Ebola-infected physician dies in Nebraska


An undated United Methodist News Service handout shows Dr. Martin Salia at United Methodist Kissy Hospital outside Freetown, Sierra Leone.(Photo: Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Service, via European Pressphoto Agency)

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‘Brain-eating’ amoeba claims another life

—File Photo.


KARACHI: The ‘brain-eating’ amoeba, a waterborne organism, has claimed another life here.

Executive District Officer for health Imdadullah Siddiqui said 40-year-old Tahir Ansari died at the Aga Khan University Hospital on Saturday.

His is the third death caused by the waterborne infection in the city this year.

Mr Ansari, a resident of Lines Area, had no swimming history, but Mr Siddiqui said he had visited a graveyard early this week where he washed his hands and face with water from a reservoir. The victim was married and had three sons and a daughter.

Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba found in rivers, lakes, springs, drinking water networks and poorly chlorinated swimming pools, emerged in May last year and killed 10 people till October, official records show.

According to a recent report, up to 41 per cent of the water supplied to the city does not have sufficient amounts of chlorine. Of the 1,445 samples tested for chlorine, 44 had no chlorine at all, 546 had less than standard quantities of the disinfectant, and 855 were found satisfactorily chlorinated.

Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis is defined in medical literature as a rare but typically fatal infection caused by Naegleria fowleri.

Scientists infect mosquitos with bacteria to curb malaria transmission

A mosquito is bloated with blood as it inserts its stinger into human flesh. (AFP)

 By Agence France-Presse

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US scientists have found a way to infect mosquitoes with bacteria in order to break the chain of malaria transmission, according to research published Thursday in a leading scientific journal.

A similar approach has helped cut back on dengue in some locations, and researchers hope that the findings could offer a path toward reducing malaria among the most common mosquitoes in the Middle East and South Asia.

The bacterial infection is inheritable and could be passed on for as many as 34 generations of mosquitoes, rendering them immune to malaria parasites, reported experts from the National Institutes of Health in the journal Science.

Scientists injected Anopheles mosquito embryos with Wolbachia, a common insect bacterium. When the mosquitoes matured, they bred the adult females with uninfected males.

The infection endured for 34 generations of mosquitoes. The study ended at that point, so it remains unknown how much longer the bacterial infection would have been passed on, preventing malaria transmission.

Researchers also tried introducing the bacterial infection in small numbers of adult mosquitoes, between five and 20 percent of females in a given population.

Within eight generations, all of the mosquitoes were infected with the malaria-blocking infection.

The evidence supports the “potential of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes as a malaria control strategy,” said the study.

Previous research has shown the bacterium could prevent malaria-inducing Plasmodium parasites from developing in Anopheles mosquitoes.

But in this study, scientists were able to show for the first time that they could create mosquitoes with a stable Wolbachia infection that passed consistently from mother to offspring.

Researchers also discovered that the infection killed malaria parasites both in the mosquitoes’ guts and in the salivary glands, the main avenue for transmission to humans via mosquito bites.

About 660,000 people die worldwide every year from malaria.


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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CDC warns of alarming increase in ‘superbug’ cases


An increased number of hospital patients are suffering from deadly infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports in a March 5 press release. Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections kill up to half the people infected with the bacteria. The percentage of CRE cases has increased by 400 percent over the past decade. In the nation, the northeastern states have reported the most cases of CRE.“CRE are nightmare bacteria. Our strongest antibiotics don’t work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections,” — CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.


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