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Category: Africa

African Concerns and News


Ebola Breaks Out Again in Uganda

8/2/12 Update:  Total of  30 Ebola cases in Uganda now including five from Kibaale prison. The Ebola virus was first detected in 1976 in the central African nation of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The virus is named after a river in that country. There are five strains of Ebola viruses, all named after the areas where they were found: Zaire, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Bundibugyo and Reston, according to the WHO. via Ebola outbreak suspected among Uganda prisoners – CNN.com. I’d forgotten that there was an Ebola strain named after Reston (yes that Reston… in Virginia).  Ebola has broken out in the U.S. three times according to the Centers for Disease Control in 1989, 1990 and 1996.  Each outbreak took place at a monkey quarantine facility and luckily there no fatalities.  As scary as Ebola is… the real fear is that it could mutate into a more contagious pathogen. 7/30/12 Update:  Ebola has now been confirmed in Kampala, the Ugandan capital. Originally published 7/29/12:  No cure, contagious and we don’t know where it comes from… There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola, and in Uganda, where in 2000 the disease killed 224 people and left hundreds more traumatized, it resurrects terrible memories. Ebola, which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever, is highly infectious and kills quickly. It was first reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists don’t know the natural reservoir of the virus, but they suspect the first victim in an Ebola outbreak gets infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a monkey. The virus can be transmitted in several ways, including through direct contact with the blood of an infected person. During communal funerals, for example, when the bereaved come into contact with...

My Favorite Obama, George

I know from reading President Barack Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father that he was born into a large and complex family.  Aside…the President’s father was a bigamist and Mitt Romney’s Grandfather was a polygamist…what are the odds that the two presidential candidates both came from multi-spouse families…I’ve only met one person in my entire life that came from a multi-spouse family.  Back to the post…one of the President’s many siblings is a young man in his late 20’s named George who lives in a hut in Nairobi, Kenya. Like his more famous brother, George is also an author.  George has written on race relations and colonialism.  I recently watched a film clip of George where the interviewer tried to get George to lament his life in poverty when his brother has the ability to lift George above it.  George’s answers were eloquent and reflected a philosophy of self-reliance that have earned him a place on the Prepography Wall of Honor.  He essentially said: I am a grown man I can take care of myself My brother has his own family to take care of and a pretty demanding job My brother doesn’t owe me anything While I haven’t read George’s book, Homeland (see description under More below), I was impressed by what I saw of this young man.  His eloquent and confident message of self-reliance, along with his rational views on post-colonial race relations were a refreshing change from our election year politics of division and culture of envy.  See the clip here. George Obama Homeland is the remarkable memoir of George Obama, President Obama’s Kenyan half brother, who found the inspiration to strive for his goal—to better the lives of his own people—in his elder brother’s example. In the spring of 2006, George met his older half brother, then–U.S. senator Barack Obama, for the second time—the first...

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