Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for the ‘infectious diseases’ Category

Ebola Outbreak Kills Dozens

Posted by feww on March 23, 2014


EBOLA caused deadly fever outbreak: Guinea govt

The Ebola virus caused of an outbreak of deadly hemorrhagic fever which has killed at least 59 people in southern Guinea, government officials said.

Many cases have been recorded since the outbreak began in early March.

The highly contagious virus is spread via close personal contact and kills between 25% and 90% of victims.

Five subspecies of Ebolavirus have so far been found. Four of those have caused disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans, according to CDC.

There are  no known cure or vaccine for the Ebola virus.

In Africa, confirmed cases of Ebola HF have previously been reported in the following countries:

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
  • Gabon
  • South Sudan
  • Ivory Coast
  • Uganda
  • Republic of the Congo (ROC)
  • South Africa (imported)

There is no record of a previous outbreak of Ebola HF in Guinea.

“The natural reservoir host of ebolaviruses, and the manner in which transmission of the virus to humans occurs, remain unknown. This makes risk assessment in endemic areas difficult. With the exception of several laboratory contamination cases (one in England and two in Russia), all cases of human illness or death have occurred in Africa; no case has been reported in the United States,” said CDC.

Ebola virions (image 2 colorized 1), diagnostic specimen from the first passage in Vero cells of a specimen from a human patient — this image is from the first isolation and visualization of Ebola virus, 1976. In this case, some of the filamentous virions are fused together, end-to-end, giving the appearance of a “bowl of spaghetti.” Negatively stained virions. Magnification: approximately x40,000.  Micrograph from F. A. Murphy, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas.

‘Overwhelmed in the field’

“We got the first results from Lyon yesterday (Friday) which informed us of the presence of the Ebola virus as the cause of this outbreak,” a  Guinean health officials told AFP.

“The Ebola fever epidemic raging in southern Guinea since 9 February has left at least 59 dead out of 80 cases identified by our services on the ground.”

“We are overwhelmed in the field, we are fighting against this epidemic with all the means we have at our disposal with the help of our partners but it is difficult.”

12 deadly pathogens could spread into new regions aided by climate change

A report by Wildlife Conservation Society released on October 7, 2008 lists 12 deadly pathogens that could spread globally as a result of climate change. “All have potential impacts to both human and wildlife health as well as global economies.” Report said.

Titled ‘The Deadly Dozen: Wildlife Diseases in the Age of Climate Change,’ the report illustrates examples of diseases that could spread due to temperatures changes and variations in regional precipitation levels.

The “Deadly Dozen” list [ABC]

  1. Avian influenza
  2. Babesia
  3. Cholera
  4. Ebola
  5. Intestinal and external parasites
  6. Lyme disease
  7. Plague
  8. Red tides
  9. Rift Valley fever
  10. Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis)
  11. Tuberculosis
  12. Yellow fever


Posted in Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, infectious diseases, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Disease Has Infected 100,000 New Yorkers

Posted by feww on July 4, 2013

New tick-borne illness mimics Lyme disease; infected person develops similar symptoms

Borrelia miyamotoi, a new disease which mimics Lyme disease, and is spread by deer ticks has already infected 100,000 New Yorkers since the state first started keeping records, said a report.

The new disease could be even worse than the Lyme disease, experts say.

“Patients with this illness will develop, perhaps, fever, headache, flu-like symptoms, muscle pains — so they’ll have typical Lyme-like flu symptoms in the spring, summer, early fall,” said Dr. Brian Fallon of Columbia University. “But most of them will not develop the typical rash that you see with Lyme disease.”

“The problem is that the diagnosis is going to be missed, because doctors aren’t going to think about Borrelia miyamotoi because they don’t know about it. And number two, if they test for Lyme disease, it will test negative, and the rash won’t be there,” Fallon said. “So they are not going to treat with the antibiotics, so the patient will have an infection staying in their system longer than it should.

There is no test for the germ as yet, however, the same antibiotic that kills Lyme disease also works  against the new germ, provided that the right doses are administrated early in the infection.

