Virus  A nurse in Nigeria was the first person to be infected with the Lassa virus. The virus is transmitted by rodents. Cases can be endemic – which means the virus occurs in a specific region, such as in western Africa, and can reoccur there at any time. Scientists assume that 15 percent of rodents in western Africa carry the virus.

Marburg virus

The Marburg virus under a microscope

This BSL-4 virus gives us yet another reason to avoid rodents. Lassa is carried by a species of rat in West Africa called Mastomys. It’s airborne…at least when you’re hanging around the rat’s fecal matter. Humans, however, can only spread it through direct contact with bodily secretions. Lassa fever, which has a 15 to 20 percent mortality rate, causes about 5000 deaths a year in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

It starts with a fever and some retrosternal pain (behind the chest) and can progress to facial swelling, encephalitis, mucosal bleeding and deafness. Fortunately, researchers and medical professionals have found some success in treating Lassa fever with an antiviral drug in the early stages of the disease.

6. The Junin Virus is associated with Argentine hemorrhagic fever. People infected with the virus suffer from tissue inflammation, sepsis and skin bleeding. The problem is that the symptoms can appear to be so common that the disease is rarely detected or identified in the first instance.

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A member of the genus Arenavirus, Junin virus characteristically causes Argentine hemorrhagic fever (AHF). AHF leads to major alterations within the vascular, neurological and immune systems and has a mortality rate of between 20 and 30%.  Symptoms of the disease are conjunctivitis, purpura, petechia and occasional sepsis. The symptoms of the disease are relatively indistinct and may therefore be mistaken for a different condition.

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Since the discovery of the Junin virus in 1958, the geographical distribution of the pathogen, although still confined to Argentina, has risen. At the time of discovery, Junin virus was confined to an area of around 15,000 km². At the beginning of 2000, the distribution had risen to around 150,000 km². The natural hosts of Junin virus are rodents, particularly Mus musculus, Calomys spp. and Akodon azarae.

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Direct rodent to human transmission only transpires when contact is made with excrement of an infected rodent. This commonly occurs via ingestion of contaminated food or water, inhalation of particles within urine or via direct contact of broken skin with rodent excrement.

7. The Crimea-Congo Fever Virus is transmitted by ticks. It is similar to the Ebola and Marburg viruses in the way it progresses. During the first days of infection, sufferers present with pin-sized bleedings in the face, mouth and the pharynx.

Transmitted through tick bites this disease is endemic (consistently present)  in most countries of West Africa and the Middle East. Although rare, CCHF has a 30% mortality rate. The most recent outbreak of the disease was in 2005 in Turkey. The Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a common disease transmitted by a tick-Bourne virus. The virus causes major hemorrhagic fever outbreaks with a fatality rate of up to 30%. It is chiefly transmitted to people through tick and livestock. Person-to-person transmission occurs through direct contact with the blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of an infected person. No vaccination exists for both humans and animals against CCHF.

8. The Machupo Virus is associated with Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, also known as black typhus. The infection causes high fever, accompanied by heavy bleedings. It progresses similar to the Junin virus. The virus can be transmitted from human to human, and rodents often the carry it.

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Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF), also known as black typhus or Ordog Fever, is a hemorrhagic fever and zoonotic infectious disease originating in Bolivia after infection by Machupo virus.BHF was first identified in 1963 as an ambisense RNA virus of the Arenaviridae family,by a research group led by Karl Johnson. The mortality rate is estimated at 5 to 30 percent.

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Due to its pathogenicity, Machupo virus requires Biosafety Level Four conditions, the highest level.In February and March 2007, some 20 suspected BHF cases (3 fatal) were reported to the El Servicio Departmental de Salud (SEDES) in Beni Department, Bolivia, and in February 2008, at least 200 suspected new cases (12 fatal) were reported to SEDES.In November 2011, a SEDES expert involved in a serosurvey to determine the extent of Machupo virus infections in the Department after the discovery of a second confirmed case near the departmental capital of Trinidad in November, 2011, expressed concern about expansion of the virus’ distribution outside the endemic zone in Mamoré and Iténez provinces.

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Bolivian hemorrhagic fever was one of three hemorrhagic fevers and one of more than a dozen agents that the United States researched as potential biological weapons before the nation suspended its biological weapons program. It was also under research by the Soviet Union, under the Biopreparat bureau.

9. Kyasanur Forest Virus  Scientists discovered the Kyasanur Forest Virus (KFD) virus in woodlands on the southwestern coast of India in 1955. It is transmitted by ticks, but scientists say it is difficult to determine any carriers. It is assumed that rats, birds and boars could be hosts. People infected with the virus suffer from high fever, strong headaches and muscle pain which can cause bleedings.

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The disease has a morbidity rate of 2-10%, and affects 100-500 people annually.The symptoms of the disease include a high fever with frontal headaches, followed by hemorrhagic symptoms, such as bleeding from the nasal cavity, throat, and gums, as well as gastrointestinal bleeding.An affected person may recover in two weeks time, but the convalescent period is typically very long, lasting for several months. There will be muscle aches and weakness during this period and the affected person is unable to engage in physical activities.

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There are a variety of animals thought to be reservoir hosts for the disease, including porcupines, rats, squirrels, mice and shrews. The vector for disease transmission is Haemaphysalis spinigera, a forest tick. Humans contract infection from the bite of nymphs of the tick.

Kyasanur Forest Disease Host

The disease was first reported from Kyasanur Forest of Karnataka in India in March 1957. The disease first manifested as an epizootic outbreak among monkeys killing several of them in the year 1957. Hence the disease is also locally known as Monkey Disease or Monkey Fever. The similarity with Russian Spring-summer encephalitis was noted and the possibility of migratory birds carrying the disease was raised. Studies began to look for the possible species that acted as reservoirs for the virus and the agents responsible for transmission. Subsequent studies failed to find any involvement of migratory birds although the possibility of their role in initial establishment was not ruled out. The virus was found to be quite distinctive and not closely related to the Russian virus strains.

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Antigenic relatedness is however close to many other strains including the Omsk hemorrhagic fever (OHF) and birds from Siberia have been found to show an antigenic response to KFD virus. Sequence based studies however note the distinctiveness of OHF.Early studies in India were conducted in collaboration with the US Army Medical Research Unit and this led to controversy and conspiracy theories.

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Subsequent studies based on sequencing found that the Alkhurma virus, found in Saudi Arabia is closely related. In 1989 a patient in Nanjianin, China was found with fever symptoms and in 2009 its viral gene sequence was found to exactly match with that of the KFD reference virus of 1957. This has however been questioned since the Indian virus shows variations in sequence over time and the exact match with the virus sequence of 1957 and the Chinese virus of 1989 is not expected.

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This study also found using immune response tests that birds and humans in the region appeared to have been exposed to the virus.Another study has suggested that the virus is recent in origin dating the nearest common ancestor of it and related viruses to around 1942, based on the estimated rate of sequence substitutions. The study also raises the possibility of bird involvement in long-distance transfer. It appears that these viruses diverged 700 years ago.

10. Dengue Fever is a constant threat. If you’re planning a holiday in the tropics, get informed about dengue. Transmitted by mosquitoes, dengue affects between 50 and 100 million people a year in popular holiday destinations such as Thailand and India. But it’s more of a problem for the 2 billion people who live in areas that are threatened by dengue fever.

25,000 Deaths a year Also known as ‘breakbone fever’ due to the extreme pain felt during fever, is an relatively new disease caused by one of four closely-related viruses. WHO estimates that a whopping 2.5 billion people (two fifths of the World’s population) are at risk from dengue. It puts the total number of infections at around 50 million per year, and is now epidemic in more than 100 countries.


Dengue viruses are transferred to humans through the bites of infective female Aedes mosquitoes. The dengue virus circulates in the blood of a human for two to seven days, during the same time they have the fever. It usually appears first on the lower limbs and the chest; in some patients, it spreads to cover most of the body. There may also be severe retro-orbital pain, (a pain from behind the eyes that is distinctive to Dengue infections), and gastritis with some combination of associated abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting coffee-grounds-like congealed blood, or severe diarrhea.

The leading cause of death in the tropics and subtropics is the infection brought on by the dengue virus, which causes a high fever, severe headache, and, in the worst cases, hemorrhaging. The good news is that it’s treatable and not contagious. The bad news is there’s no vaccine, and you can get it easily from the bite of an infected mosquito—which puts at least a third of the world’s human population at risk. The CDC estimates that there are over 100 million cases of dengue fever each year. It’s a great marketing tool for bug spray.

11. HIV 3.1 Million Lives a Year Human Immunodeficiency Virus has claimed the lives of more than 25 million people since 1981. HIV gets to the immune system by infecting important cells, including helper cells called CD4+ T cells, plus macrophanges and dendritic cells. Once the virus has taken hold, it systematically kills these cells, damaging the infected person’s immunity and leaving them more at risk from infections.

The majority of people infected with HIV go on to develop AIDS. Once a patient has AIDS common infections and tumours normally controlled by the CD4+ T cells start to affect the person.  
In the latter stages of the disease, pneumonia and various types of herpes can infect the patient and cause death.

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Human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The term HIV/AIDS represents the entire range of disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus from early infection to late stage symptoms. During the initial infection, a person may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. This is typically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. As the illness progresses, it interferes more and more with the immune system, making the person much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections and tumors that do not usually affect people who have working immune systems.

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HIV is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Prevention of HIV infection, primarily through safe sex and needle-exchange programs, is a key strategy to control the spread of the disease. There is no cure or vaccine; however, antiretroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. While antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of death and complications from the disease, these medications are expensive and have side effects. Without treatment, the average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years, depending on the HIV subtype.

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Genetic research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. AIDS was first recognized by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981 and its cause—HIV infection—was identified in the early part of the decade. Since its discovery, AIDS has caused an estimated 36 million deaths worldwide (as of 2012). As of 2012, approximately 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally. HIV/AIDS is considered a pandemic—a disease outbreak which is present over a large area and is actively spreading.

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HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination. The disease also has significant economic impacts. There are many misconceptions about HIV/AIDS such as the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. The disease has also become subject to many controversies involving religion. It has attracted international medical and political attention as well as large-scale funding since it was identified in the 1980s

 

12. Rotavirus 61,000 Lives a Year  According to the WHO, this merciless virus causes the deaths of more than half a million children every year. In fact, by the age of five, virtually every child on the planet has been infected with the virus at least once. Immunity builds up with each infection, so subsequent infections are milder. However, in areas where adequate healthcare is limited the disease is often fatal. Rotavirus infection usually occurs through ingestion of contaminated stool.

Because the virus is able to live a long time outside of the host, transmission can occur through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or by coming into direct contact with contaminated surfaces, then putting hands in the mouth.
Once it’s made its way in, the rotavirus infects the cells that line the small intestine and multiplies. It emits an enterotoxin, which gives rise to gastroenteritis.

13. Smallpox   Officially eradicated – Due to it’s long history, it impossible to estimate the carnage over the millennia Smallpox localizes in small blood vessels of the skin and in the mouth and throat. In the skin, this results in a characteristic maculopapular rash, and later, raised fluid-filled blisters. It has an overall mortality rate of 30–35%. Smallpox is believed to have emerged in human populations about 10,000 BC. The disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans per year during the closing years of the 18th century (including five reigning monarchs), and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Of all those infected, 20–60%—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease.
Smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths during the 20th century alone. In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year.

As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year. After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in December 1979.
Smallpox is one of only two infectious diseases to have been eradicated by humans, the other being Rinderpest, which was unofficially declared eradicated in October 2010.

The virus that causes smallpox wiped out hundreds of millions of people worldwide over thousands of years. We can’t even blame it on animals either, as the virus is only carried by and contagious for humans. There are several different types of smallpox disease that result from an infection ranging from mild to fatal, but it is generally marked by a fever, rash, and blistering, oozing pustules that develop on the skin. Fortunately, smallpox was declared eradicated in 1979, as the result of successful worldwide implementation of the vaccine.

14. Hepatitis B  521,000 Deaths a Year A third of the World’s population (over 2 billion people) has come in contact with this virus, including 350 million chronic carriers. In China and other parts of Asia, up to 10% of the adult population is chronically infected. The symptoms of acute hepatitis B include yellowing of the skin of eyes, dark urine, vomiting, nausea, extreme fatigue, and abdominal pain.

Luckily, more than 95% of people who contract the virus as adults or older children will make a full recovery and develop immunity to the disease. In other people, however, hepatitis B can bring on chronic liver failure due to cirrhosis or cancer.

Hepatitis B is an infectious illness of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that affects hominoidea, including humans. It was originally known as "serum hepatitis". Many people have no symptoms during the initial infected. Some develop an acute illness with vomiting, yellow skin, dark urine and abdominal pain. Often these symptoms last a few weeks and rarely result in death. It may take 30 to 180 days for symptoms to begin. Less than 10% of those infected develop chronic hepatitis B. In those with chronic disease cirrhosis and liver cancer may eventually develop.

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The virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluidsInfection around the time of birth is the most common way the disease is acquired in areas of the world where is common. In areas where the disease is uncommon intravenous drug use and sex are the most common routes of infection. Other risk factors include working in a healthcare setting, blood transfusions, dialysis, sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person, travel in countries where it is common, and living in an institution.

Tattooing and acupuncture led to a significant number of cases in the 1980s; however, this has become less common with improved sterility. The hepatitis B viruses cannot be spread by holding hands, sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, kissing, hugging, coughing, sneezing, or breastfeeding.  The hepatitis B virus is a hepadnavirushepa from hepatotropic (attracted to the liver) and dna because it is a DNA virus. The viruses replicate through an RNA intermediate form by reverse transcription, which in practice relates them to retroviruses.It is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.

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The infection has been preventable by vaccination since 1982. During the initial infected care is based on the symptoms present. In those who developed chronic disease antiviral medication such as tenofovir or interferon maybe useful, however are expensive.

About a third of the world population has been infected at one point in their lives, including 350 million who are chronic carriers. Over 750,000 people die of hepatitis B a year. The disease has caused outbreaks in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is now only common in China. Between 5 and 10% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia have chronic disease. Research is in progress to create edible HBV vaccines in foods such as potatoes, carrots, and bananas.In 2004, an estimated 350 million individuals were infected worldwide. National and regional prevalence ranges from over 10% in Asia to under 0.5% in the United States and northern Europe. Routes of infection include vertical transmission (such as through childbirth), early life horizontal transmission (bites, lesions, and sanitary habits), and adult horizontal transmission (sexual contact, intravenous drug use).

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The primary method of transmission reflects the prevalence of chronic HBV infection in a given area. In low prevalence areas such as the continental United States and Western Europe, injection drug abuse and unprotected sex are the primary methods, although other factors may also be important. In moderate prevalence areas, which include Eastern Europe, Russia, and Japan, where 2–7% of the population is chronically infected, the disease is predominantly spread among children. In high-prevalence areas such as China and South East Asia, transmission during childbirth is most common, although in other areas of high endemicity such as Africa, transmission during childhood is a significant factor. The prevalence of chronic HBV infection in areas of high endemicity is at least 8% with 10-15% prevalence in Africa/Far East. As of 2010, China has 120 million infected people, followed by India and Indonesia with 40 million and 12 million, respectively. According to World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 600,000 people die every year related to the infection. In the United States about 19,000 new cases occurred in 2011 down nearly 90% from 1990.

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Acute infection with hepatitis B virus is associated with acute viral hepatitis – an illness that begins with general ill-health, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, body aches, mild fever, and dark urine, and then progresses to development of jaundice. It has been noted that itchy skin has been an indication as a possible symptom of all hepatitis virus types. The illness lasts for a few weeks and then gradually improves in most affected people. A few people may have more severe liver disease (fulminant hepatic failure), and may die as a result. The infection may be entirely asymptomatic and may go unrecognized.

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Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus either may be asymptomatic or may be associated with a chronic inflammation of the liver (chronic hepatitis), leading to cirrhosis over a period of several years. This type of infection dramatically increases the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer). Across Europe hepatitis B and C cause approximately 50% of hepatocellular carcinomas. Chronic carriers are encouraged to avoid consuming alcohol as it increases their risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis B virus has been linked to the development of membranous glomerulonephritis (MGN).

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Symptoms outside of the liver are present in 1–10% of HBV-infected people and include serum-sickness–like syndrome, acute necrotizing vasculitis (polyarteritis nodosa), membranous glomerulonephritis, and papular acrodermatitis of childhood (Gianotti–Crosti syndrome). The serum-sickness–like syndrome occurs in the setting of acute hepatitis B, often preceding the onset of jaundice. The clinical features are fever, skin rash, and polyarteritis. The symptoms often subside shortly after the onset of jaundice, but can persist throughout the duration of acute hepatitis B.  About 30–50% of people with acute necrotizing vasculitis (polyarteritis nodosa) are HBV carriers. HBV-associated nephropathy has been described in adults but is more common in children.Membranous glomerulonephritis is the most common form. Other immune-mediated hematological disorders, such as essential mixed cryoglobulinemia and aplastic anemia.

15. Influenza 500,000 Deaths a Year Influenza has been a prolific killer for centuries. The symptoms of influenza were first described more than 2,400 years ago by Hippocrates. Pandemics generally occur three times a century, and can cause millions of deaths. The most fatal pandemic on record was the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918, which caused between 20 million and 100 million deaths. In order to invade a host, the virus shell includes proteins that bind themselves to receptors on the outside of cells in the lungs and air passages of the victim. Once the virus has latched itself onto the cell it takes over so much of its machinery that the cell dies. Dead cells in the airways cause a runny nose and sore throat. Too many dead cells in the lungs causes death.

 
Vaccinations against the flu are common in developed countries. However, a vaccination that is effective one year may not necessarily work the next year, due to the way the rate at which a flu virus evolves and the fact that new strains will soon replace older ones. No virus can claim credit for more worldwide pandemics and scares than influenza.

The outbreak of the Spanish flu in 1918 is generally considered to be one of the worst pandemics in human history, infecting 20 to 40 percent of the world’s population and killing 50 million in the span of just two years. (A reconstruction of that virus is above.) The swine flu was its most recent newsmaker, when a 2009 pandemic may have seen as many as 89 million people infected worldwide.

Effective influenza vaccines exist, and most people easily survive infections. But the highly infectious respiratory illness is cunning—the virus is constantly mutating and creating new strains. Thousands of strains exist at any given time, many of them harmless, and vaccines available in the U.S. cover only about 40 percent of the strains at large each year.

16. Hepatitis C  56,000 Deaths a Year An estimated 200-300 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C.

 

Most people infected with hepatitis C don’t have any symptoms and feel fine for years. However, liver damage invariably rears its ugly head over time, often decades after first infection. In fact, 70% of those infected develop chronic liver disease, 15% are struck with cirrhosis and 5% can die from liver cancer or cirrhosis. In the USA, hepatitis C is the primary reason for liver transplants.

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Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis, which is generally apparent after many years. In some cases, those with cirrhosis will go on to develop liver failure, liver cancer, or life-threatening esophageal and gastric varices.

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HCV is spread primarily by blood-to-blood contact associated with intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment, and transfusions. An estimated 150–200 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. The existence of hepatitis C (originally identifiable only as a type of non-A non-B hepatitis) was suggested in the 1970s and proven in 1989. Hepatitis C infects only humans and chimpanzees.

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The virus persists in the liver in about 85% of those infected. This chronic infection can be treated with medication: the standard therapy is a combination of peginterferon and ribavirin, with either boceprevir or telaprevir added in some cases. Overall, 50–80% of people treated are cured. Those who develop cirrhosis or liver cancer may require a liver transplant. Hepatitis C is the leading reason for liver transplantation, though the virus usually recurs after transplantation. No vaccine against hepatitis C is available.

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Hepatitis C infection causes acute symptoms in 15% of cases. Symptoms are generally mild and vague, including a decreased appetite, fatigue, nausea, muscle or joint pains, and weight loss and rarely does acute liver failure result. Most cases of acute infection are not associated with jaundice. The infection resolves spontaneously in 10–50% of cases, which occurs more frequently in individuals who are young and female.

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About 80% of those exposed to the virus develop a chronic infection.  This is defined as the presence of detectable viral replication for at least six months. Most experience minimal or no symptoms during the initial few decades of the infection.Chronic hepatitis C can be associated with fatigue and mild cognitive problems. Chronic infection after several years may cause cirrhosis or liver cancer. The liver enzymes are normal in 7–53%.  Late relapses after apparent cure have been reported, but these can be difficult to distinguish from reinfection.

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Fatty changes to the liver occur in about half of those infected and are usually present before cirrhosis develops.  Usually (80% of the time) this change affects less than a third of the liver. Worldwide hepatitis C is the cause of 27% of cirrhosis cases and 25% of hepatocellular carcinoma.  About 10–30% of those infected develop cirrhosis over 30 years. Cirrhosis is more common in those also infected with hepatitis B, schistosoma, or HIV, in alcoholics and in those of male gender. In those with hepatitis C, excess alcohol increases the risk of developing cirrhosis 100-fold.Those who develop cirrhosis have a 20-fold greater risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. This transformation occurs at a rate of 1–3% per year.  Being infected with hepatitis B in additional to hepatitis C increases this risk further.

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Liver cirrhosis may lead to portal hypertension, ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen), easy bruising or bleeding, varices (enlarged veins, especially in the stomach and esophagus), jaundice, and a syndrome of cognitive impairment known as hepatic encephalopathy. Ascites occurs at some stage in more than half of those who have a chronic infection.

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The most common problem due to hepatitis C but not involving the liver is mixed cryoglobulinemia (usually the type II form) — an inflammation of small and medium-sized blood vessels. Hepatitis C is also associated with Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder); thrombocytopenia; lichen planus; porphyria cutanea tarda; necrolytic acral erythema; insulin resistance; diabetes mellitus; diabetic nephropathy; autoimmune thyroiditis and B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.  Thrombocytopenia is estimated to occur in 0.16% to 45.4% of people with chronic hepatitis C. 20–30% of people infected have rheumatoid factor — a type of antibody. Possible associations include Hyde’s prurigo nodularis and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. Cardiomyopathy with associated arrhythmias has also been reported. A variety of central nervous system disorders have been reported.  Chronic infection seems to be associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

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Persons who have been infected with hepatitis C may appear to clear the virus but remain infected. The virus is not detectable with conventional testing but can be found with ultra-sensitive tests.The original method of detection was by demonstrating the viral genome within liver biopsies, but newer methods include an antibody test for the virus’ core protein and the detection of the viral genome after first concentrating the viral particles by ultracentrifugation. A form of infection with persistently moderately elevated serum liver enzymes but without antibodies to hepatitis C has also been reported. This form is known as cryptogenic occult infection.

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Several clinical pictures have been associated with this type of infection. It may be found in people with anti-hepatitis-C antibodies but with normal serum levels of liver enzymes; in antibody-negative people with ongoing elevated liver enzymes of unknown cause; in healthy populations without evidence of liver disease; and in groups at risk for HCV infection including those on haemodialysis or family members of people with occult HCV. The clinical relevance of this form of infection is under investigation. The consequences of occult infection appear to be less severe than with chronic infection but can vary from minimal to hepatocellular carcinoma.

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The rate of occult infection in those apparently cured is controversial but appears to be low 40% of those with hepatitis but with both negative hepatitis C serology and the absence of detectable viral genome in the serum have hepatitis C virus in the liver on biopsy.How commonly this occurs in children is unknown.
There is no cure, no vaccine.

17. Measle  197,000 Deaths a Year Measles, also known as Rubeola, has done a pretty good job of killing people throughout the ages. Over the last 150 years, the virus has been responsible for the deaths of around 200 million people. The fatality rate from measles for otherwise healthy people in developed countries is 3 deaths per thousand cases, or 0.3%. In underdeveloped nations with high rates of malnutrition and poor healthcare, fatality rates have been as high as 28%. In immunocompromised patients (e.g. people with AIDS) the fatality rate is approximately 30%.

During the 1850s, measles killed a fifth of Hawaii’s people. In 1875, measles killed over 40,000 Fijians, approximately one-third of the population. In the 19th century, the disease decimated the Andamanese population. In 1954, the virus causing the disease was isolated from an 11-year old boy from the United States, David Edmonston, and adapted and propagated on chick embryo tissue culture.


To date, 21 strains of the measles virus have been identified.

18. Yellow Fever  30,000 Deaths a Year. Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes and is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The only known hosts of the virus are primates and several species of mosquito. The origin of the disease is most likely to be Africa, from where it was introduced to South America through the slave trade in the 16th century. Since the 17th century, several major epidemics of the disease have been recorded in the Americas, Africa and Europe. In the 19th century, yellow fever was deemed one of the most dangerous infectious diseases.

Yellow fever presents in most cases with fever, nausea, and pain and it generally subsides after several days. In some patients, a toxic phase follows, in which liver damage with jaundice (giving the name of the disease) can occur and lead to death. Because of the increased bleeding tendency (bleeding diathesis), yellow fever belongs to the group of hemorrhagic fevers.

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Since the 1980s, the number of cases of yellow fever has been increasing, making it a reemerging disease Transmitted through infected mosquitoes, Yellow Fever is still a serious problem in countries all over the world and a serious health risk for travelers to Africa, South America and some areas in the Caribbean.  Fatality rates range from 15 to over 50%. Symptoms include high fever, headache, abdominal pain, fatigue, vomiting and nausea.

Yellow fever is a hemorrhagic fever transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The yellow is in reference to the yellow color (jaundice) that affects some patients. The virus is endemic in tropical areas in Africa and South America.

The disease typically occurs in two phases. The first phase typically causes fever, headache, muscle pain and back pain, chills and nausea. Most patients recover from these symptoms while 15% progresses to the toxic second phase. High fever returns, jaundice becomes apparent, patient complains of abdominal pain with vomiting, and bleeding in the mouth, eyes, nose or stomach occurs. Blood appears in the stool or vomit and kidney function deteriorates. 50% of the patients that enter the toxic phase die within 10 to 14 days.

There is no treatment for yellow fever. Patients are only given supportive care for fever, dehydration and respiratory failure. Yellow fever is preventable through vaccination.

19. Rabies  55,000 Deaths a Year Rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms. If there wasn’t a vaccine, this would be the most deadly virus on the list.

It is a zoonotic virus transmitted through the bite of an animal. The virus worms its way into the brain along the peripheral nerves. The incubation phase of the rabies disease can take up to several months, depending on how far it has to go to reach the central nervous system. It provokes acute pain, violent movements, depression, uncontrollable excitement, and inability to swallow water (rabies is often known as ‘hydrophobia’). After these symptoms subside the fun really starts as the infected person experiences periods of mania followed by coma then death, usually caused by respiratory insufficiency.

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Rabies has a long and storied history dating back to 2300 B.C., with records of Babylonians who went mad and died after being bitten by dogs. While this virus itself is a beast, the sickness it causes is now is wholly preventable if treated immediately with a series of vaccinations (sometimes delivered with a terrifyingly huge needle in the abdomen). We have vaccine inventor Louis Pasteur to thank for that.

Exposure to rabies these days, while rare in the U.S., still occurs as it did thousands of years ago—through bites from infected animals. If left untreated after exposure, the virus attacks the central nervous system and death usually results. The symptoms of an advanced infection include delirium, hallucinations and raging, violent behavior in some cases, which some have argued makes rabies eerily similar to zombification. If rabies ever became airborne, we might actually have to prepare for that zombie apocalypse after all.

21. Common Cold  No known cure The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans with on average two to four infections a year in adults and up to 6–12 in children. Collectively, colds, influenza, and other infections with similar symptoms are included in the diagnosis of influenza-like illness.

They may also be termed upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Influenza involves the lungs while the common cold does not.
It’s annoying as hell, but there’s nothing to do but wave the white flag on this one.
Virus: Infinity. People: 0

22. Anthrax  Anthrax is a diseased caused by a bacterium called Bacillus Anthracis. There are three types of anthrax, skin, lung, and digestive. Anthrax has lately become a major world issue for its ability to become an epidemic and spread quickly and easily among people through contact with spores.

Anthrax

It is important to know that  Anthrax is not spread from person to person, but is through contact/handling of products containing spores. Flu like symptoms, nausea, and blisters are common symptoms of exposure. Inhalational anthrax and gastrointestinal anthrax are serious issue because of their high mortality rates ranging from 50 to 100%.

Anthrax is a severe infectious disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. This type of bacteria produces spores that can live for years in the soil. Anthrax is more common in farm animals, though humans can get infected as well. Anthrax is not contagious. A person can get infected only when the bacteria gets into the skin, lungs or  digestive tract.

There are three types of anthrax: skin anthrax, inhalation anthrax and gastrointestinal anthrax. Skin anthrax symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, nausea and vomiting. Inhalation anthrax begins with flu-like symptoms, which progresses  with severe respiratory distress. Shock, coma and then death follows. Most patients do not recover even if given appropriate antibiotics due to the toxins released by the anthrax bacteria. Gastrointestinal anthrax symptoms include fever, nausea, abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea.

Anthrax is treated with antibiotics.

23. Malaria  Malaria is a mosquito-borne illness caused by parasite. Although malaria can be prevented and treated, it is often fatal.

Malaria

Each year about 1 million people die from Malaria.  Common symptoms include fever, chills, headache. Sweats, and fatigue. Malaria is a serious disease caused by Plasmodium parasites that infects Anopheles mosquitoes which feeds on humans. Initial symptoms include high fever, shaking chills, headache and vomiting – symptoms that may be too  mild to be identified as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, it can progress to severe illnesses that could lead to death.

The WHO estimates that malaria caused 207,000,000 clinical episodes and 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children,  in 2012. About 3.5 billion people from 167 countries live in areas at risk of malaria transmission.

24. Cholera  Due to the severe dehydration it causes, if left untreated Cholera can cause death within hours. In 1991 a major outbreak occurred in South America though currently few cases are known outside of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramping. Cholera is usually contracted through ingestion of contaminated water or food. Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholera. It has an incubation period of less than a day to five days and causes painless, watery diarrhea that quickly leads to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given.

Cholera remains a global problem and continues to be a challenge for countries where access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a problem.

25.  Typhoid Fever  Patients with typhoid fever sometimes demonstrate a rash of flat, rose-colored spots and a sustained fever of 103 to 104.

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Typhoid is contracted through contact with the S. Typhi bacteria, which is carried by humans in both their blood stream and stool. Over 400 cases occur in the US, 20% of those who contract it die. Typhoid fever is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. This type of bacteria lives only in humans. People sick with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract and transmit the bacteria through their stool.

A person can get typhoid fever by drinking or eating food contaminated with Salmonella Typhi or if contaminated sewage gets into the water used for drinking or washing dishes.

Typhoid fever symptoms include high fever, weakness, headache, stomach pains or loss of appetite. Typhoid fever is determined by testing the presence of Salmonella Typhi in the stool or blood of an infected person. Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics.

26. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the MERS VIRUS A new Pneumonia disease that emerged in China in 2003. After news of the outbreak of SARS China tried to silence news about it both internal and international news , SARS spread rapidly, reaching neighboring countries Hong Kong and Vietnam in late February 2003, and then to other countries via international travelers.Canada Had a outbreak that was fairly well covered and cost Canada quite a bit financially

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The last case of this epidemic occurred in June 2003. In that outbreak, 8069 cases arise that killed 775 people. There is speculation that this disease is Man-Made SARS, SARS has symptoms of flu and may include: fever, cough, sore throat and other non-specific symptoms.

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The only symptom that is common to all patients was fever above 38 degrees Celsius. Shortness of breath may occur later. There is currently no vaccine for the disease so that countermeasures can only assist the breathing apparatus. The virus was said to be the Virus of the End Times

27.  MERS(Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), also termed EMC/2012 (HCoV-EMC/2012), is positive-sense, single-stranded RNA novel species of the genus Betacoronavirus.

MERS-CoV

First called novel coronavirus 2012 or simply novel coronavirus, it was first reported in 2012 after genome sequencing of a virus isolated from sputum samples from patients who fell ill in a 2012 outbreak of a new flu.

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As of June 2014, MERS-CoV cases have been reported in 22 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Bangladesh, the Philippines (still MERS-free), Indonesia (none was confirmed), the United Kingdom, and the United States. Almost all cases are somehow linked to Saudi Arabia. In the same article it was reported that Saudi authorities’ errors in response to MERS-CoV were a contributing factor to the spread of this deadly virus.

27. Enterovirus (Brain Inflammation) Entero virus is a disease of the hands, feet and mouth, and we can not ignored occasional Brain Inflammation. Enterovirus attack symptoms are very similar to regular flu symptoms so its difficult to detect it, such as fever, sometimes accompanied by dizziness and weakness and pain.

Next will come the little red watery bumps on the palms and feet following oral thrush. In severe conditions, Enterovirus can attack the nerves and brain tissue to result in death.

The virus is easily spread through direct contact with patients. Children are the main victims of the spread of enterovirus in China. Since the first victim was found but reporting was delayed until several weeks later.

24 thousand people have contracted the enterovirus. More than 30 of them died mostly children. The virus is reported to have entered Indonesia and infecting three people in Sumatra.  2014Enterovirus 68 is presently spreading across North America mainly and started in the USA has probably spread to Canada and Mexico by now. Enterovirus 68’s spread is unprecedented up till now

28.  The Black Plague  The 1918 flu virus and HIV are the biggest killers of modern times. But back in the 14th century, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague, or the Black Death as it was also known, was the baddest bug of all. In just a few years, from 1347 to 1351, the plague killed off about 75,000,000 people worldwide, including one-third of the entire population of Europe at that time.

Carrying away the victims of plague

It spread through Asia, Italy, North Africa, Spain, Normandy, Switzerland, and eastward into Hungary. After a brief break, it crossed into England, Scotland, and then to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Greenland.

the plague bacterium

Yersinia pestis, the plague bacteria
Courtesy of Neal Chamberlain

The plague bacterium is called Yersinia <yer-sin-ee-uh> pestis. There are two main forms of the disease. In the bubonic <boo-bah-nick> form, the bacteria cause painful swellings as large as an orange to form in the armpits, neck and groin. These swellings, or buboes, often burst open, oozing blood and pus. Blood vessels leak blood that puddles under the skin, giving the skin a blackened look. That’s why the disease became known as the Black Death. At least half of its victims die within a week.

The pneumonic <new-mon-ick> form of plague causes victims to sweat heavily and cough up blood that starts filling their lungs. Almost no one survived it during the plague years. Yersinia pestis is the deadliest microbe we’ve ever known, although HIV might catch up to it. Yersinia pestis is still around in the world. Fortunately, with bacteria-killing antibiotics and measures to control the pests—rats and mice—that spread the bacteria, we’ve managed to conquer this killer.

