Talk:Aniru Conteh/Archive 1

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I have rewritten a couple of sections which were less clear than the might have been. I hope I haven't introduced any factual errors in the process.

Conteh certainly sounds like a true hero!

Awien (talk) 22:40, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Nice job. My only concern would be the "naturally not possible in a war zone" part you added, which implies that people caught the virus from eating the rats, which doesn't appear to be the case as the footnote points out. So if you could avoid making that implication, that would be great. Viriditas (talk) 23:39, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. You're probably right, though the quote could be clearer, so I've rewritten accordingly. Aloha! Awien (talk) 23:58, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Much better. But you see, the reason the text originally only said "the rats pose a danger" is because the primary method of transmission here is not exactly related to eating or preparing the rat meat. You see, the rats live in close proximity to the people, and their presence is accepted in the culture. So it's not just the preparation of the rat meat that is the problem, but living with rats in and around their homes. This is one method of transmission, as is person to person. Perhaps you could read Lassa_virus#Vectors and update the text accordingly? Thanks for your help. Viriditas (talk) 00:09, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
The footnote does say, however, that "[r]at meat is an important source of protein in this region, and if the animal is carrying the disease the virus can be killed by boiling the meat. However, infection can take place during the process of finding and preparing the rats for consumption. The virus is transmitted through rat urine and feces, which can enter the body through inhalation, eating food contaminated with excreta, or through skin absorption. (Melone 2009)", my emphasis. But do go ahead and fix what you think needs to be fixed . . . Awien (talk) 00:22, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Right, but just to be clear, the reason it was in the footnote and not in the main text, was because the method of transmission and infection rats of people who get the virus by eating rats only, is apparently, unknown. All we know is that they are exposed to the rats carrying the virus in and around the home and in other cases, they are exposed to people with the virus. The focus on getting people to stop eating rats, is an attempt to eliminate the presence of the rats from areas where they would otherwise come into contact with it. Viriditas (talk) 00:27, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Until we can fix this, I've removed the following:

Additionally, these rats were eaten as a source of protein by starving refugees, and although fully cooking the rats destroys the virus, infection can occur during the preparation.

This changes the original intent of the content. To my knowledge, there is no good source that supports this. Viriditas (talk) 08:35, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Legacy section


I strongly suspect that the status of the clinic is out of date and needs cleanup. Viriditas (talk) 13:33, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Note, this was fixed. Viriditas (talk) 14:47, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Teetering betwixt B and C...


Nice article - for mine what's missing from a medical point of view is more detail on his work with Lassa fever - if he was an expert, did he discover or perfect new ways of treating it, any advances etc. I see the papers at the bottom. It'd be good to look in the biography. This aspect is pretty important from a medical point of view, so I am unsure if it should be a 'B' yet. If someone else feels it is a B that's fine by me as I am genuinely undecided. Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:34, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, there are a few sentences I can add on that subject. I also need to update the status of the clinic. Could you come back to it in a week? Viriditas (talk) 13:36, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Sure, no problem - it's on my watchlist so I will (hopefully) catch it. Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:04, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Looks like Conteh was known for teaching public health, preventive medicine, and health promotion:

In 1996 Conteh enabled the London-based medical relief organisation Merlin to establish itself in Sierra Leone and make a determined push to combat Lassa, a virus spread by rat urine which causes 300,000 deaths a year in West Africa. Conteh spearheaded an approach to Lassa that was as much about education as medicine. This included teaching songs to children and showing villagers how to store food above the ground. Though difficult, education proved more enduring than the region’s medical facilities, which were often looted and destroyed by rebel forces.[1]

Still working on this... Viriditas (talk) 01:11, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Nice work - 'B' it is...probably in the vicinity of GA too. Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:34, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Great. I would like to nominate it for GAN. If you see any points of weakness, please let me know. Viriditas (talk) 04:27, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
BTW, there is additional information about Conteh's work with Lassa fever in this source, but I don't have full access to it. I'll request it on resource exchange. Viriditas (talk) 04:36, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
I can get that - if you send me an email I can send it back with an attachment. Will be off and on as am organising a birthday party which is happening now. Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:54, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Email sent. Viriditas (talk) 04:58, 10 September 2011 (UTC)


  • Some sources say he saved hundreds of lives, others say he saved thousands. Until I'm able to determine which is correct, I've changed the text to read "many", and I may expand a footnote with more info shortly.
  • There is some confusion between the numbers of reduced mortality, with one source saying a 20% reduction and another saying 80%. I've left the 20% figure in since it is sourced in several places since 2004, but the 80% figure was just published in 2011 and looks like it is either a misprint of the 20% figure or represents new data. I'm going to go with the older 20% figure until I can find out more about it, but I've left a footnote explaining the discrepancy.
  • An equal number of sources mention Conteh was survived by three/four sons. I'm not sure what to make of this or how to modify the current text. Hopefully, this will be solved in the GA review.