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Posts Tagged ‘Hong Kong’

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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Flu Deaths Rising Globally

Posted by feww on February 15, 2015

U.S. flu deaths remain at epidemic levels amid widespread flu activity

Pneumonia and Influenza (P&I) Mortality Surveillance: During week 5, week ending February 7, 2015, some 8.1% of all deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to P&I. This percentage was above the epidemic threshold of 7.2% for week 5, said CDC.

Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality:

Eleven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 5. Four deaths were associated with an influenza A (H3) virus and occurred during weeks 52, 3 and 4 (weeks ending December 27, 2014, January 24 and January 31, 2015). Five deaths were associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed and occurred during weeks 53, 1, 2, and 3 (weeks ending January 3, January 10, January 17, and January 24, 2015). One death was associated with an influenza B virus and occurred during week 4. One death was associated with an influenza A and influenza B virus co-infection and occurred during week 5 (week ending February 7, 2015).

A total of 80 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2014-2015 season from New York City [1] and 28 states (Arizona [2], Colorado [3], Florida [2], Georgia [1], Indiana [1], Iowa [3], Kansas [2], Kentucky [3], Louisiana [2], Maryland [1], Massachusetts [1], Michigan [1], Minnesota [5], Missouri [1], Nebraska [1], New Jersey [1], North Carolina [2], Nevada [6], New York [2], Ohio [5], Oklahoma [6], Pennsylvania [1], South Carolina [2], South Dakota [1], Tennessee [5], Texas [9], Virginia [4], and Wisconsin [6]).

 During week 5, the following influenza activity was reported:

  • Widespread influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and 32 states (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).
  • Regional influenza activity was reported by Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 16 states (Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia).
  • Local activity was reported by the District of Columbia and two states (Alaska and Minnesota).

Between October 1, 2014 and February 7, 2015, 12,065 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported. The overall hospitalization rate was 44.1 per 100,000 population. The highest rate of hospitalization was among adults aged ≥65 years (217.3 per 100,000 population), followed by children aged 0-4 years (40.4 per 100,000 population). Among all hospitalizations, 96.1% were associated with influenza A, 3.1% with influenza B, 0.3% with influenza A and B co-infection, and 0.4% had no virus type information. Among those with influenza A subtype information, 99.7% were A(H3N2) virus and 0.3% were A(H1N1)pdm09.

Outpatient Illness Surveillance:

Nationwide during week 5, some 3.8% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) were due to influenza-like illness (ILI). This percentage is above the national baseline of 2.0%.

[CDC has characterized 809 influenza viruses [21 A(H1N1)pdm09, 634 A(H3N2), and 154 influenza B viruses] collected by U.S. laboratories since October 1, 2014.]

At least 259 Floridians died from flu in first week of 2015 alone: Report

“It’s a safe bet that, by now, the January death count from flu or flu-related pneumonia in Florida has exceeded 1,000.” —Report

North Carolina flu deaths climb to 114, deadliest in five years: Report

“There were 15 flu-related deaths in the week ending Jan. 17, bringing the total to 114, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.” —Report

Oklahoma breaks last year’s record for flu deaths

At least 82 Oklahomans have died from flu since September 2014, including 14 in the past week, with 1,789 others hospitalized with the virus, with three more months of flu season to go. The state reported a total of 71 deaths from flu last year.

Arkansas Flu Deaths Climb to 37: Health Officials

Since September 28, when the flu calendar starts, more than 21,600 tests have proved positive for flu viruses in Arkansas including 1,700, which were reported last week alone, according to an official report.

196 flu deaths reported in Hong Kong

An H3N2 outbreak in Hong Kong, which started on January 2, 2015, has left at least 280 hospitalized, killing 196 patients. The rate compares with 266 cases including 133 moralities during the same period last year, said Hong Kong health officials.

Health authorities said of the 16 new cases reported between Friday and Saturday 15 patients have died.

India: 78 swine flu deaths in 24 hours

Swine flu death toll in India has climbed to at least 485. “This is more than twice the total number of deaths due to swine flu in 2014. The total number of cases reported this year is 6,298,” said a report.

