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Not Bird Flu But Close Oct. 6, 2008 to Feb 2010

by: AlohaOR

Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 01:00:23 AM EDT

Post your news stories that don't seem to be H5N1 news, but might be notable or possibly related.
AlohaOR :: Not Bird Flu But Close Oct. 6, 2008 to Feb 2010
The previous Not Bird Flu But Close diary is here.
Tags: , , , , , , , , (All Tags)
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Plane with ill passengers diverted to Chicago
- A United Airlines plane was diverted to O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday night after about a dozen passengers became ill during a flight.

United Flight 167 was headed to Los Angeles from Boston but had to land in Chicago around 8:30 p.m. because of sick passengers on the plane, said Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride.

Paramedics evaluated 12 to 14 people, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Richard Rosado. Four were taken in "yellow," or fair condition, to a hospital.

Rosado did not immediately know what made the passengers sick, but he said at least some fell ill after smelling vomit on the plane.

United did not serve food on board the flight, which had 138 passengers, said United spokesman Jeff Kovick. The people who became ill were traveling within the same tour group, he said...


There was no information on where the tour originated or where they had been before boarding the flight.

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

ABC-tv news just said that the 4 hospitalized passengers are in "Fair" condition. n/t

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

[ Parent ]
More details

The passengers who went on to Los Angeles said some of the tour group members had been taken to a hospital for symptoms of food poisoning before boarding Flight 167 in Boston.

About an hour into the flight, roughly a dozen people began complaining of nausea, frequently using the restroom and vomiting, according to passenger accounts.

[ Parent ]
Another quote
"As I was getting on the plane there were a couple of passengers in front of me who said that they had been traveling with a group, and that there were 35 of them. And out of the 35 there were already seven who had gotten sick, and that they had gone to the hospital and they had been, you know, throwing up before. And I was kind of concerned that they were getting on the plane in the first place," said passenger Kaitlen Reyes.


[ Parent ]
Napal -1,000 people unidentified pneumonia like disease
At least 1,000 people have been reportedly affected by an unidentified disease in some villages of Gulmi district in western Nepal, while number of pneumonia patients has gone drastically up in the district. According the Friday's report, the unidentified disease gripped Darling for a week and Neta and Paudi Amarai in the district, some 200 km west of Kathmandu, for the last four days. The disease is characterized by headache, fever, common cold, fainting and diarrhea. With the number of patients increasing, the Village Development Committees (VDCs) have fallen short of medicines, the RSS said. Young people in between 14 to 20 years of age were more affected. Classes in schools have also been affected due to the disease. However, district public health office said it was not aware of the epidemic. Acting chief of the office Shiv Chalise said a team of health personnel would be dispatched to the VDCs soon.)


my note: may just be due to the local flooding by in Sept. It seemed to start back then and has been advancing since.

Be Prepared

Hi DennisC! From what has been described...
given the ages, it sounds more like a viral infection. If this is due to flooding, we should be seeing a varied age of people being infected. Not just a specific age group, which is what they are describing.

Is it flu season in Nepal?

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
PNG- "Wildfire" Typhoid Outbreak, 11 Deaths
Typhoid outbreak claims 11

ELEVEN people are dead and many others are flooding the health centre in Watut in Morobe Province following a typhoid outbreak.
Bulolo MP Sam Basil yesterday confirmed the deaths saying the epidemic was spreading like wildfire.
He blamed the outbreak on the widespread selling of cooked food including meat at village markets in the Watut area of Bulolo district.
Mr Basil said health workers at the Watut health centre told him last Thursday that 11 people had died last week from the disease and others were still coming in for treatment.
"I am told that the patients are coming in large numbers every day to the health centre and they are receiving treatment," he said.
"No one can be hospitalised because the health centre does not have facilities for inpatients."
He said the situation was compounded by medical drug shortage to treat the patients and contain the epidemic.
He said the health centre needed chloramphenical - a drug used in the treatment of waterborne diseases.
When the Post-Courier contacted the provincial health office in Lae, it was advised that it could not confirm the report because of communication problems.
"I am not quite sure whether the health authorities in Lae are briefed on the outbreak," Mr Basil said.
"But to my understanding, nothing has been done to date and that means they (health authorities) are not aware of the deaths from the outbreak."
Mr Basil visited the area last Thursday. He was working the newly introduced Bulolo District Mobile Health (BDMH) program to deal with such epidemics.
Mr Basil said the BDMH program would go into the area next week with K5000 worth of drugs to contain the outbreak.
He said the program was initiated to provide basic health care to the remote parts of the district.
"The BDMH program will spend a week in Mumeng, Buang, Wau rural and Watut areas every month," Mr Basil said.
"It will deliver drugs and other services. This medical service is a free service for the people in the rural areas of Bulolo district."
Last week, Mr Basil presented a new ambulance to the Watut health centre.


Typhoid Symptoms
What are the signs and symptoms of typhoid fever?

Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 103° to 104° F (39° to 40° C). They may also feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. The only way to know for sure if an illness is typhoid fever is to have samples of stool or blood tested for the presence of S. Typhi .



Symptoms and Diagnosis

Usually, symptoms begin gradually 8 to 14 days after infection. The first symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, headache, joint pain, sore throat, constipation (or, less commonly, diarrhea), and abdominal pain and tenderness. A brassy, nonproductive cough is common. Nosebleed may occur.

As the illness progresses, fever remains high, and the person may become delirious. This sustained fever is often accompanied by a slow heartbeat and extreme exhaustion. Diarrhea may continue, although some people become constipated. In about 10% of infected people, clusters of small, pink spots appear on the chest and abdomen during the second week and last 2 to 5 days. After 2 weeks, intestinal bleeding or perforation occurs in 3 to 5% of infected people.

Pneumonia may develop during the second or third week and usually results from a pneumococcal infection, although typhoid bacteria can also cause pneumonia. Infection of the gallbladder and liver also may occur. A blood infection (bacteremia) occasionally leads to infection of bones (osteomyelitis), heart valves (endocarditis), kidneys (glomerulitis), the genitourinary tract, or the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Infection of muscles may lead to abscesses (collections of pus).

Although the history and symptoms of illness may suggest typhoid fever, the diagnosis must be confirmed by identifying the bacteria in cultures of blood, stool, urine, or other body fluids or tissues.


[ Parent ]
Lahore, Pakistan - Dengue
Medics fall prey to dengue fever
By ASIF CHAUDHRY submitted 7 hours 29 minutes ago

LAHORE - Outbreak of dengue fever in Shaikh Zayed Hospital caused panic among the doctors and the staff as six hospital employees including an emergency doctor and five staff nurses were tested positive in clinical reports besides other patients, The Nation learnt on Friday.
Talking to The Nation, Head of Medicine Department SZH, Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal confirmed that five staff nurses and one doctor of the hospital complained about dengue fever and clinical assessment revealed that they were suffering from this disease.
The hospital officials also confirmed the reports about the six dengue fever hospital officials including Dr Balghari who was discharging his duties in the emergency department.
The frightened doctor has gone on leave for 15 days, the source said, adding he was residing in the hospital's premises. The reports revealed that the platelet counts of Dr Balghari were only 30,000 when he was diagnosed as dengue patient.
Dr Zafar further told this scribe that he himself had treated no less than 25 dengue patients during the last four days. Out of these, he said, around a dozen patients visited the hospital while the others came to his clinic where they were tested positive.  A hospital source said that scores of other hospital employees, mostly staff nurses, have also been kept under observation due to symptoms of dengue fever. The affected dengue patients including the doctor are residing in the hostels of the Shaikh Zayed hospital. The administration has no option but to shift the dengue patients to the general wards of other patients due to nonfunctioning sickbay ward.
The sickbay ward established last year by the hospital management for the treatment of dengue patients was not functioning for the last eight months. The ward was set up only for the treatment of dengue patients as the patients were kept in isolation for better handling. The sickbay ward was closed due to acute shortage of the staff nurses, the source disclosed, adding that the hospital was facing shortage of 60 staff nurses.
Shaikh Zayed Hospital had received a large number of dengue patients after Sir Ganga Ram Hospital last year. At present again the said two hospitals are treating a large number of dengue patients and around seven such cases have been reported in Ganga Ram Hospital so far during the last 30 days.


Calif. to cut water deliveries to cities, farms
California said Thursday that it plans to cut water deliveries to their second-lowest level ever next year, raising the prospect of rationing for cities and less planting by farmers.

The Department of Water Resources projects that it will deliver just 15 percent of the amount that local water agencies throughout California request every year....

...The reservoirs that are most crucial to the state's water delivery system are at their lowest levels since 1977, after two years of dry weather and court-ordered restrictions on water pumping out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This year, water agencies received just 35 percent of the water they requested.

Farmers in the Central Valley say they'll be forced to fallow fields, while cities from the San Francisco Bay area to San Diego might have to require residents to ration water...

..."We're seeing a phenomenon in the Central Valley where growers who have been in the business of agriculture are laying off workers who have been with them for 20 or 30 years because they don't have the water," Beck said. "It's one thing to see brown lawns and shorter showers in urban areas. The real impact in the Central Valley is people are having to find new jobs."...


Not to mention not having the usual crops.
This is dated Oct. 30.  Sorry for the delay.

