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Marburg virus

Definition:
Marburg virus or simply Marburg is the common name for the genus of viruses Marburgvirus, which contains one species, Lake Victoria marburgvirus. The virus causes the disease Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever (MHF), also referred to as Marburg Virus Disease, and previously also known as green monkey disease due to its primate origin. Marburg originated in Central and East Africa, and infects both human and nonhuman primates. The Marburg Virus is in the same taxonomic family as Ebola, and both are identical structurally although they elicit different antibodies.

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Ebola virus and Marburg virus live in animal hosts, and humans can contract the viruses from infected animals. After the initial transmission, the viruses can spread from person to person through contact with body fluids or contaminated needles.

Marburg virus is a severe and highly contagious form of haemorrhagic fever caused by a virus from the same family – the filoviruses – as Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF), although it’s not as deadly as its cousin.

No drug has been approved to treat Ebola virus or Marburg virus. People diagnosed with Ebola or Marburg virus receive supportive care and treatment for complications. Scientists are coming closer to developing vaccines for these deadly diseases.

The virus was first discovered in 1967, during simultaneous outbreaks at laboratories in the former Yugoslavia and Frankfurt and Marburg, Germany. Since 1967 sporadic small outbreaks have been reported but in 2004-5 a major outbreak in Angola led to more than 140 deaths from the Marburg virus.

Symptoms:
During the incubation period, which lasts between five and ten days, no symptoms are apparent.

You may click to see:Marburg Virus Pictures from CDC

Signs and symptoms typically begin abruptly within five to 10 days of infection. Early signs and symptoms include:

*Fever
*Severe headache
*Joint and muscle aches
*Chills
*Sore throat
*Weakness

Over time, symptoms become increasingly severe and may include:

*Nausea and vomiting
*Diarrhea (may be bloody)
*Red eyes
*Raised rash
*Chest pain and cough
*Stomach pain
*Severe weight loss
*Bleeding from the nose, mouth, rectum, eyes and ears

The disease can then become increasingly damaging, causing:

•Jaundice
•Delirium
•Liver failure
•Extensive haemorrhage from multiple sites, which can give rise to bloody diarrhoea and vomiting of blood (known as heamatemesis)

Many people infected with the virus die, usually from haemorrhagic shock or liver failure. In areas where medical support is poor, the death rate can be much higher. The infection can be difficult to diagnose, because many of the initial signs are similar to those of other infectious diseases, such as malaria or typhoid fever.

Causes:
The virus appears to be rare and only found in Africa where cases have occurred in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Angola. In the natural habitat the reservoir of the virus is the Egyptian fruit bat, which is found in Africa, but how the virus jumps from animals to humans is not known. Some people have developed the disease after visiting caves where the bats are found.

Transmission from animals to humans:
The virus can be transmitted to humans by exposure to an infected animal’s bodily fluids. Examples include:

*Blood. Butchering or eating infected animals can spread the viruses. Scientists who have operated on infected animals as part of their research have also contracted the virus.

*Waste products. Tourists in certain African caves and some underground mine workers have been infected with the Marburg virus, possibly through contact with the feces or urine of infected bats.

Transmission from person to person :
Infected people typically don’t become contagious until they develop symptoms. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives or prepare the dead for burial.

Once a human is infected they can pass the virus on to others through their body fluids, most commonly blood but also faeces, saliva and vomit. The virus may also possibly be spread via aerosols of tiny infected droplets produced when patients cough and splutter. However, the research suggests that sick humans don’t usually generate sufficient volumes of infectious aerosols to pose a significant hazard to those around them.

Medical personnel can be infected if they don’t use protective gear such as surgical masks and latex gloves. Medical centers in Africa are often so poor that they must reuse needles and syringes. Some of the worst Ebola epidemics have occurred because contaminated injection equipment wasn’t sterilized between uses.

There’s no evidence that Ebola virus or Marburg virus can be spread via insect bites.

Risk Factors:
For most people — including international travelers — the risk of getting Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever is low. The risk increases if you:

*Travel to Africa. You’re at increased risk if you visit or work in areas where Ebola virus or Marburg virus outbreaks have occurred in the past.

*Conduct animal research. People are more likely to contract the Ebola or Marburg virus if they conduct animal research with monkeys imported from Africa or the Philippines.

*Provide medical or personal care. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives. Medical personnel also can be infected if they don’t use protective gear such as surgical masks and latex gloves.Prepare people for burial. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever are still contagious. Helping prepare these bodies for burial can increase your risk of developing the disease yourself.

