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Not Bird Flu But Close Oct 12, 2007 - Jan 10, 2008

by: DemFromCT

Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 16:40:37 PM EDT

( - promoted by Bronco Bill)

Looks like we might be getting into Dengue/Chik season again.  Post your news stories that don't seem to be H5N1 news, but might be notable or possibly related.
DemFromCT :: Not Bird Flu But Close Oct 12, 2007 - Jan 10, 2008
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Fever - India
57 in Pimpri hospital with high grade fever
Posted online: Sunday , October 14, 2007 at 12:00:00
Updated: Saturday , October 13, 2007 at 11:32:28

Pune, October 13 Besides complaining of bodyache and headache, Kasarwadi resident Nilesh Rayate had high grade fever for two days. And when it failed to subside, the 20-year-old was taken to PCMC-run Yeshwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (YCMH) on Friday. Dengue and malaria tests proved negative, but the doctors advised him to get admitted till he recovered.

Like Nilesh, 56 others are currently undergoing treatment for high grade fever at this hospital, six of whom suffer from dengue and seven from malaria and one is in the intensive care. Ten of these 57 are children. They have all been admitted to YCMH during the last three days.

YCMH physician Dr Chandrashekhar Katre said viral infection was the main reason. "There are 100 to 200 types of bacteria in the air that become active during this time of the year," Dr Katre said. "It takes at least four to five days for a patient to recover."



Costa Rica dengue cases double

Hemorrhagic Dengue strikes more people in Limón

Of the 231 cases [of hemorrhagic dengue) throughout the country, 110 are residents in the Caribbean province [of Limón]. 

6000 Limón residents have fallen ill with dengue, 263% more than last year.

Follow-up on disease outbreak in Ngobe-Buglé region (Panama)
(Original stories were discused in News  Reports for October 2)


Oct. 11, 2007

Health Report on Deaths

The minister Rosario Turner yesterday rendered a report to the deputies of the Legislative Commission of Health. It stated that the medical authorities have taken up the sanitary control in the Comarca Ngobe - Buglé, in the face of increased epidemiological outbreaks of influenza and adenovirus in the pediatric population.

He stressed that since the arrival of the medical groups to the area, last September 20, they have served more than 8,000 patients and have filled more than 12,000 prescriptions.

Turner said that during the first week 93 infants were hospitalized with respiratory symptoms. The official confirmed the deaths of 17 minors.

56% of the population in the Comarca Ngobe are children between 1 and 19 years of age, which makes them vulnerable to diseases because of the poor food and cultural patterns that sometimes reject the specialized medical care.

The minister stated that given the latest developments and treatment of patients, the Ministry of Health was able to confirm the epidemiological control of the outbreak in the Comarca Ngobe-Buglé.

Not very close at all, but still...

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A rare tropical fungus that has infected more than 100 people since it appeared in British Columbia six years ago has crossed the border into Whatcom County, health officials say.

Cryptococcus gattii, invisible to the naked eye and found mostly in trees and soil, has infected at least four residents this year, two of them fatally, county health officer Greg Stern said.


Back at her mother's house in Blaine, she still finds breathing difficult at times and expects to be on anti-fungal medication for about a year but is glad to be getting better.

"There's not much air space in there," she said. "Other than that, it's not that bad. I can walk now."


The fungus was believed to be largely confined to the tropics until 2001, when it was first diagnosed on Vancouver Island. Since then it has been found in dogs, cats, horses and porpoises, as well as humans, and has been blamed for the death of eight people in British Columbia.


Meteorologist in Florida!?!  Now we're talkin'!!!

high school students have superbug?
Driving to work this morning I caught the tail end of a 'headline' on the news "Two ???? highschool students have caught the superbug"  Does anyone know what this refers to?

antibiotic resistant staph infection
it's pretty common, but the news just got ahold of it. these are usually skin infections, but can be deadly.

Flu patients who get MRSA pneumonia (that's methicillin-resistant staph aureus) can die.

[ Parent ]
Flu - Staph Co-Infections
DennisC posted this back in May,07 here on the FluWiki Forum.  It is from the CDC website.

Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality and the Increase of Staphylococcus aureus co-infection

CDC is requesting that states report all cases of influenza-related pediatric mortality from the 2006-2007 influenza season.

Since 2004, the Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality Surveillance System, part of the Nationally Notifiable Disease Surveillance System, has collected information on deaths among children due to laboratory-confirmed influenza, including the presence of other medical conditions and bacterial infections at the time of death. From October 1, 2006 through May 7, 2007, 55 deaths from influenza in children have been reported to CDC from 23 state health departments and two city health departments.  Data on bacterial co-infections were reported for 51 cases; 20 (39%) had a bacterial co-infection, and 16/20 were infected with Staphylococcus aureus.  While the number of pediatric influenza associated deaths is similar to that reported during the two previous years, there has been an increase in the number of deaths in which both influenza and pneumonia or bacteremia due to S. aureus were identified.  Only one influenza and S. aureus co-infection was identified in 2004-2005, and 3 were identified in 2005-2006.  Of the 16 children reported with S. aureus so far in 2006-2007, 11children had methicillin-resistant (MRSA) isolated from a sterile site (9) or sputum (2), and 5 had methicillin-susceptible S.aureus isolated from a sterile site (3) or sputum (2).  The median age of children with S. aureus co-infection was older than children without S.aureus co-infection (11 years versus 4 years, p<.01)  Children with influenza and S. aureus co-infections were reported to be in good health before illness onset but progressed rapidly to severe illness. Influenza strains isolated from these children have not been different from common strains circulating in the community and the MRSA strains have been typical of those associated with MRSA skin infection outbreaks in the United States. 

Healthcare providers should be alerted to the possibility of bacterial co-infection among children with influenza, and request bacterial cultures when bacterial co-infection is suspected.  Clinicians, clinical agencies and medical examiners are asked to contact their local or state health department as soon as possible when deaths among children due to laboratory-confirmed influenza are identified.  CDC requests that all cases of pediatric influenza-associated deaths be reported promptly by state health departments to CDC through http://sdn.cdc.gov and that information about bacterial pathogens isolated from sterile sites and/or from sputum or endotracheal aspirates be completed on the Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality Surveillance System case report form.  If the influenza death was complicated by S. aureus infection, please contact the clinical agency to determine if the S. aureus isolate is available.  CDC is interested in receiving S. aureus isolates to better characterize those from fatal cases of influenza in children. 


[ Parent ]
Thanks Dem & Okieman n/t

[ Parent ]
not bird flu
not even close, but highly relevant to our debate on pandemic vaccines.

A most excellent blog on denialism on scienceblogs http://scienceblogs....

I would recommend this to everyone, very insightful and sobering.  Hat-tip to revere!

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

Sorry I am so late with today's news diary :-(
I am working on it now and it should be up soon.

Argh! Posted in wrong thread - so sorry n/t

[ Parent ]
UK - 3 wards closed by winter bug - Huddersfield

by Anne-Marie Bradley, Huddersfield Daily Examiner

HUDDERSFIELD Royal Infirmary has been forced to close three wards to new patients after a winter bug outbreak.

Seven patients have so far shown symptoms of viral gastroenteritis at HRI including vomiting and diarrhoea.

One of the wards affected - surgical ward 8 - was today being re-opened after a week of restrictions were put in place when five patients went down with the infection.

Today wards 6 and 22 were still not accepting new patients after hospital bosses confirmed two more people staying there had also developed the symptoms.


Viral Fever - Pakistan
Comment:  This is an odd article.  It caught my attention because on October 19 I posted an article I found concerning  flu in Lahore, Pakistan  http://www.newfluwik...  They mention malaria in the article but there are some things in the article which make me believe it is not malaria they are dealing with.  They have a medical team visiting the area and they mention a vaccine (I don't recall there being a vaccine for malaria).  Just an oddly written article.

Viral fever death count rises to 10
By By our correspondent

Doctors have detected an increasing malaria infection among the residents of Deh Allahbannu Villages, located at the outskirts of Karachi near Hawkes Bay. The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) claims that 10 people, including five children, four females and one male have died due to the disease so far.

Those who died due to viral fever include Kulsoom, 50, of Haji Noor Mohammed village, Malookan, 23 of Ali Bakhsh village Zubeida, 27 of Haji Ibrahim village (both of whom were pregnant), and Hafeezan Jokhyo and 18-month-old Asif of Pabb Allahyar village. The Keamari Town health officer, Dr Nazir Kolachi, told The News on Monday that a 10-member team of doctors and paramedical staff is visiting the area for vaccinating the people to avert further loss of lives. According to the PFF spokesperson, several people are either hospitalised or suffering from the disease at their homes. A majority of the villagers are unable to afford the expenses to take their loved ones to city hospitals, which is why 10 people have died.

The PFF has approached both the government and private sector organisations to seek help to address the health problem in the fishermen localities. The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) General Secretary, Dr Qaisar Sajjad, with the help of doctors from the Civil Hospital, arranged free diagnostic tests for five people, the PFF said. Furthermore, the PFF is also waiting to see the test report that is due on Tuesday (today) and then they would possibly take other steps in coordination with other organisations, including the PMA and Keamari Town health officials, to control the disease.



India(Uttar Pradesh): mystery virus leaves 12 people dead over the past 3 days
and 336 in the past 9 months.

... Local people believe the virus is a deadly strain of Japanese encephalitis, but health officials and experts say this is unlikely, IANS (Indo-Asian News Service) reported. Extensive immunization against Japanese encephalitis was carried out in the region after an outbreak of the disease killed over a 1000 people in 2005, most of them children....

...Kushwaha believes the virus is a variation of [viral?] encephalitis. "Surely, this is not Japanese encephalitis, against which we had immunised 7.5 million children in May-June this year [2007]," he said. "From my experience, I could say that the virus is a new kind of encephalitis.

Experts from 3 leading national scientific institutions -- the National Institute of Virology, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, and the Centre for Research and Medical Entomology -- have not yet been able to identify the virus, the IANS agency reported.


Should we start numbering the mystery viruses??

Uttar Pradesh is in the north of India.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Viral fever in Pakistan, mysterious fever
in India. Hmmm. I agree Jane. Maybe we SHOULD start numbering the mysterious viruses! If bf wasn't circulating, I wouldn't have my tinfoil hat on.

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
Charlie Rose-GLOBAL HEALTH -10/ 29/'07
Charlie Rose on PBS>>>http://www.charliero...

Charlie Rose Science Series Episode #10 - GLOBAL HEALTH October 29, 2007

Discussion on the Challenge of Researching and Implementing Affordable Treatments for the World's Major Infectious Diseases

The upcoming episode of the Charlie Rose Science Series will
discuss the fundamental problems of health in the developing world -- ranging from the AIDS crisis to malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, dengue fever and other neglected diseases.

A group of experts will explore the challenge of researching and implementing affordable treatments, as well as the physical,political and psychological obstacles that poverty presents in getting these therapies to the people who need them.

Guests will include:
-- Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine at George Washington University

-- Jeffrey Sachs, PhD, Director of The Earth Institute and
Professor of Health Policy and Management at... {Earth Institute of Columbia University}

-- Tonya Villafana, PhD, MPH, Director, Portfolio Management System at the Malaria Vaccine Initiative

-- Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF


Pakistan Suspect Degue Haemorrhagic Fever
Suspected dengue patient admitted at PIMS

By Jamila Achakzai
Comment:  In another news article out of Pakistan (different area) they mention testing for dengue as if it was a routine and straight forward issue.  This article indicates that testing has not been done.  You would think a haemorrhagic case would be tested immediately.  A bit odd.

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has admitted a patient suspected of suffering from Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever.

Though not confirmed by the doctors and nurses, hospital sources told Daily Times that Muhammad Yasin, a resident of Haripur (NWFP), who is under treatment in medical ward II, had symptoms similar to that of dengue fever.

Sources said the patient's nose and mouth started bleeding on Eid day. His family got frightened and took him to the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital in Haripur where the doctors kept him under treatment for a few days. After certain tests, they referred him to PIMS. The patient's nose and mouth are still bleeding and the doctors at PIMS have been injecting blood and platelets into him to counter excessive blood loss.

Normally, PIMS collects blood samples of suspected dengue patient to be tested at the National Institute of Health (NIH) laboratory but so far Yasin's blood has not been sent for testing.

PIMS has an isolation centre of four rooms for patients diagnosed with dengue and other contagious diseases. The hospital also keeps such patients in medical ward II.

At official level, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and the adjoining areas are free of the dengue epidemic. Nevertheless, doctors have advised people to use mosquito nets and insecticides to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

The PIMS administration also started to install mosquito nets and take other preventive measures since last week.

According to Directorate of Malaria Control Programme's (DoMCP) Dr Faisal Mansoor dengue causing mosquitoes are active during the day and people should keep their bodies covered as far as possible to avoid bites.

The spokesperson for the Health Ministry Mazhar Nisar was unavailable to comment on whether there has been any change in the official stance despite repeated attempts.


21 pupils show respiratory infection signs HK

The Centre for Health Protection found 21 Sha Tin kindergarten pupils with upper respiratory tract infection symptoms since October 9.
The children, nine boys and 12 girls, all aged three, developed fever, cough, runny noses and sore throats. Four of them were admitted to hospitals while 17 of them sought medical attention from private doctors or public clinics. Three of those who were hospitalised have been sent home, while one remains in hospital in stable condition.
The centre has conducted field visits to the school which is  under close watch

It urges the public and management of institutions to take preventive measures against respiratory tract infections by observing strict environmental and personal hygiene

Be Prepared

USA- 209 seabirds found dead WASH
Department is investigating the death of 209 seabirds found dead on a beach near Indianola on the west side of Puget Sound at the Port Madison Reservation. Most of the birds found Sunday were common murres and about a dozen were Pacific loons. The state agency sent some of the birds to a lab to determine the cause of death. One Fish and Wildlife official, deputy chief of enforcement Mike Cenci, says the potential causes include disease, pollution or the incidental death of the fish-eating birds in purse seine nets.)


Be Prepared

[ Parent ]
FEMA under fire for 'faking' news conference

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House scolded the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday for staging a phony news conference about assistance to victims of wildfires in southern California.


White House press secretary Dana Perino said it was not appropriate that the questions were posed by agency staffers instead of reporters. FEMA was responsible for the "error in judgment," she said, adding that the White House did not know about it beforehand and did not condone it.

You want perspective. I want perspective. Let's talk. We don't have to agree on every thing. If we do, one of us is redundant.

Philippines - Cebu 25 people fell ill

ALEGRIA, Cebu may be placed under a state of calamity after 25 people fell ill, reportedly with typhoid fever.Mayor Raul Guisadio said there are indications that water they drank made the victims sick.


The Integrated Provincial Health Office (Ipho) has already taken rectal swabs from at least 12 victims to see what type of bacteria infected them.It also gave the patients antibiotics and paracetamol as treatment.Dr. Cristina Giango, Ipho chief, said they could determine what caused the outbreak once laboratory test results are in.


Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium salmonella typhi/typhosa. It is "more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage," according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Giango said she could not confirm the total number of victims because others were admitted to district hospitals in the neighboring towns of Badian and Malabuyoc.

India: more than a dozen children dying of meningo-encephalitis in Bihar
With more than a dozen children dying of meningo-encephalitis (a combination of meningitis and encephalitis owing both to viral and bacterial infections) in the Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College and Hospital and widespread outbreak of Chikungunya in southern parts of Gaya town, the two diseases have taken an epidemic form.
Nearly 150 meningo-encephalitis victims were admitted to the hospital in recent days. The number of deaths caused by meningitis is said to be much higher than that being given by the health officials, as they have the figures only of the deaths taking place in the hospital..



map: http://www.mapsofind...

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Polio in India, Sudan, Chad, and DR Congo
Ten more cases of polio with the P3 strain of the virus have been detected in Bihar over the past week, taking the toll of children afflicted by the P3 strain in the state to 33 this year [2007]

Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of P3-positive cases (235),
followed by Bihar and Uttarakhand (4)...

...UN agencies and Sudanese health officials began a 2-day countrywide
polio immunisation campaign on [23 Oct 2007], following reports of a
new case of the disease in Darfur.