29. Human Papillomavirus  Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus from the papillomavirus family that is capable of infecting humans. Like all papillomaviruses, HPVs establish productive infections only in keratinocytes of the skin or mucous membranes.

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Most HPV infections are subclinical and will cause no physical symptoms; however, in some people subclinical infections will become clinical and may cause benign papillomas (such as warts [verrucae] or squamous cell papilloma), or cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, oropharynx and anus.HPV has been linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, HPV 16 and 18 infections are a cause of a unique type of oropharyngeal (throat) cancer and are believed to cause 70% of cervical cancer, which have available vaccines, see HPV vaccine.

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More than 30 to 40 types of HPV are typically transmitted through sexual contact and infect the anogenital region. Some sexually transmitted HPV types may cause genital warts. Persistent infection with "high-risk" HPV types—different from the ones that cause skin warts—may progress to precancerous lesions and invasive cancer. High-risk HPV infection is a cause of nearly all cases of cervical cancer.However, most infections do not cause disease.

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Seventy percent of clinical HPV infections, in young men and women, may regress to subclinical in one year and ninety percent in two years. However, when the subclinical infection persists—in 5% to 10% of infected women—there is high risk of developing precancerous lesions of the vulva and cervix, which can progress to invasive cancer. Progression from subclinical to clinical infection may take years; providing opportunities for detection and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions.

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In more developed countries, cervical screening using a Papanicolaou (Pap) test or liquid-based cytology is used to detect abnormal cells that may develop into cancer. If abnormal cells are found, women are invited to have a colposcopy. During a colposcopic inspection, biopsies can be taken and abnormal areas can be removed with a simple procedure, typically with a cauterizing loop or, more commonly in the developing world—by freezing (cryotherapy).

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Treating abnormal cells in this way can prevent them from developing into cervical cancer. Pap smears have reduced the incidence and fatalities of cervical cancer in the developed world, but even so there were 11,000 cases and 3,900 deaths in the U.S. in 2008. Cervical cancer has substantial mortality worldwide, there are an estimated 490,000 cases and 270,000 deaths each year.

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It is true that infections caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) are not fatal, but chronic infection may result in cervical cancer. Apparently, HPV is responsible for almost all cervical cancers (approx. 99%). HPV results in 275,000 deaths per year.

30. Henipaviruses The genus Henipavirus comprises of 3 members which are Hendra virus (HeV), Nipah virus (NiV), and Cedar virus (CedPV). The second one was introduced in the middle of 2012, although affected no human, and is therefore considered harmless. The rest of the two viruses, however, are lethal with mortality rate up to 50-100%.

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Hendra virus (originally Equine morbillivirus) was discovered in September 1994 when it caused the deaths of thirteen horses, and a trainer at a training complex in Hendra, a suburb of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia.

The index case, a mare, was housed with 19 other horses after falling ill, and died two days later. Subsequently, all of the horses became ill, with 13 dying. The remaining 6 animals were subsequently euthanized as a way of preventing relapsing infection and possible further transmission.The trainer, Victory (‘Vic’) Rail, and a stable hand were involved in nursing the index case, and both fell ill with an influenza-like illness within one week of the first horse’s death. The stable hand recovered while Mr Rail died of respiratory and renal failure. The source of the virus was most likely frothy nasal discharge from the index case.

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A second outbreak occurred in August 1994 (chronologically preceding the first outbreak) in Mackay 1,000 km north of Brisbane resulting in the deaths of two horses and their owner. The owner, Mark Preston, assisted in necropsies of the horses and within three weeks was admitted to hospital suffering from meningitis. Mr Preston recovered, but 14 months later developed neurologic signs and died. This outbreak was diagnosed retrospectively by the presence of Hendra virus in the brain of the patient.pathogens-02-00264-g002-1024

A survey of wildlife in the outbreak areas was conducted, and identified pteropid fruit bats as the most likely source of Hendra virus, with a seroprevalence of 47%. All of the other 46 species sampled were negative. Virus isolations from the reproductive tract and urine of wild bats indicated that transmission to horses may have occurred via exposure to bat urine or birthing fluids.  However, the only attempt at experimental infection reported in the literature, conducted at CSIRO Geelong, did not result in infection of a horse from infected flying foxes. This study looked at potential infection between bats, horses and cats, in various combinations. The only species that was able to infect horses was the cat (Felix spp.)

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Nipah virus was identified in April 1999, when it caused an outbreak of neurological and respiratory disease on pig farms in peninsular Malaysia, resulting in 257 human cases, including 105 human deaths and the culling of one million pigs.  In Singapore, 11 cases, including one death, occurred in abattoir workers exposed to pigs imported from the affected Malaysian farms. The Nipah virus has been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category C agent. The name "Nipah" refers to the place, Kampung Baru Sungai Nipah in Negeri Sembilan State, Malaysia, the source of the human case from which Nipah virus was first isolated.

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The outbreak was originally mistaken for Japanese encephalitis (JE), however, physicians in the area noted that persons who had been vaccinated against JE were not protected, and the number of cases among adults was unusual Despite the fact that these observations were recorded in the first month of the outbreak, the Ministry of Health failed to react accordingly, and instead launched a nationwide campaign to educate people on the dangers of JE and its vector, Culex mosquitoes.

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Symptoms of infection from the Malaysian outbreak were primarily encephalitic in humans and respiratory in pigs. Later outbreaks have caused respiratory illness in humans, increasing the likelihood of human-to-human transmission and indicating the existence of more dangerous strains of the virus. Based on seroprevalence data and virus isolations, the primary reservoir for Nipah virus was identified as Pteropid fruit bats, including Pteropus vampyrus (Large Flying Fox), and Pteropus hypomelanus (Small flying fox), both of which occur in Malaysia.

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The transmission of Nipah virus from flying foxes to pigs is thought to be due to an increasing overlap between bat habitats and piggeries in peninsular Malaysia. At the index farm, fruit orchards were in close proximity to the piggery, allowing the spillage of urine, feces and partially eaten fruit onto the pigs. Retrospective studies demonstrate that viral spillover into pigs may have been occurring in Malaysia since 1996 without detection. During 1998, viral spread was aided by the transfer of infected pigs to other farms, where new outbreaks occurred.

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Cedar Virus (CedPV) was first identified in pteropid urine during work on Hendra virus undertaken in Queensland in 2009. Although the virus is reported to be very similar to both Hendra and Nipah, it does not cause illness in laboratory animals usually susceptible to paramyxoviruses. Animals were able to mount an effective response and create effective antibodies.3273481_pone.0027918.g003

The scientists who identified the virus report:

Hendra and Nipah viruses are 2 highly pathogenic paramyxoviruses that have emerged from bats within the last two decades. Both are capable of causing fatal disease in both humans and many mammal species. Serological and molecular evidence for henipa-like viruses have been reported from numerous locations including Asia and Africa, however, until now no successful isolation of these viruses have been reported. This paper reports the isolation of a novel paramyxovirus, named Cedar virus, from fruit bats in Australia. Full genome sequencing of this virus suggests a close relationship with the henipaviruses.
 
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Antibodies to Cedar virus were shown to cross react with, but not cross neutralize Hendra or Nipah virus. Despite this close relationship, when Cedar virus was tested in experimental challenge models in ferrets and guinea pigs, we identified virus replication and generation of neutralizing antibodies, but no clinical disease was observed. As such, this virus provides a useful reference for future reverse genetics experiments to determine the molecular basis of the pathogenicity of the henipaviruses.

30. Lyssaviruses  This genus comprises of not only rabies virus (causing death of almost everyone who is infected) but certain other viruses such as Duvenhage virus, Mokola virus, and Australian bat lyssavirus. Although small number of cases are reported, but the ones reported have always been fatal. Bats are vectors for all of these types except for Mokola virus.

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Lyssavirus (from Lyssa, the Greek goddess of madness, rage, and frenzy) is a genus of viruses belonging to the family Rhabdoviridae, in the order Mononegavirales. This group of RNA viruses includes the rabies virus traditionally associated with the disease. Viruses typically have either helical or cubic symmetry. Lyssaviruses have helical symmetry, so their infectious particles are approximately cylindrical in shape. This is typical of plant-infecting viruses. Human-infecting viruses more commonly have cubic symmetry and take shapes approximating regular polyhedra. The structure consists of a spiked outer envelope, a middle region consisting of matrix protein M, and an inner ribonucleocapsid complex region, consisting of the genome associated with other proteins.

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Lyssavirus genome consists of a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA molecule that encodes five viral proteins: polymerase L, matrix protein M, phosphoprotein P, nucleoprotein N, and glycoprotein G.

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Based on recent phylogenetic evidence, lyssa viruses are categorized into seven major species. In addition, five species recently have been discovered: West Caucasian bat virus, Aravan virus, Khuj and virus, Irkut virus and Shimoni bat virus. The major species include rabies virus (species 1), Lagos bat virus (species 2), Mokola virus (species 3), Duvenhage virus (species 4), European Bat lyssaviruses type 1 and 2 (species 5 and 6), and Australian bat lyssavirus (species 7).83980497

Based on biological properties of the viruses, these species are further subdivided into phylogroups 1 and 2. Phylogroup 1 includes genotypes 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7, while phylogroup 2 includes genotypes 2 and 3. The nucleocapsid region of lyssavirus is fairly highly conserved from genotype to genotype across both phylogroups; however, experimental data have shown the lyssavirus strains used in vaccinations are only from the first species(i.e. classic rabies).

31. Tuberculosis  Mucous, fever, fatigue, excessive sweating and weight loss. What do they all have in common?

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They are symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis, or TB. TB is a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs, but it may spread to other organs. The symptoms of this disease can remain stagnant for years or affect the person right away. People at higher risk for contracting TB include the elderly, infants and those with weakened immune systems due to other diseases, such as AIDS or diabetes, or even individuals who have undergone chemotherapy.

Being around others who may have TB, maintaining a poor diet or living in unsanitary conditions are all risk factors for contracting TB. In the United States, there are approximately 10 cases of TB per 100,000 people. Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus), in the past also called phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, or consumption, is a widespread, and in many cases fatal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air. Most infections do not have symptoms, known as latent tuberculosis. About one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.

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The classic symptoms of active TB infection are a chronic cough with blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss (the latter giving rise to the formerly common term for the disease, "consumption"). Infection of other organs causes a wide range of symptoms. Diagnosis of active TB relies on radiology (commonly chest X-rays), as well as microscopic examination and microbiological culture of body fluids.

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Diagnosis of latent TB relies on the tuberculin skin test (TST) and/or blood tests. Treatment is difficult and requires administration of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. Social contacts are also screened and treated if necessary. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) infections. Prevention relies on screening programs and vaccination with the bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.

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One-third of the world’s population is thought to have been infected with M. tuberculosis, with new infections occurring in about 1% of the population each year.In 2007, an estimated 13.7 million chronic cases were active globally, while in 2010, an estimated 8.8 million new cases and 1.5 million associated deaths occurred, mostly in developing countries. The absolute number of tuberculosis cases has been decreasing since 2006, and new cases have decreased since 2002.

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The rate of tuberculosis in different areas varies across the globe; about 80% of the population in many Asian and African countries tests positive in tuberculin tests, while only 5–10% of the United States population tests positive. More people in the developing world contract tuberculosis because of a poor immune system, largely due to high rates of HIV infection and the corresponding development of AIDS.

32. Encephalitis Virus Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain, commonly caused by a viral infection. Victims are usually exposed to viruses resulting in encephalitis by insect bites or food and drink. The most frequently encountered agents are arboviruses (carried by mosquitoes or ticks) and enteroviruses ( coxsackievirus, poliovirus and echovirus ). Some of the less frequent agents are measles, rabies, mumps, varicella and herpes simplex viruses.

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Patients with encephalitis suffer from fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, drowsiness and photophobia. The symptoms of encephalitis are caused by brain’s defense mechanisms being activated to get rid of infection (brain swelling, small bleedings and cell death). Neurologic examination usually reveals a stiff neck due to the irritation of the meninges covering the brain. Examination of the cerebrospinal fluidCerebrospinal fluid CSF in short, is the clear fluid that occupies the subarachnoid space (the space between the skull and cortex of the brain). It acts as a "cushion" or buffer for the cortex.

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Also, CSF occupies the ventricular system of the brain and the obtained by a lumbar puncture In medicine, a lumbar puncture (colloquially known as a spinal tap is a diagnostic procedure that is done to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for biochemical, microbiological and cytological analysis. Indications The most common indication for procedure reveals increased amounts of proteins and white blood cells with normal glucose. A CT scan examination is performed to reveal possible complications of brain swelling, brain abscess Brain abscess (or cerebral abscess) is an abscess caused by inflammation and collection of infected material coming from local (ear infection, infection of paranasal sinuses, infection of the mastoid air cells of the temporal bone, epidural abscess) or re or bleeding. Lumbar puncture procedure is performed only after the possibility of a prominent brain swelling is excluded by a CT scan examination.

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What are the main Symptoms?
Some patients may have symptoms of a cold or stomach infection before encephalitis symptoms begin.
When a case of encephalitis is not very severe, the symptoms may be similar to those of other illnesses, including:
• Fever that is not very high
• Mild headache
• Low energy and a poor appetite
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Other symptoms include:
• Clumsiness, unsteady gait
• Confusion, disorientation
• Drowsiness
• Irritability or poor temper control
• Light sensitivity
• Stiff neck and back (occasionally)
• Vomiting
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Symptoms in newborns and younger infants may not be as easy to recognize:
• Body stiffness
• Irritability and crying more often (these symptoms may get worse when the baby is picked up)
• Poor feeding
• Soft spot on the top of the head may bulge out more
• Vomiting
Encephalitis

• Loss of consciousness, poor responsiveness, stupor, coma
• Muscle weakness or paralysis
• Seizures
• Severe headache
• Sudden change in mental functions:
• "Flat" mood, lack of mood, or mood that is inappropriate for the situation
• Impaired judgment
• Inflexibility, extreme self-centeredness, inability to make a decision, or withdrawal from social interaction
• Less interest in daily activities
• Memory loss (amnesia), impaired short-term or long-term memory

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Children and adults should avoid contact with anyone who has encephalitis.
Controlling mosquitoes (a mosquito bite can transmit some viruses) may reduce the chance of some infections that can lead to encephalitis.
• Apply an insect repellant containing the chemical, DEET when you go outside (but never use DEET products on infants younger than 2 months).
• Remove any sources of standing water (such as old tires, cans, gutters, and wading pools).
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outside, particularly at dusk.
Vaccinate animals to prevent encephalitis caused by the rabies virus.

 

33. Chicken Pox Virus Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV).It usually starts with a vesicular skin rash mainly on the body and head rather than on the limbs. The rash develops into itchy, raw pockmarks, which mostly heal without scarring. On examination, the observer typically finds skin lesions at various stages of healing and also ulcers in the oral cavity and tonsil areas. The disease is most commonly observed in children.

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Chickenpox is an airborne disease which spreads easily through coughing or sneezing by ill individuals or through direct contact with secretions from the rash. A person with chickenpox is infectious one to two days before the rash appears. They remain contagious until all lesions have crusted over (this takes approximately six days). Immunocompromised patients are contagious during the entire period as new lesions keep appearing. Crusted lesions are not contagious.Chickenpox has been observed in other primates, including chimpanzees and gorillas.

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The origin of the term chicken pox, which is recorded as being used since 1684,is not reliably known. It has been said to be a derived from chickpeas, based on resemblance of the vesicles to chickpeas, or to come from the rash resembling chicken pecks. Other suggestions include the designation chicken for a child (i.e., literally ‘child pox’), a corruption of itching-pox, or the idea that the disease may have originated in chickens. Samuel Johnson explained the designation as "from its being of no very great danger."

Chickenpox

The early (prodromal) symptoms in adolescents and adults are nausea, loss of appetite, aching muscles, and headache. This is followed by the characteristic rash or oral sores, malaise, and a low-grade fever that signal the presence of the disease. Oral manifestations of the disease (enanthem) not uncommonly may precede the external rash (exanthem). In children the illness is not usually preceded by prodromal symptoms, and the first sign is the rash or the spots in the oral cavity. The rash begins as small red dots on the face, scalp, torso, upper arms and legs; progressing over 10–12 hours to small bumps, blisters and pustules; followed by umbilication and the formation of scabs.

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At the blister stage, intense itching is usually present. Blisters may also occur on the palms, soles, and genital area. Commonly, visible evidence of the disease develops in the oral cavity & tonsil areas in the form of small ulcers which can be painful or itchy or both; this enanthem (internal rash) can precede the exanthem (external rash) by 1 to 3 days or can be concurrent. These symptoms of chickenpox appear 10 to 21 days after exposure to a contagious person. Adults may have a more widespread rash and longer fever, and they are more likely to experience complications, such as varicella pneumonia.Because watery nasal discharge containing live virus usually precedes both exanthem (external rash) and enanthem (oral ulcers) by 1 to 2 days, the infected person actually becomes contagious one to two days prior to recognition of the disease. Contagiousness persists until all vesicular lesions have become dry crusts (scabs), which usually entails four or five days, by which time nasal shedding of live virus also ceases.

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Chickenpox is rarely fatal, although it is generally more severe in adult men than in women or children. Non-immune pregnant women and those with a suppressed immune system are at highest risk of serious complications. Arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) associated with chickenpox in the previous year accounts for nearly one third of childhood AIS. The most common late complication of chickenpox is shingles (herpes zoster), caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus decades after the initial, often childhood, chickenpox infection.

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Shingles  Herpes zoster After a chickenpox infection, the virus remains dormant in the body’s nerve tissues. The immune system keeps the virus at bay, but later in life, usually as an adult, it can be reactivated and cause a different form of the viral infection called shingles (scientifically known as herpes zoster). The United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) suggests that any adult over the age of 60 years gets the herpes zoster vaccine as a part of their normal medical check ups.

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Many adults who have had chickenpox as children are susceptible to shingles as adults, often with the accompanying condition postherpetic neuralgia, a painful condition that makes it difficult to sleep. Even after the shingles rash has gone away, there can be night pain in the area affected by the rash.Shingles affects one in five adults infected with chickenpox as children, especially those who are immune suppressed, particularly from cancer, HIV, or other conditions.

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However, stress can bring on shingles as well, although scientists are still researching the connection.Shingles are most commonly found in adults over the age of 60 who were diagnosed with chickenpox when they were under the age of 1.A shingles vaccine is available for adults over 50 who have had childhood chickenpox or who have previously had shingles.

34. POXVIRUS  Poxviruses (members of the family Poxviridae) are viruses that can, as a family, infect both vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

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Four genera of poxviruses may infect humans: orthopox, parapox, yatapox, molluscipox. Orthopox: smallpox virus (variola), vaccinia virus, cowpox virus, monkeypox virus; Parapox: orf virus, pseudocowpox, bovine papular stomatitis virus; Yatapox: tanapox virus, yaba monkey tumor virus; Molluscipox: molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV).The most common are vaccinia (seen on Indian subcontinent) and molluscum contagiousum, but monkeypox infections are rising (seen in west and central African rainforest countries). Camelpox is a disease of camels caused by a virus of the family Poxviridae, subfamily Chordopoxvirinae, and the genus Orthopoxvirus. It causes skin lesions and a generalized infection. Approximately 25% of young camels that become infected will die from the disease, while infection in older camels is generally more mild.

Poxvirus model in section (Pov_Ray)

The ancestor of the poxviruses is not known but structural studies suggest it may have been an adenovirus or a species related to both the poxviruses and the adenoviruses. Based on the genome organization and DNA replication mechanism it seems that phylogenetic relationships may exist between the rudiviruses (Rudiviridae) and the large eukaryal DNA viruses: the African swine fever virus (Asfarviridae), Chlorella viruses (Phycodnaviridae) and poxviruses (Poxviridae).The mutation rate in these genomes has been estimated to be 0.9-1.2 x 10−6 substitutions per site per year.A second estimate puts this rate at 0.5-7 × 10−6 nucleotide substitutions per site per year.  A third estimate places the rate at 4-6 × 10−6.

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The last common ancestor of the extant poxviruses that infect vertebrates existed 0.5 million years ago. The genus Avipoxvirus diverged from the ancestor 249 ± 69 thousand years ago. The ancestor of the genus Orthopoxvirus was next to diverge from the other clades at 0.3 million years ago. A second estimate of this divergence time places this event at 166,000 ± 43,000 years ago. The division of the Orthopox into the extant genera occurred ~14,000 years ago. The genus Leporipoxvirus diverged ~137,000 ± 35,000 years ago. This was followed by the ancestor of the genus Yatapoxvirus. The last common ancestor of the Capripoxvirus and Suipoxvirus diverged 111,000 ± 29,000 years ago.

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 2

A model of a poxvirus cut-away in
cross-section to show the internal
structures. Poxviruses are shaped like
flattened capsules/barrels or are lens or
pill-shaped.

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 3

Their structure is complex,
neither icosahedral nor helical. This
model is based on Vaccinia, the smallpox
virus. The structures are also highly
variable and often incompletely studied.

 

35. West Nile Virus  West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic arbovirus belonging to the genus Flavivirus in the family Flaviviridae.

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This flavivirus is found in temperate and tropical regions of the world. It was first identified in the West Nile subregion in the East African nation of Uganda in 1937. Prior to the mid-1990s, WNV disease occurred only sporadically and was considered a minor risk for humans, until an outbreak in Algeria in 1994, with cases of WNV-caused encephalitis, and the first large outbreak in Romania in 1996, with a high number of cases with neuroinvasive disease. WNV has now spread globally, with the first case in the Western Hemisphere being identified in New York City in 1999; over the next five years, the virus spread across the continental United States, north into Canada, and southward into the Caribbean islands and Latin America. WNV also spread to Europe, beyond the Mediterranean Basin, and a new strain of the virus was identified in Italy in 2012. WNV is now considered to be an endemic pathogen in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and in the United States, which in 2012 has experienced one of its worst epidemics. In 2012, WNV killed 286 people in the United States, with the state of Texas being hard hit by this virus, making the year the deadliest on record for the United States.

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The main mode of WNV transmission is via various species of mosquitoes, which are the prime vector, with birds being the most commonly infected animal and serving as the prime reservoir host—especially passerines, which are of the largest order of birds, Passeriformes. WNV has been found in various species of ticks, but current research suggests they are not important vectors of the virus. WNV also infects various mammal species, including humans, and has been identified in reptilian species, including alligators and crocodiles, and also in amphibians. Not all animal species that are susceptible to WNV infection, including humans, and not all bird species develop sufficient viral levels to transmit the disease to uninfected mosquitoes, and are thus not considered major factors in WNV transmission.

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Approximately 80% of West Nile virus infections in humans are subclinical, which cause no symptoms. In the cases where symptoms do occur—termed West Nile fever in cases without neurological disease—the time from infection to the appearance of symptoms (incubation period) is typically between 2 and 15 days. Symptoms may include fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain or aches, malaise, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, myalgias and rash. Less than 1% of the cases are severe and result in neurological disease when the central nervous system is affected. People of advanced age, the very young, or those with immunosuppression, either medically induced, such as those taking immunosupressive drugs, or due to a pre-existing medical condition such as HIV infection, are most susceptible. The specific neurological diseases that may occur are West Nile encephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain, West Nile meningitis, which causes inflammation of the meninges, which are the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, West Nile meningoencephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain and also the meninges surrounding it, and West Nile poliomyelitis—spinal cord inflammation, which results in a syndrome similar to polio, which may cause acute flaccid paralysis.

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Currently, no vaccine against WNV infection is available. The best method to reduce the rates of WNV infection is mosquito control on the part of municipalities, businesses and individual citizens to reduce breeding populations of mosquitoes in public, commercial and private areas via various means including eliminating standing pools of water where mosquitoes breed, such as in old tires, buckets, unused swimming pools, etc. On an individual basis, the use of personal protective measures to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito, via the use of mosquito repellent, window screens, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are more prone to congregate, such as near marshes, areas with heavy vegetation etc., and being more vigilant from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active offers the best defense. In the event of being bitten by an infected mosquito, familiarity of the symptoms of WNV on the part of laypersons, physicians and allied health professions affords the best chance of receiving timely medical treatment, which may aid in reducing associated possible complications and also appropriate palliative care.

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The incubation period for WNV—the amount of time from infection to symptom onset—is typically from between 2 and 15 days. Headache can be a prominent symptom of WNV fever, meningitis, encephalitis, meningoencephalitis, and it may or may not be present in poliomyelytis-like syndrome. Thus, headache is not a useful indicator of neuroinvasive disease.(CDC)

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  • West Nile virus encephalitis (WNE) is the most common neuroinvasive manifestation of WNND. WNE presents with similar symptoms to other viral encephalitis with fever, headaches, and altered mental status. A prominent finding in WNE is muscular weakness (30 to 50 percent of patients with encephalitis), often with lower motor neuron symptoms, flaccid paralysis, and hyporeflexia with no sensory abnormalities.
  • West Nile meningitis (WNM) usually involves fever, headache, and stiff neck. Pleocytosis, an increase of white blood cells in cerebrospinal fluid, is also present. Changes in consciousness are not usually seen and are mild when present.
  • West Nile meningoencephalitis is inflammation of both the brain (encephalitis) and meninges (meningitis).
  • West Nile poliomyelitis (WNP), an acute flaccid paralysis syndrome associated with WNV infection, is less common than WNM or WNE. This syndrome is generally characterized by the acute onset of asymmetric limb weakness or paralysis in the absence of sensory loss. Pain sometimes precedes the paralysis. The paralysis can occur in the absence of fever, headache, or other common symptoms associated with WNV infection. Involvement of respiratory muscles, leading to acute respiratory failure, can sometimes occur.
  • West-Nile reversible paralysis,. Like WNP, the weakness or paralysis is asymmetric. Reported cases have been noted to have an initial preservation of deep tendon reflexes, which is not expected for a pure anterior horn involvement.Disconnect of upper motor neuron influences on the anterior horn cells possibly by myelitis or glutamate excitotoxicity have been suggested as mechanisms.The prognosis for recovery is excellent.
  • Cutaneous manifestations specifically rashes, are not uncommon in WNV-infected patients; however, there is a paucity of detailed descriptions in case reports and there are few clinical images widely available. Punctate erythematous (?), macular, and papular eruptions, most pronounced on the extremities have been observed in WNV cases and in some cases histopathologic findings have shown a sparse superficial perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate, a manifestation commonly seen in viral exanthems (?). A literature review provides support that this punctate rash is a common cutaneous presentation of WNV infection. (Anderson RC et al.)

USA WEST NILE VIRUS

West Nile virus life cycle. After binding and uptake, the virion envelope fuses with cellular membranes, followed by uncoating of the nucleocapsid and release of the RNA genome into the cytoplasm. The viral genome serves as messenger RNA (mRNA) for translation of all viral proteins and as template during RNA replication. Copies are subsequently packaged within new virus particles that are transported in vesicles to the cell membrane.

WNV_life_cycle

WNV is one of the Japanese encephalitis antigenic serocomplex of viruses. Image reconstructions and cryoelectron microscopy reveal a 45–50 nm virion covered with a relatively smooth protein surface. This structure is similar to the dengue fever virus; both belong to the genus Flavivirus within the family Flaviviridae.

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The genetic material of WNV is a positive-sense, single strand of RNA, which is between 11,000 and 12,000 nucleotides long; these genes encode seven nonstructural proteins and three structural proteins. The RNA strand is held within a nucleocapsid formed from 12-kDa protein blocks; the capsid is contained within a host-derived membrane altered by two viral glycoproteins. Phylogenetic tree of West Nile viruses based on sequencing of the envelope gene during complete genome sequencing of the virus

Phylogenetic_tree_of_West_Nile_viruses

Studies of phylogenetic lineages determined WNV emerged as a distinct virus around 1000 years ago. This initial virus developed into two distinct lineages, lineage 1 and its multiple profiles is the source of the epidemic transmission in Africa and throughout the world. Lineage 2 was considered an Africa zoonosis. However, in 2008, lineage 2, previously only seen in horses in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, began to appear in horses in Europe, where the first known outbreak affected 18 animals in Hungary in 2008. Lineage 1 West Nile virus was detected in South Africa in 2010 in a mare and her aborted fetus; previously, only lineage 2 West Nile virus had been detected in horses and humans in South Africa. A 2007 fatal case in a killer whale in Texas broadened the known host range of West Nile virus to include cetaceans.

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The United States virus was very closely related to a lineage 1 strain found in Israel in 1998. Since the first North American cases in 1999, the virus has been reported throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. There have been human cases and equine cases, and many birds are infected. The Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus, was the first nonhuman primate to contract WNV.  Both the United States and Israeli strains are marked by high mortality rates in infected avian populations; the presence of dead birds—especially Corvidae—can be an early indicator of the arrival of the virus.

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The West Nile virus maintains itself in nature by cycling between mosquitoes and certain species of birds. A mosquito (the vector) bites an uninfected bird (the host), the virus amplifies within the bird, an uninfected mosquito bites the bird and is in turn infected. Other species such as humans and horses are incidental infections, as they are not the mosquitoes’ preferred blood meal source. The virus does not amplify within these species and they are known as dead-end hosts.

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The West Nile virus (WNV) is transmitted through female mosquitoes, which are the prime vectors of the virus. Only females feed on blood, and different species have evolved to take a blood meal on preferred types of vertebrate hosts. The infected mosquito species vary according to geographical area; in the United States, Culex pipiens (Eastern United States), Culex tarsalis (Midwest and West), and Culex quinquefasciatus (Southeast) are the main sources.The various species that transmit the WNV prefer birds of the Passeriformes order, the largest order of birds. Within that order there is further selectivity with various mosquito species exhibiting preference for different species. In the United States WNV mosquito vectors have shown definitive preference for members of the Corvidae and Thrush family of birds. Amongst the preferred species within these families are the American crow, a corvid, and the American robin (Turdus migratorius), a thrush.

The proboscis of a female mosquito—here a Southern House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus)—pierces the epidermis and dermis to allow it to feed on human blood from a capillary: this one is almost fully tumescent. The mosquito injects saliva, which contains an anesthetic, and an anticoagulant into the puncture wound; and in infected mosquitoes, the West Nile virus.

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The birds develop sufficient viral levels after being infected, to transmit the infection to other biting mosquitoes that in turn go on to infect other birds. In crows and robins, the infection is fatal in 4–5 days. This epizootic viral amplification cycle has been shown to peak 15–16 days before humans become ill. This may be due to the high mortality, and thus depletion of the preferred hosts, i.e., the specific bird species. The mosquitoes become less selective and begin feeding more readily on other animal types such as humans and horses which are considered incidental hosts.

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In mammals, the virus does not multiply as readily (i.e., does not develop high viremia during infection), and mosquitoes biting infected mammals are not believed to ingest sufficient virus to become infected,making mammals so-called dead-end hosts.

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Direct human-to-human transmission initially was believed to be caused only by occupational exposure, or conjunctive exposure to infected blood. The US outbreak identified additional transmission methods through blood transfusion,organ transplant intrauterine exposure, and breast feeding. Since 2003, blood banks in the United States routinely screen for the virus among their donors. As a precautionary measure, the UK’s National Blood Service initially ran a test for this disease in donors who donate within 28 days of a visit to the United States, Canada or the northeastern provinces of Italy and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service asks prospective donors to wait 28 days after returning from North America or the northeastern provinces of Italy before donating.

West Nile Virus Replication

Recently, the potential for mosquito saliva to impact the course of WNV disease was demonstrated. Mosquitoes inoculate their saliva into the skin while obtaining blood. Mosquito saliva is a pharmacological cocktail of secreted molecules, principally proteins, that can affect vascular constriction, blood coagulation, platelet aggregation, inflammation, and immunity. It clearly alters the immune response in a manner that may be advantageous to a virus. Studies have shown it can specifically modulate the immune response during early virus infection, and mosquito feeding can exacerbate WNV infection, leading to higher viremia and more severe forms of disease.

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Vertical transmission, the transmission of a viral or bacterial disease from the female of the species to her offspring, has been observed in various West Nile virus studies, amongst different species of mosquitoes in both the laboratory and in nature.Mosquito progeny infected vertically in autumn, may potentially serve as a mechanism for WNV to overwinter and initiate enzootic horizontal transmission the following spring.


35 of the Most Dangerous Viruses and Bacteria’s in the World Today

The Black Plague, Marburg, Ebola, Influenza, Enterovirus virus may all sound terrifying, but it’s not the most dangerous virus in the world. It isn’t HIV either. Here is a list of the most dangerous viruses and Bacteria’s on the Planet Earth.

High security laboratory

1. Marburg Virus The most dangerous virus is the Marburg virus. It is named after a small and idyllic town on the river Lahn – but that has nothing to do with the disease itself. The Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever virus. As with Ebola, the Marburg virus causes convulsions and bleeding of mucous membranes, skin and organs. It has a fatality rate of 90 percent.  The Marburg virus causes a rare, but severe hemorrhagic fever that has a fatality rate of 88%. It was first identified in 1967 when outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever cropped up simultaneously in Marburg, where the disease got its name, Frankfurt in Germany and Belgrade, Serbia.

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Marburg and Ebola came from the Filoviridae family of viruses. They both have the capacity to cause dramatic outbreaks with the greatest fatality rates. It is transmitted to humans from fruit bats and spreads to humans through direct contact with the blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of infected humans. No anti-viral treatment or vaccine exists against the Marburg virus. In 1967, a group of lab workers in Germany (Marburg and Frankfurt) and Serbia (then Yugoslavia) contracted a new type of hemorrhagic fever from some virus-carrying African green monkeys that had been imported for research and development of polio vaccines. The Marburg virus is also BSL-4, and Marburg hemorrhagic fever has a 23 to 90 percent fatality rate. Spread through close human-to-human contact, symptoms start with a headache, fever, and a rash on the trunk, and progress to multiple organ failure and massive internal bleeding.

There is no cure, and the latest cases were reported out of Uganda at the end of 2012. An American tourist who had explored a Ugandan cave full of fruit bats known to be reservoirs of the virus contracted it and survived in 2008. (But not before bringing his sick self back to the U.S.)

2. Ebola Virus  There are five strains of the Ebola virus, each named after countries and regions in Africa: Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo and Reston. The Zaire Ebola virus is the deadliest, with a mortality rate of 90 percent. It is the strain currently spreading through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and beyond. Scientists say flying foxes probably brought the Zaire Ebola virus into cities.

