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Not Influenza but Close News - Aug 2011 to Sep 2012

by: Bronco Bill

Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 20:33:18 PM EDT

This diary is for news of non-influenza-related outbreaks/disasters found around the world

The previous "Not Influenza" diary is located here

Bronco Bill :: Not Influenza but Close News - Aug 2011 to Sep 2012
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UK: Garden bird virus
A virus affecting garden birds is spreading to new parts of the UK, researchers are warning.

This form of avian pox causes lesions, often around the eyes and beak.

The virus, affecting great tits, is believed to be a new and more severe strain of a disease that has affected other bird species for several decades.

When it was first found in the UK in 2006 it seemed to be confined to south-east England, but has now spread further north and west.

The findings come from a team at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Researchers now want help from the public to help track any further spread of the disease.

Avian pox can be spread through contaminated bird feeders, via biting insects and through direct contact between birds.

It has been known in species including dunnock, woodpigeons and house sparrows for many years.

The form now affecting great tits may be the same strain as one discovered in central Europe.

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie...

More on avian pox
Avian pox in garden birds

Marsh tit with avian pox [photo didn't copy]

Avian pox is a viral skin infection that shows up as unsightly growths on the bird, mainly on the head and neck, and at the base of the wings.We are investigating the spread and intensity of avian pox in the UK, and the full range of species affected by it. If you see any garden bird with growths, please report this to us.
You can access a recording form by clicking on the link on the right. If you have any photographs of the affected birds, it would be helpful if you could attach these to the report, as they will help us identify what may be causing the growths. Your contribution will be valuable for our monitoring work.
(Advice for bird owners and wild-bird feeders at link.)

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

[ Parent ]
Cargill recalls ground turkey and suspends production
Cargill Value Added Meats Retail, a business unit of Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, has recalled approximately 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company's Springdale, Arkansas facility, due to possible contamination from Salmonella Heidelberg.

Cargill is initiating the recall as a result of its internal investigation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information that became available on Aug. 1, 2011, as well as an ongoing USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) investigation into multiple illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg.

Additionally, Cargill has suspended production of ground turkey products at its Springdale, Ark., turkey processing facility until it is able to determine the source of the Salmonella Heidelberg and take corrective actions. Other turkey products produced at Springdale are not part of the recall. Cargill owns four turkey processing facilities in the US and no products from the other three are involved in the recall. Continued: http://www.worldpoultry.net/ne...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


US: New tick-borne bacterium found in upper Midwest
Researchers in Minnesota have discovered a new bacterium carried by deer ticks that has caused flu-like symptoms in at least 25 people in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The bacterium, which is yet unnamed, is part of the Ehrlichia genus. Other species in the genus, such as Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii, are transmitted by ticks in the southeastern and south-central United States.

"Before this report, human ehrlichiosis was thought to be very rare or absent in Minnesota and Wisconsin," (Snip) Pritt and colleagues published an account of four cases Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ehrlichia infect and kill white blood cells, causing fever, body aches, headache and fatigue. In severe cases, other organs such as the lungs, kidneys and the brain may be affected and in rare cases, the infections can result in death.

Researchers have not seen any infections that did not originate in Minnesota or Wisconsin. All four of the patients described in the New England Journal of Medicine (Snip) All four had fever, fatigue and headache and one patient also had nausea and vomiting. And all responded to treatment with the antibiotic doxycycline (Snip) http://www.reuters.com/article...  

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


South Russia: Swine fever outbreak
A state of emergency has been declared in a district in the Krasnodar Region in south Russia over a swine fever outbreak, the regional emergencies center said on Sunday. The swine fever virus was found in a private farm holding some three kilometers away from the Krylovskaya village where 15 swine died of the disease, the emergencies center said. The state of emergency covers an area where 11,839 pigs are being kept, of which 50 have already died, the emergencies center said. African swine fever, or Montgomery's disease, was first reported in Africa in 1903. Both domestic and wild animals can become infected when they come into contact with sick animals. The virus does not affect humans.


United we stand: Divided we fall

US officials worried about possible ricin attack by Al Qaida
US officials are increasingly concerned that Al Qaida's branch in Yemen is trying to produce the potent poison ricin so they can pack it with explosives for attacks in the United States (Snip) A speck of ricin, which is derived from castor beans, can kill if it gets into the lungs or blood stream. Intelligence officials said they have evidence that Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is trying to move castor beans and processing agents to a site in Yemen's Shabwa province, which is under insurgents' control. (Snip) the evidence suggests the group is trying to make ricin bombs to detonate in indoor spaces like airports, shopping malls, and subways. But they say there is no sign that an attack is imminent and also note that ricin's utility as a weapon is limited because it loses its potency in dry, sunny conditions and is not absorbed through the skin. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

Aug 12 Times story http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


CO and VA: earthquakes
Colorado's 5.3 and 4.8 earthquakes today have been overshadowed by the 5.8 in Virginia that was felt over a wide area of the East.  



People on the East Coast had trouble making cell phone calls because the system was overloaded.  According to the ABCtv report, FEMA [somehow] sent a message that people should text instead of trying to make cell calls, because texting will still work while the system is busy.  Texts don't take up as much bandwidth as voice calls and the packets can slip through, I read somewhere.  Good information to know for future emergencies.

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

Whole lotta shakin' goin' on...
Yep...we felt it here in Williamsburg.. Richter scale of 5.8 now official, centered in Mineral VA. A shallow quake, about 3.7 miles below the surface, which is why it was felt over such a wide region (Miami to Toronto and all the way west through Kentucky by some reports). Several Federal buildings in DC were evacuated and employees sent home 'til tomorrow.
The town of Mineral, located between Richmond VA and Charlottesvill VA, sustained quite a bit of damage to buildings, but no injuries were reported.
This came about an hour after a 6.0 quake off the east coast of Japan, and only about 30 minutes before the Colorado quakes.

All this, and I'm staring down the barrel of Hurricane Irene coming this weekend. Current "official" reports say the eye should move north about 10 miles east of my home; a local weatherhead (who has just happened to be right about every weather prediction he's made over the past 5 years) says that the Tidewater area of SE Virginia will bear the brunt of the storm after it passes over NE North Carolina and into Norfolk VA. Where is Williamsburg, you might ask? Uhm, in the Tidewater area...

Yeah...it just may be TEOTWAWKI!  :-/

[ Parent ]
Good luck, Bronco Bill!
In New Orleans, some people put an ax in the attic, in case they had really high water and would have to chop their way out.  Hope it doesn't get you that badly.

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

[ Parent ]
I've heard that about the axes...
On the other hand, I don't plan on being here if the water starts rising that high...and with the storm surge predicted to come UP river, I'm going to be far, far away...

[ Parent ]
Got the BBRWFK at hand? (n/t)

[ Parent ]
You KNOW I do -- 2 boxes....it may be Flu Killer, but in larger quantities it's also a great anesthetic, and this hurricane thing is gonna be a real pain...

[ Parent ]
Avian Botulism
Wildlife officials say about 30 ducks have died in a Salt Lake City pond because of a potential outbreak of avian Botulism. Many of the dead ducks were pulled from the Liberty Park pond over the weekend and other ducks are showing signs of the disease. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Program Coordinator Justin Dolling says the ducks appear to be infected by an avian botulism toxin, which is often released from sediment during hot weather. Dolling says insects absorb the toxin and infect the birds that eat them. The Salt Lake Valley Health Department says avian botulism can pose a threat to humans or other animals if infected birds are handled extensively, such as a dog carrying a dead duck in its mouth.


United we stand: Divided we fall

US blood supply: babesia contaminated
US blood supply vulnerable to Babesia infection spread by ticks
Babesia, a tickborne parasite of red blood cells, is being
transmitted through blood transfusions, according to results of a
collaborative study, led by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, of data from the past 3 decades. Transfusion-associated
cases of babesiosis have been increasingly recognized since 1979, the
year the 1st known case occurred.

The article about the study and an accompanying editorial appear today
[6 Sep 2011] online in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In the report,
CDC and collaborators describe 159 transfusion-related babesiosis
cases that occurred during 1979-2009, most (77 percent) from 2000 to
2009. No Babesia test approved by the Food and Drug Administration
is available for screening prospective blood donors, who can feel fine
despite being infected.

Babesiosis is a potentially fatal, but treatable, complication of
transfusion. Severe consequences, such as multi-organ failure and
death, are most often seen in persons without a spleen, the elderly,
and those with a weak immune system. The study authors say prevention
strategies, including development of a screening test, are needed.
Some manufacturers are working with investigators at blood
establishments to develop FDA-approved tests for Babesia for
donor-screening purposes.

"We want clinicians to become more aware of babesiosis, including the
small possibility of transmission via blood transfusion
," says Barbara
Herwaldt, MD, MPH, CDC medical epidemiologist, and lead author of the
article. "If a patient develops unexplained fever or hemolytic anemia
after a transfusion, babesiosis should be considered as a possible
cause, regardless of the season or US region."

Because babesiosis is spread most commonly by ticks, the risk of this
disease is another reason for people to prevent tick bites. People who
unknowingly become infected through the bite of a tiny tick (about the
size of a poppy seed) can transmit the parasite via blood transfusion.
Therefore, prevention of tickborne infection can help safeguard the
blood supply.

