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Please begin with an informative title:

Here's an quick update on the tragic Ebola epidemic in Western Africa from Alan Cowell, of The New York Times who writes, Ebola Death Toll in West Africa Tops 1,200. The World Health Organization reported 84 new deaths for August 16-19 bringing the death count to 1,229. The total number of known cases is now 2,240.    

Cowell also reports that with the impositions of a large quarantine area, which is the size of Jamaica, and straddles three countries, The W.H.O has expressed growing concerns about getting adequate supplies of food and water to the more than one million people cut-off behind cordon lines. Representatives from both the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Dorders have declared the Ebola epidemic is "outpacing" efforts to contain it.

A week ago, Europe’s first known death from Ebola was recorded in Madrid when a 75-year-old Spanish priest, the Rev. Miguel Pajares, died after being evacuated from Liberia where he had been treating Ebola patients. ...

The 17 patients fled a temporary holding center when it was ransacked by looters, who took bloodstained sheets and mattresses that may carry the Ebola virus. The whereabouts of those items was not immediately clear on Tuesday. ...

He also said Liberia was contemplating ways to restrict the movement of people. “We realize that we can’t police our way out of this,” he said. “We would prefer community awareness, but we need security backup.” ...

“Food has been delivered to hospitalized patients and people under quarantine who are not able to leave their homes to purchase food,” a W.H.O. statement said. “Providing regular food supplies is a potent means of limiting unnecessary movement.”

Experts from the W.H.O. admitted last week that the real death and case counts are probably much worse than the official numbers indicated because many in rurul areas are afraid to cooperate with health authority and health worker can not even get into many rural areas because of hostility to them. Experts expert we will see a big spike in the official numbers as they discover the patients who have been hiding.

In a rare bit of good news from the Ebola front is that three African doctors receiving the experimental drug, ZMapp, show "remarkable signs of improvement," however, the manufacture reports having run out of supplies.


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Here are some of my other recent reports on Ebola, MERS, PEDVs, and other viral outbreaks.

12:56 PM PT:                                                                        

Death toll from Ebola in Western Africa reaches 1,229 with 2,240 known cases
Here's an quick update on the tragic Ebola epidemic in Western Africa from Alan Cowell, of The New York Times who writes, Ebola Death Toll in West Africa Tops 1,200. The World Health Organization ...
HoundDog 08/19/2014 7 8 -
Ebola epidemic is likely much larger than its reported 2,127 cases admits World Health Organization
Here is an alarming update to the heartbreaking news about the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa reported by Nick Cumming-Bruce of the New York Times , who writes Ebola Epidemic Most Likely Much ...
HoundDog 08/15/2014 155 104 -
"Cordon sanitaire" imposed for first time in over a century to quarantine area of Ebola outbreak
Donald G. McNeil of the New York Times reports the shocking news that three African governments have ...
HoundDog 08/14/2014 14 32 -
Another doctor infected with Ebola, Peace Corps withdraws volunteers from Western Africa
Ravages of the Ebola outbreaks continue to mount as the Peace Corps has withdrawn volunteers from Western Africa and another Doctor, this time an American with Samaritans Purse, have ...
HoundDog 07/30/2014 53 93 -
Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor, dies of EVD after caring for over 100 patients
Umaru Fofana and Adam Bailes bring us the sad news that Sierra Leones' top specialist in Ebola and viral hemorrhagic fever diseases, Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, died of Ebola after being exposed by one ...
HoundDog 07/29/2014 84 193 4
497 Chikungunya virus cases so far in 2014: What you need to know about our new tropical disease
G, Mish-Mish, Kashi, Yeti and I are just six days away from our drive from Massachusetts to Florida so I've been reading up on dreadful tropical diseases that are creeping up from the Mexico and ...
HoundDog 07/25/2014 49 61 2
Moon-like suit is supposed to keep Ebola virus out so why do health care workers keep catching it?
Health care worker in Kailahun, Sierra Leone wearing ...
HoundDog 07/24/2014 102 88 -
Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor, contracts virus after treating 100 patients
Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, Photocredit: Reuters

Hannah Goldberg of Time Magazine brings us the sad news that Sierra Leone’s Chief Ebola Doctor Contracts ...