Typically less than 100 lives a year. UPDATE: A severe Ebola outbreak was detected in West Africa in March 2014. The number of deaths in this latest outbreak has outnumbered all other known cases from previous outbreaks combined. The World Health Organization is reporting nearly 2,000 deaths in this latest outbreak.
Once a person is infected with the virus, the disease has an incubation period of 2-21 days; however, some infected persons are asymptomatic. Initial symptoms are sudden malaise, headache, and muscle pain, progressing to high fever, vomiting, severe hemorrhaging (internally and out of the eyes and mouth) and in 50%-90% of patients, death, usually within days. The likelihood of death is governed by the virulence of the particular Ebola strain involved. Ebola virus is transmitted in body fluids and secretions; there is no evidence of transmission by casual contact. There is no vaccine and no cure.

Its melodic moniker may roll off the tongue, but if you contract the virus (above), that’s not the only thing that will roll off one of your body parts (a disturbing amount of blood coming out of your eyes, for instance). Four of the five known Ebola viral strains cause Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), which has killed thousands of people in sub-Saharan African nations since its discovery in 1976.

The deadly virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where it was first reported, and is classified as a CDC Biosafety Level 4, a.k.a. BSL-4, making it one of the most dangerous pathogens on the planet. It is thought to spread through close contact with bodily secretions. EHF has a 50 to 90 percent mortality rate, with a rapid onset of symptoms that start with a headache and sore throat and progress to major internal and external bleeding and multiple organ failure. There’s no known cure, and the most recent cases were reported at the end of 2012 in Uganda.

3. The Hantavirus describes several types of viruses. It is named after a river where American soldiers were first thought to have been infected with the Hantavirus, during the Korean War in 1950. Symptoms include lung disease, fever and kidney failure.

70,000 Deaths a Year
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection. Also known as House Mouse Flu. The symptoms, which are very similar to HFRS, include tachycardia and tachypnea. Such conditions can lead to a cardiopulmonary phase, where cardiovascular shock can occur, and hospitalization of the patient is required.

There are many strains of hantavirus floating around (yep, it’s airborne) in the wake of rodents that carry the virus. Different strains, carried by different rodent species, are known to cause different types of illnesses in humans, most notably hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)—first discovered during the Korean War—and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which reared its ugly head with a 1993 outbreak in the Southwestern United States. Severe HFRS causes acute kidney failure, while HPS gets you by filling your lungs with fluid (edema). HFRS has a mortality rate of 1 to 15 percent, while HPS is 38 percent. The U.S. saw its most recent outbreak of hantavirus—of the HPS variety—at Yosemite National Park in late 2012.

4. Avian Influenza Bird Flu The various strains of bird flu regularly cause panic – which is perhaps justified because the mortality rate is 70 percent. But in fact the risk of contracting the H5N1 strain – one of the best known – is quite low. You can only be infected through direct contact with poultry. It is said this explains why most cases appear in Asia, where people often live close to chickens.

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This form of the flu is common among birds (usually poultry) and infects humans through contact with secretions of an infected bird.

Although rare, those infected have a high incidence of death. Symptoms are like those of the more common human form of influenza.

Bird flu (H5N1) has receded from international headlines for the moment, as few human cases of the deadly virus have been reported this year. But when Dutch researchers recently created an even more transmissible strain of the virus in a laboratory for research purposes, they stirred grave concerns about what would happen if it escaped into the outside world. “Part of what makes H5N1 so deadly is that most people lack an immunity to it,” explains Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) who studies the spread of infectious diseases. “If you make a strain that’s highly transmissible between humans, as the Dutch team did, it could be disastrous if it ever escaped the lab.”

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H5N1 first made global news in early 1997 after claiming two dozen victims in Hong Kong. The virus normally occurs only in wild birds and farm-raised fowl, but in those isolated early cases, it made the leap from birds to humans. It then swept unimpeded through the bodies of its initial human victims, causing massive hemorrhages in the lungs and death in a matter of days. Fortunately, during the past 15 years, the virus has claimed only 400 victims worldwide—although the strain can jump species, it hasn’t had the ability to move easily from human to human, a critical limit to its spread.

H5N1virus

That’s no longer the case, however. In late 2011, the Dutch researchers announced the creation of an H5N1 virus transmissible through the air between ferrets (the best animal model for studying the impact of disease on humans). The news caused a storm of controversy in the popular press and heated debate among scientists over the ethics of the work. For Lipsitch and many others, the creation of the new strain was cause for alarm. “H5N1 influenza is already one of the most deadly viruses in existence,” he says. “If you make [the virus] transmissible [between humans], you have to be very concerned about what the resulting strain could do.”

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To put this danger in context, the 1918 “Spanish” flu—one of the most deadly influenza epidemics on record—killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide, or roughly 3 to 6 percent of those infected. The more lethal SARS virus (see “The SARS Scare,” March-April 2007, page 47) killed almost 10 percent of infected patients during a 2003 outbreak that reached 25 countries worldwide. H5N1 is much more dangerous, killing almost 60 percent of those who contract the illness.

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If a transmissible strain of H5N1 escapes the lab, says Lipsitch, it could spark a global health catastrophe. “It could infect millions of people in the United States, and very likely more than a billion people globally, like most successful flu strains do,” he says. “This might be one of the worst viruses—perhaps the worst virus—in existence right now because it has both transmissibility and high virulence.”

Influenza A Pandemics

Ironically, this is why Ron Fouchier, the Dutch virologist whose lab created the new H5N1 strain, argues that studying it in more depth is crucial. If the virus can be made transmissible in the lab, he reasons, it can also occur in nature—and researchers should have an opportunity to understand as much as possible about the strain before that happens.

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Lipsitch, who directs the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at HSPH, thinks the risks far outweigh the rewards. Even in labs with the most stringent safety requirements, such as enclosed rubber “space suits” to isolate researchers, accidents do happen. A single unprotected breath could infect a researcher, who might unknowingly spread the virus beyond the confines of the lab.

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In an effort to avoid this scenario, Lipsitch has been pushing for changes in research policy in the United States and abroad. (A yearlong, voluntary global ban on H5N1 research was lifted in many countries in January, and new rules governing such research in the United States were expected in February.) Lipsitch says that none of the current research proposals he has seen “would significantly improve our preparational response to a national pandemic of H5N1. The small risk of a very large public health disaster…is not worth taking [for] scientific knowledge without an immediate public health application.” His recent op-eds in scientific journals and the popular press have stressed the importance of regulating the transmissible strain and limiting work with the virus to only a handful of qualified labs. In addition, he argues, only technicians who have the right training and experience—and have been inoculated against the virus—should be allowed to handle it.

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These are simple limitations that could drastically reduce the danger of the virus spreading, he asserts, yet they’re still not popular with some researchers. He acknowledges that limiting research is an unusual practice scientifically but argues, “These are unusual circumstances.”

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Lipsitch thinks a great deal of useful research can still be done on the non-transmissible strain of the virus, which would provide valuable data without the risk of accidental release. In the meantime, he hopes to make more stringent H5N1 policies a priority for U.S. and foreign laboratories. Although it’s not a perfect solution, he says, it’s far better than a nightmare scenario.

5. Lassa Virus  A nurse in Nigeria was the first person to be infected with the Lassa virus. The virus is transmitted by rodents. Cases can be endemic – which means the virus occurs in a specific region, such as in western Africa, and can reoccur there at any time. Scientists assume that 15 percent of rodents in western Africa carry the virus.

Marburg virus

The Marburg virus under a microscope

This BSL-4 virus gives us yet another reason to avoid rodents. Lassa is carried by a species of rat in West Africa called Mastomys. It’s airborne…at least when you’re hanging around the rat’s fecal matter. Humans, however, can only spread it through direct contact with bodily secretions. Lassa fever, which has a 15 to 20 percent mortality rate, causes about 5000 deaths a year in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

It starts with a fever and some retrosternal pain (behind the chest) and can progress to facial swelling, encephalitis, mucosal bleeding and deafness. Fortunately, researchers and medical professionals have found some success in treating Lassa fever with an antiviral drug in the early stages of the disease.

6. The Junin Virus is associated with Argentine hemorrhagic fever. People infected with the virus suffer from tissue inflammation, sepsis and skin bleeding. The problem is that the symptoms can appear to be so common that the disease is rarely detected or identified in the first instance.

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A member of the genus Arenavirus, Junin virus characteristically causes Argentine hemorrhagic fever (AHF). AHF leads to major alterations within the vascular, neurological and immune systems and has a mortality rate of between 20 and 30%.  Symptoms of the disease are conjunctivitis, purpura, petechia and occasional sepsis. The symptoms of the disease are relatively indistinct and may therefore be mistaken for a different condition.

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Since the discovery of the Junin virus in 1958, the geographical distribution of the pathogen, although still confined to Argentina, has risen. At the time of discovery, Junin virus was confined to an area of around 15,000 km². At the beginning of 2000, the distribution had risen to around 150,000 km². The natural hosts of Junin virus are rodents, particularly Mus musculus, Calomys spp. and Akodon azarae.

Arenaviridae-Schema

Direct rodent to human transmission only transpires when contact is made with excrement of an infected rodent. This commonly occurs via ingestion of contaminated food or water, inhalation of particles within urine or via direct contact of broken skin with rodent excrement.

7. The Crimea-Congo Fever Virus is transmitted by ticks. It is similar to the Ebola and Marburg viruses in the way it progresses. During the first days of infection, sufferers present with pin-sized bleedings in the face, mouth and the pharynx.

Transmitted through tick bites this disease is endemic (consistently present)  in most countries of West Africa and the Middle East. Although rare, CCHF has a 30% mortality rate. The most recent outbreak of the disease was in 2005 in Turkey. The Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a common disease transmitted by a tick-Bourne virus. The virus causes major hemorrhagic fever outbreaks with a fatality rate of up to 30%. It is chiefly transmitted to people through tick and livestock. Person-to-person transmission occurs through direct contact with the blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of an infected person. No vaccination exists for both humans and animals against CCHF.

8. The Machupo Virus is associated with Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, also known as black typhus. The infection causes high fever, accompanied by heavy bleedings. It progresses similar to the Junin virus. The virus can be transmitted from human to human, and rodents often the carry it.

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Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF), also known as black typhus or Ordog Fever, is a hemorrhagic fever and zoonotic infectious disease originating in Bolivia after infection by Machupo virus.BHF was first identified in 1963 as an ambisense RNA virus of the Arenaviridae family,by a research group led by Karl Johnson. The mortality rate is estimated at 5 to 30 percent.

Manchupo

Due to its pathogenicity, Machupo virus requires Biosafety Level Four conditions, the highest level.In February and March 2007, some 20 suspected BHF cases (3 fatal) were reported to the El Servicio Departmental de Salud (SEDES) in Beni Department, Bolivia, and in February 2008, at least 200 suspected new cases (12 fatal) were reported to SEDES.In November 2011, a SEDES expert involved in a serosurvey to determine the extent of Machupo virus infections in the Department after the discovery of a second confirmed case near the departmental capital of Trinidad in November, 2011, expressed concern about expansion of the virus’ distribution outside the endemic zone in Mamoré and Iténez provinces.

NAmerican viruses

Bolivian hemorrhagic fever was one of three hemorrhagic fevers and one of more than a dozen agents that the United States researched as potential biological weapons before the nation suspended its biological weapons program. It was also under research by the Soviet Union, under the Biopreparat bureau.

9. Kyasanur Forest Virus  Scientists discovered the Kyasanur Forest Virus (KFD) virus in woodlands on the southwestern coast of India in 1955. It is transmitted by ticks, but scientists say it is difficult to determine any carriers. It is assumed that rats, birds and boars could be hosts. People infected with the virus suffer from high fever, strong headaches and muscle pain which can cause bleedings.

KFD-Distribution-In-India

The disease has a morbidity rate of 2-10%, and affects 100-500 people annually.The symptoms of the disease include a high fever with frontal headaches, followed by hemorrhagic symptoms, such as bleeding from the nasal cavity, throat, and gums, as well as gastrointestinal bleeding.An affected person may recover in two weeks time, but the convalescent period is typically very long, lasting for several months. There will be muscle aches and weakness during this period and the affected person is unable to engage in physical activities.

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There are a variety of animals thought to be reservoir hosts for the disease, including porcupines, rats, squirrels, mice and shrews. The vector for disease transmission is Haemaphysalis spinigera, a forest tick. Humans contract infection from the bite of nymphs of the tick.

Kyasanur Forest Disease Host

The disease was first reported from Kyasanur Forest of Karnataka in India in March 1957. The disease first manifested as an epizootic outbreak among monkeys killing several of them in the year 1957. Hence the disease is also locally known as Monkey Disease or Monkey Fever. The similarity with Russian Spring-summer encephalitis was noted and the possibility of migratory birds carrying the disease was raised. Studies began to look for the possible species that acted as reservoirs for the virus and the agents responsible for transmission. Subsequent studies failed to find any involvement of migratory birds although the possibility of their role in initial establishment was not ruled out. The virus was found to be quite distinctive and not closely related to the Russian virus strains.

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Antigenic relatedness is however close to many other strains including the Omsk hemorrhagic fever (OHF) and birds from Siberia have been found to show an antigenic response to KFD virus. Sequence based studies however note the distinctiveness of OHF.Early studies in India were conducted in collaboration with the US Army Medical Research Unit and this led to controversy and conspiracy theories.

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Subsequent studies based on sequencing found that the Alkhurma virus, found in Saudi Arabia is closely related. In 1989 a patient in Nanjianin, China was found with fever symptoms and in 2009 its viral gene sequence was found to exactly match with that of the KFD reference virus of 1957. This has however been questioned since the Indian virus shows variations in sequence over time and the exact match with the virus sequence of 1957 and the Chinese virus of 1989 is not expected.

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This study also found using immune response tests that birds and humans in the region appeared to have been exposed to the virus.Another study has suggested that the virus is recent in origin dating the nearest common ancestor of it and related viruses to around 1942, based on the estimated rate of sequence substitutions. The study also raises the possibility of bird involvement in long-distance transfer. It appears that these viruses diverged 700 years ago.

10. Dengue Fever is a constant threat. If you’re planning a holiday in the tropics, get informed about dengue. Transmitted by mosquitoes, dengue affects between 50 and 100 million people a year in popular holiday destinations such as Thailand and India. But it’s more of a problem for the 2 billion people who live in areas that are threatened by dengue fever.

25,000 Deaths a year Also known as ‘breakbone fever’ due to the extreme pain felt during fever, is an relatively new disease caused by one of four closely-related viruses. WHO estimates that a whopping 2.5 billion people (two fifths of the World’s population) are at risk from dengue. It puts the total number of infections at around 50 million per year, and is now epidemic in more than 100 countries.


Dengue viruses are transferred to humans through the bites of infective female Aedes mosquitoes. The dengue virus circulates in the blood of a human for two to seven days, during the same time they have the fever. It usually appears first on the lower limbs and the chest; in some patients, it spreads to cover most of the body. There may also be severe retro-orbital pain, (a pain from behind the eyes that is distinctive to Dengue infections), and gastritis with some combination of associated abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting coffee-grounds-like congealed blood, or severe diarrhea.

The leading cause of death in the tropics and subtropics is the infection brought on by the dengue virus, which causes a high fever, severe headache, and, in the worst cases, hemorrhaging. The good news is that it’s treatable and not contagious. The bad news is there’s no vaccine, and you can get it easily from the bite of an infected mosquito—which puts at least a third of the world’s human population at risk. The CDC estimates that there are over 100 million cases of dengue fever each year. It’s a great marketing tool for bug spray.

11. HIV 3.1 Million Lives a Year Human Immunodeficiency Virus has claimed the lives of more than 25 million people since 1981. HIV gets to the immune system by infecting important cells, including helper cells called CD4+ T cells, plus macrophanges and dendritic cells. Once the virus has taken hold, it systematically kills these cells, damaging the infected person’s immunity and leaving them more at risk from infections.

The majority of people infected with HIV go on to develop AIDS. Once a patient has AIDS common infections and tumours normally controlled by the CD4+ T cells start to affect the person.  
In the latter stages of the disease, pneumonia and various types of herpes can infect the patient and cause death.

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Human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The term HIV/AIDS represents the entire range of disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus from early infection to late stage symptoms. During the initial infection, a person may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. This is typically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. As the illness progresses, it interferes more and more with the immune system, making the person much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections and tumors that do not usually affect people who have working immune systems.

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HIV is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Prevention of HIV infection, primarily through safe sex and needle-exchange programs, is a key strategy to control the spread of the disease. There is no cure or vaccine; however, antiretroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. While antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of death and complications from the disease, these medications are expensive and have side effects. Without treatment, the average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years, depending on the HIV subtype.

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Genetic research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. AIDS was first recognized by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981 and its cause—HIV infection—was identified in the early part of the decade. Since its discovery, AIDS has caused an estimated 36 million deaths worldwide (as of 2012). As of 2012, approximately 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally. HIV/AIDS is considered a pandemic—a disease outbreak which is present over a large area and is actively spreading.

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HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination. The disease also has significant economic impacts. There are many misconceptions about HIV/AIDS such as the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. The disease has also become subject to many controversies involving religion. It has attracted international medical and political attention as well as large-scale funding since it was identified in the 1980s

 

12. Rotavirus 61,000 Lives a Year  According to the WHO, this merciless virus causes the deaths of more than half a million children every year. In fact, by the age of five, virtually every child on the planet has been infected with the virus at least once. Immunity builds up with each infection, so subsequent infections are milder. However, in areas where adequate healthcare is limited the disease is often fatal. Rotavirus infection usually occurs through ingestion of contaminated stool.

Because the virus is able to live a long time outside of the host, transmission can occur through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or by coming into direct contact with contaminated surfaces, then putting hands in the mouth.
Once it’s made its way in, the rotavirus infects the cells that line the small intestine and multiplies. It emits an enterotoxin, which gives rise to gastroenteritis.

13. Smallpox   Officially eradicated – Due to it’s long history, it impossible to estimate the carnage over the millennia Smallpox localizes in small blood vessels of the skin and in the mouth and throat. In the skin, this results in a characteristic maculopapular rash, and later, raised fluid-filled blisters. It has an overall mortality rate of 30–35%. Smallpox is believed to have emerged in human populations about 10,000 BC. The disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans per year during the closing years of the 18th century (including five reigning monarchs), and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Of all those infected, 20–60%—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease.
Smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths during the 20th century alone. In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year.

As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year. After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in December 1979.
Smallpox is one of only two infectious diseases to have been eradicated by humans, the other being Rinderpest, which was unofficially declared eradicated in October 2010.

The virus that causes smallpox wiped out hundreds of millions of people worldwide over thousands of years. We can’t even blame it on animals either, as the virus is only carried by and contagious for humans. There are several different types of smallpox disease that result from an infection ranging from mild to fatal, but it is generally marked by a fever, rash, and blistering, oozing pustules that develop on the skin. Fortunately, smallpox was declared eradicated in 1979, as the result of successful worldwide implementation of the vaccine.

14. Hepatitis B  521,000 Deaths a Year A third of the World’s population (over 2 billion people) has come in contact with this virus, including 350 million chronic carriers. In China and other parts of Asia, up to 10% of the adult population is chronically infected. The symptoms of acute hepatitis B include yellowing of the skin of eyes, dark urine, vomiting, nausea, extreme fatigue, and abdominal pain.

Luckily, more than 95% of people who contract the virus as adults or older children will make a full recovery and develop immunity to the disease. In other people, however, hepatitis B can bring on chronic liver failure due to cirrhosis or cancer.

Hepatitis B is an infectious illness of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that affects hominoidea, including humans. It was originally known as "serum hepatitis". Many people have no symptoms during the initial infected. Some develop an acute illness with vomiting, yellow skin, dark urine and abdominal pain. Often these symptoms last a few weeks and rarely result in death. It may take 30 to 180 days for symptoms to begin. Less than 10% of those infected develop chronic hepatitis B. In those with chronic disease cirrhosis and liver cancer may eventually develop.

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The virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluidsInfection around the time of birth is the most common way the disease is acquired in areas of the world where is common. In areas where the disease is uncommon intravenous drug use and sex are the most common routes of infection. Other risk factors include working in a healthcare setting, blood transfusions, dialysis, sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person, travel in countries where it is common, and living in an institution.

Tattooing and acupuncture led to a significant number of cases in the 1980s; however, this has become less common with improved sterility. The hepatitis B viruses cannot be spread by holding hands, sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, kissing, hugging, coughing, sneezing, or breastfeeding.  The hepatitis B virus is a hepadnavirushepa from hepatotropic (attracted to the liver) and dna because it is a DNA virus. The viruses replicate through an RNA intermediate form by reverse transcription, which in practice relates them to retroviruses.It is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.

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The infection has been preventable by vaccination since 1982. During the initial infected care is based on the symptoms present. In those who developed chronic disease antiviral medication such as tenofovir or interferon maybe useful, however are expensive.

About a third of the world population has been infected at one point in their lives, including 350 million who are chronic carriers. Over 750,000 people die of hepatitis B a year. The disease has caused outbreaks in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is now only common in China. Between 5 and 10% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia have chronic disease. Research is in progress to create edible HBV vaccines in foods such as potatoes, carrots, and bananas.In 2004, an estimated 350 million individuals were infected worldwide. National and regional prevalence ranges from over 10% in Asia to under 0.5% in the United States and northern Europe. Routes of infection include vertical transmission (such as through childbirth), early life horizontal transmission (bites, lesions, and sanitary habits), and adult horizontal transmission (sexual contact, intravenous drug use).

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The primary method of transmission reflects the prevalence of chronic HBV infection in a given area. In low prevalence areas such as the continental United States and Western Europe, injection drug abuse and unprotected sex are the primary methods, although other factors may also be important. In moderate prevalence areas, which include Eastern Europe, Russia, and Japan, where 2–7% of the population is chronically infected, the disease is predominantly spread among children. In high-prevalence areas such as China and South East Asia, transmission during childbirth is most common, although in other areas of high endemicity such as Africa, transmission during childhood is a significant factor. The prevalence of chronic HBV infection in areas of high endemicity is at least 8% with 10-15% prevalence in Africa/Far East. As of 2010, China has 120 million infected people, followed by India and Indonesia with 40 million and 12 million, respectively. According to World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 600,000 people die every year related to the infection. In the United States about 19,000 new cases occurred in 2011 down nearly 90% from 1990.

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Acute infection with hepatitis B virus is associated with acute viral hepatitis – an illness that begins with general ill-health, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, body aches, mild fever, and dark urine, and then progresses to development of jaundice. It has been noted that itchy skin has been an indication as a possible symptom of all hepatitis virus types. The illness lasts for a few weeks and then gradually improves in most affected people. A few people may have more severe liver disease (fulminant hepatic failure), and may die as a result. The infection may be entirely asymptomatic and may go unrecognized.

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Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus either may be asymptomatic or may be associated with a chronic inflammation of the liver (chronic hepatitis), leading to cirrhosis over a period of several years. This type of infection dramatically increases the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer). Across Europe hepatitis B and C cause approximately 50% of hepatocellular carcinomas. Chronic carriers are encouraged to avoid consuming alcohol as it increases their risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis B virus has been linked to the development of membranous glomerulonephritis (MGN).

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Symptoms outside of the liver are present in 1–10% of HBV-infected people and include serum-sickness–like syndrome, acute necrotizing vasculitis (polyarteritis nodosa), membranous glomerulonephritis, and papular acrodermatitis of childhood (Gianotti–Crosti syndrome). The serum-sickness–like syndrome occurs in the setting of acute hepatitis B, often preceding the onset of jaundice. The clinical features are fever, skin rash, and polyarteritis. The symptoms often subside shortly after the onset of jaundice, but can persist throughout the duration of acute hepatitis B.  About 30–50% of people with acute necrotizing vasculitis (polyarteritis nodosa) are HBV carriers. HBV-associated nephropathy has been described in adults but is more common in children.Membranous glomerulonephritis is the most common form. Other immune-mediated hematological disorders, such as essential mixed cryoglobulinemia and aplastic anemia.

15. Influenza 500,000 Deaths a Year Influenza has been a prolific killer for centuries. The symptoms of influenza were first described more than 2,400 years ago by Hippocrates. Pandemics generally occur three times a century, and can cause millions of deaths. The most fatal pandemic on record was the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918, which caused between 20 million and 100 million deaths. In order to invade a host, the virus shell includes proteins that bind themselves to receptors on the outside of cells in the lungs and air passages of the victim. Once the virus has latched itself onto the cell it takes over so much of its machinery that the cell dies. Dead cells in the airways cause a runny nose and sore throat. Too many dead cells in the lungs causes death.

 
Vaccinations against the flu are common in developed countries. However, a vaccination that is effective one year may not necessarily work the next year, due to the way the rate at which a flu virus evolves and the fact that new strains will soon replace older ones. No virus can claim credit for more worldwide pandemics and scares than influenza.

The outbreak of the Spanish flu in 1918 is generally considered to be one of the worst pandemics in human history, infecting 20 to 40 percent of the world’s population and killing 50 million in the span of just two years. (A reconstruction of that virus is above.) The swine flu was its most recent newsmaker, when a 2009 pandemic may have seen as many as 89 million people infected worldwide.

Effective influenza vaccines exist, and most people easily survive infections. But the highly infectious respiratory illness is cunning—the virus is constantly mutating and creating new strains. Thousands of strains exist at any given time, many of them harmless, and vaccines available in the U.S. cover only about 40 percent of the strains at large each year.

16. Hepatitis C  56,000 Deaths a Year An estimated 200-300 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C.

 

Most people infected with hepatitis C don’t have any symptoms and feel fine for years. However, liver damage invariably rears its ugly head over time, often decades after first infection. In fact, 70% of those infected develop chronic liver disease, 15% are struck with cirrhosis and 5% can die from liver cancer or cirrhosis. In the USA, hepatitis C is the primary reason for liver transplants.

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Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis, which is generally apparent after many years. In some cases, those with cirrhosis will go on to develop liver failure, liver cancer, or life-threatening esophageal and gastric varices.

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HCV is spread primarily by blood-to-blood contact associated with intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment, and transfusions. An estimated 150–200 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. The existence of hepatitis C (originally identifiable only as a type of non-A non-B hepatitis) was suggested in the 1970s and proven in 1989. Hepatitis C infects only humans and chimpanzees.

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The virus persists in the liver in about 85% of those infected. This chronic infection can be treated with medication: the standard therapy is a combination of peginterferon and ribavirin, with either boceprevir or telaprevir added in some cases. Overall, 50–80% of people treated are cured. Those who develop cirrhosis or liver cancer may require a liver transplant. Hepatitis C is the leading reason for liver transplantation, though the virus usually recurs after transplantation. No vaccine against hepatitis C is available.

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Hepatitis C infection causes acute symptoms in 15% of cases. Symptoms are generally mild and vague, including a decreased appetite, fatigue, nausea, muscle or joint pains, and weight loss and rarely does acute liver failure result. Most cases of acute infection are not associated with jaundice. The infection resolves spontaneously in 10–50% of cases, which occurs more frequently in individuals who are young and female.

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About 80% of those exposed to the virus develop a chronic infection.  This is defined as the presence of detectable viral replication for at least six months. Most experience minimal or no symptoms during the initial few decades of the infection.Chronic hepatitis C can be associated with fatigue and mild cognitive problems. Chronic infection after several years may cause cirrhosis or liver cancer. The liver enzymes are normal in 7–53%.  Late relapses after apparent cure have been reported, but these can be difficult to distinguish from reinfection.

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Fatty changes to the liver occur in about half of those infected and are usually present before cirrhosis develops.  Usually (80% of the time) this change affects less than a third of the liver. Worldwide hepatitis C is the cause of 27% of cirrhosis cases and 25% of hepatocellular carcinoma.  About 10–30% of those infected develop cirrhosis over 30 years. Cirrhosis is more common in those also infected with hepatitis B, schistosoma, or HIV, in alcoholics and in those of male gender. In those with hepatitis C, excess alcohol increases the risk of developing cirrhosis 100-fold.Those who develop cirrhosis have a 20-fold greater risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. This transformation occurs at a rate of 1–3% per year.  Being infected with hepatitis B in additional to hepatitis C increases this risk further.

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Liver cirrhosis may lead to portal hypertension, ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen), easy bruising or bleeding, varices (enlarged veins, especially in the stomach and esophagus), jaundice, and a syndrome of cognitive impairment known as hepatic encephalopathy. Ascites occurs at some stage in more than half of those who have a chronic infection.

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The most common problem due to hepatitis C but not involving the liver is mixed cryoglobulinemia (usually the type II form) — an inflammation of small and medium-sized blood vessels. Hepatitis C is also associated with Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder); thrombocytopenia; lichen planus; porphyria cutanea tarda; necrolytic acral erythema; insulin resistance; diabetes mellitus; diabetic nephropathy; autoimmune thyroiditis and B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.  Thrombocytopenia is estimated to occur in 0.16% to 45.4% of people with chronic hepatitis C. 20–30% of people infected have rheumatoid factor — a type of antibody. Possible associations include Hyde’s prurigo nodularis and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. Cardiomyopathy with associated arrhythmias has also been reported. A variety of central nervous system disorders have been reported.  Chronic infection seems to be associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

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Persons who have been infected with hepatitis C may appear to clear the virus but remain infected. The virus is not detectable with conventional testing but can be found with ultra-sensitive tests.The original method of detection was by demonstrating the viral genome within liver biopsies, but newer methods include an antibody test for the virus’ core protein and the detection of the viral genome after first concentrating the viral particles by ultracentrifugation. A form of infection with persistently moderately elevated serum liver enzymes but without antibodies to hepatitis C has also been reported. This form is known as cryptogenic occult infection.

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Several clinical pictures have been associated with this type of infection. It may be found in people with anti-hepatitis-C antibodies but with normal serum levels of liver enzymes; in antibody-negative people with ongoing elevated liver enzymes of unknown cause; in healthy populations without evidence of liver disease; and in groups at risk for HCV infection including those on haemodialysis or family members of people with occult HCV. The clinical relevance of this form of infection is under investigation. The consequences of occult infection appear to be less severe than with chronic infection but can vary from minimal to hepatocellular carcinoma.

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The rate of occult infection in those apparently cured is controversial but appears to be low 40% of those with hepatitis but with both negative hepatitis C serology and the absence of detectable viral genome in the serum have hepatitis C virus in the liver on biopsy.How commonly this occurs in children is unknown.
There is no cure, no vaccine.

17. Measle  197,000 Deaths a Year Measles, also known as Rubeola, has done a pretty good job of killing people throughout the ages. Over the last 150 years, the virus has been responsible for the deaths of around 200 million people. The fatality rate from measles for otherwise healthy people in developed countries is 3 deaths per thousand cases, or 0.3%. In underdeveloped nations with high rates of malnutrition and poor healthcare, fatality rates have been as high as 28%. In immunocompromised patients (e.g. people with AIDS) the fatality rate is approximately 30%.

During the 1850s, measles killed a fifth of Hawaii’s people. In 1875, measles killed over 40,000 Fijians, approximately one-third of the population. In the 19th century, the disease decimated the Andamanese population. In 1954, the virus causing the disease was isolated from an 11-year old boy from the United States, David Edmonston, and adapted and propagated on chick embryo tissue culture.


To date, 21 strains of the measles virus have been identified.

18. Yellow Fever  30,000 Deaths a Year. Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes and is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The only known hosts of the virus are primates and several species of mosquito. The origin of the disease is most likely to be Africa, from where it was introduced to South America through the slave trade in the 16th century. Since the 17th century, several major epidemics of the disease have been recorded in the Americas, Africa and Europe. In the 19th century, yellow fever was deemed one of the most dangerous infectious diseases.

Yellow fever presents in most cases with fever, nausea, and pain and it generally subsides after several days. In some patients, a toxic phase follows, in which liver damage with jaundice (giving the name of the disease) can occur and lead to death. Because of the increased bleeding tendency (bleeding diathesis), yellow fever belongs to the group of hemorrhagic fevers.

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Since the 1980s, the number of cases of yellow fever has been increasing, making it a reemerging disease Transmitted through infected mosquitoes, Yellow Fever is still a serious problem in countries all over the world and a serious health risk for travelers to Africa, South America and some areas in the Caribbean.  Fatality rates range from 15 to over 50%. Symptoms include high fever, headache, abdominal pain, fatigue, vomiting and nausea.

Yellow fever is a hemorrhagic fever transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The yellow is in reference to the yellow color (jaundice) that affects some patients. The virus is endemic in tropical areas in Africa and South America.

The disease typically occurs in two phases. The first phase typically causes fever, headache, muscle pain and back pain, chills and nausea. Most patients recover from these symptoms while 15% progresses to the toxic second phase. High fever returns, jaundice becomes apparent, patient complains of abdominal pain with vomiting, and bleeding in the mouth, eyes, nose or stomach occurs. Blood appears in the stool or vomit and kidney function deteriorates. 50% of the patients that enter the toxic phase die within 10 to 14 days.

There is no treatment for yellow fever. Patients are only given supportive care for fever, dehydration and respiratory failure. Yellow fever is preventable through vaccination.

19. Rabies  55,000 Deaths a Year Rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms. If there wasn’t a vaccine, this would be the most deadly virus on the list.

It is a zoonotic virus transmitted through the bite of an animal. The virus worms its way into the brain along the peripheral nerves. The incubation phase of the rabies disease can take up to several months, depending on how far it has to go to reach the central nervous system. It provokes acute pain, violent movements, depression, uncontrollable excitement, and inability to swallow water (rabies is often known as ‘hydrophobia’). After these symptoms subside the fun really starts as the infected person experiences periods of mania followed by coma then death, usually caused by respiratory insufficiency.

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Rabies has a long and storied history dating back to 2300 B.C., with records of Babylonians who went mad and died after being bitten by dogs. While this virus itself is a beast, the sickness it causes is now is wholly preventable if treated immediately with a series of vaccinations (sometimes delivered with a terrifyingly huge needle in the abdomen). We have vaccine inventor Louis Pasteur to thank for that.

Exposure to rabies these days, while rare in the U.S., still occurs as it did thousands of years ago—through bites from infected animals. If left untreated after exposure, the virus attacks the central nervous system and death usually results. The symptoms of an advanced infection include delirium, hallucinations and raging, violent behavior in some cases, which some have argued makes rabies eerily similar to zombification. If rabies ever became airborne, we might actually have to prepare for that zombie apocalypse after all.

