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  (Source: Capcom)
World Health Organization is on high alert about new Ugandan outbreak, cause is not fully known

Updated:
Added commentary from Jason Oh, a Johns Hopkins Univ. public health studies student who is currently in Uganda studying the disease post-conflict transformation. Mr. Oh described some of the symptoms in more detail, and offered different perspective from the CNN reporters' experience.

CNN has also reworded their report to tone down the suggestion of violent behavior.

It's called the "nodding disease" and it's a baffling illness that has struck thousands of children in northern Uganda.  The illness brings on seizures, violent behavior in some (debated), personality changes, and a host of other unusual symptoms.

I. Mental Degradation: Child Victims Have no Cure, no Future

Grace Lagat, a northern Uganda native, is mother of two children -- Pauline Oto and Thomas -- both of whom are victims of the disease.  For their safety, when she leaves the house, she now ties them up, using fabric like handcuffs.  She recalls, "When I am going to the garden, I tie them with cloth. If I don't tie them I come back and find that they have disappeared."

Reportedly the children gnaw at their fabric restraints, like a rabid animals -- or "zombies" of popular fiction -- in an attempt  to escape.  (This is based on CNN's commentary.)

(Jason Oh points out that the restraints are intended to protect the chidlren from harm, and from starting fires.)

The effort to restrain the children is not unwarranted.  In one of the most bizarre symptoms of this tragic illness, children with the disease are reportedly setting fire to buildings in their communities.  Coupled with the aimless wandering this disease provokes in victims, this is a deadly combination.  More than 200 people have been killed in fires believed to be set by the zombified children.

(According to Jason Oh, there have been few reports of violent behavior.  It is unclear where our primary source CNN received this information, though a reader suggested that a CDC report indicated that 10 to 15 percent of children were found to exhibit increased aggression.  We were unable to locate this report.)


Nodding disease zombie child
The disease leaves child victims in an often-violent "zombiefied" state. [Image Source: CNN]

The disease is not new.  It popped up in the 1960s in Sudan.  From there it slowly spread to Libya and Tanzania.  

The Uganda infections, though, are a new outbreak -- a troubling sign.  The jump into a new region could be pure coincidence, or it could indicate the disease has become more virulent or found a new transmissions vector.

Africa map
Uganda is located in central Africa [Image Source: U of Tex., Modifications: Jason Mick]

Infected children typically have regular seizures, which are proceeded by a repetitive nodding of the head.  This characteristic symptom has given rise to the unofficial title for the malady.

II. World Medical Organizations Racing for a Cure

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been tracking the spread of this frightening ailment.  Dr. Joaquin Saweka says the scene in Uganda is horrific, stating, "It was quite desperate, I can tell you.  Imagine being surrounded by 26 children and 12 of them showing signs of this. The attitude was to quickly find a solution to the problem."

Yet the WHO and CDC are not fully sure what is causing the illness, which cripples children and turns them into mindless, violence-prone zombies.  The best clue they have is that most of the cases occur in regions inhabited by "Black flies", which carry the parasitic worm Onchocerca Volvulus.  That worm is responsible for another dangerous disease dubbed "river blindness", the world's second leading cause of infectious blindness.

(Jason Oh states that CNN misunderstood this reference.  While it's true the cause of the disease is unknown and the literature papers on the topic indicate an overlap with part of the river blindness afflicted regions, but he feels this reference was only intended to "state the obvious", not hypothesize causation.)

Black Fly and worm
The illness may have something to do with Black flies (left, center) and their parasitic worm (right). [Image Source: WHO (left), Wikimedia Commons (center), Human Healths (right)]

However 7 percent of infected children live in regions not inhabited by the Black fly, so a link is speculative at best.

Children with the disease also frequently exhibit vitamin B6 deficiency, leading medical experts to believe that the disease may be nutrition related.  However, infections by microbes, parasites, fungi, or even fungi/microbes carried by a parasitic host, can all lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Dr. Scott Dowell, director of global disease detection and emergency response at CDC, says the race is on to determine the cause and a cure.  He states, "At first we cast the net wide. We ruled out three dozen potential causes and we are working on a handful of probabilities.  We know from past experience an unknown disease could end up having more global implications."

In the current cases children as old as 19 have been found to be stricken, with the majority of the worst symptoms being spread over the 3-11 age range.

One mystery surrounding the disease is the seizures themselves.  While typically seizures are either randomly occurring or follow some singular cue/pattern, the nodding disease seems to have multiple triggers, including eating new foods, changing weather, and other changes.

(Jason Oh says CNN reporters messed up and that it's familiar foods trigger the seizures, not unfamiliar ones like bars of chocolate.)

Seizure often leave the children soiled with urine and drooling.  Local nurses are afraid to touch the infected.  States local nurse Elupe Petua, "I feel, because I don't know what causes it, I don't even know how it transmits, when I touch them I feel that I can also get the infection because I don't know what causes it."

III. Medication is Ineffective

Anti-epileptic medication slows the onset of symptoms, but is unable to stop the progression of the disease.  The seizures eventually leave many children unable to walk, only able to drag their bodies along the ground as flies tried to attack them.

Nodding disease
The current treatment approach of anti-epileptics has done little to halt the illness.
[Image Souce: CNN]

(Jason Oh says that the diseases offers a tragic, slow mental degradation, taking years to develop.  Affected children, embarassed about the nodding and afraid of infecting classmates often drop out of school, while still mentally capable.  Eventually the seizures lead to the more severe symptoms mentioned in the intro -- loss of speech, partial paralysis, personality changes, and -- according to CNN -- violence.)

The government of Uganda has come under criticism for not being vocal enough in addressing the tragedy and demanding foreign aid/research expertise.  Local politicians have taken to transporting victims from affected villages by bus to city hospitals in order to force the issue into the eyes of the more affluent city-dwellers.

(Jason Oh adds some perspective writing, "Uganda had asked the CDC to investigate in 2009.  Most of the backlash against the government is because the Ministry of Health has been slow to use emergency funds that the Parliament made available.  They've established many local centers for Nodding Syndrome, but they are under-staffed and under-equipped.  The kids are being referred to and transported to Mulago Hospital (famous for being in The Last King of Scotland) so the top doctors at Makerere University and in Kampala can monitor them.")

The issue is yet another woe for a nation in which the impoverished majority was terrorized for years by warlord Jospeph Kony's militia, dubbed the "Lord's Resistance Army."

Mr. Kony is currently wanted by the International Criminal Court on multiple counts of violent war crimes, including rape and murder.  These offenses are punishable by death (life in prison), if he is ever brought to trial. (Jason Oh clarified that under the new Rome Statute of 2002, the ICC is not allowed to seek the death penalty, even in murder cases.)