Experts advise victims to watch out for sesame seed-sized ticks, especially during the summer months and conduct full body tick-checks after being outdoors.

 Borrelia miyamotoi


Rare tick-borne illnesses doubled in state last year


Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, infectious diseases | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

‘Virtually Untreatable’ Tuberculosis Poses Global Threat

Posted by feww on March 25, 2013

TB already kills 1.4 million people, 16 pct of sick cases each year

A rise in “virtually untreatable” tuberculosis poses a global threat, according to an international group of doctors and researchers, and plans to deal with the deadly disease are failing.

The cases of  drug resistance TB are exponentially rising, while many first-choice antibiotics are no longer effective against several strains of the TB bacterium.

M. tuberculosis-CDC
Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Under a high magnification of 15549x, this colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted some of the ultrastructural details seen in the cell wall configuration of a number of Gram-positive Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. As an obligate aerobic organism M. tuberculosis can only survive in an environment containing oxygen. This bacterium ranges in length between 2 – 4 microns, and a width between 0.2 – 0.5 microns. TB bacteria become active, and begin to multiply, if the immune system can’t stop them from growing. The bacteria attack the body and destroy tissue. If in the lungs, the bacteria can actually create a hole in the lung tissue. Some people develop active TB disease soon after becoming infected, before their immune system can fight off the bacteria. Other people may get sick later, when their immune system becomes weak for another reason.Babies and young children often have weak immune systems. People infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have very weak immune systems. Other people can have weak immune systems, too, especially people with any of these conditions: substance abuse; diabetes mellitus; silicosis; cancer of the head or neck; leukemia or Hodgkin’s disease; severe kidney disease; low body weight; certain medical treatments (such as corticosteroid treatment or organ transplants); specialized treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn’s disease. Source: CDC/ Dr. Ray Butler

In parts of central Asia and eastern Europe about a third of all TB cases are multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB). Globally, MDR-TB cases skyrocketed from 12,000 in 2005 to as many as 300,000 in 2011.  Now an even more aggressive strain of TB, called extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, which is resistant to even more types of antibiotics has been detected across 84 countries, according to a report published in Lancet Medical Journal.

Tuberculosis bacteria, SEM
Tuberculosis bacteria.  Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, the main cause of human tuberculosis. These are Gram-positive rod-shaped bacteria. If a bacterium enters the lungs in a droplet coughed or sneezed by an infected person, it multiplies to form a localized bacterial colony (primary tubercle). Normally the tubercle is destroyed by the immune system. In a few cases, however, the bacteria then either spread through the lymphatic system to other parts of the body, which can be fatal, or lie dormant, only becoming active again many years later. Treatment is with antibiotics. Magnification unknown. Source: Lancet Medical Journal.

Mycobacterium fortuitum bacteria
Under a magnification of 3841X, this scanning electron micrograph SEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphologic details exhibited by a number of Gram-positive bacilli, or “rod-shaped”, Mycobacterium fortuitum bacteria. M. fortuitum is classified as a “rapidly-growing” Mycobacterium, due to the fact that it can be grown on laboratory culture medium in less than 7 days. As a human pathogen, this organism has been determined to be the cause of skin infections, including furunculosis, i.e., boils, on the legs of people receiving pedicures in nail salons. With drinking water as their source, in a 72 hour period, these organisms created a biofilm upon a submerged polycarbonate surface, from which they were subsequently harvested. As a nontuberculous bacterium (NTB), M. fortuitum is a member of the same genus as its cousin Mycobacterium tuberculosis, however, it is classified outside the M. tuberculosis complex. Credit: CDC/ Margaret M. Williams; Janice Haney Carr

TB Symptoms (CDC)

Symptoms of TB disease include:

  • Bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • Pain in the chest
  • Coughing up blood or sputum
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • No appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Sweating at night

Latent TB Infection and TB Disease

Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection and TB disease. Latent TB Infection TB bacteria can live in the body without making you sick. This is called latent TB infection. In most people who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria to stop them from growing. People with latent TB infection do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms. People with latent TB infection are not infectious and cannot spread TB bacteria to others. However, if TB bacteria become active in the body and multiply, the person will go from having latent TB infection to being sick with TB disease. Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.  If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

How TB Spreads

TB is spread through the air from one person to another.  The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings.  People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

The danger posed by growing resistance to antibiotics is ‘as big a risk as terrorism,’ the UK medical chief, Professor Sally Davies has warned, describing the threat as a “ticking time bomb.” See video.

