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Outbreak News Interviews


Aug 7, 2023

In the highlands of Papua New Guinea in the 1950s and 60s it was noticed that people (mostly women) of the Fore tribe were dying of what was originally thought to be a genetic disorder since it happened among family members.

The disease stole away the affected person’s ability to talk, walk and eat and to eventually die a shivering death.

We now know now that was kuru –a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion disease, same as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mad cow disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep and chronic wasting seen in elk.

Joining me today to talk about the fascinating story of kuru is Chandana Bala. Chandy is the President of Global Insight Advisory Network and writes on the intersection of healthcare and technology. She is also a frequent writer for Gideon Informatics.