Fire Earth

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

Posts Tagged ‘hantavirus’

ISAAC Landed in SE Louisiana, Heading Toward NO

Posted by feww on August 29, 2012

Hurricane ISAAC landed in Louisiana with 80MPH winds

ISAAC has forced tens of thousands to evacuate, and is forecast to strike New Orleans. The storm triggered widespread  flooding and damage in the Caribbean, claiming at least 24 lives in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.


Hurricane ISAAC landing in SE Louisiana. Image source: UW-SSECAnimate this image

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • California.  Yosemite National Park has warned about 2,000 visitors who stayed in its canvas and wood cabins in Curry Village this summer that they may have been exposed to the deadly hantavirus.
    • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome has killed at least two campers who stayed at the park earlier this year.
    • Two other campers have acquired the infection.
    • Symptoms of hantavirus include aches, chills, dizziness and fever.
    • Hantavirus is carried in the feces, saliva and urine of infected deer mice, and has no specific treatment.
    • The virus has a 30% fatality rate.
  • U.S. Corn and Soybean Crops. The U.S. corn and soybean conditions have both deteriorated by an additional one percent, according to the USDA’s latest Crop Progress for the week ending August 26, 2012.
    • The amount of corn crops considered to be in very poor or poor conditions increased to 52 percent, an increase of 1 percent from the previous week. It was 19 percent last year.
    • Soybean crops in very poor or poor conditions also increased by 1 percent to 38 percent since last week.   It was 15 percent last year.

Previous Corn Progress

GLOBAL WARNING

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

Legionella Outbreak in Scotland: 1 Dead, 16 Critical

Posted by feww on June 6, 2012

The worst single outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland kills one, leaves 16 in critical condition

At least one person has died and 16 others are in a critical condition in hospital in the worst single outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland.

A further 15 suspected cases of the illness are being investigated by the health authorities in Edinburgh, reports said.

The worst legionella outbreak in the UK occurred in 2002 in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, where at least 172 people were infected and seven died from the illness. It’s believed that a contaminated cooling tower was the source of that outbreak.


Legionella bacteria.  Legionnaires’ disease  is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella. Each year, up to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S.  However, many infections are not diagnosed or reported, so this number may be higher. Legionnaires’ disease can have symptoms like many other forms of pneumonia, so it can be hard to diagnose at first. Signs of the disease can include: a high fever, chills, and a cough. Some people may also suffer from muscle aches and headaches. Chest X-rays are needed to find the pneumonia caused by the bacteria, and other tests can be done on sputum (phlegm), as well as blood or urine to find evidence of the bacteria in the body. These symptoms usually begin up to 14 days after exposure to the bacteria.  Legionnaires’ disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 30% of cases.  Source CDC.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Florida, USA.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a 16 percent increase in tuberculosis (TB) cases in Duval County in the past year, making it the largest outbreak of TB in the U.S.
    • Most of the cases are reportedly among the homeless.
    • There were 85 cases of TB reported in Florida of which 67 were in Duval County.
  • Washington, USA.  Whooping cough epidemic in the state of Washington has so far surpassed 2,000 reported cases.
  • Utah and S. Dakota, USA.  Hantavirus, a rodent-borne disease has claimed at least 2 lives in the State of Utah and a thir in South Dakota.
    • “We get maybe one case a year,” Baker said Tuesday. “It’s unusual to see two fatalities so early in the summer.” Utah Department of Health epidemiologist JoDee Baker said.
    • The third victim, who died from the infection is SD was a 7-year-old girl.
    • In 2011, some 587 cases of the disease throughout the U.S. were reported to CDC, including 16 in S. Dakota.
    • The young girl’s death is the fifth in the state from hantavirus, so far this year, said the South Dakota Department of Health.
  • GlobalMulti-drug resistant Neisseria gonorrhea.  The numbers of sexually transmitted infections (STIs, STDs) have climbed to about 500 million new cases globally each year.  The STIs include Gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and trichomoniasis.
    •  Gonorrhea represents about a fifth (~ 100 million cases) of all STIs  annually.
    • A superbug strain of gonorrhea, first identified in Japan, which  is resistant to all recommended antibiotics, has spread to  many more countries around the globe, including Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the U.K., UN WHO reported.
    • The strain is found to be resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics, the last treatment option against gonorrhoea, WHO said.
    • “There are verified treatment failures to cefixime (oral cephalosporin) treatment in Japan and Norway as well as reports from China (Hong Kong SAR) and the United Kingdom. This emergence of decreased susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae to the ‘last line’ treatment option of cephalosporins together with AMR already shown to penicillins, sulphonamides, tetracyclines, quinolones and macrolides (including azithromycin) make N. gonorrhoeae a multidrug-resistant organism.” WHO reported.
    • “Antimicrobial resistance is caused by the unrestricted access to antimicrobials, overuse and poor quality of antibiotics, as well as natural genetic mutations within disease organisms. In addition, gonorrhoea strains tend to retain genetic resistance to previous antibiotics even after their use has been discontinued. The extent of this resistance worldwide is not known due to lack of reliable data for gonorrhoea in many countries and insufficient research”


Gonorrhea is a common sexually-transmitted disease (STD), caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. An electron micrograph of gonorrhea bacteria.  Image courtesy http://women.webmd.com/slideshow-pelvic-pain-causes

See also:

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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

Philippines Terminally Impacted?

Posted by feww on October 10, 2009

Our thanks to EDRO Moderators for their input and direction

Ketsana, Parma and Melor: Harbingers of Bad Times Ahead?

Did the Three Storms Spell the Beginning of the End for the Philippines as We Know it?

