Category: SCIENCE


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


It’s all scripted! Ebola outbreak

and impossibly rapid vaccine

response clearly scripted; U.S.

govt. patented Ebola in 2010

and now owns all victims’ blood

September 21, 2014 2:39 pm EST

By Mike Adams | Natural News

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

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

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

Spontaneous vaccine development a scientific impossibility

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

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

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

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

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

Near-proof that this was all scripted

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

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

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

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

The United States government now owns the patent on Ebola

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

That patent, number CA2741523A1, is available here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ebola is a genetically modified organism”

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

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

He goes on to explain:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn the truth at BioDefense.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This article originally appeared on Natural News.

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

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

High security laboratory

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

marburg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bird_flu

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.”

F2.medium

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

H5N1virus

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

h5n1

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

bird-flu-0002

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.

The-Difference-bird-flu-avian-influenza-a-h5n1-30089904-754-552

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.

11951_12034_3

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.

Figure 5_MACKAY

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.”

h5n1_online_630px

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.

1a02f12

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.

bw24b

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

Arenaviridae-Schema

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

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

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

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

824-112474

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

Manchupo

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

NAmerican viruses

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

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

KFD-Distribution-In-India

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

kyasanur-virus-ecology

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.

pathogens-02-00402-g001-1024

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.

kyasanur_forest_disease

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.

flaviviridae

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anthrax is treated with antibiotics.

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

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.

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.

CSIRO_ScienceImage_24_The_Nipah_virus

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

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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.

sn-virus

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

The scientists who identified the virus report:

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

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

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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.

photo1

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

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

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

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

tuberculosis1

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

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

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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.

tuberculosis_incidence_global_2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Chickenpox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poxvirus model in section (Pov_Ray)

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

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

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 2

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

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 3

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USA WEST NILE VIRUS

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

WNV_life_cycle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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).

HBV

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

All-about-hepatitis-C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Causes of hep C(4)

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anthrax

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

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

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

Anthrax is treated with antibiotics.

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

Malaria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

Phylogenetic_tree_of_West_Nile_viruses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

West Nile Virus Replication

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

Kyasanur Forest Disease Host

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

All-about-hepatitis-C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Causes of hep C(4)

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anthrax

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

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

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

Anthrax is treated with antibiotics.

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

Malaria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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."

Chickenpox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poxvirus model in section (Pov_Ray)

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

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

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 2

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

Poxvirus Pov-Ray model 3

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USA WEST NILE VIRUS

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

WNV_life_cycle

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

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

Phylogenetic_tree_of_West_Nile_viruses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

West Nile Virus Replication

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

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


Ebola Biological Hazard Pandemic in Africa

 

Updated:
Sunday, 14 September, 2014 at 14:29 UTC

Description

Sierra Leone has lost a fourth doctor to Ebola after a failed effort to transfer her abroad for medical treatment, a government official said Sunday, a huge setback to the impoverished country that is battling the virulent disease amid a shortage of health care workers. Dr. Olivet Buck died late Saturday, hours after the World Health Organization said it could not help medically evacuate her to Germany, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo confirmed to The Associated Press. Sierra Leone had requested funds from WHO to transport Buck to Europe, saying the country could not afford to lose another doctor. WHO had said that it could not meet the request but instead would work to give Buck "the best care possible" in Sierra Leone, including possible access to experimental drugs. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick patients, making doctors and nurses especially vulnerable to contracting the virus that has no vaccine or approved treatment. More than 300 health workers have become infected with Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Nearly half of them have died, according to WHO. The infections have exacerbated shortages of doctors and nurses in West African countries that were already low on skilled health personnel. So far, only foreign health and aid workers have been evacuated abroad from Sierra Leone and Liberia for treatment. Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, Sierra Leone’s top Ebola doctor, was being considered for evacuation to a European country when he died of the disease in late July.

 

Updated:
Tuesday, 02 September, 2014 at 18:14 UTC

Description

A second American doctor working in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola, missionary group Serving in Mission USA is confirming, as per the AP. It’s not clear how the doctor, who was not named, contracted the virus: He was working in an obstetrics unit in a Monrovia hospital, and not in the isolation unit. He immediately isolated himself and is said to be doing well, reports NBC. SIM USA’s president, Bruce Johnson, said in a statement: "My heart was deeply saddened, but my faith was not shaken, when I learned another of our missionary doctors contracted Ebola. As a global mission, we are surrounding our missionary with prayer, as well as our Liberian SIM/ELWA colleagues, who continue fighting the Ebola epidemic in Liberia."

 

Updated:
Wednesday, 27 August, 2014 at 14:12 UTC

Description

A senior adviser to Sierra Leone’s president says a third doctor has died from Ebola, marking a setback in the country’s fight against the virulent disease. Presidential adviser Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said Wednesday that Dr. Sahr Rogers had been working in a clinic in the eastern town of Kenema when he contracted the virus. News of his death came as a Senegalese epidemiologist working in Sierra Leone was evacuated to Germany for medical treatment. He had been doing surveillance work for the World Health Organization. Ebola is spread by direct contact with the bodily fluids of people sick with the virus. Health workers have been the most vulnerable because of their proximity to patients. The WHO says more than 120 health workers have died in the four affected countries.

 

Updated:
Monday, 18 August, 2014 at 08:22 UTC

Description

Liberian officials fear Ebola could soon spread through the capital’s largest slum after residents raided a quarantine center for suspected patients and took items including bloody sheets and mattresses. The violence in the West Point slum occurred late Saturday and was led by residents angry that patients were brought to the holding center from other parts of Monrovia, Tolbert Nyenswah, a$sistant health minister, said Sunday. Local witnesses told Agence France Presse that there were armed men among the group that attacked the clinic. "They broke down the doors and looted the place. The patients all fled," said Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack and whose report was confirmed by residents and the head of Health Workers a$sociation of Liberian, George Williams. Up to 30 patients were staying at the center and many of them fled at the time of the raid, said Nyenswah. Once they are located they will be transferred to the Ebola center at Monrovia’s largest hospital, he said. The attack comes just one day after a report of a crowd of several hundred local residents, chanting, ‘No Ebola in West Point,’ drove away a burial team and their police escort that had come to collect the bodies of suspected Ebola victims in the slum in the capital, Reuters reports. West Point residents went on a "looting spree," stealing items from the clinic that were likely infected, said a senior police official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the press. The residents took medical equipment and mattresses and sheets that had bloodstains, he said. Ebola is spread through bodily fluids including blood, vomit, feces and sweat. "All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients," the official said, adding that he now feared "the whole of West Point will be infected." Some of the looted items were visibly stained with blood, vomit and excrement, said Richard Kieh, who lives in the area.
The incident creates a new challenge for Liberian health officials who were already struggling to contain the outbreak. Liberian police restored order to the West Point neighborhood Sunday. Sitting on land between the Montserrado River and the Atlantic Ocean, West Point is home to at least 50,000 people, according to a 2012 survey. Distrust of government runs high in West Point, with rumors regularly circulating that the government plans to clear the slum out entirely. Though there had been talk of putting West Point under quarantine should Ebola break out there, a$sistant health minister Nyenswah said Sunday no such step has been taken. "West Point is not yet quarantined as being reported," he said. While the armed attack is likely the most brazen attack on health workers trying to contain the deadly outbreak, it is far from the first in the region worst-hit by it. There have been numerous reports of locals attacking those trying to stop the disease by throwing stones at aid workers, blocking aid convoys and forcibly removing patients from clinics. Many locals blame foreigners for bringing the disease, saying it had never been there before they arrived. The mistrust of central government and help from outside runs deep in this part of West Africa. All three countries worst-hit by the outbreak — Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea — are relatively fresh off decades of either brutal civil war or iron-fisted dictatorships. The Ebola outbreak that has k!lled more than 1,100 people in West Africa could last another six months, the Doctors Without Borders charity group said Friday. One aid worker acknowledged that the true de@th toll is still unknown. New figures released by the World Health Organization showed that Liberia has recorded more Ebola de@ths – 413 – than any of the other affected countries. Tarnue Karbbar, who works for the aid group Plan International in northern Liberia, said response teams simply aren’t able to document all the erupting Ebola cases. Many of the sick are still being hidden at home by their relatives, who are too fearful of going to an Ebola treatment center.
Others are being buried before the teams can get to remote areas, he said. In the last several days, about 75 cases have emerged in Voinjama, a single Liberian district. "Our challenge now is to quarantine the area (in Voinjama) to successfully break the transmission," he said. There is no cure or licensed treatment for Ebola and patients often die gruesome de@ths with external bleeding from their mouths, eyes or ears. The k!ller virus is transmitted through bodily fluids like blood, sweat, urine and diarrhea. A handful of people have received an experimental drug whose effectiveness is unknown. Liberia’s a$sistant health minister, Tolbert Nyenswah, said three people in Liberia were receiving the ZMapp on Friday. Previously, only two Americans and a Spaniard had gotten it. The Americans are improving, but it is not known what role ZMapp played. The Spaniard died. The American doctor infected with Ebola while working in Liberia said Friday he is "recovering in every way" and holding onto the hope of a reunion with his family. Dr. Kent Brantly remained hospitalized Friday at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. His comments came in a statement issued through the Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse. The World Health Organization has approved the use of such untested drugs but their supply is extremely limited. The U.N. health agency has said the focus on containing the outbreak should be on practicing good hygiene and quickly identifying the sick and isolating them. That task is made harder, however, by the shortage of treatment facilities. Beds in such centers are filling up faster than they can be provided, evidence that the outbreak in West Africa is far more severe than the numbers show, said Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for World Health Organization in Geneva.
There are 40 beds at one treatment center that Doctors Without Borders recently took over in one quarantined county in Liberia. But 137 people have flocked there, packing the hallways until they can be sorted into those who are infected and those are not, said Joanne Liu, the group’s international president. Nyenswah described a similar situation in a treatment center in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia: In one ward meant to accommodate up to 25 people, 80 are now crowded in. Another treatment center with 120 beds is expected to open Saturday outside Monrovia. "It’s absolutely dangerous," said Liu, who recently returned from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. "With the massive influx of patients that we had over the last few days, we’re not able to keep zones of patients anymore. Everybody is mixed." Liu likened the situation to a state of war because the "frontline" was always moving and unpredictable. She said the outbreak could last six more months. The de@th toll is now 1,145 people in four countries across West Africa, according to figures released Friday by the World Health Organization. At least 2,127 cases have been reported in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, WHO said. Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, told journalists Friday that the country has lost two doctors and 32 nurses to Ebola. "We need specialized clinicians and expertise and that is why we are appealing to the international community for an enhanced response to our f!ght" against Ebola, he said. The Ebola crisis is also disrupting food supplies and transportation. Some 1 million people in isolated areas could need food a$sistance in the coming months, according to the U.N. World Food Program, which is preparing a regional emergency operation. Amid a growing number of airline cancellations, the U.N. will start flights for humanitarian workers on Saturday to ensure that aid operations aren’t interrupted. In the coming weeks, they will also ferry staff to remote areas by helicopter.

 

Updated:
Thursday, 14 August, 2014 at 03:27 UTC

Description

Guinean President Alpha Conde on Wednesday declared a deadly Ebola outbreak that has killed 377 in the west African nation a "health emergency". "The World Health Organisation has declared a global health emergency over Ebola. Considering that Guinea is a signatory to the WHO constitution I declare Ebola a national health emergency in Guinea," Conde said in a statement read on state television. He announced a series of nine measures including strict controls at border points, travel restrictions and a ban on moving bodies "from one town to another until the end of the epidemic." In addition all suspected victims will automatically be hospitalised until laboratory results are obtained, Conde said. He said all people who had been in contact with Ebola victims were "formally banned from leaving their homes until the end of their surveillance period." Anyone found in contravention of the measures would be considered "a threat to public health and will face the might of the law," the statement said, without elaborating. The current outbreak of Ebola — the worst since the disease was discovered in then-Zaire four decades ago — was first detected in Guinea at the start of the year. It has claimed 1,069 lives and infected nearly 2,000 people as it has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

 

Updated:
Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 at 14:38 UTC

Description

Eight Chinese medical workers who treated Ebola patients have been quarantined in Sierra Leone, as health experts grapple with ethical questions over the use of experimental drugs to combat the killer virus. China’s ambassador to Sierra Leone, Zhao Yanbo, said seven doctors and one nurse who treated Ebola patients had been placed under quarantine, but would not be drawn on whether they were displaying symptoms of the disease. In addition, 24 nurses in Sierra Leone, most from the military hospital in the capital, have also been quarantined, according to Yanbo and hospital director Sahr Foday. Gripped by panic, west African nations battling the tropical disease ramped up drastic containment measures that have caused transport chaos, price hikes and food shortages. The World Health Organisation has scrambled to draft guidelines for the use of experimental medicines at a meeting in Geneva as the death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in history neared 1,000. It is to present its conclusions on Tuesday.

 

Updated:
Friday, 08 August, 2014 at 03:48 UTC

Description

The army blockaded on Thursday rural areas in Sierra Leone that have been hit by the deadly Ebola virus, a senior officer said, after neighbouring Liberia declared a state of emergency to tackle the worst outbreak of the disease on record.

 

Updated:
Friday, 08 August, 2014 at 03:49 UTC

Description

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has declared a 90-day State of Emergency throughout Liberia as government steps up its fight to restrain the spread of the lethal Ebola virus disease which has now spread to eight of the country’s 15 counties. "By the virtue of the powers vested in me as President of the Republic of Liberia, I, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, and in keeping with Article 86(a) (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, hereby declare a State of Emergency throughout the Republic of Liberia effective as of August 6, 2014 for a period of 90 days," the Liberian leader, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia announced, adding further, "Under this State of Emergency, the Government will institute extraordinary measures, including, if need be, the suspensions of certain rights and privileges." According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made this rare Declaration when she addressed the Nation late Wednesday evening, August 6, 2014, from the studios of the state broadcaster, the Liberia Broadcasting System, and the Renaissance Communications Incorporated, both in Paynesville City. As mandated by the Constitution, the Liberian leader is expected to immediately forward this Declaration of the State of Emergency to the National Legislature, accompanied by an explanation of the facts and circumstances leading to the Declaration.
President Sirleaf, who is also chair of the National Task Force on Ebola, addressing the Nation said the deadly Ebola virus now poses serious risks to the health, safety, security and welfare of the nation and beyond the public health risk, the disease is now undermining the economic stability of the country to the tone of millions of dollars in lost revenue, productivity and economic activity. Liberia is among three countries in the Mano River Union experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of the virus, the larger ever since this virus was first discovered. "The heath care system in the county is now under immense strain and the Ebola epidemic is having a chilling effect on the overall health care delivery," the Liberian leader emphasized, explaining further, "Out of fear of being infected with the disease, health care practitioners are afraid to accept new patients, especially in community clinics all across the country. Consequently, many common diseases which are especially prevalent during the rainy season, such as malaria, typhoid and common cold, are going untreated and may lead to unnecessary and preventable deaths." She pointed out that the aggregate number of cases confirmed, probable and suspected in Liberia has now exceeded 500 with about 271 cumulative deaths with 32 deaths among health care workers; noting that the death rate among citizens, especially among health workers is alarming. On measures the Government has taken so far to respond to the crisis, President Sirleaf instructed all non-essential government staff to stay home for 30 days, ordered the closure of schools, and authorized the fumigation of all public buildings, shut down markets in affected areas and have restricted movement in others, improved response time and contact tracking as well as begun coordinating with regional and international partners.
"Despite these and other continuing efforts, the threat continues to grow," she pointed out, adding that ignorance, poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease especially in the counties. "The actions allowed by statues under the Public Health Law are no longer adequate to deal with the Ebola epidemic in as comprehensive and holistic as the outbreak requires," she noted. "The scope and scale of the epidemic, the virulence and deadliness of the virus now exceed the capacity and statutory responsibility of any one government agency or ministry," President Sirleaf informed the nation, stressing that the Ebola virus disease, the ramifications and consequences thereof, now constitute an unrest affecting the existence, security, and well-being of the Republic amounting to a clear and present danger. "The Government and people of Liberia require extraordinary measures for the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people."