‘Superbug Humor’

superbug humor
‘Superbug Humor: First, the Good News!’ Submitted by a reader.

TB and other Superbug Related Links


1,083 Days Left 

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

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,083 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …


Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, infectious diseases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TDR-TB Outbreak in India

Posted by feww on January 17, 2012

Totally drug resistant (TDR) TB infections strikes India

At least a dozen people in India are infected with a strain of tuberculosis disease that is totally resistant to all antibiotics.

Disaster Calendar 2012 – January 17

[January 17, 2012]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,520 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Mumbai, India. At least 12 patients have acquired an “incurable” [Totally Drug-Resistant, TDR] form of the tuberculosis infection, and three have died, doctors at a Mumbai hospital reported.
    • Previously, cases of partially drug-resistant TB have been reported worldwide, and multidrug resistant (MDR) TB strains in China, Iran, Italy and Russia.
    • “We know one patient transmitted it to her daughter,” a researcher at the Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Center in Mumbai told New Scientist. “It’s estimated that on average, a tuberculosis patient infects 10 to 20 contacts in a year, and there’s no reason to suspect that this strain is any less transmissible,” he warned.
    • TB is one of the world’s major killers among infectious diseases, claiming about 1.45 million lives from nearly 9 million reported cases in 2010, a death rate of about 1 in 6.
    • Drug-resistant TB strains are rising worlwide.
    • Some 110,000 cases of MDR-TB were reported in India in 2006.
    • TDR-TB cases were first reported in Italy in 2007.
    • “It’s very worrying, but kind of inevitable, given the gradual emergence of resistance,” said a TB researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “It’s like watching a slow-motion horror movie unfold.”
    • The London 2012 Olympics and similar mass gatherings, “can be a hotbed of diseases from across the world, public health experts have warned.”

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, infectious diseases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dengue fever toll climbs to 162

Posted by feww on October 4, 2011

Death toll in Punjab’s dengue outbreak rises to 162 with about 1,300 patients hospitalized

About 550 new cases of dengue virus infection reported for the day in the provincial capital Lahore alone.


Continued hacking and content censorship

In view of the continued hacking and censorship of this blog by the Internet Mafia, the Moderators have decided to maintain only a minimum presence at this site, until further notice.

FIRE-EARTH will continue to update the 2011 Disaster Calendar for the benefit of its readers.

WordPress is HACKING this blog!

WordPress Continues to Hack Fire-Earth, Affiliated Blogs

The Blog Moderators Condemn in the Strongest Possible Terms the Continued Removal of Content and Hacking of FIRE-EARTH and Affiliated Blogs by WordPress!

United States of Censorship

Even Twitter Counters are disabled when Blog posts criticize Obama, or contain “forbidden phrases.”  See also: Google’s Top 10 List of ‘Holy Cows’