IV. What if the "Nodding Disease" Found a Way to Reach the U.S.?

Dr. Saweka says that for all the hand-waving by the government about using better anti-epileptics and offering more funding, he appreciates and shares in the villagers frustration.  He states, "People complain that it looks like the lives in developing countries have less value than the lives in the western countries. When you know the root cause, you address the cure. Now you are just relieving the symptoms. We don't expect to cure anybody."

Ugandans
Ugandans, grief stricken, feel somewhat abandoned by the government and the wealthy developed "First World". [Image Source: CNN]

While the "First World" may not be focused on -- or even aware of -- the zombification that is leaving children in these African nations violent (debated), crippled shells of their former selves -- tied like dogs -- it is an issue that must be addressed.  After all, viruses, bacteria, parasites thanks to the wonders of evolution can mutate and adapt to new environments and new transmission vectors.

Thus this zombie virus  While reports of violence or strange behavior -- like biting -- are disputed, the disease is very serious.  It may seem like a foreign issue to regions like the U.S. and EU who are struggling with their own financial crisises.  But if the illness finds a way to broaden its spread, this outbreak could cripple children across the globe.

(A word of clarification... CNN has reworded their report slightly to tone down the suggestion of violent behavior.  The reports of fire starting stand, but in the new context it's possible these were just innocent accidents triggered by the childrens' loss of coordination.

Source: CNN



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I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By DiscoWade on 3/20/2012 10:04:13 PM , Rating: 4
Rabies is a neurotropic virus that affects the mind of animals and humans. A neurotropic virus is one that attacks the nerves, so not all of them affect the brain. Polio is a neurotropic virus. When I read the symptoms, rabies is the first disease I thought of because of what it does. These viruses are very serious. I just wonder if it is an old disease mutated, a new virus strain, or a bacterial infection.




RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By MBlueD on 3/20/2012 10:07:23 PM , Rating: 5
Call me paranoid, but what I'm wondering about is whether this was 'natural' or a test for a bio weapon.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By vol7ron on 3/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By wordsworm on 3/21/12, Rating: -1
RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By tayb on 3/21/12, Rating: -1
RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By Breathless on 3/21/2012 10:17:38 AM , Rating: 1
whoaaa.... delusional much?


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By tayb on 3/21/2012 10:50:25 AM , Rating: 3
How could people possibly not understand the sarcasm there? President Obama has literally done the 100% exact opposite of the three things I said. That was exactly the point. Why call out Republicans when Democrats do the EXACT same things...


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By Breathless on 3/21/2012 11:23:13 AM , Rating: 2
Because liberals think that everything that you said was absolutely true and not sarcastic at all. I simply thought you were a liberal douche.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By SPOOFE on 3/21/2012 3:07:46 PM , Rating: 4
It's hard to tell the difference between sincere extremism and a parody of that extremism.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By fredgiblet on 3/21/2012 3:47:50 PM , Rating: 4
I've heard that there are conservatives who think that Stephen Colbert is actually one of them.


By vol7ron on 3/24/2012 10:40:59 AM , Rating: 2
He claims to be Democrat, but I think he's actually more Libertarian.

And I'm not too sure why my comment was voted down so poorly, by stating that the symptoms in this article seemed like the actual actions of many extremist, which reside in the same countries that this "disease" is taking place.


By tayb on 3/22/2012 9:33:17 AM , Rating: 4
As opposed to what, a conservative douche?


By Mint on 3/23/2012 5:03:17 PM , Rating: 1
The zero rating makes sense when you realize that Republicans criticize Obama for doing those very things despite him doing the opposite. They think he's too soft with Iran, doesn't support Israel enough, pulled the troops out of Iraq too early, and pays too much attention to liberal pansies when it comes to foreign affairs.


By concern4kids on 3/26/2012 12:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
Because thanks to today's biased press, it is the Republicans who are the current target. And people trust the media far too much. Freedom of the Press is important for reporting all the news. But a law or two requiring them to report the entirety of the stories they choose to print might be a good idea at this stage of the game. Heed the advice of Teddy Roosevelt. Neither party is innocent these days.


By tastyratz on 3/27/2012 8:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
Because it has nothing to do with the price of tea in China?

Why on earth would we entertain a political argument in an article about a disease outbreak in uganda?
Ask the infected children if they are republican or democrat but the blank stare might not just be from the disease.
Let's at least try to stay a shred on topic here


By woody1 on 3/21/2012 5:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I really wish Obama would go to war with Iran. I'm bored. We really could use another war right now. And, of course, we should always be willing to risk our lives and economy to support the 51st state, Israel.


By kattanna on 3/21/2012 11:17:43 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
who wants to be restrained for an extended period of time?


funnily enough.. here in the west some people pay good money for such an experience


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By MozeeToby on 3/21/2012 11:26:17 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry but no. The seizures range from unnoticeable, to nodding of the head (hence the name of the disease), to full on gran mal, life threatening seizures. They have been confirmed by ECG and MRI in many patients. There's also the permanent stunting of growth and massive personality changes. Oh yeah, there's also the fact that the disease is nearly universally fatal, with a median survival rate of just over 3 years.

This isn't some made up thing. It isn't all in someone's head. It's a real disease, most likely related to River Blindness which is caused by a parasite. If the cause is the same there is good news and bad: The good, since 1988 Merck, in a rare case of corporate goodwill, has provided effective treatment for river blindness free of charge. The bad, the parasite has recently been showing signs of resistance.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By MrBlastman on 3/21/2012 2:00:00 PM , Rating: 1
Given the slow progression of the disease, I tend to think that it is not a virus at all. Even bacteria would show a quicker result (not to mention measurable via blood counts) so parasitic infection seems even more plausible or perhaps some strange fungal infection? (even fungal tend to be fast in some cases)

It sounds to me that the brain is almost rotting from the inside, effecting all major centers in one way or another.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By SPOOFE on 3/21/2012 3:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Given the slow progression of the disease, I tend to think that it is not a virus at all.

HIV can take up to ten years to progress into full-blown AIDS.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By Lerianis on 3/22/2012 12:34:46 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, some people have had it since it was called "Grid" and still don't have full-blown AIDS. That's going on 40 years.

But AIDS is the exception to the rule (sole exception, by the way, the only one that comes close to it is syphilis), so we cannot judge all viruses by AIDS.

