nprglobalhealth

nprglobalhealth:

In West Africa, Officials Target Ignorance And Fear Over Ebola

There’s growing concern in West Africa about the spread of the Ebola virus that has killed hundreds of people. Health ministers have formed a regional response, but fear and a lack of knowledge about Ebola threaten their efforts.

Liberian musicians are joining the campaign, taking to song to educate people about the Ebola virus. Their tune is called "Ebola in Town," and warns people to beware of close contact with those who fall ill. The song warns, “Don’t touch your friend.”

Since the outbreak was first detected in Guinea in February, the U.N.’s World Health Organization has reported more than 500 deaths there as well as neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Almost 850 cases have been recorded to date.

Ebola is highly contagious through contact with bodily fluids like blood, vomit or saliva. And it’s generally fatal. But there is a chance for survival if infected people can get medical attention.

West African government health officials have agreed to a coordinated strategy, aware that a contagious disease will cross borders as people travel for commerce or work. But their effort is hampered by fear and ignorance about the disease.

For example, families sometimes hide relatives with Ebola rather than take them for treatment. They fear the panic and ostracism that the disease may provoke from others nearby.

That’s why Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is warning her country that anyone caught hiding suspected Ebola patients will be prosecuted.

"Here, we’re talking about a deadly disease — a disease that can kill people. And we’re obliged to also protect the lives of people," Sirleaf said. "There’s a law that says they must do that. And if they don’t, then there are penalties."

Continue reading.

Related: Ebola 101: The Facts Behind A Frightening Virus

women-in-science

jtotheizzoe:

scishow:

i-heart-histo:

Once upon a slide…the first microbiology book for 5 year olds!

At last! No more bed time fairy tales about damsels in distress, princesses in pink and knights in white shining armor.

Move over Disney. This is a world we should be opening our kids up to. Steeped in reality. A world 1000x more exciting than those lands too far far far away, and it is all playing out under our very noses, inside our refrigerators, outside our back doors and throughout our own bodies.

Thank you to Nicola Davies (author) and Emily Sutton (illustrator) for this beautiful non-fiction children’s book that introduces young readers to microscopy.

I can’t wait to buy this for my nieces.

Let me know if you need help with the histological sequel ;)

i-heart-histo

Sources:

View more of Emily’s beautiful artwork at her website

Find out more about award winning author Nicola at her blog/website

Images and book (ISBN:1406341045) seen at amazon.com and via Walker Books 

We are SO down with this.

Where was this book when I was a kid?

I will be getting this book for my future children!

nprglobalhealth
nprglobalhealth:

CIA Says It Will No Longer Use Vaccine Programs As Cover
A White House official says the CIA will no longer use vaccine programs as cover for spy operations, answering health experts’ complaints that it had hurt international efforts to fight disease.
The CIA famously used a vaccination program as a ploy to gain information about the possible whereabouts of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. That effort didn’t succeed, and the doctor involved was sentenced to a prison term. But the revelation had immediate effects — particularly in the fight against polio.
As The New York Times reported in 2012, vaccination teams were banned in some areas of Pakistan.
And vaccination workers have been assassinated, the deans from Tulane, Emory, Columbia and other universities wrote in a letter to President Obama dated Jan. 6, 2013. They also compared the use of vaccine programs to the CIA’s early infiltration of the Peace Corps, saying that in both cases, the practice had to be stopped to protect volunteers and gain access where people are most vulnerable to disease.
Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco recently sent a letter responding to the deans. She wrote that in August 2013, CIA Director John Brennan issued an order forbidding the use of vaccination programs to gather intelligence or genetic evidence
Continue reading.
Photo: A doctor gives a polio vaccine to a child at a health clinic in Baghdad last week. The CIA says it banned the use of vaccine programs as cover for spying last year — a practice health officials said had wide repercussions. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

nprglobalhealth:

CIA Says It Will No Longer Use Vaccine Programs As Cover

A White House official says the CIA will no longer use vaccine programs as cover for spy operations, answering health experts’ complaints that it had hurt international efforts to fight disease.

The CIA famously used a vaccination program as a ploy to gain information about the possible whereabouts of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. That effort didn’t succeed, and the doctor involved was sentenced to a prison term. But the revelation had immediate effects — particularly in the fight against polio.

As The New York Times reported in 2012, vaccination teams were banned in some areas of Pakistan.

And vaccination workers have been assassinated, the deans from Tulane, Emory, Columbia and other universities wrote in a letter to President Obama dated Jan. 6, 2013. They also compared the use of vaccine programs to the CIA’s early infiltration of the Peace Corps, saying that in both cases, the practice had to be stopped to protect volunteers and gain access where people are most vulnerable to disease.

Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco recently sent a letter responding to the deans. She wrote that in August 2013, CIA Director John Brennan issued an order forbidding the use of vaccination programs to gather intelligence or genetic evidence

Continue reading.

Photo: A doctor gives a polio vaccine to a child at a health clinic in Baghdad last week. The CIA says it banned the use of vaccine programs as cover for spying last year — a practice health officials said had wide repercussions. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

nprglobalhealth
nprglobalhealth:

MERS Virus Comes To U.S., But Risk To Public Is Deemed Low
On April 24, an American health care worker based in Saudi Arabia flew from Riyadh to London to Chicago, then took a bus to Indiana.
Three days later, the man began experiencing shortness of breath and coughing. He also ran a fever. He visited the emergency room on April 28 and was tested by the Indiana public health lab. Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that he is the first MERS patient in the United States.
MERS, the acronym for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The virus likely spreads from camels to humans and can cause pneumonia-like symptoms. CDC says there have been 401 confirmed cases in 13 countries, with 244 in Saudi Arabia. Ninety-three people have died. Many patients worked directly with camels or had consumed camel meat or milk prior to contracting MERS.
The disease can pass from human to human but there is “limited spread” in that way, according to the CDC, typically to a health caregiver or a household member who has close contact. MERS is not believed to spread readily in community settings.
The CDC does not know how the patient in the U.S. contracted the disease.
Read more.
Photo: A Muslim pilgrim wears a mask in Mecca to protect against the Middle East respiratory syndrome in October 2013. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

nprglobalhealth:

MERS Virus Comes To U.S., But Risk To Public Is Deemed Low

On April 24, an American health care worker based in Saudi Arabia flew from Riyadh to London to Chicago, then took a bus to Indiana.

Three days later, the man began experiencing shortness of breath and coughing. He also ran a fever. He visited the emergency room on April 28 and was tested by the Indiana public health lab. Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that he is the first MERS patient in the United States.

MERS, the acronym for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The virus likely spreads from camels to humans and can cause pneumonia-like symptoms. CDC says there have been 401 confirmed cases in 13 countries, with 244 in Saudi Arabia. Ninety-three people have died. Many patients worked directly with camels or had consumed camel meat or milk prior to contracting MERS.

The disease can pass from human to human but there is “limited spread” in that way, according to the CDC, typically to a health caregiver or a household member who has close contact. MERS is not believed to spread readily in community settings.

The CDC does not know how the patient in the U.S. contracted the disease.

Read more.

Photo: A Muslim pilgrim wears a mask in Mecca to protect against the Middle East respiratory syndrome in October 2013. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

jtotheizzoe

jtotheizzoe:

Let This Awesome Science Infect Your Mind

Ed Yong is one of the finest science writers in the world. His National Geographic blog is chock full of the weird, wild, and WTF-inducing stories that make our living world so darn interesting. So I was overjoyed when I heard he would be speaking at this year’s TED.

He didn’t disappoint. In his talk above, he unlocks the under-appreciated and often cringe-worthy world of mind-controlling parasites. They get no respect, I tell ya, no respect at all. Yet they are cornerstones of countless ecosystems, determining food availability and managing population sizes like armies of freaky fauna, each deployed in a Trojan Horse of evolution’s design. Every parasite’s life is a story, by definition, an elaborate chain that extends from host to host, and I think they’ve found their minstrel in Ed. I mean that as a compliment, of course.

Listen to him weave a tapestry of tapeworms, explain what makes flamingos munch on zombie shrimp, show you how a cricket is like a TARDIS, how a wasp turns a cockroach into a cocker spaniel, and how a brain-controlling protozoan reminds him of an Elizabeth Gilbert novel. My favorite part of this? The idea that ideas themselves may be parasites.

I haven’t loved a TED talk this much in a long time. Or maybe that’s just the parasite talking. 

nprglobalhealth

txchnologist:

Origami Makes 50-Cent Paper Microscope That Magnifies 2,000 Times

Stanford University bioengineer Manu Prakash has developed a microscope made of paper that costs 50 cents to make. Using the magic of origami, the Foldscope device can focus through a sample mounted on a standard slide in micron-length steps. It can magnify objects 2,000 times with sub-micron resolution without needing any external power.

The instrument is part of Frugal Science for Public Health, an effort by Prakash’s team to democratize science. Healthcare workers can use it to diagnose infectious diseases like malaria and those caused by pathogenic bacteria, and it can also be used as a teaching aid.

See the ted talk below from which these gifs are made.

Read More

scientificthought
scienceyoucanlove:

Super close-up of a wound containing red blood cells, neutrophils, macrophages and mast cells.When a wound occurs in a blood vessel, several interconnected steps occur to staunch the flow of blood:Vasoconstriction constricts the blood vessel, minimizing vessel diameter and slowing bleeding.Primary hemostasis occurs, wherein platelets, one of the formed elements of the blood, bind to collagen in the exposed walls of the blood vessel to form a hemostatic plug within seconds after an injury.Secondary hemostasis or coagulation occurs. This is a complex cascade of coagulation factors ultimately resulting in the transformation of fibrinogen, a blood protein, into polymerized fibrin, making a clot. This process takes several minutes. The clot attracts and stimulates the growth of fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells within the vessel wall, and begins the repair process which ultimately results in the dissolution of the clot (clot lysis). Disorders of hemostasis can be roughly divided into platelet disorders, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, and disorders of coagulation, such as hemophilia. Image found on publications.nigms.nih.gov/findings/sept07/dipietro_files/textmostly/slide5.html
from neurons want food 

Ah, so cool!

scienceyoucanlove:

Super close-up of a wound containing red blood cells, neutrophils, macrophages and mast cells.

When a wound occurs in a blood vessel, several interconnected steps occur to staunch the flow of blood:

Vasoconstriction constricts the blood vessel, minimizing vessel diameter and slowing bleeding.

Primary hemostasis occurs, wherein platelets, one of the formed elements of the blood, bind to collagen in the exposed walls of the blood vessel to form a hemostatic plug within seconds after an injury.

Secondary hemostasis or coagulation occurs. This is a complex cascade of coagulation factors ultimately resulting in the transformation of fibrinogen, a blood protein, into polymerized fibrin, making a clot. 

This process takes several minutes. The clot attracts and stimulates the growth of fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells within the vessel wall, and begins the repair process which ultimately results in the dissolution of the clot (clot lysis). 

Disorders of hemostasis can be roughly divided into platelet disorders, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, and disorders of coagulation, such as hemophilia. 

Image found on publications.nigms.nih.gov/findings/sept07/dipietro_files/textmostly/slide5.html

from neurons want food 

Ah, so cool!