The world's biggest and deadliest Ebola outbreak began with a 2-year-old boy in a village in Guéckédou, Guinea — near the West African country's borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia — a team of researchers reports in The New England Journal of Medicine. The boy died of unidentified causes on Dec. 6, followed a week later by his mother, then 3-year-old sister, then grandmother. Mourners at the grandmother's funeral brought the virus to other villages.
The early victims had symptoms of Ebola, but the outbreak is in a part of Africa with no history of the disease, so health workers weren't trained to spot or treat the disease. And because it's a heavily trafficked region, the disease has been very difficult to track down and isolate.
Doctors Without Borders helped identify and treat the outbreak in March, and health officials thought they had it contained by April. The outbreak flared up a month later, worse than ever — there are now officially 1,779 cases, including 961 deaths, but health authorities believe there are more cases. The World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency.
So how did the 2-year-old get the virus? "We suppose that the first case was infected following contact with bats," Sylvain Baize at France's Pasteur Institute, and one of the researchers studying the outbreak, tells The New York Times. "Maybe, but we are not sure." The blood of fruit bats, as well as monkeys and apes, can infect people, but some researchers think that fruit with bat guano on it can also spread the virus to humans. Peter Weber
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) maintained Friday that he'll support the Republican presidential nominee, even if that somebody happens to be Donald Trump, The Palm Beach Post reports.
In fact, Rubio might be more impressed with the billionaire business mogul than usual, saying his "performance has improved significantly" recently.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was none too thrilled Saturday with the protesters who blocked his way into California's Republican convention the day before:
The "protesters" in California were thugs and criminals. Many are professionals. They should be dealt with strongly by law enforcement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2016
Leave it to Trump to make an off-color joke about the incident once he made it inside the hotel Friday.
Jimmy Fallon has been singing bits and pieces of Styx's "Too Much Time on My Hands" on The Tonight Show for days. On Friday, he and actor Paul Rudd took the obsession to its natural conclusion, creating a shot-by-shot remake of the '80s music video. The end result is sufficiently goofy. Take a look below. Julie Kliegman
Hundreds of activists stormed Iraq's parliament building Saturday in support of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who had accused Iraqi politicians of corruption, CBS News reports.
The demonstrators climbed over blast walls in Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses most of the country's ministries and foreign embassies, after parliament couldn't reach quorum to hold a session. The protesters broke furniture, chanted, and waved Iraqi flags.
San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr released nine pages of racist and homophobic text messages sent between officers Friday and ordered all officers to undergo anti-bias training, The New York Times reports.
"We have nothing to hide," Suhr said of his 2,000-member force. "These are the actions of a few."
The messages, which disparaged blacks, Latinos, South Asians, and LGBT people, were found as part of an investigation into a rape charge against one of the officers.
The head of an evangelical legal organization has pledged to carry a gun into Target's bathrooms to defend against transgender women. Liberty Counsel President Anita Staver is calling for a boycott of the retail chain after it announced that it will allow patrons to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, The Huffington Post reports. Staver tweeted the following:
— Anita Staver (@AnitaStaver) April 22, 2016
Staver later claimed she always brings guns into public restrooms.