Limited interest?!? Limited interest?!?!

Papers also get rejected because they are of limited interest.  Say, they focus on the marketing behavior of tomato-growing households in three villages in Burkina Faso.

via BellemareHowtoPublish.pdf.

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Day four of Chikungunya: the skin crawling started last night… truly horrible

Various neurologic sequelae can occur with persistent chikungunya fever.Approximately 40% of those with CF will complain of various neurological symptoms but hardly 10% will have persistent manifestations. Peripheral neuropathy with a predominant sensory component is the most common 5-8%. Paresethesias, pins and needles sensations, crawling of worms sensation and disturbing neuralgias have all been described by the patients in isolation or in combination.

via Guidelines on Clinical Management of Chikungunya Fever – Clinical_Mgnt_Chikungunya_WHO_SEARO.pdf.

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The urgent need for public health action

The cost-effectiveness of public intervention seems like it must be higher than for any other disease.  If it gets to 100,000 deaths, even if the valuation of life is as little as $10,000, the loss will be in the billions of dollars.  I see governments and foundations donating $10m here, $20m there…  Meanwhile, last year the French government spent about $270m in just six months for Operation Serval in northern Mali.

While previous outbreaks have been largely confined to rural areas, the current epidemic, the largest ever, has reached densely populated, impoverished cities — including Monrovia, the capital of Liberia — gravely complicating efforts to control the spread of the disease. Alessandro Vespignani, a professor of computational sciences at Northeastern University who has been involved in the computer modeling of Ebola’s spread, said that if the case count reaches hundreds of thousands, “there will be little we can do.”  What worries public health officials most is that the epidemic has begun to grow exponentially in Liberia. In the most recent week reported, Liberia had nearly 400 new cases, almost double the number reported the week before. Another grave concern, the W.H.O. said, is “evidence of substantial underreporting of cases and deaths.” The organization reported on Friday that the number of Ebola cases as of Sept. 7 was 4,366, including 2,218 deaths.

via U.S. Scientists See Long Fight Against Ebola – NYTimes.com.

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Puerto Rico debt maybe not so bad… good news for Kevane family

A year ago, hedge funds were bit players in Puerto Rico and municipal bonds in general, long regarded as a sleepy market dominated by mutual funds that buy and hold the same bonds for years.Hedge funds began descending en masse last fall, after a wave of bond selling — particularly by rich Puerto Ricans — caused prices to fall. Fund executives made frequent trips to the island — visiting shopping malls in San Juan, meeting with government officials and speaking with pharmaceutical executives with major manufacturing plants there.To show how irrational the municipal market had become, one hedge fund pointed out this summer that Puerto Rico bonds were trading at higher yields than debt in Iraq and Ukraine — values that suggested that the commonwealth was riskier than a war zone.Over the last year, the hedge funds have bought the government’s general obligation bonds, bonds used to prop up public employee pensions, and bonds that built the island’s highways.

via Puerto Rico Finds It Has New Friends in Hedge Funds – NYTimes.com.

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Chikungunya and ebola

So I got Chikungunya unfortunately. My symptoms started yesterday morning, and built all day, and by nighttime the joint pain was all over… you know it is bad when you wake up at 4am looking at your gnarled hand and thinking, cripes, this is what my mother-in-law had, all the time… But of course, since it goes away after a week, for most people, there is no worry. Unlike Ebola, where this excellent roundup suggests that the number of cases is likely to be in the 100,000 range.

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Relaxing in Burkina Faso couple weeks ago

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Senegal touts its big effort to prevent Ebola from getting established

Lots of publicity, quick public health action, good treatment… so the Guinean is cured and none of his contacts got infected…. supposedly.  Reassuring.

Il est vrai que pour l’instant, la campagne active de prévention menée par les autorités sénégalaises a porté ses fruits. En effet, relate le site Afrik.com, « dès l’apparition de la maladie, le Sénégal a pris des mesures drastiques, en informant constamment la population. La ministre de la Santé s’est rendue à plusieurs reprises dans les régions les plus reculées du pays pour mener des campagnes d’information auprès des populations. A la télévision, est diffusé régulièrement un spot qui explique dans les différentes langues du pays comment éviter de contracter le virus. A Ziguinchor, relève encore Afrik.com, on mise directement sur les enfants, en les faisant participer aux campagnes de communication sur Ebola. Ces derniers se rendent régulièrement auprès des populations pour leur parler du virus, et des moyens de s’en prévenir. »Et Afrik.com de conclure : « une bataille a été remportée par le Sénégal contre Ebola. Mais la guerre est loin d’être terminée. »

via A la Une: une bataille gagnée contre Ebola – RFI.

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