May 2, 2016 |
In November, I booked our all-inclusive vacation to Martinique, wired the deposit, and began counting down the days to our March week in the Caribbean. Including my wife, Linda, and our grown children, Max and Zoe, we were a family of four headed for the nonstop sports and lavish buffets of Club Med's Buccaneers Creek in the French West Indies. We had heard that some vacationers were canceling travel to the region because of a spooky, mosquito-borne virus surging in South America and making its way up the archipelago that includes Martinique.
February 17, 2016 |
Norovirus is what caused more than 12 percent of Ursinus College's student body to get sick last week, officials said Monday. Test results confirmed the highly contagious virus as the culprit behind the stomach illness that swept across the Collegeville campus, sickening at least 214 students, plus faculty and staff, since last Tuesday. "This is the agent we have suspected since this outbreak began," said Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh, a physician and interim medical director of the county health department.
February 11, 2016 |
Pennsylvania and Delaware health officials Tuesday confirmed their first cases of the Zika virus. Two women in Pennsylvania who recently traveled to countries affected by the virus tested positive. "They were very, very mild cases: fever, rash, no complications," state Health Secretary Karen Murphy said in a conference call with reporters. She declined to say whether the women were pregnant. Health officials' prime concern about the virus has been reports of a small percentage of babies born with abnormally small heads to women who were infected while pregnant in Brazil, the center of the epidemic in the Americas.
January 31, 2016
Most of what is known about the mosquito-borne Zika virus comes from its explosive spread in Central and South America. The Philadelphia region is different. Who should be worried? For now, public health officials say they are mainly concerned about pregnant women who recently traveled to any of the affected countries. A small number of cases there have been linked to birth defects. Women who are pregnant have been advised to postpone travel to those areas. Pregnant women who recently returned from infected areas should consult their health-care provider.
December 20, 2015 |
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Toledo cornerback Cheatham Norrils has professional aspirations and rightly so but last year he was wondering if he'd ever return to the football field. A 6-foot, 195-pound senior, Norrils is expected to play a significant role when Toledo (9-2) meets Temple (10-3) in Tuesday's Boca Raton Bowl. He earned first-team all-Mid American Conference honors after recording 60 tackles, three interceptions and 13 breakups. It's a remarkable recovery after Norrils missed last season when he contacted an undiagnosed viral infection that left him bed-ridden for weeks.
October 25, 2015 |
They're everywhere. Too small to be seen by the unaided eye and too numerous to count, they inhabit our insides and outsides, our guts and the surface of our skin. They are the bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms that make up what scientists call our microbiome. It's a complex environment, and scientists are only just beginning to understand and appreciate its vitally important role in keeping us healthy and signaling when we are sick. This week, Penn Vet, Penn Medicine, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will host their second annual microbiome symposium.
June 14, 2015 |
Nearly 50 years after the Epstein-Barr virus was discovered to cause human cancers, there are no good treatment options for the 200,000 new cases diagnosed annually, most of them in the world's poorest places. The Wistar Institute aims to change that. The illustrious Philadelphia research center last month received a three-year, $5.6 million grant from the Wellcome Trust in London to continue developing a novel anti-viral drug. "We certainly hope that this first-in-class drug we are developing will slow the progression or - even better - cure these deadly cancers," said Wistar senior scientist Troy Messick.
June 12, 2015 |
The small shorebird - a ruddy turnstone - was not happy. Moments ago, it had been feasting on horseshoe crab eggs along the waterline of Delaware Bay near Villas, N.J. But now, University of Georgia researcher Deb Carter had a gentle but inescapable grip on the bird, and her colleague Clara Kienzle was sticking a cotton swab down its throat. Next, they swabbed the bird's other end and then jabbed a slim needle into a vein to draw blood before releasing it. Their goal: to see if this healthy bird was carrying a flu virus.
November 1, 2014 |
Philadelphia imposes a mandatory quarantine three or four times a year for uncooperative people with tuberculosis and is planning to automatically seek a court order as a precaution if a patient is confirmed with Ebola, officials said. The city is monitoring about 40 travelers from West Africa who arrived at five designated airports in other parts of the country. An additional 20 or so, including 11 in Burlington County, are being followed at least daily in surrounding counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
October 27, 2014 |
Practically everyone at the march had a story about people who refused to shake hands or moved to another bus seat when they realized they were near a Liberian. "Once they hear our accent, people try to avoid us," said Harris Murphy, a filmmaker. "Everybody is afraid of you. I'm a West African - not a virus. " On Saturday, he and about 60 members of Philadelphia's Liberian, Guinean, and Sierra Leonean communities took to the streets, staging a noisy, drum-thumping demonstration to call attention to the facts of the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed nearly 5,000 in West Africa.