21. Common Cold  No known cure The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans with on average two to four infections a year in adults and up to 6–12 in children. Collectively, colds, influenza, and other infections with similar symptoms are included in the diagnosis of influenza-like illness.

They may also be termed upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Influenza involves the lungs while the common cold does not.
It’s annoying as hell, but there’s nothing to do but wave the white flag on this one.
Virus: Infinity. People: 0

22. Anthrax  Anthrax is a diseased caused by a bacterium called Bacillus Anthracis. There are three types of anthrax, skin, lung, and digestive. Anthrax has lately become a major world issue for its ability to become an epidemic and spread quickly and easily among people through contact with spores.

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It is important to know that  Anthrax is not spread from person to person, but is through contact/handling of products containing spores. Flu like symptoms, nausea, and blisters are common symptoms of exposure. Inhalational anthrax and gastrointestinal anthrax are serious issue because of their high mortality rates ranging from 50 to 100%.

Anthrax is a severe infectious disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. This type of bacteria produces spores that can live for years in the soil. Anthrax is more common in farm animals, though humans can get infected as well. Anthrax is not contagious. A person can get infected only when the bacteria gets into the skin, lungs or  digestive tract.

There are three types of anthrax: skin anthrax, inhalation anthrax and gastrointestinal anthrax. Skin anthrax symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, nausea and vomiting. Inhalation anthrax begins with flu-like symptoms, which progresses  with severe respiratory distress. Shock, coma and then death follows. Most patients do not recover even if given appropriate antibiotics due to the toxins released by the anthrax bacteria. Gastrointestinal anthrax symptoms include fever, nausea, abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea.

Anthrax is treated with antibiotics.

23. Malaria  Malaria is a mosquito-borne illness caused by parasite. Although malaria can be prevented and treated, it is often fatal.

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Each year about 1 million people die from Malaria.  Common symptoms include fever, chills, headache. Sweats, and fatigue. Malaria is a serious disease caused by Plasmodium parasites that infects Anopheles mosquitoes which feeds on humans. Initial symptoms include high fever, shaking chills, headache and vomiting – symptoms that may be too  mild to be identified as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, it can progress to severe illnesses that could lead to death.

The WHO estimates that malaria caused 207,000,000 clinical episodes and 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children,  in 2012. About 3.5 billion people from 167 countries live in areas at risk of malaria transmission.

24. Cholera  Due to the severe dehydration it causes, if left untreated Cholera can cause death within hours. In 1991 a major outbreak occurred in South America though currently few cases are known outside of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramping. Cholera is usually contracted through ingestion of contaminated water or food. Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholera. It has an incubation period of less than a day to five days and causes painless, watery diarrhea that quickly leads to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given.

Cholera remains a global problem and continues to be a challenge for countries where access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a problem.

25.  Typhoid Fever  Patients with typhoid fever sometimes demonstrate a rash of flat, rose-colored spots and a sustained fever of 103 to 104.

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Typhoid is contracted through contact with the S. Typhi bacteria, which is carried by humans in both their blood stream and stool. Over 400 cases occur in the US, 20% of those who contract it die. Typhoid fever is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. This type of bacteria lives only in humans. People sick with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract and transmit the bacteria through their stool.

A person can get typhoid fever by drinking or eating food contaminated with Salmonella Typhi or if contaminated sewage gets into the water used for drinking or washing dishes.

Typhoid fever symptoms include high fever, weakness, headache, stomach pains or loss of appetite. Typhoid fever is determined by testing the presence of Salmonella Typhi in the stool or blood of an infected person. Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics.

26. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the MERS VIRUS A new Pneumonia disease that emerged in China in 2003. After news of the outbreak of SARS China tried to silence news about it both internal and international news , SARS spread rapidly, reaching neighboring countries Hong Kong and Vietnam in late February 2003, and then to other countries via international travelers.Canada Had a outbreak that was fairly well covered and cost Canada quite a bit financially

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The last case of this epidemic occurred in June 2003. In that outbreak, 8069 cases arise that killed 775 people. There is speculation that this disease is Man-Made SARS, SARS has symptoms of flu and may include: fever, cough, sore throat and other non-specific symptoms.

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The only symptom that is common to all patients was fever above 38 degrees Celsius. Shortness of breath may occur later. There is currently no vaccine for the disease so that countermeasures can only assist the breathing apparatus. The virus was said to be the Virus of the End Times

27.  MERS(Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), also termed EMC/2012 (HCoV-EMC/2012), is positive-sense, single-stranded RNA novel species of the genus Betacoronavirus.

MERS-CoV

First called novel coronavirus 2012 or simply novel coronavirus, it was first reported in 2012 after genome sequencing of a virus isolated from sputum samples from patients who fell ill in a 2012 outbreak of a new flu.

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As of June 2014, MERS-CoV cases have been reported in 22 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Bangladesh, the Philippines (still MERS-free), Indonesia (none was confirmed), the United Kingdom, and the United States. Almost all cases are somehow linked to Saudi Arabia. In the same article it was reported that Saudi authorities’ errors in response to MERS-CoV were a contributing factor to the spread of this deadly virus.

27. Enterovirus (Brain Inflammation) Entero virus is a disease of the hands, feet and mouth, and we can not ignored occasional Brain Inflammation. Enterovirus attack symptoms are very similar to regular flu symptoms so its difficult to detect it, such as fever, sometimes accompanied by dizziness and weakness and pain.

Next will come the little red watery bumps on the palms and feet following oral thrush. In severe conditions, Enterovirus can attack the nerves and brain tissue to result in death.

The virus is easily spread through direct contact with patients. Children are the main victims of the spread of enterovirus in China. Since the first victim was found but reporting was delayed until several weeks later.

24 thousand people have contracted the enterovirus. More than 30 of them died mostly children. The virus is reported to have entered Indonesia and infecting three people in Sumatra.  2014Enterovirus 68 is presently spreading across North America mainly and started in the USA has probably spread to Canada and Mexico by now. Enterovirus 68’s spread is unprecedented up till now

28.  The Black Plague  The 1918 flu virus and HIV are the biggest killers of modern times. But back in the 14th century, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague, or the Black Death as it was also known, was the baddest bug of all. In just a few years, from 1347 to 1351, the plague killed off about 75,000,000 people worldwide, including one-third of the entire population of Europe at that time.

Carrying away the victims of plague

It spread through Asia, Italy, North Africa, Spain, Normandy, Switzerland, and eastward into Hungary. After a brief break, it crossed into England, Scotland, and then to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Greenland.

the plague bacterium

Yersinia pestis, the plague bacteria
Courtesy of Neal Chamberlain

The plague bacterium is called Yersinia <yer-sin-ee-uh> pestis. There are two main forms of the disease. In the bubonic <boo-bah-nick> form, the bacteria cause painful swellings as large as an orange to form in the armpits, neck and groin. These swellings, or buboes, often burst open, oozing blood and pus. Blood vessels leak blood that puddles under the skin, giving the skin a blackened look. That’s why the disease became known as the Black Death. At least half of its victims die within a week.

The pneumonic <new-mon-ick> form of plague causes victims to sweat heavily and cough up blood that starts filling their lungs. Almost no one survived it during the plague years. Yersinia pestis is the deadliest microbe we’ve ever known, although HIV might catch up to it. Yersinia pestis is still around in the world. Fortunately, with bacteria-killing antibiotics and measures to control the pests—rats and mice—that spread the bacteria, we’ve managed to conquer this killer.

29. Human Papillomavirus  Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus from the papillomavirus family that is capable of infecting humans. Like all papillomaviruses, HPVs establish productive infections only in keratinocytes of the skin or mucous membranes.

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Most HPV infections are subclinical and will cause no physical symptoms; however, in some people subclinical infections will become clinical and may cause benign papillomas (such as warts [verrucae] or squamous cell papilloma), or cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, oropharynx and anus.HPV has been linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, HPV 16 and 18 infections are a cause of a unique type of oropharyngeal (throat) cancer and are believed to cause 70% of cervical cancer, which have available vaccines, see HPV vaccine.

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More than 30 to 40 types of HPV are typically transmitted through sexual contact and infect the anogenital region. Some sexually transmitted HPV types may cause genital warts. Persistent infection with "high-risk" HPV types—different from the ones that cause skin warts—may progress to precancerous lesions and invasive cancer. High-risk HPV infection is a cause of nearly all cases of cervical cancer.However, most infections do not cause disease.

Human_Papillomavirus_Hpv-2

Seventy percent of clinical HPV infections, in young men and women, may regress to subclinical in one year and ninety percent in two years. However, when the subclinical infection persists—in 5% to 10% of infected women—there is high risk of developing precancerous lesions of the vulva and cervix, which can progress to invasive cancer. Progression from subclinical to clinical infection may take years; providing opportunities for detection and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions.

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In more developed countries, cervical screening using a Papanicolaou (Pap) test or liquid-based cytology is used to detect abnormal cells that may develop into cancer. If abnormal cells are found, women are invited to have a colposcopy. During a colposcopic inspection, biopsies can be taken and abnormal areas can be removed with a simple procedure, typically with a cauterizing loop or, more commonly in the developing world—by freezing (cryotherapy).

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Treating abnormal cells in this way can prevent them from developing into cervical cancer. Pap smears have reduced the incidence and fatalities of cervical cancer in the developed world, but even so there were 11,000 cases and 3,900 deaths in the U.S. in 2008. Cervical cancer has substantial mortality worldwide, there are an estimated 490,000 cases and 270,000 deaths each year.

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It is true that infections caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) are not fatal, but chronic infection may result in cervical cancer. Apparently, HPV is responsible for almost all cervical cancers (approx. 99%). HPV results in 275,000 deaths per year.

30. Henipaviruses The genus Henipavirus comprises of 3 members which are Hendra virus (HeV), Nipah virus (NiV), and Cedar virus (CedPV). The second one was introduced in the middle of 2012, although affected no human, and is therefore considered harmless. The rest of the two viruses, however, are lethal with mortality rate up to 50-100%.

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Hendra virus (originally Equine morbillivirus) was discovered in September 1994 when it caused the deaths of thirteen horses, and a trainer at a training complex in Hendra, a suburb of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia.

The index case, a mare, was housed with 19 other horses after falling ill, and died two days later. Subsequently, all of the horses became ill, with 13 dying. The remaining 6 animals were subsequently euthanized as a way of preventing relapsing infection and possible further transmission.The trainer, Victory (‘Vic’) Rail, and a stable hand were involved in nursing the index case, and both fell ill with an influenza-like illness within one week of the first horse’s death. The stable hand recovered while Mr Rail died of respiratory and renal failure. The source of the virus was most likely frothy nasal discharge from the index case.

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A second outbreak occurred in August 1994 (chronologically preceding the first outbreak) in Mackay 1,000 km north of Brisbane resulting in the deaths of two horses and their owner. The owner, Mark Preston, assisted in necropsies of the horses and within three weeks was admitted to hospital suffering from meningitis. Mr Preston recovered, but 14 months later developed neurologic signs and died. This outbreak was diagnosed retrospectively by the presence of Hendra virus in the brain of the patient.pathogens-02-00264-g002-1024

A survey of wildlife in the outbreak areas was conducted, and identified pteropid fruit bats as the most likely source of Hendra virus, with a seroprevalence of 47%. All of the other 46 species sampled were negative. Virus isolations from the reproductive tract and urine of wild bats indicated that transmission to horses may have occurred via exposure to bat urine or birthing fluids.  However, the only attempt at experimental infection reported in the literature, conducted at CSIRO Geelong, did not result in infection of a horse from infected flying foxes. This study looked at potential infection between bats, horses and cats, in various combinations. The only species that was able to infect horses was the cat (Felix spp.)

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Nipah virus was identified in April 1999, when it caused an outbreak of neurological and respiratory disease on pig farms in peninsular Malaysia, resulting in 257 human cases, including 105 human deaths and the culling of one million pigs.  In Singapore, 11 cases, including one death, occurred in abattoir workers exposed to pigs imported from the affected Malaysian farms. The Nipah virus has been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category C agent. The name "Nipah" refers to the place, Kampung Baru Sungai Nipah in Negeri Sembilan State, Malaysia, the source of the human case from which Nipah virus was first isolated.

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The outbreak was originally mistaken for Japanese encephalitis (JE), however, physicians in the area noted that persons who had been vaccinated against JE were not protected, and the number of cases among adults was unusual Despite the fact that these observations were recorded in the first month of the outbreak, the Ministry of Health failed to react accordingly, and instead launched a nationwide campaign to educate people on the dangers of JE and its vector, Culex mosquitoes.

CSIRO_ScienceImage_24_The_Nipah_virus

Symptoms of infection from the Malaysian outbreak were primarily encephalitic in humans and respiratory in pigs. Later outbreaks have caused respiratory illness in humans, increasing the likelihood of human-to-human transmission and indicating the existence of more dangerous strains of the virus. Based on seroprevalence data and virus isolations, the primary reservoir for Nipah virus was identified as Pteropid fruit bats, including Pteropus vampyrus (Large Flying Fox), and Pteropus hypomelanus (Small flying fox), both of which occur in Malaysia.

ncomms1796-f3

The transmission of Nipah virus from flying foxes to pigs is thought to be due to an increasing overlap between bat habitats and piggeries in peninsular Malaysia. At the index farm, fruit orchards were in close proximity to the piggery, allowing the spillage of urine, feces and partially eaten fruit onto the pigs. Retrospective studies demonstrate that viral spillover into pigs may have been occurring in Malaysia since 1996 without detection. During 1998, viral spread was aided by the transfer of infected pigs to other farms, where new outbreaks occurred.

sn-virus

Cedar Virus (CedPV) was first identified in pteropid urine during work on Hendra virus undertaken in Queensland in 2009. Although the virus is reported to be very similar to both Hendra and Nipah, it does not cause illness in laboratory animals usually susceptible to paramyxoviruses. Animals were able to mount an effective response and create effective antibodies.3273481_pone.0027918.g003

The scientists who identified the virus report:

Hendra and Nipah viruses are 2 highly pathogenic paramyxoviruses that have emerged from bats within the last two decades. Both are capable of causing fatal disease in both humans and many mammal species. Serological and molecular evidence for henipa-like viruses have been reported from numerous locations including Asia and Africa, however, until now no successful isolation of these viruses have been reported. This paper reports the isolation of a novel paramyxovirus, named Cedar virus, from fruit bats in Australia. Full genome sequencing of this virus suggests a close relationship with the henipaviruses.
 
featured-image-2
 
Antibodies to Cedar virus were shown to cross react with, but not cross neutralize Hendra or Nipah virus. Despite this close relationship, when Cedar virus was tested in experimental challenge models in ferrets and guinea pigs, we identified virus replication and generation of neutralizing antibodies, but no clinical disease was observed. As such, this virus provides a useful reference for future reverse genetics experiments to determine the molecular basis of the pathogenicity of the henipaviruses.

30. Lyssaviruses  This genus comprises of not only rabies virus (causing death of almost everyone who is infected) but certain other viruses such as Duvenhage virus, Mokola virus, and Australian bat lyssavirus. Although small number of cases are reported, but the ones reported have always been fatal. Bats are vectors for all of these types except for Mokola virus.

 3246969817

Lyssavirus (from Lyssa, the Greek goddess of madness, rage, and frenzy) is a genus of viruses belonging to the family Rhabdoviridae, in the order Mononegavirales. This group of RNA viruses includes the rabies virus traditionally associated with the disease. Viruses typically have either helical or cubic symmetry. Lyssaviruses have helical symmetry, so their infectious particles are approximately cylindrical in shape. This is typical of plant-infecting viruses. Human-infecting viruses more commonly have cubic symmetry and take shapes approximating regular polyhedra. The structure consists of a spiked outer envelope, a middle region consisting of matrix protein M, and an inner ribonucleocapsid complex region, consisting of the genome associated with other proteins.

photo1

Lyssavirus genome consists of a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA molecule that encodes five viral proteins: polymerase L, matrix protein M, phosphoprotein P, nucleoprotein N, and glycoprotein G.

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Based on recent phylogenetic evidence, lyssa viruses are categorized into seven major species. In addition, five species recently have been discovered: West Caucasian bat virus, Aravan virus, Khuj and virus, Irkut virus and Shimoni bat virus. The major species include rabies virus (species 1), Lagos bat virus (species 2), Mokola virus (species 3), Duvenhage virus (species 4), European Bat lyssaviruses type 1 and 2 (species 5 and 6), and Australian bat lyssavirus (species 7).83980497

Based on biological properties of the viruses, these species are further subdivided into phylogroups 1 and 2. Phylogroup 1 includes genotypes 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7, while phylogroup 2 includes genotypes 2 and 3. The nucleocapsid region of lyssavirus is fairly highly conserved from genotype to genotype across both phylogroups; however, experimental data have shown the lyssavirus strains used in vaccinations are only from the first species(i.e. classic rabies).

31. Tuberculosis  Mucous, fever, fatigue, excessive sweating and weight loss. What do they all have in common?

tuberculosis1

They are symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis, or TB. TB is a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs, but it may spread to other organs. The symptoms of this disease can remain stagnant for years or affect the person right away. People at higher risk for contracting TB include the elderly, infants and those with weakened immune systems due to other diseases, such as AIDS or diabetes, or even individuals who have undergone chemotherapy.

Being around others who may have TB, maintaining a poor diet or living in unsanitary conditions are all risk factors for contracting TB. In the United States, there are approximately 10 cases of TB per 100,000 people. Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus), in the past also called phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, or consumption, is a widespread, and in many cases fatal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis550_ab

Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air. Most infections do not have symptoms, known as latent tuberculosis. About one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.

tuberculosis_incidence_global_2011

The classic symptoms of active TB infection are a chronic cough with blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss (the latter giving rise to the formerly common term for the disease, "consumption"). Infection of other organs causes a wide range of symptoms. Diagnosis of active TB relies on radiology (commonly chest X-rays), as well as microscopic examination and microbiological culture of body fluids.

Mycobacterium_tuberculosis

Diagnosis of latent TB relies on the tuberculin skin test (TST) and/or blood tests. Treatment is difficult and requires administration of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. Social contacts are also screened and treated if necessary. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) infections. Prevention relies on screening programs and vaccination with the bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.

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One-third of the world’s population is thought to have been infected with M. tuberculosis, with new infections occurring in about 1% of the population each year.In 2007, an estimated 13.7 million chronic cases were active globally, while in 2010, an estimated 8.8 million new cases and 1.5 million associated deaths occurred, mostly in developing countries. The absolute number of tuberculosis cases has been decreasing since 2006, and new cases have decreased since 2002.

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The rate of tuberculosis in different areas varies across the globe; about 80% of the population in many Asian and African countries tests positive in tuberculin tests, while only 5–10% of the United States population tests positive. More people in the developing world contract tuberculosis because of a poor immune system, largely due to high rates of HIV infection and the corresponding development of AIDS.

32. Encephalitis Virus Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain, commonly caused by a viral infection. Victims are usually exposed to viruses resulting in encephalitis by insect bites or food and drink. The most frequently encountered agents are arboviruses (carried by mosquitoes or ticks) and enteroviruses ( coxsackievirus, poliovirus and echovirus ). Some of the less frequent agents are measles, rabies, mumps, varicella and herpes simplex viruses.

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Patients with encephalitis suffer from fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, drowsiness and photophobia. The symptoms of encephalitis are caused by brain’s defense mechanisms being activated to get rid of infection (brain swelling, small bleedings and cell death). Neurologic examination usually reveals a stiff neck due to the irritation of the meninges covering the brain. Examination of the cerebrospinal fluidCerebrospinal fluid CSF in short, is the clear fluid that occupies the subarachnoid space (the space between the skull and cortex of the brain). It acts as a "cushion" or buffer for the cortex.

viral-encephalitis-15997_0

Also, CSF occupies the ventricular system of the brain and the obtained by a lumbar puncture In medicine, a lumbar puncture (colloquially known as a spinal tap is a diagnostic procedure that is done to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for biochemical, microbiological and cytological analysis. Indications The most common indication for procedure reveals increased amounts of proteins and white blood cells with normal glucose. A CT scan examination is performed to reveal possible complications of brain swelling, brain abscess Brain abscess (or cerebral abscess) is an abscess caused by inflammation and collection of infected material coming from local (ear infection, infection of paranasal sinuses, infection of the mastoid air cells of the temporal bone, epidural abscess) or re or bleeding. Lumbar puncture procedure is performed only after the possibility of a prominent brain swelling is excluded by a CT scan examination.

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What are the main Symptoms?
Some patients may have symptoms of a cold or stomach infection before encephalitis symptoms begin.
When a case of encephalitis is not very severe, the symptoms may be similar to those of other illnesses, including:
• Fever that is not very high
• Mild headache
• Low energy and a poor appetite
west-nile-viruszaq

Other symptoms include:
• Clumsiness, unsteady gait
• Confusion, disorientation
• Drowsiness
• Irritability or poor temper control
• Light sensitivity
• Stiff neck and back (occasionally)
• Vomiting
800px-Tick-Borne_Encephalitis_Virus

Symptoms in newborns and younger infants may not be as easy to recognize:
• Body stiffness
• Irritability and crying more often (these symptoms may get worse when the baby is picked up)
• Poor feeding
• Soft spot on the top of the head may bulge out more
• Vomiting
Encephalitis

• Loss of consciousness, poor responsiveness, stupor, coma
• Muscle weakness or paralysis
• Seizures
• Severe headache
• Sudden change in mental functions:
• "Flat" mood, lack of mood, or mood that is inappropriate for the situation
• Impaired judgment
• Inflexibility, extreme self-centeredness, inability to make a decision, or withdrawal from social interaction
• Less interest in daily activities
• Memory loss (amnesia), impaired short-term or long-term memory

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Children and adults should avoid contact with anyone who has encephalitis.
Controlling mosquitoes (a mosquito bite can transmit some viruses) may reduce the chance of some infections that can lead to encephalitis.
• Apply an insect repellant containing the chemical, DEET when you go outside (but never use DEET products on infants younger than 2 months).
• Remove any sources of standing water (such as old tires, cans, gutters, and wading pools).
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outside, particularly at dusk.
Vaccinate animals to prevent encephalitis caused by the rabies virus.

 

33. Chicken Pox Virus Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV).It usually starts with a vesicular skin rash mainly on the body and head rather than on the limbs. The rash develops into itchy, raw pockmarks, which mostly heal without scarring. On examination, the observer typically finds skin lesions at various stages of healing and also ulcers in the oral cavity and tonsil areas. The disease is most commonly observed in children.

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Chickenpox is an airborne disease which spreads easily through coughing or sneezing by ill individuals or through direct contact with secretions from the rash. A person with chickenpox is infectious one to two days before the rash appears. They remain contagious until all lesions have crusted over (this takes approximately six days). Immunocompromised patients are contagious during the entire period as new lesions keep appearing. Crusted lesions are not contagious.Chickenpox has been observed in other primates, including chimpanzees and gorillas.

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The origin of the term chicken pox, which is recorded as being used since 1684,is not reliably known. It has been said to be a derived from chickpeas, based on resemblance of the vesicles to chickpeas, or to come from the rash resembling chicken pecks. Other suggestions include the designation chicken for a child (i.e., literally ‘child pox’), a corruption of itching-pox, or the idea that the disease may have originated in chickens. Samuel Johnson explained the designation as "from its being of no very great danger."

Chickenpox

The early (prodromal) symptoms in adolescents and adults are nausea, loss of appetite, aching muscles, and headache. This is followed by the characteristic rash or oral sores, malaise, and a low-grade fever that signal the presence of the disease. Oral manifestations of the disease (enanthem) not uncommonly may precede the external rash (exanthem). In children the illness is not usually preceded by prodromal symptoms, and the first sign is the rash or the spots in the oral cavity. The rash begins as small red dots on the face, scalp, torso, upper arms and legs; progressing over 10–12 hours to small bumps, blisters and pustules; followed by umbilication and the formation of scabs.

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At the blister stage, intense itching is usually present. Blisters may also occur on the palms, soles, and genital area. Commonly, visible evidence of the disease develops in the oral cavity & tonsil areas in the form of small ulcers which can be painful or itchy or both; this enanthem (internal rash) can precede the exanthem (external rash) by 1 to 3 days or can be concurrent. These symptoms of chickenpox appear 10 to 21 days after exposure to a contagious person. Adults may have a more widespread rash and longer fever, and they are more likely to experience complications, such as varicella pneumonia.Because watery nasal discharge containing live virus usually precedes both exanthem (external rash) and enanthem (oral ulcers) by 1 to 2 days, the infected person actually becomes contagious one to two days prior to recognition of the disease. Contagiousness persists until all vesicular lesions have become dry crusts (scabs), which usually entails four or five days, by which time nasal shedding of live virus also ceases.

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Chickenpox is rarely fatal, although it is generally more severe in adult men than in women or children. Non-immune pregnant women and those with a suppressed immune system are at highest risk of serious complications. Arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) associated with chickenpox in the previous year accounts for nearly one third of childhood AIS. The most common late complication of chickenpox is shingles (herpes zoster), caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus decades after the initial, often childhood, chickenpox infection.

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Shingles  Herpes zoster After a chickenpox infection, the virus remains dormant in the body’s nerve tissues. The immune system keeps the virus at bay, but later in life, usually as an adult, it can be reactivated and cause a different form of the viral infection called shingles (scientifically known as herpes zoster). The United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) suggests that any adult over the age of 60 years gets the herpes zoster vaccine as a part of their normal medical check ups.

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Many adults who have had chickenpox as children are susceptible to shingles as adults, often with the accompanying condition postherpetic neuralgia, a painful condition that makes it difficult to sleep. Even after the shingles rash has gone away, there can be night pain in the area affected by the rash.Shingles affects one in five adults infected with chickenpox as children, especially those who are immune suppressed, particularly from cancer, HIV, or other conditions.

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However, stress can bring on shingles as well, although scientists are still researching the connection.Shingles are most commonly found in adults over the age of 60 who were diagnosed with chickenpox when they were under the age of 1.A shingles vaccine is available for adults over 50 who have had childhood chickenpox or who have previously had shingles.

34. POXVIRUS  Poxviruses (members of the family Poxviridae) are viruses that can, as a family, infect both vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

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Four genera of poxviruses may infect humans: orthopox, parapox, yatapox, molluscipox. Orthopox: smallpox virus (variola), vaccinia virus, cowpox virus, monkeypox virus; Parapox: orf virus, pseudocowpox, bovine papular stomatitis virus; Yatapox: tanapox virus, yaba monkey tumor virus; Molluscipox: molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV).The most common are vaccinia (seen on Indian subcontinent) and molluscum contagiousum, but monkeypox infections are rising (seen in west and central African rainforest countries). Camelpox is a disease of camels caused by a virus of the family Poxviridae, subfamily Chordopoxvirinae, and the genus Orthopoxvirus. It causes skin lesions and a generalized infection. Approximately 25% of young camels that become infected will die from the disease, while infection in older camels is generally more mild.

Poxvirus model in section (Pov_Ray)

The ancestor of the poxviruses is not known but structural studies suggest it may have been an adenovirus or a species related to both the poxviruses and the adenoviruses. Based on the genome organization and DNA replication mechanism it seems that phylogenetic relationships may exist between the rudiviruses (Rudiviridae) and the large eukaryal DNA viruses: the African swine fever virus (Asfarviridae), Chlorella viruses (Phycodnaviridae) and poxviruses (Poxviridae).The mutation rate in these genomes has been estimated to be 0.9-1.2 x 10−6 substitutions per site per year.A second estimate puts this rate at 0.5-7 × 10−6 nucleotide substitutions per site per year.  A third estimate places the rate at 4-6 × 10−6.

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The last common ancestor of the extant poxviruses that infect vertebrates existed 0.5 million years ago. The genus Avipoxvirus diverged from the ancestor 249 ± 69 thousand years ago. The ancestor of the genus Orthopoxvirus was next to diverge from the other clades at 0.3 million years ago. A second estimate of this divergence time places this event at 166,000 ± 43,000 years ago. The division of the Orthopox into the extant genera occurred ~14,000 years ago. The genus Leporipoxvirus diverged ~137,000 ± 35,000 years ago. This was followed by the ancestor of the genus Yatapoxvirus. The last common ancestor of the Capripoxvirus and Suipoxvirus diverged 111,000 ± 29,000 years ago.

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 2

A model of a poxvirus cut-away in
cross-section to show the internal
structures. Poxviruses are shaped like
flattened capsules/barrels or are lens or
pill-shaped.

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 3

Their structure is complex,
neither icosahedral nor helical. This
model is based on Vaccinia, the smallpox
virus. The structures are also highly
variable and often incompletely studied.

 

35. West Nile Virus  West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic arbovirus belonging to the genus Flavivirus in the family Flaviviridae.

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This flavivirus is found in temperate and tropical regions of the world. It was first identified in the West Nile subregion in the East African nation of Uganda in 1937. Prior to the mid-1990s, WNV disease occurred only sporadically and was considered a minor risk for humans, until an outbreak in Algeria in 1994, with cases of WNV-caused encephalitis, and the first large outbreak in Romania in 1996, with a high number of cases with neuroinvasive disease. WNV has now spread globally, with the first case in the Western Hemisphere being identified in New York City in 1999; over the next five years, the virus spread across the continental United States, north into Canada, and southward into the Caribbean islands and Latin America. WNV also spread to Europe, beyond the Mediterranean Basin, and a new strain of the virus was identified in Italy in 2012. WNV is now considered to be an endemic pathogen in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and in the United States, which in 2012 has experienced one of its worst epidemics. In 2012, WNV killed 286 people in the United States, with the state of Texas being hard hit by this virus, making the year the deadliest on record for the United States.

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The main mode of WNV transmission is via various species of mosquitoes, which are the prime vector, with birds being the most commonly infected animal and serving as the prime reservoir host—especially passerines, which are of the largest order of birds, Passeriformes. WNV has been found in various species of ticks, but current research suggests they are not important vectors of the virus. WNV also infects various mammal species, including humans, and has been identified in reptilian species, including alligators and crocodiles, and also in amphibians. Not all animal species that are susceptible to WNV infection, including humans, and not all bird species develop sufficient viral levels to transmit the disease to uninfected mosquitoes, and are thus not considered major factors in WNV transmission.

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Approximately 80% of West Nile virus infections in humans are subclinical, which cause no symptoms. In the cases where symptoms do occur—termed West Nile fever in cases without neurological disease—the time from infection to the appearance of symptoms (incubation period) is typically between 2 and 15 days. Symptoms may include fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain or aches, malaise, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, myalgias and rash. Less than 1% of the cases are severe and result in neurological disease when the central nervous system is affected. People of advanced age, the very young, or those with immunosuppression, either medically induced, such as those taking immunosupressive drugs, or due to a pre-existing medical condition such as HIV infection, are most susceptible. The specific neurological diseases that may occur are West Nile encephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain, West Nile meningitis, which causes inflammation of the meninges, which are the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, West Nile meningoencephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain and also the meninges surrounding it, and West Nile poliomyelitis—spinal cord inflammation, which results in a syndrome similar to polio, which may cause acute flaccid paralysis.

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Currently, no vaccine against WNV infection is available. The best method to reduce the rates of WNV infection is mosquito control on the part of municipalities, businesses and individual citizens to reduce breeding populations of mosquitoes in public, commercial and private areas via various means including eliminating standing pools of water where mosquitoes breed, such as in old tires, buckets, unused swimming pools, etc. On an individual basis, the use of personal protective measures to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito, via the use of mosquito repellent, window screens, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are more prone to congregate, such as near marshes, areas with heavy vegetation etc., and being more vigilant from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active offers the best defense. In the event of being bitten by an infected mosquito, familiarity of the symptoms of WNV on the part of laypersons, physicians and allied health professions affords the best chance of receiving timely medical treatment, which may aid in reducing associated possible complications and also appropriate palliative care.

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The incubation period for WNV—the amount of time from infection to symptom onset—is typically from between 2 and 15 days. Headache can be a prominent symptom of WNV fever, meningitis, encephalitis, meningoencephalitis, and it may or may not be present in poliomyelytis-like syndrome. Thus, headache is not a useful indicator of neuroinvasive disease.(CDC)

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  • West Nile virus encephalitis (WNE) is the most common neuroinvasive manifestation of WNND. WNE presents with similar symptoms to other viral encephalitis with fever, headaches, and altered mental status. A prominent finding in WNE is muscular weakness (30 to 50 percent of patients with encephalitis), often with lower motor neuron symptoms, flaccid paralysis, and hyporeflexia with no sensory abnormalities.
  • West Nile meningitis (WNM) usually involves fever, headache, and stiff neck. Pleocytosis, an increase of white blood cells in cerebrospinal fluid, is also present. Changes in consciousness are not usually seen and are mild when present.
  • West Nile meningoencephalitis is inflammation of both the brain (encephalitis) and meninges (meningitis).
  • West Nile poliomyelitis (WNP), an acute flaccid paralysis syndrome associated with WNV infection, is less common than WNM or WNE. This syndrome is generally characterized by the acute onset of asymmetric limb weakness or paralysis in the absence of sensory loss. Pain sometimes precedes the paralysis. The paralysis can occur in the absence of fever, headache, or other common symptoms associated with WNV infection. Involvement of respiratory muscles, leading to acute respiratory failure, can sometimes occur.
  • West-Nile reversible paralysis,. Like WNP, the weakness or paralysis is asymmetric. Reported cases have been noted to have an initial preservation of deep tendon reflexes, which is not expected for a pure anterior horn involvement.Disconnect of upper motor neuron influences on the anterior horn cells possibly by myelitis or glutamate excitotoxicity have been suggested as mechanisms.The prognosis for recovery is excellent.
  • Cutaneous manifestations specifically rashes, are not uncommon in WNV-infected patients; however, there is a paucity of detailed descriptions in case reports and there are few clinical images widely available. Punctate erythematous (?), macular, and papular eruptions, most pronounced on the extremities have been observed in WNV cases and in some cases histopathologic findings have shown a sparse superficial perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate, a manifestation commonly seen in viral exanthems (?). A literature review provides support that this punctate rash is a common cutaneous presentation of WNV infection. (Anderson RC et al.)

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West Nile virus life cycle. After binding and uptake, the virion envelope fuses with cellular membranes, followed by uncoating of the nucleocapsid and release of the RNA genome into the cytoplasm. The viral genome serves as messenger RNA (mRNA) for translation of all viral proteins and as template during RNA replication. Copies are subsequently packaged within new virus particles that are transported in vesicles to the cell membrane.

