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Author Archives: Tom Vincent

03.14.18

The Mysterious “Disease X"

By Tom Vincent

This week, the World Health Organization released a list of diseases that have the potential to cause public health emergencies, and that have no efficacious drugs or vaccines.  The list was meant to direct and prioritize research and development and included some familiar names: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Ebola and Marburg virus diseases, and Lassa fever.  […]

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02.22.18

The Ebola Footprint – Broader Than You Think

By Tom Vincent

This post was coauthored by Tom Vincent and Dr. Jean-Paul Gonzalez.  Dr. Gonzalez is the Deputy Director of the Center of Excellence in Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at Kansas State University.   Ebola virus disease is a hemorrhagic febrile illness that has case-fatality rates that vary from 32% to 88% across well-studied outbreaks.  Thankfully, the number of […]

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01.23.18

Zombie Deer Disease: Is Your Venison Safe?

By Tom Vincent

  If you were around in the 1990s-2000s, you might remember Mad Cow Disease – a disease in cows that can spread to humans via consumption of infected meat, and that leads to a degeneration of the brain and spinal tissue (known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans).  Despite having a more scientific name—bovine spongiform encephalopathy […]

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11.30.17

Meet Marburg, Ebola’s Sister

By Tom Vincent

  Micrograph of Marburgvirus (credit: The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston)   Last month, the Ugandan Ministry of Health (MOH) declared an outbreak of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) in Eastern Uganda. To date, three cases have been reported (two confirmed, one probable), and all have died, resulting in a case-fatality rate of 100% […]

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10.05.17

New Research Offers Progress Toward Detecting and Treating Ebola

By Tom Vincent

Last week, two scientific discoveries were announced that could lead to better and earlier treatments for persons with Ebola virus disease. First, scientists at University of Texas Medical Center in Galveston have discovered a protein within the body’s immune system that plays a central role in Ebola infections. Ebola virus infections are known to cause […]

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08.28.17

Flooding in Freetown: a Post-Ebola Catastrophe

By Tom Vincent

Flooding is turning out to be a major news story this month. At the time of this publication, the catastrophic flooding in Houston has displaced thousands, and at least five are reported dead.  Meanwhile, in Freetown, the capitol of Sierra Leone, people are still searching for the missing after a mudslide and flood that has […]

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07.20.17

Monkey Business: Ebola Research is Benefitted by Recent Discovery

By Tom Vincent

Rhesus monkey (Image source)   A new study published this week in Nature Microbiology brings good news for research toward the persistence of Ebola virus in asymptomatic individuals. Ebola virus (EBOV) is the virus that causes Ebola (now referred to as Ebola virus disease, or EVD), a viral hemorrhagic fever that has a very high […]

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