Animals To Humans Infectious Diseases Map

From the BBC, a map of the world, showing risk levels of emerging diseases transmitted from wildlife.
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The researchers say the majority of hotspots are located in lower-latitude developing nations.
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Bird Flu mixed with Ebola would be the ultimate Nightmare!

The term Recombinant DNA is normally used for DNA that has been created artificially.

DNA from two or more sources is incorporated into a single recombinant molecule via the combination or insertion of one or more DNA strands, thereby combining DNA sequences which would not normally occur together.

However, recombination is also an important mechanism in virus evolution, allowing viruses to evolve more quickly by providing immediate direct access to many more areas of a sequence space than are accessible by mutation alone.

The exchange of genetic material between different virus species is called inter-species recombination.

This has the potential to generate, within a single genome replication cycle, an almost unimaginable number of genetically distinct virus strains, including many that might cause deadly new human, animal, or plant diseases.

As an example, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is formed by a combination of mammalian and avian viruses, according to a new study from the University of Toronto.

The study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Virology, sheds light on the SARS coronavirus, a deadly form of pneumonia caused by the same viral family as the common cold.

I have been interested in this “evolutionary shortcut” for a while now.

It was with a real sense of dread therefore that I read the following article from Recombinomics laying out the chilling possibility of a mutated combination of H5N1 with Ebola.

Ebola virus

Even Hollywood could not produce any thing worse than that! 

Here is the article from Recombinomics:


The conventional wisdom was that Ebola is containable because it kills its victims faster than it can find new ones.

However, conditions on the ground are now proving otherwise.

While 61 cases have been identified, Zaramba says the health ministry is having difficulty detecting more cases or identifying people with whom patients had contact.

And as of the weekend, the disease had spread to three new zones in Bundibugyo district.

Local officials speaking on the condition of anonymity say that the death toll is almost twice that reported.

The above comments describe the worsening situation in Uganda.

Recent media reports suggest the outbreak has spread further this week, and the infections of health care workers raise transmission concerns.

The current strain was difficult to identify, and is likely a recombinant.  Recombination has been linked to the emergence of new Ebola strains, and some of these strains share a region of identity with H5 influenza.

Both influenza and filoviruses are negative sense RNA viruses and influenza is transported and transmitted by migratory birds that fly into Africa.

The new species may also have different transmission modes.

The symptoms of the cases are closer to those associated with H5N1 than those associated with Ebola.

The CDC has partial Ebola sequence data, but the relationship between those sequences and prior Ebola sequences remain unclear.

Release of the partial sequences would be useful.  The Ebola / H5 identity is in the envelope gene, and the region has differences in strains of Ebola as well as high and low path H5.


Sources:

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/12040703/Ebola_Uganda_Spread_Increase.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com
 

Supari the Amazing Indonesian Health Minister

Here is a great Q & A session with Siti Fadilah Supari, the Indonesian Health Minister, from IndCoup, a really resourceful blogger  from Jakarta.

(I found the blog on the blogs section of the www.birdflubreakingnews.com)  

The Health Minister talks about the TREE MAN, she is against Indonesians exercising, suggests that NOT smoking is more harmful than smoking and has amazing ideas about breakfast and er.. a certain part of the male anatomy!

Here is an excerpt (and the entire interview follows below):

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a bit soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. So you should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger tummy.

Q: Onto sex. What do you think of condoms?

A: Yes they are good idea – I purchased one recently in Jakarta at Sudirman Park for Rp3 billion. Not sure what they’ve got to do with sex though.

Q: No I mean condoms not condos. You know fiesta, durex and the like. But anyway do you think Indonesia is doing enough to promote condom use?

A: Doing enough to promote condom use?! Of course we are! Haven’t you ever heard of Dolly?

Q: You were quoted as saying a penis was the greatest breakfast for women. Why?

A: Because it has a mushroom head, a sausage, two eggs and cream. All the nutrients to make a woman healthy and happy.

Here is the full Interview by IndCoup:

Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari is raising a storm for playing hardball with the WHO. We’ve caught up with her and asked her a few questions…