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WNV is one of the Japanese encephalitis antigenic serocomplex of viruses. Image reconstructions and cryoelectron microscopy reveal a 45–50 nm virion covered with a relatively smooth protein surface. This structure is similar to the dengue fever virus; both belong to the genus Flavivirus within the family Flaviviridae.

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The genetic material of WNV is a positive-sense, single strand of RNA, which is between 11,000 and 12,000 nucleotides long; these genes encode seven nonstructural proteins and three structural proteins. The RNA strand is held within a nucleocapsid formed from 12-kDa protein blocks; the capsid is contained within a host-derived membrane altered by two viral glycoproteins. Phylogenetic tree of West Nile viruses based on sequencing of the envelope gene during complete genome sequencing of the virus

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Studies of phylogenetic lineages determined WNV emerged as a distinct virus around 1000 years ago. This initial virus developed into two distinct lineages, lineage 1 and its multiple profiles is the source of the epidemic transmission in Africa and throughout the world. Lineage 2 was considered an Africa zoonosis. However, in 2008, lineage 2, previously only seen in horses in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, began to appear in horses in Europe, where the first known outbreak affected 18 animals in Hungary in 2008. Lineage 1 West Nile virus was detected in South Africa in 2010 in a mare and her aborted fetus; previously, only lineage 2 West Nile virus had been detected in horses and humans in South Africa. A 2007 fatal case in a killer whale in Texas broadened the known host range of West Nile virus to include cetaceans.

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The United States virus was very closely related to a lineage 1 strain found in Israel in 1998. Since the first North American cases in 1999, the virus has been reported throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. There have been human cases and equine cases, and many birds are infected. The Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus, was the first nonhuman primate to contract WNV.  Both the United States and Israeli strains are marked by high mortality rates in infected avian populations; the presence of dead birds—especially Corvidae—can be an early indicator of the arrival of the virus.

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The West Nile virus maintains itself in nature by cycling between mosquitoes and certain species of birds. A mosquito (the vector) bites an uninfected bird (the host), the virus amplifies within the bird, an uninfected mosquito bites the bird and is in turn infected. Other species such as humans and horses are incidental infections, as they are not the mosquitoes’ preferred blood meal source. The virus does not amplify within these species and they are known as dead-end hosts.

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The West Nile virus (WNV) is transmitted through female mosquitoes, which are the prime vectors of the virus. Only females feed on blood, and different species have evolved to take a blood meal on preferred types of vertebrate hosts. The infected mosquito species vary according to geographical area; in the United States, Culex pipiens (Eastern United States), Culex tarsalis (Midwest and West), and Culex quinquefasciatus (Southeast) are the main sources.The various species that transmit the WNV prefer birds of the Passeriformes order, the largest order of birds. Within that order there is further selectivity with various mosquito species exhibiting preference for different species. In the United States WNV mosquito vectors have shown definitive preference for members of the Corvidae and Thrush family of birds. Amongst the preferred species within these families are the American crow, a corvid, and the American robin (Turdus migratorius), a thrush.

The proboscis of a female mosquito—here a Southern House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus)—pierces the epidermis and dermis to allow it to feed on human blood from a capillary: this one is almost fully tumescent. The mosquito injects saliva, which contains an anesthetic, and an anticoagulant into the puncture wound; and in infected mosquitoes, the West Nile virus.

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The birds develop sufficient viral levels after being infected, to transmit the infection to other biting mosquitoes that in turn go on to infect other birds. In crows and robins, the infection is fatal in 4–5 days. This epizootic viral amplification cycle has been shown to peak 15–16 days before humans become ill. This may be due to the high mortality, and thus depletion of the preferred hosts, i.e., the specific bird species. The mosquitoes become less selective and begin feeding more readily on other animal types such as humans and horses which are considered incidental hosts.

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In mammals, the virus does not multiply as readily (i.e., does not develop high viremia during infection), and mosquitoes biting infected mammals are not believed to ingest sufficient virus to become infected,making mammals so-called dead-end hosts.

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Direct human-to-human transmission initially was believed to be caused only by occupational exposure, or conjunctive exposure to infected blood. The US outbreak identified additional transmission methods through blood transfusion,organ transplant intrauterine exposure, and breast feeding. Since 2003, blood banks in the United States routinely screen for the virus among their donors. As a precautionary measure, the UK’s National Blood Service initially ran a test for this disease in donors who donate within 28 days of a visit to the United States, Canada or the northeastern provinces of Italy and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service asks prospective donors to wait 28 days after returning from North America or the northeastern provinces of Italy before donating.

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Recently, the potential for mosquito saliva to impact the course of WNV disease was demonstrated. Mosquitoes inoculate their saliva into the skin while obtaining blood. Mosquito saliva is a pharmacological cocktail of secreted molecules, principally proteins, that can affect vascular constriction, blood coagulation, platelet aggregation, inflammation, and immunity. It clearly alters the immune response in a manner that may be advantageous to a virus. Studies have shown it can specifically modulate the immune response during early virus infection, and mosquito feeding can exacerbate WNV infection, leading to higher viremia and more severe forms of disease.

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Vertical transmission, the transmission of a viral or bacterial disease from the female of the species to her offspring, has been observed in various West Nile virus studies, amongst different species of mosquitoes in both the laboratory and in nature.Mosquito progeny infected vertically in autumn, may potentially serve as a mechanism for WNV to overwinter and initiate enzootic horizontal transmission the following spring.


35 of the Most Dangerous Viruses and Bacteria’s in the World Today

The Black Plague, Marburg, Ebola, Influenza, Enterovirus virus may all sound terrifying, but it’s not the most dangerous virus in the world. It isn’t HIV either. Here is a list of the most dangerous viruses and Bacteria’s on the Planet Earth.

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1. Marburg Virus The most dangerous virus is the Marburg virus. It is named after a small and idyllic town on the river Lahn – but that has nothing to do with the disease itself. The Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever virus. As with Ebola, the Marburg virus causes convulsions and bleeding of mucous membranes, skin and organs. It has a fatality rate of 90 percent.  The Marburg virus causes a rare, but severe hemorrhagic fever that has a fatality rate of 88%. It was first identified in 1967 when outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever cropped up simultaneously in Marburg, where the disease got its name, Frankfurt in Germany and Belgrade, Serbia.

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Marburg and Ebola came from the Filoviridae family of viruses. They both have the capacity to cause dramatic outbreaks with the greatest fatality rates. It is transmitted to humans from fruit bats and spreads to humans through direct contact with the blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of infected humans. No anti-viral treatment or vaccine exists against the Marburg virus. In 1967, a group of lab workers in Germany (Marburg and Frankfurt) and Serbia (then Yugoslavia) contracted a new type of hemorrhagic fever from some virus-carrying African green monkeys that had been imported for research and development of polio vaccines. The Marburg virus is also BSL-4, and Marburg hemorrhagic fever has a 23 to 90 percent fatality rate. Spread through close human-to-human contact, symptoms start with a headache, fever, and a rash on the trunk, and progress to multiple organ failure and massive internal bleeding.

There is no cure, and the latest cases were reported out of Uganda at the end of 2012. An American tourist who had explored a Ugandan cave full of fruit bats known to be reservoirs of the virus contracted it and survived in 2008. (But not before bringing his sick self back to the U.S.)

2. Ebola Virus  There are five strains of the Ebola virus, each named after countries and regions in Africa: Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo and Reston. The Zaire Ebola virus is the deadliest, with a mortality rate of 90 percent. It is the strain currently spreading through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and beyond. Scientists say flying foxes probably brought the Zaire Ebola virus into cities.

Typically less than 100 lives a year. UPDATE: A severe Ebola outbreak was detected in West Africa in March 2014. The number of deaths in this latest outbreak has outnumbered all other known cases from previous outbreaks combined. The World Health Organization is reporting nearly 2,000 deaths in this latest outbreak.
Once a person is infected with the virus, the disease has an incubation period of 2-21 days; however, some infected persons are asymptomatic. Initial symptoms are sudden malaise, headache, and muscle pain, progressing to high fever, vomiting, severe hemorrhaging (internally and out of the eyes and mouth) and in 50%-90% of patients, death, usually within days. The likelihood of death is governed by the virulence of the particular Ebola strain involved. Ebola virus is transmitted in body fluids and secretions; there is no evidence of transmission by casual contact. There is no vaccine and no cure.

Its melodic moniker may roll off the tongue, but if you contract the virus (above), that’s not the only thing that will roll off one of your body parts (a disturbing amount of blood coming out of your eyes, for instance). Four of the five known Ebola viral strains cause Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), which has killed thousands of people in sub-Saharan African nations since its discovery in 1976.

The deadly virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where it was first reported, and is classified as a CDC Biosafety Level 4, a.k.a. BSL-4, making it one of the most dangerous pathogens on the planet. It is thought to spread through close contact with bodily secretions. EHF has a 50 to 90 percent mortality rate, with a rapid onset of symptoms that start with a headache and sore throat and progress to major internal and external bleeding and multiple organ failure. There’s no known cure, and the most recent cases were reported at the end of 2012 in Uganda.

3. The Hantavirus describes several types of viruses. It is named after a river where American soldiers were first thought to have been infected with the Hantavirus, during the Korean War in 1950. Symptoms include lung disease, fever and kidney failure.

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Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection. Also known as House Mouse Flu. The symptoms, which are very similar to HFRS, include tachycardia and tachypnea. Such conditions can lead to a cardiopulmonary phase, where cardiovascular shock can occur, and hospitalization of the patient is required.

There are many strains of hantavirus floating around (yep, it’s airborne) in the wake of rodents that carry the virus. Different strains, carried by different rodent species, are known to cause different types of illnesses in humans, most notably hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)—first discovered during the Korean War—and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which reared its ugly head with a 1993 outbreak in the Southwestern United States. Severe HFRS causes acute kidney failure, while HPS gets you by filling your lungs with fluid (edema). HFRS has a mortality rate of 1 to 15 percent, while HPS is 38 percent. The U.S. saw its most recent outbreak of hantavirus—of the HPS variety—at Yosemite National Park in late 2012.

4. Avian Influenza Bird Flu The various strains of bird flu regularly cause panic – which is perhaps justified because the mortality rate is 70 percent. But in fact the risk of contracting the H5N1 strain – one of the best known – is quite low. You can only be infected through direct contact with poultry. It is said this explains why most cases appear in Asia, where people often live close to chickens.

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This form of the flu is common among birds (usually poultry) and infects humans through contact with secretions of an infected bird.

Although rare, those infected have a high incidence of death. Symptoms are like those of the more common human form of influenza.

Bird flu (H5N1) has receded from international headlines for the moment, as few human cases of the deadly virus have been reported this year. But when Dutch researchers recently created an even more transmissible strain of the virus in a laboratory for research purposes, they stirred grave concerns about what would happen if it escaped into the outside world. “Part of what makes H5N1 so deadly is that most people lack an immunity to it,” explains Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) who studies the spread of infectious diseases. “If you make a strain that’s highly transmissible between humans, as the Dutch team did, it could be disastrous if it ever escaped the lab.”

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H5N1 first made global news in early 1997 after claiming two dozen victims in Hong Kong. The virus normally occurs only in wild birds and farm-raised fowl, but in those isolated early cases, it made the leap from birds to humans. It then swept unimpeded through the bodies of its initial human victims, causing massive hemorrhages in the lungs and death in a matter of days. Fortunately, during the past 15 years, the virus has claimed only 400 victims worldwide—although the strain can jump species, it hasn’t had the ability to move easily from human to human, a critical limit to its spread.

H5N1virus

That’s no longer the case, however. In late 2011, the Dutch researchers announced the creation of an H5N1 virus transmissible through the air between ferrets (the best animal model for studying the impact of disease on humans). The news caused a storm of controversy in the popular press and heated debate among scientists over the ethics of the work. For Lipsitch and many others, the creation of the new strain was cause for alarm. “H5N1 influenza is already one of the most deadly viruses in existence,” he says. “If you make [the virus] transmissible [between humans], you have to be very concerned about what the resulting strain could do.”

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To put this danger in context, the 1918 “Spanish” flu—one of the most deadly influenza epidemics on record—killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide, or roughly 3 to 6 percent of those infected. The more lethal SARS virus (see “The SARS Scare,” March-April 2007, page 47) killed almost 10 percent of infected patients during a 2003 outbreak that reached 25 countries worldwide. H5N1 is much more dangerous, killing almost 60 percent of those who contract the illness.

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If a transmissible strain of H5N1 escapes the lab, says Lipsitch, it could spark a global health catastrophe. “It could infect millions of people in the United States, and very likely more than a billion people globally, like most successful flu strains do,” he says. “This might be one of the worst viruses—perhaps the worst virus—in existence right now because it has both transmissibility and high virulence.”

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Ironically, this is why Ron Fouchier, the Dutch virologist whose lab created the new H5N1 strain, argues that studying it in more depth is crucial. If the virus can be made transmissible in the lab, he reasons, it can also occur in nature—and researchers should have an opportunity to understand as much as possible about the strain before that happens.

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Lipsitch, who directs the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at HSPH, thinks the risks far outweigh the rewards. Even in labs with the most stringent safety requirements, such as enclosed rubber “space suits” to isolate researchers, accidents do happen. A single unprotected breath could infect a researcher, who might unknowingly spread the virus beyond the confines of the lab.

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In an effort to avoid this scenario, Lipsitch has been pushing for changes in research policy in the United States and abroad. (A yearlong, voluntary global ban on H5N1 research was lifted in many countries in January, and new rules governing such research in the United States were expected in February.) Lipsitch says that none of the current research proposals he has seen “would significantly improve our preparational response to a national pandemic of H5N1. The small risk of a very large public health disaster…is not worth taking [for] scientific knowledge without an immediate public health application.” His recent op-eds in scientific journals and the popular press have stressed the importance of regulating the transmissible strain and limiting work with the virus to only a handful of qualified labs. In addition, he argues, only technicians who have the right training and experience—and have been inoculated against the virus—should be allowed to handle it.

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These are simple limitations that could drastically reduce the danger of the virus spreading, he asserts, yet they’re still not popular with some researchers. He acknowledges that limiting research is an unusual practice scientifically but argues, “These are unusual circumstances.”

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Lipsitch thinks a great deal of useful research can still be done on the non-transmissible strain of the virus, which would provide valuable data without the risk of accidental release. In the meantime, he hopes to make more stringent H5N1 policies a priority for U.S. and foreign laboratories. Although it’s not a perfect solution, he says, it’s far better than a nightmare scenario.

5. Lassa Virus  A nurse in Nigeria was the first person to be infected with the Lassa virus. The virus is transmitted by rodents. Cases can be endemic – which means the virus occurs in a specific region, such as in western Africa, and can reoccur there at any time. Scientists assume that 15 percent of rodents in western Africa carry the virus.

Marburg virus

The Marburg virus under a microscope

This BSL-4 virus gives us yet another reason to avoid rodents. Lassa is carried by a species of rat in West Africa called Mastomys. It’s airborne…at least when you’re hanging around the rat’s fecal matter. Humans, however, can only spread it through direct contact with bodily secretions. Lassa fever, which has a 15 to 20 percent mortality rate, causes about 5000 deaths a year in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

It starts with a fever and some retrosternal pain (behind the chest) and can progress to facial swelling, encephalitis, mucosal bleeding and deafness. Fortunately, researchers and medical professionals have found some success in treating Lassa fever with an antiviral drug in the early stages of the disease.

6. The Junin Virus is associated with Argentine hemorrhagic fever. People infected with the virus suffer from tissue inflammation, sepsis and skin bleeding. The problem is that the symptoms can appear to be so common that the disease is rarely detected or identified in the first instance.

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A member of the genus Arenavirus, Junin virus characteristically causes Argentine hemorrhagic fever (AHF). AHF leads to major alterations within the vascular, neurological and immune systems and has a mortality rate of between 20 and 30%.  Symptoms of the disease are conjunctivitis, purpura, petechia and occasional sepsis. The symptoms of the disease are relatively indistinct and may therefore be mistaken for a different condition.

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Since the discovery of the Junin virus in 1958, the geographical distribution of the pathogen, although still confined to Argentina, has risen. At the time of discovery, Junin virus was confined to an area of around 15,000 km². At the beginning of 2000, the distribution had risen to around 150,000 km². The natural hosts of Junin virus are rodents, particularly Mus musculus, Calomys spp. and Akodon azarae.

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Direct rodent to human transmission only transpires when contact is made with excrement of an infected rodent. This commonly occurs via ingestion of contaminated food or water, inhalation of particles within urine or via direct contact of broken skin with rodent excrement.

7. The Crimea-Congo Fever Virus is transmitted by ticks. It is similar to the Ebola and Marburg viruses in the way it progresses. During the first days of infection, sufferers present with pin-sized bleedings in the face, mouth and the pharynx.

Transmitted through tick bites this disease is endemic (consistently present)  in most countries of West Africa and the Middle East. Although rare, CCHF has a 30% mortality rate. The most recent outbreak of the disease was in 2005 in Turkey. The Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a common disease transmitted by a tick-Bourne virus. The virus causes major hemorrhagic fever outbreaks with a fatality rate of up to 30%. It is chiefly transmitted to people through tick and livestock. Person-to-person transmission occurs through direct contact with the blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of an infected person. No vaccination exists for both humans and animals against CCHF.

8. The Machupo Virus is associated with Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, also known as black typhus. The infection causes high fever, accompanied by heavy bleedings. It progresses similar to the Junin virus. The virus can be transmitted from human to human, and rodents often the carry it.

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Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF), also known as black typhus or Ordog Fever, is a hemorrhagic fever and zoonotic infectious disease originating in Bolivia after infection by Machupo virus.BHF was first identified in 1963 as an ambisense RNA virus of the Arenaviridae family,by a research group led by Karl Johnson. The mortality rate is estimated at 5 to 30 percent.

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Due to its pathogenicity, Machupo virus requires Biosafety Level Four conditions, the highest level.In February and March 2007, some 20 suspected BHF cases (3 fatal) were reported to the El Servicio Departmental de Salud (SEDES) in Beni Department, Bolivia, and in February 2008, at least 200 suspected new cases (12 fatal) were reported to SEDES.In November 2011, a SEDES expert involved in a serosurvey to determine the extent of Machupo virus infections in the Department after the discovery of a second confirmed case near the departmental capital of Trinidad in November, 2011, expressed concern about expansion of the virus’ distribution outside the endemic zone in Mamoré and Iténez provinces.

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Bolivian hemorrhagic fever was one of three hemorrhagic fevers and one of more than a dozen agents that the United States researched as potential biological weapons before the nation suspended its biological weapons program. It was also under research by the Soviet Union, under the Biopreparat bureau.

9. Kyasanur Forest Virus  Scientists discovered the Kyasanur Forest Virus (KFD) virus in woodlands on the southwestern coast of India in 1955. It is transmitted by ticks, but scientists say it is difficult to determine any carriers. It is assumed that rats, birds and boars could be hosts. People infected with the virus suffer from high fever, strong headaches and muscle pain which can cause bleedings.

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The disease has a morbidity rate of 2-10%, and affects 100-500 people annually.The symptoms of the disease include a high fever with frontal headaches, followed by hemorrhagic symptoms, such as bleeding from the nasal cavity, throat, and gums, as well as gastrointestinal bleeding.An affected person may recover in two weeks time, but the convalescent period is typically very long, lasting for several months. There will be muscle aches and weakness during this period and the affected person is unable to engage in physical activities.

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There are a variety of animals thought to be reservoir hosts for the disease, including porcupines, rats, squirrels, mice and shrews. The vector for disease transmission is Haemaphysalis spinigera, a forest tick. Humans contract infection from the bite of nymphs of the tick.

Kyasanur Forest Disease Host

The disease was first reported from Kyasanur Forest of Karnataka in India in March 1957. The disease first manifested as an epizootic outbreak among monkeys killing several of them in the year 1957. Hence the disease is also locally known as Monkey Disease or Monkey Fever. The similarity with Russian Spring-summer encephalitis was noted and the possibility of migratory birds carrying the disease was raised. Studies began to look for the possible species that acted as reservoirs for the virus and the agents responsible for transmission. Subsequent studies failed to find any involvement of migratory birds although the possibility of their role in initial establishment was not ruled out. The virus was found to be quite distinctive and not closely related to the Russian virus strains.

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Antigenic relatedness is however close to many other strains including the Omsk hemorrhagic fever (OHF) and birds from Siberia have been found to show an antigenic response to KFD virus. Sequence based studies however note the distinctiveness of OHF.Early studies in India were conducted in collaboration with the US Army Medical Research Unit and this led to controversy and conspiracy theories.

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Subsequent studies based on sequencing found that the Alkhurma virus, found in Saudi Arabia is closely related. In 1989 a patient in Nanjianin, China was found with fever symptoms and in 2009 its viral gene sequence was found to exactly match with that of the KFD reference virus of 1957. This has however been questioned since the Indian virus shows variations in sequence over time and the exact match with the virus sequence of 1957 and the Chinese virus of 1989 is not expected.

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This study also found using immune response tests that birds and humans in the region appeared to have been exposed to the virus.Another study has suggested that the virus is recent in origin dating the nearest common ancestor of it and related viruses to around 1942, based on the estimated rate of sequence substitutions. The study also raises the possibility of bird involvement in long-distance transfer. It appears that these viruses diverged 700 years ago.

10. Dengue Fever is a constant threat. If you’re planning a holiday in the tropics, get informed about dengue. Transmitted by mosquitoes, dengue affects between 50 and 100 million people a year in popular holiday destinations such as Thailand and India. But it’s more of a problem for the 2 billion people who live in areas that are threatened by dengue fever.

25,000 Deaths a year Also known as ‘breakbone fever’ due to the extreme pain felt during fever, is an relatively new disease caused by one of four closely-related viruses. WHO estimates that a whopping 2.5 billion people (two fifths of the World’s population) are at risk from dengue. It puts the total number of infections at around 50 million per year, and is now epidemic in more than 100 countries.


Dengue viruses are transferred to humans through the bites of infective female Aedes mosquitoes. The dengue virus circulates in the blood of a human for two to seven days, during the same time they have the fever. It usually appears first on the lower limbs and the chest; in some patients, it spreads to cover most of the body. There may also be severe retro-orbital pain, (a pain from behind the eyes that is distinctive to Dengue infections), and gastritis with some combination of associated abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting coffee-grounds-like congealed blood, or severe diarrhea.

The leading cause of death in the tropics and subtropics is the infection brought on by the dengue virus, which causes a high fever, severe headache, and, in the worst cases, hemorrhaging. The good news is that it’s treatable and not contagious. The bad news is there’s no vaccine, and you can get it easily from the bite of an infected mosquito—which puts at least a third of the world’s human population at risk. The CDC estimates that there are over 100 million cases of dengue fever each year. It’s a great marketing tool for bug spray.

11. HIV 3.1 Million Lives a Year Human Immunodeficiency Virus has claimed the lives of more than 25 million people since 1981. HIV gets to the immune system by infecting important cells, including helper cells called CD4+ T cells, plus macrophanges and dendritic cells. Once the virus has taken hold, it systematically kills these cells, damaging the infected person’s immunity and leaving them more at risk from infections.

The majority of people infected with HIV go on to develop AIDS. Once a patient has AIDS common infections and tumours normally controlled by the CD4+ T cells start to affect the person.  
In the latter stages of the disease, pneumonia and various types of herpes can infect the patient and cause death.

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Human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The term HIV/AIDS represents the entire range of disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus from early infection to late stage symptoms. During the initial infection, a person may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. This is typically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. As the illness progresses, it interferes more and more with the immune system, making the person much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections and tumors that do not usually affect people who have working immune systems.

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HIV is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Prevention of HIV infection, primarily through safe sex and needle-exchange programs, is a key strategy to control the spread of the disease. There is no cure or vaccine; however, antiretroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. While antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of death and complications from the disease, these medications are expensive and have side effects. Without treatment, the average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years, depending on the HIV subtype.

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Genetic research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. AIDS was first recognized by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981 and its cause—HIV infection—was identified in the early part of the decade. Since its discovery, AIDS has caused an estimated 36 million deaths worldwide (as of 2012). As of 2012, approximately 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally. HIV/AIDS is considered a pandemic—a disease outbreak which is present over a large area and is actively spreading.

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HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination. The disease also has significant economic impacts. There are many misconceptions about HIV/AIDS such as the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. The disease has also become subject to many controversies involving religion. It has attracted international medical and political attention as well as large-scale funding since it was identified in the 1980s

 

12. Rotavirus 61,000 Lives a Year  According to the WHO, this merciless virus causes the deaths of more than half a million children every year. In fact, by the age of five, virtually every child on the planet has been infected with the virus at least once. Immunity builds up with each infection, so subsequent infections are milder. However, in areas where adequate healthcare is limited the disease is often fatal. Rotavirus infection usually occurs through ingestion of contaminated stool.

Because the virus is able to live a long time outside of the host, transmission can occur through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or by coming into direct contact with contaminated surfaces, then putting hands in the mouth.
Once it’s made its way in, the rotavirus infects the cells that line the small intestine and multiplies. It emits an enterotoxin, which gives rise to gastroenteritis.

13. Smallpox   Officially eradicated – Due to it’s long history, it impossible to estimate the carnage over the millennia Smallpox localizes in small blood vessels of the skin and in the mouth and throat. In the skin, this results in a characteristic maculopapular rash, and later, raised fluid-filled blisters. It has an overall mortality rate of 30–35%. Smallpox is believed to have emerged in human populations about 10,000 BC. The disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans per year during the closing years of the 18th century (including five reigning monarchs), and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Of all those infected, 20–60%—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease.
Smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths during the 20th century alone. In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year.

As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year. After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in December 1979.
Smallpox is one of only two infectious diseases to have been eradicated by humans, the other being Rinderpest, which was unofficially declared eradicated in October 2010.

The virus that causes smallpox wiped out hundreds of millions of people worldwide over thousands of years. We can’t even blame it on animals either, as the virus is only carried by and contagious for humans. There are several different types of smallpox disease that result from an infection ranging from mild to fatal, but it is generally marked by a fever, rash, and blistering, oozing pustules that develop on the skin. Fortunately, smallpox was declared eradicated in 1979, as the result of successful worldwide implementation of the vaccine.

14. Hepatitis B  521,000 Deaths a Year A third of the World’s population (over 2 billion people) has come in contact with this virus, including 350 million chronic carriers. In China and other parts of Asia, up to 10% of the adult population is chronically infected. The symptoms of acute hepatitis B include yellowing of the skin of eyes, dark urine, vomiting, nausea, extreme fatigue, and abdominal pain.

Luckily, more than 95% of people who contract the virus as adults or older children will make a full recovery and develop immunity to the disease. In other people, however, hepatitis B can bring on chronic liver failure due to cirrhosis or cancer.

Hepatitis B is an infectious illness of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that affects hominoidea, including humans. It was originally known as "serum hepatitis". Many people have no symptoms during the initial infected. Some develop an acute illness with vomiting, yellow skin, dark urine and abdominal pain. Often these symptoms last a few weeks and rarely result in death. It may take 30 to 180 days for symptoms to begin. Less than 10% of those infected develop chronic hepatitis B. In those with chronic disease cirrhosis and liver cancer may eventually develop.

HBV_replication

The virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluidsInfection around the time of birth is the most common way the disease is acquired in areas of the world where is common. In areas where the disease is uncommon intravenous drug use and sex are the most common routes of infection. Other risk factors include working in a healthcare setting, blood transfusions, dialysis, sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person, travel in countries where it is common, and living in an institution.

Tattooing and acupuncture led to a significant number of cases in the 1980s; however, this has become less common with improved sterility. The hepatitis B viruses cannot be spread by holding hands, sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, kissing, hugging, coughing, sneezing, or breastfeeding.  The hepatitis B virus is a hepadnavirushepa from hepatotropic (attracted to the liver) and dna because it is a DNA virus. The viruses replicate through an RNA intermediate form by reverse transcription, which in practice relates them to retroviruses.It is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.

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The infection has been preventable by vaccination since 1982. During the initial infected care is based on the symptoms present. In those who developed chronic disease antiviral medication such as tenofovir or interferon maybe useful, however are expensive.

About a third of the world population has been infected at one point in their lives, including 350 million who are chronic carriers. Over 750,000 people die of hepatitis B a year. The disease has caused outbreaks in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is now only common in China. Between 5 and 10% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia have chronic disease. Research is in progress to create edible HBV vaccines in foods such as potatoes, carrots, and bananas.In 2004, an estimated 350 million individuals were infected worldwide. National and regional prevalence ranges from over 10% in Asia to under 0.5% in the United States and northern Europe. Routes of infection include vertical transmission (such as through childbirth), early life horizontal transmission (bites, lesions, and sanitary habits), and adult horizontal transmission (sexual contact, intravenous drug use).

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The primary method of transmission reflects the prevalence of chronic HBV infection in a given area. In low prevalence areas such as the continental United States and Western Europe, injection drug abuse and unprotected sex are the primary methods, although other factors may also be important. In moderate prevalence areas, which include Eastern Europe, Russia, and Japan, where 2–7% of the population is chronically infected, the disease is predominantly spread among children. In high-prevalence areas such as China and South East Asia, transmission during childbirth is most common, although in other areas of high endemicity such as Africa, transmission during childhood is a significant factor. The prevalence of chronic HBV infection in areas of high endemicity is at least 8% with 10-15% prevalence in Africa/Far East. As of 2010, China has 120 million infected people, followed by India and Indonesia with 40 million and 12 million, respectively. According to World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 600,000 people die every year related to the infection. In the United States about 19,000 new cases occurred in 2011 down nearly 90% from 1990.

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Acute infection with hepatitis B virus is associated with acute viral hepatitis – an illness that begins with general ill-health, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, body aches, mild fever, and dark urine, and then progresses to development of jaundice. It has been noted that itchy skin has been an indication as a possible symptom of all hepatitis virus types. The illness lasts for a few weeks and then gradually improves in most affected people. A few people may have more severe liver disease (fulminant hepatic failure), and may die as a result. The infection may be entirely asymptomatic and may go unrecognized.

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Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus either may be asymptomatic or may be associated with a chronic inflammation of the liver (chronic hepatitis), leading to cirrhosis over a period of several years. This type of infection dramatically increases the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer). Across Europe hepatitis B and C cause approximately 50% of hepatocellular carcinomas. Chronic carriers are encouraged to avoid consuming alcohol as it increases their risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis B virus has been linked to the development of membranous glomerulonephritis (MGN).

HBV

Symptoms outside of the liver are present in 1–10% of HBV-infected people and include serum-sickness–like syndrome, acute necrotizing vasculitis (polyarteritis nodosa), membranous glomerulonephritis, and papular acrodermatitis of childhood (Gianotti–Crosti syndrome). The serum-sickness–like syndrome occurs in the setting of acute hepatitis B, often preceding the onset of jaundice. The clinical features are fever, skin rash, and polyarteritis. The symptoms often subside shortly after the onset of jaundice, but can persist throughout the duration of acute hepatitis B.  About 30–50% of people with acute necrotizing vasculitis (polyarteritis nodosa) are HBV carriers. HBV-associated nephropathy has been described in adults but is more common in children.Membranous glomerulonephritis is the most common form. Other immune-mediated hematological disorders, such as essential mixed cryoglobulinemia and aplastic anemia.

15. Influenza 500,000 Deaths a Year Influenza has been a prolific killer for centuries. The symptoms of influenza were first described more than 2,400 years ago by Hippocrates. Pandemics generally occur three times a century, and can cause millions of deaths. The most fatal pandemic on record was the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918, which caused between 20 million and 100 million deaths. In order to invade a host, the virus shell includes proteins that bind themselves to receptors on the outside of cells in the lungs and air passages of the victim. Once the virus has latched itself onto the cell it takes over so much of its machinery that the cell dies. Dead cells in the airways cause a runny nose and sore throat. Too many dead cells in the lungs causes death.

 
Vaccinations against the flu are common in developed countries. However, a vaccination that is effective one year may not necessarily work the next year, due to the way the rate at which a flu virus evolves and the fact that new strains will soon replace older ones. No virus can claim credit for more worldwide pandemics and scares than influenza.

The outbreak of the Spanish flu in 1918 is generally considered to be one of the worst pandemics in human history, infecting 20 to 40 percent of the world’s population and killing 50 million in the span of just two years. (A reconstruction of that virus is above.) The swine flu was its most recent newsmaker, when a 2009 pandemic may have seen as many as 89 million people infected worldwide.

Effective influenza vaccines exist, and most people easily survive infections. But the highly infectious respiratory illness is cunning—the virus is constantly mutating and creating new strains. Thousands of strains exist at any given time, many of them harmless, and vaccines available in the U.S. cover only about 40 percent of the strains at large each year.

16. Hepatitis C  56,000 Deaths a Year An estimated 200-300 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C.

 

Most people infected with hepatitis C don’t have any symptoms and feel fine for years. However, liver damage invariably rears its ugly head over time, often decades after first infection. In fact, 70% of those infected develop chronic liver disease, 15% are struck with cirrhosis and 5% can die from liver cancer or cirrhosis. In the USA, hepatitis C is the primary reason for liver transplants.

All-about-hepatitis-C

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis, which is generally apparent after many years. In some cases, those with cirrhosis will go on to develop liver failure, liver cancer, or life-threatening esophageal and gastric varices.

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HCV is spread primarily by blood-to-blood contact associated with intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment, and transfusions. An estimated 150–200 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. The existence of hepatitis C (originally identifiable only as a type of non-A non-B hepatitis) was suggested in the 1970s and proven in 1989. Hepatitis C infects only humans and chimpanzees.

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The virus persists in the liver in about 85% of those infected. This chronic infection can be treated with medication: the standard therapy is a combination of peginterferon and ribavirin, with either boceprevir or telaprevir added in some cases. Overall, 50–80% of people treated are cured. Those who develop cirrhosis or liver cancer may require a liver transplant. Hepatitis C is the leading reason for liver transplantation, though the virus usually recurs after transplantation. No vaccine against hepatitis C is available.

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Hepatitis C infection causes acute symptoms in 15% of cases. Symptoms are generally mild and vague, including a decreased appetite, fatigue, nausea, muscle or joint pains, and weight loss and rarely does acute liver failure result. Most cases of acute infection are not associated with jaundice. The infection resolves spontaneously in 10–50% of cases, which occurs more frequently in individuals who are young and female.

