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Not Influenza but Close News - Sept 2012 to ...

by: Bronco Bill

Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 06:40:13 AM 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 - Sept 2012 to ...
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Declan Butler in Nature: SARS veterans tackle coronavirus
Is this of interest? And is this the right place?

SARS veterans tackle coronavirus

Scientists who helped to fight the 2003 epidemic of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) have sprung into action again to investigate the latest threat: a new SARS-related virus that has killed one man and left another seriously ill. Last week, the researchers reported the genome sequence of the new coronavirus and the first diagnostic tests to screen for it - two major advances that will help in efforts to control the pathogen if it turns into a wider menace.


Yes, and yes
Definitely of interest, and this is a fine place to post it (or on the daily news diary).  Thanks for posting, Pogge.

[ Parent ]
Expert teams are in Saudi Arabia looking for source of new coronavirus
Helen Branswell at CP via Winnipeg Free Press:
A couple of teams of disease experts have converged on Saudi Arabia, hoping to find the source of a new virus from the SARS family.

Experts from the World Health Organization and the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University in New York are in Riyadh on the invitation of the Saudi government, a senior health ministry official confirmed Wednesday.



NPR: Arabian Coronavirus: Plot Thickens But Virus Lies Low
Here.
It now appears that the new coronavirus found on the Arabian Peninsula is more widespread than initially thought, even though only two people are known to have gotten sick from it.

At first it seemed likely that the two known cases of illness from the new cousin-of-SARS virus may have been exposed in or near the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast.

But now it's pretty certain that a 49-year-old Qatari man who had traveled to Jeddah last month didn't pick up the virus there. Investigators say he probably got infected after he returned home to Qatar, a tiny Persian Gulf kingdom 825 miles to the east.



Egypt: Number of mump infections increase
Number of students infected with mumps climbs to 583

The number of mumps cases in schools across Egypt reached 583 on Monday. Education Ministry media advisor Mohamed al-Sorogy stated that no schools have yet been closed due to the outbreak, however.

Sorogy claimed that, according to doctors, the mumps do not cause death, unlike illness like the avian or swine flu.

Giza Governorate has so far reported the most number of cases, with 240. Minya has reported 95, Beni Suef 48 and Fayoum 38, with Cairo reporting only 12. The rest of the 17 governorates hit by the outbreak have each reported between seven and nine mumps cases.

Mohsen George, head of the Executive Directorate of Education in Alexandria, stated that there have been 52 reported cases in Alexandria schools, according to a memo sent by the Health Department Directorate of in Alexandria.

Dozens of schools in Minya and Qena began reporting cases of the mumps in late September. At that time human rights organizations expressed fears that the virus would spread due to the lack of preventative vaccines, and general neglect from the Healthy Ministry.

http://www.egyptindependent.co...

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WHO: Novel coronavirus infection - update
Novel coronavirus infection - update
9 October 2012 - No new cases of infection with the novel coronavirus have been reported since 22 September 2012. So far, after careful follow-up of close contacts of the two confirmed cases, and a heightened state of global surveillance , there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus.

The governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Kingdom, are continuing their work to gain a better understanding of the disease and the likely source of infection. WHO is supporting the national authorities in their ongoing investigation, and has deployed experts to Saudi Arabia and Qatar as part of an international team. These and future epidemiological and scientific studies will lead to a better understanding of the novel coronavirus.


A bit more at the link.

Study of new coronavirus suggests it comes from animals, possibly bats
Branswell:
The novel coronavirus found in the Middle East earlier this year probably came to humans from bats, though whether it travelled through another species before infecting people is unclear, a new report suggests.

The scientists who first identified the new virus - which comes from the same family as SARS - reported Wednesday on the case that brought the virus to light, the fatal infection of a 60-year-old man from Saudi Arabia.

In their report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, they predict pipistrellus bats may be the source of the virus.



New SARS-like virus discovered before it causes outbreak
Toronto Star:
How a vigilant international scientific community caught the next SARS virus - before it became the next SARS disease.

