Twice in all of history, humans have managed to eradicate a devastating disease. You've heard of the first one, I suspect: smallpox. But rinderpest?
That's a German word for "cattle plague" a feared companion of cattle throughout history. When outbreaks occurred, as in Europe of the 1700s or Africa in the 1880s, entire herds were wiped out and communities went hungry. Now the disease is gone, eliminated from the face of the earth.
As health workers try to contain an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the death toll has increased to 31.
The deaths from the hemorrhagic fever outbreak doubled in the past week. World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic tells Shots that's because they have discovered more people who were originally infected.
It would seem difficult to overlook something as large as a new species of monkey, but scientists had no idea about the lesula until just a few years ago when conservation biologist John Hart discovered a specimen being kept as a pet in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In retrospect, the monkey's striking, almost humanlike face should have made it hard to miss, and Hart, who spoke with All Things Considered host Melissa Block, is the first to admit that this new monkey was apparently not such a mystery to the Congolese themselves.
When crossing from Uganda into Congo at the shabby border town of Bunagana, I encountered a broadly smiling man in a black leather jacket named Hamid Kashaisha.
He asked if I wanted to see the gorillas. I replied that it's guerrillas — with guns, that is — that I wanted to see: the M23 rebels who, for the past two months, had occupied a piece of real estate in eastern Congo larger than Delaware.