Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 12:48 pm
Credit Cynthia Goldsmith / CDC
An outbreak of the Ebola virus has emerged in western Uganda.
Twenty cases were reported by the World Health Organization yesterday. At least 14 people have died. The number of Ebola infections is expected to rise in the next few days, as more patients are admitted to hospitals.
The outbreak began in a rural district of Uganda about 125 miles west of the Uganda capital, Kampala.
A government advisory committee has reconsidered its advice to keep certain details of bird flu experiments secret.
Revised versions of manuscripts that describe two recent studies can be openly published, the committee now says. The decision could help end a contentious debate that has raged within the scientific community for months.
In response, the editors of two journals immediately said they planned to publish the research soon.
The Obama administration has announced a new policy to handle the risks posed by legitimate biological research that could, in the wrong hands, threaten the public.
The move comes in response to a huge debate over recent experiments on bird flu virus that got funding from the National Institutes of Health. Critics say the work created mutant viruses that could potentially be dangerous for people, or give terrorists a road map for making a bioweapon.
A closed-door meeting to discuss controversial bird flu research is drawing to a close at the World Health Organization in Geneva, and the WHO plans to publicly report on what happened once it's officially over.