Most US tickborne Babesia cases have occurred in 7 states in the
Northeast and the upper Midwest (in parts of Connecticut,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and
), particularly during the warm months of the year. However,
transfusion-associated Babesia cases have been identified in 19
and have occurred year-round

Dr Herwaldt points out that even severe Babesia cases, not just
cases that are asymptomatic or mild, are easily missed unless the
diagnosis is considered. Even then, babesiosis often is mistakenly
diagnosed as malaria, which also infects red blood cells

In January 2011, babesiosis became a nationally notifiable disease,
which means state health departments are encouraged to share
information about cases of babesiosis with CDC. More accurate
information about tickborne and transfusion-transmitted cases of
babesiosis will help CDC and its partners, including the Food and Drug
Administration, in their continued efforts to make the blood supply
even safer.
[snipped many references]
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

[The paper is Barbara L Herwaldt et al: Transfusion-Associated
Babesiosis in the United States: A Description of Cases
. Ann Intern
Med. 5 Sep 2011. [Epub ahead of print]; and the editorial: David A
Leiby: Transfusion-Associated Babesiosis: Shouldn't We Be Ticked Off?

Ann Intern Med 5 Sep 2011 E-363 [E-pub ahead of print].

With no screening test available, the study emphasizes that infection
with babesia should be considered in febrile patients with hemolytic
anemia and a history of blood transfusion. The only diagnostic test is
a microscopy of a thick blood film just as for malaria. PCR diagnosis
is another possibility. PCR for Babesia spp and expertise on
evaluating thick blood films for babesia or malaria are most probably
not available routinely in all hospitals, which makes diagnosis
difficult as samples needs to be send to centers where these methods
are available. - Mod.EP]


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

Hi Jane
Please only post a snippet of pre-published articles from other news sources when posting here. Your links are great, but fair use requires posting only a shortened version of the story.  Thanks.

[ Parent ]
Hi Bronco Bill,
I'm sorry; I thought that rule was only for profit-making news sources.

ProMED-mail reports are freely available for retransmission, on-line posting, or publication provided that ProMED-mail is cited as the source of the material.  [snip]


{Software comment; I didn't see the X that it's complaining about, and it won't let me use it in a quote:  Unclosed HTML tag: "x". Add a x where the tag should end, or delete the x.}

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

[ Parent ]
Dengue Fever Outbreak-question
Punjab Government has declared emergency in all hospitals of Lahore due to dengue virus and posted one hundred and thirty one more doctors.Talking to a private news channel, a spokesman of the Ministry of Health in Punjab said that twenty eight doctors have been posted in Meo Hospital, twenty eight in Jinnah, nineteen in Services, six in Ganga Ram, 5 in General Hospital, four in PIC, and eleven in Mian Munchi and Civil Hospital.

He said the number of dengue patients has risen to two thousand and seventy four and one thousand nine hundred and ninety two of them are residents of Lahore.

A ban has also been imposed on morning assemblies in Government and private educational institutions. The ban was imposed for two months due to dengue virus, he added.

(Is this typical for a ban to be imposed? -cottontop)


United we stand: Divided we fall

WHO Says Malaria Could Be Eradicated by 2015
September 14, 2011
LONDON:  The world has made impressive progress against malaria in the past 10 years, increasing optimism that an end to the killer mosquito-borne disease could be in sight, a World Health Organization-backed report said on Monday.   Deaths from malaria have fallen by an estimated 38 percent in the past 10 years with 43 countries - 11 of them in Africa - cutting malaria cases or deaths by 50 percent, reversing the previous decade's trend and saving more than a million lives.

The progress - partly due to a substantial increase in funding for fighting malaria - means deaths from the disease could be brought down to near zero by the end of 2015, the report by the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership said.  The WHO, which helped set up the RBM partnership, has also said the world can stop malaria deaths by 2015 if massive investment is made to ramp up control measures, but this is seen by some experts as an ambitious target.  

RBM also aims to reduce global malaria cases by 75 percent by the end of 2015 from the levels seen in 2000, and eliminate malaria in 10 more countries.  Total eradication of the parasitic disease, which is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes and threatens around half the world's population, is still a long way off. Some think it could take another 40 to 50 years.

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

US: maize disease
Crop scientists are asking farmers to help. They know plants were
attacked by a bacterial disease called Goss's leaf blight and wilt.
But University of Minnesota's (MSU) Dean Malvick wants farmers to send
diseased leaves.

Goss's can reduce ear size, or at its worst, kill the plant
completely. The disease has a long history in the US, but it remained
fairly isolated for decades until recently. Malvick wants to know
whether the bacteria affecting Minnesota fields are the same as the
ones wilting corn across the Midwest, or whether they are some sort of
He said researchers don't know why Goss's is increasing so fast. Its
rapid increase over the last few years is something researchers are
concerned about.


(Lots more at the link: photos, maps, information)

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

Clusters of Acute Respiratory Illness Associated with Human Enterovirus 68
Asia, Eur., and US, 2008--2010

In the past 2 years, the CDC [snip] has learned of several clusters of respiratory illness
associated with human enterovirus 68 (HEV68), including severe
disease. HEV68 is a unique enterovirus that shares epidemiologic and
biologic features with human rhinoviruses (HRV) (1). 1st isolated in
California in 1962 from 4 children with bronchiolitis and pneumonia
(2), HEV68 has been reported rarely since that time and the full
spectrum of illness that it can cause is unknown. The 6 clusters of
respiratory illness associated with HEV68 described in this report
occurred in Asia, Europe, and the United States during 2008--2010.
HEV68 infection was associated with respiratory illness ranging from
relatively mild illness that did not require hospitalization to severe
illness requiring intensive care and mechanical ventilation. 3 cases,
2 in the Philippines and one in Japan, were fatal. In these 6
clusters, HEV68 disproportionately occurred among children.
[BIG snip]
Clinicians should be aware of HEV68 as one of many causes of viral
respiratory disease. Clusters of unexplained respiratory illness
should be reported to the appropriate public health agency.
Local or
state health departments may contact the CDC for assistance with
laboratory diagnostics or consultation through the Unexplained
Respiratory Disease Outbreak network

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

US: Mumps outbreak reported on QU campus (IL)
The Adams County Health Department (ACHD) and Quincy University (QU)
say several cases of mumps have been reported on the college campus.
In a press release, QU officials said students have received
information about mumps and are being given the opportunity to get
vaccinations to reduce the risk of contracting the mumps. The press
release stated the department does not consider this cluster of cases
will increase risk of mumps disease to the general public "since cases
are limited to a single localized population."

Jerrod Welch, director of clinical and environmental services for the
ACHD, says the number of cases of mumps is believed to be under 10.

"Mumps is a disease that by the time you have symptoms, you are no
longer contagious or very contagious
{?}," Welch said. "The symptoms
usually resolve themselves within a number of days."

How long is a person with mumps contagious?
People with mumps are usually considered most infectious from a few days before until 5 days after the onset of parotitis. Therefore, CDC recommends isolating mumps patients for 5 days after their glands begin to swell.

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

Tex.: Mexican beauty cream linked to mercury poisoning
A Mexican beauty cream that promises to rid users of wrinkles and skin
discoloration may actually be deadly, local health officials warned
Monday [26 Sep 2011]. Officials issued the warning on the heels of 6
mercury poisoning cases
reported in El Paso by people using "Crema
Antiedad y Desmanchadora
", an anti-aging cream nearly identical to
another cream, "Crema Aguamary", which may be responsible for 44 cases
of mercury poisoning
in Texas and is not approved for use in the
United States.

Officials with the El Paso Department of Public Health said the Food
and Drug Administration limits mercury content in such products to one
part per million, but the creams imported from Mexico have been shown
to have up to 130 000 parts per million.

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

ALS a prion disease
A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia (BC) and
the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute have found a key link
between prions and the neurodegenerative disease ALS (Amyotrophic
Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The discovery
is significant as it opens the door to novel approaches to the
treatment of ALS.

A pivotal paper published by the team this week in the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), demonstrates that the SOD1
protein (superoxide dismutase 1), which has been shown to be
implicated in the ALS disease process, exhibits prion-like properties.
The researchers found that SOD1 participates in a process called
template-directed misfolding. This term refers to the coercion of one
protein by another protein to change shape and accumulate in large
complexes in a fashion similar to the process underlying prion

These findings provide a molecular explanation for the progressive
spread of ALS through the nervous system, and highlight the central
role of the propagation of misfolded proteins in the pathogenesis of
neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS, Alzheimer's and
[big snip, before and after this excerpt; article is a round-up of info on variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and similar diseases)]

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

India: unknown illness kills 16 in past 3 months
State of Maharashtra
City: Sindhudurg

Officials and experts from five medical bodies of the state are hard at work in Sindhudurg district, where a mystery organism has claimed 16 lives; preliminary investigations have ruled out Leptospirosis as a probable cause.
According to reports, 16 patients complaining of symptoms like cold and respiratory distress died in the past three months. [snip]  The cause for concern is that only one of them [one of 17 recent deaths] have tested positive for Leptospirosis, the disease which claimed so many lives last year. This indicates that some other undetected organism is claiming all these lives.
[snip; suspected hanta virus]


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

Hi Jane
Just wanted to say that you've been doing good work here. Thanks for keeping us informed on what other health threats are out there.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


[ Parent ]
HI Carol
Thanks!  All you newshounds work so hard, you inspire me.