Four months ago, a mucus sample arrived in Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki's laboratory in Saudi Arabia.

The mucus had been coughed up by a 60-year-old Saudi Arabian man with a strange case of pneumonia. He had been admitted to the Dr. Soliman Fakeeh hospital in Jeddah on June 13; soon after, his kidneys began to fail. Eleven days after being hospitalized, the man was dead.



Ebola virus found in Borneo, Indonesia
English.news.cn 2012-11-03

JAKARTA, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian researchers have found evidence of presence of Ebola virus in several Orangutan in Kalimantan island known as Borneo, paper said here on Saturday

snip

Researcher Chairil Anwar Nidom said that 65 serum samples collected from 353 healthy orangutans between December 2005 and December 2006 tested positive for Ebola virus.
"The result should be an early warning for us," he was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

Chairil also said that six of 353 samples tested positive for Marburg virus, the similar virus to Ebola that causes Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever.

full article

http://news.xinhuanet.com/engl...

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Saudis report third case of new coronavirus, but release few details Read it on Global News: Global Toronto | Saudis report third case of new coronavirus, but release few details
Canadian Press via Global News Toronto:
Saudi Arabia has reported another human infection with the new coronavirus that emerged earlier this year. The case is the third confirmed infection caused by the newly identified virus, which is from the same family as SARS.

The report of the new case comes at a sensitive time. The Hajj, the annual pilgrimage made by Muslims to the holy city of Mecca, concluded last week. The Hajj brings over two million Muslims from around the world to Saudi Arabia.

Those pilgrims will now be making their way back to their home countries. The Saudi Ministry of the Hajj website says the final day for Hajj pilgrims to depart Saudi Arabia is Nov. 29.



CDC issues travel notice for Uganda due to Marburg outbreak
November 4, 2012

With the Marburg hemorrhagic fever (HF) outbreak spreading in Uganda, now being reported from 5 districts in the African country, federal health officials have issued an advisory for travelers to Uganda, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel notice Nov.2

The Uganda Ministry of Health officially declared an outbreak on Oct. 19.

There is no vaccine to prevent Marburg HF and no specific treatment for people who become ill, only supportive care.

full story
http://www.examiner.com/articl...

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Doctors fear West Nile virus has mutated into more damaging form
The West Nile virus epidemic of 2012, the worst in a decade, may be notorious for yet another reason: The virus, in some cases, is attacking the brain more aggressively than in the past, raising the specter that it may have mutated into a nastier form, say two neurologists who have extensive experience dealing with the illness.

One doctor, Art Leis in Jackson, Miss., has seen the virus damaging the speech, language and thinking centers of the brain -- something he has never observed before. The other, Elizabeth Angus in Detroit, has noticed brain damage in young, previously healthy patients, not just in older, sicker ones -- another change from past years.

Leis said it's crucial to know whether the virus is mutating. "Otherwise," he said, "we might be unprepared to deal with it in the future."

But a scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the federal agency has not seen any evidence that the virus is causing a different type of brain damage. He said doctors may be seeing more serious cases this year because there are more cases overall. But he acknowledged that the CDC does not collect the granular data needed to quickly determine whether the virus is causing more severe brain damage.

Still, Angus, who has treated West Nile patients for a decade, and Leis, who has more experience treating severe West Nile illness than perhaps any doctor in the country, both suspect the virus has changed.

"I've been struck this year that I'm seeing more patients where the brain dysfunction has been very much worse," said Angus, of Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital. "It makes you wonder if something's different, if something's changed."

And while the virus in the past has typically invaded the brain and spinal cord only of people who have weakened immune systems, such as the elderly and transplant or cancer patients, Angus this summer treated a severely affected woman in her 20s and a man in his 40s.

Leis said he is seeing much more severe encephalitis -- inflammation of the brain -- than he has in the past. "It is clearly much more neuroinvasive, neurovirulent," he said.

Four patients Leis treated this summer had lost their ability to talk or write. Another was paralyzed on one side, as often seen in strokes, not West Nile infections. Others experienced recurring seizures.