Quebec Fears Spike in Flu Deaths

Quebec’s health ministry says there could be 27 per cent more flu deaths in the province this year than in 2012-2013, said a report.

The ministry forecasts a total of up to 450 deaths from flu this season, about 50 per cent higher than normal. This is mainly due to this year’s ineffective flu vaccine. The H3N2 strain that’s been making the rounds in the province is more likely to cause respiratory complications, said the report.

The exact number of people who die from seasonal flu in the U.S. each year

CDC does not know exactly how many people die from seasonal flu each year. There are several reasons for this. First, states are not required to report individual seasonal flu cases or deaths of people older than 18 years of age to CDC. Second, seasonal influenza is infrequently listed on death certificates of people who die from flu-related complications. Third, many seasonal flu-related deaths occur one or two weeks after a person’s initial infection, either because the person may develop a secondary bacterial co-infection (such as bacterial pneumonia) or because seasonal influenza can aggravate an existing chronic illness (such as congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Also, most people who die from seasonal flu-related complications are not tested for flu, or they seek medical care later in their illness when seasonal influenza can no longer be detected from respiratory samples.

CDC estimates that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. Death certificate data and weekly influenza virus surveillance information was used to estimate how many flu-related deaths occurred among people whose underlying cause of death was listed as respiratory or circulatory disease on their death certificate.

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Red Tides Attack Shenzhen; Beijing Issues Air Pollution Alert

Posted by feww on November 25, 2014

SCENARIOS 817, 797, 699, 404, 402, 05, 02

Image of the Day:

Red tides splash on China’s ‘most successful’ SEZ

Shenzhen [Population: ~ 20 million] is a major city in southern China’s Guangdong Province. Located north of Hong Kong, the city is part of China’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

red tides Shenzhen
Original caption:
Aerial photo taken on Nov. 25, 2014 shows the red tides, a bloom of bacteria that gives a red tint to coastal waters, on the waters of Dameisha in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Li Suren). More images…

Beijing issues air pollution alert

Beijing municipal authorities issued an air pollution alert  Tuesday afternoon, as forecasters warned of serious smog on Tuesday and Wednesday, reported the official Xinhua.

“Air quality index (AQI) in Beijing hit 236 at 6 p.m. with the index of PM 2.5 exceeding 200, according to the Beijing environmental protection monitoring center website.”

The PM2.5 AQI had exceeded the hazardous levels, reaching 361, as of posting.

Industrial air pollution cost Europe up to €189 billion in 2012

Meantime, the European Environment Agency (EEA) reported that air pollution from Europe’s largest industrial facilities cost the region as much as €189 billion in 2012.

The upper estimate of €189 billion [$235b] is approximately equivalent to the GDP of Finland or 50% of the GDP of Poland. The estimated cost was at least €329 and possibly up to €1,053 billion over the period 2008 – 2012, said the report.


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Thousands of Homes Destroyed or Damaged in S China Rainstorm

Posted by feww on April 1, 2014


Rainstorm Destroys or damages about 60,000 Homes in South China

More than two dozen people are dead or reported as missing, after extreme rain events battered south China, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs on Tuesday.

Extreme rain and flooding have affected more than 1.16 million people in seven Chinese provinces —Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing and Guizhou—forcing at least  17,000 to flee their homes, said the ministry.

“A total of 6,600 people are in need of emergency sustenance assistance, it said, while 1,600 houses have been toppled and 55,000 damaged,” said Xinhua.

Floodwaters have destroyed 47,600 hectares of crops causing  direct economic losses of more than $105 million U.S. dollars.

The fierce storm system has dumped about 300 mm of rain, the equivalent of about two months’ rainfall,  in some areas since March 27.

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‘Black Storm’ Warning as XL Hail Hammer HK

Posted by feww on March 31, 2014


Huge Hailstones Hammer Hong Kong

Hong Kong residents have been warned of more extreme weather as torrential rains and near hurricane-force winds batter the region.