Ebola Biological Hazard Pandemic in Africa

 

Updated:
Sunday, 14 September, 2014 at 14:29 UTC

Description

Sierra Leone has lost a fourth doctor to Ebola after a failed effort to transfer her abroad for medical treatment, a government official said Sunday, a huge setback to the impoverished country that is battling the virulent disease amid a shortage of health care workers. Dr. Olivet Buck died late Saturday, hours after the World Health Organization said it could not help medically evacuate her to Germany, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo confirmed to The Associated Press. Sierra Leone had requested funds from WHO to transport Buck to Europe, saying the country could not afford to lose another doctor. WHO had said that it could not meet the request but instead would work to give Buck "the best care possible" in Sierra Leone, including possible access to experimental drugs. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick patients, making doctors and nurses especially vulnerable to contracting the virus that has no vaccine or approved treatment. More than 300 health workers have become infected with Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Nearly half of them have died, according to WHO. The infections have exacerbated shortages of doctors and nurses in West African countries that were already low on skilled health personnel. So far, only foreign health and aid workers have been evacuated abroad from Sierra Leone and Liberia for treatment. Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, Sierra Leone’s top Ebola doctor, was being considered for evacuation to a European country when he died of the disease in late July.

 

Updated:
Tuesday, 02 September, 2014 at 18:14 UTC

Description

A second American doctor working in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola, missionary group Serving in Mission USA is confirming, as per the AP. It’s not clear how the doctor, who was not named, contracted the virus: He was working in an obstetrics unit in a Monrovia hospital, and not in the isolation unit. He immediately isolated himself and is said to be doing well, reports NBC. SIM USA’s president, Bruce Johnson, said in a statement: "My heart was deeply saddened, but my faith was not shaken, when I learned another of our missionary doctors contracted Ebola. As a global mission, we are surrounding our missionary with prayer, as well as our Liberian SIM/ELWA colleagues, who continue fighting the Ebola epidemic in Liberia."

 

Updated:
Wednesday, 27 August, 2014 at 14:12 UTC

Description

A senior adviser to Sierra Leone’s president says a third doctor has died from Ebola, marking a setback in the country’s fight against the virulent disease. Presidential adviser Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said Wednesday that Dr. Sahr Rogers had been working in a clinic in the eastern town of Kenema when he contracted the virus. News of his death came as a Senegalese epidemiologist working in Sierra Leone was evacuated to Germany for medical treatment. He had been doing surveillance work for the World Health Organization. Ebola is spread by direct contact with the bodily fluids of people sick with the virus. Health workers have been the most vulnerable because of their proximity to patients. The WHO says more than 120 health workers have died in the four affected countries.

 

Updated:
Monday, 18 August, 2014 at 08:22 UTC

Description

Liberian officials fear Ebola could soon spread through the capital’s largest slum after residents raided a quarantine center for suspected patients and took items including bloody sheets and mattresses. The violence in the West Point slum occurred late Saturday and was led by residents angry that patients were brought to the holding center from other parts of Monrovia, Tolbert Nyenswah, a$sistant health minister, said Sunday. Local witnesses told Agence France Presse that there were armed men among the group that attacked the clinic. "They broke down the doors and looted the place. The patients all fled," said Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack and whose report was confirmed by residents and the head of Health Workers a$sociation of Liberian, George Williams. Up to 30 patients were staying at the center and many of them fled at the time of the raid, said Nyenswah. Once they are located they will be transferred to the Ebola center at Monrovia’s largest hospital, he said. The attack comes just one day after a report of a crowd of several hundred local residents, chanting, ‘No Ebola in West Point,’ drove away a burial team and their police escort that had come to collect the bodies of suspected Ebola victims in the slum in the capital, Reuters reports. West Point residents went on a "looting spree," stealing items from the clinic that were likely infected, said a senior police official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the press. The residents took medical equipment and mattresses and sheets that had bloodstains, he said. Ebola is spread through bodily fluids including blood, vomit, feces and sweat. "All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients," the official said, adding that he now feared "the whole of West Point will be infected." Some of the looted items were visibly stained with blood, vomit and excrement, said Richard Kieh, who lives in the area.
The incident creates a new challenge for Liberian health officials who were already struggling to contain the outbreak. Liberian police restored order to the West Point neighborhood Sunday. Sitting on land between the Montserrado River and the Atlantic Ocean, West Point is home to at least 50,000 people, according to a 2012 survey. Distrust of government runs high in West Point, with rumors regularly circulating that the government plans to clear the slum out entirely. Though there had been talk of putting West Point under quarantine should Ebola break out there, a$sistant health minister Nyenswah said Sunday no such step has been taken. "West Point is not yet quarantined as being reported," he said. While the armed attack is likely the most brazen attack on health workers trying to contain the deadly outbreak, it is far from the first in the region worst-hit by it. There have been numerous reports of locals attacking those trying to stop the disease by throwing stones at aid workers, blocking aid convoys and forcibly removing patients from clinics. Many locals blame foreigners for bringing the disease, saying it had never been there before they arrived. The mistrust of central government and help from outside runs deep in this part of West Africa. All three countries worst-hit by the outbreak — Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea — are relatively fresh off decades of either brutal civil war or iron-fisted dictatorships. The Ebola outbreak that has k!lled more than 1,100 people in West Africa could last another six months, the Doctors Without Borders charity group said Friday. One aid worker acknowledged that the true de@th toll is still unknown. New figures released by the World Health Organization showed that Liberia has recorded more Ebola de@ths – 413 – than any of the other affected countries. Tarnue Karbbar, who works for the aid group Plan International in northern Liberia, said response teams simply aren’t able to document all the erupting Ebola cases. Many of the sick are still being hidden at home by their relatives, who are too fearful of going to an Ebola treatment center.
Others are being buried before the teams can get to remote areas, he said. In the last several days, about 75 cases have emerged in Voinjama, a single Liberian district. "Our challenge now is to quarantine the area (in Voinjama) to successfully break the transmission," he said. There is no cure or licensed treatment for Ebola and patients often die gruesome de@ths with external bleeding from their mouths, eyes or ears. The k!ller virus is transmitted through bodily fluids like blood, sweat, urine and diarrhea. A handful of people have received an experimental drug whose effectiveness is unknown. Liberia’s a$sistant health minister, Tolbert Nyenswah, said three people in Liberia were receiving the ZMapp on Friday. Previously, only two Americans and a Spaniard had gotten it. The Americans are improving, but it is not known what role ZMapp played. The Spaniard died. The American doctor infected with Ebola while working in Liberia said Friday he is "recovering in every way" and holding onto the hope of a reunion with his family. Dr. Kent Brantly remained hospitalized Friday at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. His comments came in a statement issued through the Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse. The World Health Organization has approved the use of such untested drugs but their supply is extremely limited. The U.N. health agency has said the focus on containing the outbreak should be on practicing good hygiene and quickly identifying the sick and isolating them. That task is made harder, however, by the shortage of treatment facilities. Beds in such centers are filling up faster than they can be provided, evidence that the outbreak in West Africa is far more severe than the numbers show, said Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for World Health Organization in Geneva.
There are 40 beds at one treatment center that Doctors Without Borders recently took over in one quarantined county in Liberia. But 137 people have flocked there, packing the hallways until they can be sorted into those who are infected and those are not, said Joanne Liu, the group’s international president. Nyenswah described a similar situation in a treatment center in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia: In one ward meant to accommodate up to 25 people, 80 are now crowded in. Another treatment center with 120 beds is expected to open Saturday outside Monrovia. "It’s absolutely dangerous," said Liu, who recently returned from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. "With the massive influx of patients that we had over the last few days, we’re not able to keep zones of patients anymore. Everybody is mixed." Liu likened the situation to a state of war because the "frontline" was always moving and unpredictable. She said the outbreak could last six more months. The de@th toll is now 1,145 people in four countries across West Africa, according to figures released Friday by the World Health Organization. At least 2,127 cases have been reported in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, WHO said. Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, told journalists Friday that the country has lost two doctors and 32 nurses to Ebola. "We need specialized clinicians and expertise and that is why we are appealing to the international community for an enhanced response to our f!ght" against Ebola, he said. The Ebola crisis is also disrupting food supplies and transportation. Some 1 million people in isolated areas could need food a$sistance in the coming months, according to the U.N. World Food Program, which is preparing a regional emergency operation. Amid a growing number of airline cancellations, the U.N. will start flights for humanitarian workers on Saturday to ensure that aid operations aren’t interrupted. In the coming weeks, they will also ferry staff to remote areas by helicopter.