HoundDog 07/23/2014 53 134 -
12 Liberian health workers die of Ebola, others flee posts, 539 deaths out of 888 cases
Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced a new total death count of 538 out of 888 total cases of Ebola in Western Africa. This post provides brief paragraphs from, and links to, four ...
HoundDog 07/11/2014 84 134 3
Deadliest Ebola outbreak in history happening now - June 26 WHO update 367 deaths outs of 600 cases
This post is meant as a brief update of my post of Wednesday, June 25, ...
HoundDog 06/27/2014 59 44 2
Ebola "out of control, we have reached the limits of what we can do," says Doctors Without Borders
Dennis Lynch of the International Business Times reports Ebola Outbreak: Doctors Without Borders ...
HoundDog 06/25/2014 203 333 5
Ebola continues to spread in Western Africa, death toll at 337 with 528 cases
    Sylvain Cherkaoui, Cosmos,

     Courtesy of Doctors Without Borders

The World Health Organization announced the combined death toll from the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra ...

HoundDog 06/18/2014 7 32 1
West African Ebola death toll rises to 193 out of 291 cases, 34 new cases in Sierra Leone
After appearing to be under control with a declining number of new cases, the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Western Africa is spreading in a ...
HoundDog 06/02/2014 16 29 -
W.H.O. declares international health emergency as polio spreads at alarming rate
Dan Bilefsky and Rick Gladstone, of  The New York Times , report Polio Spreading at Alarming Rates, World Health Organization Declares.

PARIS — Alarmed by the spread of polio to fragile ...

HoundDog 05/05/2014 30 34 -
350 cases of SARS-like MERS Coronavirus spreads to new countries from Saudi Arabia causes 100 deaths
Egyptian Muslim pilgrims wear masks to protect against MERS: Amr Nabil/AP Photo

Gillian Moheney from ABC News ...

HoundDog 04/28/2014 8 20 -
PEDv virus has killed 10% of U.S. pig population causing spike in prices
Meredith Davis and Theopolis Waters of the Chicago Tribune report that a Killer virus spreads unchecked through U.S. ...
HoundDog 04/27/2014 43 55 -
WHO reports Ebola outbreak spreading: 50 cases in Guinea's capital Conakry including 20 deaths
The United Nation's World Health Organization released new figures today for the death toll from Ebola spreading in Guinea, Mali, and Liberia today. These numbers may not look substantially higher ...
HoundDog 04/22/2014 32 37 -
Ebola outbreak is new strain 97% similar to Zaire strain, blamed for 135 deaths out of 197 cases
Reuters reports that the West African Ebola outbreak ...
HoundDog 04/18/2014 5 20 -
Ebola out in Guinea is a new strain, did not spread from previous outbreak, death toll rises to 120
The Ebola Virus in West Africa Is New Strain, Scientists Say, and the outbreak in Guinea that has killed more than ...
HoundDog 04/17/2014 6 32 -
West African Ebola death toll reaches 121, rate of new cases slows, progress on vaccine in mice
I have three articles for you tonight and for the first time since the outbreak started two bits of good news. Guineas reports that the number of new cases is falling, and our second articles ...
HoundDog 04/16/2014 9 31 -
Deadly MERS virus outbreak in Saudi Arabia kills 92 out of 228 confirmed cases  
Ellen Knickmeyer and Ahmed Al Oman report that Saudi Arabia has confirmed a surge in cases of the virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, (MERS), as ...
HoundDog 04/14/2014 10 31 -
Ebola outbreak is one of most challenging ever seen, death toll tops 100, will continue for months
Terri Rupar, of The Washington Post reports that Doctors of the World Health Organization announced today ...
HoundDog 04/08/2014 13 43 -
Ebola death toll rises to 95 with 151 suspected cases
My son just told me his girlfriend's sister is in Mali with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Doctor's Without Borders,  helping treat the afflicted and contain this epidemic and he and her family ...
HoundDog 04/08/2014 8 24 -
Preserving antibiotics for humans requires cutting back on their use in animal feed on farms
The LA Times Editorial Board has taken a strong stand on the excess use of antibiotics in animal feed and on farms, after the original reporting they did last week I covered ...
HoundDog 04/07/2014 22 36 1
'Panic' as Ebola virus spreads across West Africa, mob attacks medical center
Different images of the Ebola epidemic in Western Africa emerge depending on which reports you read. The death toll has risen to 90.  The World Health Organization is downplaying concerns ...
HoundDog 04/06/2014 53 119 2
Ebola death toll climbs to 85 out of 137 cases, in Mali, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
Two hours ago, Matt Smith, of CNN wrote Ebola toll tops ...
HoundDog 04/05/2014 10 37 -
A new independent outbreak of Ebola occurring in Libera, death toll escalates.
Hi Everyone. In order to get our discussion started earlier tonight I'm going to do things a little bit differently, and post a survey of five articles without my usual pix, to get discussion started,
HoundDog 04/03/2014 112 103 1
West Africa on high alert as ebola epidemic spreads in unusual pattern, Sauda Arabia cancels visas
Concern over Africa's largest outbreak of Ebola in seven years is moving up to a higher level as the death toll rises and the spread of the epidemic moves into an unusual pattern breaking out at ...
HoundDog 04/02/2014 151 93 -
African Ebola outbreak expanding in unusual pattern,  78 deaths out of 122 suspected cases
Linda Poon, of NPR, explains how ...
HoundDog 04/02/2014 39 67 -
Ebola now confirmed to have spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone from Guinea, at least 70 dead
Alphonso Toweh, of Reuters reports the latest update from Liberian health authorities confirm two cases of Ebola: WHO, and left 70 ...
HoundDog 03/31/2014 33 37 -
Senegal shuts border with Guinea to stop spread of Ebola, cases now in  Libera and Sierra Leone
HoundDog 03/29/2014 59 67 1
8 cases of Ebola found in Guinea's capital of Conakry, bats confirmed as viral reservoir, 70 deaths
CBS News confirms that Ebola hits Guinea's capital Conakry, 8 infected Health officials in the West African nation of Guinea say they're now ...
HoundDog 03/28/2014 18 12 -
Bats discovered to be transmission vector in largest outbreak of Ebola in Africa in seven years 64
The BBC is reporting that scientists have finally discovered that bats are the hidden reservoir and transmission vector for spreading Ebola, as reported, in Guinea Ebola outbreak: Bat-...
HoundDog 03/27/2014 35 22 -
Africa's largest outbreak of Ebola in seven years now suspected of spreading  to Liberia (updated)
Update: Bloomberg is now reporting that Africa's largest outbreak of Ebola in seven years is now thought have spread from Guinea to Liberia. The report below develops chronologically from this ...
HoundDog 03/24/2014 63 30 -