No polio cases had been reported in Sudan since August 2005, granting
the country WHO certification as polio-free. The new case, which was
confirmed in a boy from South Darfur, may have spread from
neighbouring Chad, the health agency said...

..The detection of 6 cases in Chad this year (2007)
underlines the ongoing threat of re-infection from endemic areas....

..as of 23 Oct 2007, there
have been a total of 32 cases of wild poliovirus-associated paralytic
disease reported from the DR Congo, not including the above mentioned
2 cases of WPV-1 from Orientale province. Historically, in 2000 there
were 28 cases of polio reported; there were no cases reported during
the period 2001 through 2005; and in 2006, there were 13 cases
reported. As with Chad, all cases reported since 2003 have been
considered importation-related ...


All these catastrophes aren't going away (wars, drought, floods), and people migrate through areas that are disease reservoirs.  Hooray for WHO and all these reporting doctors who are trying to stay of top of things.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Mystery Fever Panic - India (Important Maybe)
Mystery fever triggers panic

Statesman News Service
BASHIRHAT, Oct. 29: After a lapse of about two months, the threat of chikunguniya has gripped people in various parts of North 24-Parganas.
The district health department is yet to confirm it. Meanwhile, symptoms of a mystery fever has created panic in Bashirhat and Bongaon. It is somewhat similar to that of chikunguniya.
The common symptoms of both the diseases are joint ache, headache, fever and appearance of rashes on limbs.
A person, Baidhyanath Mondal, (50), has died of this fever in Bashirhat.
The prevalence of the mystery fever has become a real threat to the residents of Bongaon and Bashirhat. According to an official of the Bashirhat sub-division, more that 200 people who have contracted fever are presently undergoing treatment at various hospitals.
Nearly, 1,000 people are paying visits to the Out Patient Department (OPD) at the Chandpara Block Hospital with symptoms of the mystery fever. About 400 people have been currently admitted to the hospital with similar symptoms.
Three Border Security Force (BSF) personnel have also died after being contracted with mystery fever in Bashirhat area. "The investigation team from BSF had visited the area to find the actual cause behind the death. They will send a report to us. Till then we can't say whether the victims had of chikunguniya. They might have died due to food poisoning," said Mrs Apala Seth, sub divisional Officer, Bashirhat.
A senior district health official said: "The affected people may not be suffering from chikunguniya, but the symptoms of the fever is similar to it. Officers of the district health department are taking appropriate steps on an emergency basis to tackle any eventuality."
However, locals in Bongaon and Bashirhat, alleged that the district health department has done little to tackle the situation.
Some Trinamul Congress supporters have resorted to road blockades in Bongaon demanding proper and timely treatment of the affected villagers.
"To tackle an emergency, we are calling junior doctors from all the districts to join our medical camps," said Dr Kushum Kumar Adhikari, the chief medical officer of health.


Here is a map:


Calcutta, India - Important
Comment:  Calcutta is just to the south of the area mentioned in the article above.  I suspect the "viral fever" mentioned in the article below is the same disease agent (not certain though).  In my opinion this could be important.  If this is the same disease and it is now in Calcutta then the next few days should reveal whether it is something to dismiss or something to pay close attention to.

Alert on viral attacks

Doctors have warned of an outbreak of viral fever in the city. A number of malaria and typhoid cases, too, have been reported in the past few days.

"We are getting patients with symptoms of viral fever daily," said Subrata Maitra, a critical care expert. The symptoms include high-medium fever, severe joint pain, skin rashes and respiratory distress, often as severe as an asthma attack.

"Such viral attacks are common during season changes. Those susceptible to cold and bronchial attacks can take preventive influenza vaccines," Mitra said.

"The virus is attacking a patient's gastro-intestinal system before spreading to other parts of the body," said Milan Chetri, a consultant in internal medicine at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, where around 20 patients were admitted with fever and other discomfort in past few days.

Doctors are banking on symptomatic treatments. The fever usually lasts for a week, but can also drag on. "In some cases, it took four to six weeks for the fever to subside," said Chetri.

Along with viral fever, malaria cases are being reported from across the city, including Kidderpore, Ekbalpore and its adjoining areas.

"We have started detecting malaria cases after the monsoon withdrew from the state. But the number is much less than last year's figures," said a senior official in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation's health department.

Doctors have come across indications of the malaria virus becoming resistant to chloroquine. "We have to prescribe other anti-malarial drugs," said a doctor.

A few typhoid cases, too, have been reported.


[ Parent ]
Nadia, India - Viral fever
Comment:  This area is north of Calcutta

Viral fever grips Nadia

Statesman News Service
KRISHNAGAR, Nov. 4: Residents of two blocks in Nadia, Haringhata and Chakdah, are reeling under the grip of viral fever, which has claimed one victim and several others are currently hospitalised.
According to reports, a 22-year-old woman ~ Parvati Barui, resident of Darabpur in Nadia's Chakdah block, died yesterday after suffering from high fever for almost a week, while hundreds of residents in Haringhata and Chakdah blocks have been afflicted with the viral fever for the last 15 days. Dr Mrinal Kanti Biswas, chief medical officer of health, confirmed the death and said: "The woman came from Delhi recently and she had been suffering from enteric fever for the last seven days. The victim was examined by private doctors and she had refused to get admitted to the Kalyani Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Hospital because of some prejudice."
Mr Amulya Mondol, panchayat pradhan of Hingnara-I panchayat in Chakdah said: "Hundreds of villagers have been suffering from the viral fever for the last two weeks and panic has gripped the residents of the Hingnara panchayat, with the disease casting its shadow on almost every household. Those suffering from high fever are also experiencing excruciating joint pain. About ten of the seriously ill patients have already been admitted to the Kalyani JNM hospital."
In Haringhata block, hundreds of residents in Dighalgram, Parulia, Sia, Mahadevpur and Anandapur areas have also been suffering from viral fever. "We are keeping a close watch on the situation. From the reports, which we have received from our medical teams, the villagers are suffering from high fever. I have sent medical teams to each of these areas to combat the situation. The medical team has collected ten blood samples from each affected areas and they have been sent to the School of Tropical Medicine (STM) for the tests. Currently, the situation is under control and our doctors are camping at the affected areas," Dr Biswas added.
"The primary reason behind this is the frequent fluctuation in temperature and humidity levels. Different types of virus become active and spread rapidly in such climatic conditions. Almost 40 per cent of patients admitted in the JNM Hospital are suffering from viral fever," said Dr Nirupam Biswas, superintendent of the Kalyani JNM Hospital.



[ Parent ]
Mystery disease - Bangladesh
Comment:  I believe this may be near the India regions affected by "viral fever" reported up above, but over in Bangladesh.  The first article below was from a few days ago (Nov. 6), the second is from today.

Five killed in mysterious disease

UNB, Sylhet

Five people including four children died of a unknown disease while over 100 people were affected in Lathi village in Goainghat upazila in two days since Saturday.

The dead were identified as Hena Begum, 5, her mother Mostafa Begum, 28, Ria Begum, 3, daughter of Anwar Miah and two daughters of Aminuddin-Rumi Begum, 6 and Alkuma Begum, 2. Besides, 14 people who have symptoms of the mysterious disease have been admitted to hospital. A medical team from Sylhet led by civil surgeon Dr. AZ Mahbub Ahmed went to the upazila for investigation of the disease.


Mysterious disease kills children
A MYSTERIOUS disease that took the lives of nine people at Goainghat in eastern Sylhet district has spread to the village of Companyganj sub-district where at least five children died on Wednesday and Thursday.
Lucky Akhter and her sister Tanni, Momina, Asiya and Sohel of Tukergaon village died in Osmani Medical College Hospital (OMCH).
They were first admitted to Companyganj Health Complex but later shifted to OMCH.
Villagers said more than a dozen people were afflicted by the disease with symptoms of fever and vomiting.


[ Parent ]
Calcutta - Viral Fever
Viral fever on a comeback trail
11 Nov 2007, 0211 hrs IST,Prithvijit Mitra,TNN

  KOLKATA: Less than three months after it seemed to have bid adieu for the year, the dreaded 'Calcutta fever' is back. And this time, the viral fever is turning out to be of an even more severe strain than the earlier one that had hit the city in August. Along with the customary joint aches and weakness, running nose and headaches, it's taking longer for the temperature to subside and is often being accompanied by a severe bout of diarrhoea.

Government and private hospitals have been flooded with patients over the last two weeks. And antibiotics are proving to be futile. "We have had the Rhino and the Corona virus recently. Every time, the virus changes its strain and tends to become a little more virulent. The immune system can't fight a new strain. The humidity has made things worse," said microbiologist Pratip Kundu.

Others, like microbiologist Manas Sarkar, agreed. A return of the viral fever, he felt, could be linked to the weather. "This year, winter seems to be setting in late. The prevailing humidity is helping the virus to thrive," added Sarkar.

This time, doctors are prescribing antibiotics to fight the accompanying bacterial infection, which is leading to a severe cold in most patients. "In some cases, the virus is even travelling to the brain, which can be dangerous. So, we are prescribing a lumber puncture for patients suffering from severe headaches," said doctor Rajiv Sil.

  "We see new strains every year and this could be one of those. We can only treat patients on the basis of symptoms. We can't wait for an antigen test before prescribing medicines, for that will take some time and the patient will suffer," said Sarkar.

Along with the viral attack, many in Kolkata have also been struck by chikungunya and malaria since October. The similar symptoms often leave doctors confused. "In several cases, blood tests have revealed that the patient is suffering from chikungunya or malaria after we had started treating him or her for viral infection," said Sil.


[ Parent ]
Medical Camp, Moreh, India
Medical camp held at Moreh

The Imphal Free Press

MOREH, Oct 25: A free medical camp was held today at the Moreh supermarket as part of the first ever programme taken up under the Campaign for Unity Development and Peace in Manipur in Chandel district.

Yangsosang Koireng, convenor of the UNIDEP campaign organising committee, told mediapersons that the medical camp was being organised in view of the mystery disease that has seriously affected the Moreh area, and on the request of the Moreh public.

He also stressed the need for promotion of understanding, peace, unity and development in the multi-community Moreh area, which is a very important place for Manipur.

Koireng further expressed his desire to visit the remote villages lying in the vicinity of the border town to see first hand the problems faced by them, and to hold similar medical camps there.

He further informed that as part of the UNIDEP campaign, 10 quintals of rice and a quantity of kerosene oil would be provided to people of Moreh living below the poverty line.


Please see more info concerning this "mystery disease" in Moreh here:  http://www.newfluwik...

Moreh, India - Dengue
Comment:  One would think dengue would have been identified before this if it is the causative agent.

Moreh mystery disease detected to be dengue, Blood tested at Mumbai lab found positive

A Lalit

MOREH, Nov 6: The mystery disease that has caused several deaths in the Moreh area in the past few weeks has been confirmed to be dengue fever. Blood samples from a patient which were tested at a Mumbai laboratory have been found positive for dengue, health authorities here said.

The CMO, Moreh hospital, has dispatched an SOS to the state health department in this connection, seeking urgent assistance for bringing the disease under control. Moreh-based civil society organisations have also taken the initiative to alert the public and spread awareness of preventive measures.

It may be mentioned, over the past several weeks, since the last part of September, several dozen people living in Moreh and its vicinity had fallen ill due to the unknown disease, which had characteristics of viral fever. A high percentage, well over a dozen, had also died of the illness, but till date doctors, including experts from the district headquarters were unable to determine its exact nature.



[ Parent ]
Dengue, or not
Dengue fear, fever still grip Moreh
Source: The Sangai Express / Laishram Shamungou

Moreh, November 25: Several measures taken up by the State Government to combat dengue outbreak in Moreh is still not enough to remove people's fear of the disease as it is claiming human lives, although few in number, now and then.

Since the outbreak of an unknown disease, suspected to be dengue, in the border town in the early part of October, the disease has claimed 25 lives till date.

This include two cases with two succumbing to the disease on November 22 and 23.However, according to official records, the human casualty of the disease suspected to be dengue stands only at 4.From October till November 16, the number of people admitted to Moreh Hospital with fever cases was 725, informed its MO in-charge Dr Y Mani.

The State came to know about the outbreak of dengue or a dengue like disease at Moreh only after blood samples of two patients were sent to Mumbai for laboratory test following death of a woman out of two sisters from Moreh.

The two who were admitted to RIMS who showed symptoms similar to those of dengue a few days later.

On November 13, 12 year old Sweeta d/o Khangenbam Shanti of Moreh Ward No 6, Tali Road was admitted to Maroodyan, a private located at Puleiromba Khongnangkhong, Imphal as she suffered from high fever.

Suspicious of the symptoms shown by the girl, her blood sample was sent to Mumbai for laboratory test.

The results of the test received today has confirmed that the girl is suffering from dengue.

The condition of the girl is now out of danger and she is recovering.

As it is the first time that Manipur is facing a dengue outbreak, the medical professionals of the State are facing certain shortcomings in treating the disease starting from blood sample collection, observed many medical experts.

Given the scenario the people of Moreh are still gripped by fear and feel insecure as there is no facility to confirm whether any case of fever is dengue or not, either at Moreh or Imphal.

The denizens of Moreh are caught in such a situation where their conditions cannot be confirmed here.

As the blood platelet of a person infected with dengue disappears very soon, what is most essential in treating the disease is blood transfusion.

Ironically there is no facility for blood transfusion in the border town.

The incubation period of dengue is 7 days.

Considering the difficulties in identifying the disease and medication, the people of Moreh wish effective measures to check further spread of the disease.

In addition to fogging undertaken by the State Government to eliminate carrier/host mosquitoes and larva and the awareness programme on sanitation, the affected people of Moreh want more intense control measures.

Even though the origin of the outbreak is still unclear, it is suspected that the disease might have spread from Namphalong and Tamu across the international border, disclosed Dr Mani.

The suspicion is primarily aroused by deaths due to dengue at Namphalong and Tamu earlier.

To a query on the outbreak of dengue at Moreh only recently even though the disease has been observed across the border since some time back, Dr Mani noted that unhealthy living conditions and bad sanitation system might be responsible for spreading the disease to Moreh.

Before dengue was confirmed from the blood samples collected from the two sisters admitted to RIMS, the family members of a Bihari man staying at Moreh was informed of the possibility of dengue when he was down with high fever, claimed Dr Mani.

Even though there were many casualties following outbreak of dengue in Moreh town, all the victims belong to Moreh town and there is no sign of the disease spreading to surrounding areas.


[ Parent ]
US - Racine Students Sick - noro virus ?

RACINE - The Racine Health Department is investigating an illness that effected roughly 90 students at three different middle schools in Racine.

Students at Starbuck, Mitchell and Gilmore middle schools started throwing up with flu like symptoms. The health department tells TODAY'S TMJ4 as many as 60 kids got sick at Starbuck Middle School, as many as 25 kids got sick at Mitchell Middle School and 5 kids got sick at Gilmore Middle School.

The Racine Unified School District has decided to cancel school on Thursday, November 1 for Starbuck Middle, Mitchell Middle, and Mitchell Elementary. Staff needs to sanitize all surfaces at the school before students can return. Students at Gilmore Middle school will have school Thursday, November 1 because only five students were sick there.

The Racine Health Department is investigating how the kids got sick. TODAY'S TMJ4 will provide more information to parents and staff as we receive it.

Norovirus or food poisoning
If all three middle schools get their hot lunches from a common food preparation facility, food poisoning is another possible culprit.

[ Parent ]
This has nothing to do with AI. Yet
But it is a possibility. If water shortages occur because there aren't enought workers at the water plant, or water becomes non-potable due to lack of chlorine, a lot of us could be looking at something like this:


ORME, Tenn. (AP) - As twilight falls over this Tennessee town, Mayor Tony Reames drives up a dusty dirt road to the community's towering water tank and begins his nightly ritual in front of a rusty metal valve.

With a twist of the wrist, he releases the tank's meager water supply, and suddenly this sleepy town is alive with activity. Washing machines whir, kitchen sinks fill and showers run.

About three hours later, Reames will return and reverse the process, cutting off water to the town's 145 residents.

