Author Archives: Brittany James

This is why Chikungunya fever virus continues to cause joint pain for years to come

Joint pains caused by the chikungunya virus can also last for years after the initial infection according to a study published in PLOS Pathogens. The chikungunya virus causes an infection that results in fever, severe joint pain and any swelling and rash that usually occurs two to 12 days after exposure. The virus is spread in the human body by two species of mosquito, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti.

According to the study produced by Deborah Lenschow, a researcher at the Washington University medical school in St. Louis, this is due to the fact that cells can survive the infection while continuing to host most of the virus’s RNA.

The researchers came to this conclusion by performing experiments on mice. Inside the body of the rats, they have marked the cells that survived the infection of the chikungunya virus, a mixture of muscle and skin cells. The researchers found that these cells continued to exist in the body of mice for at least 112 days after the initial inoculation of the virus.

After blocking the infection, the cells continued to contain most of the virus’s RNA.

This study will probably prove useful to better study the mechanisms underlying this chronic disease that occurs mainly in Asia and Africa and that was identified for the first time in Tanzania in 1952.

Even Alexandria in Egypt risks being submerged due to the rising sea level

Rising sea levels threaten coastal cities and one of these is Alexandria, a city that has survived invasions, earthquakes and fires over the last 2000 years but may not withstand seawater.

Alexandria, which is washed by the Mediterranean Sea, is home to more than 5 million people and is one of Egypt’s main industrial centers. The first changes, as declared by the Egyptian water resources ministry, are already visible today: the sea level has indeed risen by 1.8 mm every year until 1993. From 1993 to 2012 it rose by 2.1 mm to year and from 2012 onwards of 3.2 mm per year, increases that may seem insignificant but that could indicate a substantial acceleration in raising the water level.

To favor the sinking of the land are also the various dams built on the Nile river, in particular upstream, which are exacerbating the same effects of rising sea levels with consequences that could be catastrophic in a few decades.

The area of ​​the citadel of Qaitbay which houses a medieval fortress built on the ruins of the lighthouse could be particularly vulnerable.

Even the citizens experience these climatic changes: every year that passes the waves are always higher and the winters are getting colder as well as the increasingly hot summers.