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

Rehearsing for California's Big Earthquake
At exactly 10 a.m. tomorrow, about 5 million people in Southern California will drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on at the same time. Radio stations and school p.a. systems will play a sound track of rumbling and crashing, along with a man's voice declaring, "If this were the magnitude 7.8 earthquake we're practicing for today, you would be experiencing sudden and intense back-and-forth motions of up to 6 ft. per second. The floor or the ground would jerk sideways out from under you. Look around and imagine."

If this sounds weird, it's because it is. The Great ShakeOut, as it's being dubbed, is the biggest public emergency drill in U.S. history - and as such, it is a radical idea. Normally, large-scale disaster drills, which happen weekly across the country, are designed for professional rescuers, emergency managers and politicians....


There's more at the link, including a place to click for the full article.  It's written by Amanda Ripley, who recently published a book about survival.

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

Hong Kong: Police on 'high alert' during financial crisis
Hong Kong - Law enforcement agencies will be put on "high alert" during the financial crisis to ensure that Hong Kong remains a safe city, government chief executive Donald Tsang said Saturday. Tsang told a crime-prevention conference that the global economic slowdown had adversely affected the local economy and jobs, but that public safety would be a high priority....


He said that previous financial or epidemic crises "did not have a major impact on law and order in the territory."

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

Peru: "massive" number of rats destroy 890 acres of crops, pose bubonic plague threat
Mr Manuel Aguinaga-Perez, mayor of Oyotun, reported today [3 Dec 2008] that the city council of Oyotun, a district located 83 km (52 miles) east from Chiclayo [capital city of Lambayeque Department on the northern Peruvian coast], is declaring an emergency alert because of the risk for a potential outbreak of bubonic plague as a result of the presence of a "massive" number of rats that have destroyed 360 hectares (890 acres) of crops in this area. Mr Aguinaga reported that specialists from the Ministry of Health had found up to 25 Asiatic rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis), vectors of bubonic plague, per rat. For this reason, he declared that they fear the occurrence of an outbreak of plague. A similar situation occurred 14 years ago in Morrope District, where more than 100 people died. "This phenomenon alarmed local health authorities, and we are working alongside every involved area in order to prevent the occurrence of a deadly epidemic," he declared.

Even though Mr Aguinaga pointed out that to date not a single case of plague has been reported in Oyotun, he said "there is a potential threat that may expand and burst like a flame, and this is an important reason for concern." He indicated that the communities of Campo Nuevo, Zorronto, Pan de Azucar, Macuaco, and Espinal had lost about 360 hectares of crops, mainly cornfields, because of the massive presence of rats, and this has caused serious economical problems for local farmers. "We are requesting from the regional government financial support, particularly seeds for affected farmers," Mr Aguinaga added; and he observed that the presence of a massive rat invasion had been reported since last June [2008], and now has spread to the higher parts of the district. Mr Aguinaga pointed out that, under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, a coordinated plan was elaborated with the participation of the Agricultural sector and the district municipality, since massive rodent elimination may lead fleas to feed on other warm-blooded mammals.)

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

Tracking deadly viruses' spread from animals to humans
Tracking deadly viruses' spread from animals to humans


Deep in a remote region of Cameroon, we are following two hunters looking for bush meat -- forest animals they can kill to feed their families. They've spent hours in the forest already, but all the traps they've set are empty. They will have to push deeper into the forest and they may be hunting for days.

Last year, rising food prices touched off riots around the world, killing dozens of people. Unable to afford basic supplies, communities in Central Africa are increasingly turning to the forests for food. In doing so, hunters expose themselves to hidden dangers - microscopic pathogens living in the blood of forest animals.

Most of the viruses are harmless, but some are potentially deadly when passed to humans. Scientists point out there's nothing new about these viruses. What is new is the frequency of people's contact with them and how easily they can now be spread around the world.

"Individuals have been infected with these viruses forever," Wolfe said. "What's changed, though, is in the past you had smaller human populations; viruses would infect them and go extinct. Viruses actually need population density as fuel."

The centerpiece of Wolfe's work is trying to stop the next pandemic before it starts. He's using a recent $11 million grant from Google and the Skoll Foundation to continue something called the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative or GVFI. It's a kind of early-warning system to track the transmission of viruses in virus hot spots around the world. In addition to Cameroon, Wolfe has teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo, China, Malaysia, Madagascar and Laos.

Brazil identifies disease that killed South African
December 8, 2008

(Follow-up to story from Dec. 3 on suspected arenavirus case)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Brazilian authorities said Monday they have identified a mysterious disease that killed a visiting South African businessman last week as spotted fever, a tick-borne malady.

The diagnosis capped a health scare triggered by the death Tuesday of the 53-year-old man, who is believed to have contracted the illness in his home country.  Initially, it was feared he might have succumbed to an arenavirus, a highly contagious, often deadly group of hemorrhagic diseases endemic to parts of Africa. (snip)

Medical staff who treated the man in Rio de Janeiro had been put under observation and South African authorities were contacted to help identify the illness. (snip)  Authorities at the health ministry in the state of Rio de Janeiro said tests at a lab specializing in viruses, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, determined the bacteria from its genome contained in blood samples.

"There is no risk of person-to-person infection. The Rickettsia bacteria is only transmitted by ticks," the deputy head of the lab, Ary Carvalho de Miranda, told reporters.  Brazil itself has registered 641 cases of spotted fever in the past decade. The disease is fatal in 30 percent of cases.  

Manila reports Ebola virus in pigs

Philippine officials tucked into servings of lechon, the popular dish of roasted whole pig, in front of television cameras on Thursday to reassure the public of the safety of the national staple meat after the discovery among hogs near Manila of a strain of the Ebola virus.

Arthur Yap, agriculture secretary, and Francisco Duque, health secretary, said the Ebola Reston virus, which had never been found in pigs before, presented a low health risk for humans and was different from the deadly African variety.

The World Health Organisation was reported to be looking into whether there was any chance humans could have become infected.


More on this story
Dr. Niman's commentary is here

Pig Ebola May Lead Scientists to 'Elusive Reservoir' of Virus
(Hat-tip Shiloh)
By Jason Gale

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The first known Ebola infections in pigs may help researchers answer a question that's confounded them since the deadly virus was first discovered more than 30 years ago: where it comes from.

International scientists will converge on farms in the Philippines to help local authorities discover how pigs contracted Ebola-Reston, a monkey-killing strain not known to harm people. The findings may help identify which species carries the virus in the wild without getting sick, enabling the pathogen to persist undetected in the environment, said Juan Lubroth, head of infectious diseases in the animal health unit of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. (snip)

Ebola was first recognized in 1976 after an outbreak near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as Zaire. Thirteen years later, Ebola-Reston was discovered in the U.S. in association with an outbreak of viral hemorrhagic fever among monkeys imported from the Philippines to Reston, Virginia. The virus was found among Philippine monkeys in the U.S. again in 1990 and 1996, and in Italy in 1992. In October, for the first time, the strain was found in Philippine pigs.

Pig-Ebola Nexus

"What is the connection between the natural habitat of Ebola-Reston and swine production? That needs to be teased out in the Philippines," Lubroth said.

Ebola-Reston turned up in six of 28 swine samples tested at a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in New York, said Davinio P. Catbagan, the Philippines' chief veterinary officer. The infected pigs were traced to two commercial and two backyard farms in three provinces north of Manila, he said. Further testing found no new cases, including among 42 people involved in caring for the animals. (continued)

[ Parent ]
Sri Lanka: Unidentified illness (fever)

Original posting (Dec. 25)

Creating another health problem in the country, an unidentified mystery fever is spreading throughout the Ratnapura district these days, Sri Lankan health officials said. According to the Health Director of the Sabaragamuwa Province Dr. Kapila Kannangara most of the patients suffering from this mystery fever have is from the Embilipitiya division, one of a border division in the Ratnapura District. Health officials said the patients experience high fever with the symptoms of both Chikungunya and dengue, but the illness is not clearly identified yet. Officials asked the people with high fever in Ratnapura District to report to the nearest government hospital in the area. )

Situation Update No. 1 (Dec. 27)

The number of patients suffering from an unidentified fever in Embilipitiya in Ratnapura District has now risen to 700. Director of the Sabaragamuwa Health Services, Dr. Kapila Kannangara said the patients - blood samples had already been sent to the Medical Research Institute in Colombo as the health officials in Ratnapura district are unable to verify the exact cause of this mystery fever. The disease is associated with high fever and shows symptoms similar to both Chikungunya and dengue.