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

[ Parent ]
ProMED: New Ebolavirus-like filovirus - Spain: bats
Spanish and US scientists have discovered a new ebolavirus-like filovirus in Spain, the 1st known detection of such a virus outside sub-Saharan Africa and the Philippines. Reporting in PLoS Pathogens (Snip) 20 Oct 2011, they describe identifying the virus in a specimen from a dead common bent-wing bat (Snip) during an investigation of bat die-offs in southern Europe. They named the novel pathogen Lloviu virus (LLOV) after the Cueva del Lloviu region in which the bat was found. (Snip) "LLOV is genetically distinct from other marburgviruses and ebolaviruses and is the 1st filovirus detected in Europe that was not imported from an endemic area in Africa." Filoviruses are among the most lethal of pathogens in primates, including humans. Continued: http://beta.promedmail.org/dir...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


Bats migrate and may spread disease to new areas
Comment sent to ProMed Mail:
Date: Sun 23 Oct 2011
From: Paul Reiter  [edited]

Worth noting is that many species of bats are migratory, and some fly
for very long distances. The species in question, the Bent-winged bat
[_Miniopterus schreibersii_], does migrate across open sea (for
example, a recapture of a bat in southern Spain that was released in
the Balearic Islands). Some species of bat migrate regularly from the
southern United States and southern Mexico.

A die-off in southern Europe could signal the introduction of an
exotic virus, much as occurred with West Nile virus in the New World.


Balearic Islands are in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain.

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

[ Parent ]
Infectious diseases of concern to captive and free-ranging animals in North America
Date: 21 Oct 2011
From: Kathry Gamble

We are pleased to announce the 1st edition of "Infectious diseases of
concern to captive and free-ranging animals in North America," as
coordinated by the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV):

Napier JE, Gamble KC (editors). Infectious diseases of concern to
captive and free-ranging animals in North America, 1st edition. Yulee,
Florida: Infectious Disease Committee, American Association of Zoo
Veterinarians, 2011. 374 pp.

With our sister organizations, AAZV's Infectious Disease Committee
coordinated active participation with many other organizations to
complete concise fact sheets on a total of 160 diseases and the
reportable diseases for the 50 United States, Canada, and Mexico.
This project was designed as a starting reference point for
information needed on infectious diseases which affect zoo and wild
animal species housed or free-ranging in North America. It is
complementary to a similar volume (in its 4th edition) developed for
infectious diseases which affected zoo and wild animal species housed
or free-ranging in Europe. [snip]


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

ProMed Mail's new format
simplifies their links.  The 2 stories I posted have the same link.  Probably we'll have to use the window on the upper left and scroll until the story title appears.  

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

[ Parent ]
Sweden: new tick-borne illness

Published Date: 2011-10-28 10:25:45
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Anaplasmosis-like illness - Sweden: new tick-borne pathogen
Archive Number: 20111028.3207

Swedish researchers have discovered a new tick-borne illness that can
cause blood clots in the legs and lungs, with 3 cases having been
reported in Sweden.

A total of 8 cases of the disease have been reported so far, with
patients in Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic also having
been infected. All of those affected by the disease suffer from a
weakened immune system, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reported.

The illness, which researchers call "neo disease" after the bacterium
that causes it, Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, also brings
about flu-like symptoms with long-lasting high fevers, coughing, and
aches. The disease can be treated with antibiotics.


The story has a comment from the mother of a girl who was bitten by a tick and has been sick for 3 years and tested positive for about 10 diseases. {!?}

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

The last sentence:
According to researchers, ten percent of ticks in southern Sweden carry the bacteria.

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

[ Parent ]
Ohio mock zombie outbreak inspired by CDC message

A central Ohio county is preparing for a zombie outbreak on Halloween, hoping to train responders for more likely emergencies through an exercise inspired by a tongue-in-cheek blog posting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that urged people to be prepared for a "zombie apocalypse."

More than 225 volunteers in Delaware County north of Columbus signed up to dress as zombies Monday in a drill for officials who would deal with real-life situations involving hazardous materials and disaster response. Emergency responders will test their capabilities as they use standard decontamination procedures to "treat" the zombies and make them "human" again during the exercise at Ohio Wesleyan University. (continued)

US: First case of Broward dengue fever confirmed (Florida)
The tropical virus dengue fever has spread to Broward County mosquitoes, health officials said Thursday, after tests confirmed the first known case of the disease being contracted here.

An adult who had not left Broward for weeks came down with the mosquito-borne disease this month, meaning Broward is now the second place in the continental United States -- following Key West -- where dengue fever exists. Officials at the Broward County Health Department would not identify the person or disclose where the person lives, but said the county will step up mosquito spraying and hammer harder on its message to prevent bug bites - especially since Florida has logged a few cases of other mosquito diseases such as West Nile virus.

"The person has recovered fully," said Dr. Paul Thaqi, health department director. "This is an important opportunity for us to emphasize to folks to prevent mosquito-borne disease."

Dengue causes mild to severe flu-like symptoms marked by pain in the bones and behind the eyes, plus fever and vomiting. In severe or repeat cases, it can be fatal. The virus spreads only from the bite of an infected mosquito, not by human to human contact. There's no vaccine or drug to treat it. Many people who get infected never get sick at all.

In Key West, at least 53 cases have been reported since the outbreak began in September, including a Wilton Manors woman infected while visiting the island. But the new Broward case is the first time a person was infected by mosquitoes living here.

Carina Blackmore, a mosquito disease specialist at the state Department of Health, said she's certain the local mosquito got the virus by biting someone in Broward who had contracted dengue fever while traveling in the Caribbean, South America or a country where the disease is prevalent. Blackmore said she is certain because the person here caught the type-3 strain of dengue. The strain circulating in Key West is called type-1, so the new case could not be related to Key West.

"I'm not surprised this has shown up there," Blackmore said. "South Florida has a lot of travelers to Central America and the Caribbean. Plenty of people bring back dengue fever to Florida every year. It just doesn't happen very often, so it goes undetected. Because of our increased surveillance now from the Key West cases, we're now picking it up." Continued: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/n...  

Note: Broward County Florida Cities/Towns - Coconut Creek, Cooper City, Coral Springs, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale (County Seat), Hallandale Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lauderhill, Lazy Lake, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Parkland, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Port Everglades, Sea Ranch Lakes, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, Tamarac, West Park, Weston, Wilton Manors

Map link: http://www.maplandia.com/unite...  

Smoked fish from Philippines recalled: botulism
A California importer is recalling smoked seafood imported from the Philippines over a botulism threat.

Foremost Foods International, Inc. of Pomona Calif., said it's pulling Pangasinan branded Roundscad Smoked Galunggong and Mackerel Smoked Hasa Hasa sold in Washington, Nevada and California through Seafood City and Manila Seafood stores.

The potentially contaminated seafood was distributed between March 2010 and October 2011 and sold in 6-oz. clear vacuum-packed plastic packages. [snip]
Hat-tip, ProMed Mail.
There's a photo of the product at the link.

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

India: Antibiotic resistance, Salmonella typhi
Date: Thu 3 Nov 2011
From: Amit Arjyal [edited]

Re: ProMED-mail post Antibiotic resistance, Salmonella typhi - India:
(Mumbai) fluoroquinolones 20111031.3235
Doctors from Lilavati and Hinduja hospitals in Mumbai have reported
cases of resistant typhoid that did not respond to treatment for the
1st 10 days with oral drugs (not stated which drug or at what dose)
and the patients needed hospitalization and treatment with intravenous
antibiotics. We are delighted that the contributors have highlighted
this critical issue.

The treatment of enteric fever (caused by Salmonella enterica
serovar Typhi, or Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi A) is
becoming increasingly difficult in many part of Asia as drug
resistance spreads. Despite this, few countries make use of available
and affordable vaccines or implement the complex public health
measures to reduce the burden of disease.

Typhoid and paratyphoid fever are both restricted to humans and hence
timely treatment of the individual ensures the patients are cured and
at the same time also ensures that the individual cannot continue to
transmit the infection to others in their community. In this setting,
ensuring the optimal use of antibiotics is absolutely crucial.  [snip]

Use the index at upper left of the page:  
05 Nov 2011 Antibiotic resistance, Salmonella typhi - India (02): (Mumbai) fluoroquinolones:  http://www.promedmail.org/?p=2...

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

Fla.: Legionnaire's Disease; 6 cases, 1 death
NEW PORT RICHEY - Pasco County public health authorities are trying to determine what may have caused three cases of Legionnaires' disease.

Two cases were diagnosed on the same street in Port Richey.

"We just heard of a third case that's in a different location four miles away," said Dr. David Johnson, director of the Pasco County Health Department.

The three cases follow last week's outbreak of Legionnaire's disease in Plant City. Three people were diagnosed to the bacterial infection in the Meadows Countrywood neighborhood last week.  [snip]
(Hat-tip ProMed Mail)

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

Canada: low-path. avian flu
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has found a low pathogenicity H7 avian influenza virus in wild birds in central and western Canada.