Personally, I've always thought that the 'long gap' between first exposure and onset of disease spoke of AIDS being a man-made virus.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By MozeeToby on 3/22/2012 1:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
AIDS isn't an exception, there are many viruses that have long incubation times. Measles can take a decade to show symptoms, Rubella seldom shows symptoms in less than 10 years. Chicken pox can lay dormant for decades before resurfacing as shingles. Not to mention that many retrovirus infections (which HIV is) are also very slow moving, taking years or decades to become apparent. And finally, there are a huge array of viral infections that almost never show symptoms unless something else sets them off or gives them an opening.

Try donating bone marrow sometime. They test your blood for literally dozens of viral infections that you've probably never heard of because they are commonly found in healthy individuals, but if a bone marrow recipient were to contract them before the immune system reestablishes itself they would be devastating.


By Lerianis on 3/23/2012 1:14:49 AM , Rating: 2
With all due respect, my parents work in a hospital and do those screenings. They do them to make sure that you do not have the disease AT THAT VERY MOMENT and are asymptomatic due to a strong immune system.

The only point you got right is that there are viral infections that almost never show symptoms until something else sets them off or gives them an opening. HOWEVER, the way that AIDS does it (by hijacking T cells) is AIDS-only.

We have NO other diseases that do that, coming from reading many books on the subject and asking doctors about that.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By gixser on 3/21/2012 9:06:11 PM , Rating: 2
You clearly have no idea what you are talking about so why even bother posting? Eveverything you just said is complete and utter bollocks.


By MrBlastman on 3/22/2012 11:17:57 AM , Rating: 2
And you do, Mr. Smartypants? Oh, wait, what's that? Yeah! That's right, instead of posting a worthwhile rebuttal with facts and data, you instead point out that I just spent the last few hours enjoying your mom's bollocks! I must say, also, that it was just that. Furry, full of hair and not velvety smooth like I'd expect. Good thing I bagged it!

See, I can counter with an equally useless post if I try (and not that hard).


By mindless1 on 4/4/2012 12:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
Lighten up, I do that all the time ;)


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By Argon18 on 3/21/2012 12:40:56 AM , Rating: 3
I highly doubt it. What would be the point of a bio-weapon that targets children? A weapon that targets non-combatants would be pretty ineffective in a conflict. Not to mention that the symptoms take a long time to manifest themselves. Those who design/test/use weapons want quick or near-instant results, not slowly progressing symptoms over many months.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By fredgiblet on 3/21/2012 1:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
What would be the point? Terror, genocide, forcing the internal collapse of an enemy while leaving their infrastructure intact.

Not that I think it's a bio-weapon, but there's good reasons for a bio-weapon to do waht this does.


By tayb on 3/21/2012 4:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
Kill the adults in combat and turn the children into crazed arsonists who eventually die? Sounds like a pretty good deterrence strategy to me.

But, like you said, doesn't sound like bioweapons to me.


By SPOOFE on 3/21/2012 3:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I highly doubt it. What would be the point of a bio-weapon that targets children?

Mid- to long-term economic damage. Youthful societies are desirable.

quote:
A weapon that targets non-combatants would be pretty ineffective in a conflict.

Only if the use of that weapon provokes a response.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By DT_Reader on 3/22/2012 11:05:14 AM , Rating: 5
Bio weapons that attack children would be perfect. It would cause the vast majority of adults to drop what they're doing (supporting the war effort) to care for their kids. Most bio weapons target civilians - the military have protective gear, the rest of us don't. Bio weapons are a terror weapon - nothing more, nothing less. Most wars target civilians as a matter of course, and have for thousands of years. The siege of Troy didn't only affect Trojan soldiers. The bombing of Coventry and Dresden didn't only affect English and German factories. The bombing of Hiroshima didn't only affect the Imperial Japanese Navy.


By Lerianis on 3/23/2012 1:11:05 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the bombing of Hiroshima was an unnecessary war crime period. There are quite a few people who were living back then and were ambassadors that were saying "Hey, the Japanese wish to talk to us about surrender!"


By BushStar on 3/21/2012 6:42:10 AM , Rating: 4
Is this a reference to a movie that I'm not getting or is this just plain stupid.


By msheredy on 3/21/2012 11:33:33 AM , Rating: 2
I to think I chuckled at the CDCs Zombie Preparedness guide. This is some scary shit people. Man made or not (I'm leaning towards the latter however).

http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog....


By whoamiimme on 3/21/2012 6:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/f...

No way, factions would never do such a thing.


By slickr on 3/21/2012 9:43:26 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah I fully agree. Its a bio weapon released by the west so they can take their resources and claim its for all of us, when in fact it goes to few select companies that then increase the prices.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/22/12, Rating: -1
By Skywalker123 on 3/26/2012 8:41:00 PM , Rating: 1
Why wouldn't you believe it? It happened to you.


By ursamajoran on 3/23/2012 7:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
There are certain markers in our DNA which create our "race". A bio-weapon that can target those markers only, would be possible I guess. Of course if the first test failed by only attacking children, then a 2nd or 3rd tests would need clean area's i.e. "lets move this 3rd test to Uganda". Or you could go one step further and target tribal markers in Africa. Just think what some Warlord would pay for a weapon that only attacks the members of the Acholi tribe from Northern Uganda, a popular target of Mister Kony's LRA forces.

Of course this may all be nonsense. But then again maybe not. We'll just have to wait and see. Or as bad B grade sci fi movies from the '50's used to like to end their films, I'll just say "THE END?"


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/20/2012 10:11:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Rabies is a neurotropic virus that affects the mind of animals and humans. A neurotropic virus is one that attacks the nerves, so not all of them affect the brain. Polio is a neurotropic virus. When I read the symptoms, rabies is the first disease I thought of because of what it does. These viruses are very serious. I just wonder if it is an old disease mutated, a new virus strain, or a bacterial infection.
Given the symptoms, I would say that is highly likely.

It's also possible it's some sort of Protist, as "brain eating" amoeba disease (it's a real syndrome, but rare) is also characterized by mental degradation/issues:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naegleria_fowleri
quote:
Secondary symptoms include confusion, hallucinations, lack of attention, ataxia, and seizures.

That said, it's obviously slightly different given the longer period of months to years that the symptoms reportedly take to progress and worsen.

Either way, the big risk is for it to somehow mutate in such a way that it finds a new ubiquitous animal carrier (such as birds or swine) or becomes airborne.


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By eljoantonyn on 3/20/2012 10:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
Or may be, this-»

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creutzfeldt–Jakob_disease

I'm not a doctor but I still recall the outbreak of the mad cow disease in Britain followed by Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease !


RE: I wonder if this is a neurotropic virus?
By BushStar on 3/21/2012 7:29:08 AM , Rating: 2
It could not possibly be CJD as the incubation period is 30-50 years. It is normally diagnosed in those 55+ years old.


