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Bird Flu, MonkeyPox or the next Potential Pandemic Thread


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Monkeypox: CDC says US leads globally in most known cases


More than 3,800 monkeypox cases have been reported in the US, the most of any country around the globe, government health data shows.


The rising number of cases has reportedly prompted the Biden administration to mull declaring a national health emergency.


The virus has already been classified as a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).


To date, more than 18,000 cases have been reported in 75 countries.


According to data published online by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 25 July there were 3,846 confirmed or suspected monkeypox cases in the US.


The figure - which comes amid expanded testing in addition to the growing outbreak of the virus - is now ahead of that of Spain, where 3,105 cases have so far been reported.


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45 minutes ago, The Almighty Buzz said:

But this isn't dangerous in the sense that it kills people, right?

Something like COVID where it’s deadly to 1% especially immunity compromised. There do not appear to be long-term effects like COVID.


Currently something like 98% of people contracting it are gay males, and a challenge is contact tracing because the infected often claim not to know the names of the multiple anonymous partners they very recently have had sex with.


JFC. Yeah, I know I’m an old prude, but really?

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  • 2 weeks later...

As Monkeypox Spreads, U.S. Plans to Declare a Health Emergency


As monkeypox continues to surge in the United States, President Biden’s health secretary plans to declare a national health emergency, perhaps as soon as Thursday, according to a federal official familiar with the discussions.


The declaration, which many experts said was long overdue, would signal that the outbreak now represents a significant threat to Americans and set in motion a variety of measures devised to turn the tide. It would give federal agencies the power to direct money toward developing and evaluating vaccines and drugs, to access emergency funding and to hire additional workers to help manage the outbreak, which began in May.


The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over the outbreak on July 23.


Mr. Biden has been under intense pressure from activists and public health experts to move more aggressively to combat the monkeypox outbreak. But top federal health officials have thus far resisted declaring an emergency. Xavier Becerra, the secretary of health and human services, has said repeatedly that he is considering it.


Earlier this week, however, Mr. Biden named a veteran emergency response official and a respected infectious disease specialist to coordinate the monkeypox response from the White House — a sign that the administration is stepping up its efforts.


Supplies of the monkeypox vaccine, called Jynneos, have been severely constrained, and the administration has been sharply criticized for moving too slowly to expand the number of doses. Declaring the emergency would not ease that shortage, but the administration may take steps to allow quicker access to tecovirimat, the drug recommended for treating the disease.


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New Langya virus infects 35 people in China


Doctors in China have sounded the alarm over a newly detected virus.


“Langya” virus has infected 35 people so far in two provinces in eastern China, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.


The virus - officially named Langya henipavirus (LayV) - is entirely novel, meaning it has not infected humans before, The Sun reported.


However, it is in the Henipavirus family, of which two species have been identified before - the Hendra virus and Nipah virus.


These produce often severe and fatal illnesses in people - and there are no vaccines or treatments.


Henipavirus is classified as biosafety Level 4 with case fatality rates between 40 and 75 per cent, according to the data from World Health Organization.


None of the 35 patients who are infected with the new Langya virus have died, and none have been serious, according to the Global Times.


In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), scientists in China reported that the patients were tested because they were febrile.


Their symptoms were most commonly fever, fatigue, a cough, loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, headache and vomiting.


The patients had a history of contact with animals, the paper said.


But, given there is a cluster of cases, it suggests the virus may have passed between humans already.


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WHO renames two monkeypox variants to avoid geographic references


The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Saturday that it renamed variants of the virus monkeypox as it looks to counter concerns about the original naming conventions.


“Newly identified viruses, related diseases & virus variants are given names to avoid causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups, & minimize the negative impact on trade, travel, tourism, or animal welfare,” the WHO said in its announcement. 


The Congo Basin and West African variants were reclassified as Clade I and Clade II, the latter of which has two subclades. The new names go into effect immediately.