 

Updated:
Thursday, 14 August, 2014 at 03:27 UTC

Description

Guinean President Alpha Conde on Wednesday declared a deadly Ebola outbreak that has killed 377 in the west African nation a "health emergency". "The World Health Organisation has declared a global health emergency over Ebola. Considering that Guinea is a signatory to the WHO constitution I declare Ebola a national health emergency in Guinea," Conde said in a statement read on state television. He announced a series of nine measures including strict controls at border points, travel restrictions and a ban on moving bodies "from one town to another until the end of the epidemic." In addition all suspected victims will automatically be hospitalised until laboratory results are obtained, Conde said. He said all people who had been in contact with Ebola victims were "formally banned from leaving their homes until the end of their surveillance period." Anyone found in contravention of the measures would be considered "a threat to public health and will face the might of the law," the statement said, without elaborating. The current outbreak of Ebola — the worst since the disease was discovered in then-Zaire four decades ago — was first detected in Guinea at the start of the year. It has claimed 1,069 lives and infected nearly 2,000 people as it has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

 

Updated:
Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 at 14:38 UTC

Description

Eight Chinese medical workers who treated Ebola patients have been quarantined in Sierra Leone, as health experts grapple with ethical questions over the use of experimental drugs to combat the killer virus. China’s ambassador to Sierra Leone, Zhao Yanbo, said seven doctors and one nurse who treated Ebola patients had been placed under quarantine, but would not be drawn on whether they were displaying symptoms of the disease. In addition, 24 nurses in Sierra Leone, most from the military hospital in the capital, have also been quarantined, according to Yanbo and hospital director Sahr Foday. Gripped by panic, west African nations battling the tropical disease ramped up drastic containment measures that have caused transport chaos, price hikes and food shortages. The World Health Organisation has scrambled to draft guidelines for the use of experimental medicines at a meeting in Geneva as the death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in history neared 1,000. It is to present its conclusions on Tuesday.

 

Updated:
Friday, 08 August, 2014 at 03:48 UTC

Description

The army blockaded on Thursday rural areas in Sierra Leone that have been hit by the deadly Ebola virus, a senior officer said, after neighbouring Liberia declared a state of emergency to tackle the worst outbreak of the disease on record.

 

Updated:
Friday, 08 August, 2014 at 03:49 UTC

Description

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has declared a 90-day State of Emergency throughout Liberia as government steps up its fight to restrain the spread of the lethal Ebola virus disease which has now spread to eight of the country’s 15 counties. "By the virtue of the powers vested in me as President of the Republic of Liberia, I, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, and in keeping with Article 86(a) (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, hereby declare a State of Emergency throughout the Republic of Liberia effective as of August 6, 2014 for a period of 90 days," the Liberian leader, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia announced, adding further, "Under this State of Emergency, the Government will institute extraordinary measures, including, if need be, the suspensions of certain rights and privileges." According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made this rare Declaration when she addressed the Nation late Wednesday evening, August 6, 2014, from the studios of the state broadcaster, the Liberia Broadcasting System, and the Renaissance Communications Incorporated, both in Paynesville City. As mandated by the Constitution, the Liberian leader is expected to immediately forward this Declaration of the State of Emergency to the National Legislature, accompanied by an explanation of the facts and circumstances leading to the Declaration.
President Sirleaf, who is also chair of the National Task Force on Ebola, addressing the Nation said the deadly Ebola virus now poses serious risks to the health, safety, security and welfare of the nation and beyond the public health risk, the disease is now undermining the economic stability of the country to the tone of millions of dollars in lost revenue, productivity and economic activity. Liberia is among three countries in the Mano River Union experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of the virus, the larger ever since this virus was first discovered. "The heath care system in the county is now under immense strain and the Ebola epidemic is having a chilling effect on the overall health care delivery," the Liberian leader emphasized, explaining further, "Out of fear of being infected with the disease, health care practitioners are afraid to accept new patients, especially in community clinics all across the country. Consequently, many common diseases which are especially prevalent during the rainy season, such as malaria, typhoid and common cold, are going untreated and may lead to unnecessary and preventable deaths." She pointed out that the aggregate number of cases confirmed, probable and suspected in Liberia has now exceeded 500 with about 271 cumulative deaths with 32 deaths among health care workers; noting that the death rate among citizens, especially among health workers is alarming. On measures the Government has taken so far to respond to the crisis, President Sirleaf instructed all non-essential government staff to stay home for 30 days, ordered the closure of schools, and authorized the fumigation of all public buildings, shut down markets in affected areas and have restricted movement in others, improved response time and contact tracking as well as begun coordinating with regional and international partners.
"Despite these and other continuing efforts, the threat continues to grow," she pointed out, adding that ignorance, poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease especially in the counties. "The actions allowed by statues under the Public Health Law are no longer adequate to deal with the Ebola epidemic in as comprehensive and holistic as the outbreak requires," she noted. "The scope and scale of the epidemic, the virulence and deadliness of the virus now exceed the capacity and statutory responsibility of any one government agency or ministry," President Sirleaf informed the nation, stressing that the Ebola virus disease, the ramifications and consequences thereof, now constitute an unrest affecting the existence, security, and well-being of the Republic amounting to a clear and present danger. "The Government and people of Liberia require extraordinary measures for the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people."


Russia Issues Grim Report On North American Magnetic Anomaly

Posted by EU Times on Jun 12th, 2014

Listen to this article. Powered by Odiogo.com

A grim report prepared by Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Lieutenant-General Viktor Bondarev on the just completed scientific mission of North America carried out by 4 Tupolev Tu-95 strategic aircraft and 2 Ilyushin Il-78 aerial refueling tankers that “electronically swept” for “magnetic anomalies” from Alaska to California warns that a “catastrophic event” may be nearing for this region.

US officials, it should be noted, characterized this purely scientific mission as a “bombing run” that came within 50 miles of California, but which their Air Forces were able to repel by their launching of F-15 fighter jets.

This report, however, states that this scientific mission was necessitated by a “severe mysterious magnetic anomaly” detected by the Kosmos 2473 satellite on 3 June occurring in the Yellowstone region of the Western United States which resulted in what is called an “earthquake swarm.”

Most important to note about the 3 June Yellowstone “magnetic anomaly”, this report continues, are that satellite measurements show it being precipitated by the mysterious earthquake swarm hitting the Brooks Range mountains in Alaska, and which seismologists are still at a loss to explain.

The information relating to the linking of these two “events”, this report says, was further verified by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) magnetic anomaly maps and data for North America showing a strange magnetic “disturbance/ripple” emanating from Brooks Range and ending at Yellowstone on 3 June, both of these areas, it is important to note, being part of the Rocky Mountains that stretch more than 4,830 km (3,000 miles) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States.

Of grave concern to Russian military authorities relating to these “events”, General Bondarev says in his report, was the “catastrophic effect” they had on the advanced “magnetoceptioninertial navigation systems employed by many US-NATO-Russian warplanes which use these highly sophisticated aircraft flight devices.

Though no Russia military aircraft were near the “disturbed magnetic zone” emanating our from Yellowstone on 3 June, this report says, two US military aircraft were at its “boundaries” in the Southern California region on 4 June while this “event” was still “active” causing them both to crash.

The two US fighter jets crashing on 4 June, this report continues, were identified as a US Navy F-A-183 that went down when the pilot was attempting to land aboard the carrier Carl Vinson, and a US Marine Harrier AV-8B jet that crashed into a residential community in Imperial, about 90 miles east of San Diego, both of them occurring within hours of each other.

This report notes that no civilian aircraft would have been affected by this “magnetic anomaly” as only the most advanced military aircraft employ these “geomagnetic-satellite” coordinated flight systems which enable them to “hug the terrain” not unlike the magnetic systems used by birds and insects to navigate.

Russian concerns relating to “magnetic anomalies”, it is important to note, are related to the rapidly shifting north magnetic pole which since 2005 has been moving at a rate of 40 kilometers (25 miles) a year from Arctic Canada toward Siberia.

Frightening independent research from last year (2013) further warns that this shift is still picking up speed and according to this researcher should reach Siberia in at least within 2 years. [See video HERE (banned in US)]

One of the effects of the rapidly shifting magnetic north pole being noticed the most, this report notes, are the airport runway systems being disrupted because of it, and as we can read one such 2011 example which occurred in the US:

“Tampa International Airport was forced to readjust its runways Thursday to account for the movement of the Earth’s magnetic fields, information that pilots rely upon to navigate planes. Thanks to the fluctuations in the force, the airport has closed its primary runway until Jan. 13 to change taxiway signs to account for the shift, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The poles are generated by movements within the Earth’s inner and outer cores, though the exact process isn’t exactly understood. They’re also constantly in flux, moving a few degrees every year, but the changes are almost never of such a magnitude that runways require adjusting, said Paul Takemoto, a spokesman for the FAA.”

The most chilling aspects of General Bondarev’s report relating to these “events” are the equations he uses in postulating that what is now occurring in North America with these “mysterious magnetic anomalies” occurring over a large expanse of the Rocky Mountains, and when combined with the rapidly shifting magnetic north pole and growing evidence of global climate change, give “huge credibility” to what is called “The Expanding Earth Theory”.

The expanding Earth or growing Earth hypothesis asserts that the position and relative movement of continents is at least partially due to the volume of Earth increasing and stands in contrast to that of plate tectonics, but which new findings relating to “aether theories” and dark matter, General Bondarev summarizes, means “grave consideration” must be given to the words of University of California, Davis, cosmologist Dr. Andreas Albrecht who warned: “We’ve hit some really profound problems with cosmology Ð with dark matter and dark energy, that tells us we have to rethink fundamental physics and try something new.

Or in simple terms, this report ends, “We may be on the verge of a catastrophic North American “event” that could possibly change the world forever, we should be prepared.”

YELLOWSTONE ERUPTION OF MEGAVOLCANO

YELLOWSTONE ERUPTION OF MÉGAVOLCAN

Published June 9, 2014 | by Team Pleinsfeux

The American government  is working on a secret escape plan in case of a mega volcano eruption at Yellowstone ?

  • Conspiracy theorists claim that American citizens could be moved to Australia, Brazil and   Argentina.

  • The last eruption may have occurred there 70,000 years.

  • The volcano could be reclassified as “off”, despite the fact that researchers have recently found that it is 2.5 times larger than they thought.

On May 8, 2014

It has been suggested that millions of citizens of the United States could end up in Brazil, Australia or Argentina if the Yellowstone supervolcano eruption happened.

The news site “Praag” edited in South Africa, argues that the African National Congress would have been offered $ 10 billion a year for 10 years for the construction of temporary housing for Americans if rash, in this As part of the development of current emergency plans.

Bloggers and conspiracy theorists have spent weeks discussing these plans since the videos of animals fleeing the region have been revealed, although park rangers said they were actually frightened by tourists.

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  1. According to U.S. Geological Survey, there were three major eruptions of Yellowstone supervolcano over the past million years.

  2. The first would have a league there are about 2.1 million years, while the second took place there 1.3 million years.

  3. The last major eruption took place there 640.000 years.

“It was a kind of spring day, and they were frisky. Contrary to online reports, this is an all-in-natural and not the end of the world phenomenon,” said the spokeswoman, Amy Bartlett.

If the largest volcano in the world was rash, most of the United States would be covered with ashes. However, researchers say there are no signs of an imminent eruption.

“The chance of that happening in our lives is extremely insignificant,” said Peter Cervelli, deputy director for science and technology at the Science Center of the volcanoes of the “United States Geological Survey,” California.

A recent study on the important supervolcano of Yellowstone National Park in the United States, researchers have recently found to be 2.5 times larger than they thought, could actually be dead very soon.

The researchers analyzed the water and gas, and believe that it could already be on its deathbed.

According to Ken Sims, of the University of Wyoming, air and water samples taken from the largest volcano in the world suggests that it might be dying.

The team examined the acidity in water samples and radon in the air as part of their study on the status of Yellowstone.

At Yellowstone, as with other volcanoes, some scientists theorize that the earth’s crust fractures and cracks in a concentric pattern, also known as fractures rings. At some point, these cracks reach the magma reservoir and release the pressure, and the volcano explodes. The enormous amount of released material causes the collapse of the volcano in a huge crater, a caldera.

They also analyzed how water and gas mix in the amount of land in order to improve methods of predicting eruptions and to identify the most volatile areas of the park.

Currently, the park is classified as dormant, as there would have been no eruption since 70,000 years.

If it becomes an extinct volcano, it will never erupt again.

In early November, a team of researchers from the University of Wyoming, led by Ken Sims, has distributed tarpaulins on the snowy ground near the white terraces, outside of “Mammoth Hot Springs” where pools are stacked like small mountains filled with crystal clear water.

“I got radium,” said Ken Sims, a professor of geology and geophysics of the “University of Wyoming and National Geographic Explorer.”

“We should take samples there. “

Ken Sims knelt beside a mound delicate formations and released their machines boxes backpack: There was a radon detector with lights and a recorder to tape measures, a detector pH to record acid levels.

Both should help me learn how water and gas interact.

“It looks like boiling,” said Ken Sims. “But in fact, it is steam or CO2. “

The area is of outstanding natural beauty: The Yellowstone caldera in Wyoming is the largest super-volcano in the world.

Ken Sims studied the rate at which water and gas mix ascending to the surface.

His research could eventually help scientists understand what causes eruptions of steam.

If they know how fast steam and water interact in the park, they could better predict when an area becomes more volatile.

Despite fears that the supervolcano may be off, the park is one of the research laboratories of the most famous in the world, attracting internationally renowned scientists to study everything from earthquakes to the origins of life, until the power of this volcano lies beneath the soil.

“Yellowstone is so superior in many ways, that sometimes you cry responses to what is happening elsewhere,” said Jacob Lowenstern, scientist in charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

The unique park has a quagmire of molten rocks and crystals as the first national park in the country 40 miles (64 km.) Long molten rocks and crystals.

Instead of a cone with a hole, the caldera is an interconnected maze of gas and water covering nearly 60 miles (about 96 km.) In the northwestern corner of Wyoming with parts in Montana and Idaho.

More than 10,000 pots of mud, rivers and geysers boiling, act as valves to release pressure of nature, preventing the heated exploding monster.

And, they move.

“Mammoth Terraces” in the northern part of the park can grow vertically up to 3 meters per year and extend horizontally further.

The rise of the water dissolved calcium in the surface and the CO2 bubble is left behind and the white calcium carbonate.

The terraces rise until the vents become blocked and the gas pressure forces the opening of a weakness elsewhere.

“The intense heat of the Yellowstone volcano is driving the hydrothermal system,” said Henry Heasler, geologist of the park.

“It gets hot and rises, and the magma chamber, or reservoir, is at a relatively shallow depth. “

MERS “Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome”


A NEW VIRUS IS A "THREAT TO THE WORLD"

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Published June 24, 2013 | by Sentinel

Virus from the Middle East began to claim lives

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By Callum Wood – June 4, 2013 –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

virusmers

Thousands Of Companies Have Been Handing Over Your Personal Data To The NSA


Thousands Of Companies Have Been Handing Over Your Personal Data To The NSA

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Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
June 15, 2013

It isn’t just Internet and phone companies that are giving your personal information to the U.S. government.  According to an astounding reportby Bloomberg, “four people familiar with the process” say that “makers of hardware and software, banks, Internet security providers, satellite telecommunications companies” and a whole host of other sources are handing over your personal data to federal agencies.  The truth is that there is so much more to this NSA snooping scandal than the American people know so far.  When U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez said that what Edward Snowden had revealed was “just the tip of the iceberg“, she wasn’t kidding.  The U.S. government is trying to collect as much information about everyone on the planet as it possibly can.  And this incredibly powerful intelligence machine is not going to go away just because a few activists get upset about it.  The United States government spendsmore than 80 billion dollars a year on intelligence programs.  Those that have spent their careersconstructing this monolithic intelligence apparatus are doing to defend it to the bitter end, as will the corporate partners in the private sector that rake in enormous profits thanks to big fat government contracts.  But if the American people don’t stand up and demand change now, it is going to be a signal to those doing the snooping that they can push the envelope even more because nobody is going to stop them.

So why are thousands of companies handing over your personal data to the NSA?  Well, according to Bloomberg they are getting things in return…

Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.

These programs, whose participants are known as trusted partners, extend far beyond what was revealed by Edward Snowden, a computer technician who did work for the National Security Agency. The role of private companies has come under intense scrutiny since his disclosure this month that the NSA is collecting millions of U.S. residents’ telephone records and the computer communications of foreigners from Google Inc (GOOG). and other Internet companies under court order.

Thanks to the recent revelations by Edward Snowden, much of the focus so far has been on the information that the NSA gets from Internet and telecommunications companies, but apparently government agencies collect information about all of us from a vast array of sources…

Makers of hardware and software, banks, Internet security providers, satellite telecommunications companies and many other companies also participate in the government programs. In some cases, the information gathered may be used not just to defend the nation but to help infiltrate computersof its adversaries.

Along with the NSA, the Central Intelligence Agency (0112917D), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and branches of the U.S. military have agreements with such companies to gather data that might seem innocuous but could be highly useful in the hands of U.S. intelligence or cyber warfare units, according to the people, who have either worked for the government or are in companies that have these accords.

We have become a “surveillance society”, and this is exactly the sort of thing that the Fourth Amendment was supposed to protect us against.  The government is only supposed to invade our privacy and investigate us when there is probable cause to do so.

But now the government is trying to collect as much information about all of us as it possibly can even though the vast majority of us will never be charged with any crime.

There seems to be no limit when it comes to how much personal data the government wants to gather on all of us.  As I have written about previously, the chief technology officer at the CIA says that they “fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever.”

And this does not just apply to American citizens.  The U.S. government is compiling data on everyone on the planet.  And since such a high percentage of Internet traffic flows through U.S. networks and U.S. companies, that gives the U.S. intelligence community a tremendous “home-field advantage”.  The following is from a recent piece authored by Ronald Deibert, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto…

While cyberspace may be global, its infrastructure most definitely is not.

For example, a huge proportion of global Internet traffic flows through networks controlled by the United States, simply because eight of 15 global tier 1 telecommunications companies are American — companies like AT&T, CenturyLink, XO Communications and, significantly, Verizon.

The social media services that many of us take for granted are also mostly provided by giants headquartered in the United States, like Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Twitter. All of these companies are subject to U.S. law, including the provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act, no matter where their services are offered or their servers located. Having the world’s Internet traffic routed through the U.S. and having those companies under its jurisdiction give U.S. national security agencies an enormous home-field advantage that few other countries enjoy.

But what is really the point of all of this intelligence gathering?

Is it to make us a little bit safer?

If so, we are making a massive mistake.

Benjamin Franklin once wrote the following: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Are you willing to give up your Fourth Amendment rights in order to feel a little more safe?

I hope not.

The U.S. Constitution never guaranteed us safety.  But it is supposed to guarantee our privacy.

Fortunately, it appears that at this point public opinion is very much against all of the snooping that the government has been doing.  According to the Guardian, most of the recent surveys that have been done are coming up with very consistent results…

Thursday, the Guardian released a poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday nights by Public Policy Polling looking at America’s reaction to the National Security Agency (NSA) controversy. The public appears to be reacting negatively to the revelations – and it seems to be hurting President Obama.

We found 50% of American voters believe the NSA should not be collecting telephone or internet records, compared to the 44% who think they should. The results hold even when respondents were told that the data the government is collecting is “metadata” (and not necessarily actual content of communications).

These results are consistent with a CBS News poll,Fox News poll, and YouGov survey that showed only 38%, 32%, and 35% of Americans respectively approved of phone record collection in order to reduce the chance of a terrorist attack. A Gallup poll was consistent with these, showing only 37% approved monitoring of Americans’ phone and internet use.

And Americans also seem to be very suspicious about what the government will do with our personal data once they have it.

In fact, according to a new Rasmussen survey, 57 percent of Americans believe that the government will use the information that it collects “to harass political opponents”.

And of course many of the recent scandals that have erupted this year involve the government harassing political opponents.  We have seen this with the IRS scandal, and we have seen this with the spying on reporters scandal.

Just this week it was reported that CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson has had her computers hacked repeatedly.  If you are not familiar with Attkisson, she is the one reporter in the mainstream media that has been relentless when it has come to pursuing the Operation Fast and Furious and Benghazi stories.  Now we are learning that a “sophisticated” intruder hacked into her computer “on multiple occasions” in late 2012

CBS News announced Friday that correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was hacked by “an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions,” confirming Attkisson’s previous revelation of the hacking.

CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair said that a cybersecurity firm hired by CBS News “has determined through forensic analysis” that “Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012.”

“Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data. This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion. CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible party and their method of access.”

Meanwhile, in a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from all of these scandals, Barack Obama is starting a war with Syria.

In this war, we are actually going to be helping al-Qaeda rebels that arebeheading Christians to take over Syria.

If you aren’t aware of the deep connection between al-Qaeda and the Syrian rebels, just read the recent USA Today article entitled “Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda” or any of the dozens of other articles that you can find on the Internet that document this very clearly.

And the sick thing is that a large number of Republicans are actually applauding Barack Obama for teaming up with al-Qaeda.

Has it suddenly become “conservative” to help al-Qaeda?

What in the world is going on?

And you know what?

The truth was that our troops were in position long before Barack Obama made his “stunning announcement” on Thursday.  In fact, it hasbeen confirmed that U.S. troops are already in Jordan along the Syrian border.

And could this conflict with Syria actually set the stage for a much larger conflict?

