Category: RT (TV network)



Putin: World War Is Inevitable

At This Point

Friday, October 31, 2014 7:35

(Before It’s News)

As the tide shifts back to war, because of winter nearing, Putin now states that war is inevitable in the following speech. The facts are that this world war is planned, it has been planned from the very beginning all the way from Pike’s letter about a world war in the 1800’s, which you can see at the bottom of this post. The planning of this war goes back further than that however. This is a biblical war that will be waged. This is the war of the End Times.

Crusaders2127 Video


As winter nears, war gets closer because of a timeline that parts of Europe will run out of resources for the winter. Russia recently enacted an embargo in the Arctic and is practically a declaration of war. The other part of this is the FACT that during this time if Ebola remains in America, which it will, then it will be able to spread just like influenza A. These are the days.

Below are the 10 main points posted by, “The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows:

1. Russia will no longer play games and engage in back-room negotiations over trifles. But Russia is prepared for serious conversations and agreements, if these are conducive to collective security, are based on fairness and take into account the interests of each side.

2. All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins. There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.

3. The builders of the New World Order have failed, having built a sand castle. Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia’s decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.

4. Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order, but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.

5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America’s ever-expanding “empire of chaos,” and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia’s challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.

6. Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image, but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.

7. Russia does not wish for the chaos to spread, does not want war, and has no intention of starting one. However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable, is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not war—nor does she fear it.

8. Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order—until their efforts start to impinge on Russia’s key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselves as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests, will be taught the true meaning of pain.

9. In her external, and, even more so, internal politics, Russia’s power will rely not on the elites and their back-room dealing, but on the will of the people.

To these nine points I would like to add a tenth:

10. There is still a chance to construct a new world order that will avoid a world war. This new world order must of necessity include the United States—but can only do so on the same terms as everyone else: subject to international law and international agreements; refraining from all unilateral action; in full respect of the sovereignty of other nations.”

Putin’s full speech: Video

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To sum it all up: play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world?

Text of Vladimir Putin’s speech and a question and answer session at the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s XI session in Sochi on 24 October 2014.

It was mentioned already that the club has new co-organizers this year. They include Russian non-governmental organizations, expert groups and leading universities. The idea was also raised of broadening the discussions to include not just issues related to Russia itself but also global politics and the economy.

An organization and content will bolster the club’s influence as a leading discussion and expert forum. At the same time, I hope the ‘Valdai spirit’ will remain – this free and open atmosphere and chance to express all manner of very different and frank opinions.

Let me say in this respect that I will also not let you down and will speak directly and frankly. Some of what I say might seem a bit too harsh, but if we do not speak directly and honestly about what we really think, then there is little point in even meeting in this way. It would be better in that case just to keep to diplomatic get-together, where no one says anything of real sense and, recalling the words of one famous diplomat, you realize that diplomats have tongues so as not to speak the truth.
We get together for other reasons. We get together so as to talk frankly with each other. We need to be direct and blunt today not so as to trade barbs, but so as to attempt to get to the bottom of what is actually happening in the world, try to understand why the world is becoming less safe and more unpredictable, and why the risks are increasing everywhere around us.

Today’s discussion took place under the theme: New Rules or a Game without Rules. I think that this formula accurately describes the historic turning point we have reached today and the choice we all face. There is nothing new of course in the idea that the world is changing very fast. I know this is something you have spoken about at the discussions today. It is certainly hard not to notice the dramatic transformations in global politics and the economy, public life, and in industry, information and social technologies.

Let me ask you right now to forgive me if I end up repeating what some of the discussion’s participants have already said. It’s practically impossible to avoid. You have already held detailed discussions, but I will set out my point of view. It will coincide with other participants’ views on some points and differ on others.

As we analyze today’s situation, let us not forget history’s lessons. First of all, changes in the world order – and what we are seeing today are events on this scale – have usually been accompanied by if not global war and conflict, then by chains of intensive local-level conflicts. Second, global politics is above all about economic leadership, issues of war and peace, and the humanitarian dimension, including human rights.

The world is full of contradictions today. We need to be frank in asking each other if we have a reliable safety net in place. Sadly, there is no guarantee and no certainty that the current system of global and regional security is able to protect us from upheavals. This system has become seriously weakened, fragmented and deformed. The international and regional political, economic, and cultural cooperation organizations are also going through difficult times.

Yes, many of the mechanisms we have for ensuring the world order were created quite a long time ago now, including and above all in the period immediately following World War II. Let me stress that the solidity of the system created back then rested not only on the balance of power and the rights of the victor countries, but on the fact that this system’s ‘founding fathers’ had respect for each other, did not try to put the squeeze on others, but attempted to reach agreements.

The main thing is that this system needs to develop, and despite its various shortcomings, needs to at least be capable of keeping the world’s current problems within certain limits and regulating the intensity of the natural competition between countries.

It is my conviction that we could not take this mechanism of checks and balances that we built over the last decades, sometimes with such effort and difficulty, and simply tear it apart without building anything in its place. Otherwise we would be left with no instruments other than brute force.

What we needed to do was to carry out a rational reconstruction and adapt it the new realities in the system of international relations.

But the United States, having declared itself the winner of the Cold War, saw no need for this. Instead of establishing a new balance of power, essential for maintaining order and stability, they took steps that threw the system into sharp and deep imbalance.

The Cold War ended, but it did not end with the signing of a peace treaty with clear and transparent agreements on respecting existing rules or creating new rules and standards. This created the impression that the so-called ‘victors’ in the Cold War had decided to pressure events and reshape the world to suit their own needs and interests. If the existing system of international relations, international law and the checks and balances in place got in the way of these aims, this system was declared worthless, outdated and in need of immediate demolition.

Pardon the analogy, but this is the way nouveaux riches behave when they suddenly end up with a great fortune, in this case, in the shape of world leadership and domination. Instead of managing their wealth wisely, for their own benefit too of course, I think they have committed many follies.

We have entered a period of differing interpretations and deliberate silences in world politics. International law has been forced to retreat over and over by the onslaught of legal nihilism. Objectivity and justice have been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Arbitrary interpretations and biased assessments have replaced legal norms. At the same time, total control of the global mass media has made it possible when desired to portray white as black and black as white.