A global expert group decided on the new naming convention “as part of ongoing efforts to align the names of the monkeypox disease, virus, and variants—or clades—with current best practices.”


The WHO is also workshopping new names for the monkeypox virus as a whole, including the disease it causes, after outcry over potential stigmatization. The WHO cautioned early in the COVID-19 pandemic against referring to the virus as the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus” due to potential discrimination. 


The name change for monkeypox could also correct assumptions about the origin of the virus, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported is unknown, despite monkeybox being discovered in 1958 in a group of monkeys kept for research.


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29 minutes ago, 757SeanTaylor21 said:

Idk if I'd want to for real

Well...thats a different story..


Funny thing about it is, my colleague in China was surprised that there are no travel restrictions to Vietnam but to China there are. Its almost like their government isnt telling them everything 😉

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How to keep your pets safe from monkeypox — and what to do if they get it


Monkeypox, which has more than 11,800 cases in the current U.S. outbreak, affects humans with symptoms such as fever and rash.


But the virus is zoonotic, meaning it is spread between animals and humans — and yes, you can give it to your pets, and vice versa. (However, there are currently no reports in the U.S. of the virus being passed from humans to animals.)


Monkeypox can be transmitted between you and your furry friend through close contact, which includes cuddling, hugging, kissing, licking and sharing sleep areas and food.


Animal carriers of the virus include various rodents, dogs, primates, hedgehogs and shrews, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


If the person who contracts monkeypox has not had close contact with pets after showing symptoms, ask friends or family members in a separate household to take care of your pet until the person recovers.


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Poxy McPoxface among the candidates for new WHO-accredited name for monkeypox


Attempts to have a serious conversation about what to rename monkeypox have been hijacked by people trying to call it Poxy McPoxface.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has – perhaps questionably – decided to open up the process of naming the disease to the public, amid concerns about the current name having racist connotations.   


Unsurprisingly, Poxy McPoxface is among the options to have since been submitted, after a ship was notoriously (nearly) christened ‘Boaty McBoatface’ following a public vote.


Other suggestions for names for the rapidly spreading illness include TRUMP-22 and Mpox.


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Well I, for one, am hoping TRUMP-22 wins.

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  • 1 month later...



THE GRADUATE STUDENT was alone in the lab on a Saturday, handling a mouse infected with a debilitating virus, when the needle slipped. She wore two gowns, two pairs of shoe covers, a hair net, a face mask, and two pairs of gloves. Gingerly, she had pointed the needle at the mouse’s abdomen and injected the antibody. The animal was infected with a recombinant strain of Chikungunya virus, a mosquito-borne pathogen that has sparked epidemics in Africa and the Caribbean. Chikungunya can wreak havoc in other regions when the right kind of mosquito is present; in 2007 and 2017 there were outbreaks in Italy, and in 2014 the virus hit Florida, infecting 11 people who had not recently traveled abroad. In January 2016, nine months before the researcher stood in the lab that weekend, a locally acquired infection was diagnosed in Texas.


Chikungunya, which means “bent over in pain” in the Makonde language, can lead to chronic arthritis, and its spread through the Americas had made studying it more urgent. The researcher’s team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, was studying the virus in the hope of discovering possible treatments or developing a vaccine. The graduate student was working in a biosafety level 3 lab, a level that often includes a completely sealed perimeter, directional airflow, and full personal protective equipment. But accidents still happened. The team’s experiments were set back when, after withdrawing the needle from the mouse’s belly, the graduate student grazed a finger on her left hand.


The needle pierced through both sets of gloves, but the student saw no blood, so she washed her hands, removed her safety equipment, and left the lab without telling anyone what had happened. Four days later, she ran a fever, and her body ached and convulsed in chills. The next morning, her skin was flecked with discolored spots. They multiplied over the course of the day, so she went to the emergency room, where the doctors kept her overnight for observation. A nurse drew her blood and sent it off to a state lab. She tested positive for Chikungunya. Only after getting sick did the student tell her supervisor about the slipped needle.