Hong Kong Observatory issued the “Black Rainstorm” warning, their highest, after the system dumped more than 70mm of rain over Hong Kong Island and Kowloon in less than an hour, causing flash flooding.

The system unleashed fierce thunderstorms accompanied by 8,703 lightning strikes, with more than 3,500 in an one hour, said the observatory.

“Because of a low pressure trough affecting the south east region of Guangdong, we are expecting the region to continue to be affected with this weather over the next couple of days,” said a senior forecaster at the Observatory, warning of more thunderstorms, heavy rain, high winds , flooding and landslides.

“Over the next few days, heavier rain is expected to persist around the coastal region, including Hong Kong.”



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USAGI Disaster Update: 25 Dead; 7,100 Homes Destroyed

Posted by feww on September 23, 2013

Typhoon USAGI Causes Major Disaster in S. China

The powerful typhoon has killed at least 25 people in south China’s Guangdong province, authorities said.

Previously, officials said the typhoon had also claimed more than a dozen lives in the neighboring Fujian province.

USAGI, the 19th and the most powerful typhoon to hit China so far this year, made landfall Sunday night with wind gusting up to 180 km/h.

The powerful typhoon has affected more than 3.56 million people in Guangdong province alone, forcing at least 226,000 people out of their homes, Xinhua said.

“The typhoon has also caused 7,100 homes to collapse and resulted in direct economic losses of 3.24 billion yuan (529.5 million U.S. dollars).”

“Thousands of people have been evacuated from low-lying coastal areas and border police in Yunxiao County are rushing to repair two embankment sections that were damaged by strong waves.”

On Sunday, thousands of flights in Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Hong Kong and Macao were canceled or delayed, and shipping between Fujian and Taiwan was suspended.

Hong Kong was hit by severe winds and torrential rain, forcing schools and businesses to close, but the territory escaped a direct hit by the typhoon.

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USAGI Hits S. China, Kills 20

Posted by feww on September 23, 2013

Typhoon USAGI kills at least 20 in southern China

The typhoon made landfall in Shanwei city in southern China’s Guangdong province at 19:40 local time on Sunday, bringing powerful winds and torrential rain, said a report.

“All bullet trains from Guangzhou to Beijing have been suspended and hundreds of flights from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong have been cancelled. Schools in 12 coastal cities have suspended classes.”

China’s National Meteorological Center has issued the highest alert for storms, warning that most southern areas will experience torrential rains, specially Fujian and Guangdong provinces.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued a No. 8 storm warning, the country’s third highest level, at 18:40 local time on Sunday, warning USAGI would make landfall later in the evening.

usagi landfall in guandong province
Typhoon Usagi makes landfall in Shanwei city in southern China’s Guangdong province. Source: CNTV

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USAGI Poses a Severe Threat to Hong Kong: The HK Observatory

Posted by feww on September 22, 2013

Typhoon USAGI expected to slam Hong Kong by early Monday

The strongest storm to brew in the Western Pacific this year, is forecast  to pummel Asia’s financial center by early Monday.

The Hong Kong observatory has issued a Strong Wind Signal No. 3 and was expected to raise the warning level higher later on Sunday.

Typhoon USAGI poses a severe threat to the city, the HK observatory said.

USAGI chased by PABUK
Typhoon USAGI chased by Tropical Cyclone PABUK. MTSAT IR Satellite Image. Image recorded at 04:30UTC on September 22, 2013. Source: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC. FIRE-EARTH Enhancement.

The following is text of HK Observatory’s latest Warming issued at 12:45HKT on 22.09.2013.

Tropical Cyclone Bulletin – Hong Kong Observatory

The Strong Wind Signal No. 3 is in force. This means that winds with mean speeds of 41 to 62 km per hour are expected.