The virus was found in healthy mallards by Canada's Inter-Agency Wild Bird Influenza Survey, an early warning system designed to detect AI viruses in the wild that could be transmitted to domestic poultry, during regular testing during the fall migratory season.

Regions such as the Fraser Valley are on wild bird flyways, although this virus was identified in healthy live mallards sampled in Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the course of regular testing during the fall migratory season. [snip]

Read more: http://www.abbotsfordtimes.com...
(Hat-tip, ProMed Mail)

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

Canine Flu Outbreak Plagues Metro Area
This IS about Influenza, but not transmissable to humans...

"Veterinarians suggest vaccine to protect your pups."

Has Fido had his flu shot?  

Veterinarians are reporting an outbreak of canine flu in the New York metro area.


Vets are recommending a vaccine for dogs that will spend any time in close quarters with other dogs, such as at a kennel.    

The Journal News reports that officials at the Cornell University Veterinary School say canine flu has been spreading in New York City, the lower Hudson Valley and northern New Jersey.

There's more -- http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news...

Fort Detrick, MD: drilling leads to an odor
Tests are being done after an odor was detected during drilling at Fort Detrick. It's concerning because the odor is coming from an area that's been contaminated with toxins. Contaminants were buried at the site when Fort Detrick's Biological Weapons program was ended in the 1970s. Robert Sperling with Fort Detrick said employees noticed the odor last Wednesday while they were installing a well. But that information wasn't released until Saturday morning. "Once they smelled the odors, they stopped what they were doing, and they put on protective gear, they put on a respirator," he said vapor didn't travel off base and therefore, is not a threat to the community. "We had did some tests downwind and really nothing was detected past about 10 feet from the actual drill," Sperling said. [snip]   Fort Detrick officials say at this time, they do not know whether the odor is hazardous. They are waiting for results from water testing. Those results should be available next week.

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

timely coincidence

A new study wants to more learn about disposal Area B at Fort Detrick, where groundwater contamination from the chemicals TCE and PCE was discovered in 1992.

Ed Kruse, a doctoral student, will embark on a yearlong study with support from the university, community agencies and county residents.

[ Parent ]
African Plague (pig) w/fever
Armenian Ministry of Agriculture wrote in the Ministry webpage that a new outbreak of African Plague among pigs is not excluded. According to media reports, some pigs in Lorut village of Armenia Lori Region had fever.

The disease may possibly be an African Plague. Initial data testify that the disease symptoms are similar to the Plague. Appropriate preventive work was carried out in the same community months ago. The farmers were advised to keep pigs in closed area after preventing spread of the disease. However, condition, which excluded repetition of the infection, were obviously violated. Thus, it may cause the new outbreak, Ministry report reads.


United we stand: Divided we fall

Norway: Mystery over dead herring
Several tons of dead herring washed up on a beach in Nordreisa, northern Norway, at the weekend, puzzling locals and marine scientists.

No further info


I've been following the massive fish die offs
all over the world. These die offs are increasing in the number of dead. Also that Red Tide (ocean) seems to be worse this years for all parts of the world. It's toxic to humans and wildlife.

It's just my thought, but I beleive the water is getting a lot warmer globally.  

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
I wondered that, too, Cottontop, but then I've only been paying any attention for the past couple of years :-)
PS - did you see this about the seals (below)?

[ Parent ]
India: Field turns birds' burial ground - 200 avian species die after eating poisoned puffed rice
Balurghat, Jan. 5: More than 200 birds, mostly pet pigeons and domesticated hens, were found dead at Purbachal here since last night after the avian species had purportedly consumed puffed rice mixed with poison.

The mass death of birds had initially led people to suspect that avian flu had struck the area. But the animal husbandry authorities ruled out that the deaths had been caused by bird flu. The disease had killed thousands of domesticated chickens in Balurghat in the past.

The local people pointed finger at Bidhu Pahan who cultivates wheat on a small patch of land at Purbachal for the avian deaths. They said he had kept puffed rice mixed with pesticide in the field and the birds had consumed them.

The farmer fled the area after the incident.

"Nearly 200 birds and even some stray dogs and cats died between last evening and this morning. I have spoken to the residents and some of them suspect that the owner of a wheat field had spread a high dose of pesticide in a bag of puffed rice that the birds consumed and died," said Arijit Mahanta, a former RSP councillor from the area.

"I spoke to Pahan along with the local people and the farmer admitted that he had spread pesticide on the field. He has left the area after the incident. But, we feel that he had also poisoned the puffed rice. The pigeons consumed the rice and died after they flew back to their roosts," Mahanta said.

More: http://telegraphindia.com/1120...

Flu linked to mysterious seal deaths: Unknown why virus now deadlier
A flu virus similar to one found in birds but not previously detected in harbor seals was the cause of five of 162 recent deaths of the marine animals off the New England coast, federal and state officials said yesterday.

The influenza virus, known as H3N8, appears to have a low risk for transmission to humans, they said. But officials are urging the public to be cautious about approaching stranded seals to reduce the potential risk of spreading the infection to people or their unleashed dogs.

More: http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2...

Undiagnosed Die-Off, Avian - USA: (Massachusetts), Swans, Request for information
Date: Wed 4 Jan 2012
Source: The MetroWest Daily News edited]State biologists are unsure what caused the deaths of about 16 swans near Mill Pond late last month [December 2011, but say it is unlikely the cause would be harmful to humans.

"I don't think there are any human health hazards," said H. Heussmann, a state waterfowl biologist. "There are very few viruses associated between humans and waterfowl."

Police say a caller reported seeing 5-6 dead swans floating in Mill Pond on 17 Dec 2011. A total of 16 dead swans were located in the area, said Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife spokesman Reggie Zimmerman.

"The USDA Wildlife services have taken tissue samples (of the dead swans), and we're waiting for some test results to come back," said Heussmann. "My suspicion would be it's some sort of virus, but that's total guesswork. We do know that they're not being shot."


Rare wild goats pneumonia outbreak
A pneumonia outbreak has wiped out as many as 20 percent of the rare wild goats in Tajikistan, Central Asia, researchers say.

Working together, researchers from Central Asia, France and the Wildlife Conservation Society determined that a pneumonia outbreak that occurred in Tajikistan during September and October 2010 may have killed at least 65 markhors (Capra falconeri).

That may not seem like all that many goats, but fewer than 2,500 of the endangered goats exist worldwide, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


The researchers think domestic goats may be to blame. Farmers in Tajikistan sometimes raise their goats in habitats that are also used by markhors, and this cohabitation increases the risk of infection transmission from domestic stock to wildlife.

"Recent investigations in the area of the outbreak have revealed that domestic goats test positive for a mycoplasma bacteria that may cause pneumonia in both domestic and wild goats," study researcher Stephane Ostrowski of the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement.


United we stand: Divided we fall

Spectacular goats!
Here are 2 more photos:  

Horns of male goats may reach 1.6 meters!

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

[ Parent ]
Bees: colony-collapse disorder, possible cause
Zom-bees: How Parasitic Flies Are Turning Honeybees into the Buzzing Undead

By Bryan Walsh | @bryanrwalsh | January 4, 2012

From the Nature Is Scary file: researchers from San Francisco State University announced this week in a new study that honeybees are being turned into "zombies" by parasite flies. The fly-known as Apocephalus borealis-deposits its eggs inside the abdomen of a bee. The action is fatal for the bee, as fly larvae eventually hatch and push their way out between the bee's head and thorax. But that's not the really gross part. Before the flies pop out, Alien-style, the bees start acting strangely, abandoning their hives to gather near lights, flying in a barely controlled fashion. They're alive but not alive-bee zombies. And the parasites that cause the transformation may provide a clue to the mysterious colony collapse disorder (CCD) that has devastated honeybee populations in the U.S. over the past several years.


The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, was co-led by John Hafernik, a biology professor at SF State, and it came about by accident. Hafernik was searching for insects to feed the praying mantis he had brought back from a field trip and found some dead bees underneath a light fixture outside his office building. He put them in a vial on his desk and promptly forgot about them for a few days.

The next time he looked at the vial, however, he saw fly pupae surrounding the bees. Hafernik and Andrew Core, an SF State graduate student who led the PLoS ONE study, performed a genetic analysis on the flies and found they were the same species that had previously been shown to parasitize bumblebees and paper wasps. Honeybees, though, were a new target, and a surprising one, because the commercially valuable species -- they pollinate crops worth some USD 15 billion a year -- is intensively studied.

The SF State team surveyed local bee populations and found evidence of the fly in 77 percent of the hives they sampled in the Bay Area, as well as some hives in California's heavily agricultural Central Valley and in South Dakota. That's enough to add the parasite fly to the list of potential causes of CCD, along with mites, viruses, and fungi, which has seen some hives lose 30 to 90 percent of their bees without warning.


