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Author Topic: What is the nature of the recetly-discovered killer virus in South Africa?  (Read 5018 times)

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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New killer virus identified in South Africa
17 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) — A viral haemorrhagic fever that killed four people in Johannesburg has been identified as a new strain of the deadly arenavirus, health officials said Thursday.

Tests performed at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention identified the new strain that has yet to be named, said Barry Schoub, executive director of the National Insititute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).

"The virus is new in terms of its genetic make up and there is currently no vaccine against it," Schoub told reporters, adding that it had "high lethal potential for humans."

According to the department of health, the disease was first identified in a woman airlifted from Zambia to a Johannesburg hospital in September.

The woman later died. A member of the medical staff who accompanied her, a nurse and a hospital cleaner who came into contact with them, also died.

"A last person who is currently under observation at a hospital is responding well to (anti-viral) treatment," said Janusz Paweska, head of a special pathogens unit at NICD.

He said about 100 more people were still being monitored for possible symptoms of the virus, but they appeared to be out of danger.

The virus has previously been linked to the Lassa fever virus of West Africa.

No cases of the virus had been reported in Zambia where the disease is beleived to have originated.
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jT-nlHQGumw_H1dv5n8XfFXGZocQ
« Last Edit: 14/11/2008 23:08:58 by chris »


 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Deadly fever did kill cleaner - report 

    October 27 2008 at 11:04AM 
 
 
By Solly Maphumulo and Louise Flanagan

The death of a Morningside Medi-Clinic cleaner has been confirmed as linked to viral haemorrhagic fever.

Maria Mokubung died after she was exposed to the virus at the medi-clinic where she worked.

Mokubung cleaned the ICU where the Cecilia van Deventer lay, the first person to die from the fever now provisionally identified as a rat-borne arena virus.

Van Deventer died in Morningside Medi-Clinic on September 14, two days after she was flown there from Zambia.

Morningside Medi-Clinic spokesperson Melinda Pelser previously denied that Mokubung had died from the virus saying her death was caused by a chronic disease which she was diagnosed with months earlier.

 
 

Offline BenV

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You can expect to hear more about this on an upcoming Naked Scientists Show.  Date TBC.
 

Offline blaze

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Are there any cell phone towers in South Africa?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Yes, and there are also lots of cell phone towers in places where no new virus has emerged. On the other hand, when, for example, HIV emerged there were no cell phone towers.
One thing we cn be sure of is that the towers had nothing to do with it.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Deadly arenavirus is a new variant
Sapa Published:Oct 30, 2008
http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=874373
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
There is no doubt we are dealing with a newly emerged virus,
A new type of arenavirus has been identified by experts at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg as they studied the virus that caused the deaths of four people in recent weeks.

Cleaner died of arenavirus



KZN arenavirus scare ’highly unlikely’


"There is no doubt we are dealing with a newly emerged virus," said Janusz Paweska, head of the special pathology unit at the NICD in Johannesburg today.


"There are a number of these viruses in Africa, but until the last two weeks, we didn’t know we were dealing with, in fact, a new virus," said Paweska.


Working with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, US, the virus was at first narrowed down to an arenavirus and then, after further study, the new arenavirus, which has yet to be named, was identified.
 
 

Offline Bored chemist

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South Africa is a big place. Viruses are very small. It's no great shock that a virus hid in South Africa.
 

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