In a situation where you had domination by one country and its allies, or its satellites rather, the search for global solutions often turned into an attempt to impose their own universal recipes. This group’s ambitions grew so big that they started presenting the policies they put together in their corridors of power as the view of the entire international community. But this is not the case.

The very notion of ‘national sovereignty’ became a relative value for most countries. In essence, what was being proposed was the formula: the greater the loyalty towards the world’s sole power center, the greater this or that ruling regime’s legitimacy.

We will have a free discussion afterwards and I will be happy to answer your questions and would also like to use my right to ask you questions. Let someone try to disprove the arguments that I just set out during the upcoming discussion.

The measures taken against those who refuse to submit are well-known and have been tried and tested many times. They include use of force, economic and propaganda pressure, meddling in domestic affairs, and appeals to a kind of ‘supra-legal’ legitimacy when they need to justify illegal intervention in this or that conflict or toppling inconvenient regimes. Of late, we have increasing evidence too that outright blackmail has been used with regard to a number of leaders. It is not for nothing that ‘big brother’ is spending billions of dollars on keeping the whole world, including its own closest allies, under surveillance.

Let’s ask ourselves, how comfortable are we with this, how safe are we, how happy living in this world, and how fair and rational has it become? Maybe, we have no real reasons to worry, argue and ask awkward questions? Maybe the United States’ exceptional position and the way they are carrying out their leadership really is a blessing for us all, and their meddling in events all around the world is bringing peace, prosperity, progress, growth and democracy, and we should maybe just relax and enjoy it all?

Let me say that this is not the case, absolutely not the case.

A unilateral diktat and imposing one’s own models produces the opposite result. Instead of settling conflicts it leads to their escalation, instead of sovereign and stable states we see the growing spread of chaos, and instead of democracy there is support for a very dubious public ranging from open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals.

Why do they support such people? They do this because they decide to use them as instruments along the way in achieving their goals but then burn their fingers and recoil. I never cease to be amazed by the way that our partners just keep stepping on the same rake, as we say here in Russia, that is to say, make the same mistake over and over.

They once sponsored Islamic extremist movements to fight the Soviet Union. Those groups got their battle experience in Afghanistan and later gave birth to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The West if not supported, at least closed its eyes, and, I would say, gave information, political and financial support to international terrorists’ invasion of Russia (we have not forgotten this) and the Central Asian region’s countries. Only after horrific terrorist attacks were committed on US soil itself did the United States wake up to the common threat of terrorism. Let me remind you that we were the first country to support the American people back then, the first to react as friends and partners to the terrible tragedy of September 11.

During my conversations with American and European leaders, I always spoke of the need to fight terrorism together, as a challenge on a global scale. We cannot resign ourselves to and accept this threat, cannot cut it into separate pieces using double standards. Our partners expressed agreement, but a little time passed and we ended up back where we started. First there was the military operation in Iraq, then in Libya, which got pushed to the brink of falling apart. Why was Libya pushed into this situation? Today it is a country in danger of breaking apart and has become a training ground for terrorists.

Only the current Egyptian leadership’s determination and wisdom saved this key Arab country from chaos and having extremists run rampant. In Syria, as in the past, the United States and its allies started directly financing and arming rebels and allowing them to fill their ranks with mercenaries from various countries. Let me ask where do these rebels get their money, arms and military specialists? Where does all this come from? How did the notorious ISIL manage to become such a powerful group, essentially a real armed force?  

As for financing sources, today, the money is coming not just from drugs, production of which has increased not just by a few percentage points but many-fold, since the international coalition forces have been present in Afghanistan. You are aware of this. The terrorists are getting money from selling oil too. Oil is produced in territory controlled by the terrorists, who sell it at dumping prices, produce it and transport it. But someone buys this oil, resells it, and makes a profit from it, not thinking about the fact that they are thus financing terrorists who could come sooner or later to their own soil and sow destruction in their own countries.

Where do they get new recruits? In Iraq, after Saddam Hussein was toppled, the state’s institutions, including the army, were left in ruins. We said back then, be very, very careful. You are driving people out into the street, and what will they do there? Don’t forget (rightfully or not) that they were in the leadership of a large regional power, and what are you now turning them into?

What was the result? Tens of thousands of soldiers, officers and former Baath Party activists were turned out into the streets and today have joined the rebels’ ranks. Perhaps this is what explains why the Islamic State group has turned out so effective? In military terms, it is acting very effectively and has some very professional people. Russia warned repeatedly about the dangers of unilateral military actions, intervening in sovereign states’ affairs, and flirting with extremists and radicals. We insisted on having the groups fighting the central Syrian government, above all the Islamic State, included on the lists of terrorist organizations. But did we see any results? We appealed in vain.

We sometimes get the impression that our colleagues and friends are constantly fighting the consequences of their own policies, throw all their effort into addressing the risks they themselves have created, and pay an ever-greater price.

Colleagues, this period of unipolar domination has convincingly demonstrated that having only one power center does not make global processes more manageable. On the contrary, this kind of unstable construction has shown its inability to fight the real threats such as regional conflicts, terrorism, drug trafficking, religious fanaticism, chauvinism and neo-Nazism. At the same time, it has opened the road wide for inflated national pride, manipulating public opinion and letting the strong bully and suppress the weak.

Essentially, the unipolar world is simply a means of justifying dictatorship over people and countries. The unipolar world turned out too uncomfortable, heavy and unmanageable a burden even for the self-proclaimed leader. Comments along this line were made here just before and I fully agree with this. This is why we see attempts at this new historic stage to recreate a semblance of a quasi-bipolar world as a convenient model for perpetuating American leadership. It does not matter who takes the place of the center of evil in American propaganda, the USSR’s old place as the main adversary. It could be Iran, as a country seeking to acquire nuclear technology, China, as the world’s biggest economy, or Russia, as a nuclear superpower.