The severe drought tightening like a vise across the Southeast has threatened the water supply of cities large and small, sending politicians scrambling for solutions. But Orme, about 40 miles west of Chattanooga and 150 miles northwest of Atlanta, is a town where the worst-case scenario has already come to pass: The water has run out.


Between 6 and 9 every evening, the town scurries. Residents rush home from their jobs at the carpet factories outside town to turn on washing machines. Mothers start cooking supper. Fathers fill up water jugs. Kids line up to take showers.


"I feel for the folks in Atlanta," he says, his gravelly voice barely rising above the sound of rushing water from the town's tank. "We can survive. We're 145 people. You've got 4.5 million people down there. What are they going to do? It's a scary thought."

Russia: PRRS in Irkutsk
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (North American genotype [!?])
It started in August, but wasn't reported until Oct. 30.  (Two outbreaks in all, so far.  Origin unknown.)

Tiny print report:

Irkutsk borders Krasnoyarsk.  The farm is in Kazarsky at lat. 57 and long. 106.18.
map of Russia:

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

UK: Bed-blocking 'on the rise again'
Delayed discharges from hospitals - so-called "bed-blocking" - rose sharply last year...

...Delayed discharges do not mean that hospitals are taking too long to get patients ready to leave, but are often due to delays in arranging the necessary level of care for patients who are often still heavily dependent following serious illness or major surgery.
  In 2005/06, a total of 756,581 "bed-days" were lost due to delayed discharge in acute hospitals - each "bed day" meaning a single day in which a bed was unavailable for a new patient because its previous occupant was staying too long....
When delayed discharges from community hospitals - which submitted figures for the first full year in 2006/07 - are added to the total, there were more than a million...

..."No one wants to stay in hospital longer than they have to but it is sadly the case that older patients often have nowhere else to go," he said.

"The NHS and social services have failed to invest adequately in appropriate community services and support, which is leaving it unsafe to discharge some older people from hospital."

He said that the same deficiencies were leading to large numbers of patients having to be re-admitted to hospital because the right support was not in place to help them cope at home.

The Local Government Association said it was unfair to blame local authorities for any increase in delayed discharges.

A spokesman said: "These figures clearly demonstrate that health and social care are two sides of the same coin; where you underfund one, you overstretch the other...


And the pandemic hasn't started yet...

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Targeted cleaning 'key to MRSA'
Microbiologist Dr Stephanie Dancer said cleaning should focus on objects which people frequently touch rather than on "catch-all blitzes".

She found bed linen, gowns and tables were a more common source of the superbug than floors, the Lancet Infectious Diseases study said...

...Dr Dancer, from Glasgow's South General Hospital, said the problem was that hospital cleaning tended to concentrate on areas of visible dirt such as floors...

...Bed linen, patient gowns and overbed tables were the most common sources with over 40% of these sites contaminated.

Door handles, bed-rails, furniture and taps were also common sources, she said.

Dr Dancer also claimed that the cleaning did not even need to be done with state-of-the-art cleaning agents.

"Hot soapy water is enough," she said....

She also criticised the Department of Health in England for the plans for a deep clean of hospitals.

"It is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. And anyway it will only have an impact in the first week and then hospitals will be dirty again."...


"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

targeted cleaning is interesting
there was this "speed cleaning" book and website (the clean team) ... never thought this might become a survival strategy, and we might have to ask them to free their book (for some money, maybe)

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
link to speed cleaning "rules"

i wonder if we could have our own set of rules :-?

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

[ Parent ]
UK: 'Mystery' skin disease in farmers
The condition affects the ears, which become hot, itchy and sore before blistering and crusting.

A study in the British Journal of Dermatology found it only occurs during lambing season, which lasts up to three months, but the cause is unclear.

The researchers from Southampton believe "lambing ear" may be a problem associated with indoor farming....

...Mr Heathcoate decided to write a letter to Farmers Weekly magazine to find out how many other farmers had the condition.

A total of 69 responded, all of whom said the condition only occurred during lambing or calving.

But similar letters in farming magazines in Australia, New Zealand and the Falklands found no one in those countries who seemed to be affected....


"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Penn.: Radio engineer invents cancer-fighting machine
John Kanzius was suffering from chemotherapy for leukemia, witnessed the pain of children with the same disease, decided there must be a better way, then went into his garage and developed a cancer-fighting machine that has doctors marveling.

  "I noticed young kids losing their smiles, losing their hair. And I said to myself, 'Today's chemotherapy is cruel. There's gotta be a better way to cure cancer,'" Kanzius told ABC News.

  Combining knowledge from his days as a radio engineer with spare parts from ham radios and pie pans, he invented the first generation of what would become a machine that uses radio waves  instead of radioactivity to fight cancer....

...Is it possible a retired businessman who made a fortune owning radio stations in Pennsylvania could invent a breakthrough in cancer treatment? Some medical professionals think there's a good chance.

  "It's beyond remarkable," said Dr. Steven Curley of the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. "He was just a private citizen who just came up with an idea and had the wherewithal and the tinkering ability to do it."

  Curley and his colleagues at the center took Kanzius' made-in-the-garage invention very seriously. They tested the radio-wave technology on animals, and say they completely destroyed liver cancer tumors in rabbits. The findings will be part of a study to be published in the journal Cancer...


"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Australia: Water war! Australian man killed for watering lawn
A 66-year-old Australian man was beaten to death while watering his lawn after a dispute with a neighbor about the city's water restrictions, police and media said Thursday....

...Proctor was complying with Sydney's water restrictions when he was killed. Watering with hand-held hoses is allowed on Wednesdays and Sundays before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

  All major cities in Australia have water use restrictions as the nation experiences its worst drought in a century.


People under stress can be dangerous.  What do we need to learn to defuse bad situations?

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

MN Lake has die-off of bluebill ducks...

DEER RIVER, Minn. - As many as 3,000 bluebill ducks have died along the western shore of Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota, and wildlife biologists say they were likely poisoned by a parasite present in snails.

Officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources collected the dead bluebills, also known as lesser scaup, on Friday and anticipated the die-off would continue.

"We're going to find a lot more dead," said Steve Cordts, a DNR waterfowl specialist in Bemidji.

DNR officials sent samples of the dead ducks to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., and are advising hunters against eating any duck that appears to be diseased.

The snails the ducks eat contain a trematode, which is a kind of parasitic fluke. It's likely new to the ducks' ecosystem, Cordts said.

Nah, it couldn't be....

nothing left to do but :) :) :)

Angola - Mysterious Disease Outbreak
Health experts puzzled by mysterious Angola outbreak
Wed 7 Nov 2007, 10:11 GMT
[-] Text [+]

By Zoe Eisenstein

LUANDA (Reuters) - International health officials are investigating the emergence of a mysterious disease in Angola that has killed at least four people and sickened more than 200.

The illness, which leads to weakness, muscular spasms, mental confusion and speech impairment, surfaced in Cacuaco, near Luanda, in early October, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a press release sent to Reuters late on Tuesday.

It has since spread to seven neighbourhoods in the municipality, about 20 km (12.5 miles) north of the Angolan capital and home to some 200,000 people.

"As of 1st of November, more than 200 cases including four deaths have been reported," the WHO said in its statement.

Experts from the WHO, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Angolan government are investigating the outbreak.



"Blogging the Pakistan Emergency" - an ongoing story

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

"intentional optimism" and "ideas that are lying around"

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

Philippines - Cadet death, respiratory infection
PMA cadet dies of respiratory infection


The Philippine Star

A senior cadet of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) reportedly died from respiratory tract infection, an official said.

PMA spokesman Capt. Dennis Solomon said Cadet First Class Reenan Ferrer, 22, of Las Piñas City, died at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC) in Quezon City at around 8:40 a.m. the other day after six days of confinement.

Ferrer was the second cadet to die this year of a respiratory illness.

"PMA officials promptly initiated a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the cadet's death," he said.

Initial investigation revealed that Ferrer was brought to Perpetual Help Hospital in Las Piñas City due to an intermittent fever.

He was subsequently referred to the AFPMC, where he suffered several seizures despite continued medications and monitoring.

Solomon said Ferrer's family agreed to conduct an autopsy on the cadet's body to establish the cause of death.



dead bird dead person-Dozens treated after Grand Canyon biologist dies
Dozens treated after Grand Canyon biologist dies
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. -- More than two dozen people who came in close contact with a National Park Service wildlife biologist found dead last week are being given antibiotics because he may have died of an infectious disease.

Eric York, 37, was found in his home at the Grand Canyon National Park on Friday. The Coconino County Medical Examiner suspects an infectious illness may have killed York because his lungs were filled with fluid and his body showed signs of pneumonia. Tests results are expected later this week.

Because of York's professional interests and hobbies, medical officials believe hantavirus and plague are possible causes, according to a Park Service spokeswoman.

The Park Service has located approximately 30 people who came within 6 feet of York in the days before his death and while retrieving his body, and all are being treated with a 7-day course of antibiotics as a precaution, spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said.........


Be Prepared

and maybe getting Tamiflu? yikes n/t

[ Parent ]
But . . .
If they don't know what the infection is (was), then how can they determine appropriate antibiotic prophylactic therapy?

[ Parent ]
Hantavirus is not spread H2H so why are they testing his close contacts?

How is HPS transmitted?
Hantavirus is transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Individuals become infected with HPS after breathing fresh aerosolized urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials. Transmission can also occur when these materials are directly introduced into broken skin, the nose or the mouth. If a rodent with the virus bites someone, the virus may be spread to that person, but this type of transmission is rare.

Can you contract HPS from another person?
HPS in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another. You cannot get the virus from touching or kissing a person who has HPS or from a health care worker who has treated someone with the disease. In addition, you cannot contract the virus from a blood transfusion in which you receive blood from a person who survived HPS.


HPS is an airborne infectious disease. The virus becomes airborne when the particles [in rodent droppings] dry out and get stirred into the air (especially from sweeping a floor or shaking a rug). Humans then inhale these particles, which leads to the infection.

Other possible methods of contracting HPS include: (a) being bitten by a rodent that is carrying the hantavirus, (b) eating food or drinking water that has been exposed to a hantavirus carrier, or (c) bringing hantavirus-infected particles or droplets into contact with your nose, eyes, or mouth (e.g. licking your hands).

What are the symptoms of HPS?

The very first symptoms can occur anywhere between five days and three weeks after infection. They almost always include fever, fatigue, and aching muscles (usually in the back, shoulders, and/or thighs). Other early symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal discomfort (such as vomiting, nausea, and/or diarrhea).

These early symptoms are very difficult to distinguish, and as such they are usually overlooked. In fact, these symptoms are frequently described as "flu-like", because they indicate that the body's immune system is kicking in to defend itself against a viral infection, flu or otherwise. Most people experience these symptoms at least once a year, and HPS will almost never be diagnosed at this point.

(Conversely, rashes, sore throats, and earaches are not typical symptoms of HPS. These symptoms are sometimes used diagnostically to determine when a hantavirus infection is unlikely. Also, HFRS will lead to hemmorhages and severe kidney disfunction, which HPS does not.)

HPS starts to distinguish itself in its later symptoms, which usually occur between three to five days later. These pronounced symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath. This is known as the "cardiopulmonary phase" of the disease, where the body reacts as the lungs start to fill up with fluid. From here, the disease progresses very rapidly; the shortness of breath leads to acute repiratory distress, often within 24 hours.

Breathing will become extremely labored and difficult, and in many cases, it will eventually become impossible for the victim to breathe unassisted. The heart rate will also slow down considerably. If the victim is not receiving medical assistance during this phase of the disease, they will likely die.

The primary cause of death will be excessive proteinaceous fluid in the lungs. The fluid, essentially plasma, is leaked from capillaries into the lungs' air sacs. Autopsies of HPS victims have found that their lungs were so severely fluid-filled, that they weighed twice as much as expected. However, death is frequently associated with shock and heart failure instead of "drowning"; the body's response to the trauma is actually more damaging than the trauma itself.

How is HPS treated?

HPS is a viral infection; if a severe viral infection cannot be prevented by a vaccine, then it can only be controlled with "aggressive supportive care", where the patient is provided continued medical assistance and (hopefully) kept alive long enough for their body to develop antibody resistance.

In the case of HPS, the patient will usually receive antibiotics initially, until the diagnosis of HPS is certain. Once HPS is proven, the patient will be transferred to an intensive-care unit, where they are carefully monitored for fluid balance, electrolyte balance, and blood pressure.

During the onset of the cardiopulmonary phase, the patient may need to be hooked up to a ventilator, which will hopefully keep them breathing. In some occasions, antiviral medication (such as Ribavirin and Bradycor) will be administered intravenously, although it hasn't shown much promise when fighting HPS. Interestingly enough, Ribavirin does appear to be an effective weapon against HFRS.

[ Parent ]
he died from plague
From local news

  Official says Grand Canyon biologist probably died of plague

08:36 AM Mountain Standard Time on Friday, November 9, 2007

Bob Christie / Associated Press Writer

PHOENIX -- Tests show a wildlife biologist at Grand Canyon National Park most likely died of plague.

The death of Eric York, 37, triggered a health scare and led to about 30 people being given antibiotics as a precaution.

An official who has been briefed on the test results confirmed that they were positive for plague, although the test isn't absolutely conclusive. The official didn't want to be named because an official announcement hasn't yet been made.

The National Park Service plans a midday press briefing to formally announce the test results. York died last week, and officials suspected plague or hantavirus because of his work and hobbies.

Both diseases, while rare, are endemic to the Southwest. Plague is transmitted primarily by fleas and direct contact with infected animals.

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it." -Mary Wilson Little

[ Parent ]
a bit more
News report said that they believe he contracted plague while doing a necropsy on a cougar.

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it." -Mary Wilson Little

[ Parent ]
Now the testing of people who had contact with him makes more sense

The pneumonic plague infects the lungs, and with that infection comes the possibility of person-to-person transmission through respiratory droplets. The incubation period for pneumonic plague is usually between two and four days, but can be as little as a few hours. The initial symptoms, of headache, weakness, and coughing with hemoptysis, are indistinguishable from other respiratory illnesses. Without diagnosis and treatment, the infection can be fatal in one to six days; mortality in untreated cases is 50-90%

[ Parent ]
Has anyone heard from ADuckOrangeMercurey lately?

I haven't seen ADOM post anywhere lately. n/t

[ Parent ]
Suspected Rift Valley Fever - Sudan
Suspected Rift Valley Fever kills more than 80 in Sudan

8 hours ago

GENEVA (AFP) - The World Health Organisation said Friday that more than 80 people had died from suspected Rift Valley Fever after an outbreak of the deadly viral disease in war-torn Sudan.

More than 25 of almost 230 suspected cases had been confirmed by laboratory analysis, WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told journalists. She did not have any figures for the number of confirmed deaths.

The cases occurred in the White Nile, Sinnar and Gazeera states, south of Khartoum.

There are no vaccines for humans who contract Rift Valley Fever, usually via mosquitos, Chaib said.

Health experts generally advise the public to only eat inspected meat, avoid human-animal contact, bury or burn dead animals and observe basic hygiene.

Victims usually experience fever, generalized weakness, back pain, dizziness, vomiting of blood and extreme weight loss at the onset of the illness.

Many patients recover within a week but others can die, including those with weakened immune systems, experts say.

The fever was first isolated in Kenya's Rift Valley region in 1930s but has since been recorded elsewhere on the continent and abroad.


Encephalitis kills 21, affects 200 in Bangladesh
as you read- remember that BF in a region has often first been mis-diagnosed as enceph.

Print Email Add to My Stories

Encephalitis kills 21, affects 200 in Bangladesh
Posted 7 hours 22 minutes ago

Encephalitis disorder has killed 21 people, mostly children, and affected some 200 others at a remote part of Bangladesh over the past week, health officials say. But they say they have not yet confirmed what caused the disease. At least 30 people are still in hospitals, with fever and vomiting.

