A virus like SARS can shut down cytokine production, enabling it to multiply to higher levels and causing significant infection and even death.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Frayer)
We've all endured infections. Here's how it works when our bodies are attacked by viruses, bacteria or parasites, and our innate immune system becomes the first line of defence.
The Bubonic plague slowed urbanisation, industrial development and economic growth in Europe for many years.
Despite being so small they can't be seen with the naked eye, pathogens that cause human disease have greatly affected the way humans live for centuries.
When a man was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas in 2014, workers cleared out the apartment unit where he had been staying.
President Trump wants to slash global health funding at a time when more investment is needed, not less. This spending can protect Americans – as well as foreigners – from deadly diseases.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is part of a faction which embraces patronage politics.
It is common to reduce the politics of the ANC to a battle between personalities. A closer look suggest that this is a fight between two factions, both of them products of trends in the economy.
South Africa’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a balancing game
South Africa's finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, had to battle poor growth and falling revenue in preparing the 2016 medium term budget. How did he do?
South Africa’s minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, is under attack.
Closer examination of criminal charges brought against South Africa's finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, suggest that they are weak in law and serve a political agenda.
Timeliness is important for detecting epidemics.
We need better surveillance systems to detect epidemics early. But while social media has been flagged as a potential solution, we're not quite there yet.
President Jacob Zuma is accused of using the Hawks to target his finance minister, Pravin Gordhan.
The battle between South Africa's finance minister Pravin Gordhan and the country's elite police unit is once more grabbing headlines. What are the points of law around the matter?
Academics have sent an open letter to the World Health Organisation calling for the Olympics to be postponed or moved because of the Zika threat. They're overreacting.
Ed Hutchinson/University of Glasgow
Understanding how the flu virus copies itself could open a way to killing it.
Some 60% of bugs that infect humans originated in animals.
The world’s scientific community is focused on how to improve detection and responses to emerging diseases such as Zika virus and Ebola. So what can we learn from the most recent large-scale outbreaks?
A professor of economics reflects on other outbreaks to get to grips with the likely impacts of Zika.
As part of pandemic preparation, in the early 2000s many countries amassed large stockpiles of the influenza neuraminidase inhibitor Tamiflu.
One of the biggest recent controversies in medicine involves the effectiveness of the antiviral drug Tamiflu. Governments have stockpiled the drug but many have raised doubts about its usefulness.
Children in particular experience a multitude of viral illnesses during their early years.
Viruses cause all kinds of infections from relatively mild cases of the flu to deadly outbreaks of Ebola. Clearly, not all viruses are equal and one of these differences is when you can infect others.
Avoiding contact with people who have respiratory infections – and are coughing or sneezing – is the key to protection.
Twelve years ago the world was threatened by an outbreak of a new coronavirus called SARS. MERS belongs to the same virus family and has killed 19 people in South Korea.
In this photo a researcher from the virology institute at the Bonn Faculty of Medicine looks at cell cultures.
If you’ve never heard of coronaviruses before, you may know about some of the illnesses different types of they can cause, like SARS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and the common cold.
Air travel can turn epidemics into pandemics.
More than 8,000 people have died from Ebola in West Africa since February 2014 and it has spread beyond the three countries initially affected. So, it’s an epidemic, right? Or is it an outbreak? What about…
Some rat, possum and mozzie species thrive when living close to people.
Our world is becoming increasingly urbanised. In 1950, just 30% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. This number is now over 50% and rising. By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population are…
It’s unclear whether Spanish dog Excalibur, pictured here with owner Javier Limon (husband of Ebola-infected nurse Teresa Ramos), was infected.
Spanish authorities have euthanised the dog of Madrid nurse Teresa Romero Ramos, who contracted Ebola. The 12-year-old dog, Excalibur, was not showing symptoms and was not tested for Ebola. But he lived…
When you hear hooves, shout camel, not bioterrorist.
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a tiny, spiky package of fat, proteins and genes that was first found in a dying man in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then, we…