By ksherman on 3/21/2012 10:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yikes, a 30-50 year incubation period? That frightens me. Never know when you could get infected.


By tng on 3/21/2012 6:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It could not possibly be CJD as the incubation period is 30-50 years.
Actually 30-50 years is just the majority, the youngest victim of CJD was only 23.


A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By DNAgent on 3/20/12, Rating: 0
RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By paydirt on 3/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By amanojaku on 3/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By BushStar on 3/21/12, Rating: 0
RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By dark matter on 3/21/2012 9:54:18 AM , Rating: 2
As far as I can see his use of the word retarded was entirely in context.

If you were trying irony, keep to the ironing.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By BushStar on 3/21/12, Rating: 0
RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By BushStar on 3/21/2012 4:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
Fine. Keep calling children retards, spastics, mongs, zombies and so on, ignoring the permanent damage this can cause to them.

-1


By lagomorpha on 3/22/2012 2:41:02 PM , Rating: 2
Originally, ignoramus and moron were medical terms to describe children that performed within a certain portion of intelligence tests. Then people became upset that they became terms of offense so the official term changed to "retarded" to take away the stigma and that became a term of offense. So now it's "differently abled" and guess what? People now use that to call other people stupid. When I was in school "special education" was the common term and if you wanted to call someone stupid you'd just as often tell them they were "special".

It doesn't matter how many times you change the term to refer to people with lower intelligence, it doesn't change what they are. The problem occurs when schools get funding based on average test scores and they start putting kids that are merely below average in the "special needs" group in order to make themselves look better without actually having to figure out how to teach those students.


By concern4kids on 3/26/2012 12:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
Political correctness has become a psychological social disease in itself. In America it did not take long for Developmentally Disabled to carry the same stigma as retarded. And retarded is actually accurate. Those people don't lack mental capabilities as somebody suggested. If they had actually talked to some of them and tried to listen, as opposed to following a popular stance, then they would have witnessed the frustration in their eyes as their synapses misfire, preventing them from responding as they wish. If we only cared enough, we could cure mental retardation.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/20/2012 9:39:56 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Good job DT, way to sensationalize the suffering of these people by calling the affected children "zombies" and drawing completely unwarranted parallels to Resident Evil.

It's not meant to be insensitive or trite. I have complete sympathy, which is why I chose to publish this story in hopes of it gaining attention and a cure.

That said, the similarities to literary portrayals such as Resident Evil are obvious and unavoidable, particularly given that the children become aggressive, mindlessly wander, are unable to normally vocalize, violently bite (by CNN's account), and set fires.

Am I guilty of presenting this in the context of pertinent pop culture people can understand and relate to? Yes.

But this disease is the closest to a real-life "zombie" epidemic I've ever heard of.

It's crucial that a cure is found, for the children's sake and for the sake of humanity.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By Amedean on 3/20/2012 10:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see a Pulitzer prize in your future. You have a tendency towards sensationalism but in your defense I bet it makes you click revenue.

P.S. your choice of title/pictures are a tad tasteless and indifferent to human suffering.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/20/2012 10:14:23 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
P.S. your choice of title/pictures are a tad tasteless and indifferent to human suffering.

The majority of those pictures are from CNN. I would be arrogant to presume I have better judgement than their large editorial staff.

The photographed children are real victims. People need to know about this.

Hiding it (as you seemingly would wish) does not help.

Maybe it's disturbing or sickening to you, but it's reality for these poor (in multiple ways) people. Let's hope this tragedy is cut short by research.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By Amedean on 3/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By TSS on 3/21/2012 5:21:01 AM , Rating: 4
Oh get off your high horse. Nothing wrong with a little dark humor.

In fact i'd expected more. A real life zombie virus? that's just too good to pass up.

I'm pretty sure the only reason CNN paid any attention to it is because their in the region anyway because of this whole kony hoax. Uganda = hot topic, uganda = views, uganda = profit. Nothing more then that.

Because otherwise, Why wasn't it reported before? Appearantly this is only the 4th country it strikes.

Simply put, nobody gives a crap about africa. So a couple of pictures and title that tie in an important issue with popular culture to increase interest? That's not tasteless, that's smart.

If you want to take out the tasteless, remove the pictures of the actual diseased kids. I'm sorry but i read this while eating breakfast and around that time i'd prefer to see more left for dead concept art and resident evil screenshots then actual disease ridden zombie kids. I don't need to see them either to belive it's a serious issue.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By FaaR on 3/21/12, Rating: -1
RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By Amedean on 3/21/2012 12:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that nice how TSS can say something really stupid and get a rating boost - I mean the kind of stupid you would slap in public but get away with on the internet. I would be on the same level of irrational stupidity if I recommend grinding the dead children to feed dogs - seriously who the hell rates these fucktards up so much?


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By TSS on 3/22/2012 7:43:02 PM , Rating: 1
Sensible people.

The other guy basically suggested that every docter in the world needs "a cricket bat to the forehead" to have some sense knocked into him. How do you think those people get by day by day, after seeing the most horrid things that have happened to people and to have to tell tens, maybe even hundreds of families there loved ones have died or are going to die?

I saw a documentairy on it once where a doctor described it very accurately: "It might seem morbid, but when you have to deal with it every day, you can either laugh or cry about it. And since you'd otherwise spend the entire day crying, all you can do is laugh".

Shit happens. All over the world. Every day. Now it's zombie kids, but what about the tens of thousands that die every year, simply due to starvation?

So what now? spend the entire day crying? Do i need to feel bad for every deceased person on the planet?

Fuck no. I'll laugh it off and go on with my life, because that is what life does. Life goes on.

Except when you get hit with a cricket bat to the head. Or die in a fire. And he has the nerve to call me the sociopath, lol.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By rs2 on 3/20/2012 10:38:21 PM , Rating: 4
I wound't go as far as to say that the article was insensitive, though I did get the impression that you enjoyed having an excuse to make gratuitous use of the word "zombie" in a nonfictional context.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/20/2012 11:46:46 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I wound't go as far as to say that the article was insensitive, though I did get the impression that you enjoyed having an excuse to make gratuitous use of the word "zombie" in a nonfictional context.
Well...

Enjoy would be a wrong way of putting it.

But in a way you're sort of close in that I do definitely get a kick out of writing interesting articles -- the kind I would actually want to read. With me, the article and title aren't about getting clicks, rather it's about writing news that I think the majority of people would find interesting and worth reading.

I think it's easy to put things in a dry, clinical sort of language, be it a smartphone or disease, but there's a lot of art to writing it in an approachable, interesting way such that people can understand and appreciate.