In all, 11 of the first 12 patients Leis saw this year at the Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson had more severe brain damage than he had seen previously. The outlook for such patients varies, but most will face years or a lifetime of disability.

"For the first time, we have radiographic evidence, clinical evidence of the virus attacking the higher cortical areas," said Leis, who has published 15 scientific papers describing previous West Nile patients.

North Texas cases

North Texas was the hardest-hit area in the nation with 275 cases and 11 deaths in Tarrant County, and 388 cases and 18 deaths in Dallas County.

Neurologists also witnessed devastating encephalitis but in different areas of the brain than Leis described. Steven Vernino, a neurologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said he saw damage to the lower brain stem in several patients but not to the higher language and thinking centers.

Virologist Alan Barrett said samples of the virus taken from mosquitoes and birds in the Houston area show signs of genetic changes.

"This year's virus looks more like the virus from 2002 and 2003" than the virus seen more recently, said Barrett, of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Given that the Houston-Galveston area is a major flyway for birds, Barrett speculated that a different virus arrived in the area this year.

But it is too early to say whether this possible new strain is more virulent than those seen in years past, Barrett said. It will also take a while to study the genetics of viruses from other parts of the country. His laboratory, one of the few studying West Nile genetics, is backlogged.

"We're overwhelmed," he said.

Barrett will look at the genetics of viruses from North Texas as soon he gets samples, which he expects any day. "Everybody wants to know what's going on in Dallas," he said.

Last month, Leis asked a Food and Drug Administration scientist who studies the genetics of the virus whether a new, more virulent strain was circulating. "You are absolutely right ... that new genetic variants of WNV might have appeared this year," the scientist replied in an Oct. 23 e-mail obtained by The Washington Post. The scientist continued that "it is not easy to correlate" the new mutations with any specific type of brain damage.

Thirty minutes after Leis received the message, another e-mail from the same scientist arrived. It said the previous message had been "recalled."

When contacted by phone, the FDA scientist, who works at the agency's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, declined to discuss the messages, saying that his superiors had instructed him not to talk to reporters. Continued: http://www.star-telegram.com/2...  

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

     


Sudan: 'new' disease emerges
SARAF OMRA
21 Dec
Residents from Saraf Omra have revealed the emergence of new cases of a deadly disease causing vomiting and diarrhea. It was reported on Thursday, 20 December, that in case patients are not treated as soon as the disease is discovered, the disease could lead to death.

A witness from Saraf Omra told Radio Dabanga on Thursday that the number of people infected with the disease is about 500. He added that the disease causes the skin tone to turn yellow and the eyes green. The witness said that Saraf Omra hospital is overloaded with patients; malaria, yellow fever and the 'new' disease.

Moreover, the witness stated that serious cases are referred to Zalingei and El Geneina hospitals for treatment. Residents of Saraf Omra have appealed to the Ministry of Health in North Darfur to urgently send a medical team to investigate the disease in Saraf Omra and neighboring villages.

http://www.radiodabanga.org/no...

http://www.promedmail.org/

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Uganda: Ebola Suspected in Mubende District
11 January 2013

Mubende - Health state minister Sarah Opendi and other senior ministry officials dashed to Mubende hospital Friday morning following suspicions of an Ebola outbreak in the area.

Mubende district health officer (DHO), Dr. Wilson Mubiru said two five-year-old children were admitted on Thursday night while vomiting blood - a symptom that was hurriedly linked to Ebola.

The children were from different families.

Earlier rumours had put the number of patients admitted at the hospital to four and that three had died on spot.

However, Mubiru and the hospital director Dr. Edward Nkrunziza told New Vision online that there were only two patients.

Besides, the doctors have since called for calm, saying that it was unlikely for the patients to be Ebola cases.

"We have forwarded blood tests to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe. Although we are yet to get the results, we highly doubt whether this is Ebola," said Dr. Mubiru.

Save for vomiting, Mubiru said the patients showed no other Ebola-like symptoms.

Dr. Nkrunziza also explained that the patients' condition had "significantly improved" at around 10am on Friday.

The development comes as the health ministry is preparing to declare Luweero district Ebola-free on January 16, if no new cases are registered in the area.

About five people died of Ebola in Luweero late last year.

continued
http://allafrica.com/stories/2...

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Evidence Of Ebola Virus Found In Asia For The First Time
Wed, 01/16/2013

The terrifying hemorrhagic fever known as Ebola virus, or one of its relatives, seems to have made its way into Asia, specifically Bangladesh, a new report indicates.

snip

The new study, published in the February 2013 issue of the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases and conduced by the EcoHealth Alliance, indicates that bats in Bangladesh could be an animal reservoir for the disease. There haven't been any reported cases of Ebola in the country, but this means there is potential.  Between April 2012 and March 2011, researchers tested several species of bats for antibodies to Ebola-related viruses (evidence the virus had infected the bats and caused an immune reaction). They found anti-Ebola antibodies in 5 of the 276 bats (3.5 percent) they tested from the region. This is the first time they've seen antibodies to Ebola in the area, but it's also the first screen for them.

continued
http://www.bullfax.com/?q=node...

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New 'Stomach Bug' Strain
CDC Researchers Spot Increase in New 'Stomach Bug' Strain

A norovirus from Australia caused majority of U.S. outbreaks at the end of 2012.

THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2013 (HealthDay News) - A new norovirus strain caused most of the outbreaks of the contagious intestinal illness in the United States between September and December last year, but it is not known if this strain will lead to an overall increase in outbreaks, U.S. researchers report.

Norovirus is highly infectious and is the leading cause of what is commonly called "stomach flu," a gastrointestinal illness with symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, fever and chills.

For the study, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers analyzed data collected through CaliciNet on norovirus strains linked to U.S. outbreaks and found that 141 of the 266 outbreaks reported during the last four months of 2012 were caused by the GII.4 Sydney strain.

This strain was first detected in Australia in March 2012 and caused outbreaks in that country and several other nations.

"The new strain spread rapidly across the United States from September to December 2012," Dr. Aron Hall, an epidemiologist in the CDC's viral diseases division, said in a CDC news release.

chttp://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/0124/cdc-researchers-spot-increase-in-new-stomach-bug-strain.aspx?xid=aol_eh-news_22_20130121_&aolcat=HLT&icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl4%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D261869ontinued

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Death From Mystery Disease - Radford, Virginia
 Family hopes autopsy explains Radford man's mysterious death

Dustin Hayth, 19, died after returning to Radford from a vacation in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

by
Matt Chittum | 981-3331

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The family of a young Radford man who died this week of a sudden, mysterious illness is hoping the results of an autopsy will tell them what killed their son.

But it likely will be weeks before the results are known.

Dustin Hayth, an apparently healthy 19-year-old, died about 6 a.m. Tuesday at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital of an unidentified respiratory disease he first complained about less than two days earlier.

(snip)

There, Dustin was in intensive care briefly before he was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial about 9 p.m. John Hayth said the prevailing theory was his son had pneumonia. At one point, his fever reached 106 degrees.

But, his father said, staff at the Roanoke hospital found the fluid on his lungs was blood.

(snip)

http://www.roanoke.com/news/18...

Comment:  This is not too far from Richmond, VA and Washington, DC.  A very fast and scary progression of disease.


some causes for bleeding in the lungs
Possibly one of these two, snipped from article (except that fever and sudden death is not mentioned):

[snip]
Bacterial Infection

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, a bacterial lung infection, found in people with pneumococcal pneumonia, releases toxins that cause severe bleeding in the lungs. This condition, known for short as pneumococcus, infects the upper respiratory tracts, and antibiotics may not help prevent progression of the toxins. Internally the condition may cause fluid buildup in the lungs, leading to breathing difficulty and coughing up blood.
[snip]

Other Causes

The National Lung Health Education Program indicates that other causes for bleeding lungs may include pneumonia and lung abscesses. Pneumonia causes infection and inflammation in the lungs. Bleeding in the lungs from pneumonia is rare, but medical consultation is often necessary to treat any symptoms of pneumonia to prevent complications. Lung abscesses may develop as a result of infections or appear as symptoms of other medical conditions.
http://www.livestrong.com/arti...

One poster here said he worked with chickens and coughed up blood because of mycobacterium.  http://www.medhelp.org/posts/R...    (Don't read these if your stomach is queasy, though.)

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


[ Parent ]
Feline fungus joins the new species list
http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.h...

A feline fungus joins the new species list

A new species of fungus that causes life-threatening infections in humans and cats has been discovered by a University of Sydney researcher.

"This all originated from spotting an unusual fungal infection in three cats I was seeing at the University's cat treatment centre in 2006," said Dr Vanessa Barrs, from the University's Faculty of Veterinary Science, whose findings have just been published in PLOS One.

"These cats presented with a tumour-like growth in one of their eye sockets, that had spread there from the nasal cavity. The fungal spores are inhaled and in susceptible cats they establish a life-threatening infection that is very difficult to treat."

[snip]

"Similar to the closely related fungus Aspergillus fumigates, this new species of fungus can reproduce both asexually and sexually - and we discovered both phases of the fungus."

Since the first sighting of the new species, more than 20 sick domestic cats from around Australia and one cat from the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with the fungus.

The fungus appears to infect otherwise healthy cats but in the two humans identified it attacked an already highly compromised immune system.

The disease is not passed between humans and cats but its study in cats will not only help their treatment but provide a good model for the study of the disease in people. There is only a 15 percent survival rate of cats with the disease and it has so far proved fatal in humans. To date only one case has been identified in a dog.

[snip]

The next step for Dr Barrs and her team is studying fungi in culture collections throughout Australia to determine the prevalence of A. felis infections in people with previously diagnosed aspergillosis. They will collaborate with researchers at the Westmead Millenium Institute for Medical Research.



US: Valley fever- An incurable illness in the dust
[snip]....The tiny city of 14,000 people, nestling in a dip in the floor of the San Joaquin Valley, California, is what experts refer to as a "hot zone" for coccidioidomycosis - an illness caused by the inhalation of tiny fungal spores that usually reside in the soil.

Described by the Centers for Disease Control as a silent epidemic, 22,401 new infections were recorded across the US in 2011, mostly in the south-west, up tenfold from 1998.

Although two-thirds of those infected suffer no symptoms, and the illness is not contagious, about 160 people die each year when the fungus spreads beyond the lungs to the brain

[snip]
You're never rid of it, says Mary Garcia, who works in Subway, a few doors along from the cafe.

"There are times I wake up and I'm in a lot of pain. It's like the worst fever you've ever had from a flu," she adds.

She caught valley fever 10 years ago, and sometimes, when the wind blows, it returns.

If any of her children get it, she says she will move away.
[snip]
"No-one knows why," says Dr James McCarty, medical director of the paediatric infectious diseases division. "It could be the increasing population in the area, the influx of people without immunity or previous exposure. Some say it could be a function of wet winters. And human activity, anything that generates a lot of dust - agriculture and construction."

Most infections never produce symptoms at all and people's bodies take care of it, he says. But a third of those infected get prolonged flu-like symptoms.

"This usually runs its course over a month, but one in 20 develops pneumonia which can be mild to severe. And in about one in 100 cases, the infection spreads outside the lung, most commonly to the bones, the brain or the skin. Then it's potentially fatal or at least life-altering."
[more]


Fast moving snails spread deadly dog disease across UK
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie...

Despite their lethargic reputations, snails can travel at a relatively speedy one metre per hour, say researchers.

By attaching multicoloured LED lights, the scientists were able to track their movements over a 24-hour period.

The gastropods were fast enough to explore the length of an average UK garden in a single night.

But scientists are worried that the fast-moving snails are spreading a parasite that is deadly for dogs.

Over the past few years the wet summers enjoyed across the UK have proved the ideal breeding grounds for snails.
Continue reading the main story

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, their numbers increased by 50% last year.

As well as being a pest for gardeners, snails can also spread a parasite called Angiostrongylus vasorum.

This lungworm is a particular threat to dogs, which can become infected by accidentally eating slugs or snails which they come across in the garden or on dog toys.
[snip]

"They are not just lettuce munchers, they are carriers of parasites that can kill your dogs," said Dr Hodgson,

A recent survey of veterinary surgeons indicated that the lungworm parasite was now endemic across the UK, where once it was mainly found in the south.

"It is becoming a real problem not just in the south of England, it is moving north to Scotland," said Dr Hodgson.

[snip]

Comment: Hopefully not something that will mutate to humans...


Boy dies of plague in Kyrgyzstan
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl...

A 15-year-old herder has died in Kyrgyzstan of bubonic plague - the first case in the country in 30 years - officials say.

The teenager appears to have been bitten by an infected flea.

The authorities have sought to calm fears of an epidemic and have quarantined more than 100 people.

[snip]

The teenager, named as Temir Issakunov, came from a mountain village in the north-east of the country, close to the border with Kazakhstan.

"We suspect that the patient was infected with the plague through the bite of a flea," health ministry official Tolo Isakov said.

[snip]

The teenager died last week, but doctors have only now diagnosed the cause. More than 2,000 people are being tested for bubonic plague in the Issik-Kul region.

Checkpoints have been set up and travel and livestock transport restricted.

Aside from the quarantine measures, doctors have also been prescribing antibiotics in the area.

Kazakhstan is reported to have tightened border controls to prevent the disease entering its territory.

According to the World Health Organisation, the last recorded outbreak of bubonic plague was in Peru in 2010 when 12 people were found to have been infected.

Comment: I thought one of the US National Parks had an outbreak last year - wasn't it Yosemite??


Madagascar bubonic plague warning
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl...

Madagascar faces a bubonic plague epidemic unless it slows the spread of the disease, experts have warned.

The Red Cross and Pasteur Institute say inmates in the island's rat-infested jails are particularly at risk.

[snip]
Madagascar had 256 plague cases and 60 deaths last year, the world's highest recorded number.

Bubonic plague, known as the Black Death when it killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages, is now rare.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva and the Pasteur Institute have worked with local health groups in Madagascar since February 2012 on a campaign to improve prison hygiene.

"If the plague gets into prisons there could be a sort of atomic explosion of plague within the town.
The prison walls will never prevent the plague from getting out and invading the rest of the town," said the institute's Christophe Rogier.

The ICRC said the 3,000 inmates of Antanimora, the main prison in the heart of the capital Antananarivo, live with a huge rat population which spreads infected fleas through food supplies, bedding and clothing.

The ICRC's Evaristo Oliviera said this could affect not only inmates and staff, but others they come into contact with.

[snip]

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the eradication project undertaken by the ICRC is tricky because simply killing the rats is not enough.

To prevent their infected fleas transferring to another host, possibly a human, the insects must be destroyed as well as the rodents, she says.

Mr Oliviera said the disease could be treated with antibiotics if detected early, but a lack of facilities and traditional shame over the disease made this tricky in outlying parts of Madagascar.

Experts say that Africa - especially Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo - accounts for more than 90% of cases worldwide.


1,500 tested for tuberculosis at Southern California school
http://www.katu.com/news/natio...

INDIO, Calif. (AP) - More than 1,500 staff and students at a Southern California high school were tested for tuberculosis after one student was diagnosed with the bacterial infection last month, health officials said Friday.

Nearly 1,400 students and faculty at Indio High School were tested on Friday and around 130 students had the TB tests on Monday.

Forty-five students tested positive for possible exposure but more tests, including X-rays will be needed to determine whether they have active TB, health officials said.
[more]


KAZAKHSTAN: THE STRANGE SLEEP EPIDEMIC
http://brazilweirdnews.blogspo...

