A couple of interesting stories as we edge ever nearer to the global pandemic that will kill us all....

A 70-year-old Hong Kong woman has contracted the rat-specific version of Hepatitis E, signifying only the second time the disease has been documented in humans. Health officials in China are now scrambling to understand the implications of this disturbing new development.

The patient, a retiree from Hong Kongís Wong Tai Sin district, was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital on May 1, 2017, and has since recovered, reports the South China Morning Post. The woman is now the second human known to have contracted the rat-specific version of hepatitis E, the first reported case happening this past September, also in Hong Kong.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking things up a notch to investigate a mysterious polio-like disease thatís paralyzing young children. Earlier this week, the agency announced it would form a task force to better treat and confirm the cause of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), seemingly in response to a substantial uptick in cases this year.

AFM affects the nervous system, damaging the area of the spinal cord thatís made of grey matter. Its victims are almost always children, who can develop
symptoms like muscle weakness, difficulty speaking or swallowing, and paralysis. According to the CDC, there have been 108 confirmed cases of AFM documented across 29 states in 2018 so far, out of a total of 273 reports sent to the CDC. (Some of these potential cases are still being investigated). There have been no reported deaths as of yet, but AFM can be fatal.