The authorities employed several medical teams to control the disease, which was earlier branded as a mystery illness when it first broke out at Goainghat near Sylhet town, 350 kilometres north-east of the capital, Dhaka. "The preliminary diagnosis revealed that it was a type of encephalitis, inflammation of the brain," diagnostic team head Mahmudur Rahman said.

Mr Rahman said the patients were severely malnourished, with limited physical resistance against the disease. But he could not say why the patients were so malnourished.  He said Bangladesh's International Epidemiology Research Centre was closely working with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States to determine which bacteria or virus had caused the disease.

Encephalitis killed 23 people and infected dozens in Bangladesh in 2004. Before the diagnosis, many feared that the disease was bird flu.  Bird flu in Bangladesh has forced authorities to cull nearly 268,000 chickens and destroy nearly three million eggs since March this year.


Be Prepared

Pakistan - Fever deaths
14 high-grade fever deaths in Keamari Town spark fears
By By our correspondent

Fourteen people, including women and children, have died over the last month-and-a-half in 18 villages of Deh Allah Bano (Allah Obano), Keamari Town, reportedly of malaria or high grade fever, triggering fear and panic among the residents.

It also prompted the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Karachi, to set up a medical camp along with a modern laboratory test facility on Sunday (today) to ascertain the exact causes of deaths as the government was allegedly taking "inadequate steps" to control deaths apparently caused by preventable diseases.

The Town Health Officer (THO, Keamari, Dr Nazeer Kolachi, confirmed the death of seven people, which, according to him, was caused by 'high grade fever.' However, he said that blood samples of around six patients confirmed the existence of malaria in the area.

"We are sending a team of specialists along with laboratory equipment to take blood samples," Dr Qaiser Sajjad, secretary-general, PMA, said. He said they had already arranged for a test for five patients at the Civil Hospital, Karachi (CHK), and three of them were confirmed cases of malaria. He hinted that other patients might be suffering from a "viral problem". He said that there was no proper diagnosis facility to detect different viruses. He said that, at present, only "kits" were available to detect dengue or Congo viruses only but there is no facility to detect the "Chicken Gunia" virus, which had claimed several lives in India.

"We are not satisfied with the government's efforts," said Sami Memon, spokesman for Pakistan Fisherfolk's Forum (PFF), a representative organisation of the fishermen.

He said that Keamari Town had arranged a medical camp on Thursday just to "fulfill a formality". He said that, so far, 14 people had died over the last month-and-a-half. They were identified as Wasim Ishaq, 18, Fayaz, 6, Mab Bibi, five days old, Sher Jan, 20, Hasil Dolat, 40, Ms Kalsoom, 50, Ms Malooka, 23, (full-term pregnant), Ms Zubaida, 27, Ms Hafeeza, 50, Asif, year-and-a-half, Allah Bux, 18, Mohammed Hashim, 15, Karim Bux, 43, and Sonia, 12 days old.

He said that Karim Bux and Sonia died around three days ago, which put a question mark over the tall claims of the local government that they have taken steps to improve the health conditions there.

He said that transportation was also a problem as the villages were located around 50 kilometres away from the city.

Dr Nazeer Kolachi said that they have conducted fumigation in all villages.


Wisconsin: Pertussis in school district
Clark County school officials say an outbreak of pertussis, commonly
called whooping cough, has more than 1/3rd of Greenwood Junior High
and High School students staying home today [8 Nov 2007]. County
Health Officials say 32 cases have now been confirmed, and the school
district is fighting to contain the disease....

...The health department has set up a station inside the high school.
They say the cough is very contagious for those in close quarters,
even for those who have had the vaccination. In fact, county health
officials say every student that has been diagnosed with pertussis
has had a vaccination for the disease

...in order to protect the rest
of the community, it's important that anyone who has been in contact
with the disease stays home during treatment. Those receiving
treatment are asked not to return to school or work until they have
received at least 5 days of antibiotics...

...This is the 2nd outbreak of _Bordetella pertussis_ infection
reported within one week, both in junior and senior high school
students. It is among this age group that immunity to the infection
begins to wane and is the reason pertussis vaccine boosters are now
recommended for 11-12 year olds as well as once in adulthood
. Usually
a relatively mild disease in this age group resulting in a chronic
cough, infection in this age group can function as a reservoir to
infect infants, who have a substantial morbidity and mortality from pertussis.


I have to check my medical record now, for pertussis booster.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Ebola can mutate
Comment:  As if we did not have enough going on in the Indonesia diary, here's this:

Deadly Ebola virus can mutate, French scientists warn

55 minutes ago

PARIS (AFP) - French scientists said Monday the Ebola virus can swap genetic material to create new strains, a finding with wide ramifications for attempts to curb this vicious pathogen.

Until now, there was only one known strain of the so-called Zaire species of Ebola, the most brutal member of the Ebola viral family. It goes by the acronym of ZEBOV.

ZEBOV accounts for nearly nine-tenths of all deaths from haemorrhagic fever since Ebola was discovered in 1976 and was notably to blame for a six-week outbreak last September and October in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Investigators at France's Institute for Development Research (IRD) said that a probe into an outbreak of Ebola in Gabon and the Republic of Congo had thrown up a new variation of ZEBOV.



China sets strict rules on rabies-related dog killing
A spokesman for China's Ministry of Health (MOH) said here on Monday that government authorities would be prudent in issuing orders to kill dogs in a rabies epidemic.

  "When medical experts judge that an epidemic has become very severe and constitutes a threat to many people, killing dogs is an important measure to safeguard health and contain the epidemic," said spokesman Mao Qun'an.

  "But this measure should be adopted in a prudent way," he said at a regular press conference, noting the killing mainly targeted sick dogs and stray dogs...

  ...Mao was commenting on media reports that some local governments had slaughtered dogs after rabies cases were found.

  MOH statistics show that from January to October, 2,717 rabies cases were reported on the Chinese mainland, up 2.41 percent in the same period a year earlier...

...With more dogs being raised in China, many have not been vaccinated leading to the rabies increase. Some people had also refused to be vaccinated after they were bitten by dogs leading to a natural increase in rabies occurrences. Such problems were particularly serious in rural areas.


It sounds like this is saying people spread rabies.  Do they bite people before they die? 
At least now, it doesn't seem like the reason they were killing dogs was bird flu.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Latest on Rift Valley Fever (Sudan)...
from Reuters News ...

KHARTOUM, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Rift Valley Fever has killed 92 people in Sudan since reports of an outbreak surfaced a week ago and it is still spreading, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.

The UN body has started holding daily meetings to monitor the spread of the disease, which can kill as many as half of those who contract it, has no effective human vaccine and can devastate livestock.

A WHO spokeswoman said the latest figures showed 314 known human cases in Sudan, up from 228 reported six days ago, with a death rate of just under 30 percent.

In its most serious haemorrhagic form, which the WHO says has appeared in Sudan, it can kill up to 50 per cent of the people it infects.

full article here...


More surf, less web

CDC: Cold-virus variant has killed 10

CDC: Cold-virus variant has killed 10
updated 4:26 p.m. EST, Thu November 15, 2007

ATLANTA (AP) -- A mutated version of a common cold virus has caused 10 deaths in the last 18 months, U.S. health officials said Thursday.

Adenoviruses usually cause respiratory infections that aren't considered lethal. But a new variant has caused at least 140 illnesses in New York, Oregon, Washington and Texas, according to a report issued Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC officials don't consider the mutation to be a cause for alarm for most people, and they're not recommending any new precautions for the general public.


"What really got people's attention is these are healthy young adults landing in the hospital and, in some cases, the ICU," said Dr. John Su, an infectious diseases investigator with the CDC.

There are more than 50 distinct types of adenoviruses tied to human illnesses. They are one cause of the common cold, and also trigger pneumonia and bronchitis. Severe illnesses are more likely in people with weaker immune systems.


The Ad14 form of adenovirus was first identified in 1955. In 1969, it was blamed for a rash of illnesses in military recruits stationed in Europe, but it's been detected rarely since then. But it seems to growing more common. The strain accounted for 6 percent of adenovirus samples collected in 22 medical facilities in 2006, while none was seen the previous two years, according to a study published this month in the medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Is it just me, yet again?
This strikes a chilling chord.  Am I the only one who breaks out in a cold chill over not just the event, but the MSM coverage of this?

I'm not saying it's H5N1.  I am saying we may have more than one problem coming at us like unmanned freight trains barrelling down the track(s).

[ Parent ]
Holland - Seven hospitalised with probable parrot disease

At least seven people who visited a bird show in Weurt earlier this month have been hospitalised with suspected parrot disease (psittacose).

At least 16 people have become ill, a spokesman for the Nijmegen health service GGD told news agency ANP.

Some 200 people were at the show. Psittacose affects domestic fowl, ducks, pigeons and many wild birds. The human symptoms are flu-like headaches, nausea and fever.

Uganda - mytery fever.

A mysterious fever has killed at least 14 people and infected two dozen others in western Uganda over the past three weeks, a health ministry official said Friday. Authorities have deployed medics to Uganda's Bundibugyo district, on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the strain was first reported, said Sam Zaramba, director of medical services. Laboratory tests have ruled out the lethal haemorrhagic Marburg fever, but patients are complaining of abdominal pains, severe diarrhoea and fever, although none suffered from bleeding, he said. "My team has been on the ground for the past week trying to establish what the disease is. But its symptoms are not similar to those of the known haemorrhagic fevers," said Zaramba.) 

UK: Don't you dare steward me (opinion piece)
Apparently everyone in our society is vulnerable and millions are harming the health of others. Really?

Forget about the hypothetical risks of a human bird flu epidemic or terror attacks on cinemas. The scariest thing I saw this week was the demand from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics for more "coercive" public health policies to protect "vulnerable people".

The influential Nuffield experts propose the sort of measures once considered the preserve of "health fascists": even higher taxes on alcohol, shorter licensing hours, a ban on smoking in your home, denying or delaying health treatment for unrepentant smokers and drinkers, compulsory food labelling, even anti-obesity architecture. Their report confirms that public health policy now means not just providing clean air or water, but policing personal behaviour...


"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

RAF Lakenheath - Wash your hands
Lakenheath urges awareness as several fall ill
By Sean Kimmons, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Monday, November 19, 2007

RAF LAKENHEATH, England - A public health official has advised base personnel to keep their hands clean after the military hospital here reported a higher-than average number of gastrointestinal illnesses recently.

There were 21 cases of stomach-related illnesses diagnosed in the two-day period at RAF Lakenheath's hospital, slightly higher than the typical seven-a-day average, according to public health flight commander Lt. Col. Steven Hinten.

The increase goes hand-in-hand with the colder months that tend to cause more cases of stomach flu and influenza.



Unidentified "Viral Fever" - Sri Lanka (possibly important)
Viral fever sweeps across Jaffna peninsula

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 November 2007, 00:34 GMT]
A yet to be identified type of fever is spreading across the peninsula resulting in more than 700 patients being admitted at Jaffna teaching hospital sources close to the office of Director of Public Health services, Jaffna said Sunday. Hospital staff are working round the clock to find hospital beds under limited space and resources to accommodate the growing number of admitted patients, hospital administration officials said.
With the onset of monsoon rains, the viral fever is spreading at an alarming rate affecting a large number of civilians, heath officials said.

The Director of Public Health services, Jaffna confirming the non availability of the vaccine required to curb the spread of the disease stated that the head office of the Ministry of Health has been informed of the situation and an appeal made to rush the basic preventive medicines without delay.

The patients initially admitted to rural hospitals in places such as Manthigai, Valveddiththu'rai, Kayts and Chaavakachcheari have been directed to Jaffna Hospital because of the absence of facilities for testing of blood in these rural hospitals, sources added.


Here is a map showing where Jaffna, Sri Lanka is located:


[ Parent ]
Kazakhstan - Drug-resistant TB

Kazakhstan's health ministry said Wednesday that the number of people, infected by drug-resistant tuberculosis is on the rise in almost all of the country's regions. "A total of 8,000 people have been registered so far, 1,500 of them in 2007" the ministry said in a press release, admitting that a significant proportion of those affected by the strain contracted the disease in the republic. The ministry said that although the incidence rate for tuberculosis has dropped by 3.6%, and deaths by 9.3%, among children and teenagers there had been a rise in cases. The ministry said that late diagnosis and the incorrect treatment of children with tuberculosis was the main reason for the increase.

Drug-resistant TB, which first emerged in 2006, is virtually immune to antibiotics and is caused by patients being inconsistently or partially treated with drugs. According to the World Health Organization, some 8.8 million people develop normal tuberculosis every year, with 450,000 infected with the resistant form. Rates in the former Soviet Union are particularly high, although the disease has been reported in 37 countries. In addition, treatment rates for Kazakhstan are behind the 85% target set by the WHO.)  

EGYPT - Suspected typhoid outbreak in Luxor
Panic Strikes Ahali al-Ashi Village in Luxor Following an Outbreak of Typhoid Fever
Nov 23, 2007

By Haggag Salama

A state of panic reigned over the villages of al-Ashi and the surrounding hamlets in the Zeinia locality to the North of Luxor after 30 people, including women and children, were hospitalized for suspected typhoid fever in the Luxor Hospital for Contagious Diseases.

Official sources told al-Masry al-Youm that Chairman of Luxor Supreme Council Samir Farag ordered specialized medical teams to be sent to the village and the preparation of an urgent report on the reasons that led to the outbreak, and take prevention and treatment measures.

"The symptoms reported by the victims included dizziness, general weakness, which were followed by high fever and severe stomach pain," Mohamed Sayed Ahmed, an activist with the Popular Committee for National Issues in Luxor, told al-Masry al-Youm.

Ahmed added that the main suspected reason for the outbreak was water contamination and the reliance on pumping stations for subterranean water.

Patients interviewed by al-Masry al-Youm decried what they described as the absence of proper health care in the hospital, with some saying they slept on the floor due to a shortage in beds.

Others complained they were forced to buy medicine from outside.

Some of the patients were identified as Hussein Sayed Fawzi, Ahmed Hassani Mahmoud, Samira Sayed Ali, Rasha Mahmoud Mohamed, Hossam Hassan Bakry, Attito Mahmoud Mohamed and Safaa Sayed Ahmed.


Proud FAF-er.

Pakistan - Viral Respiratory Diseases Increase
Viral diseases rise by 10 per cent

LAHORE - The public hospitals of the provincial capital are flooded with patients having complaints of respiratory problems especially chest infection, flu, cough and fever due to continuing dry spell with little cold wave.
Doctors believe that sudden surge in the number of patients suffering viral infections has troubled the doctors also as hospital administrations have increased the number of physicians especially in the Out Patient and Emergency departments of the hospitals to manage rush of the patients.
According to the medical experts, between 7 to 10 per cent increase in the number of patients has been witnessed during current month (in November)



More in Pakistan
Five more die of 'high fever' in Keamari Town
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
By our correspondent


Five more persons, including two pregnant women, died of 'high fever' in Deh Allahbano, Keamari Town as the authorities concerned have allegedly failed to take preventive steps despite confirmation of dangerous kind of malaria in the area by visiting the doctors team of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) recently.

Zubaida Bhand died of high fever in Goth Haji Ibrahim Bhand recently. Her sister-in-law, Rashida, who had come to offer condolence was also suddenly affected by high fever three days ago and died on Tuesday morning, her brother Sattar Bhand told The News. She was seven months pregnant and mother of three children. Mrs Zubaida was also mother of three children. Sattar said a doctor in Mauripur had administered drip to his sister, which had helped a lot.

However, her health deteriorated on Monday night. He said they approached taxi drivers but they did not volunteer to take them as their village was located at a considerable distance from the main road.

He complained that Keamari Town's spray team had also refused to conduct fumigation in their village around 15-20 days ago, citing remoteness of the village. He claimed that the town's medical team had once visited it several days ago and returned back 'hurriedly.'

The residents said four other persons Ms Sat Bai, 50, Haji Siddiq, 50, 10-days old baby and Sonia, 12, also died of same symptoms in the last week, bringing the total number of deaths to 19 in the last three months in around 18 villages of UC Gabo Patt of Keamari Town.

