This year has delivered plenty of sobering evidence that the coronavirus isn’t the only viral threat out there.
Mpox to global
The mpox virus, a related virus that causes smallpox, has never before spread widely among people outside of Central and West Africa. But in May, mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, burst onto the global scene. As of November 28, there have been more than 81,100 cases across 110 countries and 55 deaths.
The disease, which can cause rash with painful, pus-filled lesions, is mainly spread by contact. Although anyone can be infected, this outbreak outside of West and Central Africa mainly affects people who have sex with humans.SN: 6/18/22, p. 6). The world’s declining immunity to smallpox — which was eradicated in 1980, ending vaccination programs — likely helped the spread of mpox.
Science News headlines in your inbox
Headlines and summaries of the latest Science News articles, delivered to your email inbox every Friday.
Thank you, because I want up!
I’m having trouble subscribing to you.
In the United States and Europe, cases began to decline in August as people at high risk changed their behavior or received vaccines. Preliminary data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that vaccination is protective. There are still no vaccines in African countries where mpox has historically been spread.
Ebola outbreak in Uganda
Two small Ebola virus outbreaks have been reported in the Congo this year. But more worrisome was the unrest in Uganda that began in September. Current Ebola vaccines and treatments do not provide protection against that country’s active strain. However, clinical trials for three vaccine candidates are set to begin in late 2022.
But the disturbance seems to be on the decline after the middle of October. As of December 5, there were no active cases in Uganda. In total, the outbreak has 142 confirmed cases and 56 confirmed deaths, including at least seven health care workers.
Poliovirus in sewage
A version of the poliovirus was found in the cleanup in New York, Israel, Britain, and some other places where polio had been eliminated, suggesting the virus—which can cause paralysis—was rampant there. In March, Israeli officials confirmed a case of polio paralysis in an unvaccinated 3-year-old; An unvaccinated man in New York is paralyzed by polio in June.
These cases have been linked to vaccine-induced poliovirus (SN Online: 9/14/22). One type of polio vaccine is based on life, but it has weakened the man to teach the body to mount immune defenses against the disease. In rare cases that are weakened or weakened, the virus can spread, mutate and regain the ability to cause paralysis in unvaccinated people. Mild vaccines are not used in the United States, but are common in some countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are the last two countries still working to eliminate polio.
Unknown hepatitis of the child
Between October 2021 and the last time the World Health Organization released an update on July 8, more than 1,000 children globally developed severe hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver. Experts are still not sure why. They don’t even know if it’s a new outbreak, or if doctors are just focusing on a pandemic case.
There are many causes associated with adenovirus, most commonly colds (SN Online: 5/19/22). But having a previous case of COVID-19 could also be a factor. Another hypothesis is that children with a certain genetic susceptibility get hepatitis after a double infection, perhaps with adenovirus plus another virus called AAV2.
The bird died of disease
Birds around the world also faced a deadly viral enemy this year: the H5N1 influenza virus. In the United States alone, more than 4,300 wild birds have tested positive for the virus. The number of chicken farmers more than 53 million died either from infection or slaughtered to spread the virus. In Europe, the 2021-2022 season was also the largest known epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza, with more than 2,600 outbreaks across 37 countries in farm or captive birds. Researchers are concerned that H5N1 poses a long-term threat to chickens, birds and potentially other animals; The virus has been linked to a seal die-off in Maine this year.
Humans may also be exposed, with two cases reported since December 2021. Although flu is not easily spread between humans, experts worry that as the epidemic continues, the virus will pick up mutations that allow it to be passed from person to person.
#virus #coronavirus #pandemic