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About 80% of those exposed to the virus develop a chronic infection.  This is defined as the presence of detectable viral replication for at least six months. Most experience minimal or no symptoms during the initial few decades of the infection.Chronic hepatitis C can be associated with fatigue and mild cognitive problems. Chronic infection after several years may cause cirrhosis or liver cancer. The liver enzymes are normal in 7–53%.  Late relapses after apparent cure have been reported, but these can be difficult to distinguish from reinfection.

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Fatty changes to the liver occur in about half of those infected and are usually present before cirrhosis develops.  Usually (80% of the time) this change affects less than a third of the liver. Worldwide hepatitis C is the cause of 27% of cirrhosis cases and 25% of hepatocellular carcinoma.  About 10–30% of those infected develop cirrhosis over 30 years. Cirrhosis is more common in those also infected with hepatitis B, schistosoma, or HIV, in alcoholics and in those of male gender. In those with hepatitis C, excess alcohol increases the risk of developing cirrhosis 100-fold.Those who develop cirrhosis have a 20-fold greater risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. This transformation occurs at a rate of 1–3% per year.  Being infected with hepatitis B in additional to hepatitis C increases this risk further.

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Liver cirrhosis may lead to portal hypertension, ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen), easy bruising or bleeding, varices (enlarged veins, especially in the stomach and esophagus), jaundice, and a syndrome of cognitive impairment known as hepatic encephalopathy. Ascites occurs at some stage in more than half of those who have a chronic infection.

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The most common problem due to hepatitis C but not involving the liver is mixed cryoglobulinemia (usually the type II form) — an inflammation of small and medium-sized blood vessels. Hepatitis C is also associated with Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder); thrombocytopenia; lichen planus; porphyria cutanea tarda; necrolytic acral erythema; insulin resistance; diabetes mellitus; diabetic nephropathy; autoimmune thyroiditis and B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.  Thrombocytopenia is estimated to occur in 0.16% to 45.4% of people with chronic hepatitis C. 20–30% of people infected have rheumatoid factor — a type of antibody. Possible associations include Hyde’s prurigo nodularis and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. Cardiomyopathy with associated arrhythmias has also been reported. A variety of central nervous system disorders have been reported.  Chronic infection seems to be associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

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Persons who have been infected with hepatitis C may appear to clear the virus but remain infected. The virus is not detectable with conventional testing but can be found with ultra-sensitive tests.The original method of detection was by demonstrating the viral genome within liver biopsies, but newer methods include an antibody test for the virus’ core protein and the detection of the viral genome after first concentrating the viral particles by ultracentrifugation. A form of infection with persistently moderately elevated serum liver enzymes but without antibodies to hepatitis C has also been reported. This form is known as cryptogenic occult infection.

Causes of hep C(4)

Several clinical pictures have been associated with this type of infection. It may be found in people with anti-hepatitis-C antibodies but with normal serum levels of liver enzymes; in antibody-negative people with ongoing elevated liver enzymes of unknown cause; in healthy populations without evidence of liver disease; and in groups at risk for HCV infection including those on haemodialysis or family members of people with occult HCV. The clinical relevance of this form of infection is under investigation. The consequences of occult infection appear to be less severe than with chronic infection but can vary from minimal to hepatocellular carcinoma.

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The rate of occult infection in those apparently cured is controversial but appears to be low 40% of those with hepatitis but with both negative hepatitis C serology and the absence of detectable viral genome in the serum have hepatitis C virus in the liver on biopsy.How commonly this occurs in children is unknown.
There is no cure, no vaccine.

17. Measle  197,000 Deaths a Year Measles, also known as Rubeola, has done a pretty good job of killing people throughout the ages. Over the last 150 years, the virus has been responsible for the deaths of around 200 million people. The fatality rate from measles for otherwise healthy people in developed countries is 3 deaths per thousand cases, or 0.3%. In underdeveloped nations with high rates of malnutrition and poor healthcare, fatality rates have been as high as 28%. In immunocompromised patients (e.g. people with AIDS) the fatality rate is approximately 30%.

During the 1850s, measles killed a fifth of Hawaii’s people. In 1875, measles killed over 40,000 Fijians, approximately one-third of the population. In the 19th century, the disease decimated the Andamanese population. In 1954, the virus causing the disease was isolated from an 11-year old boy from the United States, David Edmonston, and adapted and propagated on chick embryo tissue culture.


To date, 21 strains of the measles virus have been identified.

18. Yellow Fever  30,000 Deaths a Year. Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes and is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The only known hosts of the virus are primates and several species of mosquito. The origin of the disease is most likely to be Africa, from where it was introduced to South America through the slave trade in the 16th century. Since the 17th century, several major epidemics of the disease have been recorded in the Americas, Africa and Europe. In the 19th century, yellow fever was deemed one of the most dangerous infectious diseases.

Yellow fever presents in most cases with fever, nausea, and pain and it generally subsides after several days. In some patients, a toxic phase follows, in which liver damage with jaundice (giving the name of the disease) can occur and lead to death. Because of the increased bleeding tendency (bleeding diathesis), yellow fever belongs to the group of hemorrhagic fevers.

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Since the 1980s, the number of cases of yellow fever has been increasing, making it a reemerging disease Transmitted through infected mosquitoes, Yellow Fever is still a serious problem in countries all over the world and a serious health risk for travelers to Africa, South America and some areas in the Caribbean.  Fatality rates range from 15 to over 50%. Symptoms include high fever, headache, abdominal pain, fatigue, vomiting and nausea.

Yellow fever is a hemorrhagic fever transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The yellow is in reference to the yellow color (jaundice) that affects some patients. The virus is endemic in tropical areas in Africa and South America.

The disease typically occurs in two phases. The first phase typically causes fever, headache, muscle pain and back pain, chills and nausea. Most patients recover from these symptoms while 15% progresses to the toxic second phase. High fever returns, jaundice becomes apparent, patient complains of abdominal pain with vomiting, and bleeding in the mouth, eyes, nose or stomach occurs. Blood appears in the stool or vomit and kidney function deteriorates. 50% of the patients that enter the toxic phase die within 10 to 14 days.

There is no treatment for yellow fever. Patients are only given supportive care for fever, dehydration and respiratory failure. Yellow fever is preventable through vaccination.

19. Rabies  55,000 Deaths a Year Rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms. If there wasn’t a vaccine, this would be the most deadly virus on the list.

It is a zoonotic virus transmitted through the bite of an animal. The virus worms its way into the brain along the peripheral nerves. The incubation phase of the rabies disease can take up to several months, depending on how far it has to go to reach the central nervous system. It provokes acute pain, violent movements, depression, uncontrollable excitement, and inability to swallow water (rabies is often known as ‘hydrophobia’). After these symptoms subside the fun really starts as the infected person experiences periods of mania followed by coma then death, usually caused by respiratory insufficiency.

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Rabies has a long and storied history dating back to 2300 B.C., with records of Babylonians who went mad and died after being bitten by dogs. While this virus itself is a beast, the sickness it causes is now is wholly preventable if treated immediately with a series of vaccinations (sometimes delivered with a terrifyingly huge needle in the abdomen). We have vaccine inventor Louis Pasteur to thank for that.

Exposure to rabies these days, while rare in the U.S., still occurs as it did thousands of years ago—through bites from infected animals. If left untreated after exposure, the virus attacks the central nervous system and death usually results. The symptoms of an advanced infection include delirium, hallucinations and raging, violent behavior in some cases, which some have argued makes rabies eerily similar to zombification. If rabies ever became airborne, we might actually have to prepare for that zombie apocalypse after all.

21. Common Cold  No known cure The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans with on average two to four infections a year in adults and up to 6–12 in children. Collectively, colds, influenza, and other infections with similar symptoms are included in the diagnosis of influenza-like illness.

They may also be termed upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Influenza involves the lungs while the common cold does not.
It’s annoying as hell, but there’s nothing to do but wave the white flag on this one.
Virus: Infinity. People: 0

22. Anthrax  Anthrax is a diseased caused by a bacterium called Bacillus Anthracis. There are three types of anthrax, skin, lung, and digestive. Anthrax has lately become a major world issue for its ability to become an epidemic and spread quickly and easily among people through contact with spores.

Anthrax

It is important to know that  Anthrax is not spread from person to person, but is through contact/handling of products containing spores. Flu like symptoms, nausea, and blisters are common symptoms of exposure. Inhalational anthrax and gastrointestinal anthrax are serious issue because of their high mortality rates ranging from 50 to 100%.

Anthrax is a severe infectious disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. This type of bacteria produces spores that can live for years in the soil. Anthrax is more common in farm animals, though humans can get infected as well. Anthrax is not contagious. A person can get infected only when the bacteria gets into the skin, lungs or  digestive tract.

There are three types of anthrax: skin anthrax, inhalation anthrax and gastrointestinal anthrax. Skin anthrax symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, nausea and vomiting. Inhalation anthrax begins with flu-like symptoms, which progresses  with severe respiratory distress. Shock, coma and then death follows. Most patients do not recover even if given appropriate antibiotics due to the toxins released by the anthrax bacteria. Gastrointestinal anthrax symptoms include fever, nausea, abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea.

Anthrax is treated with antibiotics.

23. Malaria  Malaria is a mosquito-borne illness caused by parasite. Although malaria can be prevented and treated, it is often fatal.

Malaria

Each year about 1 million people die from Malaria.  Common symptoms include fever, chills, headache. Sweats, and fatigue. Malaria is a serious disease caused by Plasmodium parasites that infects Anopheles mosquitoes which feeds on humans. Initial symptoms include high fever, shaking chills, headache and vomiting – symptoms that may be too  mild to be identified as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, it can progress to severe illnesses that could lead to death.

The WHO estimates that malaria caused 207,000,000 clinical episodes and 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children,  in 2012. About 3.5 billion people from 167 countries live in areas at risk of malaria transmission.

24. Cholera  Due to the severe dehydration it causes, if left untreated Cholera can cause death within hours. In 1991 a major outbreak occurred in South America though currently few cases are known outside of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramping. Cholera is usually contracted through ingestion of contaminated water or food. Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholera. It has an incubation period of less than a day to five days and causes painless, watery diarrhea that quickly leads to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given.

Cholera remains a global problem and continues to be a challenge for countries where access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a problem.

25.  Typhoid Fever  Patients with typhoid fever sometimes demonstrate a rash of flat, rose-colored spots and a sustained fever of 103 to 104.

typhoid

Typhoid is contracted through contact with the S. Typhi bacteria, which is carried by humans in both their blood stream and stool. Over 400 cases occur in the US, 20% of those who contract it die. Typhoid fever is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. This type of bacteria lives only in humans. People sick with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract and transmit the bacteria through their stool.

A person can get typhoid fever by drinking or eating food contaminated with Salmonella Typhi or if contaminated sewage gets into the water used for drinking or washing dishes.

Typhoid fever symptoms include high fever, weakness, headache, stomach pains or loss of appetite. Typhoid fever is determined by testing the presence of Salmonella Typhi in the stool or blood of an infected person. Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics.

26. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the MERS VIRUS A new Pneumonia disease that emerged in China in 2003. After news of the outbreak of SARS China tried to silence news about it both internal and international news , SARS spread rapidly, reaching neighboring countries Hong Kong and Vietnam in late February 2003, and then to other countries via international travelers.Canada Had a outbreak that was fairly well covered and cost Canada quite a bit financially

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The last case of this epidemic occurred in June 2003. In that outbreak, 8069 cases arise that killed 775 people. There is speculation that this disease is Man-Made SARS, SARS has symptoms of flu and may include: fever, cough, sore throat and other non-specific symptoms.

SuperBug-Virus

The only symptom that is common to all patients was fever above 38 degrees Celsius. Shortness of breath may occur later. There is currently no vaccine for the disease so that countermeasures can only assist the breathing apparatus. The virus was said to be the Virus of the End Times

27.  MERS(Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), also termed EMC/2012 (HCoV-EMC/2012), is positive-sense, single-stranded RNA novel species of the genus Betacoronavirus.

MERS-CoV

First called novel coronavirus 2012 or simply novel coronavirus, it was first reported in 2012 after genome sequencing of a virus isolated from sputum samples from patients who fell ill in a 2012 outbreak of a new flu.

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As of June 2014, MERS-CoV cases have been reported in 22 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Bangladesh, the Philippines (still MERS-free), Indonesia (none was confirmed), the United Kingdom, and the United States. Almost all cases are somehow linked to Saudi Arabia. In the same article it was reported that Saudi authorities’ errors in response to MERS-CoV were a contributing factor to the spread of this deadly virus.

27. Enterovirus (Brain Inflammation) Entero virus is a disease of the hands, feet and mouth, and we can not ignored occasional Brain Inflammation. Enterovirus attack symptoms are very similar to regular flu symptoms so its difficult to detect it, such as fever, sometimes accompanied by dizziness and weakness and pain.

Next will come the little red watery bumps on the palms and feet following oral thrush. In severe conditions, Enterovirus can attack the nerves and brain tissue to result in death.

The virus is easily spread through direct contact with patients. Children are the main victims of the spread of enterovirus in China. Since the first victim was found but reporting was delayed until several weeks later.

24 thousand people have contracted the enterovirus. More than 30 of them died mostly children. The virus is reported to have entered Indonesia and infecting three people in Sumatra.  2014Enterovirus 68 is presently spreading across North America mainly and started in the USA has probably spread to Canada and Mexico by now. Enterovirus 68’s spread is unprecedented up till now

28.  The Black Plague  The 1918 flu virus and HIV are the biggest killers of modern times. But back in the 14th century, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague, or the Black Death as it was also known, was the baddest bug of all. In just a few years, from 1347 to 1351, the plague killed off about 75,000,000 people worldwide, including one-third of the entire population of Europe at that time.

Carrying away the victims of plague

It spread through Asia, Italy, North Africa, Spain, Normandy, Switzerland, and eastward into Hungary. After a brief break, it crossed into England, Scotland, and then to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Greenland.

the plague bacterium

Yersinia pestis, the plague bacteria
Courtesy of Neal Chamberlain

The plague bacterium is called Yersinia <yer-sin-ee-uh> pestis. There are two main forms of the disease. In the bubonic <boo-bah-nick> form, the bacteria cause painful swellings as large as an orange to form in the armpits, neck and groin. These swellings, or buboes, often burst open, oozing blood and pus. Blood vessels leak blood that puddles under the skin, giving the skin a blackened look. That’s why the disease became known as the Black Death. At least half of its victims die within a week.

The pneumonic <new-mon-ick> form of plague causes victims to sweat heavily and cough up blood that starts filling their lungs. Almost no one survived it during the plague years. Yersinia pestis is the deadliest microbe we’ve ever known, although HIV might catch up to it. Yersinia pestis is still around in the world. Fortunately, with bacteria-killing antibiotics and measures to control the pests—rats and mice—that spread the bacteria, we’ve managed to conquer this killer.

29. Human Papillomavirus  Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus from the papillomavirus family that is capable of infecting humans. Like all papillomaviruses, HPVs establish productive infections only in keratinocytes of the skin or mucous membranes.

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Most HPV infections are subclinical and will cause no physical symptoms; however, in some people subclinical infections will become clinical and may cause benign papillomas (such as warts [verrucae] or squamous cell papilloma), or cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, oropharynx and anus.HPV has been linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, HPV 16 and 18 infections are a cause of a unique type of oropharyngeal (throat) cancer and are believed to cause 70% of cervical cancer, which have available vaccines, see HPV vaccine.

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More than 30 to 40 types of HPV are typically transmitted through sexual contact and infect the anogenital region. Some sexually transmitted HPV types may cause genital warts. Persistent infection with "high-risk" HPV types—different from the ones that cause skin warts—may progress to precancerous lesions and invasive cancer. High-risk HPV infection is a cause of nearly all cases of cervical cancer.However, most infections do not cause disease.

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Seventy percent of clinical HPV infections, in young men and women, may regress to subclinical in one year and ninety percent in two years. However, when the subclinical infection persists—in 5% to 10% of infected women—there is high risk of developing precancerous lesions of the vulva and cervix, which can progress to invasive cancer. Progression from subclinical to clinical infection may take years; providing opportunities for detection and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions.

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In more developed countries, cervical screening using a Papanicolaou (Pap) test or liquid-based cytology is used to detect abnormal cells that may develop into cancer. If abnormal cells are found, women are invited to have a colposcopy. During a colposcopic inspection, biopsies can be taken and abnormal areas can be removed with a simple procedure, typically with a cauterizing loop or, more commonly in the developing world—by freezing (cryotherapy).

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Treating abnormal cells in this way can prevent them from developing into cervical cancer. Pap smears have reduced the incidence and fatalities of cervical cancer in the developed world, but even so there were 11,000 cases and 3,900 deaths in the U.S. in 2008. Cervical cancer has substantial mortality worldwide, there are an estimated 490,000 cases and 270,000 deaths each year.

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It is true that infections caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) are not fatal, but chronic infection may result in cervical cancer. Apparently, HPV is responsible for almost all cervical cancers (approx. 99%). HPV results in 275,000 deaths per year.

30. Henipaviruses The genus Henipavirus comprises of 3 members which are Hendra virus (HeV), Nipah virus (NiV), and Cedar virus (CedPV). The second one was introduced in the middle of 2012, although affected no human, and is therefore considered harmless. The rest of the two viruses, however, are lethal with mortality rate up to 50-100%.

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Hendra virus (originally Equine morbillivirus) was discovered in September 1994 when it caused the deaths of thirteen horses, and a trainer at a training complex in Hendra, a suburb of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia.

The index case, a mare, was housed with 19 other horses after falling ill, and died two days later. Subsequently, all of the horses became ill, with 13 dying. The remaining 6 animals were subsequently euthanized as a way of preventing relapsing infection and possible further transmission.The trainer, Victory (‘Vic’) Rail, and a stable hand were involved in nursing the index case, and both fell ill with an influenza-like illness within one week of the first horse’s death. The stable hand recovered while Mr Rail died of respiratory and renal failure. The source of the virus was most likely frothy nasal discharge from the index case.

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A second outbreak occurred in August 1994 (chronologically preceding the first outbreak) in Mackay 1,000 km north of Brisbane resulting in the deaths of two horses and their owner. The owner, Mark Preston, assisted in necropsies of the horses and within three weeks was admitted to hospital suffering from meningitis. Mr Preston recovered, but 14 months later developed neurologic signs and died. This outbreak was diagnosed retrospectively by the presence of Hendra virus in the brain of the patient.pathogens-02-00264-g002-1024

A survey of wildlife in the outbreak areas was conducted, and identified pteropid fruit bats as the most likely source of Hendra virus, with a seroprevalence of 47%. All of the other 46 species sampled were negative. Virus isolations from the reproductive tract and urine of wild bats indicated that transmission to horses may have occurred via exposure to bat urine or birthing fluids.  However, the only attempt at experimental infection reported in the literature, conducted at CSIRO Geelong, did not result in infection of a horse from infected flying foxes. This study looked at potential infection between bats, horses and cats, in various combinations. The only species that was able to infect horses was the cat (Felix spp.)

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Nipah virus was identified in April 1999, when it caused an outbreak of neurological and respiratory disease on pig farms in peninsular Malaysia, resulting in 257 human cases, including 105 human deaths and the culling of one million pigs.  In Singapore, 11 cases, including one death, occurred in abattoir workers exposed to pigs imported from the affected Malaysian farms. The Nipah virus has been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category C agent. The name "Nipah" refers to the place, Kampung Baru Sungai Nipah in Negeri Sembilan State, Malaysia, the source of the human case from which Nipah virus was first isolated.

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The outbreak was originally mistaken for Japanese encephalitis (JE), however, physicians in the area noted that persons who had been vaccinated against JE were not protected, and the number of cases among adults was unusual Despite the fact that these observations were recorded in the first month of the outbreak, the Ministry of Health failed to react accordingly, and instead launched a nationwide campaign to educate people on the dangers of JE and its vector, Culex mosquitoes.

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Symptoms of infection from the Malaysian outbreak were primarily encephalitic in humans and respiratory in pigs. Later outbreaks have caused respiratory illness in humans, increasing the likelihood of human-to-human transmission and indicating the existence of more dangerous strains of the virus. Based on seroprevalence data and virus isolations, the primary reservoir for Nipah virus was identified as Pteropid fruit bats, including Pteropus vampyrus (Large Flying Fox), and Pteropus hypomelanus (Small flying fox), both of which occur in Malaysia.

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The transmission of Nipah virus from flying foxes to pigs is thought to be due to an increasing overlap between bat habitats and piggeries in peninsular Malaysia. At the index farm, fruit orchards were in close proximity to the piggery, allowing the spillage of urine, feces and partially eaten fruit onto the pigs. Retrospective studies demonstrate that viral spillover into pigs may have been occurring in Malaysia since 1996 without detection. During 1998, viral spread was aided by the transfer of infected pigs to other farms, where new outbreaks occurred.

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Cedar Virus (CedPV) was first identified in pteropid urine during work on Hendra virus undertaken in Queensland in 2009. Although the virus is reported to be very similar to both Hendra and Nipah, it does not cause illness in laboratory animals usually susceptible to paramyxoviruses. Animals were able to mount an effective response and create effective antibodies.3273481_pone.0027918.g003

The scientists who identified the virus report:

Hendra and Nipah viruses are 2 highly pathogenic paramyxoviruses that have emerged from bats within the last two decades. Both are capable of causing fatal disease in both humans and many mammal species. Serological and molecular evidence for henipa-like viruses have been reported from numerous locations including Asia and Africa, however, until now no successful isolation of these viruses have been reported. This paper reports the isolation of a novel paramyxovirus, named Cedar virus, from fruit bats in Australia. Full genome sequencing of this virus suggests a close relationship with the henipaviruses.
 
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Antibodies to Cedar virus were shown to cross react with, but not cross neutralize Hendra or Nipah virus. Despite this close relationship, when Cedar virus was tested in experimental challenge models in ferrets and guinea pigs, we identified virus replication and generation of neutralizing antibodies, but no clinical disease was observed. As such, this virus provides a useful reference for future reverse genetics experiments to determine the molecular basis of the pathogenicity of the henipaviruses.

30. Lyssaviruses  This genus comprises of not only rabies virus (causing death of almost everyone who is infected) but certain other viruses such as Duvenhage virus, Mokola virus, and Australian bat lyssavirus. Although small number of cases are reported, but the ones reported have always been fatal. Bats are vectors for all of these types except for Mokola virus.

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Lyssavirus (from Lyssa, the Greek goddess of madness, rage, and frenzy) is a genus of viruses belonging to the family Rhabdoviridae, in the order Mononegavirales. This group of RNA viruses includes the rabies virus traditionally associated with the disease. Viruses typically have either helical or cubic symmetry. Lyssaviruses have helical symmetry, so their infectious particles are approximately cylindrical in shape. This is typical of plant-infecting viruses. Human-infecting viruses more commonly have cubic symmetry and take shapes approximating regular polyhedra. The structure consists of a spiked outer envelope, a middle region consisting of matrix protein M, and an inner ribonucleocapsid complex region, consisting of the genome associated with other proteins.

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Lyssavirus genome consists of a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA molecule that encodes five viral proteins: polymerase L, matrix protein M, phosphoprotein P, nucleoprotein N, and glycoprotein G.

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Based on recent phylogenetic evidence, lyssa viruses are categorized into seven major species. In addition, five species recently have been discovered: West Caucasian bat virus, Aravan virus, Khuj and virus, Irkut virus and Shimoni bat virus. The major species include rabies virus (species 1), Lagos bat virus (species 2), Mokola virus (species 3), Duvenhage virus (species 4), European Bat lyssaviruses type 1 and 2 (species 5 and 6), and Australian bat lyssavirus (species 7).83980497

Based on biological properties of the viruses, these species are further subdivided into phylogroups 1 and 2. Phylogroup 1 includes genotypes 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7, while phylogroup 2 includes genotypes 2 and 3. The nucleocapsid region of lyssavirus is fairly highly conserved from genotype to genotype across both phylogroups; however, experimental data have shown the lyssavirus strains used in vaccinations are only from the first species(i.e. classic rabies).

31. Tuberculosis  Mucous, fever, fatigue, excessive sweating and weight loss. What do they all have in common?

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They are symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis, or TB. TB is a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs, but it may spread to other organs. The symptoms of this disease can remain stagnant for years or affect the person right away. People at higher risk for contracting TB include the elderly, infants and those with weakened immune systems due to other diseases, such as AIDS or diabetes, or even individuals who have undergone chemotherapy.

Being around others who may have TB, maintaining a poor diet or living in unsanitary conditions are all risk factors for contracting TB. In the United States, there are approximately 10 cases of TB per 100,000 people. Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus), in the past also called phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, or consumption, is a widespread, and in many cases fatal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air. Most infections do not have symptoms, known as latent tuberculosis. About one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.

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The classic symptoms of active TB infection are a chronic cough with blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss (the latter giving rise to the formerly common term for the disease, "consumption"). Infection of other organs causes a wide range of symptoms. Diagnosis of active TB relies on radiology (commonly chest X-rays), as well as microscopic examination and microbiological culture of body fluids.

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Diagnosis of latent TB relies on the tuberculin skin test (TST) and/or blood tests. Treatment is difficult and requires administration of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. Social contacts are also screened and treated if necessary. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) infections. Prevention relies on screening programs and vaccination with the bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.

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One-third of the world’s population is thought to have been infected with M. tuberculosis, with new infections occurring in about 1% of the population each year.In 2007, an estimated 13.7 million chronic cases were active globally, while in 2010, an estimated 8.8 million new cases and 1.5 million associated deaths occurred, mostly in developing countries. The absolute number of tuberculosis cases has been decreasing since 2006, and new cases have decreased since 2002.

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The rate of tuberculosis in different areas varies across the globe; about 80% of the population in many Asian and African countries tests positive in tuberculin tests, while only 5–10% of the United States population tests positive. More people in the developing world contract tuberculosis because of a poor immune system, largely due to high rates of HIV infection and the corresponding development of AIDS.

32. Encephalitis Virus Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain, commonly caused by a viral infection. Victims are usually exposed to viruses resulting in encephalitis by insect bites or food and drink. The most frequently encountered agents are arboviruses (carried by mosquitoes or ticks) and enteroviruses ( coxsackievirus, poliovirus and echovirus ). Some of the less frequent agents are measles, rabies, mumps, varicella and herpes simplex viruses.

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Patients with encephalitis suffer from fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, drowsiness and photophobia. The symptoms of encephalitis are caused by brain’s defense mechanisms being activated to get rid of infection (brain swelling, small bleedings and cell death). Neurologic examination usually reveals a stiff neck due to the irritation of the meninges covering the brain. Examination of the cerebrospinal fluidCerebrospinal fluid CSF in short, is the clear fluid that occupies the subarachnoid space (the space between the skull and cortex of the brain). It acts as a "cushion" or buffer for the cortex.

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Also, CSF occupies the ventricular system of the brain and the obtained by a lumbar puncture In medicine, a lumbar puncture (colloquially known as a spinal tap is a diagnostic procedure that is done to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for biochemical, microbiological and cytological analysis. Indications The most common indication for procedure reveals increased amounts of proteins and white blood cells with normal glucose. A CT scan examination is performed to reveal possible complications of brain swelling, brain abscess Brain abscess (or cerebral abscess) is an abscess caused by inflammation and collection of infected material coming from local (ear infection, infection of paranasal sinuses, infection of the mastoid air cells of the temporal bone, epidural abscess) or re or bleeding. Lumbar puncture procedure is performed only after the possibility of a prominent brain swelling is excluded by a CT scan examination.

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What are the main Symptoms?
Some patients may have symptoms of a cold or stomach infection before encephalitis symptoms begin.
When a case of encephalitis is not very severe, the symptoms may be similar to those of other illnesses, including:
• Fever that is not very high
• Mild headache
• Low energy and a poor appetite
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Other symptoms include:
• Clumsiness, unsteady gait
• Confusion, disorientation
• Drowsiness
• Irritability or poor temper control
• Light sensitivity
• Stiff neck and back (occasionally)
• Vomiting
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Symptoms in newborns and younger infants may not be as easy to recognize:
• Body stiffness
• Irritability and crying more often (these symptoms may get worse when the baby is picked up)
• Poor feeding
• Soft spot on the top of the head may bulge out more
• Vomiting
Encephalitis

• Loss of consciousness, poor responsiveness, stupor, coma
• Muscle weakness or paralysis
• Seizures
• Severe headache
• Sudden change in mental functions:
• "Flat" mood, lack of mood, or mood that is inappropriate for the situation
• Impaired judgment
• Inflexibility, extreme self-centeredness, inability to make a decision, or withdrawal from social interaction
• Less interest in daily activities
• Memory loss (amnesia), impaired short-term or long-term memory

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Children and adults should avoid contact with anyone who has encephalitis.
Controlling mosquitoes (a mosquito bite can transmit some viruses) may reduce the chance of some infections that can lead to encephalitis.
• Apply an insect repellant containing the chemical, DEET when you go outside (but never use DEET products on infants younger than 2 months).
• Remove any sources of standing water (such as old tires, cans, gutters, and wading pools).
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outside, particularly at dusk.
Vaccinate animals to prevent encephalitis caused by the rabies virus.

 

33. Chicken Pox Virus Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV).It usually starts with a vesicular skin rash mainly on the body and head rather than on the limbs. The rash develops into itchy, raw pockmarks, which mostly heal without scarring. On examination, the observer typically finds skin lesions at various stages of healing and also ulcers in the oral cavity and tonsil areas. The disease is most commonly observed in children.

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Chickenpox is an airborne disease which spreads easily through coughing or sneezing by ill individuals or through direct contact with secretions from the rash. A person with chickenpox is infectious one to two days before the rash appears. They remain contagious until all lesions have crusted over (this takes approximately six days). Immunocompromised patients are contagious during the entire period as new lesions keep appearing. Crusted lesions are not contagious.Chickenpox has been observed in other primates, including chimpanzees and gorillas.

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The origin of the term chicken pox, which is recorded as being used since 1684,is not reliably known. It has been said to be a derived from chickpeas, based on resemblance of the vesicles to chickpeas, or to come from the rash resembling chicken pecks. Other suggestions include the designation chicken for a child (i.e., literally ‘child pox’), a corruption of itching-pox, or the idea that the disease may have originated in chickens. Samuel Johnson explained the designation as "from its being of no very great danger."

Chickenpox

The early (prodromal) symptoms in adolescents and adults are nausea, loss of appetite, aching muscles, and headache. This is followed by the characteristic rash or oral sores, malaise, and a low-grade fever that signal the presence of the disease. Oral manifestations of the disease (enanthem) not uncommonly may precede the external rash (exanthem). In children the illness is not usually preceded by prodromal symptoms, and the first sign is the rash or the spots in the oral cavity. The rash begins as small red dots on the face, scalp, torso, upper arms and legs; progressing over 10–12 hours to small bumps, blisters and pustules; followed by umbilication and the formation of scabs.

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At the blister stage, intense itching is usually present. Blisters may also occur on the palms, soles, and genital area. Commonly, visible evidence of the disease develops in the oral cavity & tonsil areas in the form of small ulcers which can be painful or itchy or both; this enanthem (internal rash) can precede the exanthem (external rash) by 1 to 3 days or can be concurrent. These symptoms of chickenpox appear 10 to 21 days after exposure to a contagious person. Adults may have a more widespread rash and longer fever, and they are more likely to experience complications, such as varicella pneumonia.Because watery nasal discharge containing live virus usually precedes both exanthem (external rash) and enanthem (oral ulcers) by 1 to 2 days, the infected person actually becomes contagious one to two days prior to recognition of the disease. Contagiousness persists until all vesicular lesions have become dry crusts (scabs), which usually entails four or five days, by which time nasal shedding of live virus also ceases.

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Chickenpox is rarely fatal, although it is generally more severe in adult men than in women or children. Non-immune pregnant women and those with a suppressed immune system are at highest risk of serious complications. Arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) associated with chickenpox in the previous year accounts for nearly one third of childhood AIS. The most common late complication of chickenpox is shingles (herpes zoster), caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus decades after the initial, often childhood, chickenpox infection.

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Shingles  Herpes zoster After a chickenpox infection, the virus remains dormant in the body’s nerve tissues. The immune system keeps the virus at bay, but later in life, usually as an adult, it can be reactivated and cause a different form of the viral infection called shingles (scientifically known as herpes zoster). The United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) suggests that any adult over the age of 60 years gets the herpes zoster vaccine as a part of their normal medical check ups.

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Many adults who have had chickenpox as children are susceptible to shingles as adults, often with the accompanying condition postherpetic neuralgia, a painful condition that makes it difficult to sleep. Even after the shingles rash has gone away, there can be night pain in the area affected by the rash.Shingles affects one in five adults infected with chickenpox as children, especially those who are immune suppressed, particularly from cancer, HIV, or other conditions.

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However, stress can bring on shingles as well, although scientists are still researching the connection.Shingles are most commonly found in adults over the age of 60 who were diagnosed with chickenpox when they were under the age of 1.A shingles vaccine is available for adults over 50 who have had childhood chickenpox or who have previously had shingles.

34. POXVIRUS  Poxviruses (members of the family Poxviridae) are viruses that can, as a family, infect both vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

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Four genera of poxviruses may infect humans: orthopox, parapox, yatapox, molluscipox. Orthopox: smallpox virus (variola), vaccinia virus, cowpox virus, monkeypox virus; Parapox: orf virus, pseudocowpox, bovine papular stomatitis virus; Yatapox: tanapox virus, yaba monkey tumor virus; Molluscipox: molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV).The most common are vaccinia (seen on Indian subcontinent) and molluscum contagiousum, but monkeypox infections are rising (seen in west and central African rainforest countries). Camelpox is a disease of camels caused by a virus of the family Poxviridae, subfamily Chordopoxvirinae, and the genus Orthopoxvirus. It causes skin lesions and a generalized infection. Approximately 25% of young camels that become infected will die from the disease, while infection in older camels is generally more mild.

Poxvirus model in section (Pov_Ray)

The ancestor of the poxviruses is not known but structural studies suggest it may have been an adenovirus or a species related to both the poxviruses and the adenoviruses. Based on the genome organization and DNA replication mechanism it seems that phylogenetic relationships may exist between the rudiviruses (Rudiviridae) and the large eukaryal DNA viruses: the African swine fever virus (Asfarviridae), Chlorella viruses (Phycodnaviridae) and poxviruses (Poxviridae).The mutation rate in these genomes has been estimated to be 0.9-1.2 x 10−6 substitutions per site per year.A second estimate puts this rate at 0.5-7 × 10−6 nucleotide substitutions per site per year.  A third estimate places the rate at 4-6 × 10−6.