Disaster Calendar 2011 – October 4

[October 4, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,625 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Punjab province, Pakistan. Death toll in Punjab’s dengue outbreak has risen to at least 162 with about 1,300 patients  hospitalized.
    • About 550 new cases of dengue virus infection reported per day in the provincial capital Lahore alone.
    • Punjab is Pakistan’s most populated province, home to about 57% of the nation’s population.
  • South Africa. The tornado-stricken town of Duduza, southeast of Johannesburg is being declared a disaster area, said a report.
    • The tornado killed at least one and injured more than 160 others, destroying up to a thousand homes.
    • “Earlier on Sunday, a nine-year-old boy was killed and 42 people injured in a tornado in Ficksburg in the Free State.” Said the report.
  • USA. Death toll from listeria-tainted Colorado cantaloupes has climbed to at least 18, with more than 100 people sickened across 19 states in the deadliest U.S. foodborne illness outbreak this century.
  • Philippines. Death toll from typhoon NESAT [“Pedring”] has climbed to at least 66, leaving dozens injured and many still missing.
    • The typhoon has affected about 3 million people in  more than 3,300 villages in 30 towns and 41 cities across 34 provinces, a report quoted the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council as saying.
    • The typhoon destroyed about 6,300 homes and damaged about 38,000 more.
    • More than 200,000 people remain in 500 evacuation centers.
    • The typhoon also damaged or destroyed more than 60 bridges, dozens of roads and 300 schools.
  • Mogadishu, Somalia. Death toll from a truck bomb in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has climbed to at least 70, reports said.
    • At least 42 others were wounded when a truck laden with explosives blew up in front of the Ministry of Education, AP reported officials as saying.
  • Guizhou province, China. A gas explosion in a coalmine in  Guizhou province, SW China, has killed at least 16 miners with two others reported as missing, according to local officials.
    • In 2010 at more than 2,433 people were killed in coalmine accidents in China, according to official statistics, the report said.
  • Auckland, New Zealand. The latest measles outbreak in Auckland, New Zealand’s most polluted city, has infected at least 24 new victims, many of them children, in the past week.
    • More than 200 cases of the infectious disease have been confirmed in Auckland since May, a report said.
    • “You are more likely to get it in New Zealand now than you have been in the past 14 years.” Auckland’s Medical Officer of Health said.
    • “Two-thirds of the cases have been in babies, infants, children and teenagers, and the disease has struck everywhere from early childhood centres to tertiary institutions.” Said the report.

Related Links

Posted in dengue fever, global deluge, global disasters, infectious diseases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gonorrhea: First superbug strain found

Posted by feww on July 12, 2011

“Superbug” strain of gonorrhea has been discovered by Sweden – Japan researchers

The strain is said to be resistant to all the common antibiotics

The superbug strain was discovered by a Swedish scientist Magnus Unemo, who received the samples from his colleagues in Kyoto, Japan.

The strain is said to be extremely resistant to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics—the only antibiotics still effective in treating gonorrhea.

He described the discovery as “alarming” and “predictable.”

“Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it,” he said.

The fact that the new strain had been found in Japan also follows an alarming pattern, he told reporters.

“Japan has historically been the place for the first emergence and subsequent global spread of different types of resistance in gonorrhea,” he said.

In the past few years trends of gonorrhea drug resistance have emerged in Australia, China, Hong Kong and other Asian countries.


Gonorrhea is a common sexually-transmitted disease (STD), caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

An electron micrograph of gonorrhea bacteria. Image courtesy

The infection is readily transmitted when an infected person has ANY type of sex. The infection is spread by contact with the mouth, vagina, penis, or anus.

This was a newborn with gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum caused by a maternally transmitted gonococcal infection.Unless preventative measures are taken, it is estimated that gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum will develop in 28% of infants born to women with gonorrhea. It affects the corneal epithelium causing microbial keratitis, ulceration and perforation. Source: CDC/J. Pledger. Click image to enlarge

The lesion on this patient’s left hand was due to the systemic dissemination of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. Though sexually transmitted, and involving the urogenital tract initially, a Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterial infection can become disseminated systemically, manifesting itself as a cutaneous erythematous lesion anywhere on the body. Source: CDC/Dr. S. E. Thompson, VDCD./J. Pledger

Gonorrhea—Rates, United States, 1941–2009

Reported Gonorrhea rates in the United States, 1941–2009. Source: CDC 

Gonorrhea—Rates by State, United States and Outlying Areas, 2009

The total rate of gonorrhea for the United States and outlying areas (Guam, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands) was 97.8 per 100,000 population. Source: CDC

What is gonorrhea?

[Sourced from CDC] Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.

