Top experts on the Ebola virus raised grave concerns Thursday about the worsening epidemic in west Africa as the number of people with the disease neared 10,000. The World Heath Organization said after an emergency meeting on the deadly haemorrhagic fever that the situation in the worst-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone "remains of great concern". "It was the unanimous view of the committee that the event continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern," it added. The experts have been brainstorming new ways to halt the spread of the epidemic, the third such meeting since the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea earlier this year.
In a remote area of Southeast Asia, drones are fighting a battle — not against terrorists or insurgents, but against infectious disease. In recent years, public health officials in the Malaysian state of Sabah have seen a rise in the number of cases of humans infected with this deadly parasite, which is spread, via mosquitos, from macaques to people. By mapping the communities where these cases occur, researchers hope to figure out why the parasite is spreading from monkeys to people with greater frequency, said Chris Drakeley, a professor of infection and immunity at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom, and one of the researchers involved in the project. "What we're doing is creating a detailed map, which we can then superimpose or overlay with the human and the macaque movement," Drakeley told Live Science.