On September 26, 2009 FEWW called the floods caused by storm Ketsana Philippines Worst Floods in Living Memory. Soon the fool extent of the human-enhanced disaster unfolded, as Tropical Storm Ketsana poured more than a month’s worth of rain on Manila in just a few hours.

About 300 people were killed in the Philippines worst floods in living memory caused by tropical storm Ketsana on September 26, which swamped about half a million homes in the Manila and nearby regions. By mid day September 27, about 80 to 90 percent of the Philippines capital was still submerged under water.


Commuters wade through waist-deep floodwaters following heavy rains brought about by tropical storm Ketsana (locally known as Ondoy) Saturday Sept. 26, 2009 in Manila, Philippines. At least five people have been killed after nearly a month’s worth of rain fell in just six hours Saturday, triggering the worst flooding in the Philippine capital in 42 years, stranding thousands on rooftops in the city and elsewhere as Tropical Storm Ketsana slammed ashore. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez). Image may be subject to copyright.

FEWW Moderators expected Typhoon Parma to expand the destruction, and for the first time mentioned the probability of Manila collapsing.

Finally Parma Arrived!

Parma came, but for fleeting moments it looked like it could spare the Philippines main Island of Luzon. FEWW Moderators weren’t deceived, however. Driven by a more powerful storm, Typhoon Melor, which pinwheeled the by now weaker storm, ensuring that it would stay over northern Luzon for the next few days, Parma caused another round of deluge in Northern Luzon.

Could Manila Collapse?

On October 1, 2009, as Parma became a “super Typhoon, the moderators proposed:

Could Manila collapse as a result of devastation caused by the combined impact of the storms Ketsana, Parma (and  Melor, next week), as well as possible earthquakes triggered by landslides and massive mud avalanches, AND a highly probable catastrophic eruption of TAAL VOLCANO?

And suggested:

One way to find out is to wait and see! Another, is to stay tuned to FEWW forecasts and comments posted on this blog.

By Saturday October 10, 2009 at least 265 people were confirmed dead as landslides and flooding caused by Parma in the previous two days, the officials said.

Toll from heavy rain in Philippines rose further as more bodies were recovered -afp
A total of 265 people were confirmed dead in landslides and flooding caused by Parma in the past two days. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

This death toll from the deadly storms now stands at 611 with dozens more reported missing. Two weeks after Ketsana struck, up to 350,000 people are still packed into temporary evacuation centers. More than 3 million people have been affected.

But the Philippines worst nightmare hasn’t even started.

The specter of infectious disease outbreaks looms over the Philippines. Up to 3 million people in the country are immediately threatened by the very high risk of outbreaks of water-, sanitation-, and hygiene-related disease as well as foodborne epidemics including cholera, hepatitis A and E, typhoid fever, and shigellosis (caused by Shigella dysenteriae type 1 (Sd1), according to health officials.

The factors that are increasing health risks include:

  • Malnutrition
    • compromises natural immunity,
    • leads to more frequent occurrences of infections
    • Infections become more severe and prolonged
    • communicable diseases become more difficult to diagnose and treat
    • pose significant threat to public health
    • infants and children are particularly at risk
  • Disruption in power and fuel supplies with immediate impact on
    • drinking water
    • sanitation
    • personal hygiene
    • food production hygiene, refrigeration  and cooking facilities
  • Displaced population and overcrowding
    • overcrowding in temporary relief centers would heighten the risk of acquiring
      • acute respiratory infections (ARI)
      • measles
      • meningitis.

By end of November/early December 2009, additional exposure to disease-carrying vectors such as mosquitoes could increase the risk of

  • dengue
  • malaria

As well as rarer diseases such as

  • chikungunya
  • hantavirus
  • Japanese encephalitis

Disruption of Critical Services caused by flooding would prevent access to

  • health and social and security
  • medical, obstetric and surgical emergencies

Rainfall from Typhoon Parma

TYPH parma_trm_2009282
Typhoon Parma spent nearly a week pouring heavy rain on the northern half of the Philippine island of Luzon. This image shows both the storm’s track and the rainfall that accumulated between October 2 and October 8, 2009. The rainfall data are from the Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis, which includes rainfall observations from many satellites that are calibrated to match more detailed rainfall observations from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. The satellites recorded more than 700 millimeters (28 inches) of rain in places, shown in dark blue.

The heaviest rain fell on the mountain range that runs north to south along the length of the island, the Cordillera Central. Damages came from landslides on the slopes of the mountains and from floods caused by water flowing out of the mountains west to the South China Sea. The largest area of heavy rain sits over the Lingayen Gulf, the “u”-shaped body of water on the western shore of Luzon near the bottom of the image. One province in this region, Pangasinan, was between 60 and 80 percent flooded. The highest death toll came from another province, Benguet, a little north and east of Lingayen Gulf, where landslides impacted several villages.

The storm came ashore from the east and crossed the northern tip of the island on October 3, 2009. Under the influence of nearby Typhoon Melor, Parma stalled offshore, unleashing yet more rain on Luzon while spinning in place on October 4-5. Finally, the storm reversed direction and moved back across the Philippines toward Typhoon Melor on October 7. By October 8, Melor’s influence on Parma weakened, and Parma moved west again to make its third trip across Luzon Island. Many of the areas of heavy rain coincide with areas that likely saw Parma’s most intense inner bands more than once throughout the course of the week.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using near-real-time data provided courtesy of TRMM Science Data and Information System at Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Holli Riebeek. [Edited by FEWW]

Related Links:

Posted in Chikungunya, Displaced population, hantavirus, hepatitis, Japanese encephalitis, Ketsana, Luzon, Malnutrition, Manila Collapsing, Melor, Parma, Philippines, probability of Manila collapsing, sanitation, the Beginning of the End cholera, Typhoon Melor, Typhoon Parma, Typhoons | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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