Why Treat the Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea can spread to the blood or joints. This condition can be life threatening. In addition, people with gonorrhea can more easily contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV-infected people with gonorrhea can transmit HIV more easily to someone else than if they did not have gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea can affect the anus, eyes, mouth, genitals, or throat.

In men, gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a painful condition of the ducts attached to the testicles that may lead to infertility if left untreated.

In women, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) can lead to serious consequences including infertility.

PID occurs when certain bacteria, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, move upward from a woman’s vagina or cervix (opening to the uterus) into her reproductive organs.

About 750,000 women each year in the United States develop PID.

What Next?

  • A major challenge to monitoring emerging antimicrobial resistance of N. gonorrhoeae is the substantial decline in capability of laboratories to perform essential gonorrhea culture techniques required for antibiotic susceptibility testing. This decline results from an increased use of newer non-culture-based laboratory technology, such as a diagnostic test called the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). Currently, there is no reliable technology that allows for antibiotic susceptibility testing from non-culture specimens. Increased laboratory culture capacity is needed. ~CDC

Global Scope

About 340 million new cases of STD including syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis are reported each year among the 15 to 49 age group, World Health Organization estimates.

Related Links

Posted in infectious diseases, STD | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Resurgence of C. difficile in Ontario, Canada

Posted by feww on July 4, 2011

Super superbug that takes your breath away

C. difficile kills three times as many people as MRSA

2011 Disaster CalendarJuly 4 Entry

[July 4, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,717 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Ontario, Canada. Death toll from the latest outbreak of C. difficile in the Niagara region has climbed to 15, with the latest death reported at Welland Hospital.
    • Demonstrators are planning to protest management of Greater Niagara General Hospital, where 4 people died from the infection, on Wednesday, The report said.
    • Nine others have died at the St. Catharines General hospital and at two the Welland Hospital.
    • At least 42 other patients remain in hospital, 26 of whom contracted the infection there.

Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency show there were 55,681 cases of Clostridium difficile infection reported in patients aged 65 years and above in England in 2006. (Source: SIMeL Italy)

“Diarrhea can range from being a nuisance to a life threatening or even fatal disease.” The Clostridium difficile bacteria are naturally present in the intestine but kept under control by other bacteria. Antibiotics can kill some of these, allowing C. difficile to take hold. Image source and other images. Click image to enlarge.

  • Wisconsin and Minnesota, USA.  A state of emergency was declared in Burnett County after a massive storm tore across three-quarters of the county Friday with straight line winds in excess of 110MPH, reports said.
    • The storm reportedly killed two people and left at least 39 others injured, including three critically.
    • Downed powerlines, which have left thousands of northwestern Wisconsin without power, started dozens of fires across several counties.
    • In Minnesota, the storm affected Marshall (state of emergency declared), Redwood Falls, the Twin Cities and St. Cloud. In Wisconsin, damage was reported in  Ashland, Burnett, Douglas, Marathon, Polk, Sawyer and Washburn counties.
    • “The heavy rain was a factor in several motor vehicle accidents, including a collision between a car and train in Douglas County,” said a report.
  • Bukidnon province, Philippines. Up to two dozen people have been killed or reported as missing after a large landslide triggered by weeks of torrential rain buried a part of Valencia City.

Related Links

Mega Disasters:

Posted in infectious diseases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHO’s Disinformation Regime Exposed [AGAIN]

Posted by feww on October 21, 2010

India malaria deaths grossly underestimated: Report

At least 205,000 people die from malaria in India each year, 13 times higher than UN estimates

When the Moderators posted the following CAUTION on Fire-Earth’s display margins, a number of readers called the action “irresponsible”

All technical information and scientific data released by US Government agencies (e.g., NASA, EPA…) are subject to sudden variation because of political expediency. This caution also extends to the fidelity of the information provided by UN organizations (e.g., FAO, WHO…)

New data, published in the Lancet medical journal, indicates that 13 times more malaria deaths occur in India than the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) previously suggested..

The authors reveal that 205,000 people die before the age of 70  by malaria in India each year.

Field workers investigated at least 122,000 premature deaths between 2001 and 2003 for the purpose of this study.