Published on Jan 25, 2014 [В селе Калачи Акмолинской области разразилась эпидемия сна. Новости КТК ]

KAZAKHSTAN. A "Sleep Epidemic" - is how doctors - perplexed - are calling a strange disease that spread among the villagers of Kalachi (or Kalachev, a small city) - Akmola region, Kazakhstan.

The local TV channel - KTK reported that, even now, nothing is known about the cause of the disorder. It was found that the affected people are not forthcoming (close) and nor had any fortuitous contact, one with each other.

The complaints relate symptoms such as weakness, malaise, fainting, partial memory loss, and in the worst cases, even hallucinations. All victims, simply, begin to feel an irresistible desire to sleep - and then, they just want to sleep.  

Health authorities, taken by surprise, have to rush in the of victims identification because they must be examined. On principle, experts are focusing on the idea of a virus and therefore virological tests were prioritized. These tests will be performed by virologists at the Regional Center (health) in Kokshetau.

Hope Yakimova, residing in the village said: People are falling sleeping suddenly, anywhere. Sometimes, some of them, in the same moment, near one of other, standing or sitting.

A student of a 9th grade - a teenager, had hallucinations and fell (asleep), he was one of the first. The cases are multiplying in the infirmary of the place where adults and children sleep in the midst of delusions more or less intense.  

The ground zero - the first case - of the manifestation of this sleeping sickness, in Kalachi, occurred between March and April 2013, according to the news portal Tengrinews. On occasion ten people, aged 14 and 70 were hospitalized. Since then, the outbreaks have occurred regularly.

In December 2013, 12 people were affected by delirious sleep. In early 2014, in January, were seven casualties already reported. Many people believe that the disease is a consequence of 'heating' - elevation of the ambient temperature.

Others associate abnormal sleep (and the other disorders) the existence of abandoned uranium mines in the vicinity of the village. These mines are disabled there 30 years.  

Thus, despite the authorities investigations, the case remains a mystery there are almost a year. Nothing of objective, consistent -  was discovered so far (January 2014). The head of the Department of Health of Yesil District Hospital - Kabdrashit Almagambetov - for instance - commented:

...radiation levels were measured across town, house by house. There weren't detected any abnormality. Samples of air, water, soil were also examined. The blood of the victims was also analyzed seeking traces of heavy metals and other toxic substances. Nothing was found.

On the internet, the Health Ministery still informs the disease has classic signs of narcolepsy: sudden numbness, loss of muscle tone and hypnagogic hallucinations (in a state of  drowsiness - pre-sleep or when occurs a quickly a return to a wake state).

SOURCES:  В Казахстане вспышка странной сонной болезни (russo) (CASAQUISTÃO: ESTRANHA EPIDEMIA DE UMA DOENÇA DO SONO)
PARANORMAL-NEWS/RÚSSIA.    ESPAÑOL Una extraña enfermedad adormece a los habitantes de una aldea de Kazajistán.    trad. L. Cabus


CA: Rare 'polio-like' disease reports
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/heal...

US doctors are warning of an emerging polio-like disease in California where up to 20 people have been infected.

A meeting of the American Academy of Neurology heard that some patients had developed paralysis in all four limbs, which had not improved with treatment.

The US is polio-free, but related viruses can also attack the nervous system leading to paralysis.

Doctors say they do not expect an epidemic of the polio-like virus and that the infection remains rare.

[snip]
Global vaccination programmes mean polio is endemic in just three countries - Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Polio-like

There have been 20 suspected cases of the new infection, mostly in children, in the past 18 months,

A detailed analysis of five cases showed enterovirus-68 - which is related to poliovirus - could be to blame.

In those cases all the children had been vaccinated against polio.

Symptoms have ranged from restricted movement in one limb to severe weakness in both legs and arms.

Dr Emanuelle Waubant, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told the BBC: "There has been no obvious increase in the pace of new cases so we don't think we're about to experience an epidemic, that's the good news.

[snip]

The cases have been spread over a 100-mile diameter (160km) so the research team do not think the virus represents a single cluster or outbreak.