“That’s not a good situation,” said Scott Weaver, director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and an expert on Chikungunya virus. “If that person knew they had a needlestick and they were working with Chikungunya, they should have reported it immediately. And then whatever health care people saw them should have recognized that there was a very small — but not zero — risk of them transmitting the virus.”


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Equatorial Guinea confirms first-ever Marburg virus disease outbreak


Equatorial Guinea today confirmed its first-ever outbreak of Marburg virus disease. Preliminary tests carried out following the deaths of at least nine people in the country’s western Kie Ntem Province turned out positive for the viral haemorrhagic fever.


Equatorial Guinean health authorities sent samples to the Institut Pasteur reference laboratory in Senegal with support from World Health Organization (WHO) to determine the cause of the disease after an alert by a district health official on 7 February. Of the eight samples tested at Institut Pasteur, one turned out positive for the virus. So far nine deaths and 16 suspected cases with symptoms including fever, fatigue and blood-stained vomit and diarrhoea have been reported.


Further investigations are ongoing. Advance teams have been deployed in the affected districts to trace contacts, isolate and provide medical care to people showing symptoms of the disease. Efforts are also underway to rapidly mount emergency response, with WHO deploying health emergency experts in epidemiology, case management, infection prevention, laboratory and risk communication to support the national response efforts and secure community collaboration in the outbreak control.


Marburg virus disease is a highly virulent disease that causes haemorrhagic fever, with a fatality ratio of up to 88%. It is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease. Illness caused by Marburg virus begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and severe malaise. Many patients develop severe haemorrhagic symptoms within seven days. The virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, surfaces and materials.


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Scientists have revived a ‘zombie’ virus that spent 48,500 years frozen in permafrost


Warmer temperatures in the Arctic are thawing the region’s permafrost — a frozen layer of soil beneath the ground — and potentially stirring viruses that, after lying dormant for tens of thousands of years, could endanger animal and human health.


While a pandemic unleashed by a disease from the distant past sounds like the plot of a sci-fi movie, scientists warn that the risks, though low, are underappreciated. Chemical and radioactive waste that dates back to the Cold War, which has the potential to harm wildlife and disrupt ecosystems, may also be released during thaws.


“There’s a lot going on with the permafrost that is of concern, and (it) really shows why it’s super important that we keep as much of the permafrost frozen as possible,” said Kimberley Miner, a climate scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.


Permafrost covers a fifth of the Northern Hemisphere, having underpinned the Arctic tundra and boreal forests of Alaska, Canada and Russia for millennia. It serves as a kind of time capsule, preserving — in addition to ancient viruses — the mummified remains of a number of extinct animals that scientist have been able to unearth and study in recent years, including two cave lion cubs and a woolly rhino.


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Why a 'viral hemorrhagic pandemic' could be on the way: report


The Marburg virus — a lethal pathogen similar to Ebola — is spreading rapidly in both Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania, and could soon expand beyond Africa, The Daily Beast reports.

Marburg, which is described as a "hemorrhagic fever," according to The New York Times, is capable of killing up to "90 percent of the people it infects," and although a "rare" condition, the "steady uptick in occurrences in Africa in recent years is raising alarm."


Per The Beast, "the main problem is that Marburg outbreaks are generally small, short-lived and highly lethal," which Brian Garibaldi, director of the Maryland-based Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit, told The Beast means, "a lot of times, these outbreaks end before we can get vaccines on the ground to test efficacy."


He emphasized, "We don't have data from human trials."


The Beast reports:



Marburg is unique. Vaccines are available or far along in development for all the other viruses. But not for Marburg, whose outbreaks begin so abruptly, kill so thoroughly and end so quickly that there’s never been time to conduct large-scale human trials of a vaccine candidate.


This is why professor of global health and epidemiology at George Mason University in Virginia, Amira Roess told The Beast, "It's just a matter of time before we see a viral hemorrhagic pandemic."


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