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 in 2016

NOTHING SHORT OF GENOCIDE !

Posted by feww on January 28, 2016

Submitted by a reader

Genocide is being committed against people of Syria by all those who destabilized the country

In 2010, there were no Syrian refugees drowning in the Mediterranean while escaping the Wahhabi block terrorists. Even polio had long been eradicated across the country…

When President Barack Obama secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syria’s embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew it would have a willing partner to help pay for the covert operation. It was the same partner the CIA has relied on for decades for money and discretion in far-off conflicts: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. —Mark Mazzetti and Matt Apuzzo

U.S. officials have not disclosed the amount of the Saudi contribution, which is by far the largest from another nation to the program to arm the rebels against President Bashar Assad’s military. But estimates have put the total cost of the arming and training effort at several billion dollars.

Statement to the Security Council on Syria, New York, 27 January 2016

Since 2011, more than 250,000 people have been killed, well over a million injured, and 6.5 million internally displaced within Syria. About 4.6 million refugees, and most of the remaining population – some 13.5 million people – are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, said the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien.

At least 24 migrants including 10 children drowned in the Mediterranean on Wednesday, after their boat capsized near Greece.

In 2015, some 3,811 people were reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean, most all were migrants trying to escape war zones, poverty or persecution in their homelands, reported the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

At least 224 similar deaths have occurred so far this year, said IOM.

Highlights of a U.N. Report Last Week

  • ISIL launches an offensive on GoS controlled areas of Deir-Ez-Zor city causing the displacement of 3,200 families;
  • Unconfirmed reports of 300 civilians killed by ISIL and 400 civilians abducted
  • Already limited supplies of foods and other commodities are likely to diminish soon putting 200,000 individuals at risk of increased malnutrition
  • Those living in GoS controlled areas also face serious protection risks should ISIL take full control of the area
  • On 19 January, the Government of Russia announced that they dropped 40 MT of relief supplies from the air.

Meanwhile, several European countries, which feel threatened by the influx of refugees, threaten to deport tens of thousands of asylum-seekers:

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ZIKV: Media Sensationalism Forcing WHO to Overreact?

Posted by feww on January 28, 2016

If WHO believes ZIKV outbreak is that serious, WHY wait until WHEN?

The WHO announced today it will convene Emergency Committee on Zika virus (ZIKV) and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations on February 1, 2016.

Statement by WHO:

WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, will convene an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations.

The Committee will meet on Monday 1 February in Geneva to ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Decisions concerning the Committee’s membership and advice will be made public on WHO’s website.

Outbreak in the Americas

In May 2015, Brazil reported its first case of Zika virus disease. Since then, the disease has spread within Brazil and to 22 other countries and territories in the region.

Arrival of the virus in some countries of the Americas, notably Brazil, has been associated with a steep increase in the birth of babies with abnormally small heads and in cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a poorly understood condition in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, sometimes resulting in paralysis.

A causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth defects and neurological syndromes has not been established, but is strongly suspected.

WHO action

WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO) has been working closely with affected countries since May 2015. PAHO has mobilized staff and members of the Global Outbreak and Response Network (GOARN) to assist ministries of health in strengthening their abilities to detect the arrival and circulation of Zika virus through laboratory testing and rapid reporting. The aim has been to ensure accurate clinical diagnosis and treatment for patients, to track the spread of the virus and the mosquito that carries it, and to promote prevention, especially through mosquito control.

The Organization is supporting the scaling up and strengthening of surveillance systems in countries that have reported cases of Zika and of microcephaly and other neurological conditions that may be associated with the virus. Surveillance is also being heightened in countries to which the virus may spread. In the coming weeks, the Organization will convene experts to address critical gaps in scientific knowledge about the virus and its potential effects on fetuses, children and adults.

WHO will also prioritize the development of vaccines and new tools to control mosquito populations, as well as improving diagnostic tests.

A “news” outlet said:

Three to four million people will be infected with Zika in the Americas this year, the World Health Organization says.” [They have provided NO link to the person saying this.]

“Most cases result in no symptoms and it is hard to test for, but WHO officials said an estimated 1.5 million people had been infected in the country.” [Again, no one in WHO is aware of any source for this statement.]

The only statement made in this regard is the following:

FIRE-EARTH Models show more than one million incidences of ZIKV infections may have occurred worldwide since October 2015.

Neither WHO (PAHO), nor CDC currently has a working model for predicting the “explosive” growth of ZIKV.

“Zika virus spreading in Europe”

Earlier this week, another “news” outlet predicted that the virus would be spreading in Europe rapidly because a Danish traveler had been found infected with the disease.

The idiots who make up such silly stories about the virus outbreaks have ZERO to NO idea how the disease is transmitted, or how fast it could spread.

Related Links

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Native Hawaiian Severely Beaten by ‘Chinese’ Cop for Trying to Heal Monk Seal

Posted by feww on January 28, 2016

Submitted by a reader

‘Chinese’ policeman attacks native Hawaiian after he uses his mana to ‘heal’ a seal

“Jamie Kalani Rice, a native Hawaiian, has filed a federal complaint against Honolulu police for an unprovoked beating he received from Officer Ming Wang, which was captured on videotape,” according to a report.

Rice, satisfied with his healing ceremony, walks away from the seal. However, the cop follows him making demands.

He picks up his belongings, and tries to leave the beach, but the crazy policeman decides to punish him, anyway.

“Wang runs from behind Rice and pepper sprays him in the face, and then strikes Rice’s hand repeatedly at full force with his baton. Rice stands there without flinching, calmly taking the beating from this maniacal cop,” said the report.

“This lack of reaction infuriates Wang even further, as he pepper sprays Rice again and again. Then he strikes Rice’s other hand at full force with the baton, causing him to drop his bag. Wang continues striking Rice with the baton until Rice collapses in the sand. Wang gives him a final blow to the back and then stomps on the limp man’s body.