4:29 PM PT: By popular demand I am reproducing this recipe for tasty fruit bat soup I published back in March when fruit bats were discovered to be the reservoir species. Make sure to thoroughly cook your bats as because even though our bats here do not carry Ebola yet, to the best of our knowledge, they carry more pathologically deadly viruses than almost any other species.

So make sure you wear BLS-4 level protection during preparation and sterilize or burn all cooking materials, fabrics, and surfaces possibly contanmenated during preparation.

Proper cooking should destroy most of the deadly viruses they may carry, but does little for prions. However, the incidence of Creutzfeld-Jacobs is not really very high in the U.S. and I am not aware of any evidence it is carried by bats. But just to be safe, make sure your bats look healthy before preparation.

Enjoy, and please let me know how it turns out. Sadly, I'm allergic to bats so I have not been able to enjoy this dish. I had to go back all the way to an out of print 1941 source to find this.  

photo bats_zps4b16c36e.jpg

The BBC is reporting that scientists have finally discovered that bats are the hidden reservoir and transmission vector for spreading Ebola, as reported, in Guinea Ebola outbreak: Bat-eating banned to curb virus.

Guinea has banned the sale and consumption of bats to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, its health minister has said. ... Bats, a local delicacy, appeared to be the "main agents" for the Ebola outbreak in the south, Rene Lamah said.

Sixty-two people have now been killed by the virus in Guinea, with suspected cases reported in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. ... Ebola is spread by close contact. There is no known cure or vaccine. ... It kills between 25% and 90% of victims, depending on the strain of the virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

People who eat the animals often boil them into a sort of spicy pepper soup, our correspondent says. The soup is sold in village stores where people gather to drink alcohol. ... Other ways of preparing the bats to eat include drying them over a fire.

The total number of deaths had reached 62 by Tuesday. Ebola is spread by contact with bodily fluids, or by touching an object recently touched by an infected person. The virus attacks the endothelial cells of the blood vessels. It takes 2 to 21 days from infection to come down with symptoms and people then can die withing days.

Two quarantine zones have been set up in southern Guinea to try to contain the outbreak. Mediecins Sans Fronieres, the World Health Organization, are providing assistance to local governments in trying to contain the epidemic.

 photo bats2_zps84ee12cc.jpg

The discovery of the bat vector has solved a puzzle that has baffled science for decades because Ebola kills off it victims so quickly it disappears for long periods so we have never known where its reservoir was. While hosting the virus the bat shows no symptoms of the disease. Livescience reports, Bat Soup Blamed as Deadly Ebola Virus Spreads.

"We discovered the vector [infectious] agent of the Ebola virus is the bat," Remy Lamah, the country’s health minister, told Bloomberg News. "We sent messages everywhere to announce the ban. People must even avoid consumption of rats and monkeys. They are very dangerous animals."

Bats are reported to be quite tasty when toasted over an open grill, or boiled down into a think and spicy soup with peppers. Mmm, mmm, good! I'm getting hungry. If it weren't for my big diet weigh in tomorrow I'd have some now. I'm down 7 pounds for the month, and don't want to go on a binge. Below the fold I offer one old American favorite bat soup recipe for the more adventuress Kossacks, although you may want to read the warning below first.

Though many animals can spread disease, bats have come under increased scientific scrutiny in recent years for their uncanny ability to host "zoonotic" viruses, that is, viruses that readily make the jump from one species to another.

"There seems to be something different about bats in terms of being able to host zoonotic infections," David Hayman, a wildlife epidemiologist at Colorado State University, told LiveScience in a 2013 interview.

The flying mammals are reservoirs for more than 60 viruses that can infect humans, and host more viruses per species than even rodents.

In addition to the Ebola virus, rabies, histoplasmosis, SARS, Nipah (which causes deadly brain fevers), Hendra (a lethal respiratory disease), Marburg, Lyssaviruses and other diseases can be spread by bats, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

One disappointing aspect of these articles is that scientist never explain to us why the custom of eating these tasty bat delicacies never spread to Europe, and the United States, leaving the reader with a puzzled empty feeling. But don't worry, to fill up that emptiness I found an American recipe for a delicious bat soup from an out of print soup. This might be your last chance to have it before it gets banned here too. Oddly, the author, and all of her descendents, as well as children, and publisher have all pasted on, but Ted Taylor and Fred Peters found an old copy in the New York Library which I've put below the fold. (Humor alert!)  

 photo batsoup_zpse47b4c19.jpg

Here's a tasty recipe for Fruit Bat Soup from  "The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook" by Jean Hewitt (c) 1971. (Out of Print)  Courtesy of Ted Taylor who says fruit bats are also known as Flying Foxes who are affectionate little creatures who make great pets, with the advantage that you can make a tasty soup with them when you done playing.

Fruit Bat Soup</>

 3 Fruit bats, well washed but neither skinned nor eviscerated,


1 tb Finely sliced fresh ginger,

1 lg Onion, quartered,

The following is a genuine recipe from Micronesia. Fruit bats, or flying foxes, are furry, fruit and nectar eating bats about the size of small rabbits. The make very affectionate pets.

Sea salt to taste, Chopped scallions, Soy sauce and/or coconut cream.

1. Place the bats in a large kettle and add water to cover, the ginger, onion, and salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 40 minutes. Strain broth into a second kettle.

2. Take the bats, skin them and discard the skin. Remove meat from the bones and return meat, and any of the viscera you fancy, to the broth. Heat.

3. Serve liberally sprinkled with scallions and further seasoned with soy sauce and/or coconut cream.

Yield: 4 servings.

Mmmm, mmm! That looks like some mighty fine eating there. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to bats, but please write in and let me know how it tastes. Just remember to have your bats checked for Ebola virus, rabies, histoplasmosis, SARS, Nipah (which causes deadly brain fevers), Hendra (a lethal respiratory disease), Marburg, Lyssaviruses first. Enjoy!.

7:43 AM PT: May I call your attention to what I believe to be an important proposal for a more positive and energetic approach to supporting and appreciating our Daily Kos volunteer writers and readers who comment in  

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