Infectious Disease

Don't Fear Bats; Fear Losing Them

Oct 28, 2015

Bats and Halloween go wing in hand. They're shrouded in myth and lore and are the stuff of creepy tales and film. However, they are a very important part of our biodiversity and are being decimated by disease. Not a good thing.

Mark Ford is an Associate Professor and Unit Leader of the Cooperative Research Unit of the Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Virginia Tech.  He says we have nine to 12 species of bats that can be found in Virginia:

Lyme Disease on the Rise in Dogs

Jul 7, 2015

A recent study from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech  has found that one third of deer ticks in Giles and Pulaski counties carry the organism responsible for Lyme disease.

The American Dog tick was once thought to be the region’s most abundant tick, but the deer tick population has increased recently, and can be threatening to both pets and their owners. 

Twenty years ago, the idea of vaccinating people against cancer was a dream, but then scientists discovered that a virus actually caused several kinds of cancer, and they came up with a vaccine to prevent infection. 

Virginia was the first state in the nation to require that girls be vaccinated – assuring that they would never get cervical cancer, but many Virginia parents are opting out.

CDC

While state officials express confidence, health care professionals are preparing on the front lines. 

At the University of Virginia Medical Center staff was invited to a lunch-time discussion of ebola.  That presentation suggests one of Virginia’s premiere teaching hospitals could handle a couple of cases but maybe not a major outbreak. 

Centers for Disease Control

The possibility that a now-deceased Ebola patient could have spread the virus to fellow travelers as he waited in a Virginia airport has prompted several state lawmakers to ask Governor McAuliffe to use his authority to impose travel restrictions on Dulles Airport.

But the state’s Health Commissioner cautions against overkill … and says Virginia's health professionals are doing everything they can to keep the situation under control.

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