Trobriand Islands, PNG - 38 Deaths Various Diseases
Diseases claim 38 Trobriand islanders
KIRIWINA islanders in the Trobriand group of islands have succumbed to a simultaneous outbreak of deadly diseases like typhoid, yaws, malaria, pneumonia and tuberculosis that have claimed 38 lives so far.
A district health inspector, based at Losuia, claimed the outbreak of the diseases was concurrent and people could now infect others.
He said the water supply at the Losuia Government station and the nearby villages was obtained from bored wells which were contaminated.
He also said the villagers along the coastal stretch from Tukwaukwa all the way to Kavataria were prone to infection as they relied on stream water, which were occasionally polluted with human faeces and domesticated animals.
Another health officer said some villagers were so strong in their cultural sentiments that the introduction and use of pit toilets would seem foreign to them as they enjoyed free use of the bushes for defecation.
"The hospital is lacking basic medical drugs and there are already so many people being infected.
"Thirty-eight people have been confirmed dead and we are still short of medicines and other vital drugs to contain the outbreak," he added.
He also said the general environment surrounding the villages needed to be improved and it required the political will to change people's mindset.
Provincial health authorities had dispatched a team of health technicians led by provincial disease controller Tirah Elliot to Losuia on the eve of Christmas to spend several weeks conducting intensive medical investigations and evaluations.
Mr Elliot said the environment was conducive to outbreak of contagious diseases and the people needed to start changing their social and environmental habits to avoid contracting these infectious diseases.
Meanwhile, an officer from the national disaster office in Port Moresby has called on both the National and Milne Bay provincial governments to step in to prevent the outbreak of the disease on the islands.
"Can the Government help the Trobriand Islands that have lost 38 people? There needs to be one month treatment exercise throughout the islands which only requires some K500,000," he said.
He also said the water supply to Losuia station and all other village water sources should be improved.


Philippines - Mystery Hog Disease
Hogs dying in Davao Sur; quarantine up

By Orlando Dinoy
Mindanao Bureau
First Posted 13:56:00 01/06/2009

Filed Under: Plant and Animal Diseases, Health, Livestock Farming, Agriculture

STA. MARIA, Davao del Sur--Veterinary officials in Southern Mindanao have quarantined animals here following the deaths of nearly four dozen pigs since December.

Renato Enanoria, regional quarantine officer, said on Tuesday the decision was arrived at as the cause of the deaths here had yet to be established.

In Barangay (Village) Pong-pong here, where most of the animals mysteriously died, residents fear the loss of their livelihood.

Ranilo Tiwi, a hog raiser here, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, that he already lost nine hogs since the mysterious disease started to affect animals in December.

Mercy Olalo, another hog raiser, said their animals would suddenly become weak and eventually die.

"The pigs developed red skin and they salivate excessively," she said.




Hogs in Davao del Sur town die of unknown cause

abs-cbnNEWS.com | 01/06/2009 1:03 AM

Residents of Sta. Maria town in Davao del Sur are worried after many of the pigs that they were raising have died mysteriously.

In Sitio Sala-Sala in Barangay Pongpong, 40 pigs have reportedly died since December.

Residents said that their pigs suddenly appeared weak, bleeding from the nose then died.

The town's agriculture office said that a veterinarian would be sent to the area to investigate the mysterious swine deaths.

The town's agriculture office meanwhile advised residents to immediately bury their dead hogs and to refrain from butchering the dead swine for food while the investigation is ongoing on the cause. From a report of Francis Magbanua, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao


Salmonella outbreak sickens 388 across U.S.: CDC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An outbreak of salmonella food poisoning has made 388 people sick across 42 states, sending 18 percent of them to the hospital, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is trying to trace the source of the outbreak, which began in September. The Department of Agriculture, state health officials and the Food and Drug Administration are also involved.

The CDC said poultry, cheese and eggs are the most common source of this particular strain, known as Salmonella typhimurium.

Clovis, New Mexico Strep Deaths
Deadly Strep Virus
Reported by: Rachel Cox

Thursday, Jan 8, 2009 @07:13pm CST

CLOVIS --- Two people from Clovis are dead and one is recovering in the hospital after they got sick from a dangerous strain of Strep. The state health department is investigating what caused it. On New Year's Eve a 23-year-old pregnant woman went to the Plains Regional Medical Center after she started having contractions. Doctors soon found out she had invasive Group A Strep. They were unable to stabilize her and she and the baby passed away. The next day a 53-year-old man was transferred to the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Amarillo. It was there they found he also had the Group A Strep, and he died later that day. This isn't always deadly, a 58-year-old man has it and is now recovering in a Lubbock hospital. Doctors say a recent rise in viral infections in the area may be to blame. Strep is very contagious, doctors say the best medicine is to wash your hands regularly. Some of the symptoms of Group A Strep are a sore throat, fever, muscle aches, cough and a possible skin infection.


Papua New Guinea-China connection
Not about disease, but globalism.  From a blog:
The Globe and Mail is running a longish article on Papua New Guinea and China's New Empire. The piece begins with a description of China's 'new empire' and its use of soft power, especially in Africa, and ends with a discussion of the Ramu nickel mine. It is an interesting piece, although not as interesting as the comments attached to it (e.g. "Let them drink the water from the fast running amoebic streams and let them suffer from the toxic snails that are everywhere.")

The piece strikes me as balanced and it represents most sides of the story - on the never-ending issue of entrance visas, for instance, it notes that Chinese are frustrated with the lack of skilled workers in country (a chronic problem in PNG's booming mining and energy sector these days) and the PNG bureaucracy's lack of capacity ("low proficiency" is how one Ramu exec described them to me). At the same time, it also notes that Chinese do enter the country illegally.

In many ways the Ramu story is not particularly new - a foreign investor starts a mine, creates a community affairs department, struggles with landowner discontent, gives equity to stakeholders, etc. What is interesting - and not touched on heavily in the article - is the fact that Chinese people have been in Papua New Guinea for over a century at least, and that long-standing anti-Chinese sentiment, rather than independence-era anti-Australian sentiment , is being mobilized. Crucially, this means both PNG and Australian sentiment will be focused against the Chinese....


The Globe and Mail story itself is fascinating, even though it had no details about how often Chinese workers go home to China.  Native people (from many nations) sometimes are sent to China for language lessons, but there are no hard facts about the movement of people.  This article suggests that there's more travel from China to remote places than we might expect.  (I'm thinking there would be exploratory trips of geologists or botanists, then mining engineers and/or construction engineers to sketch out what's needed, then heavy equipment operators and mechanics, all before the mining or lumbering operation opened.  Some enterprises hire local workers, but some use Chinese.)  This article shows me  that watching tourist areas for disease outbreaks isn't enough, but these places are really remote.  How can we know what's happening?  


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

Trobriand Islands, PNG - Health Crisis
Health crisis hit Trobriands


THE Milne Bay Provincial Government will be asked to declare a State of Emergency on the Trobriand Islands to declare with the ailing health phenomenon in the area.
These include an outbreak of typhoid which has claimed five lives so far and the closure of its only health centre.
The Provincial Disaster Committee, comprising vital agencies met last Friday in Alotau and resolved to declare a state of emergency for the island's district capital, Losuia station.
The provincial government will be advised to formally endorse their recommendation for the emergency acted on immediately.
These will mean that special attention will be given to the islands only hospital, the station's water supply system; toilet facilities and to make a general physical clean up.
This will enable the provincial government through its Provincial Executive Council (PEC) to approve the diversion of funds to the disaster on the island.
The emergency disaster situation came about after Alotau health officers made three separate assessment trips to Losuia (Kiriwina Island) and identified that almost every village has about three to five sick persons involving one or a combination of the outbreak diseases including typhoid throughout the islands.
There are 110 villages apart from the Losuia government station, hence about 500-600 sick people every two weeks.
The officers also closed down the island's only health centre on New Years day, which affected the people on the island.
The health centre was ordered to close because of gross contamination of water; lack of toilet facilities for patients and health workers; lack of drugs including intravenous drips, oxygen, painkillers and antibiotics.
Some Trobriand islanders who had returned from holidays confirmed this situation, saying many of their relatives had complaints of stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, coughing, diarrhoea, fever, poor appetite and, wasting. Unconfirmed figures claim that more than 40 people have died attributed to the effects of typhoid, malaria and pneumonia.
The people have reported that all 12 aid posts plus the two sub-health centres, (Kitava and Omarakana) have run out of basic drugs since the beginning of last year.


Black Death claims lives of 40 al-Qaeda activists in Algeria
London, Jan.19 : At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics have died horribly after being struck down by the 'Black Death', a disease that ravaged Europe during the Middle Ages.

According to The Sun, the deaths occurred a forest training camp in Algeria, North Africa.

It came to light when security forces found a body by a roadside. The victim was a terrorist in AQLIM (al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb), the largest and most powerful al-Qaeda group outside the Middle East......



The new epidemic began in the cave hideouts of AQLIM in Tizi Ouzou province, 150km east of the capital Algiers, the Sun reports.

The group, led by wanted terror figure Abdelmalek Droudkal, was forced to turn its shelters in the Yakouren forest into mass graves and flee.

The group now fears the highly-infectious disease could have spread to other al-Qaeda training camps or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, the paper said.

Be Prepared

Maybe, but I read on PFI that they had starved to death (one out of 4 stories or so
about this; the others said plague.)

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

[ Parent ]
12 Hong Kong Students hospitalised at Chengdu, Sichuan

The Immigration Department has learnt that 12 Hong Kong students in Chengdu, Sichuan were feeling unwell and required hospitalisation," a Government's spokesman said today ( January 23 ).  Staff of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ( HKSAR ) Chengdu Economic and Trade Office ( CDETO ) have visited them to see their situation.  The students are members of a group of students and teachers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  The group arrived at Chengdu on January 17 and is scheduled to return to Hong Kong via Chongqing today.

