On February 26, 2003, Carlo Urbani, an infectious diseases specialist in the World Health Organization's (WHO's) country office in Vietnam, was called to the French Hospital in Hanoi to examine a grievously ill Chinese-American businessman. Johnny Chen had been admitted with severe breathing difficulties shortly after stepping off a flight from Hong Kong and was being nursed in intensive care, where x-rays revealed ominous shadows on his lungs.
Scientists who study predictive systems, doubt that it will be possible to predict exactly what will happen next in a disease outbreak, because the most important variables can change so much from one outbreak to another.
Medical breakthroughs and advances in public health systems have enabled countries to contain the effects of infectious diseases, but these gains are tempered by insecurities from forces in economics, globalization, and synthetic biology.
There are many measles related viruses circulating in other animals that are not far from being able to infect human cells.
Animals in regions that are geographically remote present challenges for disease containment. In Thailand, local residents are using technology, including digital scanning, to track animals and stop outbreaks before they start.
By running data on flavivirus-positive species through a machine-learning model of known mammal and bird species, scientists from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) believe they’ve honed-in on those animals most likely to host future flaviviruses.
Newly discovered Mengla virus is evolutionarily closely related to Ebola virus and Marburg virus and shares several important functional similarities with them.
One Health does not solely depend on creating a vaccine or a therapeutic to tackle novel pathogens, which is often difficult and time-consuming. Instead, it aligns different disciplines to develop holistic and effective approaches to limit the transmission of disease.
During the two-week training course, vets, forest rangers and wildlife specialists trapped more than 30 bats for laboratory analysis in the jungles of Njala, central Sierra Leone.
The World Health Organization released its yearly list of infectious diseases that its experts think are especially high-risk. This year’s specimen included the pathogens that public health people consider the usual deadly suspects: Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers, MERS and SARS, and mosquito-borne Zika and Rift Valley Fever. But there was also a novel entry: Disease X.