Fire Earth

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

Posts Tagged ‘disease outbreak’

“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.

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

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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Anthrax Outbreak Kills Dozens of Animals

Posted by feww on January 11, 2012

At least 165 animals killed in Zimbabwe anthrax outbreak

Dozens of elephants, hippos, buffaloes and kudus have been killed in an anthrax outbreak in Mana Pools National Park, lower Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe.

Disaster Calendar 2012 – January 11

[January 11, 2012]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,526 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. Anthrax outbreak has killed more than 165 animals including elephants, hippos, buffaloes and kudus, in Mana Pools National Park, lower Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe, said a report.
    • The outbreak has been confirmed by a veterinary officer, who said samples had tested positive for the deadly disease.

Other Global Disasters

  • Brazil. Death toll in Brazil floods has climbed to at least 28, with dozens reported as missing and many injured.
  • Japan. According to recently released police figures, a total of 19,294 people were killed in last year’s March 11 triple disasters, which was triggered by a Mega quake [2011 Tohoku earthquake, or the Great East Japan Earthquake was a 9.0Mw megathrust ] off the coast of Fukushima Pref.  The authorities have recovered 15,844 bodies.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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China launches nationwide fight against deadly EV71

Posted by feww on May 4, 2008

EV71 Continues to claim more victims

Update: May 4, 2008

The rapidly spreading outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in China has killed at least 23 children and infected about 4,000.

Related Links:

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