To someone who hasn't played RE5 the reference might seem a bit odd, but to me it was an image I could relate to and that I figured a lot of readers of a tech site would get and appreciate. Basically, in RE5 the premise is that terrorists unleash a virus on Africa which causes (living) individuals to become mindless, wandering people, who are inclined to violence (among other more wild fictional sci-fi stuff).

Versus the traditional RE zombies or the zombies of say Ray Harryhausen films that 'boomers might be more familiar with, these fictional afflicted are a bit different in that they are reanimated dead corpses -- they're simply infected humans.

Plus it's set in Africa!

Of course anytime you toss in pop culture in a serious story you risk offending some politically correct folk, but I think as long as it's well intentioned and pertinent, it's OK.

I'd rather have a few PC police rag on me than to leave you guys dying of boredom, or worse yet have less people read a story like this, about a cause that really needs support ASAP.


By Kurz on 3/21/2012 2:50:50 PM , Rating: 2
It was well put together, You caught in the average techy with the reference and then you produced a reasonable article that went into the specifics and facts of the disease.

I never thought it would was insulting since you kept the reference only to the title, you were just drawing in a group of techy people who knew at least of the Resident Evil francise.

Not sure why people love being critical of you Jason,
There are times where you do take a side and I stay at least civil since everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Doesn't keep me from reading it or at least arguing it the other way.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/20/2012 9:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
P.S. I purposefully sought out a picture of Sheva (the Resident Evil 5 character on the fp) unarmed out of respectfulness to the victims.

Yes, I think the disease's symptoms mimic many of the traits of fictional and REAL-LIFE "zombies". If you deny that you clearly didn't read the story.

It's silly to debate whether they ARE zombies or whether the term is appropriate as:
a) The word has multiple meanings
b) In a literary sense there's been dozens of different "kinds" of zombie diseases.
c) Even in the RE universe nearly every game has introduced new and different zombies and symptoms.

The common traits are mental degradation, violent behavior, and unpredictability -- all symptoms exhibited by these children.

Recall, the word "zombie" originally entered the pop culture vernacular in 1930s/1940s as a word to describe people who were "possessed" or otherwise invoked into a mind-altered state by voodoo ritualists in Haiti.

Thus it's been applied historically to real world altered mental states -- in fact this use PREDATES the modern literary interpretations, though it shares some similarities with these modern takes.

(Learn some history, it won't hurt!)

That said, I don't want people to get the wrong idea.

That's why I put a picture of Sheva -- a strong, attractive, African video game character who people will recognize, but purposefully did not select one of the many pictures of her shooting guns, which would be inappropriate and insensitive.

I think you're trying overly hard to be politically correct, rather than focusing on the problem/tragedy at hand. Let's talk about that, shall we?


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By Iaiken on 3/21/2012 9:57:41 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
violent behavior


Define violent behaviour please Jason.

From what I have read, only an estimated 10-15% of victims have ever behave violently towards other people. In all of the other articles on the web and in print that I have including CDC documentation, the word "violent" is use exclusively as an adjective to describe the nature of the convulsions that the victims experience.

Your use of language creates the perception that these children are commonly committing mindlessly violence towards other people and that they should be feared when that simply is not the case. In the overwhelming majority of cases they simply stop responding to other people, even if directly interfered with. The only zombie-like characteristics are their continuous aimless wandering and complete ignorance of the physical harm inflicted upon themselves from repeated falls or from dragging themselves across the ground.

Seriously man, do your reading if you are going to write.


By Natfly on 3/21/2012 11:50:38 AM , Rating: 2
Your comment made me go read the CNN article. I wish I would have read it first, it gives a completely different understanding of the conditions. What a sad, seizure inducing, and brain degenerating disease.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/22/2012 3:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
From what I have read, only an estimated 10-15% of victims have ever behave violently towards other people. In all of the other articles on the web and in print that I have including CDC documentation, the word "violent" is use exclusively as an adjective to describe the nature of the convulsions that the victims experience.

Your comment fails to note that the children are also setting fires, killing numerous people in the process.

Again, if you read the Ugandan statistics, ~4,000+ children have been affected, with the most severe cases likely being less that 1,000. Meanwhile 200+ adults have been killed.

This means that for every 20 of these children, approximately one adult has been directly killed by them.

This may not be movie horror zombiefication, but I would still say that's pretty serious.

Even if a symptom only shows up 10-15 percent of the time if it creates extreme chaos it is often prominently noted.

For example, if a drug had a 10-15 percent risk of killing you, news headlines would likely read "Drug xxxx found to be deadly", even though statistically there is a smaller chance of it being deadly.

It is certainly tragic, and I do agree with you that it is fortunate that the violent symptoms have a lower occurrence, hence keeping the secondary adult death toll low.


By CometFix on 3/22/2012 12:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
For the record, the words Zombie and Retarded were words with meanings before they were ever recognized as Politically correct or not.

Zombification being a state brought on to living people via some disease or illness. If you brought any Hollywood images to mind when hearing the word then that's on you.

Example - The children under the effects of the disease acted like "zombies".

Retarded is a word that describes anyTHING that is or has been retarded from doing something. It's not just a derogatory word used to describe only handicapped children. Again, if you thought that... that's on you.

Example - The car's turning capabilities were "retarded" without power-steering fluid.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By Iaiken on 3/22/2012 2:40:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your comment fails to note that the children are also setting fires, killing numerous people in the process.


No, I included that in my line of thinking, but there are no actual proven documented cases of the child being the one to have set the fire deliberately. The only documented cases of fire with regards to children is of them falling into cooking fires or bumping into oil lamps and knocking them over over and getting seriously burned.

You're projecting a knowledge and value structure onto these that they simply don't share. Some of these remote towns still have shaman/witch-doctors and strongly believe in magic and mysticism. In several other cases it is suspected by the local authorities that other villagers burned the houses down with family inside because they thought the children and their mother were cursed.

These children routinely wander off and die of exposure and drown themselves, some have even died from catastrophic head injuries sustained from falling on rocks, they don't even try to catch themselves by putting their hands out. In one documented case, a child fell face first into a cooking fire and was killed while medical staff were visiting, the child didn't even try to escape the fire and the parents had to pull them out.

I'm sorry, but I think we're just going to have to disagree here.


By Iaiken on 3/22/2012 2:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
onto these people that they simply don't share


Sorry, missing word.


RE: A tad insensitive, don't you think?
By arztmat on 3/24/2012 9:33:24 AM , Rating: 2
Jason please give us verifiable and credible sources, i.e sources at the source, that talk about pyromania in these children.

If you cannot, then please refrain from sensationalizing what may be a serious problem for some of us.


