Team Jellybean: Besties unite for million dollar walk to fight an ...
Her parents, Liz and Marc Goldenberg, began to notice a radical change in her behavior that led up to an emergency hospital stay in the intensive care unit. Abigail was already suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis , a life-threatening complication that results from a dearth of the insulin hormone.
Abigail, an otherwise goofy, funny and low-maintenance kid with a beaming smile that could engender any adult to give her anything she wants, was having temper tantrums and stomach cramps. She would scream for no apparent reason. Despite a healthy appetite, Abigail had lost a significant amount of weight, her bones protruding prominently from her spine. She complained about headaches. She didn't want to go to school.
These symptoms, which manifest themselves differently in every patient, could have been attributed to start of school jitters or to the typical antics of a growing tween who's testing limits.
At first, doctors suggested that gastroesophageal reflux disease may be the culprit. Perhaps a visit to a psychologist might be in order if tests were inconclusive? But after discovering that Abigail would often visit the bathroom during the night, her parents, who had a similar scare with Abigail's sibling that turned out to be false, clued in to the possibility that there may be something wrong with insulin production.
Ebola: What Should We Do Now?
When Zafar Hussain arrived at the train station, he thought he’d entered Dante’s inferno or a Hieronymous Bosch painting. The platform was littered with bodies, emaciated corpses wrapped in thin shrouds, some soaked with blood from those who died from the hemorrhagic kind of the virus. The dead were surrounded by the living: wailing family members, unwilling to leave, oblivious to the fetid smell of death under the oppressive tropical sun.
More than 2,000 had died, victims of the terrible virus. Beyond the smell of death, panic and fear also filled the air. Local residents claimed the stream that flowed through the city had stopped running earlier, dammed by bodies that accumulated at its narrow neck. It seemed to Zafar the end of the world.
Ebola is a frightening killer—but this scene was not Ebola. Zafar was in Tatanagar, India, in 1974, and the killer he confronted was smallpox. Zafar was my paramedical assistant and I was working as a World Health Organization epidemiologist investigating the outbreak—the most potent exporter of smallpox, sending the disease to every corner of South Asia and beyond. That year, smallpox afflicted 188,000 in India. Globally, more than 500 million were killed by smallpox in the last century. But in 1980, we eradicated smallpox. It was not, as Zafar had feared, the end of the world.