“Rice suffered broken bones in his right hand from this beating. He rightly claims that Wang used excessive force, and the defendants “took steps to write reports that altered the events as they actually took place so as to justify Wang use force [sic] against the plaintiff to effectuate his arrest.” Wang deceptively attempted to charge Rice with resisting arrest too.”

Read more…

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New MERS-CoV Cases Reported in Arabia and UAE

Posted by feww on January 27, 2016

Saudi respiratory syndrome crown virus (MERS-CoV) infect more people

Disease Outbreak News: Jan. 26, 2016

The National IHR Focal Point for Saudi Arabia has notified WHO of 138 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection including about 30 deaths [Sept 2015 – Jan 2016].

  • The cases were reported in various cities including Madinah, Bisha, Aloyoun, Onizah, Najran, Alqweiyha, Buridah, Jeddah and Riyadh.
  • Many of the victims are females, including several non-national health workers, in the 21 – 30 age range.

The National IHR Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates has notified WHO of 2 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death.

  • Both cases were reported in Abu Dhabi.

Thailand has confirmed MERS-CoV disease in a traveler, the second such case in the country in the last seven months.

  • A man from Oman, who arrived in Bangkok, Thailand for treatment on 22 January, and was admitted to a private hospital, tested positive for MERS-CoV.

Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1,632 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 587 related deaths.

The first confirmed case of the MERS-CoV infection was reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It’s believed that the virus has been present in bats for several decades and had spread to camels by early 1990s. The virus seems to have spread from camels to humans in 2010.

 

Countries with Confirmed MERS-CoV

To date, 26 countries have reported cases of deadly infection, with Saudi Arabia accounting for more than 85 percent of all cases:

  • Middle East: Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia , United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • Africa: Algeria, and Tunisia; in Europe: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
  • Asia: China, the Republic of Korea , Malaysia Philippines and Thailand.
  • North America: The United States of America

Key Facts [WHO]

  • Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS‐CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
  • Typical MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported.
  • Approximately 36% of reported patients with MERS have died.
  • Although the majority of human cases of MERS have been attributed to human-to-human infections, camels are likely to be a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans. However, the exact role of camels in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown.
  • The virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact, such as occurs when providing unprotected care to a patient.

Symptoms [WHO]

The clinical spectrum of MERS-CoV infection ranges from no symptoms (asymptomatic) or mild respiratory symptoms to severe acute respiratory disease and death. A typical presentation of MERS-CoV disease is fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is a common finding, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported. Severe illness can cause respiratory failure that requires mechanical ventilation and support in an intensive care unit. Approximately 36% of reported patients with MERS-CoV have died. The virus appears to cause more severe disease in older people, people with weakened immune systems, and those with chronic diseases such as cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes.

Source of the virus [WHO]

MERS-CoV is a zoonotic virus that is transmitted from animals to humans. The origins of the virus are not fully understood but, according to the analysis of different virus genomes, it is believed that it originated in bats and was transmitted to camels sometime in the distant past.

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ZIKV: CDC Adds Two More Countries to Travel Warning List

Posted by feww on January 27, 2016

ZIKV outbreaks spreading in Dominican Republic and US Virgin Islands

The Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands have been added to the list of countries that pregnant women should avoid traveling to as the ZIKV outbreaks spread.

The current travel warning list now includes 24 countries throughout the Americas, Oceania/ Pacific Islands and Africa.

Countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission

  • AMERICAS: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican, Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands, Venezuela
  • OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: Samoa
  • AFRICA: Cape Verde

Countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission. Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil. Currently, outbreaks are occurring in at least 24 countries.

ZIKV Hot Spots

Current ZIKV Hot Spots include Brazil and Colombia and Panama, according to FIRE-EARTH Models.

Countries that have past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission

cdc zikv list

AMERICAS: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Venezuela.

OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

ASIA: Cambodia, India*, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan*, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam*.

AFRICA: Angola*, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt*, Ethiopia*, Gabon, Gambia*, Kenya*, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone*, Somalia*, Tanzania*, Uganda and Zambia*.

[*For these countries, the only evidence of Zika virus transmission is from studies that detected Zika virus antibodies in healthy people.  These studies cannot determine where the people were infected or if they were infected with Zika virus because the antibodies may have resulted from infections with other closely related viruses, such as dengue virus.]

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ZIKV Found in Australian Travelers Returning from S. America

Posted by feww on January 26, 2016

Submitted by a reader – Edited by FEWW

Australians authorities echo warning to travelers planing to visit 22 countries affected by ZIKV

Australian health experts report mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZIKV), linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil, has already been discovered in Australia in travelers returning from South America, said a report.

For the virus to spread, however, it would require specific species of mosquitoes to act as a vector. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, one such vector, is currently found only in far north Queensland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued new advice warning Australians, particularly pregnant women, to reconsider plans to travel to 22 countries affected by the virus, including many in South and Central America, and the Pacific island nation Samoa.

[FIRE-EARTH Models show more than one million incidences of ZIKV infections may have occurred worldwide since October 2015. —Editor]

The new travel advice comes in response to a warning by the World Health Organisation that Zika virus is now likely to spread to all countries in South, Central and North America except Canada and Chile. [Blog Moderators have not found any evidence to confirm either PAHO or WHO has issued a warning to this effect. This appears to be media sensationalism at best, or a desperate ruse designed for phishing more information from independent sources. —Editor]

At least 3,893 suspected cases of microcephaly had occurred in Brazil as of January 22, 2016, or over 30 times more than in any year since 2010 and equivalent to 1 to 2 per cent of all newborns in the state of Pernambuco, one of the worst-hit areas, said WHO.

