Thursday, July 31, 2014

HIV, Malaria, TB, and bubonic plague

Article: HIV global death estimates are wrong
The researcher behind a recent Lancet study says we have overestimated Aids epidemic and underestimated malaria deaths
Malaria, and deaths due to malaria, are down world-wide, but went up in Africa to 2004, then decreased.

TB is also down world-wide.

Article: Was Quarantine The Right Move?
Yesterday, Chinese authorities finally lifted a nine-day quarantine of 151 individuals from the northwestern city of Yumen, instituted after a 38-year-old man died of a bubonic plague infection last week. Entry and exit points were also sealed off, trapping nearly 30,000 residents. In the end, no other cases of bubonic plague developed.
A developing nation, that has been harshly criticized previously for an inadequate response to a disease outbreak, diagnoses a person with the plague. They react swiftly and thoroughly. People in the comfort and protection of the country with the most advanced system of treating and tracking people in world criticize them for taking measures that, for them and for their level of development, work.

In hindsight, and from our exalted viewpoint, it looks like an over-reaction. But if the 151 individuals had had bubonic plague, it might have been ground zero for a world-wide outbreak.

This is not me, hyperventilating: Yersinia pestis and the Plague of Justinian 541—543 AD: a genomic analysis. The article notes that bubonic plague remains a real possibility.

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