Today, we are seeing new efforts to fragment the world, draw new dividing lines, put together coalitions not built for something but directed against someone, anyone, create the image of an enemy as was the case during the Cold War years, and obtain the right to this leadership, or diktat if you wish. The situation was presented this way during the Cold War. We all understand this and know this. The United States always told its allies: “We have a common enemy, a terrible foe, the center of evil, and we are defending you, our allies, from this foe, and so we have the right to order you around, force you to sacrifice your political and economic interests and pay your share of the costs for this collective defense, but we will be the ones in charge of it all of course.” In short, we see today attempts in a new and changing world to reproduce the familiar models of global management, and all this so as to guarantee their [the US’] exceptional position and reap political and economic dividends.

But these attempts are increasingly divorced from reality and are in contradiction with the world’s diversity. Steps of this kind inevitably create confrontation and countermeasures and have the opposite effect to the hoped-for goals. We see what happens when politics rashly starts meddling in the economy and the logic of rational decisions gives way to the logic of confrontation that only hurt one’s own economic positions and interests, including national business interests.

Joint economic projects and mutual investment objectively bring countries closer together and help to smooth out current problems in relations between states. But today, the global business community faces unprecedented pressure from Western governments. What business, economic expediency and pragmatism can we speak of when we hear slogans such as “the homeland is in danger”, “the free world is under threat”, and “democracy is in jeopardy”? And so everyone needs to mobilize. That is what a real mobilization policy looks like.

Sanctions are already undermining the foundations of world trade, the WTO rules and the principle of inviolability of private property. They are dealing a blow to liberal model of globalization based on markets, freedom and competition, which, let me note, is a model that has primarily benefited precisely the Western countries. And now they risk losing trust as the leaders of globalization. We have to ask ourselves, why was this necessary? After all, the United States’ prosperity rests in large part on the trust of investors and foreign holders of dollars and US securities. This trust is clearly being undermined and signs of disappointment in the fruits of globalization are visible now in many countries.   The well-known Cyprus precedent and the politically motivated sanctions have only strengthened the trend towards seeking to bolster economic and financial sovereignty and countries’ or their regional groups’ desire to find ways of protecting themselves from the risks of outside pressure. We already see that more and more countries are looking for ways to become less dependent on the dollar and are setting up alternative financial and payments systems and reserve currencies. I think that our American friends are quite simply cutting the branch they are sitting on. You cannot mix politics and the economy, but this is what is happening now. I have always thought and still think today that politically motivated sanctions were a mistake that will harm everyone, but I am sure that we will come back to this subject later.

We know how these decisions were taken and who was applying the pressure. But let me stress that Russia is not going to get all worked up, get offended or come begging at anyone’s door. Russia is a self-sufficient country. We will work within the foreign economic environment that has taken shape, develop domestic production and technology and act more decisively to carry out transformation. Pressure from outside, as has been the case on past occasions, will only consolidate our society, keep us alert and make us concentrate on our main development goals.

Of course the sanctions are a hindrance. They are trying to hurt us through these sanctions, block our development and push us into political, economic and cultural isolation, force us into backwardness in other words. But let me say yet again that the world is a very different place today. We have no intention of shutting ourselves off from anyone and choosing some kind of closed development road, trying to live in autarky. We are always open to dialogue, including on normalizing our economic and political relations. We are counting here on the pragmatic approach and position of business communities in the leading countries.

Some are saying today that Russia is supposedly turning its back on Europe – such words were probably spoken already here too during the discussions – and is looking for new business partners, above all in Asia. Let me say that this is absolutely not the case. Our active policy in the Asian-Pacific region began not just yesterday and not in response to sanctions, but is a policy that we have been following for a good many years now. Like many other countries, including Western countries, we saw that Asia is playing an ever greater role in the world, in the economy and in politics, and there is simply no way we can afford to overlook these developments.

Let me say again that everyone is doing this, and we will do so to, all the more so as a large part of our country is geographically in Asia. Why should we not make use of our competitive advantages in this area? It would be extremely shortsighted not to do so.

Developing economic ties with these countries and carrying out joint integration projects also creates big incentives for our domestic development. Today’s demographic, economic and cultural trends all suggest that dependence on a sole superpower will objectively decrease. This is something that European and American experts have been talking and writing about too.

Perhaps developments in global politics will mirror the developments we are seeing in the global economy, namely, intensive competition for specific niches and frequent change of leaders in specific areas. This is entirely possible.

There is no doubt that humanitarian factors such as education, science, healthcare and culture are playing a greater role in global competition. This also has a big impact on international relations, including because this ‘soft power’ resource will depend to a great extent on real achievements in developing human capital rather than on sophisticated propaganda tricks.

At the same time, the formation of a so-called polycentric world (I would also like to draw attention to this, colleagues) in and of itself does not improve stability; in fact, it is more likely to be the opposite. The goal of reaching global equilibrium is turning into a fairly difficult puzzle, an equation with many unknowns.
So, what is in store for us if we choose not to live by the rules – even if they may be strict and inconvenient – but rather live without any rules at all? And that scenario is entirely possible; we cannot rule it out, given the tensions in the global situation. Many predictions can already be made, taking into account current trends, and unfortunately, they are not optimistic. If we do not create a clear system of mutual commitments and agreements, if we do not build the mechanisms for managing and resolving crisis situations, the symptoms of global anarchy will inevitably grow.

Today, we already see a sharp increase in the likelihood of a whole set of violent conflicts with either direct or indirect participation by the world’s major powers. And the risk factors include not just traditional multinational conflicts, but also the internal instability in separate states, especially when we talk about nations located at the intersections of major states’ geopolitical interests, or on the border of cultural, historical, and economic civilizational continents.

Ukraine, which I’m sure was discussed at length and which we will discuss some more, is one of the example of such sorts of conflicts that affect international power balance, and I think it will certainly not be the last. From here emanates the next real threat of destroying the current system of arms control agreements. And this dangerous process was launched by the United States of America when it unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, and then set about and continues today to actively pursue the creation of its global missile defense system.

Colleagues, friends, I want to point out that we did not start this. Once again, we are sliding into the times when, instead of the balance of interests and mutual guarantees, it is fear and the balance of mutual destruction that prevent nations from engaging in direct conflict. In absence of legal and political instruments, arms are once again becoming the focal point of the global agenda; they are used wherever and however, without any UN Security Council sanctions. And if the Security Council refuses to produce such decisions, then it is immediately declared to be an outdated and ineffective instrument.