   The Centre for Health Protection ( CHP ) of the Department of Health has liaised with Chengdu health authority with regard to the medical conditions of the affected students. The 12 affected students experienced mild flu like symptoms such as sore throat and cough since January 19.  One of them was diagnosed to have chest infection, and is now in stable condition.  They have been admitted to the West China Hospital, Sichuan University.  According to the clinical diagnosis of the attending doctor, the students have ordinary seasonal influenza.  They have not had contact with any poultry.  The relevant Government departments will continue to liaise with the Mainland authorities, with a view to providing assistance to the affected students.  The Department of Health will follow up on the medical conditions of the students when they return to Hong Kong.

   Furthermore, the other 18 students and their tutors did not experience flu like symptoms.  They will return to Hong Kong later today as scheduled.

Comment I guess it's worth keeping an eye on any report like this.

A follow-up story
was posted here

[ Parent ]
Philippines reports 4 more workers infected with Ebola
(Posted by Carol@SC on January 30, 2009 news diary)

MANILA, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine health authority on Friday reported that three pig farm workers and a slaughter house worker were found carrying antibodies of a strain of Ebola virus which has yet found to cause deadly diseases to human.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news conference that the four additional individuals were tested positive of antibodies of Ebola-Reston virus might have been infected through direct contact with sick pigs. Ebola-Reston, unlike its African counterparts which are proven deadly to humans, was previously found on monkeys in the Philippines. It is the first time in the world a strain of Ebola virus was found on swine, a food-producing animal category.

The Philippine authority reported last week the first human infection of Ebola-Reston from pig handlers in one of the farms in the northern part of the country where the virus was detected.

Duque said all the four males, whose ages range from 22 to 52, "are all healthy and have not been seriously ill in the past 12 months."

Dr. Soe Nyunt-U, the country representative of World Health Organization, said the incident is "an important human health issue" but it is still considered a low risk situation to public health provided that proper procedure is enforced on hog handling and pork products preparation. He said the fact that the four are carrying antibodies means that they were infected more than six months ago and no virus is found in their bodies now, and thus the four individuals are not contagious to others.

Health experts said they have not found evidence of human-to-human transmission as of now.
Continued: http://news.xinhuanet.com/engl...

Cholera outbreak: public health crisis
Global, national efforts must be urgently intensified to control Zimbabwe cholera outbreak

30 JANUARY 2009 | GENEVA -- Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak, one of the world's largest ever recorded, is far from being brought under control. An enhanced response is needed to urgently reverse an epidemic that has so far infected more than 60,000 people and killed more than 3,100 since August 2008.

"The World Health Organization and other international and local partners are supporting the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare's (MoHCW) efforts to control the epidemic. But unless drastic action is taken by all players in this crisis, more Zimbabweans will succumb to the outbreak, and other countries in the southern African region will face the continued threat of spill over epidemics," said Dr Eric Laroche, Assistant Director-General for WHO's Health Action in Crises Cluster.

"We are dealing with an extraordinary public health crisis that requires from us all an extraordinary public health emergency response, and this must happen now before the outbreak causes more needless suffering and death," Dr Laroche said. (Snip)

As of 29 January, 2009, that number had reached 60,401, with 3,161 deaths, and showed no signs of abating. All 10 provinces, as well as neighbouring countries, have been affected. Although the Case Fatality Rate has decreased slightly, it is still above 5%, with about three times more deaths being recorded at community level rather than within health facilities. The acceptable level should be below 1%. Neighbouring South Africa has also reported 3000 cases, but the strength of its health care and water and sanitation systems have seen the case fatality rate remain below 1%. Full article here: http://www.who.int/mediacentre...

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


Canada - Animals are tortured
It was very distressing to hear and see the news on radio and TV about the new outbreak of avian bird flu at a turkey farm in Abbotsford.

Once again the public was informed about the astronomical numbers of birds - 60,000 - in one low barn, where the young birds walked one next to the other on the floor bedding, which also contained their excrement, with rows of computer-operated water nozzles and feed stations.

What is puzzling to the public is that the CFIA seems to be puzzled about the cause.

It seems rather obvious that if you keep such numbers of living animals in close quarters in a building with no windows and no access to the sun, air and nature outdoors, it is a recipe for "respiratory distress" and no amount of "bio-security" or suiting up like an astronaut and spraying chemicals on any vehicle that comes near, is going to prevent animals from getting sick.

After the last outbreak - about three years ago when it struck chicken factory farms with the same crowded conditions - there were reports that European countries stated they had "learned their lesson" and were outlawing not only factory farms for birds but also cramped cages for egg-laying chickens.


Posted as a heads up. Some may not want culling but prefer nature to take its course, even if that means more birds die. People should not interfer with nature for we are doing messing things up too much already. BF education has to educate everyone

"Torturing animals" story is a letter to the editor.
Not that she doesn't have good points to make, but it isn't an objective news story.  I don't think H5N1 arises spontaneously, no matter how crowded the birds are.  The authorities definitely should keep looking for the source of infection, IMO.

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

[ Parent ]
Torturing animals and vaccine

 It was posted to show what some people think.

 Culliing is tortuing. It is bad and not to be done lightly but hestitating to quell an outbreak could make things much worse

 Another article today on the examiner about vaccines causing autism. It was quite one sided and had people commenting. Some for, some against.

 Every one has a right to speak but the public should know the facts and recognize fiction or bad science.

 Every so often these things come up - keep chickens at home in the city, free range, chemicals used to make vaccine cause major health problems, etc.


[ Parent ]
Indonesia, Central Java, Brebes Regency: flash flood makes evacuation necessary.
Thirteen hundred people had to be evacuated.
About 1,300 villagers had to be evacuated Tuesday after officials predicted that heavy rain would likely produce more landslides in Bantar Kawung district, Brebes regency, Central Java. "We had to evacuate them because there were already two landslides within the last two days," said head of the Brebes Search and Rescue Team, Ade Dani. He added the landslides had damaged dozens of homes in the six villages of Banjarsari, Tealaga, Karangsari, Waru, Sinanas and Bentar. In addition to the evacuations, local officials also provided food and medical supplies for the evacuees at the temporary shelters. Due to limited infrastructure, the local administration had to use village administration building and schools as safe havens for the evacuees.


Text, click on event description.
Map, click on Google map; zoom in.
(I usually open 2 or 3 tabs from the beginning, to avoid having to go back and forth to review details.)

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

Tripura, India - Mystery Disease, 14 Deaths
14 people die of mysterious disease in Tripura
February 5th, 2009 - 5:02 pm ICT by IANS

Agartala, Feb 5 (IANS) At least 14 people died and several more were taken ill after a mysterious disease struck Tripura in the past one week, officials said here Thursday."After getting reports of death due to some mysterious disease during the past one week, we have sent medical teams to the affected Longtharai valley areas of Dhalai district to find out the cause," a Tripura health department spokesman said.

Longtharai valley, 90 km north of here, is an inaccessible area dominated by tribal people.

"Most of the people died in about 24 hours time after showing symptoms of fever and some black spots on their skin," the official said.

At least 70 more people are suffering from similar ailments in the area.

"The medical teams have collected blood samples to find out the cause of the disease," the official said.



Tripura Mystery Disease Persisting
Mysterious disease claims two dozen lives in Tripura

By Pinaki Das

Dhalai, Feb 14 (ANI): Health authorities have put Dhalai district in Tripura on high alert after nearly a dozen people died mysteriously in the last fortnight.

The state health department has sent a medical team to the affected areas.

The medical officers have reported that the disease was marked by a sudden onset of fever.

"When we went for field visit we found that people died within 10 to 24 hours after experiencing high fever and some red spots on their bodies," said Paul N Darlong, a medical officer.

The epidemic is affecting the people living in impoverished tribal hamlets with scant health facilities.

Expressing the helplessness of the situation, Uttara Chakma, a villager said, "We do not get any treatment or medicine from anywhere. My husband is ill from last Monday and I also cannot buy medicines because I am a daily labourer."

At least 70 more people are suffering from a similar disease in Longhthorai Valley, an inaccessible area dominated by tribal people, which is some 90 km away from the state capital Agartala.

Federal health department has informed that at least 165 people have died of meningocococcal meningitis, a contagious disease, in three of India''s northeastern states -Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram in the past one month.

Of the 165 deaths, 140 were reported from Meghalaya, 15 from Tripura and ten from Mizoram. (ANI)


[ Parent ]
Whatever happended to Chikungunya?
Remember when this was one of the contributing factors that we had a split into multiple flu sites?

You should read the response to the article below on the link.  It's from a boots on the ground scientist.

In addition, the site looks very interesting from a datasource, if it isn't already bookmarked by the newshounds....


Dengue cases were down in Singapore last year but chikungunya infections were up. Last month more chikungunya cases were reported. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Health which included chikungunya fever in its weekly infectious disease bulletin.

It is feared that chikungunya will soon become endemic in Singapore:

"The appearance of locally transmitted chikungunya infections in Singapore this year also worries infectious diseases experts.

"Although no one has died of the infection, chikungunya, unlike dengue, can be very debilitating. There is also the risk that it could become endemic, which means the disease would be here to stay, with no chance of wiping it out."

The Gigamole Diaries is not bothered if chikungunya will become endemic in the country:

"Given the similarity in vectors and transmissability between dengue and chikungunya, I don't think there is any doubt chikungunya will establish itself firmly within the community, as it has in many other parts of Asia, and it will only be a matter of time before it will be declared to be endemic in Singapore.