However, many more people could have been infected without developing serious symptoms - as was the case with polio.

Dr Waubant suspects similar cases in Asia could explain why California is affected, but not the rest of the US.

Fellow researcher Dr Keith Van Haren, from Stanford University, said the cases "highlight the possibility of an emerging infectious polio-like syndrome" in California.

He added: "We would like to stress that this syndrome appears to be very, very rare. Any time a parent sees symptoms of paralysis in a child, the child should be seen by a doctor right away."

Commenting on the findings, Jonathan Ball, a professor of virology at the University of Nottingham, told the BBC: "Since the near-eradication of poliovirus, other enteroviruses have been associated with paralysis, but these viruses usually cause a very mild cold-like illness and severe complications are very rare.

"Two children showed evidence of being infected by a strain of virus called enterovirus-68, which has become strongly associated with outbreaks of respiratory illness.

"Whether or not this strain of enterovirus has caused these or other cases of paralysis is possible but remains conjecture, further studies will be needed to determine this."


UK: Tuberculosis infects Cambridgeshire factory workers
Staff at two vegetable packing plants in Cambridgeshire have been infected with tuberculosis, Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed.

Officials said 17 staff at two sites in the Chatteris area had been diagnosed with the disease since 2012.

Six patients were diagnosed with TB in 2012, nine in 2013 and two so far this year.

The PHE said there was "no evidence" tuberculosis could be caught from consuming the factories' vegetables.

The agency added the affected workers from the un-named plants were receiving treatment and were "no longer infectious".

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-e...


Virus in Guinea capital Conakry not Ebola
Tests on suspected cases of deadly Ebola virus in Guinea's capital Conakry are negative, health officials say.

On Sunday, UN officials said that the virus had spread to the capital, a port city of up to two million, from remote forests in the south, where some 59 people have died.

But a World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman told the BBC the Conakry tests had come back negative.

Ebola is spread by close contact and kills between 25% and 90% of victims.

There is no known cure or vaccine.

Symptoms include internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl...


UK: Pet cats infect two people with TB
Two people in England have developed tuberculosis after contact with a domestic cat, Public Health England has announced.

The two human cases are linked to nine cases of Mycobacterium bovis infection in cats in Berkshire and Hampshire last year.

Both people were responding to treatment, PHE said.

It said the risk of cat-to-human transmission of M. bovis remained "very low".

M. bovis is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis in cattle, known as bovine TB, and other species.

Transmission of M. bovis from infected animals to humans can occur by breathing in or ingesting bacteria shed by the animal or through contamination of unprotected cuts in the skin while handling infected animals or their carcasses.

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


Research: Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers

Evidence from skulls in east London shows plague had to have been airborne to spread so quickly

...

The Black Death arrived in Britain from central Asia in the autumn of 1348 and by late spring the following year it had killed six out of every 10 people in London. Such a rate of destruction would kill five million now. By extracting the DNA of the disease bacterium, Yersinia pestis, from the largest teeth in some of the skulls retrieved from the square, the scientists were able to compare the strain of bubonic plague preserved there with that which was recently responsible for killing 60 people in Madagascar. To their surprise, the 14th-century strain, the cause of the most lethal catastrophe in recorded history, was no more virulent than today's disease. The DNA codes were an almost perfect match.

According to scientists working at Public Health England in Porton Down, for any plague to spread at such a pace it must have got into the lungs of victims who were malnourished and then been spread by coughs and sneezes. It was therefore a pneumonic plague rather than a bubonic plague. Infection was spread human to human, rather than by rat fleas that bit a sick person and then bit another victim. "As an explanation [rat fleas] for the Black Death in its own right, it simply isn't good enough. It cannot spread fast enough from one household to the next to cause the huge number of cases that we saw during the Black Death epidemics," said Dr Tim Brooks from Porton Down, who will put his theory in a Channel 4 documentary, Secret History: The Return of the Black Death, next Sunday.

More: http://www.theguardian.com/sci...

You may be able to watch the programme on BBC iPlayer after it's live brodacast.


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