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VOA: Outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Spreads in North Korea
作者:dokknife
发表时间:2014-03-28
更新时间:2014-03-28
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Outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Spreads in North Korea

Hyunjin Kim, Jee Abbey Lee March 26, 2014


The World Organization for Animal Health says deadly foot-and-mouth disease has spread to another farm in the North Korean capital Pyongyang.

In an e-mail to VOA's Korean service Wednesday, the organization said at least six pigs were slaughtered January 16 after an outbreak of the disease in Sunan Village.

The new foot-and mouth outbreak in Pyongyang was of Type-O, the same class that had affected a pig farm in Pyongyang on January 8. The first outbreak resulted in the death of more than 3,000 animals.

While the time difference between the first and the second outbreaks was only one week, such information is rarely made public by the North Korean government. It is not yet known if the disease outbreak has been contained or spread to even more farms in North Korea.

Juan Lubroth, the Chief Veterinary Officer at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said his team just returned from a week-long visit to Pyongyang and is analyzing its findings. North Korea requested the organization's support in containing the disease last month.

While foot-and-mouth disease does not affect humans, it is highly infectious and can wipe out entire farms of their livestock. The ramifications can be especially high in a place such as North Korea, which has suffered from famines and chronic food shortages.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Korean service.

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1   [dokknife 于 2014-03-28 13:27:50 提到] [FROM: 72.]
Study: One Million Children Infected with Tuberculosis Yearly

Jessica Berman March 23, 2014


WASHINGTON — On World TB Day, March 24, there’s some sobering news about children and tuberculosis. A new study estimates that every year, 1 million children worldwide become infected with TB. That’s twice previous World Health Organization estimates and three times the number of youngsters who are reported, diagnosed and treated for the disease annually. More concerning still is news that 32,000 children are sick with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, which is extremely difficult to treat.

Experts say there is a narrow window for identifying and treating children with the disease. Unlike adults, who can carry the bacterium in a latent form for many years before becoming ill, public health officials say kids infected with TB can become sick very rapidly, and may die before ever seeing a doctor.

Part of the problem is tuberculosis is very difficult to diagnose in children, according to Mercedes Beccera, a professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Beccera said the conventional sputum test used successfully to diagnose TB in adults does not work very well in children. The test looks for the presence of bacteria in a sample of mucus coughed up by patients.

But Beccera, a senior author of the report on kids and TB published in the journal The Lancet, says the sputum test is not sensitive enough to pick up the disease in all youngsters.

“Children have less bacteria and their disease is actually different than adults. It presents differently,” explained Beccera.

In children, Beccera said, the TB bacteria often do not stay confined to the lungs. Often, the disease spreads to other parts of the body, including the brain and bone marrow.

Becerra and colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston first looked into the number of cases of multi-drug resistant TB in children.

In the course of combing through regional and global estimates, they found about 1 million children overall developed TB in 2010, approximately double official estimates. Of these, researchers discovered that more than 30,000 pediatric cases were drug resistant.

Because children usually become infected with tuberculosis through exposure to sick adults, Beccera said that many cases of TB could be prevented by thoroughly screening those who come in contact with patients - including children.

Otherwise, Beccera said, failure to examine children is a missed opportunity to treat and prevent tuberculosis.

“Every single child with TB is a warning signal that TB transmission is ongoing around that child, and that children are not getting preventive therapy,” said Beccera.

Beccera said most cases of tuberculosis occur in China, Russia and India, but pointed out that children are becoming infected with tuberculosis anywhere adults are sick with the disease.


2 [dokknife 于 2014-03-28 13:26:46

Health Officials Scramble to Contain Guinea Ebola Outbreak
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014.
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014.

Jennifer Lazuta March 25, 2014


DAKAR — At least 59 people have died following an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Health officials are taking steps to contain the outbreak, including educating the public about ways to keep the virus from spreading.

Guinea’s Ministry of Health says there have been at least 86 suspected cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the country’s southeastern forest region since Feb. 9.

Liberia’s Ministry of Health says five people, who crossed the border from affected areas in Guinea into Lofa County for treatment, are believed to have died from Ebola.

