Are Hiccups a Symptom of Ebola?

Apparently yes. From a very interesting interview with Dr. Daniel Bausch:

Is it true that the current outbreak was identified as Ebola because patients were hiccuping, and that’s a symptom? That’s what was reported in a story in Vanity Fair.

Hiccups have been associated with Ebola, but they were really something you saw in terminal cases, at least from my experience. I don’t know how many cases of Ebola I’ve seen, maybe hundreds, 300, 400, something like that. But I had never seen hiccups early on, and I write some textbook chapters about this, and I always write that hiccups are a late sign.

Then people told me, “Oh, we’re seeing this in people,” and I just thought they were wrong. But when I went to West Africa the last couple of times, I saw some people early on who had hiccups. Next time I write that chapter, I’m going to have to change it. So I think it’s real.

Summer 2014: Approaching Life Deliberately

Sometimes I feel like the seasons have a theme. Since it’s Labor Day here in the U.S. — the unofficial end of summer and correspondingly, the start of autumn — I’m reflecting on the last few months and examining whether there was a unifying thought or idea. 

For me, there definitely was: intentionality or approaching life in a deliberate way. I’ve been struck by the power decisions have to affect our happiness and sense of fulfillment. 

More on that soon, but first, let’s back up.

Part of what spurred my thinking on this topic was my trip in July to Portland, Oregon, for the World Domination Summit (quite the name, isn’t it?).

Portland - green and clean everywhere you look!

Three ideas presented at the summit really stuck with me — even weeks after the event. I’ll briefly recap them, here goes:

That’s from the author and self-proclaimed “human guinea pig” A.J. Jacobs who delivered a presentation reflecting on his previous projects and previewing his next one (a global family reunion). In his talk, Jacobs admitted that his assignments are often more difficult than he anticipates at the onset. But he pushes through these challenges, helped along the way by the three approaches that define him. 

The next thought that resonated comes from Jadah Sellner, the owner of Simple Green Smoothies:

Sellner delivered a passionate and deeply personal speech filled with lots of great nuggets.

A lot of time life throws us lessons we don’t want to or aren’t ready to learn, but Sellner’s philosophy is to embrace the curve balls, adapt and learn how to hit a home run.

Finally, Michael Hyatt’s speech completely blew me away. I’d heard of Hyatt before attending WDS, but I wasn’t familiar with his story or his work. Hyatt’s speech was genuine and thoughtful and also carried a gravitas that speakers with less life experience simply cannot deliver.

In his speech, he offered three guiding questions to consider when creating what he calls the “designed life,” which is a conscious, proactive state of being. The questions are:

  1. How do I want to be remembered ?
  2. What is important to me?
  3. What single brave decision do I need to make today?

Despite the speakers’ different backgrounds, ages, experiences, and rhetoric, there is a common thread in their approach to success: be deliberate; make strategic decisions, don’t just let life happen to you.

Perhaps this resonates so much because I can think of numerous examples in my own life when being intentional paid off. In 2013, I set two professional goals and achieved them both. It’s possible I might have reached the goals without actually defining them, but there is something a lot more satisfying in defining an expectation and recognizing when you get there rather than an accidental achievement.

Also when I think about the things that have engaged me most in life (jobs, relationships, people), they’ve basically all been paths that I’ve chosen with a great amount of thought. I don’t think you can be passionate about something that isn’t of your own choosing.

Time to wrap up: Life doesn’t come with instructions. But we can identify systems that can be immeasurably helpful along the way. Thank you summer for showing me the value of intentionality. I will put it to good use (see what I did there?!).

That’s Piot, one of the scientists who discovered Ebola, on the current outbreak in West Africa. Perhaps there’s no simpler way to state things - not only about this Ebola outbreak, but about global health disparities in general.

That’s Piot, one of the scientists who discovered Ebola, on the current outbreak in West Africa. Perhaps there’s no simpler way to state things - not only about this Ebola outbreak, but about global health disparities in general.

My boss saw this in a magazine. I just had to turn it into a Facebook image for the ASTMH page.

My boss saw this in a magazine. I just had to turn it into a Facebook image for the ASTMH page.

13 Unforgettable Moments from 2013

Some years feel kind of significant, while others don’t seem earth-shattering on the whole. For me, 2013 was one for the books. If this year had a theme, it was: change, adaptation and growth. So here are my highlights, in some cases, with accompanying Instagram photos:

1 - Turned 30. And it wasn’t so bad! In fact, 30 was my favorite birthday in recent memory. I tend to get kind of sad around my birthday because it reminds me that time is marching on. But turning 30 was different. I felt content with where I’ve been, happy with the path I’m on and excited for whatever comes next.

2 - Celebrated my brother’s engagement. I was so excited to hear that my younger brother, Tyrone, got engaged to his love, Leah. Watching them teaches me so much about partnership.

3 - Became an American citizen. I am beyond grateful that my mom decided to move us here. I’ll always honor my South African roots, but I am proud to officially be an American too. (Photo of decorations and covered brownies my coworkers made to mark the occasion).

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South African restaurant chain Nandos always produces powerful ads. The occassion of Mandela’s passing is no exception. From their website.

South African restaurant chain Nandos always produces powerful ads. The occassion of Mandela’s passing is no exception. From their website.

SMOG DAY. Alarmingly high smog readings closed the airport and schools in Harbin, a Chinese city of about 11 million people.

SMOG DAY. Alarmingly high smog readings closed the airport and schools in Harbin, a Chinese city of about 11 million people.

The Little Detail That Makes Dennis Kimetto’s Chicago Marathon Win Even More Impressive

He pulled off his record-breaking win just six weeks after coming down with malaria. Seriously.

The incredible part of Kimetto’s story doesn’t end there — he is somewhat of an overnight running sensation. From the Chicago Tribune:

As fast as he ran Sunday, it pales in comparison to the pace at which Kimetto, 29, has gone from a non-running subsistence farmer in Eldoret, Kenya, to one of the world’s best marathoners, good enough to earn $100,000 for winning Chicago and a $75,000 bonus for the course record.

On the exhaustive track and road running data base, tilastopaja.net, Kimetto’s competitive record is blank until 2011, when it shows a lone race. Speaking through a Swahili interpreter, Kimetto said he had been growing maize and tending a few cows until he began running about four years ago.

Kimetto said he had been running about four miles a day when a chance encounter with Geoffrey Mutai, a Boston and New York marathon winner, led to an invitation to the demanding Mutai’s training group in a remote area, Kapng’tuny, some 40 miles from Eldoret.

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Album Art

Not all Americans are interested in international news, but the ones who are, tend to be the “most affluent, best educated,” Phil Balboni, president, CEO, and founder of GlobalPost, says in this interview.

ArtistCopyright Clearance Center's Beyond the Book
TitleInterview with GlobalPost Founder Phil Balboni