Town Health Officer, Keamari, Dr Nazeer Kolachi, expressed ignorance about the deaths. However, he admitted that they have taken blood samples of several persons and seven were confirmed cases of malaria. He later said that they also took slides of eight persons, one of them was malaria.

He claimed that they have set up several camps there and treated around 5,000 patients.

Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) alleged that the officials concerned were not taking preventive steps to control malaria there. It urged for setting up a hospital there as the dispensary established in 1970s stood closed and to continue emergency medical camps so that the lives of poor fishermen could be saved from preventable diseases.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) which organised a medical camp last week there in its report said they examined around 450 patients and collected blood samples of 75 patients and 85 per cent of the samples had the parasite Falciparum Malaria - a dangerous parasite for humans causing severe complications to the brain resulting in what is known as cerebral malaria. It held the government responsible for lack of health facilities in Deh Allahbano.



Dry spell, cold weather lead to respiratory infections

* Sir Ganga Ram Hospital DMS says residents of Chowk Yateem Khana, Chauburji and Shadman more prone to respiratory infections

By Muzaffar Ali

LAHORE: With a dry spell of cold weather prolonging, there has been 10 to 15 percent increase in the number of cases of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) in various hospitals in the city as compared to the last year.

About 20 to 30 percent patients out of the total patients visiting the public hospitals are infected with URTI. There has been an increase up to 40 percent in ear, nose and throat (ENT).

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital deputy medical superintendent (DMS) Dr Masood Akhtar Sheikh said the cases were reported when it did not rain for long and the dust aggravated the problem. He said URTI was a viral disease. He said there was no medicine available for its treatment. He said, "Patients, especially children, remain infected with the disease for more than two weeks." He said there was 10 to 15 percent increase in the disease as compared to the last year. He said prolonged dry weather and construction work on the roads were some of the reasons. He said the people living at Chowk Yateem Khana, Chauburji and Shadman were more prone to the disease.



[ Parent ]
Uganda Mystery Disease
Uganda: No Details Yet On Bundibugyo Strange Disease

The Monitor (Kampala)

29 November 2007

Jane Nafula & Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa

THE Ministry of Health has failed to establish the type of strange disease that has hit the western district of Bundibugyo.

The Director General of Health Services, Dr Sam Zaramba, told Daily Monitor yesterday that more blood samples would be sent to South Africa and the Centre for Disease Control in the US for further scrutiny.

"We sent three different blood samples to South Africa and the US but they tested negative. But we will send more samples to help us identify this disease," Mr Zaramba said on telephone.

The highly infectious strange disease was first reported in Bundibugyo in August. It has similar symptoms to the Marburg hemorrhagic fever which struck Kamwenge District in western Uganda, killing two people and infecting four others at Kitaka mine. It comes in form of a rush, severe headache, vomiting and diarrhea.

The disease has so far claimed 16 lives while over 40 people have been infected.

However, both local and foreign medical experts have since failed to establish its name and cause.



Ebola in Uganda
The Monitor (Kampala)

30 November 2007
Posted to the web 29 November 2007

Tabu Butagira & Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa

THE strange viral disease that struck the western district of Bundibugyo in August and has todate killed 16 people has been confirmed by the Health Ministry to be the Ebola haemorrhagic fever, a deadly disease for which there is no cure.

Announcing the existence of the Ebola strain in the country yesterday, Dr Sam Zaramba, the director general of health services said; "The Ministry of Health would like to inform the public that the mysterious disease outbreak in Bundibubyo has now been confirmed to be Ebola." The confirmatory laboratory tests, initially carried out at the National Institute of Virology in South Africa and later at the US-based Centre for Disease Control, comes months after the disease spread to 14 villages in the affected district.

Dr Zaramba yesterday denied reports that the government had known about the deadly epidemic outbreak weeks earlier but concealed it in order not to scare away foreign dignitaries who were scheduled to attend the just concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala.

"It would be unethical for me to keep quiet (about an epidemic outbreak). It is true we knew there was a strange disease in western Uganda but had not got the conclusive confirmation that it was Ebola until today (Thursday) morning," he stressed.



[ Parent ]
New Strain
New Ebola Strain Blamed for Killing 16 in Uganda
By Alisha Ryu
30 November 2007

Ryu report - Download MP3 (226k)
Listen to Ryu report  

Health officials in Uganda say they have identified a strain of the deadly Ebola virus as the likely killer of at least 16 people in the west of the country since late August. But as VOA Correspondent Alisha Ryu reports from our East Africa Bureau in Nairobi, officials are baffled and worried by what they believe is a new strain of the hemorrhagic fever.

The director general of Uganda's health services, Dr. Sam Zaramba, tells VOA that scientists in South Africa and the United States conducted numerous laboratory tests to determine the cause of the deaths across 14 villages in the western district of Bundibugyo.


Dr. Zaramba says the current outbreak in western Uganda is particularly worrisome because it is a strain of the Ebola virus that scientists have never seen before.

"It is definitely different. Even the symptoms are different," said Dr. Zaramba. "Whereas the other ones are characterized by bleeding from orifices, this particular one, instead of the bleeding, we have a rash, measles-type of rash."



[ Parent ]
Ebola - Medical workers fleeing
Comment:  What would you do if all of a sudden you found out your patients had ebola (or high cfr bird flu)?  Scary situation no doubt about it.

Ebola: Bundibugyo medics abandon patients

By John Thawite, Bizimungu
Kisakye and agencies

MEDICAL workers in Bundibugyo District have fled their workplaces in fear of contracting the deadly Ebola virus. Elias Byamungu, the Chief Administrative Officer, on Friday said medical workers had abandoned patients in health units, for fear of being infected.

"The health workers are terribly afraid," he said. Byamungu put the death toll at 28. Health authorities, however, last night put the toll at 18, up from 16 registered by Thursday.

"We have had two more deaths in the last 24 hours and the disease continues to spread," Dr. Sam Zaramba, the Director General of Health Services, told Reuters. He said World Health Organisation (WHO) officials had teamed up with local experts to draw up a strategy to contain the outbreak. More than 50 people are also infected.

District health officials said five new cases were admitted to Bundibugyo Hospital yesterday.



[ Parent ]
WHO update on Ebola
(Hat-tip treyfish)

Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Uganda
30 November 2007

The Ministry of Health (MoH), Uganda, has confirmed an outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever, in Bundibugyo District, western Uganda. As of 28 November, 51 suspected cases, including 16 deaths have been reported. Among the reported cases, 3 health care workers were also infected, including one fatality. Cases are being hospitalized at Kikyo and Bundibugyo.

Laboratory analysis undertaken at the National Reference Laboratories and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA has confirmed the presence of a new species of Ebola virus in samples taken from cases associated with the outbreak.

Based on initial field investigations, the MoH/WHO Country office has reported that the outbreak might have been ongoing since Sept 2007. A national task force comprising MoH, WHO and other international partners in the field, is coordinating the response to this outbreak. WHO Country office is assisting the MOH national field team and the District health officials.


[ Parent ]
Ebola continues spreading; hits HCWs
(Another hat-tip to treyfish)

Uganda announces four more cases of Ebola
Posted : Sat, 01 Dec 2007 18:24:05 GMT

Kampala - Uganda, currently battling an Ebola epidemic in a western district, said Saturday it has registered four new cases involving a doctor and three nurses. The news brings the total number of those infected by the deadly virus to 55, out of which 16 have died so far.

"The medical staff, including the doctor, are in Bundibugyo hospital isolation unit," the chairman of the Ebola National Task Force, Dr Sam Okware, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The health ministry has issued an order to all medical staff in the district who have been in contact with Ebola patients to be quarantined, Okware said.

Aggressive measures are being put in place to contain the epidemic which has spread in over 10 villages in Bundibugyo district on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo since September.

"This Ebola strain is different from other strains found in Sudan and the Congo. We are taking precautions and we have told any health worker who feels unwell to be quarantined. We have one doctor and three nurses and they have been isolated," Okware said.

This latest outbreak of the fast-spreading killer disease in the East African country is the second since late 2000 when Ebola hit the northern region, leaving 224 people dead out of the total of 425 who were infected.


[ Parent ]
Negative for what?
"We sent three different blood samples to South Africa and the US but they tested negative."

I wish they'd say...

Meteorologist in Florida!?!  Now we're talkin'!!!

[ Parent ]
Zambia: Unknown disease kills 4; twenty are quarantined
The health minister [Brian Chituwo] announced Tuesday [27 Nov 2007]
that 4 people have died and 20 others were put under quarantine
following the outbreak of an unknown disease in southern Zambia.

Brian Chituwo said the government has dispatched medical experts to
investigate the cause of the disease and assess the situation in
Namwala, a small town in the southern province of Zambia.

"The 4 died before the medical team arrived in the area," Chituwo
said. The 20 patients have been quarantined in an effort to contain
the spread of the disease, which has symptoms of vomiting and
backache, the minister said....


The article goes on to list the possible diagnoses, "fun" speculation, they said.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Someone is warped
I read the article.  Not to be overly serious, but I'm sorry, 'fun???'  Someone really needs to expand their vocabulary.  That's a really bad choice of words, even if they put it in quotes, therefore trying to downplay or negate the word.  I do think the database that pumps out probabilities for the differential diagnosis is interesting though. I can admit that.

Meteorologist in Florida!?!  Now we're talkin'!!!

[ Parent ]
Virus-hit island seeks urgent aid
From BBC web site half an hour ago (their subject)

Britons living in what is described as the remotest community in the world are seeking help after the outbreak of an acute virus.

Many of the 271 British citizens living on the volcanic island of Tristan da Cunha, in the south Atlantic, have developed severe breathing problems.

They need urgent medical supplies which cannot be found on the island. [...]

Curiously, searching for the island shows news stories from mid-November 2007 about a telemedicine venture involving IBM and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre. E.g.
this, key quote:
Van der Merwe said [...] He encounters lots of different maladies on the island, including many asthmatics, and lots of diseases associated with aging.
No sign there of any particular infection, though.

Rare illness sickens 11 at Austin pork plant
A cluster of workers have developed a neurological illness. Health officials say there is no evidence the public's health is at risk.

By Steve Alexander and Josephine Marcotty, Star Tribune staff writers

Last update: December 04, 2007 - 12:23 AM
Eleven workers at an Austin, Minn., pork processing plant mysteriously fell ill between last December and July with a neurological disorder whose cause remains unknown, state health officials said Monday.

The condition afflicting five of the workers at Quality Pork Processors Inc. has been identified as a rare disease called chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy or CIDP, which normally strikes fewer than two people per 100,000. In this instance, it may have struck 11 out of about 100 people in a particular part of the plant, state officials said. It is most often a chronic disease that results in nerve damage and can lead to disability.

State health officials said there is no evidence to date that the public faces an increased risk or that the food supply has been affected.

In the case of the affected workers, "the question is whether the animal might harbor bacteria or a virus that triggered it," Muley said.

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

a mild prion disease?
though I doubt that there is such a thing, plus these are pigs, not cows.

"The state investigation began at the end of October after plant health officials reported to the Health Department an unusual pattern of symptoms that was restricted to a group of employees working in a single area of the hog butchering process.

That part of the production line uses compressed air to clear away unwanted brain tissue so that meat in the head of the pig can be removed, Wadding said.

A study of the affected pork plant workers, who are of different ages, genders and ethnic groups, showed that their work area was the only thing they all had in common, said state epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield. Existing diseases that can make people predisposed to the illness, such as lymphoma or diabetes, were ruled out as causes, she said."

oh, I just found this from another article;

Hormel Foods Corp., which is based in Austin, is Quality Pork's main customer.
She said the symptoms are not consistent with a repetitive stress injury or with the family of diseases that include mad cow disease or scrapie in sheep, which are linked to proteins called prions.

But while those diseases cause irreversible brain deterioration, most of the workers in Austin have recovered. "That's not something you expect with a prion disease," she said.


On the Net:

NIH page on demyelinating polyneuropathy: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disor...


[ Parent ]
Minn. Slaughterhouse Workers' illness cont.
{warning: very grisly piece}


Minn. Slaughterhouse Workers Fall Ill

Published: December 7, 2007

...The working theory from two Mayo Clinic neurologists treating the workers: Exposure to pig brain tissue scattered by the compressed air triggered the illnesses.

''As we've investigated these patients, we have information that suggests very strongly that the immune system is activated very strongly in a very compelling way,'' said Dr. Daniel Lachance.


Scientists have yet to figure out if there is something in the brain matter that could be causing the symptoms.

''The hard part will be identifying the causative agent and associating that with the animal, showing that the animal carries it,'' Doyle said.

Minnesota Health Department spokesman Doug Schultz said the agency is looking into the theory but has not ruled out other causes.


[ Parent ]
Uganda: Bundibugyo Nurses Strike
  HEALTH workers handling Ebola patients in Bundibugyo temporarily abandoned duty yesterday morning over delayed payment of their risk allowances and only resumed work after local leaders cleared the overdue bills in the afternoon. Citing eight of their colleagues who have since contracted the disease while on duty, one health worker said their condition of work was precarious and it was "inhumane" for government officials to hold back "our" little pay. "For us, no payment of our risk allowance, no work from today onwards," one of the disgruntled nurses said.

Bundibudyo MP Jane Alisemera sounded alarm bells yesterday in Parliament urging the government to "urgently find financial resources" because "volunteers are withdrawing due to none payments."
"They cannot continue working because they are operating under dangerous circumstances."

Bundibugyo RDC, Samuel Kazinga who heads the local Ebola taskforce in the district, downplayed the morning hitch that sparked a wave of panic among district officials, saying the complainants only "demanded" their pay. "It is one thing to demand and another to strike but we have now paid part of the money they were demanding," said Mr Kazinga, who had earlier attributed the pay to bureaucratic delays in processing payment.

Daily Monitor has learnt that officials of the district Ebola Taskforce were paying doctors a daily risk allowance of Sh30, 000 while nursing officers and other support staff were getting Sh20, 000 and Sh10, 000 respectively.

In Kampala, Unicef Country representative Keith McKenzie told a government-organised news conference that the NGO had sent Sh230 million directly to Bundibugyo District to support the Ebola fight, "including payment for health workers. Latest statistics show that Ebola has killed 19 people out of 74 cumulative infections.

The latest victim has been identified as Mighten Muliwaviyo, the chairman of the business community in Bundibugyo town council who died on Monday night, amid reports of new infections in Kasese, Kabarole and Mbarara District.By last evening, a man identified as Mr Johnson Baluku, who showed symptoms akin to that of Ebola, was reported to have been admitted at Bwera Hospital in Kasese while three alert cases were registered in Kabarole District. The minister is expected to table the "emergency funds" budget to his colleagues during the Cabinet sitting today.

The junior minister had indicated that the Sh6b would be used for among other things; meeting recurrent operational costs, buying medical supplies and protective gears as well as paying risk allowance for health workers handling Ebola patients. Unicef has through the central government separately given protective materials, medical equipments and supplies worth Sh861m to tackle the epidemic.


Be Prepared

Ebola kills two doctors in Uganda, death toll rises
Two doctors died this week while fighting an outbreak of Ebola that has killed at least 21 people in Uganda, AFP reports.

IRIN, the U.N.'s news agency, says more than 60 people have been infected with Ebola, a rare and deadly disease that causes bleeding from the orifices.

Uganda's Health Ministry reported on its website Monday that the first case of hemorrhagic fever was reported in August, after the patient ate a dead goat. The agency says the first confirmed case of Ebola came at the end of November.

Health experts say they've never before seen this strain of the virus.


see also
Eight pathogen specialists from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control arrived in Uganda on 4 December to help battle the disease that has infected at least 64 people. Five of the experts left Kampala for Bundibugyo on 5 December.

Efforts to isolate suspected patients in Bundibugyo, a rural district neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have failed as many residents fear hospitals are unsafe, authorities have said......


Be Prepared

350 confined over Ebola outbreak
ABOUT 350 people who have had contact with Ebola victims have been confined to their homes for monitoring in Bundibugyo and Kasese districts. About 253,000 people in the five sub-counties of Bundibugyo district are at risk of contracting the deadly haemorrhagic fever, the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

They added that Bundibugyo town council was the most affected. "We have established that 335 such people participated in burying some of the cases, either as relatives or sympathisers," the Bundibugyo district chairman, Jackson Bambalira, said. .....

