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Archive for May 29th, 2011

E.coli infection kills a dozen Germans

Posted by feww on May 29, 2011

Ongoing E.coli outbreak: One of the worst in history

The Ongoing E. coli outbreak in Germany (and other European countries) has claimed about a dozen lives and sickened 1,000 others, 300 of them with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)

The outbreak is “one of the largest [ascribed to] HUS worldwide and the largest ever reported in Germany,” the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said.

“While HUS cases are usually observed in children under five years of age, in this outbreak 87% are adults, with a clear predominance of women [two-thirds.]”

The outbreak is also said to be the largest of its kind worldwide. The source of infection is thought to be Spanish cucumbers.

Transmission electron micrograph of E. coli O157:H7 showing flagella. Pseudoreplica technique. Date: 1995. Photo Credit: Elizabeth H. White, M.S. / CDC

The virulent form of E.coli can cause blood poisoning temporary anemia, profuse bleeding and kidney failure and affect the central nervous system, medical experts said.

Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK have also reported cases of HUS.

“It is possible that there will be secondary infections during this outbreak as well. These secondary infections work from man to man and they can be avoided. That’s why we have to do everything possible for better personal hygiene.” A  Munster university epidemiologist said, warning that the  infection was spreading.

The University Hospital Luebeck  in northern Germany was quoted as saying that it was treating 70 patients and was expecting to receive 10 new cases a day.

“E. coli O157:H7 is a bacterial pathogen that has a reservoir in cattle and other similar animals.  Human illness typically follows consumption of food or water that has been contaminated with microscopic amounts of cow feces.  The illness it causes is often a severe and bloody diarrhea and painful abdominal cramps, without much fever.   In 3% to 5% of cases, a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur several weeks after the initial symptoms.  This severe complication includes temporary anemia, profuse bleeding, and kidney failure.” CDC said.

An image of E.coli bacteria provided by the USDA. The bacteria can cause diarrhea, dehydration, kidney failure and death. Image Number K11077-1 Low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. colibacteria. Each individual bacterium is oblong shaped. Photo by Eric Erbe, digital colorization by Christopher Pooley. Click image to enlarge.

Clinical Features

“Most people infected with E. coli O157:H7 develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the organism, but some illnesses last longer and are more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool sample. Most people recover within a week, but some develop a severe infection. A type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can begin as the diarrhea is improving; this can occur in people of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and the elderly.” CDC said on its website.

A colorized version of PHIL 7137 depicting a highly magnified scanning electron micrographic (SEM) view of a dividing Escherichia coli bacteria, clearly displaying the point at which the bacteria’s cell wall was dividing; Magnification 21674x.

Escherichia coli is a Gram-negative bacterium that normally colonizes the digestive tract of most warm-blooded animals, including human beings. E. coli are facultative in nature, which means that they can adapt to their environments, switching between aerobic, and anaerobic metabolic growth depending environmental stresses. One strain of E. coli, O157:H7, causes an estimated 73,000 cases of infection, and 61 deaths in the United States each year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. Person-to-person contact in families and child care centers is also an important mode of transmission. Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk and after swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water. Content Providers: CDC/ Evangeline Sowers, Janice Haney Carr. Photo Date: 2005. Photo Credit: Janice Haney Carr

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Joplin Tornado Death Toll Mounting

Posted by feww on May 29, 2011

State Authorities Have Trouble Counting?

Missouri state officials said they had positively identified 142 sets of human remains Saturday.

But that was early Saturday. Just a few hours later they changed their minds and revised the figure down to 139,  a report said.

A week has now passed since the deadly EF-5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, destroying much of the city.

Other Details

The 25 Deadliest U.S. Tornadoes

Data Source: Storm Prediction Center. Tabulation: FIRE-EARTH. *Joplin tornado death toll is preliminary, many are still missing.
1. “Having happened before the era of comprehensive damage surveys, some of these events may have been composed of multiple tornadoes along a damage path. Death counts for events in the 1800s and early 1900s should be treated as estimates since recordkeeping of tornado deaths was erratic back then.” SPC said on its website.
2. Modern recordkeeping did NOT began until 1950.

Deadliest Tornado Years in US History
(Official NOAA-NWS Record: 1950 – present; Research by Grazulis: 1875-1949)
Year     Fatalities
1925     794
1936     552
1917     551
1927     540
1896     537
2011   519  (139  in Joplin, as of Saturday May 28, 2011)
1953     519
1920     499
1908     477
1909     404
1932     394
1942     384
1924     376
1974     366
1933     362
*Joplin information is preliminary.

Other Tornado Stats [Missourificated?]

  • On May 24, 2011, deadly tornadoes claimed 18 lives in Oklahoma (10), Kansas (2), and Arkansas (6).
  • On May 26, 2011, deadly storms/tornadoes killed 3 people in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • The Marion County long-track EF5 of 27 April 2011 killed 78 people.
  • So far an estimated 323 tornadoes have occurred during May 2011 (3-year average: 322; decadal average: 298).
  • YTD total: 1,364 tornadoes (full year decadal average: 1,274).
  • April 2011 set a new record for the month with 875 tornadoes.
  • NWS records indicate 361 people were killed in April 2011, including 321 during the April 25-28 tornado outbreak, NOAA said.

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2011 Disasters

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SONGDA Sweeps Along Japan’s Southern Coast

Posted by feww on May 29, 2011

Tropical Storm SONGDA carries strong winds and massive precipitation to Japan’s southern coast

The storm has dumped heavy rain on western, southern and central Japan. Heavy rain is also expected in the ‘Tohoku Triple Disaster Area.’

Weather authorities have issued multiple warnings for strong winds, heavy precipitation,  flooding, landslides and high waves.

TS SONGDA IR Satellite Image (NHC enhancement) with projected path overlay. See inset for date/time/details. Source: CIMSS. Click images to enlarge.

TS SONGDA Analysis [Issued by JMA at 05:40 UTC, 29 May 2011]

Position:  32.6°N, 133.9°E
Direction and forward speed: NE 65km/h(35kt)
Central pressure: 980hPa
Maximum wind speed: 102km/hr (55kt)
Maximum wind gust: 148km/hr (80kt)
Average rainfall along storm track: 25mm/hr [FIRE-EARTH estimate based on JAM data]

TS SONGDA Projected Path. Source and copyright: JMA

TS SONGDA satellite image overlay at 05:00UTC on May 29, 2011. Source: Digital Typhoon.

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Loops/Animations (MTSAT/NOAA/SSD)

Digital Typhoon Animations

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