Complications:
Both Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers lead to death for a high percentage of people who are affected. As the illness progresses, it can cause:

*Multiple organ failure
*Severe bleeding
*Jaundice
*Delirium
*Seizures
*Coma
*Shock

One reason the viruses are so deadly is that they interfere with the immune system’s ability to mount a defense. But scientists don’t understand why some people recover from Ebola and Marburg and others don’t.

For people who survive, recovery is slow. It may take months to regain weight and strength, and the viruses remain in the body for many weeks. People may experience:

*Hair loss
*Sensory changes
*Liver inflammation (hepatitis)
*Weakness
*Fatigue
*Headaches
*Eye inflammation
*Testicular inflammation

Diagnosis:
Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers are difficult to diagnose because many of the early signs and symptoms resemble those of other infectious diseases, such as typhoid and malaria. But if doctors suspect that you have been exposed to Ebola virus or Marburg virus, they use laboratory tests that can identify the viruses within a few days.

Most people with Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever have high concentrations of the virus in their blood. Blood tests known as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can detect specific genes or the virus or antibodies to them.

It is similar to Ebola using the Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) test. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique has been successfully used for detection of Marburg virus. PCR detection for Marburg virus by Hänninen 2001

Treatment :
There is no cure for Marburg disease as there is no specific antiviral therapy indicated for treating Marburg, and hospital care is usually supportive in nature. Hypotension and shock may require early administration of vasopressors and haemodynamic monitoring with attention to fluid and electrolyte balance, circulatory volume, and blood pressure. Viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) patients tend to respond poorly to fluid infusions and may develop pulmonary edema.

Prognosis:
If a patient survives, recovery is usually prompt and complete, though it may be prolonged in some cases, with inflammation or secondary infection of various organs, including: orchitis (testicles), hepatitis (liver), transverse myelitis (spinal cord), uveitis (eyes), and parotitis (salivary glands) Recovered patients often have little or no memory of being sick, though only 40-60% survive.

Prevention:
Strict hygiene measures help to prevent spread when an outbreak occurs, and an experimental vaccine is currently being tested.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/marburg_virus.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ebola-virus/DS00996
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marburg_virus
http://hardinmd.lib.uiowa.edu/cdc/275.html

http://hardinmd.lib.uiowa.edu/cdc/6562.html

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Ebola and Other Tropical Viruses

Definition:
Ebola and other tropical viruses are related viruses that cause hemorrhagic fevers — illnesses marked by severe bleeding (hemorrhage), organ failure and, in many cases, death.

There are five types of Ebola and while infection with some (such as Ebola Reston, found in the Western Pacific) are so mild that people rarely get symptoms, other types such as Ebola Zaire (found in Africa) may be rapidly deadly.

Ebola was identified for the first time in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in Southern Sudan. It is one of about 30 new diseases to affect humans over the past few decades.

Both Ebola virus and Marburg virus are native to Africa, where sporadic outbreaks have occurred for decades. No human cases of Ebola virus have been reported in the United States.

Ebola and Marburg viruses live in one or more animal hosts, and humans can contract the viruses from infected animals. After the initial transmission, the viruses can spread from person-to-person through contact with body fluids or contaminated needles.

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Ebola was identified for the first time in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in Southern Sudan. It is one of about 30 new diseases to affect humans over the past few decades.

Theories on the origins of these diseases are widespread but many of the most frightening appear to have emerged from sub-Saharan Africa. HIV, which leads to Aids, has been linked to a similar virus common in West African monkeys, and the first ever recorded HIV sample was taken from a man in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1959.

Ebola and a few other haemorrhagic fevers have been responsible for a tiny number of deaths compared to Aids, and the number of symptomatic cases reported outside Africa has been miniscule. But the devastating speed at which they strike and the far higher possibility of transmission from human to human have made the thought of a major outbreak a terrifying prospect.

However, Ebola is not the only viral haemorrhagic fever which claims lives in Africa, and beyond. Marburg fever gets its name from the town in Germany in which it broke out in 1967 and shares its symptoms with Ebola. It claimed seven lives from the 25 people infected in Marburg and Frankfurt. Those initially infected were laboratory workers exposed to African green monkeys which had been imported for research. But the majority of cases occur in Africa.

Other well-known haemorrhagic fevers are:

*Lassa fever – first noticed in the 1960s after an outbreak in Nigeria
*Rift Valley fever – mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa
*Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever – found in many parts of Africa, the Middle East and even warmer parts of the former Soviet Union, in which an outbreak is ongoing.

No effective therapy exists for the hemorrhagic fevers caused by Ebola virus and Marburg virus. People diagnosed with Ebola virus or Marburg virus receive supportive care and treatment for complications.