He added that another 20 people in Kasese had also been confined at home. The suspects were tracked down by local and international experts this week. Since August when the killer disease broke out, ninety-three were confirmed infected, 24 of whom have died among them Dr Jonah Kule, and four health workers. Kasese, Mbarara and Kabarole districts have been put on high alert...


Be Prepared

EGYPT - Suspected RVF case in Dakhalia governorate
Google-translated from Arabic:

Emergencies in Dakahlia after suspected infection student Rift Valley fever

Written by Ghada Abdalhafez

Major General Ahmed Said announced Sawan, Governor Dakahlia, yesterday maximum state of emergency after the announcement Hospital pathogenesis of Mansoura, on suspicion of injuring a child Rift Valley fever, and detained inside the hospital.  The hospital was detained Mohammed Jerahristi Kaoura child, a first year student elementary school rain, on suspicion of meningitis infection.

Said Dr. Fatima booth, and First Deputy Minister, Chairman of the health insurance sector northeast Delta, it was isolating the child hospital, and the blood of his farm work, as school pupils were fully vaccinated and neighboring schools, as well as neighbors and relatives of the child for fear of the spread of disease.  A source medical official "The outcome of the farm confirmed negative meningococcal disease, the suspicion of injury Rift Valley fever", the report was presented to the situation Dakahlia governor.


Proud FAF-er.

Panic spreads as Uganda reports 101 Ebola cases
By Tim Cocks

KAMPALA, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Uganda has 101 suspected cases of Ebola fever and hundreds more people being closely monitored, officials said on Friday, as fear grew in Uganda and neighbouring countries that the deadly virus might spread.

Twenty two people have so far died of the fever and Minister of State for primary health-care Dr. Emmanuel Otaala told journalists 11 health workers have fallen sick.

"Cumulatively, we have 101 cases," he said.

Another 338 people are being monitored because they came into contact with those infected by the virulent haemorrhagic fever, which often causes victims to bleed to death through the ears, eyes and other orifices.

All were in western Uganda's Bundibugyo district, except for two in Kampala, including a doctor who died. Otaala said the cabinet had approved a pay increase to compensate health workers taking on the risk of dealing with Ebola.

The outbreak, which started in August, has sparked panic amongst officials, health workers and the public, with the medical union calling on staff to refuse looking after patients unless they are issued proper protective gear.

The affected region borders Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose Ebola river gave the virus its name after some of the first cases were recorded in its valley in 1976.
The independent Daily Monitor said Congo had sealed its border with the district. Congolese officials denied this.

"We have just informed people in the region they need to be vigilant," Congolese Health Ministry official Dr Benoit Kabela told Reuters by telephone from Kinshasa. Kabela said medical staff had been deployed and given protective gear.

Meanwhile, southwestern neighbour Rwanda said it had set up mobile clinics and isolation wards at border posts with Uganda
more at link  

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rwanda Sets Up Free Phone Hotline
Rwanda Sets Up Free Phone Hotline for Sharing of Information on Ebola
Text of report by Edwin Musoni entitled "Ebola: Gov't to set up hotline" published in English by Rwandan newspaper The New Times website on 7 December

Kigali: The government has come up with new mechanisms, including a hotline, in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly ebola virus from neighbouring countries. Ebola has killed 20 people, including three medics in the latest outbreak in Uganda, which shares borders with Rwanda. There was also an earlier outbreak in the DRCongo.

The Ministry of Health issued a statement yesterday announcing new measures put in place to prevent any spread of ebola into Rwanda. Among the new measures, the ministry said it's soon going to set up a free telephone hotline that will be operating nationwide for information sharing on ebola.

On Tuesday, Ministry of Health officials met with local and international health partners and epidemic experts to review and devise more precaution measures. "An ebola hotline will be put in place to ease the communication with the public and all stakeholders," the statement indicated.

The government also has set up isolation facilities in all medical centres the border posts with Uganda and DRCongo. "Isolation facilities at all medical centres close to the border posts are being set up and whoever will be suspected to be carrying the virus will be put in those isolation cubicles," it said.

The ministry has also trained a mobile medical team that will be in charge of emergency intervention in case the outbreak spills over to Rwanda.

The team will be on alert 24 hours and would also be in charge of offering timely treatment, in case of a spill over.

more at link

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

US Doctor in Uganda Confronts Ebola
US Doctor in Uganda Confronts Ebola

Published: December 7, 2007

Filed at 2:19 p.m. ET

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- For more than a week, Dr. Scott Myhre didn't wear a mask or other protective gear when treating the listless patients who were flocking to his hospital in western Uganda.

Only now does the American physician know the risk he took. The patients were suffering from a new strain of Ebola, a highly contagious disease that has already killed 22 people, including four health workers, among them a doctor Myhre counted as his best friend.

{see Avian Flu Diary:http://afludiary.blogspot.com/2007/12/death-of-dr-jonah-kule.html
and this: http://paradoxuganda.blogspot....

thanks! F_M}

''I'm not in the clear yet, but I'm hopeful,'' Myhre told The Associated Press by telephone from Bundibugyo Hospital, which is at the epicenter of the outbreak. Myhre, who has lived in Uganda for 14 years, must wait 21 days from his last unprotected contact with an Ebola patient to be declared clear of the disease.


Not relevant
but I am posting this because it is so cool that they can do this.
Evidence of TB Found in 500,000-Year-Old Fossil
Finding contradicts belief that disease only emerged several thousands years ago
By Robert Preidt

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The oldest evidence of tuberculosis has been discovered in a 500,000-year-old human fossil from Turkey, a finding that contradicts the widely held belief that the disease emerged only several thousand years ago, according to a team of international researchers.

The discovery, made during investigation of the new specimen of the human species Homo erectus , lends support to the theory that dark-skinned people who migrated northward from low, tropical latitudes produced less vitamin D, which can have a negative effect on the immune system and the skeleton.

People with dark skin produce less vitamin D because the skin pigment blocks ultraviolet light from the sun.

"The production of vitamin D in the skin serves as one of the body's first lines of defense against a whole host of infections and diseases. Vitamin D deficiencies are implicated in hypertension, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease and cancer," John Kappelman, a professor of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin and a member of the international team, said in a prepared statement.

This specimen, believed to be a male, had a series of small lesions etched into the bone of the cranium. The shape and the location of the lesions are characteristic of a form of TB that attacks the lining of the brain.

The findings are published in the Dec. 7 issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology .
more at link

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

350 children in northern India
just remember that there was an early mis-diagonsis of BF as Encep. in Indo. and Viet.
This is most likely not BF but something to watch.

An unidentified strain of encephalitis has killed at least 350 children in northern India in the last nine months, said ahealth officials."Scientists and doctors are working to identify the virus so that this dreaded disease could be brought under control," said senior health official Arun Misra. Outbreaks of mosquito-borne encephalitis are common in Uttar Pradesh, a state of 180 million people where most public health facilities are out of reach for the overwhelmingly poor population. Japanese encephalitis has been a major problem in the state in recent years, but only seven children in Uttar Pradesh have died of that disease this year, Misra said. Last year, the disease killed 476 children, a dramatic improvement from 2005 when more than 1,400 children died of the disease. The progress in fighting Japanese encephalitis is thanks to a massive vaccination drive, begun in 2005, that has reached more than 16 million children, Misra said. It's unclear whether the children killed by the unknown strain were vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis or not, Misra said. Adults have so far not been affected by the new strain but health officials provided no other details about it.)


Be Prepared

Chikungunya Virus Has Adapted to New Vector
WASHINGTON (Reuters) Dec 07 - The Chikungunya virus has spread to several new countries in the past year because it has found a new species of mosquito to carry it, researchers said on Friday.

A single mutation allowed the virus to infect the Asian tiger mosquito -- which itself is spreading to many more countries in Europe and North America, the researchers said.

"This mutation increases the potential for Chikungunya virus to permanently extend its range into Europe and the Americas," Stephen Higgs and colleagues at the University of Texas Medical Branch wrote in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens.

This is especially true if average temperatures continue to rise with global warming, they wrote. The virus caused outbreaks in India and Italy this year.
more at link

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kenya battles swarms of locusts
Kenyan authorities are battling swarms of locusts, which are reported to have damaged crops.
A BBC correspondent says it is the first time such large numbers have been seen in Kenya for 45 years.

The ravenous creatures - which are capable of stripping vegetation in minutes - are laying eggs in remote areas in the north-east of the country...


Another worry besides fearing spread of Ebola across the border from Uganda.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Iran completely stops selling oil in U.S. dollars
Iran, the world's fourth largest oil exporter, has completely stopped selling its oil in U.S. dollars, the ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.

   "In line with the policy of selling crude oil in non-dollar currencies, currently selling our country's oil in U.S. dollars has been completely stopped," Iran's Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari was quoted as saying.

   "The dollar is an unreliable currency in regards to its devaluation and the loss oil exporters have endured from this trend," he added.

   "This is why Iran proposed to OPEC members that a currency (for selling oil) would be determined that would be reliable and would not cause any loss to exporter countries," Nozari said....


It doesn't sound as though Iran has changed to the Euro, yet, nor that other OPEC countries have followed Iran.  Still, this may have an impact on our economy.  (Or Iran only hopes it will?)

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

This is bad
It will raise the price for the US to purchase oil as the dollar is dropping like a rock.

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
"Economic terrorism" - not a political statement
I don't mean this to be a political statement, but in all likelihood, as we see greater economic challenges facing all countries in the world, we will also see other countries attempting to take advantage of it.

Additionally, if we see some taking advantage of it, we may also see some attempting to engineer additional economic pressures.

This is becoming known in hot topics as "economic terrorism."  There is some point to using this term, but it also depends on your perspective of the issue.

So, I'm just offering up a term we may see more of and trying to be reasonably balanced about it.  Probably failing miserably, but I am trying.  LOL!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
I guess I'd have to disagree
A country would have to be crazy to want to be paid in a currency that is losing it's value by the day.  

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
Right, depends on which side you are looking at
The problem that tips it for me is that Iran has had lots of negatives to say about the US in the past.  Also, they are trying to get other countries to follow them.

If they were only doing it for themselves that's one thing.  They are trying to influence an entire industry.

And, that's their right of course.  Perspective.  Just so long as their only motivation is for their benefit, and not the detrement of a country they've had strong disagreements with.

Its not as if other countries haven't used this action - including the US - as "incentive" and as "punitive punishment."  This is a historical fact going back thousands of years.  Look at what Rome and Greece did, and didn't do.  

But with today's JIT worldwide economies, the fall out is liable to be much worse and/or exaggerated than was original intended.  Every country now needs to be careful where they step, especially at the moment when so much change is going on.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
an addendum
At the moment, any move could be disastrous and have far-reaching consequences.  We've discussed some of this on other boards.  All the major currencies are suffering inflation and excess, artificial liquidity.  Alot of the past decade's worldwide banking practices are coming home to roost.  Even the major Asian markets are in for a potential huge correction.

There is no risk-free investment.  Given the current currency market, which ever way they jump could be the salvation of their country, or a catastrophic mistake.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
China to raise reserve requirement ratio for 10th time this year
China will raise the reserve requirement ratio by one percentage point for commercial banks in an effort to cool the booming economy, the central bank announced Saturday....

...This is the country's tenth rise in the reserve requirement ratio this year. It is aimed at "strengthening liquidity management in the banking system and checking excessive credit growth", the People's Bank of China said....

..As the coming CPI for the first 11 months is expected to reach a new high, the move is also a reflection of the government's decision to prevent inflation, which has so far been confined to food, from spilling over into other sectors...

Related story:

China's economy to grow 11.6%

   BEIJING, Dec. 04 -- China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to be close to 11 percent next year but inflation will remain a major concern, said a top Chinese think tank...


"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

[ Parent ]
They are one of the last in the list to dump the dollar
Lots of other countries already have.

Even the swiss have been getting rid of their holdings.

I read an article a while back in Bloomberg stating that "Central banks from Bogota to Mumbai are imposing foreign-exchange curbs to take control of their soaring currencies from traders dumping the dollar. In Colombia, international investors buying stocks and bonds must leave a 40 percent deposit at Banco de la Republica for six months. The Reserve Bank of India created a bureaucratic thicket to curb speculation by foreign money managers. The Bank of Korea is investigating trading of currency forward contracts to limit gains in the won, now at a 10-year high."

A lot of countries are using their dollars to buy up our natural resources.

Yes Iran has had reason to not like the US. After all we had a hand in overturning an elected leader and replacing him with the Shah in the past. That helped the religious extremists come into power. They did warm up to us after 9-11 and offered a lot of help in Afghanistan even pointing out targets for us but we named them part of the axis of evil and things have gone downhill from there.

In the end I think any country is going to protect their income and the euro seems to be increasing it's value while our currency continues to fall. I have some of my investments in foreign currency as a hedge against the dollar falling further though I think if we go down everyone probably will go down with us.

It is a mess all the way around.

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
China denies foreign media reports of African swine fever outbreak
China on Wednesday denied foreign media reports of African swine fever outbreaks in its north-eastern province of Heilongjiang.

   Pigs at 76 swine farms and households in 14 towns of Heilongjiang's cities of Hulin and Mishan and county of Jidong have been tested negative, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) said.

   The MOA said it tested the pigs' blood and tissue samples with methods recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The tests indicated the pigs were healthy and there were no outbreaks of any swine diseases.

   Foreign media reported there were African swine fever outbreaks in Hulin, Mishan and Jidong, the MOA stated....


Isn't this odd?  Would they test so many "healthy" pigs just to quell a rumor?  

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Vietnam - Strange Disease
Strange disease emerges in southern province
11:37' 11/12/2007 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge - Residents of Hamlet 2 in Phuoc Hung commune in the southern province of An Giang are now faced with a strange disease; symptoms include contorted mouth, glassy eyes and mild paralysis.

The first case was reported on December 5. The disease has quickly spread in Phuoc Hung and neighbouring communes.

By December 10, 34 patients aged between six months and 46 years old were hospitalised at An Phu District General Hospital.

Doctor Phan Van Dien Phuong, Deputy Director of An Phu District General Hospital said clinical symptoms are similar to Japanese encephalitis but tests have come up negative.

More than 100 primary students in An Phu district have stayed home from school for several days.

Doctors from central hospitals and scientists will visit An Phu to do research on the mysterious ailment.


mysterious fever has killed at least 14 people
comment: does anyone have any ideas on this one?
abdominal pains, severe diarrhoea and fever-  aren't those early symptoms of BF?
whatever it is it is a killer.

A mysterious fever has killed at least 14 people and infected two dozen others in western Uganda over the past three weeks, a health ministry official said Friday. Authorities have deployed medics to Uganda's Bundibugyo district, on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the strain was first reported, said Sam Zaramba, director of medical services. Laboratory tests have ruled out the lethal haemorrhagic Marburg fever, but patients are complaining of abdominal pains, severe diarrhoea and fever, although none suffered from bleeding, he said. "My team has been on the ground for the past week trying to establish what the disease is. But its symptoms are not similar to those of the known haemorrhagic fevers," said Zaramba.)


Be Prepared

The new strain of ebola
doesn't quite present as did the older strains . . . less hemorrhagic factor, apparently.

That's what it sounds like, although that's not any better.

[ Parent ]
It sounds like the new
Ebola strain in Uganda, since the article says, "My team has been on the ground for the past week trying to establish what the disease is. But its symptoms are not similar to those of the known haemorrhagic fevers," said Zaramba., I am guessing this is an old story.  See the symptoms from 11/29 entry, number 3. http://paradoxuganda.blogspot....

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

[ Parent ]
The log date is Nov. 16.
I'm pretty sure it's the new strain of Ebola, as others have suggested.

Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!

[ Parent ]
(This was posted on an older NBFBC diary, so I'm copying it here.)

Found out today from my daughter the vet-tech that animals now are found to be getting sick from MRSA that they picked up from their owners.

When getting new pet-especially a 'recycled pet' it may be wise to give them an antibacterial bath immediately and get MRSA screening done on their first vet trip.