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

citation of journal article (bees)

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

[ Parent ]
Neb.: chronic wasting disease,cervids
Date: Tue 3 Jan 2011
Source: Nebraskaland Magazine [edited]

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer has appeared for the 1st time in Buffalo, Custer, and Holt counties, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

There were 1565 lymph node samples collected from deer taken during the 2011 November firearm deer season, with 26 samples testing positive for CWD. In addition, samples were taken from 37 culled deer that showed clinical symptoms for CWD, with one male mule deer from Garden County testing positive. Those signs include a rough, emaciated appearance and a lack of fear of humans.

There were a record 51 positives from 3645 samples in Nebraska in 2010. However, the surveillance effort was reduced in 2011 due to a lack of funds. The 2011 effort focused on central Nebraska, the leading edge of the disease as it spreads from west to east.

Game and Parks confirmed CWD in the state's deer population in 2000. CWD is a disease that can affect deer and elk and always is fatal to the affected animal. Humans have never been known to contract CWD.
http://www.promedmail.org/?p=2...  (scroll to Jan. 5)

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

Scientists Testing Sick Seals For RAadition
Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska's Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals' fur coats.


Water tests have not picked up any evidence of elevated radiation in U.S. Pacific waters since the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused multiple fuel meltdowns at the Fukushima plant and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate the surrounding area.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been seeking the cause of the diseased seals for weeks, but have so far found no answers.


India Reports Completely Drug-Resistant TB

By Maryn McKenna

Over the past 48 hours, news has broken in India of the existence of at least 12 patients infected with tuberculosis that has become resistant to all the drugs used against the disease. Physicians in Mumbai are calling the strain TDR, for Totally Drug-Resistant. (snip)

On Saturday, the Times of India disclosed that there are actually 12 known cases just in one hospital, the P. D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre; in the article, Hinduja's Dr. Amita Athawale admits, "The cases we clinically isolate are just the tip of the iceberg." And as a followup, the Hindustan Times reported yesterday that most hospitals in the city - by extension, most Indian cities - don't have the facilities to identify the TDR strain, making it more likely that unrecognized cases can go on to infect others. (Snip)

The first cases, as it turns out, were not these Indian ones, but an equally under-reported cluster of 15 patients in Iran in 2009. (Continued)

Cite: Zarir F et al. Totally Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in India. Clin Infect Dis. advance access Dec. 21, 2011.  doi: 10.1093/cid/cir889

Kansas: scarlet fever
Published Date: 2012-01-13 13:57:53
Subject: PRO/EDR> Streptococcus group A, scarlet fever - USA: (KS)
Archive Number: 20120113.1009102

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Tue 10 Jan 2012
Source: The Emporia Gazette [edited]

Some people may have heard that scarlet fever has been going around Emporia and the surrounding area. Dr. Derek Brown, pediatrician with Newman Pediatrics, confirms that there have been a large number of patients over the last few weeks in his office with more than a half a dozen cases noted and counting.

"To some people, the term scarlet fever sounds exotic and is perceived as scary. But actually, scarlet fever is simply a rash caused by the same bacteria that causes strep throat," reports Dr. Brown.

Scarlet fever is caused by an infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. The bacteria make a toxin (poison) that can cause a scarlet-colored rash from which this illness gets its name. Not all streptococci bacteria make this toxin.

[Byline: Beth Hammond]
[snipped article on scarlet fever, below this article]


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

Bushmeat trade, disease transmission risk (world-wide)
Published Date: 2012-01-12 12:27:02
Subject: PRO/AH> Bushmeat trade, disease transmission risk
Archive Number: 20120112.1008373

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
Date: Wed 11 Jan 2012
Source: BBC News Science and Environment [edited]

Confiscated bushmeat 'poses virus threat'
Much of the trade in wildlife meat, or bushmeat, has its origin in Africa. Scientists have documented potentially dangerous viruses entering the US through illegally imported wildlife products. Testing of meats confiscated at American airports has revealed the presence of several pathogens that could pose a risk to human health. Retroviruses and herpesviruses were identified, some of them isolated from remains of endangered monkey species.

The research study is reported in the journal PLoS One [see comment below]. Its authors say better surveillance measures are needed to ensure this trade does not result in the emergence of new disease outbreaks in humans. "Although the findings to date are from a small pilot study, they remind us of the potential public health risk posed by illegal importation of wildlife products -- a risk we hope to better characterize through expanded surveillance at ports of entry around the country," said Dr Kristine Smith, from EcoHealth Alliance, who led the investigation team.

Scientists estimate that some 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases affecting people have come from contact with wildlife. Some of this is the result of animals biting humans, but the handling and consumption of infected meats is also considered a significant route of transmission. Classic examples of infections that have jumped across the species include HIV/AIDS Human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome], which is thought to have originated in primates, and SARS [Severe acute respiratory syndrome], an infection that caused global concern in 2003. Follow-up work traced its beginnings to Chinese restaurant workers butchering the cat-like Asian palm civet [which in their turn had acquired the virus from bats- Mod.CP.

The PLoS One study is a 1st attempt to screen for potentially hazardous pathogens in confiscated meat products entering the US. The scientists examined animal remains passing through 5 international airports, including John F Kennedy in New York -- one of the busiest hubs in the world. The smuggled meats -- some found in postal packages, some discovered inside suitcases -- were tested 1st to make a species identification. This showed up several non-human primates, included baboon and chimpanzee, but also rodents.

The raw, smoked and dried meats were then tested for a number of viruses known to be capable of infecting humans. Among the pathogens identified were a zoonotic retrovirus, simian foamy viruses [actually simian foamy viruses that nay be possible zoonotic retroviruses -- see comment below], and several nonhuman primate herpesviruses.

[big snip]

Original source:  http://www.plosone.org/article...

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

Totally drug-resistant TB emerges in India

Physicians in India have identified a form of incurable tuberculosis there, raising further concerns over increasing drug resistance to the disease. Although reports call this latest form a "new entity", researchers suggest that it is instead another development in a long-standing problem.

The discovery makes India the third country in which a completely drug-resistant form of the disease has emerged, following cases documented in Italy in 2007 and Iran in 2009.


Nigeria: Ebonyi raises emergency response team as doctor dies of Lassa fever
To forestall further casualties arising from the death of a medical doctor at Ikwo Council of Ebonyi State from suspected outbreak of Hemorrhagic fever, otherwise called Lassa fever, the state government has raised an emergency response team for the treatment and control of communicable diseases.

The state Commissioner for Health, Sunday Nwangele, who confirmed that the outbreak of Lassa fever could have been responsible for the death of the medical doctor, dispelled apprehension among the people. He said that epidemiologists from the ministry had been deployed to health facilities in parts of the state to check the possible spread of the disease.

Nwangele enjoined the people not to panic but report any suspected case to the hospital or epidemiology unit of the ministry for prompt medical attention.
He added that the ministry had procured drugs for the treatment of the disease while more were still being expected from the Federal Ministry of Health. (Snip) the unit had commenced the distribution of the drugs to hospitals across the state and advised people to report to hospitals when they experience symptoms such as stooling, vomiting of blood, among others.

(Snip) attempts by journalists to get official confirmation from the Ministry of Health on the real cause of the doctor's death failed, but investigations revealed that some other doctors also infected with the disease are currently receiving treatment at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.

Lassa fever was first reported in Ebonyi State in 2008 when it claimed the lives of some people, including two medical doctors and other health workers, while last year, four persons said to be residing at the Military Cantonment, Nkwoagu near Abakaliki, also died of symptoms related to the disease. http://www.ngrguardiannews.com...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


S. Jakarta residents warned of Singapore flu(Hand, Foot, Mouth)

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 02/13/2012 10:01 AM

JAKARTA: The South Jakarta Health Agency has warned residents to stay alert and always maintain personal hygiene following the threat of hand, foot and mouth disease (HMFD), also known as Singapore flu, in Depok.

"We must be very careful because the virus is transmittable through the air and saliva. In addition, direct contact with infected people can be very dangerous," the agency's head Hakim Siregar said as quoted by beritajakarta.com on Sunday.

Hakim said the incubation period for the virus was around 2-4 days, and could result in death if infected people did not immediately receive treatment.

"If any family members suffer from high fever and have symptoms like chicken pox with rashes on the hands, bring them immediately to a hospital or health clinic," he said.

Singapore flu is caused by the coxsakcie virus A16 and EV17. Typical symptoms include high temperature, loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing and rashes on the hands, feet and inside the mouth.

To prevent the virus from spreading, Hakim suggested residents maintain personal hygiene, washing hands thoroughly after cleaning their nose, using the toilet or changing diapers. "Don't forget to clean the nails on the hands and feet as that's where the bacteria hides," he said.

Those who have been infected with Singapore flu must undergo an isolation treatment. "So far we don't have isolation rooms in health community centers, only in hospitals."


United we stand: Divided we fall

Alabama: New foriegn form Hand foot Mouth disease
Outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease severe in Alabama

Published: Monday, February 13, 2012, 4:40 PM

Alabama has been hit with the first U.S. outbreak of a foreign form of the virus that causes the childhood illness called hand, foot and mouth disease this winter, according to state health officials.

That's causing more and tougher cases of the disease, including infections in adults and some hospitalizations, said Mary McIntyre, an infectious disease specialist at the Alabama Department of Public Health.  