At 1 p.m., Severe Typhoon Usagi was estimated to be about 300 kilometers [km] east of Hong Kong (near 22.1 degrees north, 117.1 degrees east) and is forecast to move WNW at about 20 km per hour across the northeastern part of the South China Sea and towards the vicinity of the Pearl River Estuary. [Hong Kong Observatory at 12:45HKT on 22.09.2013]

According to the present forecast track, there is a high chance Usagi would make landfall to the east of Hong Kong and will be closest to the territory around tonight and early tomorrow morning. Winds are now generally from the north and most parts of the territory are sheltered. However as Usagi gradually edges closer to Hong Kong, local winds will strengthen gradually. The Observatory will consider issuing the Gale or Storm Signal, No. 8 this afternoon to this evening.

The outer rainbands of Usagi are now affecting the vicinity of Pearl River Estuary. Local weather is deteriorating gradually. There will be heavy squally showers and rough seas.

If Usagi’s speed of movement matches with the time of the astronomical high tide, storm surge induced by Usagi may still lead to flooding in low-lying areas overnight. The public should be on the alert, and take precautions against strong winds and flooding as early as possible.

In the past hour, the maximum sustained winds recorded at Tate’s Cairn were 48 km per hour.

Typhoon alert forces schools to close in southeast China

Meantime, China’s National Meteorological Center issued its highest alert, and local authorities in Xiamen City on the eastern coast of Fujian Province called off classes, suspended shipping transport between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, and evacuated at least 100,000 people.

“On Sunday, major Chinese airlines canceled flights to cities in south China’s Guangdong, Fujian provinces as well as Hong Kong and Macao, citing that local airports could be battered by heavy rains and strong gales starting Sunday noon,” said a report.


Authorities in Taiwan evacuated thousands of people from 36 townships in seven counties on Saturday, said a report.

Forecasters said “severe torrential rain” would continue today in the eastern and southern areas, while the north could experience torrential rains.

Usagi waves Taitung-Taiwan-CNA
Waves break over the breakwater in Taitung, Taiwan as Typhoon USAGI moves through the Luzon Strait, Saturday Sept. 21, 2013. Photo credit CNA/ via Taipei Times.

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MEGI Re-Intensifies to Cat 4

Posted by feww on October 20, 2010

Humongous typhoon MEGI has restrengthened to cat 4 with sustained winds of about 200 km/hr

In all likelihood, MEGI could re-intensify to a super typhoon before striking her next targets.

Typhoon MEGI IR Satellite Image Acquired at 10:00 UTC on 10-20-2010. Source: Digital Typhoon.
Click image to enlarge.

Profile of a Restrengthening Deadly Typhoon. IR/WV Difference satellite Image.
Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

As usual, the UKM forecast was made by comedians (!)

Typhoon MEGI Projected Paths as of  10-20-2010. Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

Heat-seeking MEGI restrengthening in warmer waters of South China Sea

Sea Surface Temperatures in South China Sea.
Source:NCEP via CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

MEGI could deliver about 1,000 mm of rain to its target destinations in southern China

Typhoon MEGI – Total Precipitable Water.
Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

Typhoon MEGI – Visible image captured by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite at 1:30 a.m. EDT on October 20, 2010 . Source: NASA-EO.  Click image to enlarge. Download large image (5 MB, JPEG)

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TS CHANTHU Rapidly Organizing, Targeting S. China

Posted by feww on July 21, 2010

CHANTHU Could Strike Zhanjiang, S. China as a Cat 3B Hurricane

CHANTHU Summary at 8:00UTC – July 21, 2010 [Estimated by Fire-Earth]

  • Location: Near 19N, 113E
  • Max Sustained Winds: 115 km/hr
  • Wind Gusts: 140 km/hr
  • Movement: West (275 degrees) at 12 km/hr
  • Position: 450km SSW of Hong Kong
  • Max Wave Heights: 6.5m (20 feet)
  • Source: JTWC and others

TS  CHANTHU IR/Visible Satellite Image. Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

TS  CHANTHU – Projected Path on IR/WV Diff image. Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

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Fish liver oil supplement scam!

Posted by feww on October 17, 2008

Another fish liver oil supplement scam, but it isn’t from China!

New Zealand fish liver oil supplement contained only 10 percent of eicosapentaenoic acid stated on label

NZPA- A consumer watchdog in Hong Kong says more than 40 percent of the fish oils or fish liver oils tested there contained less fatty acids than claimed on the labels, and that a New Zealand product was one of the worst performers.

