Bat-Filled Tree May Have Been Source of Current Ebola Outbreak

In the small village of Meliandou, in Guinea, there stood a tall, hollowed-out tree where children loved to play. But thousands of bats lived in the tree, and one toddler — a 2-year-old named Emile Ouamouno — may have contracted Ebola from playing there.

Hollow Tree Bats Ebola 2

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

On 27 December 2014, the Department of Health, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region confirmed a human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Flu deaths are at epidemic threshold – USA

We have passed an epidemic threshold of flu and pneumonia deaths in the U.S. this season, according to the Centres for Disease Control.

As of Dec. 20, 15 children in nine states had died of flu and pneumonia, and it is widespread in 36 states, said the CDC. The proportion of deaths from the disease was at the epidemic threshold, with 6.8 percent of deaths in 122 cities attributed to flu and pneumonia, said the CDC.

The U.S. experiences epidemics of seasonal flu each year, and so far, “what we are seeing is a typical pattern for the flu season,” said CDC spokeswoman Darlene Foote. The current outbreak has shown a rise in influenza-like illness over baseline levels for the past five weeks. That was followed by a rise in detection of cases, then hospitalizations, and now an increase in flu-related deaths.

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