ZIKV was first detected in a monkey in Zika forest near Lake Victoria, Uganda, in 1947.

Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly. Microcephaly is not a common condition. State birth defects tracking systems have estimated that microcephaly ranges from 2 babies per 10,000 live births to about 12 babies per 10,000 live births in the Unites States.

Countries that have past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission

AFRICA: Angola*, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt*, Ethiopia*, Gabon, Gambia*, Kenya*, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone*, Somalia*, Tanzania*, Uganda and Zambia*.

AMERICAS: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Venezuela.

OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

ASIA: Cambodia, India*, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan*, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam*.

[*For these countries, the only evidence of Zika virus transmission is from studies that detected Zika virus antibodies in healthy people.  These studies cannot determine where the people were infected or if they were infected with Zika virus because the antibodies may have resulted from infections with other closely related viruses, such as dengue virus.]

Related Links

Additional Links

ZIKV

DENGUE

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What went wrong with the humans?

Posted by feww on January 25, 2016

Submitted by a reader

Racism in Australia more prevalent than ever before

If you thought Australia was a multicultural safe haven of equal opportunity, think again!

 

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Record Low Temps. Reported across Asia

Posted by feww on January 25, 2016

Deadly cold spell kills dozens of people in Taiwan Japan, Vietnam, China, S. Korea…

Taiwan. Record cold over the weekend has killed about 100 people.

  • A sudden drop in Taipei city temperature plunged the mercury to a record low of 4ºC (39F)on Sunday.

South Korea. About 1,000 flights were cancelled, stranding more than 90,000 tourists on Jeju  island, as temperatures fell to record lows.

  • Seoul temperature fell to -18ºC, the lowest since Jan. 15, 2001, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said.
  • Temperature in North Korea’s northeastern tip fell to -37.5ºC on Saturday night, said the South Korean weather agency.
  • Pyongyang temperature fell from -15ºCon Saturday to -19ºC early Sunday.
  • Radio Free Asia reported Saturday that more than 40,000 North Korean workers had been withdrawn from construction sites due to big freezing, said the report.

Vietnam and Thailand. Record or near-record low temperatures affected much of the two countries.

Southern and eastern China.  First snow in fifty years blanketed Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province, over the weekend.

  • “China’s national observatory on Sunday evening renewed its orange alert for a cold wave as most parts of the country experienced the coldest weather in decades in the weekend.”
  • At least four fatalities have been reported.
  • In Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the fisheries authorities reported the loss of 54 tons of product as of Sunday due to the cold.

Hong Kong. Temperature fell to a record low of

Japan. Snowstorms hammered large portions of Japan, killing at least 8 people, leaving hundreds injured, and forcing scores of flight cancellations.

  • Snow reported in Okinawa for the first time ever.

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M6.3 Earthquake Strikes Strait of Gibraltar

Posted by feww on January 25, 2016

Alboran Sea rippled by strong earthquake, significant aftershocks

Centered at 35.70ºN, 3.71°W (56 km NE of Tirhanimîne, Morocco) the strong quake occurred at a depth of 10km, reported Euro-Med earthquakes.

Magnitude:  6.3Mw
Location: 35.70ºN, 3.71°W
Depth: 10km
Region: STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR
Date/time: 2016-01-25 04:22:02.6 UTC
Distances:
156 km E of Gibraltar, Gibraltar [pop: 26,544]
83 km NW of Melilla, Spain [pop: 73,460]
56 km NE of Tirhanimîne, Morocco [ pop: 55,827 ]

Aftershocks
At least 8 aftershocks have occurred, as of posting, the largest of which registered 5.3Mw.

The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities. [USGS/EHP]

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Extreme Weather Events Destroy Crops in Georgia & the Carolinas

Posted by feww on January 24, 2016

Crop disasters declared in 37 counties across three U.S. states

Lingering excessive heat, excessive rain and moisture have destroyed or damaged crops in at least 37 counties across three states: Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 20 counties in Georgia as crop disaster area due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and moisture that occurred from Aug. 24, 2015, and continues. Those counties are:

Appling, Brantley, Bulloch, Burke, Emanuel, Glynn, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Long, McIntosh, Montgomery, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Treutlen and Wayne.

USDA has also designated 17 counties across the Carolinas as crop disaster area due to damages and losses caused by drought and excessive heat that occurred from April 25, 2015, and continues. Those counties are:

North Carolina. Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Rowan, Stanly, Surry, Union, Wilkes and Yadkin.

South Carolina. Lancaster and York.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Jan. 20, 2016.

Crop Disasters 2015

USDA declared crop disasters in at least 4,017 counties and county equivalents across 46 States [as well as Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands] in 2015. Those states are Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

  • About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations were due to drought last year.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

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Powerful Earthquake Strikes Iniskin Bay, Alaska

Posted by feww on January 24, 2016

M7.1 earthquake strikes SW of Anchorage, Alaska

Centered at 59.658°N, 153.452°W the event occurred at a depth of 127.8 km (79.4 mi), reported USGS/EHP.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 7.1Mw
Location: 59.658°N 153.452°W
Depth: 127.8 km
Time: 2016-01-24 10:30:30 UTC
Nearby Cities:

  • 83km (52mi) E of Old Iliamna, Alaska
  • 261km (162mi) SW of Anchorage, Alaska
  • 295km (183mi) SW of Knik-Fairview, Alaska
  • 648km (403mi) SSW of College, Alaska

Tsunami Evaluation: This earthquake did not generate a destructive tsunami.

Aftershocks: At least 8 aftershocks have occurred in and around the Iniskin Peninsula, as of posting.

Tremors were felt in Anchorage, about 260km NE of the epicenter.