A MRSA infected pet could colonize family members and give a serious infection to someone who has a wound, is immunocompromised.

My big concern is children as more and more kids are having issues with MRSA middle ear infections. My littlest grandson has been getting more frequent ear infections that require multiple rounds of antibiotics to treat and just last week one of his eardrums burst from a severe infection!

Honesty is always the best policy.

by: Grace RN @ Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 19:02:34 PM PST  

Sorry to hear that about the aminals (intentional misspelling!).  I see 4-10 cases a day of staph infection in humans in the ER, and these are clean, well-cared-for humans, for the most part (in some years past, they were mostly IV drug abusers, but no longer).  Best you can do is be clean... wash, wash, wash... before you touch surfaces, disinfect them...
   I clean every keyboard and phone before I touch it.  Yes, I'm paranoid about infection.  Do I think it's justified?  Yes.  I'm on the front lines of infection here!

nothing left to do but :) :) :)

[ Parent ]
you may want to explore getting tubes put in...  my son had frequent ear infections as well - until they put tubes in, and after that, no more.  the tubes let the ear drain properly (sometimes they don't in young kids), and as the kids get older, the tubes fall out on their own.

[ Parent ]
oops... sorry... Grace probably already knows that...  nm..

[ Parent ]
On discovering chikungunya in Italy (NYT)...

As Earth Warms Up, Tropical Virus Moves to Italy

CASTIGLIONE DI CERVIA, Italy - Panic was spreading this August through this tidy village of 2,000 as one person after another fell ill with weeks of high fever, exhaustion and excruciating bone pain, just as most of Italy was enjoying Ferragosto, its most important summer holiday.

"At one point, I simply couldn't stand up to get out of the car," said Antonio Ciano, 62, an elegant retiree in a pashmina scarf and trendy blue glasses. "I fell. I thought, O.K., my time is up. I'm going to die. It was really that dramatic."

By midmonth, more than 100 people had come down with the same malady. Although the worst symptoms dissipated after a couple of weeks, no doctor could figure out what was wrong.


Bangladesh - Cold weather & disease
Severe cold wave disrupts normal life in Sirajganj

Unprecedented cold wave during the last few days has almost halted normal life in this district town. Severe cold wave coming from the Himalayas has made lives of the dwellers, specially the homeless people of this small town, miserable. At least 12 people have been attacked with various cold related diseases, lutensity of cold worsens after mid-day and turns extremely unbearable in the evening. Every day, fog covers the town until 8 to 9 AM and vehicles ply in the streets with their headlights on. Although the sun appears for a while around 10 AM, but if soon disappears.

Last Monday morning drizzles made things even worse. Destitutes are trying to combat this bitter wave through heat generated from burning heaps of straws and old rubber tyres. On the other hand, second hand warm clothes sellers are making best use of this situation and earning handsomely by raising the prices two and even three times. Disease like fever cough, cold and dysentery have also alarmingly increased.

The only government hospital is crowded with bronchitis and a asthma patients. But the hospital is short of oxygen and do not have the "loboliser machine." As a result distress and sufferings of the patients know no bounds. The owners making good use of this abnormal situation have doubled prices of life saving 'Salbutamol inhalers."



The gastro-entérite epidemic subsides
LExpansion.com of December 26 2007

The gastro-entérite epidemic subsides, after touching more a million persons by LExpansion.com THE epidemic of gastro-entérite in France touched more a million persons.  But according to the network Sentineies of the Inserm, the epidemic fall confirms itself.  She "should be declared in the 15 next days", estimated the supervision network in his weekly bulletin.

1.160.000 persons were obliged to consult their nonspecialized doctor in five weeks.  Last week, the national incidence of the sharp diarrhea was of 369 cases for 100,000 inhabitants, above the threshold epidemic (274 cases for 100,000 inhabitants) for the fifth consecutive week.  

The departments more strongly touched were the Corsican one, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the High Normandy.  In the matter of the flu, the network Sentineies mention a "weak activity, but "in increase".  She "should come close to itself the threshold epidemic during the 15 next days", estimates the network.  

translation from french

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Same article, different translation, same basic information
The outbreak of gastroenteritis is decreasing, having reached more than one million people

By LExpansion.com

The outbreak of gastroenteritis in France has reached over one million people. But according to the network Sentinels of Inserm, the decline of the epidemic was confirmed. "It should be declared within 15 days," said the monitoring network in its weekly newsletter.

1,160,000 people were forced to consult their general practitioner in five weeks. Last week, the national incidence of acute diarrheal disease was 369 cases per 100,000 people, above the epidemic threshold (274 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) for the fifth consecutive week.

The departments most affected were Corsica, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Haute-Normandie. Regarding the flu, the network Sentinel reported a "low activity, but "increasing". "It should bring the epidemic threshold during the next 15 days," says the network.

[ Parent ]
Drug resistant TB makes flight

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A Santa Clara County woman was hospitalized in isolation after becoming infected with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis and then taking a plane flight to return to the Bay Area.

Health officials said the 30-year-old woman was being treated for a form of TB at Stanford Hospital that is considered a public health problem because it is difficult to treat and has a higher mortality rate than conventional TB.

"The patient is in isolation, and we're taking all necessary precautions -- both to protect her and the public and our employees," Shelley Hebert, executive director for public affairs for Stanford Hospital & Clinics, told the San Jose Mercury News.

The woman was overseas when she flew back to the United States earlier this month.

Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County's public health officer, did not know how the woman could have ended up on an international flight given she was diagnosed with TB while overseas and told her strain was probably resistant to multiple drugs.


To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

CA woman w/ MDR-TB isolated, air passengers sought...

Written by Chandan Das
Saturday, 29 December 2007

SATURDAY DEC 29, 2007 (News Locale) - A 30-year-old woman from California has been diagnosed with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and kept in an isolation unit at the Stanford Hospital since December 19.

According to reports, the woman, whose name has not been revealed, was diagnosed suffering from the disease during her recent visit to India and flew back home in a commercial passenger. According to the authorities, they are at their wits end how the woman was allowed to travel by an international airlines with such a deadly disease that is highly contagious.


Health officials in the US have already identified 44 passengers from 16 states who sat within two rows of the woman in the American Airlines Flight 293 and now the Centers for Disease Control is trying to contact all passengers who might have been exposed to the TB.


[ Parent ]
NHS wards close as staff hit by winter bugs
It looks like the norovirus is all over the place this year. Here are two articles

NHS wards close as staff hit by winter bugs
By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor
Last Updated: 2:55am GMT 29/12/2007

Almost two million people have been struck down with a virus that causes vomiting this winter - more than double the number of cases last year, official estimates show.

Hospital wards have had to close as patients and staff are infected by norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea for up to three days.

Laboratory tests have confirmed 1,325 cases so far this winter, compared with 685 this time last year, according to the Health Protection Agency.

advertisementBut for every confirmed case there are thought to be 1,500 people who do not visit their GP and stay off work instead.

Norovirus, also known as the winter sickness bug, can be fatal in vulnerable groups, such as the elderly.

It is the most common cause of infectious stomach upsets and spreads easily through hospital wards, care homes, schools and on cruise ships.

Experts say the norovirus season normally runs from November to March with peaks in January and February, but this year it inexplicably began a month early across Europe.

Dr Bob Adak, from the Health Protection Agency, said that more sensitive testing could be responsible for detecting more cases this year but there is still a lot of illness around in the community.

more at link

and in Canada

Norwalk virus emerges as Vancouver's top winter bug
Outbreaks of contagious stomach bug on rise this holiday season

The flu season has yet to wallop Vancouver this year but there's been a number of cases of Norwalk virus, public health officials say.

"Definitely Norwalk season has arrived," Vancouver Coastal Health medical health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson told CBC News on Thursday.

Outbreaks of severe gastro-intestinal illness, commonly called Norwalk or norovirus, have closed at least one day care and one elementary school in recent weeks.

Over the holiday season, Royal Columbia Hospital in New Westminster was closed to visitors after an outbreak of the virus infected several wards.

People often mistake Norwalk or similar inflections for "stomach flu," Gustafson said, but the symptomatic outbreaks of severe vomiting, diarrhea and weakness are not actually caused by influenza, but by bacteria or viruses like the Norwalk or rotavirus that hit the gastrointestinal system.

Regardless of whether it's viral or bacterial, these bugs can spread like wildfire and that's why it's important to remember how not to spread them, Gustafson said.

Last Updated: Friday, December 28, 2007 | 5:34 PM ET
CBC News


Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mumbai, India - Viral Fever
Viral fever grips city
Deepa Suryanarayan
Saturday, December 29, 2007  10:00 IST

Watch out warn city doctors, or you may be ushering at home this New Year, in the confines of your bedroom.

"We have seen a rise in cases of viral fever among our patients. I think it is primarily due to the unusual weather conditions over the past two weeks.

Even though winter had set in, the city experienced hot climate for a couple of days earlier this week. Temperatures have gone down after Christmas.

The sudden climatic change might have brought the viral infection in the air," said Dr V Prasad, Andheri-based paediatrician.

Kurla-based general practitioner Dr SN Acharya said, "The viruses survive in water pockets and then thrive in hot weather. Humid conditions are particularly helpful to the viruses," he said.  


Sick Snow Geese - Oregon
Sick geese
Posted by Bill Monroe December 29, 2007 02:39AM
Categories: The duckblind/all about the hunt

Sauvie Island hunters are seeing sick, dying and dead snow geese on the public hunting area, but state officials say it's almost certainly not deadly bird flu or any of dozens of varieties of influenza specific to waterfowl and other birds.

The snows are probably ingesting old lead shot from days past when lead was legal to use for waterfowl hunting, said Brad Bales, waterfowl chief for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The department owns and manages about half of the island for waterfowl and wildlife.

Mark Nebeker, manager of the wildlife area, said he's sent several dead geese to a federal wildlife lab in Ames, Iowa, for testing.

It will take about two weeks to get a report back, he said.



Infection Hits a CA Prison Hard, mimics the flu

Published: December 30, 2007

Heidi Schumann for The New York Times

COALINGA, Calif. - When any of the 5,300 inmates at Pleasant Valley State Prison begin coughing and running a fever, doctors do not think flu, bronchitis or even the common cold.

They think valley fever; and, more often than they would like, they are right.


Early symptoms of the disease, which is clinically known as coccidioidomycosis, mimic the flu, with symptoms that include a cough, lethargy and a fever.


Virus hits hospitals
My hubby is asleep right now loaded up with Phenergan with this right now. A miserable virus to be sure. Mojo

Virus hits hospitals

Hospital wards have been shut and operations cancelled as a winter vomiting virus brings chaos across the UK.

A "black alert" has been declared at eight hospitals in Bath, Blackpool, Glasgow, Hereford, Luton Southampton, Surrey and Worcester.

Visitors have been asked to stay away while a deep clean is carried out - and no new patients can be admitted until the wards have been declared free of the Norovirus bug.

Festive decorations have been taken down at Kings Lynn Hospital in Norwich to stop an outbreak.


Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sickness strikes liner after ill omen at launch
Sickness strikes liner after ill omen at launch
By Caroline Gammell
Last Updated: 1:32am GMT 31/12/2007

Scores of passengers on board the £300 million ocean liner launched by the Duchess of Cornwall have been struck down by a highly contagious stomach bug only three weeks after its unlucky naming ceremony.

Now, on only its second voyage, the 90,000-ton vessel has been hit by an outbreak of norovirus, the "winter sickness bug" that causes vomiting and diarrhoea for up to three days.

As The Daily Telegraph reported last week, almost two million people have been struck down with the virus this winter - more than double the number of cases last year.

Cunard, the owners of the Queen Victoria, said it would not offer compensation because the virus was so common and it felt suitable measures were in place to cope with any outbreak

more at link

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kolkata (Calcutta), Inida - Chikungunya
Chikungunya hits South 24-Parganas

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, Dec. 31: After affecting people in several villages of North 24-Parganas and some pockets of Kolkata, chikungunya ~ a mosquito-borne disease ~ has now spread its wings to South 24-Parganas.
Panic gripped residents of Mathurapur in South 24-Parganas after seven people were tested as chikungunya positive last week.
District health officials said the disease broke out at first in Lilua near Mathurapur last week. Twenty-five residents of the area were suffering from fever after which seven were diagnosed to have chikungunya, said Dr Sachhidananda Sarkar, chief medical officer of health, South 24-Parganas.
The district health authorities have issued an alert and sent a medical team to the affected village. Remedial measures are being taken to stop the disease from spreading to neighbouring villages, said Dr Sarkar. Blood samples of 14 people had been sent to Institute of Tropical Medicine in the city for test. The blood reports of seven of them showed that they were chikungunya-affected, said Dr Sarkar.
"Though we are yet to receive reports, we have been informed over phone that the chikungunya virus was found in the blood samples of seven people. They are being treated at the hospital now. The block health administration of Mathurapur block has been put on alert," Dr Sarkar said.
"We have been organising awareness camps at the village and a medical team has already been sent. People have been requested to use mosquito-nets to minimise the risk of being afflicted with chikungunya," said a senior district health official. Apart from the health department, local body and block administration have initiated a drive to control the breeding of mosquitoes. Disinfectants are being spread in drains and wetlands in the area. Medicines are also being distributed among the villagers. The local primary health centre has been asked to stay alert. The district health administrative officials are constantly monitoring the condition of the people suffering from fever.
"Although no fresh case of chikungunya has been reported from Mathurapur and its surrounding areas in the past three days, all the block medical officers in the district have been asked to stay alert," said Dr Sarkar.
It can be recalled that chikungunya has already claimed a few lives in the city and in North- 24 Parganas in the past months. "The situation is very much under control as no fresh cases of chikungunya have been reported from Mathurapur in the past three days. There is nothing to panic as adequate remedial measures are being taken," said Dr Sarkar.


UK - GPs urge millions hit by bug to stay at home

Doctors' leaders warned people struck down by a violent stomach bug sweeping the country not to return to work as GPs reported that they were being inundated by sufferers.

Norovirus symptoms
More than 100,000 people a week are catching norovirus, which causes sudden vomiting and diarrhoea, and the numbers contracting the disease will peak this month.

The NHS advises patients affected to stay at home for 48 hours after they last suffered the symptoms

Thousands of workers and children who fell ill over the holiday period are due to return to jobs and classrooms in the coming days. Many have already called in sick and doctors warn them not to go back until they are fully recovered, such is the risk of spreading the disease.

Patients affected should stay at home for 48 hours after they last suffered the symptoms, the NHS advised. The absences will cost the economy millions of pounds.

So far this winter about two million people have fallen ill with norovirus, the highest number for five years and double the amount of cases by this time last year.

Doctors warned people with the condition to stay away from GPs' surgeries and hospitals and to phone for advice to avoid further spread.

NHS Direct reported that vomiting and diarrhoea was one of the top five complaints that patients had called about in the past two months.

advertisementThe bug usually lasts two days and can sweep through schools, offices, hospitals and prisons. It has struck passengers on the Queen Victoria cruise ship and cases have been found in more than a dozen hospitals.

Dr Steve Field, the chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said its surveillance unit in Birmingham confirmed that cases were the highest since the 2002 epidemic.

Dr Field, a GP in Birmingham, said: "I know hospitals have been inundated by referrals and through casualty and local GPs are seeing a lot more of it.

"People are at home with it over the holiday, which is the best place for them, then next week the schools go back and you get a child outbreak and the children go home and give it to their parents." He said the best thing to do was stay at home, take paracetamol, drink plenty of fluids and call the GP for advice.

The norovirus season began a month early, with cases across Europe and America by October.

Dr Mike Sadler, the NHS Direct chief operating officer, said calls for advice began earlier than normal and it has consistently been one of the top five illnesses that patients have contacted it about.

The disease can cost the NHS up to £100 million in an epidemic year as operations are cancelled when patients are struck down and agency staff have to cover staff sickness.

A report from the Health Protection Agency, which monitors the disease, said: "The number of cases reported this year surpasses all other recent years, except 2002, which was the most severe season recorded and was associated with the emergence of a new virus type.