By arztmat on 3/25/2012 4:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
ps. Where is the requisite fly-encrusted face?


By concern4kids on 3/26/2012 1:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse me for pointing this out, but did I not read something which said VIOLENT SEIZURES? That could mean several things, could it not?

Are you all daft? We have a serious problem and you bicker about semantics as if you are superior by birth or something. Go down there and volunteer so you can earn a right to your arrogant attitudes please. I doubt you will come back with them.


More food, more deaths
By ReloadAO on 3/21/2012 8:28:18 AM , Rating: 3
I know, not a lot of people will like my opinion.

Africa is overpopulated. Land in most of the regions cannot produce enough food. And it will not change in any near future. Plus, most of the people there know just how to copulate and make children, human organization just giving them food. And when nature start to harmonize things, someone will come and say "there is new disease".

But, that's how nature works. More you try to beat it, it will return with something new and sometimes worse.




RE: More food, more deaths
By tng on 3/21/2012 7:12:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
not a lot of people will like my opinion.
Yep, got rated down, for a bunch of people who will preach Darwinism all day, some people here seem to lose any rational thought when Mother Nature puts Darwin's theory to work for real, just not something that happens over millions of years.

Like you said, Africans at the present is filled with allot of people who seem to can't take care of themselves and only know how to procreate. Then you have dozens of non-profit organizations that will beg for money in the developed world to feed them. Vicious circle...


RE: More food, more deaths
By Ringold on 3/23/2012 5:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
You guys are sad. Confronted with the problem over there, you guys default to "it's overpopulated, tons of humans simply need to die," instead of activating some brain cells, looking in to their problems, and seeing that if they tackled governance problems and adopted best-practices in farming and embarked on a range of market reforms, Africa could easily take care of itself. At various points in the 20th century, certain African and South-East Asian nations shared similar levels of income, development and natural resource endowments.

Africa largely declared independence then took cues from the Soviets in all the wrong areas, from economics to corruption. South-East Asia took an export-led growth model to help them get off the ground with cheap, educated labor, then followed it up with free market reforms to encourage domestic consumption (or is in the process of that, as China is for example). The disparity in outcomes is obvious. Both areas started with people living in huts. Now, one area as Galaxy SII's, the other area still has people living in huts.

Even compared to decades past, Africa, led by governments like Zimbabwe, have seen a collapse in crop yields, thanks to kicking out corporations and white owners.

Africa's population growth does need to slow, but it's a huge problem only to people on the left predisposed to a green or Malthusian idea that humans need to be cut down anyway, then look for excuses to validate their disproven world views.


RE: More food, more deaths
By tng on 3/28/2012 9:48:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
you guys default to "it's overpopulated, tons of humans simply need to die,"
Reading comprehension... We never said that.

quote:
instead of activating some brain cells, looking in to their problems, and seeing that if they tackled governance problems
Wow, really? Don't you think that much better people than you and I have did this for decades? It was an attitude like yours that drove out the Europeans who managed the place pretty well back in the early 20th Century. Let them choose their own leaders and destinies they said, so they have and look where they are.

quote:
adopted best-practices in farming and embarked on a range of market reforms, Africa could easily take care of itself.
So you really believe that? Again think that is a new idea?

I love that people like yourself get exactly what you want, an independent Africa, and then think that it was not implemented correctly. They asked for it and they got to choose, now live with it.

Finally, yes it is sad that this is happening there, no one wants to see that, but unless we go back to colonial rule where they are not left to their own decisions, that is what you will get.

Get used to how Darwin's theory works in the real world. The Western world has sent billions in private and government money for sustainable farming, water, education, etc... over the decades and it has not worked. Your ideas are not new and have already been tried many times, sorry that you don't like the results.


RE: More food, more deaths
By DarkUltra on 4/10/2012 1:11:55 PM , Rating: 2
South Africa is actually doing really well, and the foreign african troops in Somalia is really helping, too. They have the same potential as the rest of the world, they just need some help. Like that unknown couple that helped you when you were newborn :-)


RE: More food, more deaths
By DarkUltra on 4/10/2012 1:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Your argument is usually the first people think of, but it will not improve anything.

The sooner African countries reach a level of development, the sooner will the population growth stabilize. Children is a way to ensure you have a better situation when you grow old, in more developed countries you get taken care of by other means. If you really want to help you could invest in infrastructure, healthcare, education and democratic improvement in developing countries, the sooner the better.

For instance, sponsor a child with plan-international.org


RE: More food, more deaths
By ursamajoran on 3/23/2012 7:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
We are talking about wanting to terraform Mars. Why couldn't we do it with the Sahara Desert? I've read it could be done for as little money as is spent by the planet every few days buying weapons.

The malaria disease rate has greatly expanded since the banning of DDT. Maybe this kind of population explosion creates an environment ripe for mutation. And the clearing of jungles/forests could dig up some nasty little microbe that has sat buried for thousands of years

In Africa having large families is akin to Americans having retirement funds. 6 or 7 kids, you might have one who is going to be successful. The more kids, the better the odds. Of course at best that could be tagged as wishful thinking unless your tribe has a higher than normal average height, and your village is visited often by NBA recruiters.


RE: More food, more deaths
By arztmat on 3/24/2012 9:00:40 AM , Rating: 2
It is obvious that none of you have been to Africa, because none of you quote from direct experience.

Implicit in your remarks is the supposition that Africa depends on food hand-outs. The population of Africa is over one billion people. Do one billion people depend on your largess for their daily bread?


Zombie virus?
By Shadmin on 3/21/2012 12:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
How strange that we are seeing something which was only in the realm of science fiction? Imagine airborne rabies or another neurotropic pathogen? It would be like one of those sci-fi movies where people turn into deranged zombies? I hope for the sake of the human race that this isn't a novel airborne pathogen with no cure, cause if it is then things as we currently know them may change drastically and not for the better? We don't react fast enough at this point in our existence as a global community when a highly transmissible pathogen breaks out? Some of us could see the whole Swine Flu (H1N1) epidemic starting and spreading from Mexico outward, yet there was no reaction from the government entities until it was way too late? Check out Dawn of the Dead, The Crazies, Doomsday, I Am Legend or 28 Days Later for some possible scenarios if such a pathogen was realized? I hope to God that it isn't the creation of some government lab or rogue country intent on sending us all into the afterlife or whatever one believes happens post death? We live in interesting times, didn't say good necessarily, but definitely interesting! Be well!




RE: Zombie virus?
By B3an on 3/21/2012 1:20:30 AM , Rating: 3
LOL you need a reality check. American right?

This disease isn't even new, it's been around for decades, and the people are not actually zombies.