Many states do not see any other ways of ensuring their sovereignty but to obtain their own bombs. This is extremely dangerous. We insist on continuing talks; we are not only in favor of talks, but insist on continuing talks to reduce nuclear arsenals. The less nuclear weapons we have in the world, the better. And we are ready for the most serious, concrete discussions on nuclear disarmament – but only serious discussions without any double standards.

What do I mean? Today, many types of high-precision weaponry are already close to mass-destruction weapons in terms of their capabilities, and in the event of full renunciation of nuclear weapons or radical reduction of nuclear potential, nations that are leaders in creating and producing high-precision systems will have a clear military advantage. Strategic parity will be disrupted, and this is likely to bring destabilization. The use of a so-called first global pre-emptive strike may become tempting. In short, the risks do not decrease, but intensify.

The next obvious threat is the further escalation of ethnic, religious, and social conflicts. Such conflicts are dangerous not only as such, but also because they create zones of anarchy, lawlessness, and chaos around them, places that are comfortable for terrorists and criminals, where piracy, human trafficking, and drug trafficking flourish.

Incidentally, at the time, our colleagues tried to somehow manage these processes, use regional conflicts and design ‘color revolutions’ to suit their interests, but the genie escaped the bottle. It looks like the controlled chaos theory fathers themselves do not know what to do with it; there is disarray in their ranks.

We closely follow the discussions by both the ruling elite and the expert community. It is enough to look at the headlines of the Western press over the last year. The same people are called fighters for democracy, and then Islamists; first they write about revolutions and then call them riots and upheavals. The result is obvious: the further expansion of global chaos.

Colleagues, given the global situation, it is time to start agreeing on fundamental things. This is incredibly important and necessary; this is much better than going back to our own corners. The more we all face common problems, the more we find ourselves in the same boat, so to speak. And the logical way out is in cooperation between nations, societies, in finding collective answers to increasing challenges, and in joint risk management. Granted, some of our partners, for some reason, remember this only when it suits their interests.

Practical experience shows that joint answers to challenges are not always a panacea; and we need to understand this. Moreover, in most cases, they are hard to reach; it is not easy to overcome the differences in national interests, the subjectivity of different approaches, particularly when it comes to nations with different cultural and historical traditions. But nevertheless, we have examples when, having common goals and acting based on the same criteria, together we achieved real success.

Let me remind you about solving the problem of chemical weapons in Syria, and the substantive dialogue on the Iranian nuclear program, as well as our work on North Korean issues, which also has some positive results. Why can’t we use this experience in the future to solve local and global challenges?
What could be the legal, political, and economic basis for a new world order that would allow for stability and security, while encouraging healthy competition, not allowing the formation of new monopolies that hinder development? It is unlikely that someone could provide absolutely exhaustive, ready-made solutions right now. We will need extensive work with participation by a wide range of governments, global businesses, civil society, and such expert platforms as ours.

However, it is obvious that success and real results are only possible if key participants in international affairs can agree on harmonizing basic interests, on reasonable self-restraint, and set the example of positive and responsible leadership. We must clearly identify where unilateral actions end and we need to apply multilateral mechanisms, and as part of improving the effectiveness of international law, we must resolve the dilemma between the actions by international community to ensure security and human rights and the principle of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of any state.

Those very collisions increasingly lead to arbitrary external interference in complex internal processes, and time and again, they provoke dangerous conflicts between leading global players. The issue of maintaining sovereignty becomes almost paramount in maintaining and strengthening global stability.

Clearly, discussing the criteria for the use of external force is extremely difficult; it is practically impossible to separate it from the interests of particular nations. However, it is far more dangerous when there are no agreements that are clear to everyone, when no clear conditions are set for necessary and legal interference.

I will add that international relations must be based on international law, which itself should rest on moral principles such as justice, equality and truth. Perhaps most important is respect for one’s partners and their interests. This is an obvious formula, but simply following it could radically change the global situation.

I am certain that if there is a will, we can restore the effectiveness of the international and regional institutions system. We do not even need to build anything anew, from the scratch; this is not a “greenfield,” especially since the institutions created after World War II are quite universal and can be given modern substance, adequate to manage the current situation.

This is true of improving the work of the UN, whose central role is irreplaceable, as well as the OSCE, which, over the course of 40 years, has proven to be a necessary mechanism for ensuring security and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic region. I must say that even now, in trying to resolve the crisis in southeast Ukraine, the OSCE is playing a very positive role.

In light of the fundamental changes in the international environment, the increase in uncontrollability and various threats, we need a new global consensus of responsible forces. It’s not about some local deals or a division of spheres of influence in the spirit of classic diplomacy, or somebody’s complete global domination. I think that we need a new version of interdependence. We should not be afraid of it. On the contrary, this is a good instrument for harmonizing positions.

This is particularly relevant given the strengthening and growth of certain regions on the planet, which process objectively requires institutionalization of such new poles, creating powerful regional organizations and developing rules for their interaction. Cooperation between these centers would seriously add to the stability of global security, policy and economy.  But in order to establish such a dialogue, we need to proceed from the assumption that all regional centers and integration projects forming around them need to have equal rights to development, so that they can complement each other and nobody can force them into conflict or opposition artificially. Such destructive actions would break down ties between states, and the states themselves would be subjected to extreme hardship, or perhaps even total destruction.

I would like to remind you of the last year’s events. We have told our American and European partners that hasty backstage decisions, for example, on Ukraine’s association with the EU, are fraught with serious risks to the economy. We didn’t even say anything about politics; we spoke only about the economy, saying that such steps, made without any prior arrangements, touch on the interests of many other nations, including Russia as Ukraine’s main trade partner, and that a wide discussion of the issues is necessary. Incidentally, in this regard, I will remind you that, for example, the talks on Russia’s accession to the WTO lasted 19 years. This was very difficult work, and a certain consensus was reached.

Why am I bringing this up? Because in implementing Ukraine’s association project, our partners would come to us with their goods and services through the back gate, so to speak, and we did not agree to this, nobody asked us about this. We had discussions on all topics related to Ukraine’s association with the EU, persistent discussions, but I want to stress that this was done in an entirely civilized manner, indicating possible problems, showing the obvious reasoning and arguments. Nobody wanted to listen to us and nobody wanted to talk. They simply told us: this is none of your business, point, end of discussion. Instead of a comprehensive but – I stress – civilized dialogue, it all came down to a government overthrow; they plunged the country into chaos, into economic and social collapse, into a civil war with enormous casualties.

