News in the Humanosphere: WHO says mystery disease in Liberia likely meningitis

A young woman holding an infant during one of the early and massive immunization campaigns in Africa's Meningitis Belt. PATH photo by Gabe Bienczycki.

As of yesterday, the WHO says that a total of 31 cases of this “illness of unknown aetiology” was reported by the government of Liberia to the World Health Organization. This includes 13 deaths. But the WHO says it has a prime suspect: meningitis C. Samples from four of the deceased patients tested positive for this bacterial disease. More samples are being analyzed and if meningitis is confirmed to be this mystery illness, there is already a safe and effective vaccine that can be deployed to halt the spread of meningitis C. For now it appears that two weeks after this deadly mystery illness created a cluster of patients and victims, most people exposed to this disease have been tracked down and the disease itself provisionally identified. (UN Dispatch

Methane bill voted down…In a surprising victory for President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, the Senate voted on Wednesday to uphold an Obama-era climate change regulation to control the release of methane from oil and gas wells on public land.Senators voted 51 to 49 to block consideration of a resolution to repeal the 2016 Interior Department rule to curb emissions of methane, a powerful planet-warming greenhouse gas.  (NYT

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A university researcher jailed last month in Uganda for allegedly insulting President Yoweri Museveni on Facebook has been granted bail. (VOA

A six-month IRIN investigation into Berlin shelters reveals that female refugees in Germany have grossly inadequate protection from sexual and gender-based violence. (IRIN

Taiwan’s already precarious relations with old rival China took another step back this week after the self-ruled island said Beijing blocked it from the annual World Health Organization assembly, a move that may prompt Taipei to rethink how they treat the other side. (VOA

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At least 9,900 of Iraq’s Yazidis were killed or kidnapped in just days in an Islamic State attack in 2014, according to the first study to document the number of Yazidis affected which could be used as evidence in any trial for genocide. (VOA


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How Kenya can manage increasing dengue fever cases (The Conversation

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