However, and despite the glaring evidence, Dr Robert Newman, the director of its global malaria program at WHO said, the report had “implausibly high case incidence rates”, which indicated that the findings of this study cannot be trusted.

“It is vital to evaluate cause of death correctly because different diseases require different strategies for control,” he added contemptuously.

The report also suggests that huge under-reporting of malaria deaths in other countries including Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan may be occurring.

Going to press…

A reader in Europe has just informed us that Reseaux IP Europeens Network Co-ordination Centre has blocked large sections of Fire-Earth blog  in the  RIPE NCC Region, which includes the following countries:

  • OMAN

Related News Links:

Related Links:

Posted in India malaria deaths, infectious diseases, U.N., World Health Organization | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Travel Health Alert: Measles Outbreak in NZ

Posted by feww on July 5, 2009

Measles Outbreak in Christchurch, NZ!

The following Travel Health Alert was relayed to FEWW by Blogger TEAA

New Zealand Travel Health Warning: Measles Outbreak in Christchurch!

Global Health Alert  Bulletin # 28  Outbreak of potentially lethal measles infection in Christchurch!

Four Christchurch Boys’ High School students were found to have measles infection last week, with another case suspected.

Canterbury health officials have now identified an additional six likely cases of the measles in the region, said Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton.

No further information has been released.

See also:

More About Measles Infection:

The following information about Measles is from CDC website:

Measles Advisory– Measles is a highly infectious disease that can result in severe, sometimes permanent, complications. The disease is no longer common in the United States, but it remains widespread in most countries of the world. Recent outbreaks in the United States highlight the ongoing risk of measles importations from other countries by people who travel. These outbreaks also highlight the impact vaccination has in preventing measles. As the new school year begins, parents should consider the importance of vaccination in protecting their children, themselves, and others against this highly contagious disease. Further information regarding recent U.S. measles outbreaks is available in an April 2008 CDC Health Advisory and in an August 2008 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Update: Measles — United States, January–July 2008.

Measles Virus

This thin-section transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed the ultrastructural appearance of a single virus particle, or “virion”, of measles virus. The measles virus is a paramyxovirus, of the genus Morbillivirus. It is 100-200 nm in diameter, with a core of single-stranded RNA, and is closely related to the rinderpest and canine distemper viruses. Two membrane envelope proteins are important in pathogenesis. They are the F (fusion) protein, which is responsible for fusion of virus and host cell membranes, viral penetration, and hemolysis, and the H (hemagglutinin) protein, which is responsible for adsorption of virus to cells.

There is only one antigenic type of measles virus. Although studies have documented changes in the H glycoprotein, these changes do not appear to be epidemiologically important (i.e., no change in vaccine efficacy has been observed). See PHIL 8429 for a black and white version of this image.

Prior to 1963, almost everyone got measles; it was an expected life event. Each year in the U.S. there were approximately 3 to 4 million cases and an average of 450 deaths, with epidemic cycles every 2 to 3 years. More than half the population had measles by the time they were 6 years old, and 90 % had the disease by the time they were 15. This indicates that many more cases were occurring than were being reported. However, after the vaccine became available, the number of measles cases dropped by 98 % and the epidemic cycles drastically diminished. Measles virus is rapidly inactivated by heat, light, acidic pH, ether, and trypsin. It has a short survival time (<2 hours) in the air, or on objects and surfaces. Credit : CDC/ Courtesy of Cynthia S. Goldsmith; William Bellini, Ph.D.

What’s Measles?

A respiratory disease caused by a virus, which normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and in the cells that line the lungs.


Rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes (lasts about a week).


Diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death

Approximately 20% of reported measles cases experience one or more complications. These complications are more common among children under 5 years of age and adults over 20 years old.

Measles causes ear infections in nearly one out of every 10 children who get it. As many as one out of 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, and about one child in every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis. (This is an inflammation of the brain that can lead to convulsions, and can leave your child deaf or mentally retarded.) For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. Measles can also make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage, give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.