Q: I`ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong your life. Is this true?
A: Well, your heart is only good for so many beats, and that`s it… so don`t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; I mean that`s rather like saying you can extend the expected life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Just sleep all day long like most teenage Indonesians do.
Q: Should Indonesians exercise more?
A: No. Why should they? My philosophy is: No Pain Is Good.
Q: The WHO estimates at least 25% of all deaths in Indonesia by 2020 will be due to cigarette smoking…
A: But the other 75% will be deaths from NOT smoking – clear proof that NOT smoking is more harmful than smoking.
Q: But Siti – scientists have proven that cigarettes are harmful to the health of children…
A: Fair enough, use an ashtray.
Q: The average Indonesian diet is drowning in fat. Everything seems to be fried. Your opinion?
A: Foods these days are fried in vegetable oil. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
Q: What`s the secret to healthy eating?
A: More vegetables. Eat up your nasi goreng.
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a bit soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. So you should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger tummy.
Q: Onto sex. What do you think of condoms?
A: Yes they are good idea – I purchased one recently in Jakarta at Sudirman Park for Rp3 billion. Not sure what they’ve got to do with sex though.
Q: No I mean condoms not condos. You know fiesta, durex and the like. But anyway do you think Indonesia is doing enough to promote condom use?
A: Doing enough to promote condom use?! Of course we are! Haven’t you ever heard of Dolly?
Q: You were quoted as saying a penis was the greatest breakfast for women. Why?
A: Because it has a mushroom head, a sausage, two eggs and cream. All the nutrients to make a woman healthy and happy.
Q: Onto “Tree Man” Dede. Why won’t you let him get treatment in the US?
A: To show how much we care about him, we just so happened to appoint a team of doctors the day the story was broken on the Discovery Channel. Prior to that he had lived a peaceful life and didn’t need any help whatsoever. He was even making a good living by working as part of a local Freak Show. His ailment is a blessing and not a curse! And now you think we should allow him to get free medical treatment overseas?!! My God as if any Indonesian would want that!!! … but paying for it ourselves is okay of course … (smiles, blushes slightly)
Q: And what about WHO claims that Indonesia’s refusal to share bird flu virus samples raises the risk of a global pandemic breaking out?
A: As if these foreigners would do anything for us!
Q: Er.. aren’t you forgetting Aceh?
A: Mau minum segelas Bir Bintang mister? It’s made from vegetables you know….

 Siti Fadilah Supari

Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari

Sources:

http://indcoup.blogspot.com/2007/11/exclusive-q-session-with-siti-fadilah.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

There are FIVE Bird-Flu Viruses now!

According to TEMPO INTERAKTIF, the premier Indonesian Magazine, the development of H5N1 bird flu virus in Indonesia has been faster than that of any other country. 

In fact it appears that the Bird-Flu virus in Indonesia, has mutated and split in to Five different varieties of the H5N1 strain.

AIRLANGGA UNIVERSITY.

Dr.C.A. Nidom a molecular biology researcher from Airlangga University, Surabaya, said on Monday (26/11),

that in Indonesia the H5N1 virus has already mutated to five subdivisions.


“In other countries however, the mutation found was only three virus variants,” said Dr. Nidom.

The subdivisions of mutated virus in Indonesia are divided into type A, B, C, C1 and D.Categories A and B have spread in Sumatra, with category C in Kalimantan.

Category C1 has spread in several places, while category D is found in Papua and southern Sumatra.

“We’re also surprised that the virus in Indonesia is under local law, so between one area and

 the other they’re different. The virus even mutated,” added Dr Nidom.

Therefore, now a molecular review is still required in order to identify the different characteristics

of the virus types.

That way different strains of the virus can be handled differently, according to their individual characteristics.

Siti Fadilah Supari, the Indonesian Health Minister

Sources:

http://www.tempointeraktif.com/hg/nasional/2007/11/26/brk,20071126-112338,uk.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

Indonesia wants Weird Treeman’s Virus samples back

In an amazing outburst, Indonesia’s Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, lambasted the US doctor currently treating the 35-year-old man, who has the rare affliction caused by the Human Papilloma Virus.

The Indonesian fisherman who developed tree-like growths on his hands and feet was being treated by specialist doctors who had taken some blood samples from him in order to try and find the right treatment for the disease.

Instead of being thankful to the doctors for their efforts, the Indonesian Health Minister criticised the doctors trying to treat the afflicted fisherman.

Mrs Supari, who has famously refused to share bird flu samples with international scientists, made her comments on Sunday after returning from a World Health Organisation (WHO) conference in Geneva.

“We are offended because the samples were taken from Dede without our permission,” she told reporters at the hospital where the man was being treated. “If they are taken abroad, they could become lucrative commodities.”

Her comments have now offended Dr Gaspari, an American dermatologist at the University of Maryland, who maintains that, while he took the samples without permission, his sole motivation was getting treatment for the man.

Known simply as Dede, the man, who lives in a village south of the capital Jakarta, has massive root-like warts growing from his arms and legs which have gone untreated for years.

“We did take samples, and the reason we did was to render a diagnosis. We did it for humanitarian reasons, to help the patient,” Dr Gaspari said, stressing his willingness to put in writing that the samples were not for commercial use.

Mrs Supari has steadfastly refused to share samples of the deadly H5N1 strain of the Flu virus.

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/26/wtree126.xml

www.birdflubreakingnews.com