Joseph H.-NASA Study Predicted Outbreak of Deadly Virus

Outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever killed many people in eastern Africa

Outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever killed many people in eastern Africa

As I was scrolling through the website sciencedaily.com, a great site for science articles, I found an interesting story. It was about a new deadly virus called rift valley fever. I looked at the title and was immediately interested in it. This article was published on February17th, 2009.

 

 

Rift valley fever is a disease that is closely related to the climate and landscape of that area. Researchers studied the geography, sea temperatures, rain, and vegetation to see where the disease would first make its mark. The Rift Valley Disease risk map warned East Africans about the disease coming near them. In 1997, there was an outbreak of this disease passed around by mosquitoes and already infected cattle. This caused 90000 people to be infected with this ailment and humanitarian aid was needed. The US sent the Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response system into that area to try to find data to predict the next spreading of the disease.  They made a huge discovery which was that the vegetation was a habitat to some of the disease carrying mosquitoes which explained the unusually high number of infected people. In the area of El Nino, there are lots of drastic climate events. Some of these often led to drought which unknowing people used the small amounts of vegetation they had which were actually infected. In areas with great amounts of precipitation, the mosquitoes’ eggs were able to hatch and reproduce so once the rainfall was back on track, they would go out, carrying diseases.

In 2006-07, the disease was detected in humans again. It took about a month and a few weeks to show up. The problem is that right now, there is no medication or vaccine that doctors can give to prevent this. It was proven that in areas with high precipitation levels near new rock, the risk was higher and more of a threat. The satellite data showed that the disease carrying bugs enjoy the type of land mentioned earlier. Now officials are using this data to find out when the next outbreak will be, and where. The new technology is there solution to figuring out this cause.

 Discussion Questions:

What is your reaction to this article?

Why do you think, compared to everywhere else, Africa is the most affected region?

 

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217101433.htm

 

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~ by Student Entry on February 19, 2009.

14 Responses to “Joseph H.-NASA Study Predicted Outbreak of Deadly Virus”

  1. This ws an amazingly shocking article. I never knew about rift valley fever and it wows me that it has really stayed hidden from the public eye. It seems to me that most African problems are very important yet few really pay attention to them.
    Rift valley fever has only been found in Africa because, well, that part of Africa has a large rift valley (that’s probably why it’s called rift valley fever…) but other than that, Africa’s climate has to do with it the most. The mild climate is a perfect habitat for viruses and the mosquitos that carry them. Also, with poverty, lack of education and little medicare, the defenseless Africans make perfect hosts for rift valley fever viruses.

  2. Great job Joe!!! That was wonderful for the first astronomy article. I’m goig to attempt to incorporate both questions in my answer.

    I thought that this rift valley disease is scary. Just imagine catching an unknown disease and knowing that your days are limited. It’s just a very scary thought. I think that the disease is huge in Africa because of two things, the rift valley, and the low healthcare. We all learned in class that Africa has a huge rift valley, one of the biggest on earth. This is rift valley disease so yeah, it’s going to be bad. The second reason it’s hitting africa so hard is because a lot of people and places in Africa don’t have healthcare at all so it’s hard to detect it and prevent it. With no one to help once you catch it, you just sit there worried and in pain. It’s a horrible disease.

    I’m glad I learned about this issue. If this blog wasn’t here it wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Everyone is doing great and more stories are coming in each day.

  3. This is an amazing article, Joseph! It’s very informative. In response to your question Africa is the most affected region because of poor sanitation and many people do not have proper health care (seeing as only pregnant women and children 0-6 receive health care). The disease only intensifies because of all the other parasites and diseases already there and the poor living conditions. Again, amazingly written article, it was just what I like to read!

  4. nice job!!!!!!!!!! keep up the good work!!!!!

  5. Nice job and your writing really flowed! Good luck on the next one you do.

  6. Nice work Joe! I never knew that this disease ever happened! How does the disease spread? What are the effects that rift valley disease? Does it have a cure? Why did it only hit Africa? I like your article. Why is it called “rift valley”? Is it because it started by a continental rift valley? Thank you for informing me on this subject. How did they disease start? I recommend this article to everyone. I hope that they enjoy this inspiring story as I did. I cannot wait to read another one of your amazing articles ( I hope you write another one).

  7. amazing!!!!!! I didn’t know how far a disease could spread but your pictures explained that. i just hope it stays down there in south america. keep up the good work

  8. Wow Joe, great article! I can’t believe this disease was spreading and I was totally oblivious to it… I had never even heard of Rift Valley Disease before. Thanks for calling it to my attention. What an interesting topic to choose, and what a tragic event. It reminds me of the millions of people in Africa infected with HIV/AIDS (which relates to Sam’s response about why Africa is so prone to infection). So many people have no idea that this life threatening disease is occurring, and when they do realize, it may be too late and the virus has most likely already spread to other people. In the length of time it took for people to even detect the sickness is even scarier. All of those people living through this deadly episode, completely unaware. Even if there are warnings, like you said there were, I would expect only some citizens to be aware of the ailment, considering typically poor communication, education, and scarce hospitals that may be around. It’s absolutely terrible that this much loss is happening. I hope scientists can find efficient means of early detection!
    By the way, Sam, I loved your response! Well said.
    And David, I couldn’t agree more with you on your reaction to Africa’s extremely severe, but unnoticed crises.

  9. wow. that was a really good article, and probably one of the most (well, in my case) interesting topics. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that mosquitos could once again carry a life threatening disease (even more reason to hate the little buggers). additionally i believe that africa is like the perfect breeding ground for these insects, which enables the virus to spread to even more unsuspecting victims. and steven, i couldn’t agree more with you on how horrible it must be to know that your living your last days with an unknown disease with no cure…God. also, i agree with rachel when she writes that the poor communication, sanitaion, education, healthcare, ect. in Africa definitely can not help the situation. I hope that medical research continues about this disease and that it becomes more widely known to the public.

  10. Your story was very good. And it was interesting 90,000 people! Wow! :.0!!! Your story was great and i loved the map!

  11. Good job! I just thought you were going to have a great article. I really enjoyed it. I like the map.

  12. WOW!!Thats amazing another disease that Africa has to work to defand themselves from. AIDS and now that new disease. I am goin to answer question 1, I was shocked and sad. Africa has enough problems and now more deaths. I am scared for most of them! Hopefully docoters can find a cure or medicane to stop or slow it down!! 😦

  13. Great job on this article Joe! That was a really interesting article and it is very important to know about as well. I’m happy I read your article because everyone is going crazy about swine flu and everything else but they don’t understand that there are other diseases in the world too. Well, now that I read your article, I know. I hope people in America realize how fortunate they are that they aren’t getting these diseases when people in Africa are.

  14. Great job on this article Joseph! That was a really interesting article and it is very important to know about as well. I’m happy I read your article because everyone is going crazy about swine flu and everything else but they don’t understand that there are other diseases in the world too. Well, now that I read your article, I know. I hope people in America realize how fortunate they are that they aren’t getting these diseases when people in Africa are.

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