Beyond the Ebola Epidemic – Lessons Learned

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 17, 2015

The most recent Ebola epidemic has been one of the deadliest.

Ebola virus is a virus that appears periodically in populations mostly in Central and Western Africa. It’s thought that fruit bats and apes are hosts for the virus. Occasionally, the Ebola virus jumps from animal populations into humans and causes epidemics.

The Ebola virus can be passed from one person to the next if somebody has had close contact with an Ebola patient, including contact with their blood or bodily fluids, or if they’ve handled the body after the patient has died without wearing gloves or other personal protective equipment.

There have been a number of Ebola epidemics over the years, but the epidemic that began in March, 2014 in Western Africa has been the largest and most sustained to date. It’s also been associated with the largest number of deaths from Ebola virus that has ever occurred.

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Tips for Preventing Lyme Disease

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 25, 2013

Fine-tipped tweezers are an effective tool for removing ticks.

Today’s blog post is written by Dr. Donald B. Levy, Medical Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacterium is spread through the bite of infected ticks. The blacklegged tick (or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis) spreads the disease in our area of the country. Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard-to-see areas (see below). In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted. Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs. Nymphs are tiny (less than 2 mm) and difficult to see. Follow these tips to help prevent Lyme disease this summer.

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