Link Aggregation: 1/26/13

Disaster Response:

The CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response has recommended the site Do 1 Thing as a good starting point for preparing yourself and your family for a disaster. Do 1 thing sends free monthly suggestions on simple ways to prepare yourself, your family, and your community, and they also offer materials in large print, audio format, braille, Spanish, Chinese, Nepali, Arabic, Swahili, Somali, and Burmese.

An article about cholera in Haiti provides a really cool look at how the health of responders is an important factor to consider in emergency management.

A great article on disaster planning for people with horses.

Science Communication:

Occam’s Typewriter blogger summarizes the #overlyhonestmethods trend on twitter.

Also in twitter, #MiddleEarthPublicHealth discussed population health concerns in Lord of the Rings.

I absolutely love the video blog The Brain Scoop. Check out one of their videos below!

Eastern Equine Encephalitis: The Mosquito that bit the Snake

A Copperhead. (C) Greg Hul, Flickr Creative Commons

This post was originally published at Mind the Science Gap on Oct. 11, 2012. This post was also cross-posted at Aetiology on Oct. 17, 2012.

Last week a new study regarding Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was published online (Bingham et.al.). EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause serious, and sometimes deadly, disease in humans and equines. In warmer parts of North America, the virus is spread year-round, but in areas where mosquitoes get killed off in the winter it has been something of a mystery as to how the virus makes it from year to year. Humans and equines are both dead-end hosts, which means that a mosquito can not be infected from biting an infected person or horse. Researchers in Alabama found that wild snakes in the Tuskegee National Forest were positive for  Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEV), which could explain how EEE was maintained after the first frosts killed off infected mosquitoes. Essentially, what would happen is that an infected mosquito bites a snake, probably during the summer or early fall, and the snake harbors the virus in its blood during the winter. Then, in the spring, an uninfected mosquito (which overwinters as a larva) bites the snake and acquires the virus. This now-infected mosquito can bite a horse or a human, who can then get sick. (I’m sensing a Chad Gadya theme here. Just me? Ok…) Continue reading