People are more vulnerable because they've never been exposed to it, McIntyre said. Even adults who likely had hand, foot and mouth as a child and have been resistant in the past are more vulnerable to the new strain.  

"From a population standpoint, we really don't have any immunity to this virus," McIntyre said. "That's why it's going to continue to spread."  

She said there have been at least 37 cases reported in Alabama, including some hospitalizations, but a total number isn't available. The oldest person was in the mid-50s.  

Hand, foot and mouth -- which is not related to the animal illness called hoof-and-mouth -- is common in children younger than 5, who usually get fevers and small blisters on the hand, feet or in their mouth and throat. It's easily spread through contact, even by those who have very mild or no symptoms, and there is no treatment.


United we stand: Divided we fall

IOM meeting on the health hazards of fracking
The Health Impact Assessment of New Energy Sources: Shale Gas Extraction

When: April 30, 2012 - May 1, 2012 (8:00 AM Eastern)
Where:  House of Sweden • 2900 K Street NW

Natural gas extraction from shale rock formations, which includes hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as "hydrofracking"), is increasingly in the news as the deployment of the technologies has expanded, rural communities have been transformed overnight, public awareness has increased, and regulations are developed. [snip] Public health was not brought into discussions about shale gas extraction at earlier stages; in consequence, the health system finds itself lacking critical information about environmental public health impacts of the technologies and able to address concerns by regulators at the federal and state levels, communities, and workers employed in the shale gas extraction industry.

[snip]It differs from conventional gas extraction techniques in that it involves: higher volume of fracking fluids (millions of gallons of fluid versus less than 100,000 gallons of fluid) to stimulate gas release; directional drilling to access more natural joints; the use of "slickwater" to allow for pumping over 1.5 to 2.0 miles of horizontal pipe; and multi-well pads.[snip]

[snip] Generally regulators have focused on the potential hazards with the fracturing fluid ("slickwater"), which is water with chemicals added to reduce the friction of the water in underground channels. Hydrofracking chemicals include those designed to keep fracture channels opened (proppants and biocides), gelling agents (to increase the viscosity), anti-corrosives, friction reducers, and acids. Regulators also have been concerned about how the expansion of shale gas extraction activities increases noise, air, and light pollution in an area, and the potential for accidental releases of hazardous material into the air and groundwater. Also, these activities have been known to create local seismic activity.[snip]


   Suspended particles in the fracturing fluid that are used to hold fractures open after a hydraulic fracturing treatment, thus producing a conductive pathway that fluids can easily flow along. Naturally occurring sand grains or artificial ceramic material are common proppants used.

See the Wikipedia article for an expanded description of fracking.  One factoid:  Wastewater (containing many chemicals) is injected into the ground to dispose of it.  It is not decontaminated first, as far as I know.

Watch YouTube videos of tap water in houses near gas wells in Colorado and New York being lighted on fire:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...  and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...  

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

Suspected avian botulism outbreak in Christchurch's wetlands
Disease outbreak kills more birds than Rena

Last updated 05:00 25/02/2012

Suspected avian botulism outbreak in Christchurch's wetlands has killed more than 4000 birds, taking the death toll to above that from the Rena oil spill.

Increased sewage levels in the Bromley oxidation ponds, the Avon-Heathcote Estuary and the eastern wetlands caused by the earthquake may be responsible for the outbreak, according to a conservation officer.

In an email obtained by The Press, council ornithologist Andrew Crossland told council staff and conservation organisations that more than 10 per cent of the area's population had died due to the outbreak.



United we stand: Divided we fall

Germany:Schmallenberg virus worrying Europe's farmers

(video link)

The Schmallenberg virus, named after a town in Germany, has become a cause for concern for farmers in Europe.

It is thought animals are infected with the virus when pregnant, by being bitten by tiny flues common to farms across Europe, called midges.

One farmer lost around 80 animals over the winter period due to either miscarriages or deformations caused by the virus.

If they have the virus, the animals can suffer from major abnormalities, their heads pointing backwards, or their feet splayed in such a way that they cannot be born.

Comment: They talk about worries that it might spread to humans.

Schmallenberg virus in UK and the Netherlands, too.
...The increase in identified cases marks a further sharp rise from 121 on Monday 5 March to 145 just five days later.

Nine of the positive cases have been diagnosed in cattle, 136 in sheep, and none to date in other species.

Counties in the far south and east of England remain the hardest hit. Kent (28 farms) and East Sussex (25 farms) account for more than a third of the total. The pattern backs up the theory that the infection stems from wind-borne midges which carried the virus from the continent last summer....

[map has clickable links showing the number of cases in sheep and cattle by county.]

Main conclusions and recommendations:

In early November 2011, a new orthobunyavirus, provisionally named the Schmallenberg virus, was detected by metagenomic analysis and virus isolation from infected cattle in Germany. Similar findings have been reported from the Netherlands, where lambs have also been infected with the same virus in utero, resulting in congenital malformations...
...Previously, genetically similar orthobunyaviruses have not caused disease in humans. It is therefore unlikely that this virus will cause disease in humans, but it cannot be excluded at this stage....


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

[ Parent ]
Thanks, Jane!
Thanks for the extra info!

[ Parent ]
New rabies virus discovered in Tanzania
The virus was identified as part of a rabies surveillance research project funded by the Wellcome Trust and was investigated following an unusual incident when a child was attacked by a civet - a cat-like nocturnal mammal - in a part of the Serengeti which was thought to be rabies-free.


Scientists believe the new virus is likely to originate in bats and that cross-over infection to civets and other mammalian species is likely to be relatively rare. However further studies are planned to determine the extent of infection and the degree of risk to human and animal health.


"This new virus is unlikely to pose a threat to humans on the scale of that of dog rabies. However this research highlights the need for vigilance and maintaining good levels of surveillance.

"The study also demonstrates how powerful new genetic tools are revealing the complexity of emerging viruses at the wildlife -human interface."

full article

United we stand: Divided we fall

New strain of epidemic hemorrhagic fever, Jeju Island, Korea
A new strain of epidemic hemorrhagic fever has been found on Jeju Island, the first time that the infectious disease has broken out on a Korean island. A team of researchers led by Song Jin-won, a microbiology professor at the College of Medicine of Korea University in Seoul, said Tuesday that a new strain of hantavirus that causes epidemic hemorrhagic fever was found in Jeju.

The team caught 51 "lesser white-toothed shrews" in the province and examined their liver and lung tissue from October 2006 through September 2010. Through genetic analyses, the researchers found viruses belonging to the hantavirus genus from eight mice. The new virus was named the "Jeju" virus." Also discovered the "Imjin" virus, a kind of hantavirus from "Manchurian musk-shrews" living in the Imjin River near the inter-Korean border in 2009. The Jeju virus is a new variety.


United we stand: Divided we fall

Vietnam mystery disease ...
HANOI, Vietnam -- Vietnam has asked the World Health Organization to help investigate a mystery disease that has killed 19 people and sickened 171 others in central Vietnam.

Le Han Phong, chairman of the People's Committee in Ba To district in Quang Ngai province, says patients first experience a rash on their hands and feet along with high fever, loss of appetite and eventually organ failure.

He says nearly 100 people remain hospitalized, including 10 in critical condition. Patients with milder symptoms are being treated at home.



More surf, less web

More from RSOE - Herbicide poisoning suspected

More people are reported suffering from stiffness of the limbs, respiratory problems, and miscarriages, caused by a peculiar and unidentified skin ulceration that has plagued the central province of Quang Ngai since April [2012], said medical authorities from the province. According to statistics of the Son Ha District Medical Centre on [11 Apr 2012], the numbers of people suffering from the bizarre skin disease have increased to 50, most of them being residents of Son Ba and Son Ky Communes. Since 8 Mar 2012 to date, 3 inhabitants of Son Ky Commune have succumbed to the disease and 13 others are suffering from eye disease and respiratory problems.

Medical experts suspect the victims are suffering from poisoning from chemical herbicides, as they were affected soon after spraying the chemical in cassava fields. The provincial health authorities have yet to determine the cause of deaths, but believe use of high contents of chemical herbicides have polluted the water sources in the commune. Residents in these communes use [Kanup 480 SL], a herbicide, imported by the Viet Thang Company in the northern province of Bac Giang. The chemical was offered for sale in the company's catalog on [5 Nov 2011]. Samples of water, soil from cassava fields, and herbicide packages have been collected for testing.  (continued)

[ Parent ]
Advice: find alternate water sources
I hope the government is trucking in some water.  

[snip] Samples of water, soil from cassava fields, and herbicide packages have been collected for testing. Preventive medicine centres in the province have warned people not to use the present water source but find an alternative source. Farmers must eat meals before spraying on fields, drink sugar water when experiencing symptoms, and visit a medical centre immediately.

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

[ Parent ]
Unexplained Sudden Deaths of Two Young Canadian sisters in Thailand
Article positions this as a poisoning, however, more likely, its a very lethal bug.

Two sisters from Canada, arrive at tropical paradise, Phi Phi, checked in hotel on Tuesday, went out for a bit, came back. Wed, they never left the room. Thurs, the house cleaner knocked on their door, no answer. On Friday, staff used master key to open the door and found them dead.

