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Posts Tagged ‘deadly disease outbreak’

Deadly Outbreaks of West Nile Fever Kills Dozens in Greece, Israel

Posted by feww on September 21, 2018

West Nile fever virus infects hundreds, killing dozens in Greece, Israel

As of September 20 (13:00 hours), some 234 “laboratory diagnosed cases of WNV infection have been reported to the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP), the center reported. Some 183 “of which presented with neuro-invasive disease (WNND, encephalitisand/ or meningitis and/or acute flaccid paralysis)” and 51 cases with “mild symptoms (febrile syndrome).” Some 27 deaths were reported in patients, the weekly report said.

US WNV infections

As of September 18, 2018, a total of 47 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes in 2018. Overall, 1,077 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC. Of these, 608 (56%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 469 (44%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease. [CDC]

Hong Kong: Dengue Fever Outbreak

Meanwhile, dozens of people have been diagnosed with dengue fever in Hong Kong.

  • Additional information available from FE-MIU via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

 

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Ebola Spreads to Liberia, Senegal Shuts Border

Posted by feww on March 31, 2014

VIRAL HEMORRHAGIC FEVERS
EBOLA CONFIRMED IN LIBERIA
.

Ebola HF cases confirmed in Liberia

At least two cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Liberia, apparently spreading from neighboring Guinea, where the deadly virus has killed 78 people.

The two confirmed cases in Liberia are sisters, one of whom had recently returned from Guinea, said officials.

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

The first known outbreak in Guinea started in the remote southeastern Forest Region but had recently spread to the capital, Conakry [Population 2.2 million.]

Senegal shuts border with Guinea

Senegal government closed its border with neighboring Guinea soon after confirmation that the virus had reached Conakry.

“When it used to be only in the south of Guinea, we didn’t do anything special. But now that it’s reached Conakry, we believe it’s safer to close our borders,” said Senegal’s Health Minister.

“We have also closed all weekly markets, known as luma, in the south. And we’re having some discussions with religious leaders regarding big religious events,” she added.

Suspected cases of Ebola have also been reported in neighboring Sierra Leone.

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)

“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_2_thumb_colorized
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.

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

RELATED LINKS

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Ebola Outbreak Kills Dozens

Posted by feww on March 23, 2014

VIRAL HEMORRHAGIC FEVERS
1ST RECORDED EBOLA OUTBREAK IN GUINEA
.

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_2_thumb_colorized
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

RELATED LINKS

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

“Spooky” Disease Turning Starfish to “Slime”

Posted by feww on November 5, 2013

“Star wasting disease” hits dozens of coastal sites from southeast Alaska to Orange County, California

The spooky disease is causing record numbers of the marine animals to lose their limbs and turn to slime in a matter of days along the U.S. West Coast, said a report.

“It’s pretty spooky because we don’t have any obvious culprit for the root cause even though we know it’s likely caused by a pathogen,” said Pete Raimondi, chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Lab.

star wasting disease
Star wasting disease. Image credit: Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. More images …

Sea star wasting disease is a general description of a set of symptoms that are found in sea stars.  Typically, lesions appear in the ectoderm followed by decay of tissue surrounding the lesions, which leads to eventual fragmentation of the body and death.  A deflated appearance can precede other morphological signs of the disease.  All of these symptoms are also associated with ordinary attributes of unhealthy stars and can arise when an individual is stranded too high in the intertidal zone (for example) and simply desiccates,”  according to a report by the Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Program at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

“True” wasting disease will be present in individuals that are found in suitable habitat, often in the midst of other individuals that might also be affected.  The progression of wasting disease can be rapid, leading to death within a few days, and its effects can be devastating on seastar populations. The proximal cause of the disease, when pathological studies have been done, is typically a bacterium (vibrio), although a recent wasting event on the east coast of the United States has been attributed to a virus.  The ultimate cause is not clear although such events are often associated with warmer than typical water temperatures as was the case for the major die off in southern California in 1983-1984 and again (on a lesser scale) in 1997-98. Following the 1983-1984 event, the ochre star, Pisaster ochraceus, was virtually absent along southern California shorelines for years.

Wasting in Pisaster ochraceus from Alaska through California

As of Summer, 2013, there is evidence that we are at the onset of another Wasting event and one that is particularly troubling because of its spatial extent. MARINe monitoring groups have documented Wasting in Pisaster ochraceus from Alaska through California (see interactive map for specific locations).  Two common attributes for many of the sites are: (1) the period prior to Wasting was characterized by warm water temperatures, and (2) the effects are dramatic.

The current outbreak killed up to 95 percent of hundreds of starfish in a tide pool in Santa Cruz, the report quoted Raimondi as saying.

At least 10 species of sea stars have shown signs of the disease since June, this year, said Raimondi, adding that he was unable to estimate how many millions of starfish on the West Coast might be affected.

“We’re way at the onset now, so we just don’t know how bad it’s going to get,” he said.

Pisaster ochraceus feed on mussels thus managing the growth of the species in the ocean, which would otherwise multiply out of control and disrupt biodiversity.

Recent Links to Marine Die-offs

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Polio Outbreak in Syria Risks Spreading

Posted by feww on October 29, 2013

10 Cases of polio confirmed in northeast Syria

The crippling disease has broken out among young children in northeast Syria’s Deir al-Zor province, the first outbreak in the country in 14 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Tuesday.

Twenty-two children in Deir al-Zor province, which borders Iraq, became paralyzed last week, and WHO has confirmed that 10 victims tested positive for the wild polio virus.Results on the remaining 12 cases are expected soon.

Most of the victims were under two years old and may not have been vaccinated against polio, WHO said.

It’s believed that foreign mercenaries fighting in Syria have imported the virus into the country. Polio is endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer has said that the source of the virus must be one of the three endemic areas.

The highly contagious virus now threatens to spread in Syria and beyond, as more than 4,000 refugees leave Syria every day.

“Of course this is a communicable disease. With population movements it can travel to other areas. So the risk is high of (its) spread across the region,” Rosenbauer told Reuters.

At least 100,000 Children under the age of five are at risk of polio in Deir al-Zour province, and 500,000 children have not been immunized.

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Global Alert: Undiagnosed Deadly Illness in Cambodia

Posted by feww on July 5, 2012

Mysterious new disease kills scores of children in Cambodia: WHO

A mysterious new illness has killed dozens of children in Cambodia, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported.

The symptoms start with high fever, followed by encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, leading to failure of the lungs and death.

  • It takes 24 hours or less from the onset of symptoms to death.
  • The victims were all under 7.
  • Cases have been reported in 14 Cambodian provinces.
  • The disease apparently has a death rate of greater than 98 percent.
  • A Global Health Alert issued by WHO is posted below.

The majority of cases were from the southern part of the country, and the victims were hospitalized in Kantha Bopha children’s hospitals in the capital Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, according to reports.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of a brain with encephalitis. It has resulted in a large lesion (orange). Source: NHS/UK

WHO has issued the following Global Alert:

Global Alert: Undiagnosed illness in Cambodia

4 July 2012 – The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia has notified WHO of an outbreak of an undiagnosed illness which has affected 62 children, of which 61 have died since April 2012.

The majority of cases were from the southern part of the country, and were hospitalised in a children’s hospital in Phnom Penh. The symptoms observed are high fever, followed by respiratory and/or neurologic symptoms with rapid deterioration of respiratory functions.

WHO is working with the Ministry and other partners to investigate the outbreak, to identify the cause and source of the illness. Assistance is being provided in the area of field epidemiology and active case finding.

See also:

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State of Emergency Declared in Minnesota

Posted by feww on June 21, 2012

Extreme Weather Event Forces MN Gov to Declare State of Emergency across 8 Counties

The emergency declaration covers the worst affected areas: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Dakot, Goodhue, Lake and Rice St. Louis counties.

The Executive Emergency Order could be extended to include other areas .

High winds and flooding have forced dozens of neighborhoods in Duluth and surrounding areas to evacuate.

Rivers in half dozen counties have flooded causing severe damage to homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and other public infrastructure, forcing several state parks, at least two university campuses, many schools and numerous highways to close.

  • The Cities of Hermantown, Duluth, Superior, and Wrenshall have declared  states of emergency.
  • Mayor of Duluth said that he intends to seek federal disaster to help “the city recover from what may be millions of dollars in damage to roads, bridges, culverts, sidewalks, parks and more.”

At least 1,000 residents have been evacuated from flooded areas through the affected counties.

Also, hundreds of campers were evacuated from Jay Cooke State Park, and the park is closed.

About 9 inches (~ 23 cm) of rain fell in Northeastern Minnesota Tuesday night and the soaking continued Wednesday.

NWS has issued FLOOD WARNINGS for  Carlton County in NE Minnesota, Douglas County in  NW Wisconsin and  St. Louis County in NE Minnesota.

Other location that will experience flooding include Carlton, Cloquet, Esko, Fond du Lac, New Duluth , Oliver, Proctor, Scanlon and Thomson, NWS said.

The stream flow at the Fond du Lac Dam rocketed from the usual 2,000 to 47,000 cfp, according to the local utilities.

Current conditions and events in Minnesota include [Source: NWS/NOAA]

  •  Duluth police issued a Civil Emergency Message closing parts of I-35 and Minnesota Highways 23 and 61 because of flooding
  • Residents of the Fond Du Lac neighborhood of Duluth have been asked to evacuate as flooding is expected to worsen with the release of water from Fond Du Lac Dam
  • Numerous sinkholes, washed out roads and mudslides have been reported in Duluth

Flash Flood Warnings, Flood Watches and Flood Warnings are in effect throughout Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin today. Moderate flooding is expected to occur on three rivers in Minnesota:

  • The Crow River at Delano, Minn., is expected to reach Moderate state of 17.5 fee the afternoon of June 22 and to crest at 17.7 feet early the morning of June 23
  • The Mississippi River at Aitkin, Minn., is forecast to reach Moderate stage of 15 feet the morning of June 22 and to crest at 16.3 feet the morning of June 24
  • The St. Louis River at Scanlon, Minn., was observed at Moderate stage of 11.72 feet at 5 a.m., CDT, this morning and is expected to crest at 15.5 fee later today, just shy of its record level

The front bringing the heavy rains is forecast to stretch from Oklahoma City to St. Louis and Chicago by Thursday morning.

Summer 2012 will officially arrive in the United States early this evening. Summertime temperatures are going to get a head start today in much of the country. National Weather Service forecasts call for temperatures to warm to the 95-100 degree level over the next two days in many parts of the country.

Very hot temperatures will continue today from Kansas to Michigan with high temperatures mostly in the 80s and 90s but with a possibility of nearing the 100-degree range from Missouri to southern Michigan and the Ohio Valley.

High temperatures will be 85-95 degrees for most of the South today and Thursday with highs expected to top the century mark today and Thursday in southwest Texas.

Northern areas of the West will see high temperatures mostly in the 65-80 degree mark with southern areas of Oregon reaching the upper 80s to lower 90s. High temperatures in southern parts of the West should be mostly in the 80s and 90s along the Coast with desert highs in the 105-110 degree range.

Along with all that, there is a Slight Threat of severe weather in the Upper Midwest, continued flooding and flash flooding in parts of South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and critical fire weather conditions from the Desert Southwest to Colorado later this week.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Northern Hemisphere.  June 20 is the first day of summer 2012.
    • “The summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, which is located at 23.5° latitude North, and runs through Mexico, the Bahamas, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, and southern China. The sun will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 509 pm MDT [23:09 UTC] on June 20, 2012. For every place north of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun is at its highest point in the sky and this is the longest day of the year” [Source NOAA/SRH]
  • Nova Scotia, Canada.  A fish farm in Nova Scotia has been quarantined after another infectious salmon anemia (ISA) outbreak was detected.

  • North Carolina, USA. Some 179 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have been reported in NC since December of which 122 occurred in Alamance County through children being exposed at various schools, a report said.
  • California, USA.  Crop damage and losses caused by unusually high winds, excessive rain and extremes of temperature from March 1 to April 30 has forced the USDA to declare Kern County an agricultural disaster area.
    • The disaster declaration also includes 8 other counties of Inyo, Kings, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura because they’re contiguous.
  • Oaxaca, Mexico.  State of disaster has been declared for 68 cities in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico and five cities in the SW state of Guerrero affected by Hurricane CARLOTTA, the Mexican federal government have said.
    • The storm dumped heavy rains on western, central and southern Mexico, causing damage to roads, bridges, telephone lines, the power grid and crops, said a report.
  • Delaware, USA.   Disaster emergency has been declared in Muncie/Delaware County.  Muncie Mayor and the Delaware County Commissioners have issued a disaster proclamation due to the  city and county being at “at risk of widespread fire hazards” because of drought, and have imposed a burning ban.
  • Maharashtra, India.  A deadly outbreak of of hepatitis E in the western Indian state of Maharashtra has claimed at least 18 lives and sickened more than 4,000 others.
    •  Most of the victims were from Ichalkaranji city (pop: 350,000; located 300 kilometers south of Mumbai), where officials suspect  the outbreak was caused by leaks from sewage pipes and industrial effluents contaminating the Panchganga river, the city’s main source of drinking water.

See also:

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in environment, global change, Global Climate Extremes, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global ghg emissions, global Temperature Anomalies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »