Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:51 pm
Cheryl Gleasner, a research technologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, works with a genome sequencing machine designed for disease surveillance. Since the SARS epidemic in 2003, advances in sequencing technologies have greatly speed up the ability to detect and track a new virus.
Credit Ross D. Franklin / AP
When an unknown virus emerges, disease detectives turn to gene sequencers — not magnifying glasses — to identify the culprit.
So when a new type of coronavirus killed a man in Saudia Arabia and hospitalized another in the U.K., investigators got cracking.
In the U.S., the pap smear has become a routine part of women's health care, and it's dramatically reduced cervical cancer deaths. But in Africa and other impoverished regions, few women get pap smears because the countries lack the laboratories and other resources necessary to offer them.
A medical worker from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works at the laboratory in Uganda where Ebola specimens were tested at the start of the latest outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Credit Stephen Wandera / Associated Press
As health workers try to contain an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the death toll has increased to 31.
The deaths from the hemorrhagic fever outbreak doubled in the past week. World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic tells Shots that's because they have discovered more people who were originally infected.