Regional Impact: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us10004gqp#impact_dyfi

 

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ZIKV Emergency: New Warnings Issued by Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador & Jamaica

Posted by feww on January 23, 2016

One million cases of ZIKV infections worldwide: FIRE-EARTH Models

FIRE-EARTH Models show more than one million incidences of ZIKV infections may have occurred worldwide since October 2015.

Link to Microcephaly

Researchers suspect a possible link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly, a severe birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.

Microcephaly can occur as a result of changes in babies genes, as well as other causes that can include the following exposures during pregnancy:

Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly. Microcephaly is not a common condition. State birth defects tracking systems have estimated that microcephaly ranges from 2 babies per 10,000 live births to about 12 babies per 10,000 live births in the Unites States.

Latest Health Warnings

Authorities in four countries—Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica—have warned women to avoid pregnancy as cases of microcephaly, believed to be caused by Zika virus (ZIKV), continue to multiply.

Brazil. Authorities say the number of babies born with suspected microcephaly has now reached about 4,000 since October, 2015.

Colombia. Health Minister has urged women to delay pregnancies for about eight months.

Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica. Authorities have told women to delay pregnancies by up to two years.

U.S. Last week, explosive outbreaks of ZIKV, a dangerous tropical disease linked to birth defects, prompted the  U.S. health officials to issue a travel alert for people traveling to regions and countries where the virus transmission is spreading: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Countries that have past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission

AFRICA: Angola*, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt*, Ethiopia*, Gabon, Gambia*, Kenya*, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone*, Somalia*, Tanzania*, Uganda and Zambia*.

AMERICAS: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Venezuela.

OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

ASIA: Cambodia, India*, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan*, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam*.

[*For these countries, the only evidence of Zika virus transmission is from studies that detected Zika virus antibodies in healthy people.  These studies cannot determine where the people were infected or if they were infected with Zika virus because the antibodies may have resulted from infections with other closely related viruses, such a; s dengue virus.]

Ae. aegypti Mosquitoes: The Principal Vectors of ZIKV

Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are the principal vectors of dengue (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4), chikungunya (CHIKV), yellow fever (YFV), and Zika (ZIKV) viruses. Of these seven arboviruses, DENV, YFV and CHIKV have caused outbreaks within the United States and its territories in the past 110 years.

With a newly-obtained fiery red blood meal visible through her transparent abdomen, the now heavy female Aedes aegypti mosquito took flight as she left her host’s skin surface. Photo Credit: James Gathany/ CDC

Approximate distribution of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes in the United States. -CDC-

ZIKV in Brief [CDC]

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. In December 2015, Puerto Rico reported its first confirmed Zika virus case. Locally transmitted Zika has not been reported elsewhere in the United States, but cases of Zika have been reported in returning travelers.

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travelers can protect themselves from this disease by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. When traveling to countries where Zika virus (see map) or other viruses spread by mosquitoes have been reported, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.

Zika and pregnancy

Related Links

ZIKV

DENGUE

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Major Disaster Declared for Alabama

Posted by feww on January 23, 2016

Alabama declared Federal Disaster Area

  • Incident period: December 23, 2015 to December 31, 2015
  • Major Disaster Declaration declared on January 21, 2016

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Alabama in the areas affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of December 23-31, 2015.

The areas that were hardest hit by the disasters include the counties of Autauga, Barbour, Blount, Bullock, Butler, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, DeKalb, Elmore, Escambia, Fayette, Franklin, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Lamar, Lawrence, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Perry, Pike, Russell, St. Clair, Walker, and Winston.

Federal Disaster Declarations (2015)

The federal government proclaimed 43 Major Disaster Declaration [DR 4205-4247] for a U.S. state/tribal area/territory in 2015, two Emergency Declarations, EM-3372 and EM-3373 and 34 Fire Management Assistance Declarations [FM-5084 to FM-5117.]

Major Disaster Declarations 2016

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Historic Nor’easter: Dozen Dead; NJ Declares State of Emergency

Posted by feww on January 23, 2016

UPDATES:

About 72cm of snow recorded in parts of West Virginia as of 15:00UTC

New York Gov. declares a State of Emergency

State of Emergency declared in New Jersey as nor’easter threatens massive snow dump, coastal flooding

One in seven Americans should expect at least 6 inches of snow by Sunday as historic winter storm moves north

Warnings, Watches or Advisories have been issued for up to 90 million people across at least 21 states, as the historic winter storm continued to move north.

Blizzard Warning, Winter Storm Warning, High Wind Warning, Storm Warning, Coastal Flood Warning, Flood Warning, Gale Warning, and Freeze Warning in effect across multiple States.

At least a dozen people have been killed, multiple states have declared states of emergency, and thousands of flights have been cancelled across a large portion of the U.S. from Arkansas in the south to Massachusetts in the northeast.

States of emergency are currently in effect across North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and portions of several other states, as well as in the District of Columbia.

Major To Historic Winter Storm Will Impact The Middle Atlantic To Southern New England Into Sunday

A powerful low pressure system will bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions from the Middle Atlantic Region all the way through southern New England. The heaviest snow is expected to fall over the Middle Atlantic Region including the Washington DC and Baltimore metro areas west to the Blue Ridge mountains. In addition, moderate coastal flooding is expected. The storm will taper off by Sunday. -NWS-

 

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Monster Storm: States of Emergency Declared across US East

Posted by feww on January 22, 2016

Threat of ‘potentially crippling winter storm’ prompts states of emergency in and GA, NC, TN, VA, PA, MD, DC…

Deadly winter storm could impact 80+ million people – Blizzard Warnings issued

An area of low pressure centered over the southeastern U.S. will continue developing into a major winter storm which will impact a large portion of the East Coast from the southern Appalachians through the Mid-Atlantic states from Friday into the weekend. Snowfall totals may exceed 2 feet in portions of these areas, including the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas. -NWS-

Previous Bulletin:

A potentially crippling winter storm is anticipated for portions of the mid-Atlantic Friday into early Saturday. Snowfall may approach two feet for some locations, including the Baltimore and Washington, DC, metro areas. Farther north, there is uncertainty in snowfall for the New York City-to-Boston corridor. Farther south, significant icing is likely for portions of Kentucky and North Carolina. -NWS-

 

  • NOR`EASTER TO IMPACT THE AREA WITH SNOW AND WIND LATE FRIDAY INTO SUNDAY MORNING
  • IMPACTS: EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TRAVEL DUE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG WINDS WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS LIKELY. SECONDARY AND TERTIARY ROADS MAY BECOME IMPASSABLE. STRONG WINDS MAY DOWN POWER LINES AND TREE LIMBS.