"There was a lot of vomit in the room, and both bodies showed similar signs [of trauma]. They had skin lesions and it seemed that they had bled from the gums. Also, their fingernails and toenails were blue."


Right Geography, right symptoms. And the bonus quote, "In a similar case in May 2009, an American woman and a Norwegian woman died after suffering severe vomiting and dehydration at a Phi Phi guesthouse. The cause of death was never determined. "

Just rolling along, making waves and causing trouble...

Cambodian illness kills over 60 children

describes a disease hitting young children, probably a virus, showing up mainly in the southern part of Cambodia that causes high fever, convulsions, and lung problems. Victims die mainly due to lung damage. Clustering is not observed and toxins may also play a role. The WHO has been informed and the Hong Kong airport is on alert for people from Cambodia that have a high fever.  

Insect and Influenza link

This article is probably important, but I don't have time to do the research, so I'll just post for posterity.


Ok, now I'm confused.  I've often speculated that the wipeout of the American passenger pigeon wasn't the result of "overhunting", because it just boggles the mind that one of the most abundant birds in North America was killed for it's yummy flesh.  Too much effort, too little reward.

And now, an article claimint that a strain of honey bee was also wiped out by the spanish flu?

I don't recall ever reading speculation that influenza was found in insects, however, we did speculate a lot that a lot of the strange fish kills were influenza based....


[QUOTE]A rare 'black' honeybee which was thought to have been wiped out by a strain of Spanish flu in 1919 has been rediscovered in the rafters of a church in Northumberland.
The rare 'British Black' is much darker than other bees, and developed in Britain after the last ice age.
The bees that populate Britain today were mostly introduced from abroad - including the popular honeybee.

The rare ‘apis mellifera mellifera’ or British Black honeybee are the only species of bee to have survived a strain of the Spanish flu which wiped out what was thought to be every single bee in the UK.


Read more: [url]http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2171924/Extinct-British-breed-honeybee-alive-church-rafters-nearly-80-years.html#ixzz20Ke0Ahgt[/url][/QUOTE]

Just rolling along, making waves and causing trouble...

2 Ebola cases in Kampala
These are the first Ebola cases to reach the Ugandan capital, almost 100 miles from the source of the latest outbreak.  There's a good summary, plus links to news reports & articles on Avian Flu Diary here.

Suspected Ebola outbreak is apparently growing ...
Six more patients suspected to have Ebola have been admitted to the hospital days after investigators confirmed an outbreak of the highly infectious disease in a remote corner of western Uganda, a health official said on Monday.

Stephen Byaruhanga, health secretary of the affected Kibaale district, said possible cases of Ebola, at first concentrated in a single village, are now being reported in more villages.

"It's no longer just one village. There are many villages affected," Byaruhanga said.

More here ...


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Now in a Uganda Prison?

Zero hedge says that its now in a prison.




The local market day has been cancelled to slow/stop the spread

Just rolling along, making waves and causing trouble...

Ebola in Uganda update ...
Prisoner with suspected Ebola escaped from the prison ...


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WHO: Ebola in Uganda - update

3 August 2012 - The Ministry of Health in Uganda has reported a cumulative number of 53 suspected cases of Ebola haemorrhagic fever including 16 deaths. Of these, five cases have been laboratory confirmed by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe (this includes three fatal cases and two cases currently being treated in the isolation facility).

Currently 32 cases are admitted to an isolation facility in Kagadi hospital, Kibaale district, and a total of 312 contacts were identified, of whom 253 are being closely followed-up. So far all samples from other districts have tested negative for Ebola, indicating that there has been no expansion of the outbreak beyond Kibaale District. However a clinical officer who attended to a case in Kibaale district was transferred to Mulago Hospital in Kampala for treatment but later died.

Among the contacts being monitored daily are the seven health workers who attended to the fatal case transferred to Mulago Hospital, none of them has so far developed symptoms of the disease. (snip)

In Kenya, two rumoured suspected cases have since been reported and investigated. Both cases have tested negative for Ebola.

The South Sudan Ministry of Health, in collaboration with WHO, has issued guidance to the general public and has activated a national task force to undertake enhanced surveillance as population movement and trade between South Sudan and Uganda are high.

WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions are applied to Uganda.

West Nile virus in Texas kills 9
(CNN) -- A West Nile virus epidemic has prompted a public health emergency in Dallas County, Texas, where the disease has killed nine people, a judge declared Friday.

The virus there infected 175 people, said Patricia Huston of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared the emergency in his capacity as director of the county's Homeland Security and Emergency Management and instructed the department to file a local disaster declaration with the state.

more here ...


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Uganda reports 23 suspected and confirmed Ebola infections
Uganda's health ministry is reporting 23 probable and confirmed Ebola cases, including 10 that have been confirmed by the Uganda Virus Research in Entebbe, the WHO said today. The most recent confirmed case was detected in a patient in the Kagadi isolation facility on Aug 4. The number of suspected cases is lower than previous reports, and the number of confirmed cases is the same as reported by the WHO African Region office on Aug 8.

full story

United we stand: Divided we fall

New Ebola Outbreak in DR Congo ...
An outbreak of Ebola has killed one person and is believed to have infected three others over the last week in northeastern Congo, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Friday.

The outbreak is in Isiro, a busy town in Democratic Republic of Congo's Oriental province, which shares a border with Uganda, but the strain of the deadly disease is different to the one that killed 16 there last month, MSF said.

However, Congo's health system is permanently stretched and MSF warned that preventing the spread of the disease from the town, a provincial transit point, could be a challenge.

"(The situation) is quite serious already ... Isiro is quite a busy place, quite well connected, that could make it quite complex to contain (the fever)," de Weggheleire added.

(Reporting by Jonny Hogg; Editing by David Lewis)


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DR Congo Ebola deaths now 6
A wire update here ...


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Uganda Ebola death count now 10
The number of fatalities includes three health care providers.  More here ...


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Thanks for keeping us updated, DeepImpact
This is worth watching.

For clarification, though, this story is about the new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, not Uganda.

[ Parent ]
Deer dying of EHD in several states
EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease) has been worse this year because of the drought.  This virus is spread by biting insects (midges etc) and is not known to affect humans.  One article said that if a deer recovers, it will have immunity.  Here are some articles (I had to remove the snips because it wouldn't post, and I couldn't find the unclosed html tag.*)  

Infected deer have fever and are thirsty.  Drought has dried up some water sources, making it necessary for deer to gather to drink.  One article has a photo of a deer lying dead in the water; water filters are very important devices to use in the wild.





INDIANA   http://www.in.gov/activecalend...


*Wouldn't it be helpful if the offending html tag in an attempted post could be typed in red or underlined or highlighted?  The software knows what it doesn't like, but the guessing game involved in my trying to find it isn't any fun to play. :(

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

New AIDS-like Disease in Asians, Not Contagious

Researchers have identified a mysterious new disease that has left scores of people in Asia and some in the United States with AIDS-like symptoms even though they are not infected with HIV. (continued)

- Damages the patients' immune system; patients have autoantibodies that block interferon-gamma
- Doesn't appear to be inherited or contagious, but there may be a genetic susceptibility
- Most of the 200 known cases since 2004 were found in Thailand & Taiwan
- Develops around age 50 on average
- May be misdiagnosed as TB
- Report in Thursday's NEJM

More on this
got this from http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/...

Via the Bangkok Post:

HIV-like illness 'not a virus'. This is a story in Thailand because many of the patients studied in the NEJM report were Thais. The full story:
The disease, identified by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine last Thursday, has been found among Asian adults who built antibodies that stopped their immune functions.  
The NIH studied more than 200 people mainly from Thailand and Taiwan after the disease, recorded in 2004, was most commonly found in the two countries.  
Suwanchai Watthanayingcharoenchai, department deputy chief, said the public should not panic because the disease will not pass from person to person.  
The department is studying in detail the medical report on the disease, which is called "adult-onset immunodeficiency syndrome", and expects to have a clearer understanding of the syndrome within three days, Dr Suwanchai said.  
The disease is not caused by a virus, though it resembled HIV in that it weakens human bodies, making them prone to infection with other diseases.

[ Parent ]
this is the actual paper
Here's the science paper on the illness:


[ Parent ]
2 dead; 1700 Yosemite campers exposed to hanta virus
Yosemite National Park is warning 1,700 visitors who stayed in some of its tent cabins this summer that they may have been exposed to a deadly virus.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome has been blamed for the deaths of two campers who stayed at the Californian park.

The disease can be carried in the urine, saliva and faeces of infected deer mice, and symptoms can appear as late as six weeks after exposure.

Two other infected campers were expected to survive.

The first death was reported earlier this month, and one of the victims was identified as a 37-year-old man from the San Francisco Bay area.

Fever and dizziness

There is no specific treatment for the hantavirus, which has a fatality rate of 30%.

The National Park Service, which runs Yosemite, extended the warning to visitors who stayed in the 408 canvas and wood cabins in Curry Village from mid-June onward.

They have been advised to be watch out for the symptoms of hantavirus, which include fever, aches, dizziness and chills.


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

New Heartland virus

Two men in Missouri who became severely ill after sustaining tick bites were found to be infected with a new type of virus, according to a study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Both men were admitted to hospitals after experiencing high fevers, fatigue, diarrhea and loss of appetite. They were originally thought to be suffering from a bacterial infection, but doubts arose when they didn't improve after being treated with antibiotics.

