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Archive for February 9th, 2016

State of Emergency Declared in Hawaii over Dengue Fever

Posted by feww on February 9, 2016

Dengue Fever and ZIKV share the same vector: mosquitoes of Aedes species

Hawaii County has declared a state of emergency amid the growing dengue fever outbreak in the state.

“A state of emergency for Hawaii County is authorized in order to prevent the continued spread of this outbreak and to eliminate the dengue fever virus from Hawaii Island,” said the mayor.

The state Health Department had confirmed 251 cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island, including two potentially infectious individuals.

“The decision to issue an emergency proclamation is one made by professionals,” said Hawaii Gov. Ige. “There is a continuous conversation about it, as we proceed through an event and identify a course of action.”

Dengue Fever and Zika virus (ZIKV) share the same vector, mosquitoes of Aedes species (A. Aegypti & A. albopictus), and public health officials are concerned ZIKV could make its way to the Aloha State.

The same mosquitoes are also responsible for the spread chikungunya viruses.


Dengue Outbreak 2015 – 2016

Dengue Fever – Hawaii Island Outbreak

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a cluster of locally-acquired cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island (the Big Island). Dengue is not endemic to Hawaii. However, it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. This is the first cluster of locally-acquired dengue fever since the 2011 outbreak on Oahu.  The Big Island and the rest of Hawaii remain safe destinations for visitors and residents.

  • As of February 8, some 227 of the confirmed cases are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
  • 206 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/1/16.
  • A total of 1,124 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria (!)


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Heatwave Melts 50-Year Record in Perth, Australia

Posted by feww on February 9, 2016


Perth records 40 plus degree temperatures three consecutive days

Western Australia’s capital city, Perth [pop:~ 2.1 million,] has recorded 40 plus degree (C) temperatures for three consecutive days, breaking a 50-year record for February, said a report.

The latest record-breaking heatwave was reportedly the seventh ever occurring in the region.

If the temperature reaches 40ºC or higher on Wednesday, it will be the first time there has been four consecutive 40ºC days since 1933, said Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) spokesman.

“Perth’s longest run of 40 degree days or more consecutively is four, and that was recorded back in 1933, if we get five we’ve broken that record and we’ve moved into uncharted territory basically.”

At sunrise today (Feb. 9), the temperature was 20ºC, reaching 32 within 2 hours, and 40ºC by 11:00am. It peaked at a sweltering 41.2ºC in the metro area, said the report.

“Pearce airbase was the hottest place in wider Perth at 44.3C and Mardie in the Pilbara was the state’s hotspot, reaching 45.6C.”

On Monday, the temperature reached 47ºCin Shark Bay Airport, situated in the Gascoyne region, northwest of Western Australia.

Image source: The Bureau of Meteorology BoM/ via


Hottest place on Earth?

Temperatures touched 49°C in Sua Pan (Sowa Pan), a seasonal lake located in the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana, southern Africa, making it the hottest place on Earth, the UK Meteorological Office reported.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that 2015 was Australia’s fifth-warmest year on record, with the release of its final Annual Climate Report 2015.

Heatwave Situation for Thursday, Friday, & Saturday (3 days starting 11/02/2016)

Severe to extreme heatwave conditions continue over much of northern and central WA. Low intensity heatwave conditions for most of NSW and Tasmania. [BOM]

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Pharma Phleecing: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again!

Posted by feww on February 9, 2016

Sent by a reader

The White House to ask Congress for $1.8 billion in Zika emergency funding

Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget, to be submitted to the Congress Tuesday, will include more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight Zika.

The White House announced the request to cover research and planning globally shortly after CBS broadcast an interview with the U.S. President during which he declared, “there shouldn’t be panic on this — this is not something where people are going to die from.”

However, “it is something we have to take seriously,” he said.

“The good news is this is not like Ebola, people don’t die of Zika,” he said during an interview on “CBS This Morning,” Monday.

“A lot of people get it and don’t even know that they have it,” he added. “There appears to be some significant risk for pregnant women or women who are thinking about getting pregnant.

“There is much we do not yet know about Zika and its relationship to the poor health outcomes that are being reported in Zika-affected areas. We must work aggressively to investigate these outbreaks, and mitigate, to the best extent possible, the spread of the virus,” reads a White House Fact Sheet on Zika.

$1.8 Billion in Emergency Funding

The funding. if approved by Congress, would be used “to enhance our ongoing efforts to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus, both domestically and internationally,” according to the White House.

About $1.5 billion of the money would go to the Department of Health and Human Services, including nearly $830 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for work on “mosquito control programs.”

Another $250 million would go to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

And the rest of the money is earmarked for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, among various other agencies, mainly for “research, rapid advanced development and commercialization of new vaccines and diagnostic tests,” said the fact sheet.


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