Residents from North Carolina to New York have been told to stay indoors, and stock up on food and other necessities, as the monster storm arrives.

The National Weather Service put Washington DC and Baltimore under blizzard warnings from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning.

Blizzard warnings also issued for the following areas:

THE FIVE BOROUGHS OF NEW YORK CITY, COASTAL PORTIONS OF NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY, AND LONG ISLAND

At least four weather-related fatalities were reported, with two drivers killed in North Carolina, one in Tennessee and a pedestrian killed in Maryland, as of posting.

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Deadly Swine Flu Sweeps Much of Russia, Neighboring Countries

Posted by feww on January 22, 2016

Deadly swine flu hits 49 Russian regions

Dozen of swine flu cases, including fatalities, have been registered in 49 Russian regions including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Crimea and Sevastopol and in neighboring countries, said a report.

Report Highlights

At least 14 lethal swine flu cases have reportedly been registered across Russia since December 2015.

Swine flu (subtype H1N1 of influenza A virus) is common among pigs. Transmission of the virus from animals to humans is not common and does not always lead to human flu, often resulting instead in the production of antibodies only. However, when it does develop in humans, it carries a higher risk of fatality than the common flu.

Moscow. Swine flu in Moscow in the current epidemic season is responsible for 21 percent of all influenza cases in the city.

  • 147 people in Moscow were confirmed as infected with the swine flu virus, as of January 20.

Other Regions. New cases of swine flu were registered in seven Russian regions:  Kaliningrad, Samara, Vologda, Sakhalin, Novgorod, Yaroslavl and Primorye.

  • In Kostroma, the only registered case was fatal.
  • Four people were diagnosed with swine flu in the westernmost Russian region of Kaliningrad, regional authorities announced on Thursday.
  • Seven people infected with the H1N1 (swine flu) virus in Crimea.

As of January 18, at least 27 fatalities caused by swine flu have been registered across Russia.

Ukraine. Authorities will impose a quarantine, starting January 23, in an attempt to stem the spread of swine flu across the country.

Georgia. The infection has killed at least three people in the mountainous Caucasus region. Georgia’s health workers were put on high alert on Wednesday, following a surge in influenza and acute viral respiratory infection cases.

Armenia. As of January 20, at least 18 fatalities have occurred from complications of swine flu. However, the Armenian health authorities do not consider the spread of swine flu in the country as an epidemic outbreak, said the report.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20160122/1033527252/swine-flu-russia.html

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Major Disaster Declared for Missouri

Posted by feww on January 22, 2016

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Missouri in the areas affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of December 23, 2015 to January 9, 2016.

The areas that were hardest hit by the disasters include the counties of Barry, Barton, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cole, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Jefferson, Laclede, Lawrence, Lincoln, Maries, McDonald, Morgan, Newton, Osage, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Scott, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster, and Wright.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments, federal officials said.

Federal Disaster Declarations (2015)

The federal government has proclaimed 45 Major Disaster Declaration [DR 4205-4249] for a U.S. state/tribal area/territory for 2015 disasters including three for Washington. Additionally, three Emergency Declarations, EM-3372 and EM-3374 including one for WA, and 34 Fire Management Assistance Declarations [FM-5084 to FM-5117] including 12 for the state have been issued.

Major Disaster Declarations Since October 2015

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Strong Quake Strikes Pacific Coast of Mexico

Posted by feww on January 22, 2016

M6.6 earthquake occurs SW of Guadalajara

Centered at 18.841°N, 106.954°W [420 km SW of Guadalajara, Mexico; pop: 1.7 million] the event occurred at a depth of 10.0 km, reported USGS/EHP.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.6Mw
Location: 18.841°N 106.954°W
Depth: 10.0 km
Time: 2016-01-21 18:06:59
Nearby Cities:

215km (134mi) SW of Tomatlan, Mexico
255km (158mi) W of Cihuatlan, Mexico
267km (166mi) SW of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
275km (171mi) SW of Ixtapa, Mexico
825km (513mi) W of Mexico City, Mexico

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Turkish Offensive on Kurdish Areas Threatens 200,000 Lives

Posted by feww on January 21, 2016

Democracy cannot exist without freedom of expression

Onslaught on Kurdish areas in Turkey putting tens of thousands of lives at risk —Amnesty

“The Turkish government’s onslaught on Kurdish towns and neighborhoods, which includes round-the-clock curfews and cuts to services, is putting the lives of up to 200,000 people at risk and amounts to collective punishment,” says Amnesty International.

“Cuts to water and electricity supplies combined with the dangers of accessing food and medical care while under fire are having a devastating effect on residents, and the situation is likely to get worse, fast, if this isn’t addressed,” said Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Program Director.“In some areas, crippling curfews that don’t allow people to leave their houses at all have been in place for more than a month, effectively laying siege to entire neighborhoods. It is imperative that the Turkish authorities ensure that affected residents are able to access food and essential services.”

Amnesty cites numerous reports of Turkish security forces preventing ambulances from entering areas under curfew. In one incident, body of a man killed during clashes in Silopi was left to decompose at the family’s home for 12 days before authorities allowed it to be collected.

Meanwhile the Turkish dictator has vowed to punish treasonous’ academics for defending human rights.

Turkish president vows ‘treasonous’ academics will pay the price

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stepped up his harsh rhetoric against academics who called for an end to military operations in Turkey’s southeast, warning that they would pay the price for “falling into a pit of treachery,” said a report.

“I’m saying frankly: This mindset which gives a self-styled fatwa to the terror organization’s attacks on public servants, which simply says ‘it would be better if it didn’t do so’ in response to the killing of civilians, disgusts me,” Erdoğan said.

Prosecutors have launched a major investigation into more than 1,200 academics who signed a petition denouncing military operations in the southeast, with at least 18 being detained so far. The EU and the United States have both denounced the probes in unusually strong statements.

The Turkish dictator, speaking at his presidential palace, said the academics’ “masks have fallen off,” showing their “real and ugly faces.”

“They spit out hatred of our nation’s values and history on every occasion. The petition has made this clearer.”

“Do you think you can disrupt the unity of this nation? Do you think you can continue to have a comfortable life with a salary from the state, without paying a price?” Erdoğan said.

“In a state of law like Turkey, so-called academics who target the unity of our nation have no right to commit crimes. They don’t have immunity for this.”

All those detained in the probe into the petition last week have since been released but they still face investigation and eventual trial.

Academics support colleagues under probe in Turkey

Hundreds of Turkish academics have expressed solidarity with their colleagues suspected of terrorism crimes after signing a petition to call for an end to ongoing violence in southeastern Turkey in a statement sent to the Hürriyet Daily News.

“Democracy cannot exist without freedom of expression,” said the statement signed by 610 academics from various universities including some in the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria and Turkey.

“We, the undersigned academics, believe that freedom of expression is the core element of academic life… we think that the reaction of the government and the Higher Education Council [YÖK] toward the petition entitled ‘We shall not be a party to this crime’ signed by over 1,000 academics is wrong and disturbing,” the statement said.

The statement came amid a criminal complaint against a group of people, including 15 academics out of a total of 1,228 who signed the petition to call for peace, as well as overt death threats by ultranationalist mafia boss Sedat Peker that directly targeted the academics. The scholars also demanded state protection as they said “our lives are in danger” in a criminal complaint filed with the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

“We will let your blood flow in streams and take a shower in your blood,” Peker, a well-known convicted criminal, said in a message posted on his personal website on Jan. 13. The message titled as “The So-Called Intellectuals, The Bells Will Toll for You First” was posted just a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called more than 1,000 Turkish and international academics as “poor excuses for intellectuals.”

The statement from the 610 also said public debate and criticism were the basic tenets of democracy, whereas silencing and persecuting dissent were the hallmarks of authoritarianism.

“The attempt to punish the academics who express their opinions regarding the burning problems which are currently affecting the country constitutes a blow to academic freedom. Social progress is bound to be impeded by such an attack,” it added.

At least 40,000 people have been killed in the Kurdish conflict since 1984, Turkish govt says.

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2015 Earth’s Warmest Year by Widest Margin on Record

Posted by feww on January 20, 2016

Warmest December makes 2015 warmest year on record: NOAA

The 2015 globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces was the highest on record since 1880. The December combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the highest on record for any month in the 136-year record, reported NOAA.

Global highlights: Calendar Year 2015

The 2015 average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62°F (0.90°C) above the 20th century average.

  • It is the warmest among all 136 years in the 1880–2015 record.
    • Fourth time a global temperature record has been set this century.
    • Largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken.
    • Ten months had record high temperatures for their respective months during the year.
    • The five highest monthly departures from average for any month on record all occurred during 2015.
  • During 2015, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.39°F (1.33°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all years in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.45°F (0.25°C). This is the largest margin by which the annual global land temperature has been broken.
  • During 2015, the globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.33°F (0.74°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all years in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of last year by 0.20°F (0.11°C).
  • The 1901-2000 average combined land and ocean annual temperature is 13.9°C (56.9°F), the annually averaged land temperature for the same period is 8.5°C (47.3°F), and the long-term annually averaged sea surface temperature is 16.1°C (60.9°F).

Global highlights: December 2015

December average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 2.00°F (1.11°C) above the 20th century average of 12.2°C (54.0°F). This was the highest for December in the 1880–2015 record.

  • The globally-averaged land surface temperature was 3.40°F (1.89°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for December in the 1880–2015 record.
  • The globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.49°F (0.83°C) above the 20th century average, also the highest for December in the 1880–2015 record.

Sixteen Warmest Years (1880–2015)

All but one of the 16 warmest year on record (1998 tied with 2009 for the 6th warmest) have occurred this century.

Source:
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for Annual 2015, published online January 2016, retrieved on January 20, 2016 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201513.

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Latest Dengue Fever Outbreaks

Posted by feww on January 20, 2016

Brazil reported record number of dengue cases in 2015

Brazil registered 1.6 million cases of dengue fever in 2015, up from the previous record of 1.4 million cases in 2013, the Health Ministry reported.

  • Peak incidence of dengue infection rates occurred in April, with 229.1 cases for every 100,000 people.
  • Dengue-related fatalities reached 863 in 2015, also a record high.
  • Two other diseases transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, the Zika virus and chikungunya fever, are also spreading rapidly across the country.Transmission of the Dengue Virus [CDC]

Cambodia

Cambodia reported 15,412 cases of dengue fever in 2015, a rise 314 percent from the previous year.

  • “The incident rate was 93.5 cases out of 100,000 people,” said a senior health official. “Some 71 percent of the patients were children aged between 5 and 14 years old.”
  • At least 38 children were killed by the infection in 2015, a rise of 81 percent.

