Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from anthropogenic assault on Earth, and planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin by 2016

Posts Tagged ‘air travel’

Superbug Outbreak Could Kill 80,000 —UK Govt

Posted by feww on April 6, 2015

New antibiotic-resistant infections could kill 80,000 Britons in a single outbreak

An outbreak of a drug-resistant infection caused by new superbugs could kill up to 80,000 people in the UK alone, according to a UK Government report.

Some 200,000 people would be infected by a widespread bacterial blood infection that is resistant to existing drugs, says the report.

The report warns:

“An increasingly serious issue is the development and spread of AMR (antimicrobial resistance), which occurs when drugs are no longer effective in treating infections caused by micro-organisms.

“Without effective antibiotics, even minor surgery and routine operations could become high-risk procedures, leading to increased duration of illness and ultimately premature mortality.

“Much of modern medicine (for example, organ transplantation, bowel surgery and some cancer treatments) may become unsafe due to the risk of infection. In addition, influenza pandemics would become more serious without effective treatments.”

Influenza pandemics would become more serious without effective treatments, the report says.

“If a widespread outbreak were to occur, we could expect around 200,000 people to be affected by a bacterial blood infection that could not be treated effectively with existing drugs, and around 80,000 of these might die.

“High numbers of deaths could also be expected from other forms of antimicrobial resistant infection.”

Antibiotic-resistant infections kill about 25,000 people die annually across Europe each year.

U.S. Travel Concerns

More than two million people in the U.S. are infected by drug-resistant superbugs every year, and at least 23,000 die of related infections, according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC recently reported that international travelers were bringing back and spreading a drug-resistant bacteria called shigella sonnei in the US.

Shigellosis is an acute infection of the intestine caused by Shigella bacteria. There are 4 species of Shigella: Shigella dysenteriae, S. flexneri, S. boydii, and S. sonnei (also referred to as group A, B, C, and D, respectively), said CDC.

[S. sonnei strain UCN59, which causes bloody diarrhea and fever, has been found to be
resistant to ampicillin, trimethoprim, sulfonamides, and cotrimoxazole but susceptible to quinolones, third-gen-eration cephalosporins, and doxycycline, said a report.]


Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. CDC

Shigella Transmission 

Transmission occurs via the fecal-oral route, through direct person-to-person contact, or indirectly through contaminated food, water, or fomites. As few as 10 organisms can cause infection. Only humans and higher primates carry Shigella. In the United States, S. sonnei infection is usually transmitted through interpersonal contact, particularly among young children in day care settings. Foodborne outbreaks have been linked to contaminated foods commonly consumed raw, as well as infected food handlers. Outbreaks have also been traced to contaminated drinking water, swimming in contaminated water, and sexual contact between men.

Worldwide, Shigella is estimated to cause up to 165 million cases of disease and 600,000 deaths annually. Shigella spp. are endemic in temperate and tropical climates. Transmission of Shigella spp. is most likely when hygiene and sanitation are insufficient. Shigellosis is predominantly caused by S. sonnei in industrialized countries, whereas S. flexneri prevails in the developing world. Infections caused by S. boydii are uncommon. S. dysenteriae is even more uncommon, but makes up ≥25% of all Shigella spp. isolated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Shigella spp. are detected in the stools of 5%–18% of patients with travelers’ diarrhea. In a FoodNet study of travel-associated enteric infections diagnosed after return to the United States, Shigella was the third most common bacterial pathogen isolated by clinical laboratories (of note, these laboratories do not test for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, a common cause of travelers’ diarrhea). Most infections caused by S. dysenteriae were travel-associated (56%). Many infections caused by S. boydii (44%) were acquired while traveling, but infections caused by S. flexneri and S. sonnei were less often associated with travel (24% and 12%, respectively). Risk of infection caused by Shigella spp. is highest for people traveling to Africa, followed by Central America, South America, and Asia.

