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Posts Tagged "Ebola"


U.S. Department of Defense Health Official Speaks Out on Ebola and Other Threats

Ebola virus (particles of which are depicted), is "really not a direct threat for nations with robust health systems. But where resources are lacking and health systems are inadequate (as in West Africa), and where initial cases are not quickly discovered and managed, there is a real threat of local spread in the community from imported cases," says Dr. Rohit Chitale.

Earlier this month, I posted a Q&A on the Ebola outbreak with a Stevens colleague, medical anthropologist Theresa MacPhail. MacPhail also put me in touch with someone who could provide more insight into the outbreak, Dr. Rohit Chitale of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC). Rohit is an infectious disease epidemiologist and had worked [...]

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Food Matters

Viruses and virulence with a side of GMOs: Podcasts I’ve been on recently


Lab work can often be a bit tedious. I often make the joke (not entirely innacurate) that my entire job is moving very small amounts of liquid between different tubes in a controlled manner. In order to combat this tedium, I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts of various sorts, from short shows [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola in US—No Need to Panic

Stay calm...

The first case of Ebola in the United States was announced today, with a patient in Dallas who traveled to the US from Liberia. The resultant hysteria and xenophobia prompts this reminder. There is NO need to panic. Ebola is NOT transmitted before a patient develops symptoms. Ebola is transmitted by contact with infectious secretions [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola – the World’s Katrina

A staff member at the MSF's Ebola management center in Monrovia - Caroline Van Nespen/MSF

To anyone who follows infectious disease outbreaks, it is no great surprise that the most immediate, looming threat, Ebola, has received scant attention until recently. Even now, the world’s response has been incomprehensibly and seemingly irresponsibly slow. Why is this the case? Likely because of disparities in the power and wealth of people affected by [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Covert Operations vs. Public Health: What is the Government Thinking?

Graffiti on USAID poster - David Lisbona/flickr

My attention having been riveted by Ebola, I missed this startling news last week: U.S. Agency for International Development sent young people undercover to Cuba to incite anti-government activism. Their cover was an HIV prevention workshop. This short-sighted idiocy was apparently aimed at making Cuba more “democratic,” by overthrowing Raul Castro, though that small nation [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola and Priorities in Drug Development

Ebola in Guinea (flickr Euro Comm DG ECHO)

News is rapidly changing regarding Ebola. Even as I’ve been writing this post, we’ve gone from “There is no treatment except supportive care” to NIH’s Dr. Fauci saying a potential vaccine “could be given to health workers in affected African countries sometime in 2015.”⁠ This optimistic projection was a surprise to me, as normally it [...]

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Ebola-Like Disease Has Snakes Tied Up in Knots

python ebola virus

In 2009, some of the snakes at the California Academy of Sciences’ Steinhart Aquarium were acting sort of s-s-s-s-strange. Scientists suspected a sickness whose cause was mysterious. Now researchers think they’ve found an unlikely origin, as they watch the disease play out in strange and terrible fashion. “Some of the symptoms are pretty bizarre,” said [...]

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David Quammen on SciAm/Read Science! Chat

RS quammen poster

David Quammen, according to his website is  ”an author and journalist whose twelve books include The Song of the Dodo, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, and most recently Spillover, a work on the science, history, and human impacts of emerging diseases (especially viral diseases).”  I would hope you have read some of his works in any of the many [...]

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Graphic Guides to Ebola from the Epicenter and Abroad


The Ebola outbreak in Western Africa continues to make the news as more cases are reported and casualties rise. A common thread in reporting is the difficulty in communicating accurate information to combat the spread of the virus when communities are gripped with fear and misinformation spreads as quickly as the virus itself. While our [...]

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