The Russians have been providing “mortars, light artillery, antiaircraft guns, antitank weapons and ammunition” to the Syrian government and they have loudly denounced the latest moves by the Obama administration.

Yes, the Assad government is horrible, but what Obama is doing in Syria is a terrible, terrible mistake.

If the U.S. takes down the Assad government, forces loyal to al-Qaeda and other radical jihadists are going to take over and we will have made Russia and China very angry.  If the U.S. is unsuccessful in removing the Assad government, it will be considered a crushing defeat for the United States.

Either way, we lose.

 

Democrats and Republicans Agree: America’s Stasi Surveillance State is a Good Thing

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
June 15, 2013

On Friday Rasmussen Reports released a poll finding that nearly 60 percent of Americans think the government will use data illegally collected by the NSA to go after political opponents. It also found that there “is little public support for the sweeping and unaccountable nature of the National Security Agency surveillance program along with concerns about how the data will be used.”

If we accept the validity of this latest poll – or any establishment poll – it would be fair to say most Americans understand that surveillance is not used to protect us from foreign enemies in the fake war on terrorism.

Earlier in the week this is exactly what Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, and the Republican senator from Georgia Saxby Chambliss, told us. Rogers said that converting the United States into a high-tech version of Stasi Germany has resulted in “changes we can already see being made by the folks who wish to do us harm, and our allies harm.” Rogers added that recent revelations by Booz Allen Hamilton analyst Edward Snowden “make it harder to track bad guys trying to harm U.S. citizens in the United States.”

The American people might be opposed to the NSA surveillance program, but there is overwhelming consensus in favor of it in Washington. The Democrat intelligentsia in the Mockingbird media, especially the Obama partisans, have lined up in favor of trampling on the rights of American citizens.

“I’ve been amazed and disappointed for a long time at how the most slavishly partisan media Democrats who pretended to care so much about these issues when doing so helped undermine George Bush are now the loudest apologists and cheerleaders for these very same policies,” Glenn Greenwald, who broke the NSA story, said on Tuesday. “If they started a club called Liberal Pundits to Defend the National Security State, no auditorium in the country would be large enough to accommodate them.”

This was underscored on Monday when another poll showed that Democrats love the Stasi state. Support for tyranny depends on what side of the establishment party is in the White House. “With President Obama in the White House, Democrats stand in support of the NSA’s methods, 49% to 40% in the Gallupsurvey. Republicans were opposed 63% to 32%. When President George W. Bush was in office, Republicans were supportive of government surveillance efforts and Democrats opposed,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

This is not surprising, writes Justin Raimondo. “Now it is the liberals’ turn to justify the demolition of the Constitution, and especially to give the final push to take down that once-mighty and now greatly eroded bulwark against tyranny, the Bill of Rights. Anyone who is surprised by the alacrity with which they have taken up this task is unfamiliar with the history of American liberalism and the left in general.”

This takes us back to the Rasmussen Reports poll cited above. Most Americans know the surveillance state is used against political enemies, not phantasmal terrorists in caves. They understand that whatever side of the party is in power, it will use surveillance and dirty tricks to undermine the competition. In regard to enemies beyond the walls and out in the political hinterland, it will use the surveillance apparatus like a cudgel to destroy them. History is replete with examples of this from the FBI’s COINTELPRO and the CIA’s Operation CHAOS back to the dawning days of the nation when Federalist John Adams attempted to sabotage the Bill of Rights by signing the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 into law. (See Timeline of US Govt. Surveillance and Spying for more information on how the surveillance state has been used to harass and persecute political opponents.)

Rush Limbaugh may say the real danger is Obama, but that is a diversion. In early 2006, Limbaugh characterized illegal surveillance under Bush as “intercepts of the enemy” and said opponents were supporting an “al-Qaeda bill of rights.” Democrats and Republicans will continue to play political football in a larger game shaped by the establishment’s false left-right paradigm. Both support what the NSA is doing and the Stasi state will grow and flourish so long as Democrats and Republicans share power.

We are now very close to witnessing the final extinction of the Bill of Rights. This has been the goal of one-world totalitarians for some time. Over the last few years, we have documented the effort by the globalist intelligentsia – led by globalist operative Fareed Zakaria – to destroy the Constitution.

The NSA spy grid is designed to monitor and undermine the political activity of those of us who want to preserve the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It has absolutely nothing to do with al-Qaeda, a largely imaginary terrorist group that only surfaces in the United States due to a concerted patsy and public propaganda program led by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

 

The Next NSA Spying Shoe to Drop: “Pre-Crime” Artificial Intelligence

Washington’s Blog
June 17, 2013

NSA spying whistleblower Edward Snowden’s statements have been verified.    Reporter Glenn Greenwald has promised numerous additional disclosures from Snowden.

What other revelations are coming?

We reported in 2008:

A new article by investigative reporter Christopher Ketcham reveals, a governmental unit operating in secret and with no oversight whatsoever is gathering massive amounts of data on every American and running artificial intelligence software to predict each American’s behavior, including “what the target will do, where the target will go, who it will turn to for help”.

The same governmental unit is responsible for suspending the Constitution and implementing martial law in the event that anything is deemed by the White House in its sole discretion to constitute a threat to the United States. (this is formally known as implementing “Continuity of Government” plans). [Background here.]

As Ketcham’s article makes clear, these same folks and their predecessors have been been busy dreaming up plans to imprison countless “trouble-making” Americans without trial in case of any real or imagined emergency.  What kind of Americans? Ketcham describes it this way:

“Dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protestors, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people.”

Do we want the same small group of folks who have the power to suspend the Constitution, implement martial law, and imprison normal citizens to also be gathering information on all Americans and running AI programs to be able to predict where American citizens will go for help and what they will do in case of an emergency? Don’t we want the government to — um, I don’t know — help us in case of an emergency?

Bear in mind that the Pentagon is also running an AI program to see how people will react to propaganda and to government-inflicted terror. The program is called Sentient World Simulation:

“U.S defense, intel and homeland security officials are constructing a parallel world, on a computer, which the agencies will use to test propaganda messages and military strategies.Called the Sentient World Simulation, the program uses AI routines based upon the psychological theories of Marty Seligman, among others. (Seligman introduced the theory of ‘learned helplessness’ in the 1960s, after shocking beagles until they cowered, urinating, on the bottom of their cages.)

Yank a country’s water supply. Stage a military coup. SWS will tell you what happens next.

The sim will feature an AR avatar for each person in the real world, based upon data collected about us from government records and the internet.”

The continuity of government folks’ AI program and the Pentagon’s AI program may or may not be linked, but they both indicate massive spying and artificial intelligence in order to manipulate the American public, to concentrate power, to take away the liberties and freedoms of average Americans, and — worst of all — to induce chaos in order to achieve these ends.

PBS Nova reported in 2009:

The National Security Agency (NSA) is developing a tool that George Orwell’s Thought Police might have found useful: an artificial intelligence system designed to gain insight into what people are thinking.

With the entire Internet and thousands of databases for a brain, the device will be able to respond almost instantaneously to complex questions posed by intelligence analysts. As more and more data is collected—through phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records—it may one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think.

The system is so potentially intrusive that at least one researcher has quit, citing concerns over the dangers in placing such a powerful weapon in the hands of a top-secret agency with little accountability.

Known as Aquaint, which stands for “Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence” [which is run by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)], part of the new M Square Research Park in College Park, Maryland. A mammoth two million-square-foot, 128-acre complex, it is operated in collaboration with the University of Maryland. “Their budget is classified, but I understand it’s very well funded,” said Brian Darmody, the University of Maryland’s assistant vice president of research and economic development, referring to IARPA. “They’ll be in their own building here, and they’re going to grow. Their mission is expanding.”

***

In a 2004 pilot project, a mass of data was gathered from news stories taken from theNew York Times, the AP news wire, and the English portion of the Chinese Xinhua news wire covering 1998 to 2000. Then, 13 U.S. military intelligence analysts searched the data and came up with a number of scenarios based on the material. Finally, using those scenarios, an NSA analyst developed 50 topics, and in each of those topics created a series of questions for Aquaint’s computerized brain to answer. “Will the Japanese use force to defend the Senkakus?” was one. “What types of disputes or conflict between the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] and Hong Kong residents have been reported?” was another. And “Who were the participants in this spy ring, and how are they related to each other?” was a third. Since then, the NSA has attempted to build both on the complexity of the system—more essay-like answers rather than yes or no—and on attacking greater volumes of data.

“The technology behaves like a robot, understanding and answering complex questions,” said a former Aquaint researcher. “Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the most memorable character, HAL 9000, having a conversation with David. We are essentially building this system. We are building HAL.” A naturalized U.S. citizen who received her Ph.D. from Columbia, the researcher worked on the program for several years but eventually left due to moral concerns. “The system can answer the question, ‘What does X think about Y?’” she said. “Working for the government is great, but I don’t like looking into other people’s secrets.

A supersmart search engine, capable of answering complex questions such as “What were the major issues in the last 10 presidential elections?” would be very useful for the public. But that same capability in the hands of an agency like the NSA—absolutely secret, often above the law, resistant to oversight, and with access to petabytes of private information about Americans—could be a privacy and civil liberties nightmare. “We must not forget that the ultimate goal is to transfer research results into operational use,” said Aquaint project leader John Prange, in charge of information exploitation for IARPA.

Once up and running, the database of old newspapers could quickly be expanded to include an inland sea of personal information scooped up by the agency’s warrantless data suction hoses. Unregulated, they could ask it to determine which Americans might likely pose a security risk—or have sympathies toward a particular cause, such as the antiwar movement, as was done during the 1960s and 1970s. The Aquaint robospy might then base its decision on the type of books a person purchased online, or chat room talk, or websites visited—or a similar combination of data. Such a system would have an enormous chilling effect on everyone’s everyday activities—what will the Aquaint computer think if I buy this book, or go to that website, or make this comment? Will I be suspected of being a terrorist or a spy or a subversive?

World Net Daily’s Aaron Klein reported earlier this month:

In February, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the Massachusetts-based multinational corporation, Raytheon – the world’s fifth largest defense contractor – had developed a “Google for Spies” operation.

Herald reporter Ryan Gallagher wrote that Raytheon had “secretly developed software capable of tracking people’s movements and predicting future behavior by mining data from social networking websites” like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.

The software is called RIOT, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology.

Raytheon told the Herald it has not sold RIOT to any clients but admitted that, in 2010, it had shared the program’s software technology with the U.S. government as part of a “joint research and development effort … to help build a national security system capable of analyzing ‘trillions of entities’ from cyberspace.”

In April, RIOT was reportedly showcased at a U.S. government and industry national security conference for secretive, classified innovations, where it was listed under the category “big data – analytics, algorithms.”

Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project,argued …  that among the many problems with government large-scale analytics of social network information “is the prospect that government agencies will blunderingly use these techniques to tag, target and watchlist people coughed up by programs such as RIOT, or to target them for further invasions of privacy based on incorrect inferences.”

“The chilling effects of such activities,” he concluded, “while perhaps gradual, would be tremendous.”

Ginger McCall, attorney and director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Open Government program, told NBC in February, “This sort of software allows the government to surveil everyone.

“It scoops up a bunch of information about totally innocent people. There seems to be no legitimate reason to get this, other than that they can.”

As for RIOT’s ability to help catch terrorists, McCall called it “a lot of white noise.”  [True … Big data doesn’t work to keep us safe.]

The London Guardian further obtained a four-minute video that shows how the RIOT software uses photographs on social networks. The images, sometimes containing latitude and longitude details, are “automatically embedded by smartphones within so-called ‘exif header data.’

RIOT pulls out this information, analyzing not only the photographs posted by individuals, but also the location where these images were taken,” the Guardian reported.
Such sweeping data collection and analysis to predict future activity may further explain some of what the government is doing with the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. [Background here.]

***

“In the increasingly popular language of network theory, individuals are “nodes,” and relationships and interactions form the “links” binding them together; by mapping those connections, network scientists try to expose patterns that might not otherwise be apparent,” reported the Times.[Background here.]

In February 2006, more than a year after Obama was sworn as a U.S. senator, it was revealed the “supposedly defunct” Total Information Awareness data-mining and profiling program had been acquired by the NSA.

The Total Information Awareness program was first announced in 2002 as an early effort to mine large volumes of data for hidden connections.

Aaron Klein reported last week that Snowden might have worked at the NSA’s artificial intelligence unit at the University of Maryland:

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations, told the London Guardian newspaper that he previously worked as a security guard for what the publication carefully described as “one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland.”

***

Brian Ullmann, the university’s assistant vice president for marketing and communications, was asked for comment. He would not address the query, posed twice to his department by KleinOnline, about whether the NSA operates covert facilities in conjunction with the university.

Ullmann’s only comment was to affirm that Snowden was employed as a security guard at the university’s Center for the Advanced Study of Languages in 2005.

This is especially concerning given that the people who created the NSA spying program in the first place say that information gained through spying will be used to frame Americans that the government takes a dislike to.

Winston Churchill: War Hero or War Criminal?


Winston Churchill: War Hero or War Criminal?

Debate continues to rage about iconic leader

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
June 15, 2013

Winston Churchill led Britain to victory against the Nazi war machine, but debate continues to rage about whether he was responsible for overseeing atrocities that rival those ordered by Adolf Hitler.

History is written by the winners. Although there is lots to admire about Churchill’s bulldog spirit – and Brits are eternally grateful for his tenacious fight against the Nazis – much of Churchill’s dark past has been airbrushed out of history.

FURTHER READING

Rethinking Churchill

To gain any understanding of Churchill, we must go beyond the heroic images propagated for over half a century.

Churchill in ‘war crimes’ row

British bombing raids killed a thousand German civilians a day when World War II was already won, says the historian sparking debate on whether Churchill was a war criminal.

Germans call Churchill a war criminal

Winston Churchill was effectively a war criminal who sanctioned the extermination of Germany’s civilian population through indiscriminate bombing of towns and cities, an article in the country’s biggest-circulation newspaper claimed yesterday.

The bombing of Dresden

The morality of the Allied bombing campaign during the Second World War is still hotly debated. What should we feel about the decision to attack Dresden?

Why did the British start bombing civilians?

The RAF began the war with the policy of targeting enemy military or industrial targets. But then, early in 1942, that policy suddenly changed to embrace the deliberate destruction of civilians. Why?

CHURCHILL IN HIS OWN WORDS

(During first World War): “Perhaps the next time round the way to do it will be to kill women, children and the civilian population.”

Churchill on defending the morality of bombing from the air: “Now everyone’s at it. It’s simply a question of fashion – similar to that of whether short or long dresses are in.”

“I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes.”
Writing as president of the Air Council, 1919.

“It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parlay on equal terms with the representative of the Emperor-King.”
Commenting on Gandhi’s meeting with the Viceroy of India, 1931.

“I do not admit… that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia… by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race… has come in and taken its place.”
Churchill to Palestine Royal Commission, 1937.

“The choice was clearly open: crush them with vain and unstinted force, or try to give them what they want. These were the only alternatives and most people were unprepared for either. Here indeed was the Irish spectre – horrid and inexorcisable.”
Writing in The World Crisis and the Aftermath, 1923-31.

“The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate… I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.”
Churchill to Asquith, 1910.

“One may dislike Hitler’s system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as admirable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.”
From his Great Contemporaries, 1937.

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

ICONIC QUOTES

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

“Never, never, never give up.”

“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

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