Health officials are also investigating suspected cases in Sierra Leone.

Plan International is a non-profit that promotes children's development. The group's regional director of disaster risk management is in Conakry to work on containment efforts.

“People are scared. They are rightly scared, but so far, we are not seeing a mass movement of people leaving the area," said Roland Berehoudougou. "The key thing in the area is there is a lack of information. So now we are supporting the government, the minister of health, in providing mass communication - using the TV, local radio and also SMS - to inform people about the situation and also prevention measures they should take to protect themselves against the virus.”

Berehoudougou says schools are of particular concern because children come into such close contact with one another.

The WHO says Ebola is one of the most contagious viral diseases. It is spread through contact with the bodily fluids, such as sweat, blood and saliva, of an infected person or animal.

There is no vaccine or cure. Symptoms usually start with fever, headache, vomiting and diarrhea. Some people experience bleeding through the eyes, ears, nose or mouth.

The most recent outbreaks occurred in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012. Fifty-seven people died. In 2007, Ebola killed 187 people during an outbreak in the DRC.

The director of the WHO's Disease Prevention and Control Unit in Africa worked on such outbreaks.

“What we did, working with the health workers, we instituted strong infection prevention measures, which included the proper disposal of materials that may be soiled with bodily fluids, proper disposal of the corpse or the body of persons that have died from potentially suspected Ebola cases,” said Dr. Francis Kasolo.

He said the length of time to contain an outbreak can vary, but the sooner you start, the better.

This is the first human Ebola outbreak in Guinea and in West Africa. Kasolo said this made it harder to identify the virus as Ebola. Ebola causes viral hemorrhagic fever, but so do several other illnesses common to the region, including lassa fever.

Kasolo said health workers in Guinea just are not as familiar with the disease.

“Our own thinking is that the alert level amongst the health workers and the community is not as high as, for instance, in Uganda and DRC, where Ebola occurs mostly every second or third year," he said. "So it’s a question of people reporting a suspicious or unusual illness, but because they are not familiar with that, it does take a little while for them to ... finally think of Ebola.”

Aid organizations are now supplying protective gear to health workers, as well as other medical supplies and medications to ease the symptoms of infected people.

Doctors Without Borders has set up isolation units in southern Guinea to treat suspected cases.

The ministries of health in Guinea and Liberia say public information campaigns are underway to educate people about the symptoms of Ebola and the modes of transmission.



Scientist Who Discovered Ebola Is Frustrated by Deadly Guinea Outbreak

A medical worker from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and researchers who are working on the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, at their laboratory in Entebbe, 42 kilometers from the capital Kampala, Aug. 2, 2012.
A medical worker from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and researchers who are working on the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, at their laboratory in Entebbe, 42 kilometers from the capital Kampala, Aug. 2, 2012.

Reuters March 25, 2014

LONDON — Peter Piot was 27, newly qualified and working in a microbiology lab in Antwerp when he received a flask of human blood contaminated with a mysterious pathogen that had been killing people in the forests of Zaire.

If he'd known then what he was to discover - that inside was Ebola, one of the most lethal infectious diseases now known in humans - he would have taken more safety precautions.

As it was, Piot and his colleagues wore only latex gloves and white cotton lab coats as they unscrewed the top, took out its contents - vials of infected blood taken from a Flemish nun in Zaire, stored in a blue thermos flask and couriered to Belgium on a passenger plane - and began analyzing them.

“Looking back, that was probably quite irresponsible. But we didn't know then what we were dealing with,” the now 65-year-old said in an interview from his office at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is director.

“These are dangerous moments - particularly when you don't know what you've got. Such blood can contain very high levels of virus,” he said.

'Spectacular virus'

That tale dates from Belgium in 1976, when Piot and his team became the co-discoverers of Ebola. The young Belgian scientist then went to Zaire, now Congo, in central Africa to work in the rainforests among dying villagers and missionaries to collect samples and investigate the epidemic.

Yet almost four decades on, the disease Piot describes as “a spectacular virus - and one of the most lethal infections you can think of”, has continued to rise up in the region, causing frightening but sporadic outbreaks that kill poor and vulnerable people with gruesome haemorrhagic fevers.