Posted in News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Chinese Air Passenger Numbers Continue Climbing

Posted by feww on April 6, 2015

“Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!” —Henry David Thoreau

831.5 Million air passengers passed through China’s airports in 2014: CAAC

Chinese air travelers made 831.5 million air journeys in 2014, a rise of 10.2 percent year on year, according to the official data provided by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), reported Xinhua.

  • Domestic flights: 760.6 million (up 10.1 percent year on year)
  • International flights: 70.9 million (up 11.7 percent)

About 28.3 percent of all passengers passed through Airports in the three megacities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to the data.

“The Beijing Capital International Airport became the nation’s busiest airport, registering more than 86.1 million trips in 2014, up 2.9 percent,” said the report.

Meantime, the amount of cargo transported by air increased to 13.6 million tons, up 7.8 percent year on year.

By the end of 2014, some 202 airports were operating in China, with 200 offering regular flights, according to CAAC.

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Air Travel: Environmental Nightmare Worsened in 2014

Posted by feww on January 26, 2015

3 Billion air journeys polluted skies and earth in 2014

More than 3 billion air journeys were taken globally in 2014, although the exact figures are yet to be released.

In 2013, the total number of passengers carried by airlines grew to 3,023,304,482 globally, according to data provided by the World Bank.

U.S. airlines lead the global pack, carrying 743,096,000 passengers (25% of the total), followed by the Chinese with 352,795,296, or 12 percent of the total.

30 Million international passengers carried by Chinese airlines in 2014

Chinese airlines carried more than 30 million international passengers (estimated 200,000 flights) in 2014, up 18 percent year on year, said a senior civil aviation official, Xinhua reported.

Chinese passengers accounted for more than 55 percent of all passengers on the flights between China and the United States, said the report.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) anticipates China’s domestic passenger capacity to rise 10.8 percent in 2015, while the growth rates of China-U.S., China-Europe and China-Asia Pacific flights will be 10 percent, 9 percent and 4 percent respectively, said the report.

Chinese airlines are planning to launch international routes from smaller cities, with foreign low-cost airlines being permitted to join the Chinese civil aviation market, according to the report.

In 1992, Chinese airlines carried a total of 29 million passengers, according to official statistics.

The number rapidly grew to about 120 million in 2004, and more than 320 million in 2012.

Top 25 Flyers in 2013 (and probably 2014) were:

  1. United States: 743,096,000
  2. China: 352,795,296
  3. UK: 118,304,674
  4. Japan 105,913,000
  5. Germany 105,016,346
  6. Brazil: 95,917,212
  7. Ireland: 95,585,497
  8. Indonesia: 85,102,827
  9. India: 75,322,747
  10. Turkey: 74,353,297
  11. Canada: 71,526,726
  12. Australia: 70,883,315
  13. UAE: 69,191,127
  14. France: 66,733,562
  15. Russian Federation: 65,985,276
  16. Malaysia: 46,317,632
  17. Spain: 45,773,340
  18. South Korea: 41,082,568
  19. Thailand: 40,714,384
  20. Mexico: 38,807,595
  21. Hong Kong SAR, China: 34,206,136
  22. Netherlands: 33,249,909
  23. Singapore: 30,554,914
  24. Philippines: 29,308,659
  25. Saudi Arabia: 28,252,104

Posted in News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Air Travel Nightmare Worsened in 2014

Posted by feww on January 25, 2015

UPDATED

https://feww.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/air-travel-environmental-nightmare-worsened-in-2014/

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How men laid waste the sky as well as the earth

Posted by feww on May 28, 2013

“Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!” —Henry David Thoreau

Global Flight Paths

Global flight paths
Visualizations of flight paths crossing the globe. Source: Michael Markieta/ via BBC

  • More than 58,000 flight paths currently cross the globe.
  • Frankfurt International is the world’s busiest airport with 235 direct flight destinations
  • The busiest airports by continent are Atlanta, Beijing, Cairo, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo and Sydney. [Data from openflights.org/via BBC]

Related Links

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Plane Crash Kills Many in Nigeria

Posted by feww on June 3, 2012

Airliner crashes into building killing 193

A Dana Air passenger plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, crashed into a two-story building in poor, densely populated residential area of Lagos, killing all 153 people on board, and at least 40 people on the ground.

“Among the dead was the spokesman for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Levi Ajuonuma, according to a passenger list released by the airline. Ajuonuma was also de facto spokesman for the oil minister in OPEC member Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer,” Reuters reported.

At least four Chinese citizens were among the victims, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

The crash occurred  less than a day after a Nigerian Allied Cargo plane crash-landed in Ghana, killing at least 10 people on board.

Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian President, has  declared 3 days of national mourning.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • NM, USA.  Gila National Forest Wildfire (Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire), the largest in New Mexico history, has grown to at least 250,000 acres, as of posting.
    • The fire was sparked by lightening on Wednesday May 16th, 2012.
    • The blaze is uncontrolled, though it is about 17 percent contained.


Whitewater Baldy Complex fire, Gila National Forest, NM.  June 3 Fire Progression Map – Source: Southern Area Incident Management Team


Gila National Forest Wildfire, June 2, 2012.


Photos by Kari Greer/ Credit: US Forest Service, Gila National Forest

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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

Air New Zealand: Another ‘Close Call’

Posted by feww on January 25, 2010

Air New Zealand in another ‘Close Call,’ Airbus in Emergency Landing and Landing-Gear Fire that Injured 42

Our thanks to blogger TEAA for the information on the two ‘Close Calls’ in New Zealand airspace.

An Air New Zealand Double Tragedy Waiting to Happen

Air New Zealand had a “close call” as two passenger aircraft over Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu came close enough to spark an automatic warning to the two pilots, the Otago Daily Times reported.

“CAA spokeswoman Emma Peel said yesterday an Air New Zealand Boeing 737 was approaching Queenstown Airport’s runway last Saturday when it was warned by its “terrain collision avoidance system” another aircraft was in the area.” The report said.

Emergency Landing at Auckland International Airport

Another Emergency Landing at Auckland International Airport

An  Airbus A340-200, 60 minutes into its flight from Auckland to Buenos Aires, reported the shutdown of its No. 1 engine, and returned to Auckland, scaring the living daylight out of its passengers. Fortunately for the 229 tourists onboard,  the plane landed without incident at about 10.25pm,  a report said.

Plane catches fire in Iran, injures 42 of 157 passengers

Some 42 passengers were injured when an aircraft caught fire as it landed in northeastern Iran on Sunday, Reuters reported state radio as saying.

“About 42 passengers, out of 157 aboard, were injured when the plane was landing at Mashhad city’s airport,” said head of Iran’s emergency medical services.

“In the worst plane crash in Iran in the past six years, a Tupolev aircraft crashed in 2009 in Iran on its way to Armenia, after catching fire mid-air and crashing into farmland killing all 168 people on board.” Report said.

Related Links:

Posted in air new zealand, airbus, Auckland International Airport, Close Call, emergency landing | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Chikungunya Makes West Nile Look Like Nappy Rash

Posted by feww on September 19, 2009

Chikungunya is coming!

Chikungunya is hyper-endemic in the islands of the Indian Ocean. Travel by air will import the infected mosquitoes and humans —Dr James Diaz

The ink hadn’t quite dried on

Arctic ice cover third-smallest area on record

in which the FEWW Moderators, discussing the dire effects of climate change on human health,  wrote:

‘Warmer [and dirtier] waters increase mosquito reproduction, which in turn increase the incidence of  mosquito-borne infectious diseases.’

When the news of  Chikungunya arrived.

Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne disease, much worse than the West Nile virus, could become the next nightmare epidemic in the US and Europe.

Aedes aegypti mosquito biting human
Stegomyia aegypti (formerly Aedes aegypti) mosquito siting on a human. Photo: USDA.

Who’s Afraid of Chikungunya?

“We’re very worried,” Dr. James Diaz of the Louisiana University Health Sciences Center told a meeting on airlines, airports and disease transmission sponsored by the independent U.S. National Research Council.

“Unlike West Nile virus, where nine out of 10 people are going to be totally asymptomatic, or may have a mild headache or a stiff neck, if you get Chikungunya you’re going to be sick,” he said.

“The disease can be fatal. It’s a serious disease [and] there is no vaccine.” Diaz added.

The virus can be carried by the Asian tiger mosquito, which is abundant in  Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe, the Americas.

Chikungunya has also been reported in the islands of Mauritius, Seychelles and Reunion, in the Indian ocean, which are among prime beach resorts destinations visited by European tourists.

“It is hyper-endemic in the islands of the Indian Ocean,” Diaz told the meeting.

“Travel by air will import the infected mosquitoes and humans. Chikungunya is coming.” Diaz added.”

What’s Chikungunya

Chikungunya fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes.  Chikungunya virus is a member of the genus Alphavirus, in the family Togaviridae. Chikungunya fever is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., joint swelling), laboratory testing, and the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment for chikungunya fever; care is based on symptoms. Chikungunya infection is not usually fatal. Steps to prevent infection with chikungunya virus include use of insect repellent, protective clothing, and staying in areas with screens. Chikungunya virus was first isolated from the blood of a febrile patient in Tanzania in 1953, and has since been cited as the cause of numerous human epidemics in many areas of Africa and Asia and most recently in limited areas of Europe.—CDC

Chikungunya Distribution and Global Map

ChikV_WorldMap

The geographic range of chikungunya virus is mainly in Africa and Asia.  Given the current large chikungunya virus epidemics and the worldwide distribution of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, there is a risk of importing chikungunya virus into new area through infected travelers. —CDC

Countries where people have become infected with chikungunya virus.
Benin Mayotte
Burundi Myanmar
Cambodia Nigeria
Cameroon Pakistan
Central African Republic Philippines
Comoros Reunion
Congo, DRC Senegal
East Timor Seychelles
Gabon Singapore
Guinea South Africa
India Sri Lanka
Indonesia Sudan
Italy Taiwan
Kenya Tanzania
Laos Thailand
Madagascar Uganda
Malawi Vietnam
Malaysia Zimbabwe
Mauritius
This list does not include countries where only imported cases have been reported.

Chikungunya Fact Sheet (CDC update: March 4, 2008)

Chikungunya fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Chikungunya virus was first isolated from the blood of a febrile patient in Tanzania in 1953, and has since been cited as the cause of numerous human epidemics in many areas of Africa and Asia, and most recently in a limited area of Europe.

What causes chikungunya fever?

Chikungunya fever is caused by a virus which belongs to the genus Alphavirus, in the family Togaviridae.

How do humans become infected with chikungunya virus?
Humans become infected with chikungunya virus by the bite of an infected mosquito. Aedes aegypti, a household container breeder and aggressive daytime biter which is attracted to humans, is the primary vector of chikungunya virus to humans. Aedes albopictus has also played a role in human transmission.

What can people do to prevent becoming infected with chikungunya virus?
The best way to prevent chikungunya virus infection is to avoid mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or preventive drug currently available. Prevention tips are similar to those for other viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as dengue or West Nile:

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 on exposed skin. Always follow the directions on the package.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants (ideally treat clothes with permethrin or another repellent).
  • Have secure screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito sources in your yard by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.
  • Additionally, a person with chikungunya fever should limit their exposure to mosquito bites to avoid further spreading the infection. The person should use repellents when outdoors exposed to mosquito bites or stay indoors in areas with screens or under a mosquito net.

What is the basic chikungunya virus transmission cycle?
Mosquitoes become infected with chikungunya virus when they feed on an infected person. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other humans when they bite them. Monkeys, and possibly other wild animals, may also serve as reservoirs of the virus. Aedes aegypti, a household container breeder and aggressive daytime biter which is attracted to humans, is the primary vector of chikungunya virus to humans. Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito) has also played a role in human transmission is Asia, Africa, and Europe. Various forest-dwelling mosquito species in Africa have been found to be infected with the virus.

What type of illness does chikungunya virus cause?
Chikungunya virus infection can cause a debilitating illness, most often characterized by fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, rash, and joint pain. “Silent” chikungunya virus infections (infections without illness) do occur; but how commonly this happens is not yet known. Chikungunya virus infection (whether clinically apparent or silent) is thought to confer life-long immunity. Acute chikungunya fever typically lasts a few days to a couple of weeks, but as with dengue, West Nile fever, o’nyong-nyong fever and other arboviral fevers, some patients have prolonged fatigue lasting several weeks. Additionally, some patients have reported incapacitating joint pain, or arthritis which may last for weeks or months.

What is the incubation period for chikungunya fever?

The incubation period (time from infection to illness) can be 2-12 days, but is usually 3-7 days.

Can pregnant women become infected with chikungunya virus and pass the infection to their child?
Pregnant women can become infected with chikungunya virus during all stages of pregnancy and have symptoms similar to other individuals. Most infections will not result in the virus being transmitted to the fetus. The highest risk for infection of the fetus/child occurs when a woman has virus in her blood (viremic) at the time of delivery. There are also rare reports of first trimester abortions occurring after chikungunya infection. Pregnant women should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Products containing DEET can be used in pregnancy without adverse effects.

Can the virus be transmitted to a child by breastfeeding?
Currently, there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted through breast milk

What is the mortality rate of chikungunya fever?
Fatalities related to chikungunya virus are rare and appear to be associated to increased age.

How is chikungunya virus infection treated?

There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment currently available for chikungunya fever. Treatment is symptomatic and can include rest, fluids, and medicines to relieve symptoms of fever and aching such as ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, or paracetamol. Aspirin should be avoided. Infected persons should be protected from further mosquito exposure (staying indoors in areas with screens and/or under a mosquito net) during the first few days of the illness so they can not contribute to the transmission cycle.

Where does chikungunya virus occur?
The geographic range of the virus is primarily in Africa and Asia. For information on current outbreaks, consult CDC’s Travelers’ Health website (http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx). Given the current large chikungunya virus epidemics and the world wide distribution of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, there is a risk of importation of chikungunya virus into new areas by infected travelers.

Content source:

Division of Vector Borne Infectious Diseases
National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases

Related Links:

Posted in Alphavirus, Asian Tiger mosquito, Louisiana University Health Sciences Center, Tanzania, Togaviridae, U.S. National Research Council, West Nile virus | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stop Unnecessary Air Travel!

Posted by feww on July 19, 2008

Use Videoconferencing!

Following our organization’s strong condemnation of the United Nations and its Secretary General for their “addiction” to the “carbon habit,” getting endless fixes through flying tens of millions of miles each year, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has now taken the lead on condemning the business world’s unbridled flying habits. More…

Related Links:

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    Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Air New Zealand Fumigates Passengers

    Posted by feww on April 1, 2008

    A blatant act of criminal negligence by the malevolent New Zealand Government

    In yet another blatant act of criminal negligence by the malevolent New Zealand Government and its corporate sector, the passengers arriving aboard Air NZ flight were fumigated in Auckland.

    The spraying left passengers with sore throats and caused at least one baby to gag and vomit. “Even now I have a real raspy throat so you could imagine what the effect would be on an infant.”

    Main Entry:

    Bend Over, Spread Your Legs and say Baa . . .

    Related Links:

    Don’t Take Your Children To New Zealand

    Posted in air travel, new zealand, spraying, Tourism, toxic exposure | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

     
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