Why? When I ask my colleagues why, they no longer have an answer; nobody says anything. That’s it. Everyone’s at a loss, saying it just turned out that way. Those actions should not have been encouraged – it wouldn’t have worked. After all (I already spoke about this), former Ukrainian President Yanukovych signed everything, agreed with everything. Why do it? What was the point? What is this, a civilized way of solving problems? Apparently, those who constantly throw together new ‘color revolutions’ consider themselves ‘brilliant artists’ and simply cannot stop.

I am certain that the work of integrated associations, the cooperation of regional structures, should be built on a transparent, clear basis; the Eurasian Economic Union’s formation process is a good example of such transparency. The states that are parties to this project informed their partners of their plans in advance, specifying the parameters of our association, the principles of its work, which fully correspond with the World Trade Organization rules.

I will add that we would also have welcomed the start of a concrete dialogue between the Eurasian and European Union. Incidentally, they have almost completely refused us this as well, and it is also unclear why – what is so scary about it?

And, of course, with such joint work, we would think that we need to engage in dialogue (I spoke about this many times and heard agreement from many of our western partners, at least in Europe) on the need to create a common space for economic and humanitarian cooperation stretching all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

Colleagues, Russia made its choice. Our priorities are further improving our democratic and open economy institutions, accelerated internal development, taking into account all the positive modern trends in the world, and consolidating society based on traditional values and patriotism.

We have an integration-oriented, positive, peaceful agenda; we are working actively with our colleagues in the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and other partners. This agenda is aimed at developing ties between governments, not dissociating. We are not planning to cobble together any blocs or get involved in an exchange of blows.

The allegations and statements that Russia is trying to establish some sort of empire, encroaching on the sovereignty of its neighbors, are groundless. Russia does not need any kind of special, exclusive place in the world – I want to emphasize this. While respecting the interests of others, we simply want for our own interests to be taken into account and for our position to be respected.

we are well aware that the world has entered an era of changes and global transformations, when we all need a particular degree of caution, the ability to avoid thoughtless steps. In the years after the Cold War, participants in global politics lost these qualities somewhat. Now, we need to remember them. Otherwise, hopes for a peaceful, stable development will be a dangerous illusion, while today’s turmoil will simply serve as a prelude to the collapse of world order.

Yes, of course, I have already said that building a more stable world order is a difficult task. We are talking about long and hard work. We were able to develop rules for interaction after World War II, and we were able to reach an agreement in Helsinki in the 1970s. Our common duty is to resolve this fundamental challenge at this new stage of development.

Thank you very much for your attention.

So it Begins.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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."

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

west-nile-virus-ny

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.

West_Nile_virus_transmission_cycle

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.

Culex_sp_larvae

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.

WestNileGraphic_thumb

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.

westnilevirus

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)

west-nile-virus 2

  • 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.

Em wnvirus j7908i.jpg

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.

west_nile_virus

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.

FightTheBite_en-300x292

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.

94263909-west-nile-virus

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.

Print

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.

1280px-Mosquito_Netting

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.


Fukushima apocalypse: Years of ‘duct tape fixes’ could result in ‘millions of deaths’

rt.com
August 18, 2013

Smoke rises from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in this still image from video footage

Even the tiniest mistake during an operation to extract over 1,300 fuel rods at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan could lead to a series of cascading failures with an apocalyptic outcome, fallout researcher Christina Consolo told RT.

Fukushima operator TEPCO wants to extract 400 tons worth of spent fuel rods stored in a pool at the plant’s damaged Reactor No. 4. The removal would have to be done manually from the top store of the damaged building in the radiation-contaminated environment.

In the worst-case scenario, a mishandled rod may go critical, resulting in an above-ground meltdown releasing radioactive fallout with no way to stop it, said Consolo, who is the founder and host of Nuked Radio. But leaving the things as they are is not an option, because statistical risk of a similarly bad outcome increases every day, she said.

RT: How serious is the fuel rod situation compared to the danger of contaminated water build-up which we already know about?

Christina Consolo: Although fuel rod removal happens on a daily basis at the 430+ nuclear sites around the world, it is a very delicate procedure even under the best of circumstances. What makes fuel removal at Fukushima so dangerous and complex is that it will be attempted on a fuel pool whose integrity has been severely compromised. However, it must be attempted as Reactor 4 has the most significant problems structurally, and this pool is on the top floor of the building.

There are numerous other reasons that this will be a dangerous undertaking.

– The racks inside the pool that contain this fuel were damaged by the explosion in the early days of the accident.

– Zirconium cladding which encased the rods burned when water levels dropped, but to what extent the rods have been damaged is not known, and probably won’t be until removal is attempted.

– Saltwater cooling has caused corrosion of the pool walls, and probably the fuel rods and racks.

– The building is sinking.

– The cranes that normally lift the fuel were destroyed.

– Computer-guided removal will not be possible; everything will have to be done manually.

– TEPCO cannot attempt this process without humans, which will manage this enormous task while being bombarded with radiation during the extraction and casking.

– The process of removing each rod will have to be repeated over 1,300 times without incident.

– Moving damaged nuclear fuel under such complex conditions could result in a criticality if the rods come into close proximity to one another, which would then set off a chain reaction that cannot be stopped.

What could potentially happen is the contents of the pool could burn and/or explode, and the entire structure sustain further damage or collapse. This chain reaction process could be self-sustaining and go on for a long time. This is the apocalyptic scenario in a nutshell.

The water build-up is an extraordinarily difficult problem in and of itself, and as anyone with a leaky basement knows, water always ‘finds a way.’

‘Trivial in light of other problems at Fukushima, water situation could culminate in the chain reaction scenario’

At Fukushima, they are dealing with massive amounts of groundwater that flow through the property, and the endless pouring that must be kept up 24/7/365 to keep things from getting worse. Recently there appears to be subsidence issues and liquefaction under the plant.

TEPCO has decided to pump the water out of these buildings. However, pumping water out of the buildings is only going to increase the flow rate and create more of these ground issues around the reactors. An enormous undertaking – but one that needs to be considered for long-term preservation of the integrity of the site – is channelling the water away, like a drain tile installed around the perimeter of a house with a leaky basement, but on an epic scale.

Without this effort, the soils will further deteriorate, structural shift will occur, and subsequently the contents of the pools will shift too.

Any water that flows into those buildings also becomes highly radioactive, as it is likely coming into contact with melted fuel.

Without knowing the extent of the current liquefaction and its location, the location of the melted fuel, how long TEPCO has been pumping out water, or when the next earthquake will hit, it is impossible to predict how soon this could occur from the water problem/subsidence issue alone. But undoubtedly, pumping water out of the buildings is just encouraging the flow, and this water problem needs to be remedied and redirected as soon as possible.

RT: Given all the complications that could arise with extracting the fuel rods, which are the most serious, in your opinion?

CC: The most serious complication would be anything that leads to a nuclear chain reaction. And as outlined above, there are many different ways this could occur. In a fuel pool containing damaged rods and racks, it could potentially start up on its own at anytime. TEPCO has been incredibly lucky that this hasn’t happened so far.

‘One of the worst, but most important jobs anyone has ever had to do’

My second biggest concern would be the physical and mental fitness of the workers that will be in such close proximity to exposed fuel during this extraction process. They will be the ones guiding this operation, and will need to be in the highest state of alertness to have any chance at all of executing this plan manually and successfully. Many of their senses, most importantly eyesight, will be hindered by the apparatus that will need to be worn during their exposure, to prevent immediate death from lifting compromised fuel rods out of the pool and placing them in casks, or in the common spent fuel pool located a short distance away.

Think for a moment what that might be like through the eyes of one of these workers; it will be hot, uncomfortable, your senses shielded, and you would be filled with anxiety. You are standing on a building that is close to collapse. Even with the strongest protection possible, workers will have to be removed and replaced often. So you don’t have the benefit of doing such a critical task and knowing and trusting your comrades, as they will frequently have to be replaced when their radiation dose limits are reached. If they exhibit physical or mental signs of radiation exposure, they will have be replaced more often.

It will be one of the worst, but most important jobs anyone has ever had to do. And even if executed flawlessly, there are still many things that could go wrong.

RT: How do the potential consequences of failure to ensure safe extraction compare to other disasters of the sort – like Chernobyl, or the 2011 Fukushima meltdown?

CC: There really is no comparison. This will be an incredibly risky operation, in the presence of an enormous amount of nuclear material in close proximity. And as we have seen in the past, one seemingly innocuous failure at the site often translates into a series of cascading failures.

fallout

‘The site has been propped up with duct tape and a kick-stand for over two years’

Many of their ‘fixes’ are only temporary, as there are so many issues to address, and cost always seems to be an enormous factor in what gets implemented and what doesn’t.

As a comparison: Chernobyl was one reactor, in a rural area, a quarter of the size of one of the reactors at Fukushima. There was no ‘spent fuel pool’ to worry about. Chernobyl was treated in-situ…meaning everything was pretty much left where it was while the effort to contain it was made (and very expeditiously I might add) not only above ground, but below ground.

At Fukushima, we have six top-floor pools all loaded with fuel that eventually will have to be removed, the most important being Reactor 4, although Reactor 3 is in pretty bad shape too. Spent fuel pools were never intended for long-term storage, they were only to assist short-term movement of fuel. Using them as a long-term storage pool is a huge mistake that has become an ‘acceptable’ practice and repeated at every reactor site worldwide.

We have three 100-ton melted fuel blobs underground, but where exactly they are located, no one knows. Whatever ‘barriers’ TEPCO has put in place so far have failed. Efforts to decontaminate radioactive water have failed. Robots have failed. Camera equipment and temperature gauges…failed. Decontamination of surrounding cities has failed.

If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people’

We have endless releases into the Pacific Ocean that will be ongoing for not only our lifetimes, but our children’s’ lifetimes. We have 40 million people living in the Tokyo area nearby. We have continued releases from the underground corium that reminds us it is there occasionally with steam events and huge increases in radiation levels. Across the Pacific, we have at least two peer-reviewed scientific studies so far that have already provided evidence of increased mortality in North America, and thyroid problems in infants on the west coast states from our initial exposures.

We have increasing contamination of the food chain, through bioaccumulation and biomagnification. And a newly stated concern is the proximity of melted fuel in relation to the Tokyo aquifer that extends under the plant. If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people from the greater metropolitan area. As impossible as this sounds, you cannot live in an area which does not have access to safe water.

The operation to begin removing fuel from such a severely damaged pool has never been attempted before. The rods are unwieldy and very heavy, each one weighing two-thirds of a ton. But it has to be done, unless there is some way to encase the entire building in concrete with the pool as it is. I don’t know of anyone discussing that option, but it would seem much ‘safer’ than what they are about to attempt…but not without its own set of risks.

And all this collateral damage will continue for decades, if not centuries, even if things stay exactly the way they are now. But that is unlikely, as bad things happen like natural disasters and deterioration with time…earthquakes, subsidence, and corrosion, to name a few. Every day that goes by, the statistical risk increases for this apocalyptic scenario. No one can say or know how this will play out, except that millions of people will probably die even if things stay exactly as they are, and billions could die if things get any worse.

RT: Are the fuel rods in danger of falling victim to other factors, while the extraction process is ongoing? After all, it’s expected to take years before all 1,300+ rods are pulled out.

CC: Unfortunately yes, the fuel rods are in danger every day they remain in the pool. The more variables you add to this equation, and the more time that passes, the more risk you are exposed to. Each reactor and spent fuel pool has its own set of problems, and critical failure with any of them could ultimately have the end result of an above-ground, self-sustaining nuclear reaction. It will not be known if extraction of all the fuel will even be possible, as some of it may be severely damaged, until the attempt is made to remove it.

RT: Finally, what is the worst case scenario? What level of contamination are we looking at and how dire would the consequences be for the long-term health of the region?

CC: Extremely dire. This is a terrible answer to have to give, but the worst case scenario could play out in death to billions of people. A true apocalypse. Since we have been discussing Reactor 4, I’ll stick to that problem in particular, but also understand that a weather event, power outage, earthquake, tsunami, cooling system failure, or explosion and fire in any way, shape, or form, at any location on the Fukushima site, could cascade into an event of that magnitude as well.

‘Once the integrity of the pool is compromised that will lead to more criticalities’

At any time, following any of these possible events, or even all by itself, nuclear fuel in reactor 4′s pool could become critical, mostly because it will heat up the pool to a point where water will burn off and the zirconium cladding will catch fire when it is exposed to air. This already happened at least once in this pool that we are aware of. It almost happened again recently after a rodent took out an electrical line and cooling was stopped for days.

Once the integrity of the pool is compromised that will likely lead to more criticalities, which then can spread to other fuel. The heat from this reaction would weaken the structure further, which could then collapse and the contents of the pool end up in a pile of rubble on the ground. This would release an enormous amount of radioactivity, which Arnie Gundersen has referred to as a “Gamma Shine Event” without precedence, and Dr. Christopher Busby has deemed an “Open-air super reactor spectacular.”

This would preclude anyone from not only being at Reactor 4, but at Reactors 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, the associated pools for each, and the common spent fuel pool. Humans could no longer monitor and continue cooling operations at any of the reactors and pools, thus putting the entire site at risk for a massive radioactive release.

At least the northern half of Japan would be uninhabitable, and some researchers have argued that it already is’

Mathematically, it is almost impossible to quantify in terms of resulting contamination, and a separate math problem would need to be performed for every nuclear element contained within the fuel, and whether or not that fuel exploded, burned, fissioned, melted, or was doused with water to try to cool it off and poured into the ocean afterward.

Some researchers have even ventured to say that other nuke plants on the east coast of Honshu may need to be evacuated if levels get too high, which will lead to subsequent failures/fires and explosions at these plants as well. Just how profound the effect will be on down-winders in North America, or the entire northern hemisphere for that matter, will literally depend on where the wind blows and where the rain falls, the duration and extent of a nuclear fire or chain-reaction event, and whether or not that reaction becomes self-sustaining. At least the northern half of Japan would be uninhabitable, and some researchers have argued that it already is.

This is already happening to the nuclear fuel in the ground under the plant, but now it would be happening above ground as well. There is no example historically to draw from on a scale of this magnitude. Everything is theory. But anyone who says this can’t happen is not being truthful, because nobody really knows how bad things could get.

The most disturbing part of all of this is that Fukushima has been this dangerous, and precarious, since the second week of March 2011. The ante will definitely be upped once the fuel removal starts.

The mainstream media, world governments, nuclear agencies, health organizations, weather reporters, and the health care industry has completely ignored three ongoing triple meltdowns that have never been contained’

An obvious attempt to downplay this disaster and its consequences have been repeated over and over again from ‘experts’ in the nuclear industry that also have a vested interest in their industry remaining intact. And, there has been a lot of misleading information released by TEPCO, which an hour or two of reading by a diligent reporter would have uncovered, in particular the definition of ‘cold shutdown.’

Over 300 mainstream news outlets worldwide ran the erroneous ‘cold shutdown’ story repeatedly, which couldn’t be further from the truth…[it was] yet another lie that was spun by TEPCO to placate the public, and perpetuated endlessly by the media and nuclear lobby.

Unfortunately, TEPCO waited until a severe emergency arose to finally report how bad things really are with this latest groundwater issue…if we are even being told the truth. Historically, everything TEPCO says always turns out to be much worse than they initially admit.

‘Unfortunately there is no one better qualified to deal with this than the Russians, despite their own shortcomings’

I think the best chance of success is…that experts around the world drop everything they are doing to work on this problem, and have Russia either lead the containment effort or consult with them closely. They have the most experience, they have decades of data. They took their accident seriously and made a Herculean effort to contain it.

Of course we also know the Chernobyl accident was wrought with deception and lies as well, and some of that continues to this day, especially in terms of the ongoing health effects of children in the region, and monstrous birth defects. Unfortunately there is no one better qualified to deal with this than the Russians, despite their own shortcomings. Gorbachev tried to make up for his part in the cover-up of Chernobyl by opening orphanages throughout the region to deal with the affected children.

But as far as Fukushima goes, the only thing that matters now is if world leaders and experts join forces to help fix this situation. Regardless of what agendas they are trying to protect or hide, how much it will cost, the effect on Japan or the world’s economy, or what political chains this will yank.

The nuclear industry needs to come clean. If this leads to every reactor in the world being shut down, so be it. If the world governments truly care about their people and this planet, this is what needs to be done.

Renowned theoretical physicist Michio Kaku stated in an interview a few weeks after the initial accident that “TEPCO is literally hanging on by their fingernails.” They still are, and always have been. The Japanese have proven time and time again they are not capable of handling this disaster. Now we are entrusting them to execute the most dangerous fuel removal in history.

We are extremely lucky that this apocalyptic scenario hasn’t happened yet, considering the state of Reactor 4. But for many, it is already too late. The initial explosions and spent fuel pool fires may have already sealed the fate of millions of people. Time will tell. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not being honest, because there is just no way to know.

Humanity is FKD and by its own doing

don’t believe It read on here the latest news from Fukushima

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Reactor News Latest Real-Time Updates

Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan latest news updated in real-time by RSS feeds. For more Japan news see this page and for the latest earthquakes see this page!

For more nuclear news see this page!

Fukushima – Google News

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Fukushima leak is ‘much worse than we were led to believe’ – BBC News


BBC News

Fukushima leak is ‘much worse than we were led to believe’
BBC News
The ongoing problems at the Fukushima plant increased in recent days when the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) admitted that around 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank on the site. Moment of crisis. The Japanese
Fukushima Nuclear Leak Update: Radioactive Ground Water Nears SeaWunderground.com (blog)
Latest Radioactive Leak at Fukushima: How Is It Different?National Geographic
Fukushima: Clean Up But Little ConfidenceSky News
Reuters UKChristian Science Monitor
all 334 news articles »

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 7:52 pm

Fukushima: Water pouring down from hills – BBC News


BBC News

Fukushima: Water pouring down from hills
BBC News
Japan’s nuclear watchdog has said the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is facing a new “emergency” caused by a build-up of radioactive groundwater. In the mountains above the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, rainfall collects and flows down to the

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 1:33 pm

Fukushima inspectors ‘careless’, Japan agency says, as nuclear crisis grows – Reuters

Fukushima inspectors ‘careless’, Japan agency says, as nuclear crisis grows
Reuters
HIRONO, Japan (Reuters) – The operator of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant was careless in monitoring tanks storing dangerously radioactive water, the nuclear regulator said on Friday, the latest development in a crisis no one seems to know how

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 12:10 pm

Despite Fukushima, IAEA sees global progress on nuclear safety – Reuters UK

Despite Fukushima, IAEA sees global progress on nuclear safety
Reuters UK
VIENNA Aug 23 (Reuters) – Japan may be suffering persistent problems with its wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, but the U.N. atomic agency says “considerable progress” has been made globally in the past year to strengthen reactor safety. In a

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 11:35 am

Q&A: Fukushima leak problems – BBC News


BBC News

Q&A: Fukushima leak problems
BBC News
Our environment correspondent Matt McGrath assesses the ongoing efforts to deal with contaminated water at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. It has been revealed that some of the storage facilities used in the clean-up have been
Oh noes! New ‘CRISIS DISASTER’ at Fukushima! Oh wait, it’s nothing. AgainRegister
Fukushima Toxic Leak Alert Set To Be HikedSky News
Sorry, sorry, sorry: As the nuclear radiation crisis at Fukushima deepens, atThe Independent
Express.co.ukDaily Mail
all 364 news articles »

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 7:21 am

Fukushima warning: danger level at nuclear plant jumps to ‘serious’ – The Guardian


The Guardian

Fukushima warning: danger level at nuclear plant jumps to ‘serious’
The Guardian
Japan is to issue its gravest warning about the state of the wrecked FukushimaDaiichi nuclear power plant since the facility suffered a triple meltdown almost two and a half years ago. The new warning, expected on Wednesday, comes only a day after the

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 2:55 am

Fukushima Toxic Leak: Workers Check 300 Tanks – Sky News

Fukushima Toxic Leak: Workers Check 300 Tanks
Sky News
Workers at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant say they have found radiation hotspots but no new leaks after checking hundreds of water tanks. Some 300 tonnes of toxic liquid is believed to have escaped from one of the tanks, which are used to

Posted on 22 August 2013 | 4:47 pm

Japan nuclear agency upgrades Fukushima alert level – BBC News


BBC News

Japan nuclear agency upgrades Fukushima alert level
BBC News
Japan’s nuclear agency has upgraded the severity level of a radioactive water leak at the Fukushima plant from one to three on an international scale. Highly radioactive water was found to be leaking from a storage tank into the ground at the plant on

Posted on 22 August 2013 | 11:07 am

The News From Fukushima Just Gets Worse, and the Japanese Public Wants … – TIME

The News From Fukushima Just Gets Worse, and the Japanese Public Wants
TIME
Earlier this month, at a symposium on the Fukushima nuclear disaster held at the Tokyo International Forum, an unlikely cast gathered to vent fears now gaining traction in Japan. The panel included a bank president, investigative journalist, world

Posted on 22 August 2013 | 10:28 am

Fukushima alert level rise ‘significant’ – BBC News


BBC News

Fukushima alert level rise ‘significant’
BBC News
The increase of the severity level of a radioactive water leak at the Fukushimaplant is being regarded as a “significant” rise in Japan. The leak was first classified as level one, but has now been upgraded to level three of a possible seven on the

Posted on 22 August 2013 | 8:26 am

Fukushima – Yahoo! News Search Results

Fukushima water handling ‘sloppy’: nuclear watchdog

Nuclear watchdog inspectors who toured Japan’s crippled Fukushima plant following the discovery of a huge radioactive leak declared Friday that water storage at the site was “sloppy”.

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 8:07 pm

New Fukushima leak puts spotlight on plant operator – again

More than two years after it suffered a triple meltdown, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is once more setting off alarm bells around the world as calls mount at home for the cleanup to be taken out of the hands of Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco).

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 3:32 pm

Insight: In Fukushima end-game, radiated water has nowhere to go

By Mari Saito and Antoni Slodkowski TOKYO (Reuters) – In the weeks after the Fukushima nuclear plant was destroyed by a triple meltdown in March 2011, the plant’s owner turned to three of Japan’s largest construction companies for a quick fix to store radiated water that was pooling in the disaster zone. The result was a rush order for steel tanks supplied by Taisei Corp, Shimizu Corp and Hazama …

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 3:20 pm

Radioactive groundwater at Fukushima nears Pacific

TOKYO (AP) — Deep beneath Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station, a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant’s reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the Pacific.

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 2:42 pm

Radioactive ground water under Fukushima nears sea

TOKYO (AP) — Deep beneath Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant’s reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the sea.

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 10:39 am

Fukushima’s new looming crisis: Radioactive groundwater seeping toward ocean

Deep beneath Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant’s reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the sea.

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 10:21 am

Fukushima operator’s monitoring of failing storage tanks inadequate-agency

Hirono, Japan (Reuters) – The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant failed to properly monitor storages tanks holding dangerously contaminated water that have sprung leaks and are a source of international concern, the country’s nuclear regulator said on Friday. Tokyo Electric Power Co. also failed to keep records of inspections of the tanks, Nuclear Regulation Authority member Toyoshi …

Posted on 23 August 2013 | 7:17 am

Fukushima’s News Only Gets Worse

Officials meet embarrassment after downplaying issues

Posted on 22 August 2013 | 1:53 pm

Fukushima leak erodes confidence in nuclear power

Fukushima leak puts the spotlight back on the cleanup of the nuclear disaster. The Fukushima leak is a blow to nuclear power, which a few years ago appeared to be on the upswing.

Posted on 21 August 2013 | 7:23 pm

Cosmic Rays May Reveal Damage to Fukushima’s Nuclear Reactors

Radiation is still leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after the 2011 tsunami-related meltdown in Japan, making any damage assessment dangerous for both humans and machines. Instead, high-energy particles created by cosmic rays striking the Earth’s atmosphere could provide an X-ray-style image of the damage from a much safer distance.

Posted on 21 August 2013 | 11:57 am