Taiwan

Tiwan reported 43,259 cases of dengue infection in 2015, which killed at least 212 people across the island, the worst outbreak on record.

  • In 2014, the country reported 15,732 cases, compared with the previous annual average of 2,000 cases.

Paraguay

Authorities and citizens alike in the Latin American country are concerned that another epidemic of dengue fever could “easily start up following December’s rains, which in Asuncion flooded entire neighborhoods and forced some 100,000 residents to evacuate their homes,” the Paraguayan Health Ministry said.

More than 150,000 people were infected in a 2013 dengue epidemic, which killed 252 people,  Agencia EFE reported.

Stats from WHO

  • Cases across the Americas, South-East Asia and Western Pacific exceeded 1.2 million in 2008 and over 3 million in 2013 (based on official data submitted by Member States). Recently the number of reported cases has continued to increase. In 2013, 2.35 million cases of dengue were reported in the Americas alone, of which 37 687 cases were of severe dengue.
  • Not only is the number of cases increasing as the disease spreads to new areas, but explosive outbreaks are occurring. The threat of a possible outbreak of dengue fever now exists in Europe and local transmission of dengue was reported for the first time in France and Croatia in 2010 and imported cases were detected in 3 other European countries. In 2012, an outbreak of dengue on the Madeira islands of Portugal resulted in over 2000 cases and imported cases were detected in mainland Portugal and 10 other countries in Europe.
  • In 2013, cases have occurred in Florida (United States of America) and Yunnan province of China. Dengue also continues to affect several South American countries, notably Costa Rica, Honduras and Mexico. In Asia, Singapore has reported an increase in cases after a lapse of several years and outbreaks have also been reported in Laos. In 2014, trends indicate increases in the number of cases in the People’s Republic of China, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Malaysia and Vanuatu, with Dengue Type 3 (DEN 3) affecting the Pacific Island countries after a lapse of over 10 years. Dengue was also reported in Japan after a lapse of over 70 years. In 2015 an increase in the number of cases was reported in Brazil and several neighbouring countries. The Pacific island countries of Fiji, Tonga and French Polynesia have continued to record cases.
  • [At least] 500 000 people with severe dengue require hospitalization each year, a large proportion of whom are children. About 2.5% of those affected die.

Epidemiology of dengue [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]

Dengue is currently regarded globally as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease. A history of symptoms compatible with dengue can be traced back to the Chin Dynasty of 265–420 AD. The virus and its vectors have now become widely distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world, particularly over the last half-century. Significant geographic expansion has been coupled with rapid increases in incident cases, epidemics, and hyperendemicity, leading to the more severe forms of dengue. Transmission of dengue is now present in every World Health Organization (WHO) region of the world and more than 125 countries are known to be dengue endemic. The true impact of dengue globally is difficult to ascertain due to factors such as inadequate disease surveillance, misdiagnosis, and low levels of reporting. Currently available data likely grossly underestimates the social, economic, and disease burden. Estimates of the global incidence of dengue infections per year have ranged between 50 million and 200 million; however, recent estimates using cartographic approaches suggest this number is closer to almost 400 million.

Introduction

Dengue is an acute mosquito-borne viral infection that places a significant socioeconomic and disease burden on many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is currently regarded as the most important arboviral disease internationally as over 50% of the world’s population live in areas where they are at risk of the disease, and approximately 50% live in dengue endemic countries.

Dengue virus

There are four distinct dengue virus serotypes, all of which originate from the family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus. The serotypes are termed DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4, and infection with any of the four viruses results in lifelong immunity to that specific serotype. Each of the four serotypes has been individually found to be responsible for dengue epidemics and associated with more severe dengue. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753061/

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito

With a newly-obtained fiery red blood meal visible through her transparent abdomen, the now heavy female Aedes aegypti mosquito took flight as she left her host’s skin surface. Photo Credit: James Gathany/ CDC

 

Transmission of the Dengue Virus [CDC]

Dengue is transmitted between people by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which are found throughout the world.  Insects that transmit disease are vectors.  Symptoms of infection usually begin 4 – 7 days after the mosquito bite and typically last 3 – 10 days.  In order for transmission to occur the mosquito must feed on a person during a 5- day period when large amounts of virus are in the blood; this period usually begins a little before the person become symptomatic.  Some people never have significant symptoms but can still infect mosquitoes.  After entering the mosquito in the blood meal, the virus will require an additional 8-12 days incubation before it can then be transmitted to another human. The mosquito remains infected for the remainder of its life, which might be days or a few weeks.

In rare cases dengue can be transmitted in organ transplants or blood transfusions from infected donors, and there is evidence of transmission from an infected pregnant mother to her fetus.  But in the vast majority of infections, a mosquito bite is responsible.

In many parts of the tropics and subtropics, dengue is endemic, that is, it occurs every year, usually during a season when Aedes mosquito populations are high, often when rainfall is optimal for breeding.  These areas are, however, additionally at periodic risk for epidemic dengue, when large numbers of people become infected during a short period.  Dengue epidemics require a coincidence of large numbers of vector mosquitoes, large numbers of people with no immunity to one of the four virus types (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, DENV 4), and the opportunity for contact between the two.  Although Aedes are common in the southern U. S., dengue is endemic in northern Mexico, and the U.S. population has no immunity, the lack of dengue transmission in the continental U.S. is primarily because contact between people and the vectors is too infrequent to sustain transmission.

Dengue is an Emerging Disease

The four dengue viruses originated in monkeys and independently jumped to humans in Africa or Southeast Asia between 100 and 800 years ago.  Dengue remained a relatively minor, geographically restricted disease until the middle of the 20th century.  The disruption of the second world war – in particular the coincidental transport of Aedes mosquitoes around the world in cargo –  are thought to have played a crucial role in the dissemination of the viruses.  DHF was first documented only in the 1950s during epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand.  It was not until 1981 that large numbers of DHF cases began to appear in the Carribean and Latin America, where highly effective Aedes control programs had been in place until the early 1970s.

Dengue is endemic in at least 125 countries

Dengue is endemic in more than 125 countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean.

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Major Snowstorms Forecast in China, U.S.

Posted by feww on January 20, 2016

Cold wave sweeps across China

[Source: Xinhua]

Much of China will experience a rapid drop in temperatures together with heavy snow and rain in the coming days as a strong cold front approaches the country.

The National Meteorological Center forecast sharp drops in temperatures across northwestern, northern and northeastern China, with the mercury plunging by as much as 14 degrees Celsius.

“The center warned of snow and rain in central and eastern provinces, which will see their coldest days so far this winter.

“Meteorological authorities in eastern Jiangxi Province forecast a cold snap from Wednesday, adding rain and snow to the coldest week since 1992.”

“The temperature will stay minus zero for several days. Only ten percent of the vegetables will survive,” said a farmer.

Major cities in the affected regions including Shanghai and Changsha are expected to see record low temperatures.

In Beijing, the freezing weather catapulted power demand, raising the grid peak load to a record winter high of 16.6 gigawatt Monday evening, said the report.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., NWS forecasters issued the following alert:

Potential major winter storm for the Eastern U.S. later this week

NWS forecasters are monitoring the possibility of a major winter storm affecting the
Northeast later this week, including the possibility of heavy snow for the urban corridor extending from Washington, DC, to New York and Boston Friday into Sunday. Based on the anticipated storm track, as much as 1 to 2 feet of snow is possible near and northwest of I-95. Coastal flooding is also likely.

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ZIKV Infection Cases Reported in Illinois

Posted by feww on January 20, 2016

Two pregnant Illinois women test positive for the Zika virus

Two pregnant Illinois residents, who recently traveled to countries where Zika virus is spreading, have tested positive for the virus, said the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

The latest development follows the case of a ZIKV infected infant in Hawaii who was born with microcephaly, on January 17, 2016.

The following statement was issued by the Illinois Health Department:

Two Illinois Residents Test Positive For Zika Virus

SPRINGFIELD (January 19, 2016). The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is alerting the public of the potential of contracting Zika virus while traveling abroad.  Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites, similar to West Nile virus or dengue fever.  While illness is usually mild and severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon, there is a possible link between Zika virus infection in pregnant women and subsequent birth defects.

Two pregnant Illinois residents who recently traveled to countries where Zika virus is found have tested positive for the virus.  Physicians are monitoring their health and pregnancies.

“There is virtually no risk to Illinois residents since you cannot contract Zika virus from another person, but only through the bite of an infected mosquito,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “But since this is a time of year when people travel to warmer climates and countries where Zika virus is found, we are urging residents, especially pregnant women, to take preventive measures when traveling in affected countries and check health travel advisories.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing, including:

Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. [See below for the full list.]

This alert follows reports in Brazil of microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.  However, additional studies are needed to further characterize this relationship.

Until more is known, CDC recommends that pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.  Pregnant women, women trying to become pregnant, or women who are thinking about becoming pregnant and must travel to one of these areas should talk with their doctor or other health care provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes).  Symptoms can last from several days to weeks.  There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika virus infection.

When traveling to countries where Zika virus has been reported, all travelers should take steps to prevent mosquito bites, such as using use insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.  More information about Zika virus can be found on the CDC website.  CDC has also developed interim Zika virus guidelines for health care providers in the United State caring for pregnant women.

Countries with past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission


Countries that have past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission —CDC

Countries that have past or current evidence of Zika virus transmission

AFRICA: Angola*, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt*, Ethiopia*, Gabon, Gambia*, Kenya*, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone*, Somalia*, Tanzania*, Uganda and Zambia*.
AMERICAS: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Venezuela.

OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

ASIA: Cambodia, India*, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan*, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam*.

[*For these countries, the only evidence of Zika virus transmission is from studies that detected Zika virus antibodies in healthy people.  These studies cannot determine where the people were infected or if they were infected with Zika virus because the antibodies may have resulted from infections with other closely related viruses, such as dengue virus.]

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Saudis Paying Blackwater Mercenaries to Kill Yemenis

Posted by feww on January 19, 2016

Reader submitted

400 Blackwater Mercenaries Fighting for Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen: Report

Saudi-led coalition have hired mercenaries from around the world to fight in Yemen, including about 400 contractors from the US private security firm Blackwater, said Yemeni army spokesman Brig. Gen. Sharaf Ghalib Luqman.

“They hire poor people from around the world to take part in the hostilities. Among them are Somalis and people from Sudanese tribes. However, there are also Europeans, Americans, Colombians. These are contractors from a structure known as Blackwater. This division includes around 400 people,” Luqman told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

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Mass Evacuation Ordered in Japan amid Extreme Weather Events

Posted by feww on January 19, 2016

Much of Japan hammered by high wind, giant waves and heavy snowfall

At least 9,700 people have been ordered to evacuate Nemuro, a town in the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido, as heavy snowfall, high wind and giant waves plagued the region leaving more than 50,000 residents without power, the media reported Tuesday.

Warnings have also been issued to residents in the region concerning the threat of flooding as high waves batter the coastal areas putting some 4,000 families at risk, Kyodo News reported.

At least 169 people were injured in the Kanto area, which includes Tokyo, after heavy snow blanketed eastern and northern Japan early on Monday.

Heavy snow has led to hundreds of flight cancellation, and suspension of train services as of posting.

jp weather warnings
.

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