"Does it bother me? Not really, because it is a relatively mild disease compared dengue. If we can control the mosquito population in Singapore, we should be able to control both fairly well."

Singapore Expat was admitted to a hospital because of chikungunya fever:

"With a great deal of hobbling, we got to the local A&E where I was admitted immediately with a suspected mosquito transmitted viral disease; either Dengue or Chikungunya. Not that either one is really better than the other, but I am still glad it was Chikungunya as at least I am now immune of one of them. The fever went lasted only 3-4 days, but the swollen joints and rash remained for a few days more, and I may be hobbling around for a week or two more until the joints go back to normal."

Chikungunya cases were reported too in Malaysia. Chikungunya is endemic in Southeast Asia. The World Health Organization reports:

"In recent years, countries in the South-East Asia Region have been severely affected by the outbreaks of chikungunya fever...Chikungunya has established endemicity in several parts of South-East Asia Region. The socio-economic factors and public health inadequacies that facilitated the spread of this infection continue to exist. There is an urgent need to strengthen national surveillance and response capacity through multisectoral approach and active participation of the communities to prevent and contain this emerging infectious disease."

Picture on front page taken from the Flickr page of James Jordan

Posted by Mong Palatino  Print version

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One Response to
"Chikungunya in Singapore"
February 10th, 2009 at 10:59 am Thiruppathimariappan: 1
Dear Sir/Madam,
As a scientist in the field of vector control for the past three decades in India, I have few valuable comments towards control of dengue and chikungunya and given below:
1. People are suffering either dengue or chikungunya due to increase in vectors of Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus throughout the year.
2. Efforts on vector control through source reduction measures need to be adopted by people above ten years old.
3. People must learn and practice in every house or working place without fail to bringdown the Aedes population tremendously.
4. Practical hand in hand training must be applied which focussed by Thiruppathi Mariappan "Dengue transmission" in Environmental Health Perspectives 117:2, A56 February 2009.
5. Aedes control becomes "Everybody's job" due to close association of Aedes with human habitation. Government agencies could able to concentrate on vectors of natural breeding habitats only.
6. As we know, vaccines are not available for these diseases, we have to pledge to contribute to control Aedes to very minimum level.
7. The major hurdles in tackling these vectors are dormant eggs survive for more than 6-8 months, feeds on multible human hosts, day time blood sucking habits mosquitoes infect many persons in a given time, oviposit more than one or two habitats within 100 or 150 square meter areas etc.,
8. Let us be alert to avoid the spread of both dengue and chikungynya in the entire globe.
Suggestions are welcome,
with kind regards,
Dr. T. Mariappan,
Scientist, VCRC (ICMR),
Former Advisor of Dengue crisis management and mosquito control Programme of Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
Phone: +91-413-2272219
E-mail: thirumari@yahoo.com

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

Honnavar, India - Mysterious Fever, 5 Deaths
Mysterious fever claims five in Honnavar
S.O. News Service, Sunday, 22 February 2009 - 02:25:29 IST

Karwar: Mahadevei Vishnu Naik (60) of Jannakadakal village, who was admitted to the government hospital at Honnavar with fever, died on Saturday.

With this, the number of people who have died from a mysterious fever in Honnavar taluk in the past 15 days has gone up to five.

A large number of people with fever are undergoing treatment in private and government hospitals in Honnavar. Those who were in serious condition have been shifted to hospitals in Manipal and Mangalore.

Medical Officer of the hospital Usha Hasyagar visited the house of Ms. Naik at Jannakadakal. She said that Ms. Naik had high fever for four days and was admitted to the hospital on Friday. Her blood samples had been sent for tests.

Another patient, Leelavati Naik of Hirebail village, who was shifted to the A.J. Hospital in Mangalore, was said to be out of danger, Ms. Hasyagar said. Tests on her blood samples had indicated that she had pneumonia and urinary tract infection, Ms. Hasyagar added. There were reports of deaths of monkeys from Jannakadakal, Darbejaddi and surrounding villages, and the Health Department had requested people in these areas to take vaccine for monkey fever (Kyasanoor Forest Disease).

Ms. Hasyagar said that the mysterious viral fever might be monkey fever or dengue. She said that four people were undergoing treatment at the Honnavar hospital.


Monkey fever: 2 types that I've found in Google search
First (although it isn't described as fatal):
# Symptoms of the disease are continuous fever, fatigue and severe pain in joints
# Residents within a three-km radius of Megaravalli vaccinated

SHIMOGA: With the onset of summer, the dreaded KFD (Kyasanoor Forest Disease), better known as monkey fever, is back again in Malnad region.

Ticks from the carcasses of monkeys act as carriers of the virus. The symptoms of the disease are continuous fever, fatigue and severe pain in joints and it may prove fatal if not treated. The preventive measures, apart from vaccination, include spraying of insecticides in cattle sheds.


Joint pain or hemorrhagic fever?  They can't be the same disease, can they?

Kyasanur forest disease is a tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever endemic to South Asia. The disease is caused by a virus belonging to the family flaviviridae.

The disease was first reported from Kyasanur Forest of Karnataka in India. The disease was first manifested as an epizootic outbreak among monkeys killing several of them in the year 1957. Hence the disease is also known as Monkey Disease.

The reservoir hosts for the disease are porcupines, rats and mice. The vector for disease transmission is Haemaphysalis spinigera, a forest tick. Humans contract infection from the bite of nymphs of the tick.


The Green Monkey Fever AKA Marburg virus (unlikely; doesn't match the symptoms; usually in Africa)

Marburg hemorrhagic fever is a rare, severe type of hemorrhagic fever which affects both humans and non-human primates.


It doesn't seem like a conclusive diagnosis to me.

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

[ Parent ]
Sidelight info on primate contagion in the wild
This article appearing in the American Naturalist sates my interests in both great apes and infectious disease outbreaks. The report details observations of potential ape to ape (sometimes inter-species) transmission of Ebola, based on exchange of bodily fluids and the primate habit of inspecting carcasses of peers and rivals. Fascinating stuff, also available in a much abridged form.


link to Naturalist article:

abridged form:

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

[ Parent ]
Thanks Jane
I always appreciate it when folks chase down additional information.  If this is a spreading event there should be more news in a week or two.  Hopefully it is another flare up of "mysterious fever" which shows up in the news only once and then disappears with no additional cases or deaths.  I'm sure a terrible experience for the folks who live there, but hopefully not a epidemic/pandemic threat.

On a different note:
You mention an interest in great apes, and your name is Jane.  A particular primatologist comes to mind when I consider that;-)

[ Parent ]
LOL! The quote is taken from a blog, link-> clark parsia n/t

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

[ Parent ]
Manila to slaughter 6,000 pigs to stop Ebola spread
Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:08am EST


MANILA, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The Philippines will slaughter 6,000 pigs at a hog farm north of the capital Manila to prevent the spread of the Ebola-Reston virus, health and farm officials said on Monday.

But the government has lifted a quarantine on a second hog farm after tests by experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and the Agriculture Organisation (FAO) showed no more signs of the disease.

The country has more than 13 million heads of swine and the discovery of Ebola-Reston on two hog farms north of Manila was isolated, the government said.

The government said 6,000 pigs would be killed, burned and buried as experts sought to determine the source of Ebola-Reston in pigs as well as pig-to-pig and from pig-to-human transmission. Duque said 147 human samples have been tested for Ebola, but only six have tested positive. But all six remain healthy, he added.

"Ebola-Reston poses a low risk to human health at this time," Duque said.

It is the first time the virus has been found outside monkeys and the first time it has been found in pigs. The virus had previously jumped from monkeys to humans but this was the first case of a jump from hogs.

"this was the first case of a jump from hogs. " Reuters' error?
Should be "jump to hogs"?  At least they say it isn't a threat to humans.

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

[ Parent ]
No ma'am...jump FROM hogs
The government said 6,000 pigs would be killed, burned and buried as experts sought to determine the source of Ebola-Reston in pigs as well as pig-to-pig and from pig-to-human transmission. Duque said 147 human samples have been tested for Ebola, but only six have tested positive. But all six remain healthy, he added

[ Parent ]
Ooo, missed that; thanks, BB! n/t

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

[ Parent ]
Zambia & Vietnam Mystery Diseases
Zambia: Mystery Illness Needs Quick Identification

27 February 2009


THE mysterious illness that has hit the people of Chisomo area in Serenje District needs to be quickly identified and contained to curb further loss of life among the villagers.

Since Wednesday when nine people died as the strange disease broke out, the death toll has quickly risen to 11 and could climb even further if the problem was not identified.

This may explain the panic that the disease has sent among the residents of Chisomo who are reportedly running away from medical authorities investigating the killer disease.

Be that as it may, it will not help these important investigations if the people of Chisomo do not cooperate with those tasked to address their problem.

It appears that the people of Chisomo may be running away from the health authorities out of ignorance and there is need to step up publicity on the importance of cooperating with the probe team.

The office of the district commissioner in Serenje can help address this problem by mobilising the opinion leaders such as teachers, pastors and traditional leaders to educate the people about the investigation.

The mobilisation of local opinion leaders needs to be done as a matter of urgency because any further delays may result in more deaths.

The local leaders have a duty to help in the sensitisation of the community and ensure that villagers there co-operate with the medical staff.