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The last common ancestor of the extant poxviruses that infect vertebrates existed 0.5 million years ago. The genus Avipoxvirus diverged from the ancestor 249 ± 69 thousand years ago. The ancestor of the genus Orthopoxvirus was next to diverge from the other clades at 0.3 million years ago. A second estimate of this divergence time places this event at 166,000 ± 43,000 years ago. The division of the Orthopox into the extant genera occurred ~14,000 years ago. The genus Leporipoxvirus diverged ~137,000 ± 35,000 years ago. This was followed by the ancestor of the genus Yatapoxvirus. The last common ancestor of the Capripoxvirus and Suipoxvirus diverged 111,000 ± 29,000 years ago.

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 2

A model of a poxvirus cut-away in
cross-section to show the internal
structures. Poxviruses are shaped like
flattened capsules/barrels or are lens or
pill-shaped.

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 3

Their structure is complex,
neither icosahedral nor helical. This
model is based on Vaccinia, the smallpox
virus. The structures are also highly
variable and often incompletely studied.

 

35. West Nile Virus  West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic arbovirus belonging to the genus Flavivirus in the family Flaviviridae.

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This flavivirus is found in temperate and tropical regions of the world. It was first identified in the West Nile subregion in the East African nation of Uganda in 1937. Prior to the mid-1990s, WNV disease occurred only sporadically and was considered a minor risk for humans, until an outbreak in Algeria in 1994, with cases of WNV-caused encephalitis, and the first large outbreak in Romania in 1996, with a high number of cases with neuroinvasive disease. WNV has now spread globally, with the first case in the Western Hemisphere being identified in New York City in 1999; over the next five years, the virus spread across the continental United States, north into Canada, and southward into the Caribbean islands and Latin America. WNV also spread to Europe, beyond the Mediterranean Basin, and a new strain of the virus was identified in Italy in 2012. WNV is now considered to be an endemic pathogen in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and in the United States, which in 2012 has experienced one of its worst epidemics. In 2012, WNV killed 286 people in the United States, with the state of Texas being hard hit by this virus, making the year the deadliest on record for the United States.

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The main mode of WNV transmission is via various species of mosquitoes, which are the prime vector, with birds being the most commonly infected animal and serving as the prime reservoir host—especially passerines, which are of the largest order of birds, Passeriformes. WNV has been found in various species of ticks, but current research suggests they are not important vectors of the virus. WNV also infects various mammal species, including humans, and has been identified in reptilian species, including alligators and crocodiles, and also in amphibians. Not all animal species that are susceptible to WNV infection, including humans, and not all bird species develop sufficient viral levels to transmit the disease to uninfected mosquitoes, and are thus not considered major factors in WNV transmission.

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Approximately 80% of West Nile virus infections in humans are subclinical, which cause no symptoms. In the cases where symptoms do occur—termed West Nile fever in cases without neurological disease—the time from infection to the appearance of symptoms (incubation period) is typically between 2 and 15 days. Symptoms may include fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain or aches, malaise, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, myalgias and rash. Less than 1% of the cases are severe and result in neurological disease when the central nervous system is affected. People of advanced age, the very young, or those with immunosuppression, either medically induced, such as those taking immunosupressive drugs, or due to a pre-existing medical condition such as HIV infection, are most susceptible. The specific neurological diseases that may occur are West Nile encephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain, West Nile meningitis, which causes inflammation of the meninges, which are the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, West Nile meningoencephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain and also the meninges surrounding it, and West Nile poliomyelitis—spinal cord inflammation, which results in a syndrome similar to polio, which may cause acute flaccid paralysis.

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Currently, no vaccine against WNV infection is available. The best method to reduce the rates of WNV infection is mosquito control on the part of municipalities, businesses and individual citizens to reduce breeding populations of mosquitoes in public, commercial and private areas via various means including eliminating standing pools of water where mosquitoes breed, such as in old tires, buckets, unused swimming pools, etc. On an individual basis, the use of personal protective measures to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito, via the use of mosquito repellent, window screens, avoiding areas where mosquitoes are more prone to congregate, such as near marshes, areas with heavy vegetation etc., and being more vigilant from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active offers the best defense. In the event of being bitten by an infected mosquito, familiarity of the symptoms of WNV on the part of laypersons, physicians and allied health professions affords the best chance of receiving timely medical treatment, which may aid in reducing associated possible complications and also appropriate palliative care.

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The incubation period for WNV—the amount of time from infection to symptom onset—is typically from between 2 and 15 days. Headache can be a prominent symptom of WNV fever, meningitis, encephalitis, meningoencephalitis, and it may or may not be present in poliomyelytis-like syndrome. Thus, headache is not a useful indicator of neuroinvasive disease.(CDC)

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  • West Nile virus encephalitis (WNE) is the most common neuroinvasive manifestation of WNND. WNE presents with similar symptoms to other viral encephalitis with fever, headaches, and altered mental status. A prominent finding in WNE is muscular weakness (30 to 50 percent of patients with encephalitis), often with lower motor neuron symptoms, flaccid paralysis, and hyporeflexia with no sensory abnormalities.
  • West Nile meningitis (WNM) usually involves fever, headache, and stiff neck. Pleocytosis, an increase of white blood cells in cerebrospinal fluid, is also present. Changes in consciousness are not usually seen and are mild when present.
  • West Nile meningoencephalitis is inflammation of both the brain (encephalitis) and meninges (meningitis).
  • West Nile poliomyelitis (WNP), an acute flaccid paralysis syndrome associated with WNV infection, is less common than WNM or WNE. This syndrome is generally characterized by the acute onset of asymmetric limb weakness or paralysis in the absence of sensory loss. Pain sometimes precedes the paralysis. The paralysis can occur in the absence of fever, headache, or other common symptoms associated with WNV infection. Involvement of respiratory muscles, leading to acute respiratory failure, can sometimes occur.
  • West-Nile reversible paralysis,. Like WNP, the weakness or paralysis is asymmetric. Reported cases have been noted to have an initial preservation of deep tendon reflexes, which is not expected for a pure anterior horn involvement.Disconnect of upper motor neuron influences on the anterior horn cells possibly by myelitis or glutamate excitotoxicity have been suggested as mechanisms.The prognosis for recovery is excellent.
  • Cutaneous manifestations specifically rashes, are not uncommon in WNV-infected patients; however, there is a paucity of detailed descriptions in case reports and there are few clinical images widely available. Punctate erythematous (?), macular, and papular eruptions, most pronounced on the extremities have been observed in WNV cases and in some cases histopathologic findings have shown a sparse superficial perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate, a manifestation commonly seen in viral exanthems (?). A literature review provides support that this punctate rash is a common cutaneous presentation of WNV infection. (Anderson RC et al.)

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West Nile virus life cycle. After binding and uptake, the virion envelope fuses with cellular membranes, followed by uncoating of the nucleocapsid and release of the RNA genome into the cytoplasm. The viral genome serves as messenger RNA (mRNA) for translation of all viral proteins and as template during RNA replication. Copies are subsequently packaged within new virus particles that are transported in vesicles to the cell membrane.

WNV_life_cycle

WNV is one of the Japanese encephalitis antigenic serocomplex of viruses. Image reconstructions and cryoelectron microscopy reveal a 45–50 nm virion covered with a relatively smooth protein surface. This structure is similar to the dengue fever virus; both belong to the genus Flavivirus within the family Flaviviridae.

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The genetic material of WNV is a positive-sense, single strand of RNA, which is between 11,000 and 12,000 nucleotides long; these genes encode seven nonstructural proteins and three structural proteins. The RNA strand is held within a nucleocapsid formed from 12-kDa protein blocks; the capsid is contained within a host-derived membrane altered by two viral glycoproteins. Phylogenetic tree of West Nile viruses based on sequencing of the envelope gene during complete genome sequencing of the virus

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Studies of phylogenetic lineages determined WNV emerged as a distinct virus around 1000 years ago. This initial virus developed into two distinct lineages, lineage 1 and its multiple profiles is the source of the epidemic transmission in Africa and throughout the world. Lineage 2 was considered an Africa zoonosis. However, in 2008, lineage 2, previously only seen in horses in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, began to appear in horses in Europe, where the first known outbreak affected 18 animals in Hungary in 2008. Lineage 1 West Nile virus was detected in South Africa in 2010 in a mare and her aborted fetus; previously, only lineage 2 West Nile virus had been detected in horses and humans in South Africa. A 2007 fatal case in a killer whale in Texas broadened the known host range of West Nile virus to include cetaceans.

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The United States virus was very closely related to a lineage 1 strain found in Israel in 1998. Since the first North American cases in 1999, the virus has been reported throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. There have been human cases and equine cases, and many birds are infected. The Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus, was the first nonhuman primate to contract WNV.  Both the United States and Israeli strains are marked by high mortality rates in infected avian populations; the presence of dead birds—especially Corvidae—can be an early indicator of the arrival of the virus.

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The West Nile virus maintains itself in nature by cycling between mosquitoes and certain species of birds. A mosquito (the vector) bites an uninfected bird (the host), the virus amplifies within the bird, an uninfected mosquito bites the bird and is in turn infected. Other species such as humans and horses are incidental infections, as they are not the mosquitoes’ preferred blood meal source. The virus does not amplify within these species and they are known as dead-end hosts.

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The West Nile virus (WNV) is transmitted through female mosquitoes, which are the prime vectors of the virus. Only females feed on blood, and different species have evolved to take a blood meal on preferred types of vertebrate hosts. The infected mosquito species vary according to geographical area; in the United States, Culex pipiens (Eastern United States), Culex tarsalis (Midwest and West), and Culex quinquefasciatus (Southeast) are the main sources.The various species that transmit the WNV prefer birds of the Passeriformes order, the largest order of birds. Within that order there is further selectivity with various mosquito species exhibiting preference for different species. In the United States WNV mosquito vectors have shown definitive preference for members of the Corvidae and Thrush family of birds. Amongst the preferred species within these families are the American crow, a corvid, and the American robin (Turdus migratorius), a thrush.

The proboscis of a female mosquito—here a Southern House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus)—pierces the epidermis and dermis to allow it to feed on human blood from a capillary: this one is almost fully tumescent. The mosquito injects saliva, which contains an anesthetic, and an anticoagulant into the puncture wound; and in infected mosquitoes, the West Nile virus.

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The birds develop sufficient viral levels after being infected, to transmit the infection to other biting mosquitoes that in turn go on to infect other birds. In crows and robins, the infection is fatal in 4–5 days. This epizootic viral amplification cycle has been shown to peak 15–16 days before humans become ill. This may be due to the high mortality, and thus depletion of the preferred hosts, i.e., the specific bird species. The mosquitoes become less selective and begin feeding more readily on other animal types such as humans and horses which are considered incidental hosts.

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In mammals, the virus does not multiply as readily (i.e., does not develop high viremia during infection), and mosquitoes biting infected mammals are not believed to ingest sufficient virus to become infected,making mammals so-called dead-end hosts.

West-Nile-Virus-rash-300x243

Direct human-to-human transmission initially was believed to be caused only by occupational exposure, or conjunctive exposure to infected blood. The US outbreak identified additional transmission methods through blood transfusion,organ transplant intrauterine exposure, and breast feeding. Since 2003, blood banks in the United States routinely screen for the virus among their donors. As a precautionary measure, the UK’s National Blood Service initially ran a test for this disease in donors who donate within 28 days of a visit to the United States, Canada or the northeastern provinces of Italy and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service asks prospective donors to wait 28 days after returning from North America or the northeastern provinces of Italy before donating.

West Nile Virus Replication

Recently, the potential for mosquito saliva to impact the course of WNV disease was demonstrated. Mosquitoes inoculate their saliva into the skin while obtaining blood. Mosquito saliva is a pharmacological cocktail of secreted molecules, principally proteins, that can affect vascular constriction, blood coagulation, platelet aggregation, inflammation, and immunity. It clearly alters the immune response in a manner that may be advantageous to a virus. Studies have shown it can specifically modulate the immune response during early virus infection, and mosquito feeding can exacerbate WNV infection, leading to higher viremia and more severe forms of disease.

41

Vertical transmission, the transmission of a viral or bacterial disease from the female of the species to her offspring, has been observed in various West Nile virus studies, amongst different species of mosquitoes in both the laboratory and in nature.Mosquito progeny infected vertically in autumn, may potentially serve as a mechanism for WNV to overwinter and initiate enzootic horizontal transmission the following spring.

MERS “Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome”


A NEW VIRUS IS A "THREAT TO THE WORLD"

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Published June 24, 2013 | by Sentinel

Virus from the Middle East began to claim lives

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By Callum Wood – June 4, 2013 –

A potentially deadly from the Middle East virus made his way to Europe, highlighting the increased potential pandemics facing us. The virus, respiratory syndrome coronavirus in the Middle East (MERS-CoV), formerly known as the new coronavirus was confirmed in 44 people worldwide since its initial detection. The majority of cases came from the Middle East. Scientists are puzzled as to how the virus could reach into humans, and where it has spread. The strain of the larger family of coronaviruses, which covers many illnesses from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which does not help to identify the origin of the virus.

There is still a lot that scientists do not know about MERS-CoV. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, gave a speech at the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva on May 27, the deadly new strain of coronavirus. She said, "We will understand only too little about this virus when compared to the magnitude of the potential threat. Any new disease that is growing faster than our understanding is never under control. "

When a high-ranking member of one of the most prestigious health organizations in the world bluntly states that experts do not yet understand this deadly virus, people have to sit and listen.

Chan’s speech was full of warnings. She described the virus as "a threat to the entire world." Keep in mind that this statement was made ​​by someone who deals with health issues around the world on a daily basis. She sees this new strain as a major cause for concern, even more than the recent outbreak of H7N9 influenza in Asia.

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His warning comes at a time when the MERS-CoV has traveled the Middle East to Europe. A man traveled from Saudi Arabia to France while carrying the virus without knowing it. When he fell ill and was taken to hospital, he then infected at least one other person before succumbing to the disease. The second infected man left the hospital before doctors realize what had happened. The incubation period of the virus is more than 12 days, which makes it difficult to detect. The man was then taken back to the hospital in critical condition.

Of the 44 cases reported worldwide, 23 people died, fixing the mortality rate at about 50 percent. With so many outstanding questions about the disease, Chan said: "We need more information, and we need it quickly, urgently."

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But what kind of information do they need? Science can come up with something to try and eliminate this new disease, but how many deaths will it take to get there? There are several strains of influenza and other emerging diseases, but there is rarely another virus similar to penicillin from laboratories. As mentioned above, the H7N9 is resistant to drugs that have been used in the past.

The information that humanity needs is why these plagues fall on us in the first place. While the pharmaceutical industry has been effective in the fight against many diseases, new diseases continue to grow.

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As we explained in our article titled, "The coming pandemic diseases," the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are biblical figures that many can identify, but few can really understand the meaning. One of those riders, the pale horse, means the spread of disease and pestilence in this period of the End Times. MERS-CoV may not be the beginning of a major pandemic, but it is connected to the most tragic time that have yet to befall mankind.

Do you understand the weather where you live? Are you ready for unprecedented devastation by diseases such as the world has ever known? For those who faithfully obey God, He promises;

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"You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at your right, you will not be achieved. "(Psalm 91: 5-7)

This is a great hope that we can have, knowing the difficult times ahead.

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"And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and it will seem terrible things and great signs from heaven. "(Luke 21: 11)

http://www.thetrumpet.com/article/10669.18.0.0/society/health/new-virus-a-threat-to-the-entire-world

Happy 1st birthday Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

A coronavirus schematic. The spiky bits give the virus
its name(corona=crown) and represent the
receptor binding, antigenic Spike protein.

…I can remember when you were just a novel little thing.
How you have grown young prince and how clever of you to emerge in a Kingdom of all places (corona=crown, named for it’s spikey appearance). You’ve certainly garnered attention worthy of a King given the relatively few cases of disease you gave been associated with in the first year we’ve known of you.
It was September 20th when Dr Zaki 1st alerted the world to the death of a Saudi man due to what looked to be a new coronavirus (CoV). Today we have over 135 cases 58 deaths (43%).
I’ve previously covered Zaki’s disocvery and the problems posed for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) by the way in which he announced that discovery, apparently without the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) foreknowledge. The way in which the sample was exported from the KSA without their prior consent was also problematic for them.

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Soon after we heard of it, we had virus-detection assays with which we could seek out new cases. Were they used as they might have been in the days of the SARS-CoV? Nope. And there still seems to be only a single laboratory in KSA testing for MERS-CoV (despite reports of 3), with Dr Abdullah Al-Aeeri (a director of hospital infection control) claiming a 72-hour reporting turnaround time.
Is there an antibody detection assay that has been validated using a panel of known positive sera? Nope. There are some innovative antibody-detection methods around but why do they only include a single positive control? Is there no collaboration at all? Why is the KSA not leading the charge to develop these diagnostics and to hunt for an animal host? Why wait on advice from external organizations to screen samples?

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Why has the necessary testing capacity not been built well before now? Is it to do with that pesky material transfer agreement? I hope not because there is little evidence for that being a real block to anything from a public health standpoint.
At least we have some new MERS-CoV sequences to celebrate the birthday with. Although they and the 9 preceding them represent less than half of the relatively small number of cases described to date. Why can’t the typing region sequences be released? That should really be part of the diagnostic process. Okay, those may not inform us about the evolution of key regions of the virus but they do confirm it is the strain we know. Why not focus on full or subgenomic Spike gene sequences? They might be a better sentinel for keeping tabs on MERS-CoV change over time.

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Most of the detail about MERS-CoV and cases of MERS has come through the peer-reviewed scientific literature. That is pretty normal for respiratory viruses that are not notifiable. But it’s generally a slow medium. Is MERS infection a notifiable disease? It is in some countries (e.g. the US and New Zealand), but is it at the epicenter of the outbreak, the KSA? I’m not sure. It’s not obviously stated as such anywhere I looked on the KSA MOH website.
The World Health Organization politely notes:

WHO encourages all Member States to enhance their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns of SARI or pneumonia cases. WHO urges Member States to notify or verify to WHO any probable or confirmed case of infection with MERS-CoV.

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How’s that been working out? In a nice summary of the lack of communication, Helen Branswell and Declan Butler highlight that, as usual, everyone who was asked agreed that it’s not working out well at all. In fact it’s pretty woeful. And to add to matters, the latest WHO Disease Outbreak News (DON) takes the form of a summary of 18 "new" cases; no extra or confirmatory detail to be had from it. SO the KSA MOH is now the source for detail.

If we were talking about wanting more data on the monthly proportion of rhinovirus infections, the KSA would be justified in saying that the world doesn’t need to know (I’d like to but that’s my thing).

If we were talking about influenza, then there are plenty of international public health sites publishing these notifiable data on the internet; here’s Queensland, Australia’s for example.

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But we’re talking about an emerging disease which kills half of the people it infects, is caused by a novel virus for which no host is known, which transmits between people in a way we don’t yet understand, which is shed from ill (or well) people for an undefined period of time (if at all), which remains infectious in the environment for who knows how long, which jumps to other countries, which may only cause severe disease in those who are already ill with another disease, which may be endemically spreading within the community as mild or asymptomatic infections, for which there is no vaccine or proven antiviral therapy available..I’d say it’s a no-brainer that at the very least the WHO deserves regular and detailed updates of what’s going on. Reading between the lines, that does not seem to be happening even behind closed doors.
The mass gathering of pilgrims known as the Hajj is fast approaching. This may trigger a large increase in MERS cases or, in the worst case, a pandemic. I personally believe it won’t go that far. We shouldn’t forget is the 2nd Hajj for MERS. But perhaps the virus is much more widespread than it was in October 2012. But without testing data, we can only guess.
So, it’s your 1st birthday MERS-CoV. But instead of wishing you a happy birthday you opportunistic, spiky little killer, I’m wishing Dr Zaki well and congratulating him on co-parenting the birth of this novel coronavirus. Going by what we’ve seen to date, his actions may have been the only way we would have ever heard of this virus otherwise.
And, as noted previously, but not given much air to in the above rant (thanks to @MicorbeLover for straightening me out)…

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It’s very sad that there are real people in these numbers who have died from MERS. You may have noticed that I try and stick with the cold number-crunching aspect of these outbreaks. It’s not because I’m a heartless b&^$# but because that is not what this blog is about. That and my editorialisation and expositionary writing consume what little time I have spare. But I don’t feel that I have enough information to make any other comments about these or any other lives lost to infectious disease. I personally feel that any unexpected and acute loss of life (if I had to scale loss of life) is the worst kind of loss; it’s a waste of potential, a source of great sorrow for all involved and it’s something we should all strive to prevent, if we can. I know that’s not much to convey, but it’s all I can offer from my kinda comfy chair in Brisbane.

The Saudi MOH says it better in anyway; May Allah have mercy upon the deceased.

virusmers


Israel: International Anger Mounts

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Global Research, July 23, 2014

 

Irish politician pulls down Israeli flag at children's sailing event

Councilor Hugh Lewis takes down the Israeli flag in Dublin, Ireland. (Independent.ie)

You take my water

Burn my olive trees

Destroy my house

  • Take my job                      

Steal my land

Imprison my father

Kill my mother

Bomb my country

Starve us all

Humiliate us all

But … I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.” (Placard first seen in Gaza, 2012.)

The “most moral army in the world” from “the only democracy in the Middle East” has attacked hospitals, a home for the disabled, a geriatric hospice, demolished five mosques, razed entire neighborhoods, erased entire families – the youngest – so far – just three days old if you do not count the unborn, as in the case of twenty nine year old Samar Al Hallaq (1) killed with her two sons, aged four and five, other members of her family and carrying her third child. Her husband was critically injured.

Yet again a war is declared against children and the young. Forty three percent of Gaza’s population is aged 0-14 and just under twenty one percent, 15-24. (Index Mundi, 2013.) Thus sixty four percent, 0-24.

As Israel trades on eternal victim status whilst murdering neighbouring, fellow Semites with seeming legal impunity, stealing land, obliterating homes, nullifying history preceding even the coming of Christ in the land of his birth, the UN bleats weakly, as ever, of “concern” and “regret” some countries have had enough.

Ecuador has recalled their Ambassador from Israel, Chile has suspended their free trade agreement negotiations. Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro have called the assault on Gaza genocide and “extermination”, with Maduro demanding that the UN address the: “systematic violation of the Human Rights of the Palestinian population in Gaza by the State of Israel and adopt the necessary measures to halt those violations.” (2.) Venezuela severed all relations with Israel after its last massacre, “Cast Lead” over Christmas and New Year 2008-2009.

As Prime Minister David Cameron calls the onslaught on the 1.7 million people of Gaza in their forty mile long ghetto “not disproportionate”, President Maduro stated: “It is clear you cannot morally compare occupied and massacred Palestine with the occupying state, Israel, which also possesses military superiority and acts on the margins of international law.”

Meanwhile, amid massive protests in South Africa, the African National Congress in Parliament (who suffered their own long years of apartheid) is calling for the Israeli Ambassador to leave with “immediate effect” and for the South African Ambassador to Tel Aviv to be immediately recalled.

The ANC Chief Whip, Steone Sizane, MP., in a blistering address said: “The office of the UN Secretary General issues statements which have no effect. The UN Security Council must stand up and act to support vulnerable Palestinian people at the time when they need their protection.

“The situation involving Palestine and Israel is an undeclared war, in which the aggressor, Israel, has destroyed the Palestinian economy, robbed people of their land, unilaterally changed borders, and unilaterally built a wall of exclusion to keep Palestinians out of their land. When it feels provoked, it unleashes the most sophisticated military hardware on a defenceless people. Palestinians have been reduced to cheap labor for the Israel economy.

“This relentless destruction of the Palestinian territory and its people by Israel must be stopped. The international community needs to act in unison on this matter.”

Mr Sizane’s call is backed by a host of political and civil bodies including faith groups, the Young Communist League, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, seventy two leading South African Jews and many others. (3)

In Europe, the Norwegian government is resisting pressure to expel the Israeli Ambassador from pro-Palestinian and human rights organizations with the leader of the Joint Committee for Palestine (Fellesutvalget for Palestina, FuP), Anna Lund Bjørnsen telling Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK): “Norway can not uncritically maintain close diplomatic relations with a state that does not show respect for human life, international treaties or UN conventions.”

Even the resisting Foreign Minister Børge Brende acknowledges: “the suffering you see in Gaza and the West Bank”, and cites Israel’s particular responsibility in driving the peace process because its illegal settlements were the key to the conflict.

Labor Party MP and Chairwoman of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee in the Norwegian parliament, Anniken Huitfeldt is widely backed by seven left leaning parties in her call for boycotting products manufactured by Israel in the occupied territories “without wasting time.”

Two parties supporting the boycott, the Labor Party and the Center Party, are demanding a review Norway’s policy of selling arms to third-world countries, which resell those arms to Israel.(5)

In neighbouring Sweden calls are mounting by those involved in academic and cultural boycotts for all collaboration between Swedish and Israeli institutions to cease, with abstention: “from participation in EU funded projects in which Israel is involved. A letter was also addressed to the Board of the Royal Institute of Technology, which has a comprehensive cooperation program with the Technion University in Haifa.”(6)

In Ireland, Dublin City Council unanimously called on the Irish government to enforce an arms and trade embargo on Israel (7) and seventeen EU governments have now: “published online guidance warning their citizens and businesses about risks involved in trade and other economic links with illegal Israeli settlements.” The latest twelve to issue warnings did so last week, after the start of the assault on Gaza. They are: Portugal, Austria, Malta, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece, Slovakia, Belgium and Croatia, “in a move coordinated at EU level.” France, Italy and Spain issued similar guidelines the previous week.(8)

Across the world in the Maldives the government has scrapped three agreements with Israel and discussions are gathering pace to prohibit the import of Israeli goods. The tropical nation of 1,200 islands, at some potential cost to the economy has said they will also reject investors from Israel, noting international condemnation of Israel’s current actions. (9)

On 19th July, the Guardian published a letter signed by six Nobel Laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú and Betty Williams and numerous academic, intellectual, artistic and signaturies from many countries, including João Antonio Felicio, the president of the International Trade Union Confederation, and Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions calling for the UN and governments to impose a military embargo on Israel.(10)

The letter underlines starkly the culpability of the international community in Israel’s ongoing genocidal actions: “Over the period 2009-2019, the US is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30bn, while Israeli annual military exports to the world have reached billions of dollars. In recent years, European countries have exported billions of euros worth of weapons to Israel, and the European Union has furnished Israeli military companies and universities with military-related research grants worth hundreds of millions.”

It concludes: “Governments that express solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza, facing the brunt of Israel’s militarism, atrocities and impunity, must start with cutting all military relations with Israel. Palestinians today need effective solidarity, not charity.”

One Nobel Laureate’s signature was not on the letter, President “Change we can believe in” Obama.

As the death toll exceeded five hundred and serious injuries three thousand two hundred Norwegian Dr Mads Gilbert stated on Democracy Now: “This was truly a massacre, and the injuries were just horrible … Children came in without heads and totally dismantled by the shelling of the residential areas.”

On the same day (Monday 21st July) Obama merely said weakly that he had: “serious concerns.” Pathetic.

Israel too now has “serious concerns” of another kind. Hours after US airlines Delta, United and US Airways cancelled all flights to Israel on Tuesday 22nd July, the US Federal Aviation Authority issued an advisory banning all US carriers from flying to Tel Aviv. Air Canada has also cancelled their flights. The European Aviation Safety Agency has followed suit issuing a “strong recommendation” that airlines avoid travel to Israel until further notice. Air France, EasyJet, Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa, and the Netherland’s KLM were among European airlines that had already cancelled services.

The financial implications for Israel can only be imagined. Having spent two weeks telling the world of the mortal danger the country faced (in spite of crowds of residents picnicking in the open, standing on car roofs to watch the destruction of Gaza) the Transportation Minister and Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that flying to the country is “safe” and that: “There is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize.” Somewhat contradictory all round.

Further, last year 3.5 million tourists visited Israel, boosting the economy by over twelve Billion $s. This year Yahoo Travel cites Leon Avigad, the developer of Browns Hotels, a chain of boutique hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who says the conflict was already: “devastating us economically … We are losing tons of money by the minute. The entire profit from the summer (to date) is wiped out.” In the south of the country: “Hotels are completely empty … almost everything is closed.”

Surprisingly, even Israel’s loyal friends, the US State Department have been advising against all but most essential travel to Israel since February.

Especially courageous are the stands across the world by Jews themselves. Ten thousand orthodox Jews demonstrated in support of Gaza in New York, and across the world they, with other Jewish denominations have taken a visible and courageous stand.

Jewish Voices for Peace statement by their Rabbinical Council perhaps encapsulates what many believe. Headed “Stop the Bombing. Hold Israel Accountable” it reads in part:

“We are currently amidst ‘the three weeks’ – the annual Jewish period of quasi-mourning that leads to the fast day of Tisha B’Av. This is the season that bids us to look deeply into the soul of our community and examine the ways that our sinat chinam – baseless hatred – has led to our communal downfall.

“Driven by the spirit of this season, we cannot help but speak out in response to the horrific loss of life currently taking place in Gaza, at the hands of the Israeli military. We deplore the Israeli government’s military crackdown in the West Bank that led to its lethal, military onslaught on the people of Gaza.  We mourn the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, including children.

“We condemn Hamas’ rockets attacks on Israel and the anxiety, injury and death they have caused. But we cannot view this as a war between two equal sides. Israel has unlimited hi-tech weaponry; it dominates Gazan airspace, its borders, its utilities and economy…

“We can not stand idly by as the Jewish State acts with such wanton disregard, with such sinat chinam, for the humanity of the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, children and elders of Gaza.

“As Jews, we abhor the abuse of human rights that are standard practice of our fellow Jews in the Israeli government and Israeli military. This is not the path of justice.” (11)

Also grieving is NATO Member Turkey, declaring three days of mourning for Gaza this week.

Yesterday activists from Jewish Voices for Peace were arrested for a peaceful demonstration at the Friends of the Israeli Defence Forces on New York’s Broadway.

In Israel, Peace Now and Hand in Hand participants are being “shouted down or physically attacked” for their principled stance. Last week, in Tel Aviv: “about 250 Jewish protesters were set upon, punched and pushed by a well-organized group of right wingers in an attack that left several people with bruises, black eyes, or other injuries. Another (of) about 1,000 people, was also attacked” with eggs and plastic bottles.(12)

Perhaps it is time for President Obama to earn his Nobel Peace status.

This week Dr Mads Gilbert addressed a passionate appeal to him, writing:

“Mr Obama, do you have a heart? I invite you, spend one night – just one night – with us in Al Shifa’a Hospital. I am convinced, one hundred per cent, it would change history. Nobody with a heart and power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa’a without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.” If only.

The last word goes to increasingly intellectually challenged Prime Minister David Cameron, who declared on July 21st: “We can’t stand by when a strong nation bullies a weak one.” Indeed. Sadly, he was talking about Russia, who, for those fully bolted down, seems to have bullied no one.

Notes

1.http://pht2012.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/a-devastating-loss-to-the-tapestry/

2.http://rt.com/news/174144-south-america-gaza-genocide/

3.http://www.bdssouthafrica.com (subscribe, contact, site temporarily under construction.)

4.http://www.newsinenglish.no/2014/07/16/calls-to-expel-israeli-ambassador/

5.http://en.shafaqna.com/international-news/item/30340-middleeastmonitorcom/-norwegian-mp-calls-for-boycott-of-israel-over-its-gaza-offensive.html

6.http://psabi.se/?p=621

7. http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/palestine-campaigners-welcome-dublin-city-council-motion-calling-for-end-to-attacks-on-gaza-and-for-arms-embargo-trade-sanctions-on-israel-12332#sthash.98WcoSgL.dpuf

8.http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/17-eu-members-take-action-against-corporate-complicity-12200#sthash.xN7vcoes.dpuf

9.http://www.sun.mv/english/23670

10http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/nobel-celebrities-call-for-military-embargo-12316#sthash.BlqKTzg0.dpuf

11.http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/campaigns/end-the-bombing-hold-israel-accountable

12.http://www.globalresearch.ca/israeli-peace-movement-members-shouted-down-and-physically-attacked/5392698

ag_bar1_e0


4 Questions for Supporters of a Strike Against Syria

Washington’s Blog
September 8, 2013

Ask anyone still thinking of supporting an attack on Syria to explain why the U.S. started supporting the Syrian opposition years before any uprising had occurred there.

And ask them to explain why 4-Star General Wesley Clark was told – right after 9/11 – that Pentagon officials planned to attack 7 countries in 5 years … including Iraq, Libya and Syria:

I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September.

***

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

And ask them why this planning of regime change in Syria and 6 other countries started by 1991 at the latest:

It came back to me … a 1991 meeting I had with Paul Wolfowitz.

***

In 1991, he was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy – the number 3 position at the Pentagon. And I had gone to see him when I was a 1-Star General commanding the National Training Center.

***

And I said, “Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm.”

And he said: “Yeah, but not really, because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, and we didn’t … But one thing we did learn [from the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region – in the Middle East – and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes – Syria, Iran, Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.”

(Skip to 3:07 in the following video)

And ask them why the US and British governments considered using a false flag attack 50 years ago to topple the Syrian regime.

There are many other good questions as well, such as:

– Why would we attack when bombing Syria will only strengthen the hardliners … and harmAmerica’s national security?

– Why attack when the top U.S. military commander says that an attack would be both risky and expensive, and he can’t even say why we’d go to war with Syria?

– Why attack when everyone from troops and military officers to Pentagon war planners all oppose an attack on Syria ?

– Why attack when Congress members who have seen the classified intelligence aren’t even convincedthat the Syrian government used chemical weapons?

– Why attack when the U.S. and Britain have used chemical weapons in the last 10 years … and the U.S. supported the largest chemical weapons attack in history?

– Why attack when the attack itself would be a larger war crime even than chemical weapons use (here, here and here)?

**********************

Alex Jones on Fox News: Rebels More Likely to be Behind Chemical Weapons Attack

Infowars.com
September 8, 2013

Alex appears on Geraldo at Large to discuss Syria.