Further tests revealed their blood contained a new virus, which the researchers dubbed the Heartland virus. It belongs to a group called phleboviruses, which are carried by flies, mosquitoes or ticks, and can cause disease in humans.

While the genetic material of Heartland virus appears similar to that of other phleboviruses, the particular proteins it produces are different enough to call it a new species, said study researcher Laura McMullan, a senior scientist at the CDC.

Because the Heartland virus causes such general symptoms, it could be "a more common cause of human illness than is currently recognized," the researchers wrote in the Aug. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.


Because both men experienced tick bites shortly before they became ill - one man, a farmer, reported receiving an average of 20 tick bites a day - the researchers said it's likely that the Heartland virus is spread by ticks, although more research is needed to confirm this.
The new virus's closest relative is another tick-borne phlebovirus, called SFTS virus, which was identified last year in China, and causes death in 12 percent of cases.
The Missouri men, who were both infected in 2009, recovered after 10 to 12 days in the hospital, although one of the men has reported recurrent headaches and fatigue in the two years since his hospitalization.

(Comment: not good news. Non-sequitorially, it's discouraging that most news sources appear to just cut and paste one press release into their sites - I looked for the link where I'd found it and found at least 6 news sites with this exact "article" - all listed as "news")

OR: Anthrax kills steers in Klamath County

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Anthrax has been confirmed as the cause of death in a Klamath County steer and is suspected in the deaths of two others from the same herd, state officials said Friday.

Outbreaks of naturally occurring anthrax do occur in the West, but this is Oregon's first anthrax case involving an animal in more than five decades, said Brad Leamaster, a state veterinarian.

Animals generally get the disease by ingesting or inhaling spores that can survive in soil for decades. The weather plays a factor, with outbreaks more common in two extremes - droughts and floods.

Anthrax can be treated with antibiotics if caught quickly. If not, it has the potential to kill many animals in a short period of time. The disease killed more than 100 animals on ranches in Colorado and Texas in the first weeks of August, according to news reports. A 2001 outbreak in Texas wiped out more than 1,600 animals, including antelope, cows, deer, horses, llamas and sheep.

The Oregon steer with anthrax died Aug. 22 at a ranch near Fort Klamath. Autopsies were not performed on the other dead cattle.

The state Department of Agriculture said the outbreak has been isolated to one herd, and the surviving cattle will be vaccinated and monitored. The agency quarantined the ranch, and the animals were buried 10 feet underground.

Agriculture Department spokesman Bruce Pokarney said ranchers vaccinated their livestock against anthrax in past decades, but might have become less vigilant because the disease has been dormant for so long.

"This may change all that again," he said.

The outbreak does not pose a public health risk, said Dr. Paul Cieslak of the Oregon Health Authority. People who handle infected animals have a slight chance of getting anthrax through scratches in the skin. Ranch workers who develop skin infections should seek medical help.


Pet bowls contaminated with cobalt-60
IEMA Working to Identify, Secure Contaminated Pet Bowls at 11 Petco Stores in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today announced it is coordinating with Petco to identify and secure stainless steel pet bowls that are contaminated with low-levels of cobalt-60, a radioactive material. According to Petco officials, shipments containing the potentially contaminated bowls were sent to 11 stores in Illinois. While the bowls present no immediate health risk, IEMA is working with federal officials to prevent unnecessary radiation exposure by anyone who comes in contact with them.

Petco's press release has a lot of information, including photos of 3 bowls.

The Illinois state government did its own testing and issued a news release stating that "a person would have to hold one of the bowls against their chest for roughly six and a half days to receive a dose of radiation equivalent to a single chest X-ray," and that "these bowls do not pose an immediate health risk."
Customers who purchased these products between the dates of May 31 and June 20, 2012, should bring it to their local Petco store for a full refund. If you have any questions, please call Petco Customer Service at 877-738-6742.


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

US Officials Spread Worldwide Warning about Hantavirus

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. health officials have sent warnings to 39 other countries that their citizens who stayed in Yosemite National Park tent cabins this summer may have been exposed to a deadly mouse-borne hantavirus, a park service epidemiologist said on Tuesday.

Of the 10,000 people thought to be at risk of contracting hantavirus pulmonary syndrome from their stays in Yosemite between June and August, some 2,500 live outside the United States, Dr. David Wong told Reuters in an interview.

Wong said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials notified 39 countries over the weekend, most of them in the European Union, that their residents may have been exposed to the deadly virus.

The lung disease has so far killed two men and sickened four other people, all U.S. citizens, prompting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a health alert.

Officials are concerned that more Yosemite visitors could develop the lung disease in the next month or so. Most of the victims identified so far were believed to have been infected while staying in one of 91 "Signature" tent-style cabins in the park's popular Curry Village camping area.

Four of those known to be infected at Yosemite this summer slept in the insulated tent cabins. One slept elsewhere in Curry Village, located in a valley beneath the iconic Half Dome rock formation, and the sixth case remains under investigation.

One man from northern California and another from Pennsylvania died, while three victims have recovered and a fourth remains hospitalized, the state Department of Public Health said.

UK: Legionella bug found at Llandrindod Wells hospital

A hospital's water system has been flushed through after part was found to contain legionella, the bacteria which can cause Legionnaires' disease.

The bug was discovered at Llandrindod Wells Hospital in Powys following concerns over water quality.

Bottled water was used for washing until the water system was cleaned through on Friday.

Powys Teaching Health Board said there had been no reported cases of anyone being affected by the bacterium so far.

Meanwhile, an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease is being investigated in Carmarthen after three people needed treatment. The outbreak is believed to centre on Carmarthen, said Public Health Wales.

Due to the layout of the hospital, it only affected certain areas of the site.


Republic of the Congo :Ebola toll rises, health system on its knees
16 Sep 2012

Since the start of the month the death toll of the Ebola outbreak in the north-east has climbed from 15 to 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, defining the situation "serious". Fadela Chaib, a spokeswoman for the Geneva-based agency, stressed that "it is unusual that the first person to be infected was a health worker". The areas affected by the outbreak are Isiro and Viadana (70km apart), in the Eastern Province (north-east).

"It was said that the epidemic has reached its maximum peak, but that the people must remain vigilant since the declining phase hasn't begun yet and the virus cannot be considered under control. The infected were brought to the General Hospital of Isiro, and from fear residents are avoiding the area", said local MISNA missionary sources.

full article:


United we stand: Divided we fall

Outbreak of Ebola in Africa is out of control
16 September 2012
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on last Thursday that 31 people died in the Democratic Republic of Congo infected with Ebola virus. O nordeste do país localizado na costa centro-oeste da África enfrenta uma forte epidemia do vírus, principalmente nas cidades de Isiro e Viadana.

The northeast coast of the country located in west-central Africa faces strong virus epidemic, especially in the cities of Isiro and Viadana. De acordo com o porta-voz da OMS na capital Kinhasa, a situação é muito grave eo surto já saiu do controle das autoridades locais, o que aumenta a chance do ebola se espalhar por outras regiões.

According to the spokesman of WHO in Kinhasa capital, the situation is very serious and the outbreak is out of the control of local authorities, which increases the chance of Ebola spread to other regions.

Em agosto, 16 pessoas haviam morrido contaminadas com o ebola em Uganda, país do centro da África. In August, 16 people were killed infected with Ebola in Uganda, a country in central Africa. Mas, segundo a OMS, a epidemia naquele país é diferente da que atinge o Congo hoje, já que os vírus têm características distintas. But, according to the WHO, the epidemic in that country is different from that reached the Congo today, since viruses have different characteristics.

O ebola causa febre hemorrágica e, como não há tratamento conhecido, acaba matando 90% dos infectados. Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and as there is no known treatment, kills 90% of those infected.



United we stand: Divided we fall

OR: Thousands of birds feared dead after outbreak in N. Portland lakes

PORTLAND, Ore. - Several thousand ducks and geese may have already died on two North Portland lakes operated by Metro after the waters became infected with deadly bacteria.

It's happening on Smith and Bybee lakes near Portland International Raceway just off Marine Drive.

A disease known as avian botulism has already killed at least 2,000 birds, mostly young green teals.

The state's wildlife veterinarian said several thousand may have already died.

It's not dangerous for humans, but it can devastate migrating bird populations.

Birds with limp necks and paralyzed legs are the early signs of the disease, according to an expert at the Audubon Society of Portland.

"Then it goes to kind of a respiratory distress, because their lungs become paralyzed, and then eventually they die from suffocation," said Lacy Campbell with the Audubon Society Care Center.

The Audubon Society is helping nurse sick birds back to health and releasing them back into safer waters.

Experts said the cooler temperatures are helping, but they are really waiting for the fall and the rains to dilute the warm water and help end the outbreak once and for all.

Metro is also drawing down the water in the lakes to try to get migratory birds to move on to other locations.

No other area lakes are in danger, but Bybee and Smith lakes are closed until further notice.

Comment: Just thought I'd post this - sounds like they're pretty sure it is botulism, but respiratory and birds always rings my alarms.


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