Symptoms;
Signs and symptoms of hemorrhagic fevers caused by Ebola virus and Marburg virus start abruptly within a few days to a week or more after infection. Early signs and symptoms include:

*Fever
*Severe headache
*Joint and muscle aches
*Chills
*Sore throat
*Weakness

Over time, symptoms become increasingly severe and may include:

*Nausea and vomiting
*Diarrhea (may be bloody)
*Red eyes
*Raised rash
*Chest pain and cough
*Stomach pain
*Severe weight loss
*Confusion, irritability or aggression
*Massive hemorrhaging from many sites, including nose, mouth, rectum, eyes and ears

Causes:
Scientists first became aware of the potential of Ebola to destroy whole communities in the mid 1970s, when severe outbreaks in Sudan and the former Zaire killed a total of approximately 440 people. The Zaire strain of the virus is the most deadly to date, proving fatal in just under 90 per cent of those who contract it.

The virus is passed on through contact with blood, secretion or bodily fluids of an infected person – those with the disease start to haemorrhage and cough up or vomit blood, so in outbreaks the disease often spreads from patients to the health care workers looking after them.

Symptoms start to appear anytime from two to 21 days later.

However, how and why each outbreak starts is completely unknown. One theory is that there is a reservoir of the virus in bats, which are unaffected by it, and the virus passes from here to non-human primates such as chimpanzees who in turn pass it on to humans who come into contact with them.

By the time symptoms appear, the virus will have reproduced itself many times and spread through the blood to many organs. The major organs it affects are the liver, kidneys, spleen and reproductive organs.

Of the other haemorrhagic fevers, Lassa fever is spread from rodents which are the natural host. Rift Valley fever is spread by mosquitoes, whilst Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever is spread by ticks

Risk factors:-

For most people — including international travelers — the risk of getting Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever is low. The risk increases if you:

*Travel to or work in areas where Ebola virus or Marburg virus outbreaks have occurred, such as Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire and Angola

*Conduct animal research, especially in tropical African forests, or handle primates infected with Ebola virus or Marburg virus

*Provide medical or personal care for people with Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Marburg hemorrhagic fever

*Prepare people who have died of Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Marburg hemorrhagic fever for burial

Complections:
Ebola and other tropical viruses are hemorrhagic fevers lead to death for a high percentage of people who are affected. As the illness progresses, it can cause:

*Multiple organ failure
*Severe bleeding
*Jaundice
*Delirium
*Seizures
*Coma
*Shock

Death often occurs less than 10 days from the start of signs and symptoms.

One reason the viruses are so deadly is that they interfere with the immune system’s ability to mount a defense. But scientists don’t understand why some people recover from Ebola and Marburg and others don’t.

For people who survive, recovery is slow. It may take months to regain weight and strength, and the viruses remain in the body for many weeks. People may experience:

*Hair loss
*Sensory changes
*Liver inflammation (hepatitis)
*Weakness
*Fatigue
*Headaches
*Eye inflammation
*Testicular inflammation
Diagnosis:
Ebola and other tropical viruses fevers are difficult to diagnose because many of the early signs and symptoms resemble those of other infectious diseases, such as typhoid and malaria. But if doctors suspect that you have been exposed to Ebola virus or Marburg virus, they use laboratory tests that can identify the viruses within a few days.

Most people with Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever have high concentrations of the virus in their blood. Blood tests known as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can detect specific genes or the virus or antibodies to them.
Treatment
There is still no specific treatment for Ebola – no standard anti-viral therapies such as interferon have any effect. A vaccine has been produced that was 100 per cent effective in protecting a group of monkeys from the disease, but attempts to replicate the success in humans have so far proved unsuccessful. At present if someone beats Ebola, they do it by themselves, albeit with intensive medical support with intravenous fluids, and/or blood transfusions, or oral rehydration with electrolyte solutions. Survivors can be expected to make a full recovery, although occasionally reversible personality changes have been noted in such lucky patients.

Careful barrier nursing and avoidance of contamination with infected body fluids is still the best way to limit an outbreak.

Treatments in development
Scientists have developed vaccinations against both Ebola and Marburg which work on laboratory animals, and there are promising signs of some therapies that can be used on people affected. Some experiments use antibodies from the marrow of Ebola survivors. Much of the scientific work underway is focused on finding the original source of the disease – the reservoir. One project examined thousands of animals in the rainforests of West Africa in a bid to isolate those hosting the virus.