In developing countries, where malnutrition and vitamin A deficiency are prevalent, measles has been known to kill as many as one out of four people. It is the leading cause of blindness among African children. Measles kills almost 1 million children in the world each year.


Spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing (highly contagious)

The disease is highly contagious, and can be transmitted from 4 days prior to the onset of the rash to 4 days after the onset. If one person has it, 90% of their susceptible close contacts will also become infected with the measles virus.

The virus resides in the mucus in the nose and throat of the infected person. When that person sneezes or coughs, droplets spray into the air. The infected mucus can land in other people’s noses or throats when they breathe or put their fingers in their mouth or nose after handling an infected surface. The virus remains active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours. Measles spreads so easily that anyone who is not immunized will probably get it, eventually.


Measles vaccine (contained in MMR, MR and measles vaccines) can prevent this disease.

The MMR vaccine is a live, attenuated (weakened), combination vaccine that protects against the measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. It was first licensed in the combined form in 1971 and contains the safest and most effective forms of each vaccine.

It is made by taking the measles virus from the throat of an infected person and adapting it to grow in chick embryo cells in a laboratory. As the virus becomes better able to grow in the chick embryo cells, it becomes less able to grow in a child’s skin or lungs. When this vaccine virus is given to a child it replicates only a little before it is eliminated from the body. This replication causes the body to develop an immunity that, in 95% of children, lasts for a lifetime.

A second dose of the vaccine is recommended to protect those 5% who did not develop immunity in the first dose and to give “booster” effect to those who did develop an immune response.

Who Needs the Vaccine

Does my child need this vaccine?

The young boy pictured here, displayed the characteristic maculopapular rash indicative of rubella, otherwise known as German measles, or 3-day measles. Rubella is a respiratory viral infection characterized by mild respiratory symptoms and low-grade fever, followed by a maculopapular rash lasting about 3 days. In children there may be no significant respiratory prodrome and the illness may not be diagnosed since the rash may be mild and mimic other conditions. It is estimated that 20-50% of infections are subclinical. Complications occur more frequently in adult women, who may experience arthritis or arthralgia, often affecting the fingers, wrists and knees. These joint symptoms rarely last for more than a month after appearance of the rash.

The rubella vaccine is a live attenuated (weakened) virus. Although it is available as a single preparation, it is recommended that in most cases rubella vaccine be given as part of the MMR vaccine (protecting against measles, mumps, and rubella). MMR is recommended at 12-15 months (not earlier) and a second dose when the child is 4-6 years old (before kindergarten or 1st grade).

Rubella vaccination is particularly important for non-immune women who may become pregnant because of the risk for serious birth defects if they acquire the disease during pregnancy.

Birth defects if acquired by a pregnant woman: deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental retardation, and liver and spleen damage (at least a 20% chance of damage to the fetus if a woman is infected early in pregnancy). Image and caption: CDC.

Children should get 2 doses of MMR vaccine:

  • The first dose at 12-15 months of age
  • The second dose at 4-6 years of age

These are the recommended ages. But children can get the second dose at any age, as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.

For additional details, consult the MMR Vaccine Information Statement {PDF}  and the Childhood Immunization Schedule.

As an adult, do I need this vaccine?

You do NOT need the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR) if:

  • You had blood tests that show you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella.
  • You are a man born before 1957.
  • You are a woman born before 1957 who is sure she is not having more children, has already had rubella vaccine, or has had a positive rubella test.
  • You already had two doses of MMR or one dose of MMR plus a second dose of measles vaccine.
  • You already had one dose of MMR and are not at high risk of measles exposure.

You SHOULD get the measles vaccine if you are not among the categories listed above, and:

  • You are a college student, trade school student, or other student beyond high school.
  • You work in a hospital or other medical facility*.
  • You travel internationally, or are a passenger on a cruise ship.
  • You are a woman of childbearing age.

For additional details, consult the MMR Vaccine Information Statement and the Adult Immunization Schedule.

See also:  Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations

More on Vaccines Page

Posted in H protein, infectious diseases, measles virus, pregnant woman, Rubella | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »