Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Archive for the ‘disease’ Category

Fracking Fluid Likely Killed Threatened Kentucky Fish: USGS

Posted by feww on August 30, 2013

Hydraulic fracturing fluids probably caused widespread death of aquatic species in Acorn Fork, KY

Hydraulic fracturing fluids were probably responsible for the “widespread death or distress of aquatic species” in Kentucky’s Acorn Fork creek. The spilling occurred in the nearby natural gas well sites, according to a joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Acorn Fork, a small Appalachian creek, is habitat for the federally threatened Blackside dace, a small colorful minnow. The Acorn Fork is designated by Kentucky as an Outstanding State Resource Waters.

“Our study is a precautionary tale of how entire populations could be put at risk even with small-scale fluid spills,” said USGS scientist Diana Papoulias, the study’s lead author. “This is especially the case if the species is threatened or is only found in limited areas, like the Blackside dace is in the Cumberland.”

The Blackside dace typically lives in small, semi-isolated groups, so harmful events run the risk of completely eliminating a local population. The species is primarily threatened with loss of habitat.

After the spill of hydraulic fracturing fluid, state and federal scientists observed a significant die-off of aquatic life in Acorn Fork including the Blackside dace as well as several more common species like the Creek chub and Green sunfish. They had been alerted by a local resident who witnessed the fish die-off. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are currently working towards restoration of the natural resources that were injured by the release.

Water and fish samples collected immediately following the chemical spill in 2007 clearly showed that the hydraulic fracturing fluids significantly degraded water quality in Acorn Fork causing the fish to grow gill lesions, and suffer liver and spleen damage.

“This is an example of how the smallest creatures can act as a canary in a coal mine,” said Tony Velasco, Ecologist for the Fish and Wildlife office in Kentucky, who coauthored the study, and initiated a multi-agency response when it occurred in 2007. “These species use the same water as we do, so it is just as important to keep our waters clean for people and for wildlife.”

The gill lesions were consistent with exposure to acidic water and toxic concentrations of heavy metals. These results matched water quality samples from Acorn Fork that were taken after the spill.

After the fracturing fluids entered Acorn Fork Creek, the water’s pH dropped from 7.5 to 5.6, and stream conductivity increased from 200 to 35,000 microsiemens per centimeter. A low pH number indicates that the creek had become more acidic, and the stream conductivity indicated that there were higher levels of dissolved elements including iron and aluminum.

Blackside dace are found only in the Cumberland River basin of Kentucky and Tennessee and the Powell River basin of Virginia, and are listed as a federally-threatened species since 1987.

Hydraulic fracturing is the most common method for extracting natural gas in Kentucky.

The report is entitled “Histopathological Analysis of Fish from Acorn Fork Creek, Kentucky Exposed to Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Releases,” and is published in the scientific journal Southeastern Naturalist, in a special edition devoted to the Blackside dace.

Posted in disaster watch, disasters, disease, environment, health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Global Alert: Undiagnosed Deadly Illness in Cambodia

Posted by feww on July 5, 2012

Mysterious new disease kills scores of children in Cambodia: WHO

A mysterious new illness has killed dozens of children in Cambodia, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported.

The symptoms start with high fever, followed by encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, leading to failure of the lungs and death.

  • It takes 24 hours or less from the onset of symptoms to death.
  • The victims were all under 7.
  • Cases have been reported in 14 Cambodian provinces.
  • The disease apparently has a death rate of greater than 98 percent.
  • A Global Health Alert issued by WHO is posted below.

The majority of cases were from the southern part of the country, and the victims were hospitalized in Kantha Bopha children’s hospitals in the capital Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, according to reports.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of a brain with encephalitis. It has resulted in a large lesion (orange). Source: NHS/UK

WHO has issued the following Global Alert:

Global Alert: Undiagnosed illness in Cambodia

4 July 2012 – The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia has notified WHO of an outbreak of an undiagnosed illness which has affected 62 children, of which 61 have died since April 2012.

The majority of cases were from the southern part of the country, and were hospitalised in a children’s hospital in Phnom Penh. The symptoms observed are high fever, followed by respiratory and/or neurologic symptoms with rapid deterioration of respiratory functions.

WHO is working with the Ministry and other partners to investigate the outbreak, to identify the cause and source of the illness. Assistance is being provided in the area of field epidemiology and active case finding.

See also:

Posted in disease, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global health catastrophe | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Bad News: You Have Diabetes

Posted by feww on June 25, 2008

Nearly 24 Million in the United States Have Diabetes: CDC

The Good News: Don’t need to have both your legs amputated

Diabetes now affects nearly 24 million people in the United States, an increase of more than 3 million in approximately two years, according to new 2007 prevalence data estimates released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that nearly 8 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes. [More precisely, about 13 percent of the adults in the ]

  • Number of people with diabetes: About 24 million, or 8% of the population
  • Cases of diagnosed diabetes: 18 million
  • Undiagnosed cases: 6 million
  • New cases diagnosed in adults in 2007: About 2 million
  • Younger than 20 with diabetes: About quarter of a million
  • Percent of population 60 years and older with diabetes in 2007: 25 percent.
  • Percent of all adults in the U-S with diabetes: 12.5 percent

The seventh leading cause of death in the U-S, diabetes is a disease associated with high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production that causes sugar to build up in the body. It can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

For more information on diabetes, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes. To access the National Diabetes Fact Sheet and county-level estimates of diagnosed diabetes, click on the “data and trends” link at the left.

Posted in disease, environment, food, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Anguished Cries of China Quake Nurse

Posted by feww on May 18, 2008

Why was the quake nurse reduced to tears and had to beg the soldiers to rescue children?

If rescuing the children wasn’t their priority, and clearly it wasn’t, what were the soldiers ordered to do?

Anguished Chinese Nurse Serving in the Earthquake Disaster Area:

Please Rescue The Children!

Photo below was taken by Jason Lee of Reuters news agency (China). The caption reads:

“A nurse holding a general’s written order begs soldiers to rescue surviving children still buried in the ruins of another nearby school in the old city district near a mountain at the earthquake-hit Beichuan county, Sichuan province, May 15, 2008. The soldiers are not under the command of the general, whose written order reads: ‘Please arrange for rescue operations at this school as quickly as possible.’”

What were the orders soldiers own general gave them?

When did the authorities decide they couldn’t cope with too many quake survivors?


Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee (china) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!


A close up of the nurse’s face. Her heartfelt agony speaks a thousand words!

[Reuters caption: A nurse cries as she begs soldiers to rescue surviving children still buried in the ruins of another nearby school in the old city district near a mountain at the earthquake-hit Beichuan county, Sichuan province, May 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

The Olympics can wait; the survivors can’t!

“Although the time for the best chance of rescue, the first 72 hours after an earthquake, has passed [exactly as planned by CPC], saving lives remains the top priority of our work [believe what I say, not what I do, you 'ignorant peasants'],” the [doublespeaking] Chinese president, Hu Jintao, told the survivors. (Source)

To the CORRUPT Chinese Government: The World is Watching YOU!

“Parents’ grief turns to anger at shoddily built deathtrap schools”

“Three days after the quake struck, troops and fire engines queued idly along the roadsides waiting for orders.”

“‘I saw a doctor walking along the lines of bloody bodies, checking pulses and looking at wounds. If he shook his head the nurses were instructed not to take the person to the operating theatre but move them to another room to die. It was like a scene from a war film,’ she said.” (Source)

Related Links:

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Posted in beijing olympics, China, disease, food, politics, rescue operations, Tiananmen | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Should We Be Afraid of MRSA?

Posted by feww on October 22, 2007

MRSA [Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] was discovered in the United Kingdom in 1961, but it is now a global concern. MRSA (also known as CA-MRSA, community-acquired MRSA, and HA-MRSA, hospital-acquired MRSA) is a variation of a common bacterium, which has evolved as a “superbug” with the ability to resist treatment with antibiotics, including methicillin and penicillin.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MRSA is responsible for 94,000 serious infections and nearly 19,000 deaths each year in the United States. [In comparison, the AIDS virus killed about 12,500 Americans  in 2005. ]

Related Links:
CDC – Healthcare-Associated MRSA

MRSA infection

Posted in CDC, disease, MRSA, pandemic, superbug | 2 Comments »

 
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