In Guinea, health authorities said on Monday that an outbreak there - the first known in a west Africa country - already involves scores of suspected cases.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization said on Tuesday Guinea had reported at least 86 cases reported, including 59 deaths.

Six suspected Ebola cases, including five deaths, in neighboring Liberia were also under investigation, it said.

Piot says he's saddened and frustrated by this and other outbreaks - partly because they should be easy to prevent, or at least to contain, and partly because the scientific detective work behind the Ebola virus has not yet revealed its main host.

“What we're seeing is a pattern that's been repeated in nearly every single Ebola outbreak,” he told Reuters.

“It started in people who live in the forest, or in close contact with it, and it's then transmitted around hospitals....and then spreads further either at funerals or in households though close contact.”

No treatment or vaccine

The virus initially causes a raging fever, headaches, muscle pain and conjunctivitis, before moving to severe phases that bring on vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding. It kills up to 90 percent of those who become infected.

That there is no treatment or vaccine against Ebola suggests people are helpless in the face of this vicious virus, but Piot insists that is not the case.

“Fundamentally, Ebola is easy to contain,” he said. “It's not a question of needing high technology.”

“It's about respecting the basics of hygiene, and about isolation, quarantine and protecting yourself - in particular protecting healthcare workers, because they are very exposed.”

The problem in Guinea, and in other countries in Africa where Ebola has reared up in the past few decades, is that health systems are in bad shape, he said, communications are limited, and the people are fairly mobile and very poor.

As a doctor and researcher whose life has been dedicated to the pursuit of deadly viruses - (after his Ebola discovery Piot became one of the world's leading scientific experts on HIV and AIDS) - Piot is also frustrated that scientists have not yet been able to pin down the main host of this lethal fever.

While the virus is known to be transmitted to people from wild animals, before spreading in humans through person-to-person transmission, its main animal host - or what virologists often call the “reservoir” of a virus - is not totally clear.

Piot, like others, suspects fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are the most likely natural host, yet the uncertainty leaves scientists unable to get ahead of fresh outbreaks.

“This is a virus that is highly unpredictable,” he said. “This time it popped up in Guinea where it has never been detected before.

“Why there? Why now? That's what I find frustrating. If we knew for sure the host of this virus, we could do more to say where people are more at risk.”



Ebola Death Toll Rises to 59 in Guinea

Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014.
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014.

VOA News March 24, 2014


Health officials say an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever linked to the Ebola virus now has killed 59 people in the West African nation of Guinea.

The World Health Organization reports 86 suspected Ebola cases in Guinea, 13 of which have been confirmed by lab results.

This outbreak has been centered in rural parts of southeastern Guinea, including the areas of Gueckedou and Macenta.

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
severe, often fatal disease in humans and non-human primates
has appeared sporadically since initial recognition in 1976
named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo
can be spread from direct contact with blood and/or secretions of infected people
symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, in some cases followed by internal and external bleeding
no specific treatment is available

Source: CDC A statement from the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says it is working with Guinea's health ministry to set up isolation facilities in the two areas.

The WHO said on its Twitter feed Monday that tests for two suspected cases in the capital, Conakry, came back negative.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in neighboring Liberia reports five suspected Ebola-related deaths. It says the victims were three Liberians and two Guineans who had crossed the border from Guinea for treatment.

Ebola is one of the most highly contagious viral diseases, and causes symptoms that include high fever, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding.

Health officials say caretakers should minimize direct or close contact with infected patients, and wash their hands frequently.

An Ebola outbreak in Uganda in 2012 killed at least 16 people.

 
2   [dokknife 于 2014-03-28 13:26:46 提到] [FROM: 72.]
Health Officials Scramble to Contain Guinea Ebola Outbreak
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014.
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014.















Related Articles

Ebola Death Toll Rises to 59 in Guinea
Emergency Ebola Intervention Launched in Guinea








TEXT SIZE

Jennifer Lazuta

March 25, 2014


DAKAR — At least 59 people have died following an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Health officials are taking steps to contain the outbreak, including educating the public about ways to keep the virus from spreading.

Guinea’s Ministry of Health says there have been at least 86 suspected cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the country’s southeastern forest region since Feb. 9.

Liberia’s Ministry of Health says five people, who crossed the border from affected areas in Guinea into Lofa County for treatment, are believed to have died from Ebola.

Health officials are also investigating suspected cases in Sierra Leone.

Plan International is a non-profit that promotes children's development. The group's regional director of disaster risk management is in Conakry to work on containment efforts.

“People are scared. They are rightly scared, but so far, we are not seeing a mass movement of people leaving the area," said Roland Berehoudougou. "The key thing in the area is there is a lack of information. So now we are supporting the government, the minister of health, in providing mass communication - using the TV, local radio and also SMS - to inform people about the situation and also prevention measures they should take to protect themselves against the virus.”

Berehoudougou says schools are of particular concern because children come into such close contact with one another.

The WHO says Ebola is one of the most contagious viral diseases. It is spread through contact with the bodily fluids, such as sweat, blood and saliva, of an infected person or animal.

There is no vaccine or cure. Symptoms usually start with fever, headache, vomiting and diarrhea. Some people experience bleeding through the eyes, ears, nose or mouth.

The most recent outbreaks occurred in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012. Fifty-seven people died. In 2007, Ebola killed 187 people during an outbreak in the DRC.

The director of the WHO's Disease Prevention and Control Unit in Africa worked on such outbreaks.

“What we did, working with the health workers, we instituted strong infection prevention measures, which included the proper disposal of materials that may be soiled with bodily fluids, proper disposal of the corpse or the body of persons that have died from potentially suspected Ebola cases,” said Dr. Francis Kasolo.

He said the length of time to contain an outbreak can vary, but the sooner you start, the better.

This is the first human Ebola outbreak in Guinea and in West Africa. Kasolo said this made it harder to identify the virus as Ebola. Ebola causes viral hemorrhagic fever, but so do several other illnesses common to the region, including lassa fever.

Kasolo said health workers in Guinea just are not as familiar with the disease.

“Our own thinking is that the alert level amongst the health workers and the community is not as high as, for instance, in Uganda and DRC, where Ebola occurs mostly every second or third year," he said. "So it’s a question of people reporting a suspicious or unusual illness, but because they are not familiar with that, it does take a little while for them to ... finally think of Ebola.”

Aid organizations are now supplying protective gear to health workers, as well as other medical supplies and medications to ease the symptoms of infected people.

Doctors Without Borders has set up isolation units in southern Guinea to treat suspected cases.

The ministries of health in Guinea and Liberia say public information campaigns are underway to educate people about the symptoms of Ebola and the modes of transmission.



Scientist Who Discovered Ebola Is Frustrated by Deadly Guinea Outbreak

A medical worker from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and researchers who are working on the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, at their laboratory in Entebbe, 42 kilometers from the capital Kampala, Aug. 2, 2012.
A medical worker from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and researchers who are working on the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, at their laboratory in Entebbe, 42 kilometers from the capital Kampala, Aug. 2, 2012.















Related Articles

Ebola Death Toll Rises to 59 in Guinea
TB is Number One Killer in South Africa
Multimedia New Diagnostic Tools Help People With MDR-TB Get Treatment








TEXT SIZE

Reuters

March 25, 2014


LONDON — Peter Piot was 27, newly qualified and working in a microbiology lab in Antwerp when he received a flask of human blood contaminated with a mysterious pathogen that had been killing people in the forests of Zaire.

If he'd known then what he was to discover - that inside was Ebola, one of the most lethal infectious diseases now known in humans - he would have taken more safety precautions.

As it was, Piot and his colleagues wore only latex gloves and white cotton lab coats as they unscrewed the top, took out its contents - vials of infected blood taken from a Flemish nun in Zaire, stored in a blue thermos flask and couriered to Belgium on a passenger plane - and began analyzing them.

“Looking back, that was probably quite irresponsible. But we didn't know then what we were dealing with,” the now 65-year-old said in an interview from his office at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is director.

“These are dangerous moments - particularly when you don't know what you've got. Such blood can contain very high levels of virus,” he said.

