Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A Blog with a Difference

Marburg virus
An electronmicrograph of the Marburg virus taken by Dr. F.A. Murphy, University of California, Davis and featured on the National Health Museum site.

While most of the blogging community submits posts from fairly comfortable middle class surroundings, Zoe Young, couldn’t be more different. She works for Medecins Sans Frontieres in Angola where she is trying to contain the outbreak of Marburg virus. Her accounts of the disease and her attempts to control it are described in a series of reports on the BBC News site, here. This diary is simply extraordinary as is the heroism of Dr Young and her colleagues. It is very difficult for us to imagine the discomfort of working in a biohazard suit, in tropical conditions, with nothing but a bleach spray to prevent infection. Marburg is similar to its more notorious cousin, Ebola virus. There are no vaccines or effective drugs. Infection is invariably fatal. Dr Young’s posts are harrowing but serve as a reminder that we are fortunate, for the most part, to be spared from this savage side of nature. Do read it!

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