A New Zealand fish liver oil supplement, Kiwi House Arctic South-J, contained only 29.6 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) per capsule instead of the 240mg claimed on its label, the Consumer Council told the Hong Kong Standard.

It said of the overall 28 samples tested, eight contained a level of Omega 3 fatty acid, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), lower than claimed and four samples had less EPA .

And a Nature’s Fruit Alaska Deep Sea Fish Oil from the United States contained 71 percent less DHA than on its label: 26mg per capsule instead of 90mg. That sample also contained the highest amount of trans fat of 40.6mg per capsule.

The tests also found 12 samples to have been contaminated with pesticide DDT though the level was within safety standards.

Copyright NZPA – source:

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Posted in DDT, DHA, Omega 3, Pregnant Women, Tainted fish oil | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Image of the Day: Typhoon Fengshen Over China

Posted by feww on June 26, 2008

Fengshen [Frank] downgraded to tropical storm hits southeast coast of China

Tropical Storm Fengshen is seen in this NOAA-17 image taken at 0210 UTC on June 25 after it made landfall at Shenzhen, Guangdong Province early this morning, bringing torrential rain and high winds. (Source: OSEI)

Photos of Fengshen impact on Hong Kong:

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It’s H5N1 and It’s Hong Kong, AGAIN!

Posted by feww on June 12, 2008

HK culls all chickens as H5N1 spreads

Following further reports of H5N1 virus infections spreading among the poultry, Hong Kong health authorities announced on Wednesday that they would slaughter all chickens in the area.

Samples taken from several poultry markets in HK tested positive for the deadly H5N1 virus. “We have announced that all market stores and fresh provision shops selling live poultry are now infected areas,” they said, as they began culling chickens across some 470 stores in 64 markets throughout the city.

In a major bird flu outbreak in 1997, the entire 1.5 million poultry population in the city were culled. Other outbreaks of the bird flu have since occurred in Hong Kong. (Source)

Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses (seen in gold) grown in MDCK cells (seen in green). Avian influenza A viruses do not usually infect humans; however, several instances of human infections and outbreaks have been reported since 1997. (Source)

Hong Kong: The “Fragrant Harbor”

Why is Hong Kong so susceptible to the outbreaks of the bird flu? One answer may lie in the city’s poor standards of hygiene. Ironically, Hong Kong means ”fragrant harbor” in Chinese. Anyone who’s ever traveled to Hong Kong and experienced a few whiffs the Victoria Harbor could easily attest to that!

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Prevent Chinese chicken from entering our food supply

By Sarah Alexander, Food & Water Watch

As a member of Food & Water Watch, we think this is an important issue that you should know about. The Chinese government and some big agribusiness players want to export processed chicken from China to the U.S. However, the Chinese food safety system doesn’t have the best track record.

In the past year alone, American consumers have been exposed to dangerous imports ranging from deadly pet food and blood thinners, to toxic toys and fish. Now is not the time to add chicken to the list of imported products from China. Will you sign a petition saying, “No thanks,” to Chinese chicken?

Given China’s poor safety standards and lax enforcement policies, adding China to the list of meat exporters is not in the public interest. The incidence of avian flu is another reason to be cautious about accepting processed chicken from China.

However, the most compelling reasons have come from on-site inspections in China that have been conducted by U.S. inspectors. Here’s what they found:

  • filthy and unsanitary conditions in the facilities;
  • defective equipment;
  • improper employee hygiene;
  • lack of pre-shipment review procedures;
  • and the lack of microbial testing for Salmonella and generic E. coli;

These sorts of violations create serious food safety problems. Now is definitely not the time to allow processed chicken from China. American consumers want a safe food supply, so until China fixes its broken system, it’s a good precaution to not allow poultry from China.

Will you sign our petition to Congress, saying, “No thanks,” to Chinese chicken?

Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

Disclaimer: FEWW is not affiliated with Food & Water Watch. The above note and links are reprinted for the purpose of information only.

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