'Spectacular virus'

That tale dates from Belgium in 1976, when Piot and his team became the co-discoverers of Ebola. The young Belgian scientist then went to Zaire, now Congo, in central Africa to work in the rainforests among dying villagers and missionaries to collect samples and investigate the epidemic.

Yet almost four decades on, the disease Piot describes as “a spectacular virus - and one of the most lethal infections you can think of”, has continued to rise up in the region, causing frightening but sporadic outbreaks that kill poor and vulnerable people with gruesome haemorrhagic fevers.

In Guinea, health authorities said on Monday that an outbreak there - the first known in a west Africa country - already involves scores of suspected cases.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization said on Tuesday Guinea had reported at least 86 cases reported, including 59 deaths.

Six suspected Ebola cases, including five deaths, in neighboring Liberia were also under investigation, it said.

Piot says he's saddened and frustrated by this and other outbreaks - partly because they should be easy to prevent, or at least to contain, and partly because the scientific detective work behind the Ebola virus has not yet revealed its main host.

“What we're seeing is a pattern that's been repeated in nearly every single Ebola outbreak,” he told Reuters.

“It started in people who live in the forest, or in close contact with it, and it's then transmitted around hospitals....and then spreads further either at funerals or in households though close contact.”

No treatment or vaccine

The virus initially causes a raging fever, headaches, muscle pain and conjunctivitis, before moving to severe phases that bring on vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding. It kills up to 90 percent of those who become infected.

That there is no treatment or vaccine against Ebola suggests people are helpless in the face of this vicious virus, but Piot insists that is not the case.

“Fundamentally, Ebola is easy to contain,” he said. “It's not a question of needing high technology.”

“It's about respecting the basics of hygiene, and about isolation, quarantine and protecting yourself - in particular protecting healthcare workers, because they are very exposed.”

The problem in Guinea, and in other countries in Africa where Ebola has reared up in the past few decades, is that health systems are in bad shape, he said, communications are limited, and the people are fairly mobile and very poor.

As a doctor and researcher whose life has been dedicated to the pursuit of deadly viruses - (after his Ebola discovery Piot became one of the world's leading scientific experts on HIV and AIDS) - Piot is also frustrated that scientists have not yet been able to pin down the main host of this lethal fever.

While the virus is known to be transmitted to people from wild animals, before spreading in humans through person-to-person transmission, its main animal host - or what virologists often call the “reservoir” of a virus - is not totally clear.

Piot, like others, suspects fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are the most likely natural host, yet the uncertainty leaves scientists unable to get ahead of fresh outbreaks.

“This is a virus that is highly unpredictable,” he said. “This time it popped up in Guinea where it has never been detected before.

“Why there? Why now? That's what I find frustrating. If we knew for sure the host of this virus, we could do more to say where people are more at risk.”



Ebola Death Toll Rises to 59 in Guinea

Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014.
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014.

VOA News March 24, 2014


Health officials say an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever linked to the Ebola virus now has killed 59 people in the West African nation of Guinea.

The World Health Organization reports 86 suspected Ebola cases in Guinea, 13 of which have been confirmed by lab results.

This outbreak has been centered in rural parts of southeastern Guinea, including the areas of Gueckedou and Macenta.

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
severe, often fatal disease in humans and non-human primates
has appeared sporadically since initial recognition in 1976
named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo
can be spread from direct contact with blood and/or secretions of infected people
symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, in some cases followed by internal and external bleeding
no specific treatment is available

Source: CDC A statement from the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says it is working with Guinea's health ministry to set up isolation facilities in the two areas.

The WHO said on its Twitter feed Monday that tests for two suspected cases in the capital, Conakry, came back negative.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in neighboring Liberia reports five suspected Ebola-related deaths. It says the victims were three Liberians and two Guineans who had crossed the border from Guinea for treatment.

Ebola is one of the most highly contagious viral diseases, and causes symptoms that include high fever, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding.

Health officials say caretakers should minimize direct or close contact with infected patients, and wash their hands frequently.

An Ebola outbreak in Uganda in 2012 killed at least 16 people.
 
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