The staff on the ground have already ruled out cholera and we hope that those studying the samples will expedite the process and identify the disease.

From the reports, the disease may spread further as it appears to be highly infectious and kills quickly.

The fact that 11 people have died within a matter of days in itself renders the problem in Serenje an emergency and hopefully the ministry of Health will move in quickly. It is also hoped that movement to and from the area will be strictly monitored to avoid the spread of the disease.



Mysterious disease in Quang Nam a lung ailment: doctors

Thanh Nien Daily - ?Feb 25, 2009?
The strange disease that hundreds of gold miners in central Quang Nam Province's Thang Binh District are suffering is actually a lung ailment, but its cause ...

This headline shows up when you do a google news search for "mysterious disease, but when you click on it to see the article it is not available.  I thought it worthy of posting since Vietnam has had it's share of bird flu.

Link now works
Mysterious disease in Quang Nam a lung ailment: doctors
The strange disease that hundreds of gold miners in central Quang Nam Province's Thang Binh District are suffering is actually a lung ailment, but its cause has not been pinpointed yet, doctors said Wednesday.

Dr. Tran Cong Phap, director of the province's Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital said all the patients - gold miners working in Binh Tri, Binh Dinh Nam and Binh Dinh Bac communes - have been well cared for as the medical staff tried to find the cause of the problem.

The patients complained of chest pains, difficulty in breathing and suffered weight loss. They were initially treated for tuberculosis, but their condition did not improve.

Reported by Ho Trong


[ Parent ]
Zambia disease identified as cholera
Cholera in Serenje
The Ministry of Health says the mysterious disease that broke out in Chisomo area of Serenje district last week has been confirmed as cholera.

Ministry of health spokesperson, Reuben Mbewe, says cholera has so far claimed 14 lives in the area. (snip) Dr. Mbewe also said investigations are under way to establish the cause of the cholera out break in the area.

[ Parent ]
No evidence of epidemic found after workers get sick in SW China

11:06, March 01, 2009
Tests did not show why one person died and nine others at the same work place became sick in Lanping County, southwest China's Yunnan Province.

"No evidence was found to substantiate an epidemic through tests of the patient's blood and urine samples as well as tests of the drinking water," the county's health bureau said in a statement released Saturday.

All of the patients were workers at a construction site near Biyuhe Village in Lanping County. They developed symptoms including numb limbs, dizziness, fever, diarrhea and vomiting nearly a month ago.

As of Saturday, one person had died and three others had life-threatening conditions. The other five were under medical observation.

Local health authorities were investigating the cause of their illness, but failed to draw a conclusion.

Yunnan provincial health authorities have sent experts to assist with medical treatment and the investigation.

Philippines: testing fruitbats for ebola-reston to find source of pigs' illness
Date: Sat 14 Mar 2009
Source: BusinessWorld online ...

Animal and public health experts will test fruit bats for Ebola Reston [virus infection] in June [2009] to determine the source of a non-lethal virus that was transmitted to hogs, an Agriculture official said on Friday [14 Mar 2009]...

...Mr. Tsurumi said fruit bats were suspected as carriers of [other] lethal strains of Ebola virus. Ebola Reston, which is only found in the Philippines, had been confined to monkeys, and the latest detection is the 1st time it has jumped species. Soe Nyunt-U, country representative of the WHO, said earlier that they suspect fruit bats to be the carriers of the virus. He added that the Health, Agriculture and Environment departments would also study the virus's nature and habitat. The virus, a sub-type of Ebola virus [_Ebola Reston virus_ is now ranked as a distinct virus species in the genus Ebolavirus. - Mod.CP], was 1st discovered in the Philippines in 1989 among crab-eating macaques being exported to the Hazleton Laboratories in Reston, Virginia.

The government last week completed the 1st large scale
disease-related culling of some 6200 hogs in a Bulacan farm following a confirmed outbreak.


Fruit Bats as Reservoirs of Ebola Virus

Researchers tested for presence of the Ebola virus in fruit bats between 2001 and 2003. Three species of bats tested positive for Ebola, but had no symptoms of the virus. This indicates that the bats may be acting as a reservoir for the virus. Of the infected animals identified during these field collections, immunoglobulin G (IgG) specific for Ebola virus was detected in Hypsignathus monstrosus, Epomops franqueti, and Myonycteris torquata.


They eat fruit, lick nectar.  Maybe it's in their droppings?

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

Russia: Crimean-Congo fever and decline in sheep raising
Date: Thu 12 Mar 2009
Source: ANN, National News Agency [in Russian, trans. Corr.ATS, edited]

Decline in agriculture results in increased incidence of hemorrhagic fever
The head of Rospotrebnadzor [the Federal Service for Consumer Affairs and Human Welfare], Gennady Onishenko, has issued a document stating that the increase in incidence of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever has been facilitated by the increase of vegetation as a consequence of a decline in sheep rearing and grazing in the Southern Federal Okrug [district].

He also stated that virus circulation has risen because of high temperatures, which have remained above 15 deg C [59 deg F] during the spring months in recent years....


Ticks carry the disease.  More details in ProMedMail story.

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

A total of 5 persons have died of an unidentified sickness in a
village in mid-western Dolpa district. Reports quoting local health
officials said several others have been infected with the disease in
Chharka village. The area is a 3-day walking distance from the
district headquarters, Dunai.

Those infected with the unknown disease complained of headache,
fever, and cough. Officials at the public health office at Dunai said
a team of medics left for the area on Sunday [15 Mar 2009] with
drugs, but they have not been able report back due to lack of means
of communication.


Be Prepared

Drug-resistant, lethal strain of TB in 55 countries
KATHMANDU, March 24: A lethal form of tuberculosis, called the extensively-drug-resistant ((XDR) strain has been found in 55 countries including Nepal, the World Health Organization said in a report, according to Reuters.

Officials in Nepal confirmed the presence of patients with the XDR strain in Nepal. Devendra Bahadur Pradhan, director of Nepal Tuberculosis Prevention Program, said at least eight patients have been diagnosed with XDR in Nepal.

"The strain is untreatable with existing drugs," Pradhan said.

Although antibiotics can cure "normal" tuberculosis, many patients have failed to take the full six- to nine-month treatment course of existing drugs, leading germs to develop resistance. Doctors prescribing the wrong medicines and shortages of drugs in low-income countries have exacerbated these problems, Reuters said....

...While tuberculosis is found predominantly in developing countries, the XDR-strain has been reported in both rich and poor nations, partly because developed economies have better screening and diagnostic technology to identify it.

To date, XDR-TB has been found in Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam....


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

Penn.: 200 elementary school pupils ill
Officials in a northeastern Pennsylvania school district are trying to find the cause of an illness that has affected some 200 elementary school pupils. Officials say one of three of the 603 students at the Coolbaugh Elementary Center was stricken on Friday. They say about half of the sick children stayed home and the rest were sent home after falling ill in school. Pocono Mountain School District spokeswoman Wendy Frable says officials do not believe it was a case of food poisoning or water contamination.  State health officials suggest that a norovirus or stomach flu may be running through the school. Only 25 students were absent Thursday....


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

Indonesia: Vaccine Review Meets With Irritation, Questions of What Supari Isn't Saying
Doctors on Thursday criticized and questioned the health minister for her decision to review a number of discretionary vaccines that she said had not scientifically been proven beneficial.

Soedjatmiko, chairman of the Indonesian Pediatrics Association, told the Jakarta Globe that Siti Fadillah Supari had created unnecessary alarm by announcing the plan before the ministry could provide any reason for doing so.

"It would be better if she kept things confidential until her cause for worry was clear, especially on such a sensitive matter," he said, adding that even though the vaccines were excluded from the government's list of mandatory vaccinations for children, they had been proven beneficial and were widely used in neighboring countries, including Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.....
...Sitorus said Supari's call for a review came years too late.

"Over the past few years, trillions of rupiah has been circulating around these possibly wasteful vaccines, and our children may be left to bear useless and possibly toxic chemical substances in their bodies," he said.

Sitorus said the minister should have initiated a review years ago, before the use of some vaccines had become commonplace.
He also said the ministry's decision indicated that some problems likely had been found.

"I don't think the ministry would announce the review so suddenly if they hadn't run into irregularities."...

This is not about influenza vaccines, but were there really irregularities or is Supari plotting something more?

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

How Maize Moves Malaria (in Ethiopia)
...cultivation had shifted to maize from more traditional crops, such as teff, barley, and sorghum. They found that the rate of malaria transmission among maize farmers was 10 times higher than among those who farmed other crops.

Laboratory results confirmed the explanation for the difference: the powdery yellow substance that contains the plant's reproductive cells. A maize field produces large amounts of pollen - about 300 pounds for every 2.5 acres. And mosquito larvae thrive on it. "Maize pollen is an accelerant for mosquito populations," McCann says. "They just explode. You may as well be putting kerosene on a fire."

Kebede learned that mosquitoes that feed on maize as larvae tend to have a longer lifespan and are more likely to transmit malaria simply because they bite more people more times....


Unintended consequences appear again.  Improved variety of maize, more intensive cultivation of it, warmer climate in the highlands all combined to devastate the population.  The article gives suggestions for reducing the risk of malaria's spread.  Very interesting read, not limited to Ethiopia.

