Check it out over at Island of Doubt.
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.
Continue reading “Calicivirus, schmalicivirus”
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.
Continue reading “Introduction to emerging diseases and zoonoses, part 2”
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.
Also of interest: Infectious Animals, a National Geographic piece.
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”
Phew! Good to know we have a strong terrorist deterrent here. Seen just outside of Iowa City:
Continue reading “Yeah, that’ll keep the terrorists away”
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?
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.