Calicivirus, schmalicivirus

I mentioned previously that a new virus had been found that’s associated with prostate cancer. Several ongoing studies are finding tons of new species of microbes, and we’re learning more about the diversity that is around us every day. And though most of these newly-discovered organisms won’t harm us, some just might.

A new study (summarized here points to a calicivirus (genus Vesivirus, a relative of the Norovirus that has gotten much attention recently as the cause of gastroenteritis on cruise ships) as a potential cause of human illness. Vesivirus has an oceanic reservoir and has been previously found to infect fish, seals, shellfish, swine, cattle, and primates, but it was thought this infection–and especially disease–was rare in humans. Maybe not.
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Introduction to emerging diseases and zoonoses, part 2

I’d like to continue the overview of emerging infectious diseases (part one is here) by discussing some reasons why diseases “emerge.” Obviously, this will be somewhat of a simplification; many diseases may emerge due to a combination of the topics mentioned below, or may have factors involved that I don’t mention, so these should be considered broad categories rather than an all-inclusive list.
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It ain’t sexy–but mumps is big in Iowa

Sometimes amid all the news about H5N1, the “old and boring” diseases get overlooked, such as chickenpox and mumps.

State health officials said they are concerned about a rare strain of virus behind an outbreak of 60 mumps cases in Iowa.

Mary Gilchrist, director of the state’s University Hygienic Laboratory, said the genotype G strain is infrequently seen in the United States. With the number jumping from 17 cases just two weeks ago, she predicted there could be more outbreaks this spring.

“If the past predicts the future, it will get worse in April,” she said.

(Continued below)

Continue reading “It ain’t sexy–but mumps is big in Iowa”

Emerging Disease and Zoonoses series

Part One: Introduction to Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses

Part Two: Introduction to Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses continued

Part Three: Bushmeat

Part Four: War and Disease

Part Five: Chikungunya

Part Six: Avian influenza

Part Seven: Reporting on emerging diseases

Part Eight: Disease and Domesticated Animals

Part Nine: The Emergence of Nipah Virus

Part Ten: Monkeypox

Part Eleven: Streptococcus suis

Part Twelve: Salmonella and fish

Part Thirteen: new swine influenza virus detected

Part Fourteen: dog flu strikes Wyoming.

Part Fifteen: Clostridium species.

Part Sixteen: The origins of HIV.

Part Seventeen: “Mad cow,” kuru, and prion incubation periods.

Part Eighteen: spread of H5N1 in Nigeria.

Part Nineteen: bats and emerging viruses.

Part Twenty: subclinical infections with avian influenza.

Part Twenty-one: West Nile virus outbreak…in Idaho squirrels?

Part Twenty-two: Popeye never warned you about this.

Part Twenty-three: Pets ain’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Part Twenty-four: Rift Valley Fever outbreak in Kenya.

Part Twenty-five: Rift Valley Fever update

Part Twenty-six: Chimps at risk of acquiring antibiotic-resistant infections

Part Twenty-seven: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Part Twenty-eight: Introduction to Marburg virus

Part Twenty-nine: Marburg virus: has the elusive reservoir species been found?

Part Thirty: swine flu in Ohio fairgoers?

Part Thirty-One: Newly discovered Ebola viruses: filling gaps in viral ecology

Part Thirty-Two: Chikungunya–in India, Italy, and Iowa

Part Thirty-Three: MRSA and swine: collision course

Part Thirty-Four: How far does religious freedom extend when it conflicts with public health?

Part Thirty-Five: What’s it like to work an Ebola outbreak?

Part Thirty-Six: Influenza meta-update: H5N1 spreading, new swine influenza virus found

Part Thirty-Seven: Where did syphilis come from?

Part Thirty-Eight: “One medicine, one health”

Part Thirty-Nine: What’s Google got to do with emerging disease?

Part Forty: Marburg hits Europe once again.

Part Forty-One: New Ebola subtype confirmed.

Part Forty-Two: Ebola in pigs!

Part Forty-Three: MRSA in US Swine

Part Forty-Four: Swine flu–a quick overview

Part Forty-Five: Swine flu and deaths in healthy adults–cytokine storm?

Part Forty-Six: Swine flu: 20 US cases now identified

Part Forty-Seven: Swine flu update: Europe and the bottom of the world

Part Forty-Eight: Swine flu–still spreading

Part Forty-Nine: Swine flu: Central & South America, Asia, New York update

Part Fifty: US up to 91 swine flu cases, including 1 death [Updated: New England confirmed cases]

Part Fifty-One: What does the WHO’s pandemic scale mean? And why is anyone worried about this?

Part Fifty-Two: Why I’ll be getting my kids their flu vaccines

Part Fifty-Three: MRSA and pets–should they get tested?

Part Fifty-Four: Staphylococcus aureus ST398 in a childcare worker

Part Fifty-Five: Staph in food–what does it mean?

Part Fifty-Six: MRSA and bedbugs–not so fast

Part Fifty-Seven: MRSA, Meat, and Motown

Part Fifty-Eight: Ebola in Uganda: current and past outbreaks

Part Fifty-Nine: Pigs with Ebola Zaire: a whole new can o’ worms

Part Sixty: When is MRSA not MRSA?

Part Sixty-One: E. coli O104:H4 in Europe–is it new?

Part Sixty-Two: E. coli update: sprouts as the culprit?

Part Sixty-Three: MRSA found in Iowa meat

Part Sixty-Four: Does bestiality increase your risk of penile cancer?

Part Sixty-Five: Castrating sheep with teeth–not a good idea (with video!)

Part Sixty-Six: MRSA in pork products–does the “antibiotic-free” label make a difference?

Part Sixty-Seven: The human origins of “pig” Staph ST398

Part Sixty-Eight: Influenza in bats

Part Sixty-Nine: The Emergence of Nodding Disease

Part Seventy: Poultry feather meal as a source of antibiotics in feed

Part Seventy-One: Ebola resurfaces in Uganda

Part Seventy-Two: Ebola: Back in the DRC

Related posts

Consumption of wild animals down in China

In the field

Pneumonic Plague outbreak

Also of interest: Infectious Animals, a National Geographic piece.

Introduction to emerging diseases and zoonoses, part 1

So, I’m back from Atlanta. While there, I attended two back-to-back conferences. First, ICEID: International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases; second, ISEZ: International Symposium on Emerging Zoonoses. I thought I’d do a multi-part series this week discussing some of the highlights.

To make sure everyone is on the same page, first I’ll discuss just what is meant by an “emerging infectious disease” and a “zoonosis” or “zoonotic disease.”
Continue reading “Introduction to emerging diseases and zoonoses, part 1”

More on the “math” in mathematical modeling

Over at Good math, bad math, Mark has a bit more on mathematical modeling. Before anyone screams “witch hunt,” please note:

I’ll leave the science debate over at Aetiology, where it belongs. But there’s definitely a mathematical aspect to this. Professor Culshaw lends her authority as a mathematician to the HIV denialist folks. Does her math support what she’s saying?

Alas, no.

Professor Culshaw is not a bad mathematician – quite the opposite. What I can read of her publications shows very solid mathematical work, done extremely well.

The problem is that when she tries to apply the mathematics to the science of epidemiology, she fails miserably, and the reason why is mathematical.

Elaboration at the link.