This is just another sensationalist article from Jason with zombies in the headline in order to get nutters like you reading it.


RE: Zombie virus?
By ET on 3/21/2012 3:39:48 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sure it won't be long before they start eating flesh and muttering "brains... brains..."


RE: Zombie virus?
By BushStar on 3/21/2012 6:48:54 AM , Rating: 2
Forget about Iran, Uganda is now the biggest threat to the world. Hopefully Obama will launch some pre-emptive strikes on Uganda before global brain eating zombies ensue.


RE: Zombie virus?
By BushStar on 3/21/2012 11:06:20 AM , Rating: 1
That was a joke by the way. Uganda is not a global threat nor does it have zombies.


RE: Zombie virus?
By fredgiblet on 3/21/2012 1:58:15 PM , Rating: 3
I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.


RE: Zombie virus?
By SPOOFE on 3/21/2012 3:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
As long as they go down to something other than a headshot...


New Lyssavirus discovered in Tanzania
By Shadmin on 3/21/2012 12:37:45 AM , Rating: 3
Ironically in the same region not far from the area affected by the Nodding Disease outbreak they have discovered a new strain of rabies which infects civet cats?
The University of Glasgow and the AHVLA in Tanzania discovered the virus after a civet cat attacked a child which is highly unusual?
A rabies surveillance project was already ongoing at the time of the attack and was the vehicle through which the virus was discovered.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that a novel form of rabies could go airborne or at least be highly transmissible like Ebola is through bodily fluids or like malaria, yellow fever or sleeping sickness which are spread through insect vectors?




RE: New Lyssavirus discovered in Tanzania
By Breathless on 3/21/2012 10:23:44 AM , Rating: 3
You should not end almost every one of your sentences with a question mark? Especially where you are not actually asking a question?


RE: New Lyssavirus discovered in Tanzania
By 4745454b on 3/21/2012 11:21:48 AM , Rating: 2
LOL. I have an issue of ending my sentences in trailing thoughts....


By Breathless on 3/21/2012 11:25:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'm Ron Burgundyyyyy?


I thought this was an April Fool's joke....
By FastEddieLB on 3/21/2012 1:31:02 AM , Rating: 2
... until I checked my calendar and confirmed that this is indeed March 20. This is most disturbing.




RE: I thought this was an April Fool's joke....
By Icopoli on 3/21/2012 6:17:48 AM , Rating: 2
That's exactly what I did.


By BushStar on 3/21/2012 7:11:41 AM , Rating: 2
Same here :)


By DavidFPawlowski on 3/25/2012 4:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
Good Day the Readership of DailyTech, This is something like the underlying sub plot of the walking dead series and its zombies, but please remember that up to 33% of humanity is believed infected with the tachyzoites of the intracellular protozoan parasite known as Toxoplasmosis Gondii. This parasite can cause the kind of serious mental incapcity in immunocompromised individuals as is described in some victims. The form in Africa has been known to cause acute infection in the preborn fetus that can result in hydrocephalus and neurological effects in immunocompromised children and adults. Swollen retinas are visible in folks with an uncontrolled infection or relapse. Given the prevalance of HIV in Uganda, and certain areas of northern Africa it begs the question are these poor kids infected with this parasite that is normally contained in healthy people with strong immune systems but might be on a tear due to other co-infections that most western nations do not have to worry about. God Bless these poor kids and may the UN and other NGOs try to bring them some relief. If it is Toxoplasmosis Gondii then anti-epileptics are only treating a secondary symptom of the underlying neurological infection that can also trigger aggressive behavior in males and females.




By MikeOnline on 3/30/2012 4:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
The symptoms sound very similar to Toxoplasmosis Gondii , as reported in the article How Your Cat is Making You Crazy, from The Atlantic:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/0...

The above article -- which is a great read -- mentions other parasites that can trigger behavioral changes, such as a flatworm that changes the behavior of an ant once the ant ingests the worm. The behavioral change is risky for the ant but beneficial for the flatworm.


Most likely Western Culture.
By dark matter on 3/21/2012 9:52:44 AM , Rating: 1
Plenty of violent teen "zombies" in the West.

Most likely due to diet.

A diet of computer games, bullshit propaganda TV and total lack of purpose and apathy due to living in an ever competitive society purely so a handful of elite can live extravagant lifestyles.




RE: Most likely Western Culture.
By KendoTek on 3/21/2012 9:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, I can picture it, pale teen zombies shuffling and moaning out, "GAAAaaaammesss."


Viral Marketing
By transamdude95 on 3/21/2012 5:40:12 PM , Rating: 3
This is Capcom's attempt at viral marketing for the re-release of Resident Evil 5.




I knew it by the headline
By highlander2107 on 3/22/2012 3:12:18 AM , Rating: 3
Another Jason Mick troll article. With this guys imagination he should write SciFi.




how pathetic can you be.
By FuckJasonMick on 3/22/2012 9:44:09 AM , Rating: 3
If you like this or fuck around by saying it's a "zombie apocalypse" then your fucking pathetic. This is a REAL disease that causes REAL pain most people can't even imagine taking. how would you like it if your kid had uncontrollable mood changes and seizures everyday huh? Or even if YOU had uncontrollable mood changes n seizures? Yeah, I wouldn't like it one bit either. So do some research and get REAL facts before you start to pull your bullshit information from an article like this that shows pictures from resident evil and calls living kids "zombies" just to try and make their justification of this disease seem true. go home with all your zombie bullshit already kids, people that actually know their shit are tired of hearing about it already.




Oil...
By XZerg on 3/20/2012 11:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
I read the following comment which seems to make more sense:

Before - Found Oil = I am rich
Now - Found Oil = I need to be rescued

It could just be coincidental or maybe the problem now "requires" focus and assistance from other countries.




Sahara
By cscpianoman on 3/21/2012 4:48:07 AM , Rating: 2
Reminds of the book Sahara by Clive Cussler. Not sure of the source, but probably a component of environmental and infectious causes.




Thanks for the article
By ppardee on 3/21/2012 12:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the time I'd be like "This is Daily *TECH*... and this is not tech." But Africa gets overlooked so much, it's good to know that people in the media still care enough to talk about the issues over there. Good job.




Interesting
By Autolysis on 3/21/2012 1:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like I may have found a topic for my Euk Patho class final presentation. Hope there is some decent work on pub med about the link between Nodding Disease and O. volvulus.

To those whom mentioned a viral infection of the CNS similar to rabies; I don't think it is for several reasons.

