West Africa is currently being assailed by the worst outbreak of Ebola virus ever recorded. As of 17th July, World Health Organisation (WHO) reports indicated that out of more than 1048 confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, 632 people had fallen victim to the deadly disease, and its rapid spread across the continent is creating serious concerns that the worst is yet to come.
 
The WHO report stated that the epidemic trend was “serious, with high numbers of new cases and deaths being reported” and health authorities are struggling to control the epidemic, though currently no travel or trade restrictions have been imposed on the affected areas.
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An international team of scientists has discovered that two of the world’s most devastating plagues – the plague of Justinian and the Black Death, each responsible for killing as many as half the people in Europe—were caused by distinct strains of the same pathogen, one that faded out on its own, the other leading to worldwide spread and re-emergence in the late 1800s. These findings suggest a new strain of plague could emerge again in humans in the future.
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Studying the Medieval skeletons of people who went through the European plague (also called the Black Death), which killed 30% of Europeans, including nearly half of the people in London, between 1347 and 1351, may help us understand how disease can affect human evolution.

Anthropologist Sharon DeWitte says that these skeletons "can tell us something about the nature of human variation today and whether there is an artifact of diseases we have faced in the past. Knowing how strongly these diseases can actually shape human biology can give us tools to work with in the future to understand disease and how it might affect us."
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The innocent-sounding children’s song "Ring Around the Rosy," is actually a description of the symptoms of the plague, also known as the "Black Death," which peaked in Europe between 1348 and 1350, still exists in animal populations around the world, and has resurfaced in humans in Africa and Madagascar. It’s been wiped out in the West, since the rats that carried it have all been eaten by the newly arrived, bigger, Norwegian rats. But a team of scientists thinks it’s a good idea to trace this pandemic anyway, so globalization doesn’t cause something similar to happen again.
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