"Outbreaks affect health care facilities worldwide and may cause massive disruption to providing care, substantial economic loss, and, according to some reports, mortality in vulnerable patient populations."

Alastair Henderson, the director of NHS Employers, which finds staff for the NHS - Britain's biggest employer - said: "Obviously this is a problem for all employers and it does appear there is more of it about this year.

"In hospitals it is particularly important that people who are ill or contagious do not come in to work to ensure others are not infected."

Economists say the country could lose £12 million a week from workers contracting the virus. Since October, the total loss is estimated at £234 million.

One might hope
that the country could use this as a learning experience. I won't hold my breath.

[ Parent ]
Birds From Dealer, PetSmart Quarantined
Bacterial Disease Could Affect Humans


ATLANTA -- Officials have quarantined birds from a Florida dealer and 35 PetSmart stores in Georgia after an outbreak of a bacterial disease that could affect humans.

The Georgia state Department of Agriculture said two confirmed cases of avian chlamydiosis have been reported. The bacteria affects parakeets and other parrots.

Once passed to humans, it is called psittacosis


Humans who catch the illness may experience fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, and a dry cough. The disease can be treated with antibiotics.

UK: 'Change your lifestyle if you want to have treatment from NHS
Patients face having to meet conditions to qualify for free healthcare under a new "contract" between the National Health Service and its users.

Smokers or people who are chronically overweight may have to agree to exercise or to other changes in their lifestyles in return for NHS treatment, as part of the move.

Patients who miss or arrive late for hospital appointments may have penalties imposed on them and "health tourists" who travel from abroad for free NHS treatment face a clampdown...

...Mr Brown is also planning a speech in the next fortnight on his plans to develop preventative healthcare, with greater emphasis on medical research, vaccination and inoculation, and tackling obesity and sickness, which aides say is increasingly his priority for the health service. Employers will also be expected to take greater responsibility for the health of their staff....


There are many comments following the news report.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Papau New Guinea - Mystery illness, 4 dead
Mystery illness claims 4 lives in Rigo

FOUR people from the inland Rigo district in Central province died after succumbing to a mystery illness.
There were no symptoms and the four died within a few hours of each other.
Council member Ivan Namia for Ward Eight, where the deceased were from, said it was the first time they had faced such a situation and expressed concern for the villagers who are living in fear.
Mr Namia said while diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS had symptoms, this illness had no symptoms and the people just fell down and died.
He said the four people had fits and after falling to the ground, started to bleed from the mouth, ears and nose.
Their bodies then swelled up producing a strong smell which forced the people to bury the bodies immediately.
Mr Namia told The National yesterday that the people in Ward Eight were living in fear and he was concerned that they might take matters into their own hands.
He said because there were no explanations as to the cause of death, villagers were thinking the deaths were caused by customary beliefs.
"I am afraid that they may start killing innocent people in the village because they do not know what had caused the deaths of the four people," he said.
Mr Namia called on the Health Department to conduct an investigation into the matter immediately.
"I am asking the Health Department to investigate and explain what is happening as we do not know what caused the illness that resulted in the deaths so quickly.
"It could be an illness from overseas that we do not know," he said.
Mr Namia added that he also wanted the health workers in the Rigo district and Central province to organise awareness of the situation so the people know what knew what was happening.
He said the people were very scared.


Here is a map:

Dengue epidemic downs hundreds in Cambodia
Dengue epidemic downs hundreds in Cambodia  

   January 04 2008 at 08:35AM  

Phnom Penh - Cambodia suffered its worst ever outbreak of dengue fever last year and it killed 407 people, most of them children, the highest toll in nearly a decade.

Dengue, which causes fever, headaches and agonising muscle and joint pains, had infected nearly 40 000 people since the first outbreaks last May, Ngan Chantha, director of the Health Ministry's anti-dengue programme, said on Friday.

"It is the worst number of infectious cases ever in Cambodia," he said, noting the disease infected 16 000 people and killed 424 in 1998.

Thousands of sick children sought free treatment at four Swiss-funded hospitals last year, but doctors said they did not have enough resources to treat everyone.

The World Bank, the World Health Organization and the Red Cross have provided pesticides to kill mosquitoes, while the Asian Development Bank (ADB) gave $300 000 to the anti-dengue programme.

Cambodia, whose health care system was devastated in 30 years of civil war, spends about $3 per person on health a year, according to the World Bank.


Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many wards closed by vomiting bug
Many wards closed by vomiting bug  

Wards are closed to prevent the virus spreading to new patients
More than 70 hospital wards across the UK have been closed to new patients in a bid to slow the spread of the vomiting bug norovirus.
Doctors estimate that more than 100,000 people a week are catching the bug.

One hospital trust has cancelled non-urgent operations and others are trying to discourage visitors in case they bring in the virus.

People struck down by norovirus have been urged not to go back to work until the symptoms have fully disappeared.

Reported cases of the illness from early December are at a five-year-high, but the real figure is likely to be much greater as most sufferers do not seek medical attention.
more at link

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mumbai, India - Fever, cough
Mumbaikars battle bouts of fever, cough

MUMBAI: Mumbai is getting cool, but the crowds at doctors' clinics aren't. The queue has been growing as citizens battle bouts of fever, cough or viral pneumonitis (a la Sonia Gandhi) at a time when conditions ought to be regarded salubrious.

The weather could be termed bracing-some would say when the mercury hit the thirteens and fourteens this week-but what's alarming is the yawning difference between the minimum tempartures at night and the maximum temperatures during daytime. It may be a harbinger of the climate changes in the offing- and it is this very differential that is making Mumbaikars sicker, say experts.


t is such changes that cause viruses and micro-organisms to proliferate across Mumbai. In fact, many Mumbaikars have been landing up in the emergency departments of hospital due to respiratory ailments this winter. Chest physician Dr A Mahashur of Hinduja Hospital says more people are coming in with upper respiratory tract infections, persistent colds and coughs.

Cold snap in Romania claims two victims
Cold snap in Romania claims two victims
5 January 2008 | 18:24 | Source: Beta  
BUCHAREST -- Two people died of hypothermia today in Romania, as temperatures plummeted to -27 degrees.

The whole of central Romania was affected by the cold snap which measured from 27 in the town of Miercurea Ciuc in Transylvania to 10 degrees.

Meteorologists forecast that the frost will last until Monday.

The freezing temperatures have paralyzed Romania after three days of heavy snow which could not be cleared because of strong winds.

The hardest hit was the Black Sea municipality of Costanza, where, because of blocked roads, 16 villages were left isolated and nine without electricity.

9000 cases of pneumonia have been registered over the last few days, while the authorities warn of a potential 'flu epidemic.  

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

link for above

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
Viral Outbreak Hits England
Posted on: Saturday, 5 January 2008, 15:00 CST
Viral Outbreak Hits England
An outbreak of norovirus in England prompted hospitals to stop accepting new patients as more than 100,000 people per week contract the stomach bug.
The flood of sick people has prompted hospitals to cancel routine surgeries, The Independent reported Saturday.

The Health Protection Agency reported the norovirus season began a month early in December and the number of cases was the highest in five years, the British newspaper said Saturday.

This is the highest year since 2002 but we are not overly
more at link

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis
An explanation of the simple, dumb reasons XDR TB develops and spreads, one of which is the long time needed to diagnose it.  Very worthwhile read.

Final paragraph:

... XDR TB is not an "untreatable" form of TB--indeed, over half of patients have been cured in some settings [37]. But treating XDR TB will require concerted effort and an eye towards the majority of patients who are affected, rather than the intermittent concern of a few who worry about airplane importation to the American heartland.


"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Toy recall: red wagons sold by Tractor Supply Co.
Even the classic toy red wagon isn't immune from the recent spate of Chinese-made product recalls over the amount of lead contained in the toys' paint.Some 15,000 red wagons imported by Tricam Industries of Eden Prairie, Minn., violate the federal lead paint standard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in announcing the wagons' recall. No injuries have been reported....

The recall involves model MH1250. The wagons were sold at Tractor Supply Co. stores across the United States from September 2002 through November 2007 for about $30....


"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

Tropical dengue fever may threaten U.S.: report
Tropical dengue fever may threaten U.S.: report
Tue Jan 8, 2008 10:28 PM GMT

WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Dengue fever -- a tropical infection that usually causes flu-like illness -- may be poised to spread across the United States and urgent study is needed, health officials said on Tuesday.

Cases of the sometimes deadly mosquito-borne disease have been reported in Texas and this may be the beginning of a new trend, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and his senior scientific adviser, Dr. David Morens.

A warming climate and less-than-stellar efforts to control mosquitoes could accelerate its spread northwards, they cautioned.

"Widespread appearance of dengue in the continental United States is a real possibility," they wrote in a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Worldwide, dengue is among the most important reemerging infectious diseases, with an estimated 50 to 100 million annual cases, 500,000 hospitalizations and, by World Health Organization estimates, 22,000 deaths, mostly in children."


Most people infected with a dengue virus have no symptoms or a mild fever. It can cause minor bleeding from the nose or gums, but can also cause severe fever and shock and without treatment can kill.

"The combined effects of global urbanization and increasing air travel are expected to make dengue a growing international health problem for the foreseeable future," Fauci and Morens wrote.

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

According to a critical care nurse
Florida - at least the hospital he is at - already sees cases of Dengue.  I was very, very surprised to hear that and didn't find it out until my daughter was at the airport to go to the Dominican Republic over the summer.

Would be nice if we knew more, but he was actually unconcerned and considered if fairly "normal" which means that they must see cases somewhat regularly in area hospitals.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
Type A flu virus isolated, no epidemic -Belgrade
Type A flu virus isolated, no epidemic
8 January 2008 | 19:26 | Source: Tanjug  
BELGRADE -- Type A influenza virus has been isolated, but there is no epidemic in the country, officials say.

The Torlak Institute has isolated and identified the virus, epidemiologist Predrag Kon, who is also the head of the City of Belgrade Institute of Public Health, explained.

According to him, this was expected as the same type has been present in Europe, primarily in Spain, and also closer to home, in Slovenia.

"In the first week of January, Belgrade reported 34 patients suffering from influenza," Kon said, and added that at this point, the seasonal viral infection was appearing only sporadically.

Kon pointed out that an increased number of patients could be expected at the beginning of the second school semester, when acute respiratory and flu infections are likely to increase.  

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Christmas/Carnival flu outbreak- St. Kitts
Christmas/Carnival flu outbreak ... Chief medical officer advises public

Tuesday January 08 2008

by Precious Mills

Now that the Christmas and Carnival festivities are over, many people are suffering from the respiratory symptoms associated with the flu season period, as have been recognised by the Ministry of Health here in St. Kitts.

Yesterday, the SUN spoke to Dr. Patrick Martin, chief medical officer in the Ministry of Health, in an effort to update and advise the public on the necessary steps to be taken in preventing the spread of the cold virus and the effect of the flu itself on the human body.

According to Martin, "the Ministry of Health is aware of an upsurge in the number of persons present at clinics and emergency rooms with fever, cough, sore throat, aches and pains," and that those dominantly affected are young babies and the elderly.

more at link

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Domestic doctors do not rule out flu epidemic in Ukraine
09-01-2008 17:28 Domestic doctors do not rule out flu epidemic in Ukraine
However, according to the Health Ministry's press service, flu morbidity and acute respiratory viral infections have not exceeded regular seasonal levels in the last two weeks.

The disease rate has not reached epidemic proportions in any of the 10 monitored cities across Ukraine. Morbidity rates fell considerably during the first week of January with as few as 24,624 patients registered, most of them aged 7 to 14.


Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

One in eight workers call in sick
One in eight workers call in sick so far this week after bug outbreak
Last updated at 08:12am on 9th January 2008

A record one in eight staff has been laid low, with the winter vomiting bug, norovirus, cited as the main culprit.

Chronic coughs and colds have also seen workers take to their beds.

Health experts warn that sickness may soon reach pandemic levels with large swathes of the population being struck down.

Aaron Ross, of FirstCare, the absence management firm which produced the figures, said: "This is the worst period of sickness we have ever seen and it comes at a very bad time for employers.

"Most organisations wound down during the unusually long holiday period and they are experiencing real trouble starting up again.

"There has been a lot of press coverage surrounding the norovirus and people are being advised to stay at home for two days after the symptoms have stopped."
more at link

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

pandemic vs. epidemic
I wish they would get them straight.  Unless the reporter means that the number of sick out would be the same proportion they would see during a pandemic.  

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
Interesting wording. One in eight is a lot of people out  and the virus has swept through a lot of countries this year but I don't know that it meets the criteria for pandemic...How many countries does a virus need to hit before it is declared a pandemic? Is there a metric for this?

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
from pro med via my inbox
Date: Tue 8 Jan 2008
Source: The Boston Herald, Associated Press report [edited]

Public health officials are urging hospitals to do a better job of
promoting hand-washing after dozens of people were sickened by
norovirus at 3 Boston hospitals in recent weeks.

The Boston Globe reports that at Massachusetts General Hospital, 31
staffers and 13 patients fell ill with the gastrointestinal disease,
which causes vomiting and diarrhea but generally leaves no lasting
health effects.

Brigham and Women's Hospital reported that 8 patients and 22 staff
members contracted norovirus [infection]. And an outbreak at a
Children's Hospital day care facility left 33 children and adults

While the virus is difficult to stop entirely, experts say hospitals
can slow its spread by encouraging employees to vigorously wash their
hands with alcohol-based gel or soap after treating patients.

Communicated by:

[Norovirus is living up to its reputation as the "winter vomiting
bug" and hospitals are particularly vulnerable at this time of year.
This year promises to be a vintage year for outbreaks of
norovirus-associated disease. Currently at least 56 hospital wards in
England and Wales have been closed to new admissions and it has been
estimated that more than 100 000 people a week in the UK are
contracting norovirus infection.

It should be noted that noroviruses (and caliciviruses in general)
are resistant to inactivation by organic solvents and therefore
alcohol-based cleansing agents may not have any additional advantage
over conventional soap and water hand cleansing in controlling the
spread of infection. - Mod.CP


Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The flu is used in many cantons for the epidemic
 google translation

9. 9th Januar 2008 - 10:49 - Vermischtes January 2008 - 10:49 - Miscellaneous
The flu is used in many cantons for the epidemic

 In Switzerland rampant since the beginning of this year, the flu: In the first week of the new year were 111 suspected cases reported per 100000 inhabitants. This was the first time this winter the epidemic threshold of 58 cases exceeded.

 The wave of flu had already been in the last week of the old year that, said Mark Witschi by the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) on request.   At that time, the epidemic threshold with 54 suspected cases almost been achieved.

 Particularly affected is the northern German Switzerland.   In the Canton of Aargau, Basel two, Solothurn, Zurich and eastern Switzerland has been an increased flu activity.

 In the Canton Grisons, Ticino, Geneva, Neuchatel, Vaud and Valais flu occurred in the past week in sporadic.   No flu activity rule in the cantons of Bern, Fribourg, Jura, Glarus, and the Inner Switzerland.

 The spread of flu in Switzerland by the BAG, because Sentinella details of the reporting system.   They recorded in the first week of January 124 physicians 16.5 suspected flu cases in 1000 doctor consultations.   This is a significant increase compared to the previous week, when the rate of 11.7 cases was suspected.

 Hochgerechnet is this for the last week, 111 suspected cases per 100000 inhabitants.   The national epidemic threshold has been under a new European adjustment on the basis of 100000 inhabitants. (sda) (Sda)


Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

This will be too commond during a pandemic

OMAHA, Neb. -- Questions from family surround the deaths of an Omaha woman and her young son who were found in their downtown Omaha apartment Monday morning.

Police said it appeared the boy, whose nickname was "Zeke," was foraging for food after his mother died.

Omaha police said they were called to the Drake Court apartments near 21st and Leavenworth streets at about 11:30 a.m. Monday. They found Janelle Browning, 43, and her 21-month-old son, Ezekiel Berry, dead inside their apartment.



To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

Will have to remeber this. n/t

[ Parent ]
Diary getting long...
There's a new Not Bird Flu But Close diary here


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