******************************

The West Dethroned

13447_117436364968260_100001056916300_107783_5057213_n

Paul Craig Roberts
Infowars.com
September 8, 2013

“The European race’s last three hundred years of evolutionary progress have all come down to nothing but four words: selfishness, slaughter, shamelessness and corruption.”
Yan Fu

It only took the rest of the world 300 years to catch on to the evil that masquerades as “western civilization,” or perhaps it only took the rise of new powers with the confidence to state the obvious. Anyone doubtful of America’s responsibility for the evil needs to read The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.

The “New American Century” proclaimed by the neoconservatives came to an abrupt end on September 6 at the G20 meeting in Russia. The leaders of most of the world’s peoples told Obama that they do not believe him and that it is a violation of international law if the US government attacks Syria without UN authorization.

Putin told the assembled world leaders that the chemical weapons attack was “a provocation on behalf of the armed insurgents in hope of the help from the outside, from the countries which supported them from day one.” In other words, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Washington–the axis of evil.

China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Argentina joined Putin in affirming that a leader who commits military aggression without the approval of the UN Security Council puts himself “outside of law.”

In other words, if you defy the world, Obama, you are a war criminal.

The entire world is waiting to see if the Israel Lobby can push Obama into the role of war criminal. Many are betting that Israel will prevail over the weak American president, a cipher devoid of all principle. A couple of decades ago before the advent of the American sheeple, one of the last tough Americans, Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly declared that “no US president can stand up to Israel.” America’s highest ranking military officer could not get an honest investigation of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.

We are yet to see an American president who can stand up to Israel. Or, for that matter, a Congress that can. Or a media.

The Obama regime tried to counter its smashing defeat at the G20 Summit by forcing its puppet states to sign a joint statement condemning Syria. However the puppet states qualified their position by stating that they opposed military action and awaited the UN report.

Most of Obama’s bought-and-paid-for “supporters” are impotent, powerless. For example Obama counts the UK as a supporting country because of the personal support of the discredited UK prime minister, David Cameron, despite the fact that Cameron was repudiated by the British Parliament in a vote that prohibits British participation in another of Washington’s war crimes. So, although Cameron cannot bring the British people and the British government with him, Obama counts the UK as a supporter of Obama’s attack on Syria. Clearly, this is a desperate count of “supporting countries.”

The Turkish puppet government, which has been shooting its peacefully demonstrating citizens down in the streets, with no protest from Obama or the Israel Lobby, supports “holding Syria accountable,” but not itself, of course, or Washington.

The puppet states of Canada and Australia, powerless countries, neither of which carry one ounce of world influence, have lined up to do the bidding of their Washington master. The entire point of having the top government job in Canada and Australia is the payoff from Washington.

The Obama cipher also claims the support of Japan and the Republic of Korea, another two countries devoid of all diplomatic influence and power of any kind. Helpless Japan is on the verge of being destroyed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, for which it has no solution. As the radiation leaks spread into the aquifer upon which Tokyo and surrounding areas rely, Japan is faced with the possibility of having to relocate 40 million people.

Saudi Arabia, implicated in the transfer to al-Nusra rebels of the chemical weapons used in the attack, supports Washington, knowing that otherwise its tyranny is toast. Even the neoconservatives headed by Obama’s shrill National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, want to overthrow the Saudis.

Obama claims also to have support from France and Germany. However both Hollande and Merkel have stated clearly that a diplomatic solution, not war, is their first choice and that the outcome rests on the UN.

As for Italy and Spain’s support, both governments are hoping to be rewarded with the Federal Reserve printing enough dollars to bail out their indebted economies so that both governments are not overthrown in the streets for their acquiescence to the looting of their countries by international banksters. Like so many Western governments, those of Italy and Spain, and, of course, Greece, support the international banksters, not their own citizens.

The president of the European Commission has declared that the European Union, the central overlord over Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, does not support a military solution to the Syrian Crisis. “The European Union is certain that the efforts should be aimed at a political settlement,” Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters at the G20 meeting. The EU has the power to issue arrest warrants for the heads of EU governments that participate in war crimes.

What this reveals is that the support behind the liar Obama is feeble and limited. The ability of the Western countries to dominate international politics came to an end at the G20 meeting. The moral authority of the West is completely gone, shattered and eroded by countless lies and shameless acts of aggression based on nothing but lies and self-interests. Nothing remains of the West’s “moral authority,” which was never anything but a cover for self-interest, murder, and genocide.

The West has been destroyed by its own governments, who have told too many self-serving lies, and by its capitalist corporations, who offshored the West’s jobs and technology to China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil, depriving the Western governments of a tax base and the support of its citizens.

It is difficult to know whether citizens in the West hate their corrupt governments any less than do Muslims, whose lives and countries have been devastated by Western aggression, or than do citizens of third world countries who have been impoverished by being looted by predatory First World financial organizations.

The idiot Western governments have pissed away their clout. There is no prospect whatsoever of the neoconservative fantasy of US hegemony being exercised over Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, South America, Iran. These countries can establish their own system of international payments and finance and leave the dollar standard whenever they wish. One wonders why they wait. The US dollar is being printed in unbelievable quantities and is no longer qualified to be the world reserve currency. The US dollar is on the verge of total worthlessness.

The G20 Summit made it clear that the world is no longer willing to go along with the West’s lies and murderous ways. The world has caught on to the West. Every country now understands that the bailouts offered by the West are merely mechanisms for looting the bailed-out countries and impoverishing the people.

In the 21st century Washington has treated its own citizens the way it treats citizens of third world countries. Untold trillions of dollars have been lavished on a handful of banks, while the banks threw millions of Americans out of their homes and seized any remaining assets of the broken families.

US corporations had their taxes cut to practically nothing, with few paying any taxes at all, while the corporations gave the jobs and careers of millions of Americans to the Chinese and Indians. With those jobs went US GDP, tax base, and economic power, leaving Americans with massive budget deficits, a debased currency, and bankrupt cities, such as Detroit, which once was the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

How long before Washington shoots down its own homeless, hungry, and protesting citizens in the streets?

Washington represents Israel and a handful of powerful organized private interests. Washington represents no one else. Washington is a plague upon the American people and a plague upon the world.

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Congress Members Who Have Seen Classified Evidence About Syria Say It Fails to Prove Anything

Classified Syria Intelligence Fails to Prove Assad Used Chemical Weapons

Washington’s Blog
September 8, 2013

The administration’s public case for chemical weapons use by the Syrian government is extremely weak, and former high-level intelligence officers say that publicly-available information proves that the Syrian government likely did not carry out the chemical weapons attacks.

The Obama administration claims that classified intelligence proves that it was the Assad government which carried out the attacks.

But numerous congressional members who have seen the classified intelligence information say that it is no better than the public war brief … and doesn’t prove anything.

Congressman Justin Amash said last week:

What I heard in Obama admn briefing actually makes me more skeptical of certain significant aspects of Pres’s case for attacking

He noted yesterday, after attending another classified briefing and reviewing more classified materials:

Attended another classified briefing on #Syria & reviewed add’l materials. Now more skeptical than ever. Can’t believe Pres is pushing war.

And today, Amash wrote:

If Americans could read classified docs, they’d be even more against #Syria action. Obama admn’s public statements are misleading at best.

Congressman Tom Harkin said:

I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered. I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial.

Congressman Michael Burgess said:

Yes, I saw the classified documents. They were pretty thin.

Yahoo News reports:

New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, for instance, left Thursday’s classified hearing and said she was opposed to the effort “now so more than ever.”

“I think there’s a long way to go for the president to make the case,” she said after the briefing. “It does seem there is a high degree of concern and leaning no.”

Senator Joe Manchin announced he was voting “no” for a Syria strike right after hearing a classified intelligence brieifng.

Congressman Alan Grayson points out in the New York Times:

The documentary record regarding an attack on Syria consists of just two papers: a four-page unclassified summary and a 12-page classified summary. The first enumerates only the evidence in favor of an attack. I’m not allowed to tell you what’s in the classified summary, but you can draw your own conclusion. [I.e. it was no more impressive than the 4-page public version.]

On Thursday I asked the House Intelligence Committee staff whether there was any other documentation available, classified or unclassified. Their answer was “no.”

The Syria chemical weapons summaries are based on several hundred underlying elements of intelligence information. The unclassified summary cites intercepted telephone calls, “social media” postings and the like, but not one of these is actually quoted or attached — not even clips from YouTube. (As to whether the classified summary is the same, I couldn’t possibly comment, but again, draw your own conclusion.)

***

And yet we members are supposed to accept, without question, that the proponents of a strike on Syria have accurately depicted the underlying evidence, even though the proponents refuse to show any of it to us or to the American public.

In fact, even gaining access to just the classified summary involves a series of unreasonably high hurdles.

We have to descend into the bowels of the Capitol Visitors Center, to a room four levels underground. Per the instructions of the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, note-taking is not allowed.

Once we leave, we are not permitted to discuss the classified summary with the public, the media, our constituents or even other members. Nor are we allowed to do anything to verify the validity of the information that has been provided.

And this is just the classified summary. It is my understanding that the House Intelligence Committee made a formal request for the underlying intelligence reports several days ago. I haven’t heard an answer yet. And frankly, I don’t expect one.

***

By refusing to disclose the underlying data even to members of Congress, the administration is making it impossible for anyone to judge, independently, whether that statement is correct.

The rush to war based upon skewed intelligence is very similar to Iraq.

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US: The Indispensable (Bombing) Nation

Pepe Escobar
Asia Times Online
Yes We Scan. Yes We Drone. And Yes We Bomb. The White House’s propaganda blitzkrieg to sell the Tomahawking of Syria to the US Congress is already reaching pre-bombing maximum spin – gleefully reproduced by US corporate media.
And yes, all parallels to Iraq 2.0 duly came to fruition when US Secretary of State John Kerry pontificated that Bashar al-Assad "now joins the list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein" as an evil monster. Why is Cambodia’s Pol Pot never mentioned? Oh yes, because the US supported him.
Every single tumbleweed in the Nevada desert knows who’s itching for war on Syria; vast sectors of the industrial-military complex; Israel; the House of Saud; the "socialist" Francois Hollande in France, who has wet dreams with Sykes-Picot. Virtually nobody is lobbying Congress NOT to go to war.
And all the frantic war lobbying may even be superfluous; Nobel Peace Prize winner and prospective bomber Barack Obama has already implied – via hardcore hedging of the "I have decided that the United States should take military action" kind – that he’s bent on attacking Syria no matter what Congress says.
Obama’s self-inflicted "red line" is a mutant virus; from "a shot across the bow" it morphed into a "slap on the wrist" and now seems to be "I’m the Bomb Decider". Speculation about his real motives is idle. His Hail Mary pass of resorting to an extremely unpopular Congress packed with certified morons may be a cry for help (save me from my stupid "red line"); or – considering the humanitarian imperialists of the Susan Rice kind who surround him – he’s hell bent on entering another war for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the House of Saud lobby under the cover of "moral high ground". Part of the spin is that "Israel must be protected". But the fact is Israel is already over-protected by an AIPAC remote-controlled United States Congress. [1]
What about the evidence?
The former "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" are doing their part, enthusiastically supporting the White House "evidence" with a dodgy report of their own, largely based on YouTube intel. [2]
Even Fox News admitted that the US electronic intel essentially came from the 8200 unit of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) – their version of the NSA. [3] Here, former UK ambassador Craig Murray convincingly debunks the Israeli intercepted intel scam.
The most startling counterpunch to the White House spin remains the Mint Press News report by AP correspondent Dale Gavlak on the spot, in Ghouta, Damascus, with anti-Assad residents stressing that "certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the gas attack”.
I had a jolt when I first read it – as I have been stressing the role of Bandar Bush as the dark arts mastermind behind the new Syria war strategy (See Bandar Bush, ‘liberator’ of Syria, Asia Times Online, August 13, 2013).
Then there’s the fact that Syrian Army commandos, on August 24, raiding "rebel" tunnels in the Damascus suburb of Jobar, seized a warehouse crammed with chemicals required for mixing "kitchen sarin". The commando was hit by some form of nerve agent and sent samples for analysis in Russia. This evidence certainly is part of President Vladimir Putin’s assessment of the White House claims as totally unconvincing.
On August 27, Saleh Muslim, head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Reuters the attack was "aimed at framing Assad”. And in case the UN inspectors found the "rebels" did it, "everybody would forget it". The clincher; "Are they are going to punish the Emir of Qatar or the King of Saudi Arabia, or Mr Erdogan of Turkey?"
So, in a nutshell, no matter how it happened, the locals in Ghouta said Jabhat al-Nusra did it; and Syrian Kurds believe this was a false flag to frame Damascus.
By now, any decent lawyer would be asking cui bono? What would be Assad’s motive – to cross the "red line" and launch a chemical weapons attack on the day UN inspectors arrive in Damascus, just 15 kilometers away from their hotel?
This is the same US government who sold the world the narrative of a bunch of unskilled Arabs armed with box cutters hijacking passenger jets and turning them into missiles smack in the middle of the most protected airspace on the planet, on behalf of an evil transnational organization.
So now this same evil organization is incapable of launching a rudimentary chemical weapons attack with DIY rockets – a scenario I first outlined even before Gavlak’s report. [4] Here is a good round-up of the "rebels" dabbling with chemical weapons. Additionally, in late May, Turkish security forces had already found sarin gas held by hardcore Jabhat al-Nusra jihadis.
So why not ask Bandar Bush?
We need to keep coming back over and over again to that fateful meeting in Moscow barely four weeks ago between Putin and Bandar Bush. [5]
Bandar was brazen enough to tell Putin he would "protect" the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He was brazen enough to say he controls all Chechens jihadis from the Caucasus to Syria. All they needed was a Saudi green light to go crazy in Russia’s underbelly.
He even telegraphed his next move; "There is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate. We believe that the Geneva II Conference will be very difficult in light of this raging situation."
That’s a monster understatement – because the Saudis never wanted Geneva II in the first place. Under the House of Saud’s ultra-sectarian agenda of fomenting the Sunni-Shi’ite divide everywhere, the only thing that matters is to break the alliance between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah by all means necessary.
The House of Saud’s spin du jour is that the world must "prevent aggression against the Syrian people". But if "the Syrian people" agrees to be bombed by the US, the House of Saud also agrees. [6]
Compared to this absurdity, Muqtada al-Sadr’s reaction in Iraq stands as the voice of reason. Muqtada supports the "rebels" in Syria – unlike most Shi’ites in Iraq; in fact he supports the non-armed opposition, stressing the best solution is free and fair elections. He rejects sectarianism – as fomented by the House of Saud. And as he knows what an American military occupation is all about, he also totally rejects any US bombing.
The Bandar Bush-AIPAC strategic alliance will take no prisoners to get its war. In Israel, Obama is predictably being scorned for his "betrayal and cowardice" in the face of "evil". The Israeli PR avalanche on congress centers on the threat of a unilateral strike on Iran if the US government does not attack Syria. As a matter of fact congress would gleefully vote for both. Their collective IQ may be sub-moronic, but some may be led to conclude that the only way to "punish" the Assad government is to have the US doing the heavy work as the Air Force for the myriad "rebels" and of course jihadis – in the way the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, the Kurdish peshmerga in Iraq and the anti-Gaddafi mercenaries in Libya duly profited.
So here, in a nutshell, we have the indispensable nation that drenched North Vietnam with napalm and agent orange, showered Fallujah with white phosphorus and large swathes of Iraq with depleted uranium getting ready to unleash a "limited", "kinetic" whatever against a country that has not attacked it, or any US allies, and everything based on extremely dodgy evidence and taking the "moral high-ground".
Anyone who believes the White House spin that this will be just about a few Tomahawks landing on some deserted military barracks should rent a condo in Alice in Wonderland. The draft already circulating in Capitol Hill is positively scary. [7]
And even if this turns out to be a "limited", "kinetic" whatever, it will only perpetuate the chaos. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has referred to it as "controlled chaos". Not really; the Empire of Chaos is now totally out of control.

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Depravity Redefined: Selling US Slaughter in Syria

Tony Cartalucci
Infowars.com
September 8, 2013

The corporate interests driving the United States, its resources, and policy, have invoked dead children in the latest and grisliest propaganda campaign yet, directed at the American public to build support for an otherwise unjustified and universally unwanted war with Syria.

Image: The Summer of 1939, after staging border incidents to frame Poland for unwarranted aggression, Hitler orders the Nazi invasion of Poland. This would not be the first or last time a Western nation used a manufactured “casus belli” to start a war of aggression, now considered a Nuremberg offense and a crime against world peace.

The headline of CNN’s “First on CNN: Videos show glimpse into evidence for Syria intervention,” suggests that by watching the grotesque videos, some sort of evidence exists to justify an assault on Syria. Instead, the videos only show yet again, the crime, and only the crime – a crime which no one, including the Syrian government, denies occurred. What is missing, as has been the case since the US leveled accusations against the Syrian government on August 21, 2013, is any evidence at all as to who actually committed this crime.

Even upon reading the US’ own assessments of the incident reveal there is no evidence. The best the US can say is [emphasis added]:

The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013.

Assessing with “high confidence” is not enough to execute a single criminal within the US justice system, yet somehow is enough to justify a military assault on a sovereign nation on the other side of the planet, whichposes no threat to the United States, and will inevitably lead to the death of Syrian soldiers and civilians, while assisting sectarian extremists, many of whom openly pledge allegiance to Al Qaeda. At face value, the US has no case against Syria, and no credibility after habitually using equally tenuous evidence as justification for military assaults against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and beyond.

That CNN is using dead children as “evidence” indicates that the dubious media outlet is attempting to manipulate the American public on the most visceral emotional level possible to sell a war the corporate interests CNN represents desires.

CNN and other Western outlets, have been caught overtly fabricating stories throughout the subversion of Syria, starting in 2011 when they disingenuously portrayed the flooding of Syria with armed extremists as the “Arab Spring,” up to and including featured interviews with “Syria Danny,” who was later revealed to be staging gun fire in the background of theatrical (and fabricated) casualty reports given to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Exploiting dead children to manipulate the public emotionally enables the US to circumvent not only its absolute lack of evidence, but hopefully the myriad of logical conclusions an otherwise rational, intelligent person might draw.

Regarding US Claims

US Claim #1: The Syrian “Regime” Used Chemical Weapons in a Desperate Bid to Save Damascus.

Reality: The US claims in its assessment that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in a desperate struggle for Damascus:

The Syrian regime has initiated an effort to rid the Damascus suburbs of opposition forces using the area as a base to stage attacks against regime targets in the capital. The regime has failed to clear dozens of Damascus neighborhoods of opposition elements, including neighborhoods targeted on August 21, despite employing nearly all of its conventional weapons systems. We assess that the regime’s frustration with its inability to secure large portions of Damascus may have contributed to its decision to use chemical weapons on August 21.

Yet it appears that mostly women and children were the victims of the attack – apparently killed in the middle of the night while they slept.

The US and its collaborators expect the world to believe: that the Syrian government risked using chemical weapons in Damascus, under the nose of UN inspectors, to clear out stalwart “opposition” fighters, and only managed to mass murder women and children in the process while giving the West a long-desired justification for military intervention. And despite “employing nearly all of its conventional weapons systems” and allegedly also sarin nerve gas, the Ghouta area was still under terrorist control after the attack.

It should be noted that Ghouta is on the very edge of Damascus, facing open country that stretches to the Al Qaeda infested Syrian-Iraqi border and the extremist hotbed of Al Anbar province in Iraq – implicating another, and the most likely culprit, Al Qaeda.

US Claim #2: The “Opposition” Lacks the Capabilities to Carry Out Such an Attack.

Reality: The US, in its assessment states:

We assess that the scenario in which the opposition executed the attack on August 21 is highly unlikely. The body of information used to make this assessment includes intelligence pertaining to the regime’s preparations for this attack and its means of delivery, multiple streams of intelligence about the attack itself and its effect, our post-attack observations, and the differences between the capabilities of the regime and the opposition.

The “opposition” in Syria is Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda allegedly carried out the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, destroying three (including Building 7) World Trade Center towers in New York City and striking at the very heart of America’s trillion dollar military might, the Pentagon itself – killing in a single day nearly 3,000 using nothing more than box-cutters, pepper spray, and 4 commandeered aircraft.

The US State Department since the very beginning of the violence has acknowledged that the most prominent fighting group operating inside Syria is Al Qaeda, more specifically, the al Nusra front. The US State Department’s official press statement titled, “Terrorist Designations of the al-Nusrah Front as an Alias for al-Qa’ida in Iraq,” states explicitly that:

Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.

It is also confirmed that many fighters joining al Nusra come from abroad, including from the recently decimated Libya, where a significant arsenal of chemical weapons have fallen into the hands of a sectarian extremist government which is openly funding and arming terrorists in Syria.

The US and its collaborators expect the world to believe: that despite Al Qaeda having struck at the very heart of US military might, after circumventing a trillion dollar defense system of unprecedented capabilities, it is now somehow incapable of obtaining and using against civilians, chemical weapons – a scenario the US has warned the world of and in fact, used as justification for invading Iraq in 2003. Either we’ve been lied to about the official explanation regarding 9/11, or we’ve been lied to about the capabilities of Al Qaeda in Syria – or more likely, both.

Conclusion

Clearly, at face value, none of what the US proposes regarding the alleged chemical attacks in Syria is rational. The propaganda rolled out against Syria is poorly retreaded lies from the illegal, abhorrent Iraq invasion and occupation and the more recent NATO atrocities committed against the Libyan people who are still suffering from NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” there.

What does it mean when the combined, multi-trillion dollar defense and intelligence resources of the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others are categorically incapable of providing a single shred of credible evidence to make their case? That evidence does not exist? Or that it does, but simply points the finger unfavorably in another direction?

Without actual evidence of who committed the crimes showcased on CNN, the first and most important question that must be answered is “cui bono?” – or – to whose benefit? Clearly, the chemical attacks carried out under the nose of UN inspectors, leaving shocking images of dead women and children used to manipulate the public on an emotional level, benefits the special interests driving US, British, European, and Arab policy. These are the same interests who in 2007 openly conspired to initiate a sectarian bloodbath to drown Lebanon, Syria, and Iran – a documented conspiracy being realized in full, beginning in 2011.

The danger of a Syrian government surviving the insidious machinations of Western special interests and restoring order in a unified Syria is an unacceptable outcome for Washington, London, Paris, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv. The unprecedented impetus behind this unpopular, universally opposed war with Syria reeks of desperation and a corporate-financier axis that has used and abused all of its tricks one too many times.

Whatever the outcome in Syria may be, these corporate-financier interests have exposed themselves and have long-since resigned their legitimacy. All that they do now, they do in the open, against the will of the world, amidst growing dissent, and against the background of a socio-technological paradigm shift undermining their institutions and international rackets permanently. However vigorously these interests appear to be digging their grave, it is still, ultimately a grave.

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No law will stop Obama’s democracy-bombs over Syria

Nile Bowie is a political analyst and photographer currently residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Get short URL

Published time: September 05, 2013 13:47

US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad)

US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad)

Regardless of how Congress votes, Obama is going to attack Syria. The president is doing his best to avoid constructive dialogue when the focus should be international law, not ‘international norms’ as defined by Washington.

As world leaders descend on the Russian city of St. Petersburg to discuss global tax regimes and international trade, this year’s G20 Summit is really a G20+1, with an extra seat allocated for the massive elephant in the room.

Many of the leaders attending have brought along their foreign ministers, as the summit will also informally serve as a global platform to discuss the sorry state of affairs in Syria. One can only speculate as to the substance of any exchanges between President Putin and his American counterpart and forced smiles will be in no short supply.

“He is lying and knows he is lying. It’s sad,” said Putin, of John Kerry’s address to the US Congress. That about sums it up – the lies and deceit of the Obama administration are so breathtaking, so innumerable, and they’re being trumpeted knowingly and shamelessly. Want a taste of highly moral and ethical narrative being championed in favor of “the Syrian people?” Look no further than the New York Times, with its recent headline “Bomb Syria, Even If It Is Illegal,” which argues that Obama and his poodles should “declare that international law has evolved and that they don’t need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria."

The establishment press is calling for blood, and they’re claiming the moral high ground while doing it – slightly pathological? You bet. The insane are really running the asylum on this one.

The Russians have been pushing for Geneva II with focused perseverance, but Barry and his flesh-eating rebels aren’t going to let that happen – not without a substantial sprinkling of Tomahawk cruise missiles over Damascus at the very least. The trigger-happy White House, with the most sophisticated military arsenal in the history of man, has demonstrated that it is unwilling to acknowledge any evidence that contradicts its cooker-cutter narrative – it is not open to reasoned arguments, and so the world yet again faces a dangerous precedent due to US intransigence.

To the surprise of many, the British parliament made clear that it would not drink the Cameron kool-aid, and even Ban Ki-moon chimed in to remind the Commander-in-Chief that the use of force is only legal in self-defense or with Security Council authorization.

Members of CodePink, Tighe Barry (L) and Medea Benjamin (2nd L) protest as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) arrives at a hearing on "Syria: Weighing the Obama Administration's Response" before the House Foreign Affairs Committee September 4, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP )

Members of CodePink, Tighe Barry (L) and Medea Benjamin (2nd L) protest as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) arrives at a hearing on "Syria: Weighing the Obama Administration’s Response" before the House Foreign Affairs Committee September 4, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP )

Air Force One flies above the law

International law? Pssh! Obama knows his bombs-for-peace program isn’t going to get past Russia and China, and in the absence of a unified coalition of the willing, he’s been forced to seek approval from Congress to maintain the façade of legitimacy.

When reading in-between the lines, it’s clear that the Obama administration will proceed with an attack on Syria whether Congress gives the green light or not – in all likelihood, Congress will vote ‘Yes’. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has broken its silence on Syria, and called for war.

Unfortunately, Congress can be bought and be sure that lobbyist dollars are being dealt out faster than you can say ‘Jabhat al-Nusra’ to seal the vote. “Emperor” Obama insists that he is not required to consult Congress to seek approval for his Syrian adventure, but did so anyway after receiving a letter from more than 160 members of the House of Representatives reminding him that to take the country to war without congressional approval is an impeachable offense, which doesn’t exactly bode well for his credentials as a constitutional lawyer.

And what about the evidence? The US government insists that it has “high confidence” that the Assad regime used chemical weapons, and that the evidence is so compelling that Washington is willing to go to war – before the UN team of chemical weapon experts have yet to make a determination. If you question this narrative, you are a conspiracy theorist. But what about the UN’s commission of inquiry led by Carla Del Ponte that implicated the rebels with using chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal? What about the Russian reports that claim the projectiles were crudely produced and clearly not military grade or consistent with the weapons in Assad’s stockpiles? What about reports that rebel forces were caught with cylinders of sarin nerve gas in southern Turkey near the Syrian border? As far as Obama is concerned, all of that has already been sent down the memory hole. It’s not the media’s job to present this information in a balanced and unbiased way, its only function is to sell war and educate the public about the benefits of twerking, as displayed by Miley Cyrus last week, stealing the headlines on CNN as US warships amassed in the Mediterranean.

A picture downloaded on September 4, 2013 from the US Navy website and taken on September 3, 2013 shows an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Blue Diamonds of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 launching off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Red Sea. (AFP Photo)

A picture downloaded on September 4, 2013 from the US Navy website and taken on September 3, 2013 shows an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Blue Diamonds of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 launching off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Red Sea. (AFP Photo)

Nobody believes the “limited strike” assurances

Just as in Iraq, the war on Syria is being sold as “limited strike” designed to hasten the rebel advance, but the original draft resolution for military intervention that Congress is set to vote on suggests otherwise. The wording of the text is so broad that Obama could virtually get away with anything he pleases. For example, the phrase “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate” is deliberately vague. The intentional legal ambiguousness of the text raised eyebrows in Congress (clearly the executive branch was trying to pull a fast one) so much so that Kerry was forced to prohibit "boots on the ground," which he argued against on the grounds of Obama having options if Syria "imploded".

If there is a real danger of Syria imploding, which it very well might under a sustained campaign of US aggression, then the limited strike rhetoric should be seen as what is it – empty assurances designed to rubber stamp the war as quickly as possible.

The drive to military intervention in Syria is transparently a move to topple the legal authorities in Damascus. If that happens, it would create a power vacuum that would immediately destabilize the country and pit dozens of warring factions against one another as they vie for power – Syria explodes. Al-Qaeda and other jihadi militias will declare caliphates all over Syria while persecuting Alawite minorities and Assad loyalists. The instability could lead to the fracturing of Syria under ethnic and sectarian lines into several smaller states, and the chaos would swallow the currently war-torn and destabilized Iraq.

The toppling of Assad is a transparent declaration of war against Hezbollah and Iran and could lead to a major regional conflict that would kill large numbers of people. In essence, nothing about this situation indicates that it will be limited. Moreover, the United States has few strategic benefits here, while Saudi Arabia and Israel are dragging Washington by the nose into this conflict. When Kerry recently testified in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he divulged that the House of Saud and Qatar even offered to bankroll the whole US operation in Syria – tough bargain for cash-strapped Washington hawks to pass up!

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on July 29, 2013, shows an aerial view of destruction in the al-Khalidiyah neighbourhood of the central Syrian city of Homs. (AFP Photo/Shaam News Network)

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition’s Shaam News Network on July 29, 2013, shows an aerial view of destruction in the al-Khalidiyah neighbourhood of the central Syrian city of Homs. (AFP Photo/Shaam News Network)

Obama wears rainbow suspenders

Few have speculated about the recent “joint” missile launch conducted by the US and Israel, which was first denied, then classified as an atmospheric rocket for scientific research purposes, and finally it was admitted to be a test launch of a military rocket.

Nobody, not even NATO, was informed about it and the sketchy cover story only heightens suspicions. The Pentagon eventually admitted that the launch was carried out with technical support from the US Defense Department. This incident was probably not a legitimate Israeli missile defense system test – a launch during the incredibly tense situation in the region suggests a quality of psychological warfare and panic creation, but ultimately the Americans were measuring the preparedness and response of the Syrians to an unannounced missile launch.

Either way, the move was entirely reckless, but nothing else can be expected from Washington and Tel Aviv. As Putin said, the US is lying and it knows it’s lying. The US has fueled the Syrian conflict from the beginning under the euphemistic guise of “democracy promotion” – first by training and financing anti-Assad activists, and once they built momentum in Syria, arms and foreign fighters began pouring in.

The Syrian conflict could not have reached this point without a steady influx of aid from the US, via its stooges in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar. Is it really worth it to pass the point of no return by setting off a powder keg in the region? The human losses thus far could pale in comparison to what would follow in a wider regional war. The further destruction of lives, of culture, and even of the Syrian state as it exists is what will follow.

If Washington was serious about peace, it would have called off the rebels and channeled all of its diplomatic muscle into Geneva II, and it would cooperate with Russia, the other largest stakeholder in this conflict. Obama could have met with Putin during this G20 Summit to bridge the differences and put effort behind a political solution, but no.

Obama will use his trip to Russia to meet with gay activists, a childish gesture that is entirely political – a weak attempt to stick it to Putin for his stance on various issues. Meeting with activists and members of civil society is not wrong in and of itself, but the fact that Obama chose to meet with LBGT activists at a time when his cooperation with Putin is most needed on Syria is a move that speaks volumes. Obama is demonstrably doing everything possible to avoid any attempts to make peace through dialogue.

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Sen Graham Warns of Nuke Strike After Missing Warheads Report

Senator warns South Carolina is nuclear bomb target following Infowars report on black ops nuke transfer

Alex Jones & Anthony Gucciardi
Infowars.com
September 5, 2013

Senator Lindsay Graham has warned South Carolinians about the threat of a ‘terrorist nuclear attack’ on the same day that our exclusive high level military intel revealed to us that nuclear warheads were being shipped to South Carolina from a major Texas airforce base under an ‘off the record’ black ops transfer.

Found in the CBS report entitled ‘Graham: Nukes In Hands Of Terrorists Could Result In Bomb Coming To Charleston Harbor’, the report details Graham’s warning that a lack of military action in Syria could result in a nuclear ‘bombing’ in Charleston, South Carolina — the very destination of the black ops nuclear transfer. The CBS report reads:

“He [Graham] says if there is no U.S. response [to Syria], Iran will not believe America’s resolve to block Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Graham also says those nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists could result in a bomb coming to Charleston Harbor.”

Graham is quite literally saying that if we do not launch a war with Syria, South Carolina may be nuked. And this ultimately reeks of yet another false flag being orchestrated by the United States government in order to send us into war, or at the very least a threat. Except this time, we’re talking about nuclear weapons. Amazingly, we were the first to get intel on this from our credible and extremely high level military source, who told us the following:

“Dyess is beginning to move out nuclear war heads today. I got a tap from DERMO earlier. He said it was the first time they have been even acknowledged since being put there in the 80′s. No signature was required for transfer… There was no directive. He said that Dyess Commander was on site to give authority to release. No one knew where they were going really, but the truck driver said to take them to South Carolina and another pick up will take them from there.”

This was sent to us before the Graham report came out warning about the nuclear attack on South Carolina, and coincides exactly with what Graham is saying. I am deeply concerned by these findings, andask everyone to spread the word on this information immediately. Whether or not Graham is receiving intel from higher ups and believes in a legitimate terror attack on the horizon is unknown, but the reality here is that we have intelligence that has linked the unsigned transfer of nuclear warheads to this exact location.

Here is the video report we did on Tuesday regarding the missing nuclear warheads:

Now, we need answers.

The entire event is eerily similar to the unsigned nuke transfer that is now known as the ’2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident’, in which nuclear warheads went ‘missing’ from Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale Air Force Base back in August of 2007. The Minot event, however, was major national news and was even covered by the mainstream media extensively. Disturbingly, however, numerous individuals from the base began dying like flies and committing suicide after the event — and that’s even when it was in the mainstream.

Hopefully, this entire thing will amount to nothing and pass by without any form of ‘terror’ attack. Hopefully the attendee during the speech who told the US News publication that Graham’s speech was‘absolute fear mongering’ is right. Unfortunately, the military source revealing this information is extremely accurate and is absolutely certain that a black ops nuclear transfer did indeed take place. And what’s more concerning is the fact that we have not heard from the source in quite some time.

We are risking our lives bringing you this report on the high level intel and connecting the dots here to what Lindsay is saying. You won’t hear about this in the mega media unless we force them to cover it, and it’s up to us to get this out there. For the first time, we may be able to utilize this high level intelligence to get answers and stop a potential attack.

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