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

Forgot: hat tip to APHA twitter

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

[ Parent ]
China files WTO complaint on US ban of Chinese poultry
China has filed a complaint against the United States and the World Trade Organisation, about a U-S ban on Chinese poultry.

Both countries banned poultry trade in 2004, after an outbreak of bird flu, but China lifted its ban on US imports soon after....

After finding melamine in the milk, and lead in toys, our government should be cautious about uncooked chicken products.

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

Vietnam - Fever rampant in Ha Noi children

HA NOI - The number of children suffering from virus-related fevers and respiratory diseases is rising in Ha Noi.

The number of children admitted to the hospital has risen in the past few weeks, said Dr Nguyen The Thanh of Bach Mai Hospital's Paediatrics Department.

"There are between 70 and 80 child patients hospitalised each day. This number increases by 150 at the weekends when the outpatients' department is off," he said.

Three to a bed

Currently, the hospital is crammed with young patients, with two or three children sharing a bed.

The Saint Paul Hospital's Paediatrics Department is currently receiving 500 to 600 new patients each day. As many as 200 of these have acute respiratory problems and high fever, according to the department's Doctor Nguyen Thi Tho.

Thanh said that common symptoms were headaches, chills, muscle pain and vomiting. Some also suffered from convulsions and difficulty breathing.

"For the most part, patients recover from a high fever after five to seven days treatment, but the condition sometimes reoccurs among weak patients," he said.

The doctor also warned that the symptoms of virus-caused fevers were similar to encephalitis.

"People who still have a fever after the usual recovery period should be hospitalised and take further tests to avoid serious complications that may include brain damage," the doctor said.

In spite of the high number of patients, there was no sign that this was an epidemic.

Director of the Central Paediatrics Hospital Nguyen Thanh Liem said it was difficult to distinguish between the AH1N1 flu and other kinds of flu, but so far there had been no cases of swine flu in Viet Nam. - VNS

Dozens of Peru children lose lives

7 May, 2009

Dozens of Peru children lose lives after being affected by cold weather. With temperatures dropping across the country for winter, different regions in Peru are being affected in many different ways.

While in Lima there is an increasing amount of fog and humidity, highland regions such as Puno are experiencing cold weather many citizens are not equipped to deal with.

Every year, as cold fronts hit Peru, dozens of children in Peru's highlands begin to lose their lives because of colds or infections. This has already been the case of twenty-six children in Puno.

Aside from the kids that have lost their lives because of respiratory infections, another 31,860 have been seriously affected by viruses attributed to the climate change, said health authorities.

Despite the fact that nine of the twenty-six children that lost their lives were taken to hospitals, doctors were not able to help them.

The other nineteen children were not seen by doctors. It was also reported that 351 kids currently have pneumonia.

Health authorities in Puno explained that many children die because parents do not know how to identify symptoms and take their children to hospitals when illnesses are in their late stages.

Malaysia- Suspected Meningitis
21 more warded with suspected meningitis
By : Jason Gerald John

MALACCA:Twenty-one more people were rushed to Malacca Hospital yesterday, after they developed fever believed to be from the bacterial meningitis infection.
They comprised 19 from the Road Transport Department Academy in Tiang Dua, a factory worker and a student.

The factory worker and student, both females, had come into contact with the trainees at the academy and went to the hospital for treatment after having symptoms such as fever, head and muscle aches, stomach cramps, fatigue, cough and nausea.

The student is believed to be from the Mara Professional College, a few metres from the RTD Academy.

This brings the total number of people in the hospital's isolation ward to 41, including 39 trainees. Two other trainees who were earlier admitted to the intensive care unit are reported to be responding well to medication.
With five days having passed since the first batch of 13 trainees were admitted to hospital, the increasing number of trainees hospitalised is said to be normal.

This is because the bacteria in those being isolated at the academy takes between four and seven days to incubate. After that, the infection may disappear with the medication given or may fully develop.

Yesterday, the Health Ministry confirmed that the trainees at the academy were infected with bacterial meningitis caused by the gram-negative diplococci bacteria, which spreads through coughing or sneezing within a one-metre radius of an infected person.

Only one death has been reported. Trainee Mohd Hafiz Zainuddin died last Monday.

State Health director Dr Ghazali Othman did not want to confirm the latest development. He said any statement on bacterial meningitis would be made by the health minister or director-general of health.


38 Total- Leptospirosis
12 more detainees infected

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Twelve more detainees at the Immigration Department illegal immigrants detention camp in Juru were down with leptospirosis yesterday.
This brings to 38 the total number of detainees warded at the Bukit Mertajam and Seberang Jaya hospitals.

State Immigration Department director Abdul Rahman Harun said of the 12, four were Bangladeshi and the rest Myanmar nationals.

Five other detainees who developed fever were being placed under quarantine at the depot.


He declined to speculate on the cause of the outbreak as the Health Department was conducting their investigation.



Thanks Dem
I should have added the location.  Malaysia is a concern due to it's proximity to Indonesia, across the strait.

[ Parent ]
A rabies virus that originated in bats is reported to be transmitting between skunks and now foxes with normal contact, no bites required.  Flagstaff AZ has issued a 3 month pet quarantine.


2009 -- the year of the virus n/t

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

[ Parent ]
Scientists identify new lethal virus in Africa

Scientists have identified a lethal new virus in Africa that causes bleeding like the dreaded Ebola virus. The so-called "Lujo" virus infected five people in Zambia and South Africa last fall. Four of them died, but a fifth survived, perhaps helped by a medicine recommended by the scientists.

It's not clear how the first person became infected, but the bug comes from a family of viruses found in rodents, said Dr. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University epidemiologist involved in the discovery.

"This one is really, really aggressive" he said of the virus.

A paper on the virus by Lipkin and his collaborators was published online Thursday on in PLoS Pathogens.

The outbreak started in September, when a female travel agent who lives on the outskirts of Lusaka, Zambia, became ill with a fever-like illness that quickly grew much worse.

She was airlifted to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she died.

A paramedic in Lusaka who treated her also became sick, was transported to Johannesburg and died. The three others infected were health care workers in Johannesburg.

Investigators believe the virus spread from person to person through contact with infected body fluids.

"It's not a kind of virus like the flu that can spread widely," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which helped fund the research.

The name given to the virus - "Lujo" - stems from Lusaka and Johannesburg, the cities where it was first identified.


3 HCWs have died
...The symptoms are all similar to Ebola, which kills more then half of those who catch it every year.  It appears that Lujo is transmitted in the same way as well, through inhaling dust particles that carry the illness through rat droppings.  Four health workers who treated the woman before proper health precautions were met fell ill as well, with three passing away, and one recovering.


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

[ Parent ]
Pro-Med Mail: [mold] Pythium, maize, soybean - USA: new species (OH)
New mold attacks corn and soybeans
A new species of Pythium, a water mold that attacks soybeans and corn in saturated soils, has been identified in Ohio. Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University, says Pythium delawarii was labeled as a new species when its characteristics didn't match any of the more than 200 described Pythium species. There are at least 24 species found in Ohio that affect corn and soybeans....

...The new Pythium species was isolated from an Ohio field that experienced persistent stand establishment problems. So far the new species has been identified in a small number of locations across the state and doesn't appear to be very aggressive. "But it is an unusual species in that it thrives in warmer temperatures later in the season on older plants," says Dorrance....


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

Texas: algae suffocating fish
....Searching for signs of Golden Algea. The potentially toxic organism has already been detected four South Texas regions, including a private pond in the McAllen area. The algea creates a foamy brown appearance in the water. It kills fish by attacking their gills and suffocating them. The infected lake has now been blocked off, so it can't drain into other Valley waterways. Scientists say right now it's too early to tell what's spreading the algea, but they suspect it could be transported by migrating birds.


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

new strange, "Fear of AIDS" illness in china
China: AIDS-like disease but spreads faster, 600 ill.
...Preliminary research shows that patients have symptoms of fatigue, chronic diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, and weakened immunity. But doctors cannot find any sign of the HIV virus....
...Because the Chinese Ministry of Health doesn't recognize the disease, it has not carried out any investigation....


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

[ Parent ]
New Mexico boy dies of bubonic plague

SANTA FE, N.M., June 5 (UPI) -- An 8-year-old boy from Santa Fe County, N.M., has died from the bubonic plague and his 10-year-old sister is undergoing treatment, health officials say.

The New Mexico Department of Health says these are the first human plague cases this year in the United States. New Mexico's last plague death was in Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, in 2007.

more at link above....

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

China - Pneumonic Plague, 1 death
 One dies of Pneumonic plague in NW China

   XINING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- One died of pneumonic plague which infected eleven others in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai Province, said the province's health bureau.

   The eleven infected, hospitalized in quarantined wards, are in stable conditions. Most of them are relatives of the dead, a 32-year-old herdsman, said a press release from Health Bureau of Qinghai Province.

The province sent a team of experts to the area and had the plague under control, said the release.

The local government quarantined the source of the plague, Ziketan town, and its vicinity. The area has sufficient supplies and the quarantine has not disrupted the basic needs of the locals, according to the release.

The health bureau demanded those who have fever and cough and have been to Ziketan town and its vicinity after July 16 to go to hospital.

Ziketan town, in Xinghai county of Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, covers 3,000 square kilometers and has a population of 10,000.


Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture

The placename literally means "south of the Qinghai Lake."


