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Ebola: Can we learn from SARS? - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD SCHABAS AND NEIL RAU
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Aug. 27 2014

here are four key things to know about Ebola:

1. It’s fundamentally spread from animal to human, not human to human.
This is an animal outbreak, with humans as collateral damage. The driving force is new infections acquired from animals. Human-to-human outbreaks are short-lived. This is not a single human outbreak starting from a “case zero.”

The specific animal reservoir for Ebola is unknown but is probably a jungle animal used for food, known as “bush meat.” The large number of cases in West Africa must be the result of more human contact with infected animals, either because there are more infected animals or because they are consumed or hunted more aggressively in West Africa than elsewhere. While identifying a specific animal host would certainly aid in prevention efforts, bush meat remains an important source of dietary protein and won’t be abandoned overnight as a food source. Ebola is a disease of poverty – a potentially deadly meal is better than no meal at all.

2. Unlike SARS, this outbreak won’t end quickly.

This is bad news for West Africa, which should expect a steady stream of new human infections.

3. Quarantine was abandoned a century ago.

There is an essential difference between quarantine and case isolation. Quarantine targets well people potentially incubating an infection; it’s impractical, ineffective and economically disruptive. Case isolation, on the other hand, targets individuals showing symptoms of disease and is the cornerstone of effective infection control.
4. Ebola may cause a scare, but it can’t cause an outbreak in Canada.
Ebola  SARS  flu_outbreaks  lessons_learned  disease  viruses  zoonosis  short-lived  collateral_damage  bad_news  Africa  West_Africa  infections 
september 2014 by jerryking
Dr. Sheela Basrur, 51: Guided city through SARS | Toronto Star
By: Tanya Talaga Global Economics Reporter, Prithi Yelaja Staff Reporters, Published on Tue Jun 03 2008
SARS  Toronto  obituaries  women  heroes 
july 2013 by jerryking
Will SARS Strike Here? -- Printout -- TIME
Apr. 14, 2003
Will SARS Strike Here?
By MICHAEL D. LEMONICK;Jim Erickson, Carmen Lee and Bryan Walsh/Hong Kong, Sora Song/New York, Matthew Forney/Beijing and Daffyd Roderick/Toronto
SARS  Hong_Kong 
july 2012 by jerryking
Six Months to Act: The SARS Epidemic
April 25, 2003 | WSJ | By DONALD S. BURKE.

Louis Pasteur, father of microbiology, wisely counseled that "Chance favors the prepared mind." For the moment, chance is on our side. But we have just six months to complete the job of the global eradication of the SARS coronavirus. After that, when the seasonal epidemic flares next year, it will be too late.
epidemics  HIV  viruses  SARS  seminal_moments  chance  preparation 
june 2012 by jerryking
Forget SARS: WHO Expert Says He Fears the Flu More - WSJ.com
May 29, 2003 | WSJ | GAUTAM NAIK | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
influenza  pandemics  SARS  flu_outbreaks  WHO 
june 2012 by jerryking
What history can teach us about SARS
Apr. 14, 2003 | TIME |By Pete Davies .As scientists race to unravel the mysteries of SARS, one issue high on their agenda will be the likelihood that the new virus is a cross-species transmission in which the virus has mutated from its animal carrier so that it can infect humans, who have no immunity from the alien invader. The most obvious examples of this are HIV and influenza, and the latter disease has disturbing parallels with SARS. The flu virus lives usually in the stomachs of waterfowl, and the two are co-adapted — the birds don't get sick. It is widely believed among virologists, however, that with the domestication of ducks in southern China 2,000-3,000 years ago, flu jumped species.

This region has always had high densities of people living in close proximity to large populations of pigs and chickens. It's not known in which order, but with this ready pool of targets near at hand, flu has transferred from ducks to all three species — and once established, it can swap back and forth between its different new hosts with devastating effect. The virus survives and thrives by constantly mutating — so that just as our immune systems recognize and kill off one strain, a new one emerges against which our defenses don't work. Most are minor adaptations, the product of genetic "drift." Every now and then, however, something more dramatic occurs: a genetic "shift." Also termed "a reassortment event," this is the creation of a wholly new strain with genetic elements taken from viruses found in different species.
China  epidemics  genetic_drift  genetic_shift  viruses  flu_outbreaks  SARS  proximity  zoonosis  zoonotic  genes  HIV  influenza 
may 2012 by jerryking
From Ducks to Pigs to Humans? - WSJ.com
April 22, 2003 | WSJ | By STEPHEN MORSE.
SAR was not the first such outbreak, and it will not be the last. Before SARS, human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, rose from obscurity in the 1970s and '80s to become a global public health crisis, leaving millions of orphans in its wake. Outbreaks of ebola, of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in food and water have also appeared in recent years. And, of course, the flu still has surprises in store, such as the avian ("bird flu") strains that have infected humans in recent years.
epidemics  SARS  flu_outbreaks  HIV  influenza  zoonotic 
may 2012 by jerryking
Terror is nasty, but what about that flu pandemic? -
12 July 2005 | Globe and Mail pg .13. | by Jeffrey Simpson.That's the thing about flu. It can travel fast, and it can be virulent. By the time a vaccine is produced, many people in infected areas can die.

SARS showed how fast diseases can travel. Once SARS appeared in China, people in five countries were infected within 24 hours, and in 30 countries within several months; 43 people died in Canada. The Canadian Tourism Commission estimated that SARS cost the economy $419-million. The cost to Ontario's health-care system exceeded $700-million.

The U.S. National Intelligence Council, looking ahead to 2020, says a global pandemic is the single most important threat to the global economy. The growing literature about the likelihood of a pandemic, probably a flu one, is filled with quasi-apocalyptic material: millions dead, billions of dollars of commerce disrupted, serious security risks.

Michael Osterholm, a U.S. public-health expert, writes: "A pandemic is coming. It could be caused by H5N1 or by another novel [flu] strain. It could happen tonight, next year, or even 10 years from now." The number of poultry and wildlife that carry the strain(s) has exploded. Should these deadly strains get into the human food chain, watch out.
pandemics  ProQuest  Jeffrey_Simpson  threats  H1N1  SARS  vaccines  WHO  flu_outbreaks  food_chains  virulence  global_economy  security_&_intelligence  the_single_most_important 
october 2011 by jerryking
Zoonotic Diseases
October 2007 Zoonotic Diseases | National Geographic | by David Quammen
National Geographic Contributing Writer
pandemics  zoonotic  epidemics  viruses  SARs 
may 2009 by jerryking

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