Some scientists say that the growing numbers of so-called emerging diseases are due to increasing forays by humans into the tropical forests. This brings them into contact with new creatures – and new infections – making it possible there could be even more powerful viruses waiting to play havoc in the human body.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/ebola_tropical_diseases.shtml
http://www.viviennebalonwu.com/health-notes/656/ebola-and-other-tropical-viruses-2/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ebola-virus/DS00996

http://microvet.arizona.edu/Courses/JC-MIC205/S08/MIC205%20NEWS/ebola.html

http://www.thelancetstudent.com/2010/11/30/the-lancet-seminar-ebola-haemorrhagic-fever/

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Anger Slows Down Healing Process

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The adage that laughter is the best medicine has been backed by an unusual investigation which says that people who seethe with anger take longer to recover from injury.

Previous studies have linked ill tempered behaviour, whether brow-beating or road rage, with higher incidence of coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke, especially among men.

But the new study, published on Wednesday in the British journal Brain, Behaviour, Immunity, is the first controlled experiment that directly measures the impact of ire on the healing process.

Researchers at the University of Ohio inflicted minor burns on the forearms of 98 volunteers who were then monitored over eight days to see how quickly the skin repaired itself.

The subjects had each taken a battery of psychological tests beforehand to assess how easily and often they felt and expressed wrath, and were then ranked on an “anger scale”.

Persons who took certain pharmaceutical drugs, smoked cigarettes or drank excessive quantities of caffeine-laden coffee were excluded, along with individuals who were extremely over- or under-weight.

The results were startlingly clear: individuals who had trouble controlling expressions of anger were four times likelier to need more than four days for their wounds to heal, compared with counterparts who could master their anger.

But the researchers were also surprised to find that anger has its nuances, too.

Subjects described as showing “anger out” (regular outbursts of aggression or hostility) or “anger in” (repressed rage) healed almost as quickly as individuals who ranked low on all anger scales.

Only those who tried but failed to hold in their feelings of upset and distemper took longer to heal.

This same group also showed a higher secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, which could at least partly explain the difference in healing time, the study noted.

Earlier research has shown a clear link between cortisol and anger. Hostile men who yelled at spouses during marital spats secreted more of the endocrine modulator within minutes, as did teachers experiencing high levels of stress in the classroom.

High levels of cortisol appears to decrease the production at the point of injury of two cytokines crucial to the repair process, suggests the study.

Cytokines are proteins released by immune-system cells. They act as signallers to generate a wider immune response. “The ability to regulate the expression of one’s anger has a clinically relevant impact on wound healing,” concludes lead author Jean-Philippe Gouin, a psychologist at the University of Ohio. “Those who has low anger control secreted more cortisol following exposition to this stressor. This individual difference in the response to the blistering was related to longer healing,” Gouin added.

Anger-control therapy could help patients recovering from surgery or injury heal more quickly, the paper says.

Click to see also:->

Laughter, the best medicine

Laugh loudly and get rid of many illness

Sources: The Times Of India

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Improve Lifestyle to Avoid High BP

High blood pressure toll to boom within 20 years.

Unhealthy lifestyle might bring a boom in high blood pressure, with the sufferers exceeding a billion within 20 years, a new study has found. One in four adults suffer from high blood pressure which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and death.

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Lifestyle factors, such as physical inactivity, a salt-rich diet with high fatty foods, and alcohol and tobacco use could see the problem spreading from developed to developing economies, like India and China.

According to The Lancet medical journal, the number of BP patients may rise to 1.56 billion by 2025, up from 972 million in 2000. Another editorial has claimed that the rise in BP is due to poor observance of medication by patients.

“Many patients still believe that hypertension is a disease that can be cured, and stop or reduce medication when blood pressure levels fall. Physicians need to convey the message that hypertension is the first, and easily measurable, irreversible sign that many organs in the body are under attack,” the editorial was quoted, as saying.

“Perhaps this message will make people think more carefully about the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle and give preventative measures a real chance,” it said.

Currently, a person in the Western world has a greater than 90 per cent lifetime risk of developing high blood pressure or hypertension.

Dr Isabel Lee, of The Stroke Association insisted that many strokes can be prevented by the control of high BP. “Every five minutes someone in the UK has a stroke — that’s 150,000 every year. Yet, over 40 per cent of these strokes could be prevented by the control of high blood pressure. Whilst it is important to get your blood pressure measured regularly, it is equally important that people who are prescribed blood pressure medication continue to take it even once their blood pressure is back under control,” Lee said.

“GPs need to ensure that patients are made fully aware of the importance of continuing with their blood pressure medication. People can also take additional steps to help improve their lifestyles and reduce their risk of high blood pressure by stopping smoking, having a healthy diet and exercising regularly,” she said.

Source: The Times Of India