Comment:  Could this actually be H5N1 and they are calling it Pneumonic Plague?  Quarantine of a whole town "and its vicinity" is no small matter.  I would think plague would be scarier for locals than H5N1.  But H5N1 would be scarier for the rest of the world.

[ Parent ]
So not good...
for this to get loose during a pandemic.

From the CDC:

Pneumonic plague occurs when Y. pestis infects the lungs. This type of plague can spread from person to person through the air. Transmission can take place if someone breathes in aerosolized bacteria, which could happen in a bioterrorist attack. Pneumonic plague is also spread by breathing in Y. pestis suspended in respiratory droplets from a person (or animal) with pneumonic plague. Becoming infected in this way usually requires direct and close contact with the ill person or animal. Pneumonic plague may also occur if a person with bubonic or septicemic plague is untreated and the bacteria spread to the lungs.


Symptoms and Treatment

With pneumonic plague, the first signs of illness are fever, headache, weakness, and rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and sometimes bloody or watery sputum. The pneumonia progresses for 2 to 4 days and may cause respiratory failure and shock. Without early treatment, patients may die.

Early treatment of pneumonic plague is essential. To reduce the chance of death, antibiotics must be given within 24 hours of first symptoms. Streptomycin, gentamicin, the tetracyclines, and chloramphenicol are all effective against pneumonic plague.

Antibiotic treatment for 7 days will protect people who have had direct, close contact with infected patients. Wearing a close-fitting surgical mask also protects against infection.


Comment:  China is usually secretive about disease outbreaks.  Remember SARS?  For this information to be published makes me wonder whether it is a bigger problem than it appears.  Has the disease spread farther than this area?  Is it so large an area they know they cannot keep it under wraps?  This is just to the south of Quinghai Lake, which is a tourist attraction.  Imagine if someone was infected with pneumonic plague there and then boarded a crowded train or bus headed back east.  Then imagine infected fellow travelers in cities where Pandemic H1N1 is spreading.  If it got loose in a big way...not good.

Also see this concerning pneumonic plague symptoms:

Pneumonic plague
Pneumonic plague - which can occur as a complication of another type of plague or by inhaling infectious droplets coughed into the air by a person or animal - is the least common form of plague. But it's also the most rapidly fatal. Early signs and symptoms, which generally occur within a few hours to a few days after inhaling contaminated droplets, include:

   * High fever
   * Weakness
   * Signs of pneumonia, including chest pain, difficulty breathing and a cough with bloody sputum
   * Nausea and vomiting

Pneumonic plague progresses rapidly and may cause respiratory failure and shock within two days of infection. If antibiotic treatment isn't initiated within a day after signs and symptoms first appear, the infection is likely to be fatal.


[ Parent ]
Okieman, as to your comment:
China is usually secretive about disease outbreaks.  Remember SARS?  For this information to be published makes me wonder whether it is a bigger problem than it appears.  Has the disease spread farther than this area?  Is it so large an area they know they cannot keep it under wraps?

Exactly my thought. It is rare for us to hear any news on infectious disease outbreaks in China. Past history says to me that it IS to large to cover up and so they are releasing small bits of information while doing damage control at the same time.

As you said, Quinghai is a tourist area and as you know, Quinghai lake is the birth place of H5N1. This list of symptoms can fit both pneumonic plague and H5N1:

Primary plague pneumonia has a short incubation period of 1-3 days, after which there is sudden onset of flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, headache, generalized body pains, weakness, and chest discomfort. A cough develops with sputum production, which may be bloody, and increasing chest pain and difficulty in breathing. As the disease progresses, hypoxia (low oxygen concentration in the blood) and hemoptysis (coughing up blood) are prominent.

I am always suspicious of the Chinese government for IMO, they are just a bunch of liars and thugs. I am glad you are keeping an eye on this for us!

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


[ Parent ]
I mispelled Qinghai above.

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


[ Parent ]
Residents flee China's quarantined plague town

Frightened residents of a Chinese town sealed off after an outbreak of pneumonic plague have begun to flee under cover of darkness, sneaking around checkpoints set up to stop the spread of one of the world's deadliest diseases.


After the outbreak was first detected last Thursday, police set up checkpoints in a 17-mile radius of the farming community of about 10,000 people. But Tibetan residents familiar with the rugged and wild terrain and who are easily mobile at such high altitudes, have begun to slip out of the town, evading the checkpoints.

One person who had left had made their way to a neighbouring province but declined to give details of his exact location. Others, he believed, had made their way to the city of Xining, the capital of Qinghai province. Still others had taken refuge with friends or relatives still living a nomadic existence on the Tibetan plateau.

"Many, many people have left. They have just escaped. The streets are virtually empty now," the resident, who had left the town, said.


There have been no reports of new cases since the weekend and officials say the outbreak is now under control.  

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

City of Xining
City of Xining

As of 2008, the total population of Xining is approximately 2,177,900, with an urban population of 1,329,000.


Comment:  If it makes it to Xining it will...well, your guess is as good as mine, but I suspect international borders will begin closing.

[ Parent ]
Pneumonic Plague Outbreak Shuts Down Town
A second man has died of pneumonic plague in northwest China, in an outbreak that prompted authorities to lock down a town where about a dozen people were infected with the highly contagious deadly lung disease, a state news agency said....
man who died Sunday was identified only as 37-year-old Danzin from Ziketan, the stricken town in Qinghai province, the official Xinhua News Agency said....
Danzin was a neighbor of the first person who died, a 32-year-old herdsman whose name was not given. Another 10 people, mostly relatives of the first deceased man, were infected and undergoing isolated treatment in hospital,....
The town of 10,000 people has been sealed off and a team of experts was sent to the area....
He said 80 percent of shops in the town were closed and prices of disinfectants and some vegetables have tripled....
2004, eight villagers in Qinghai province died of plague, most of them infected after killing or eating wild marmots. Marmots are related to gophers and prairie dogs. They live in the grasslands of China's northwest and Mongolia, where villagers often hunt them for meat....

Be Prepared

[ Parent ]
Polio surge in Nigeria after vaccine virus mutates
Polio, the dreaded paralyzing disease stamped out in the industrialized world, is spreading in Nigeria. And health officials say in some cases, it's caused by the vaccine used to fight it.

In July, the World Health Organization issued a warning that this vaccine-spread virus might extend beyond Africa. So far, 124 Nigerian children have been paralyzed this year - about twice those afflicted in 2008.

it is made from a live polio virus - albeit weakened - which carries a small risk of causing polio for every million or so doses given. In even rarer instances, the virus in the vaccine can mutate into a deadlier version that ignites new outbreaks.
So when WHO officials discovered a polio outbreak in Nigeria was sparked by the polio vaccine itself, they assumed it would be easier to stop than a natural "wild" virus.

They were wrong.......


Be Prepared

Q Fever in the Netherlands
Current situation
From April 2009, a sharp increase in Q fever was observed again, and a total of 345 cases (including 13 probable) were notified between 1 Jan and 11 May 2009.


For the 3rd consecutive year, the Netherlands is facing a large outbreak of Q fever. The new upsurge in Q fever cases in 2009 is alarming.

Had never heard of Q Fever so this is what the CDC says:

Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, a species of bacteria that is distributed globally.[...] Only about one-half of all people infected with C. burnetii show signs of clinical illness. Most acute cases of Q fever begin with sudden onset of one or more of the following: high fevers (up to 104-105° F), severe headache, general malaise, myalgia, confusion, sore throat, chills, sweats, non-productive cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and chest pain. Fever usually lasts for 1 to 2 weeks. Weight loss can occur and persist for some time. Thirty to fifty percent of patients with a symptomatic infection will develop pneumonia. Additionally, a majority of patients have abnormal results on liver function tests and some will develop hepatitis. In general, most patients will recover to good health within several months without any treatment. Only 1%-2% of people with acute Q fever die of the disease.


Earthquake preparedness

Another reason to be prepared...especially if you live in earthquake country!!

Preliminary information from the California Integrated Seismic Network says the 10:48 a.m. Wednesday quake was magnitude 5.9 and was centered about 100 miles east of San Diego, about 20 miles southeast of the Mexican city of Mexicali.

Diarrhoea, measles reported among Haiti quake survivors: WHO

GENEVA (AFP) - Cases of diarrhoea, measles and tetanus have been reported in Haiti, the World Health Organisation said Friday as it expressed concern about the spread of such illnesses in camps for quake survivors.

"Several medical teams report a growing caseload of diarrhoea in the last two to three days," said WHO spokesman Paul Garwood.

"The are also reports of measles and tetanus, including in resettlement camps, which is worrisome due to the high concentration of people," he told journalists.

Bird Flu Bandit

Didn't know where to put this story!

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

Sofia zoo closes after unexplained deaths of animals

The zoo in Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, has been temporarily shut to visitors after several animals died for unknown reasons over the weekend, the city's mayor, Yordanka Fandakova, said on Tuesday.

Three Indian bison, two yaks and a camel have died since Friday, with authorities still unable to say why.


"What worries me most is the condition of some animals which are still unwell ... The most important thing is to save the sick animals so that there is no danger for people," she said, without saying how many animals were sick.


Bulgaria reported an outbreak of blue tongue disease recently, but veterinarians said the dead zoo animals did not display symptoms of the viral sickness, which affects sheep and cattle.



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