For starters, the host's immune system seems to be becoming active in all probable cases of nodding's disease. Certain stimulants seem to cause the major symptoms, being around familiar food in this case. If it was a viral pathogen, it makes sense that the immune response would show increases in certain Ig* antibodies as well as increases in other cytochemicals such as interferon. The host age range is also very weird, keep in mind most viral pathogens, that I can think of, don't show much disparity between ages or sexes.

Devastating viral and bacterial pathogens also wreak havoc on the body, which a few simple imaging tests of dead/damaged tissues would easily show.

If it was a viral pathogen, the medical testing already conducted has included MRI and parasitology tests on multiple patients. 93% of the cases involved show a pathogenic load of O. volvulus already. It would not be too bold to present this as the most likely cause.

IMO, I would think the strain or subspecies of O. volvulus may have different virulence factor(s) which causes an autoimmune disease. Hell, it may be a genetic/epigenetic underlying factors spurred by several infections, mutations, and/or malnutrition.

Also note that a majority of confirmed cases are found in isolated African villages which generally have a more conserved genome than city dwellers. A toxin in the vicinity may also be the cause.

A prion disorder doesn't seem to fit well either. As mentioned earlier, prion diseases generally take years to manifest notable symptoms.




By another name...
By truebeliever71 on 3/21/2012 3:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
In America it's called 'video games'!




TAKE AWAY THE TRUCKS
By toyotabedzrock on 3/21/2012 3:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
No offense but transporting these kids into populated areas seems like bio terrorism that may just infect the entire world.

Take their damn trucks away!




Here we go...Reavers!
By The0ne on 3/21/2012 4:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
The beginning of Reavers as we know it...Firefly!




Preceded?
By GTVic on 3/21/2012 6:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
Should be "preceded ..." not "proceeded by a repetitive nodding".




DON'T FORGET TO DOUBLE TAP!!
By KallistaLOL on 3/22/2012 12:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's the only way to be sure!




Parasite Modifies Killifish Behavior
By mvpx02 on 3/22/2012 3:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2008/12/16/...

This was the first thing I thought of when I read this article, the parasite releases chemicals into the fish brain to make it act in a way that makes the fish more likely to get eaten... allowing the parasite to continue in its own life cycle.

These children may not be part of such an elegant cycle, but perhaps it is a parasite that has been taking advantage of some other mammal and a recent mutation has resulted in it suddenly having an effect on humans as well.




'zombie disease'
By Ravensfeather on 3/22/2012 8:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds like mad cow disease, the onset is generally slow, but can begin to show symptoms right away, this 'zombie disease' has similar symptoms and mad cow disease is fatal...




Hasn't anyone considered...
By Endtimessigns on 3/23/2012 3:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
Demons

Great men are they who see that the spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world. -Ralph Waldo Emerson




Hasn't anyone considered...
By Endtimessigns on 3/23/2012 3:33:09 PM , Rating: 2
Demons

Great men are they who see that the spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world. -Ralph Waldo Emerson




Hasn't anyone considered...
By Endtimessigns on 3/23/2012 3:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
Demons

Great men are they who see that the spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world. -Ralph Waldo Emerson




Double Tap
By Azethoth on 3/23/2012 6:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
Shoot twice in the head. Zombies die twice, its so sad.




I thought this was about a
By overlandpark4me on 3/24/2012 2:10:55 AM , Rating: 2
some PC game until I started to read a little. Odd that I don't see Branjolina over there doing something about this?




mind-numbing
By Queonda on 3/25/2012 4:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
I thought Christianity was introduced to Africa decades ago...




accuracy
By concern4kids on 3/26/2012 12:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
Alright now, let's keep our comments accurate and off topic opinions out of this one. The comment about the Japanese wanting to surrender before Hiroshima is a popular claim these days, but inherently false. They were resistant until the Emporer said to surrender following Nagasaki.

This sounds like another nasty disease coming out of the same region in Africa which gave us the Sleeping Sickness of Tse Tse Fly fame, the AIDS and Eboli viruses, as well as a host of other nasty illnesses. And this one only attacks children? Has this been absolutely verified, or might the children's environment differ slightly from that of adults?

The concept of a bio weapon is not out of the question. But not all that likely. I only point this out because it sounds like it started when the Russians and Cubans were still transfixed on this region in Africa, and some rather strange diseases did emerge from there at that time.

It almost sounds like Mad Cow, does it not? Why the fixation with fire? Are they cold? I'm no doctor, but I sense another African Parasite here possibly?




children
By divabox on 3/27/2012 1:52:10 AM , Rating: 2
sounds like a slow form of meningitis, or a new form of Parkinson's that only affects children. could it have evolved from the fact that children are forced to do terrible things, i read a story once about children who went blind over time because of the horrible things they saw every day. one other thing if the war lord has no boys to fight his war or girls to rape then what? eliminate the problem by eliminating the children pretty sick but unique approach to ending his terror.




African Zombie Virus
By AshleyLeah on 4/15/2012 3:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
I found this blog that has a little more info on it. http://africanzombievirus.blogspot.com The disease was apparently contained. But tell me? How do you quarantine mosquitos?




Honestly?
By AliceMorriganAteides on 3/21/2012 6:19:52 PM , Rating: 1
To Jason Mick: You know, is it possible that the children were " gnawing " at the restraints on their hands because their hands were bound? I won't bother myself to evaluate the rest of details in your article, I think you know were I'll go so I'll just jump right to the point instead: So here you are, taking a horrible disease that's been around since the 60's at least and at the moment it gets worse (which is pretty subjective in this case), one which causes much pain and agony to anyone affected by it, and destroys children, one which probably needs more attention in the way of aid and research into a vaccine, and you try and spin in it into a model for a fictional zombie apocalypse? And going as far to put up humorous images from popular video game franchises and make light of it as well? Can we expect follow up stories linking HIV, Malaria and small pox to "vamprism" as well? You sir, are a disgrace to not only the scientific community, but humankind as well, and should be both ashamed of yourself, as well there needs to be an article focusing instead on how single digit insensitive jerks like yourself are taking horrifying afflictions and trying to abuse the situation to make cheap attempts at viral newscasts. Simply the single most appalling thing today I've seen online. Maybe we shouldn't be focused on illnesses as the root cause of the continuation of anguish in the world, but the negative contributions of persons such as yourself? Anyone else commenting here trying to play this out as something other than what it is should think about how they may be equating themselves to your low rent efforts. Would you be drawing these warped conclusions if this was your child that was sickened by this disease?




new disease?
By AuWing on 3/22/2012 4:38:33 PM , Rating: 1
the nodding disease is here already ...... it's carried by X BOX, and Playstation ....... been turning kids into mindless zombies for years now




Zomies?...Oh Shiet
By DatsWassup on 3/21/12, Rating: 0
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