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Posts Tagged ‘SARS’

First U.S. Case of Deadly MERS Virus Confirmed

Posted by feww on May 3, 2014

EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
DEADLY MERS
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 011
.

CDC confirms first case of MERS Coronavirus infection in the U.S.

 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was confirmed on Friday in a traveler returning to the United States from Saudi Arabia, CDC reported.

“We’ve anticipated MERS reaching the US, and we’ve prepared for and are taking swift action,” said CDC Director.  “We’re doing everything possible with hospital, local, and state health officials to find people who may have had contact with this person so they can be evaluated as appropriate.  This case reminds us that we are all connected by the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink.  We can break the chain of transmission in this case through focused efforts here and abroad.”

On April 24, the patient traveled by plane from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to London, England then from London to Chicago, Illinois.  The patient then took a bus from Chicago to Indiana.  On the 27th, the patient began to experience respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, and fever. The patient went to an emergency department in an Indiana hospital on April 28th and was admitted on that same day. The patient is being well cared for and is isolated; the patient was in stable condition as of May 2, 2014. Because of the patient’s symptoms and travel history, Indiana public health officials tested for MERS-CoV. The Indiana state public health laboratory and CDC confirmed MERS-CoV infection in the patient Friday afternoon.

“It is understandable that some may be concerned about this situation, but this first U.S. case of MERS-CoV infection represents a very low risk to the general public,” said the assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases.  In some countries, the virus has spread from person to person through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person. However, there is currently no evidence of sustained spread of MERS-CoV in community settings.

CDC and Indiana health officials are not yet sure how the patient became infected with the virus.  Exposure may have occurred in Saudi Arabia, where outbreaks of MERS-CoV infection are occurring. Officials also do not know exactly how many people have had close contact with the patient.

So far, including this U.S. importation, there have been 401 confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection in 12 countries. [Note: Egypt has also recorded at least one case. Editor.]  To date, all reported cases have originated in six countries in the Arabian Peninsula.  Most of these people developed severe acute respiratory illness, with fever, cough, and shortness of breath; 93 people died. [Note: Confirmed death toll exceeds 102. Editor] Officials do not know where the virus came from or exactly how it spreads. There is no available vaccine or specific treatment recommended for the virus.

What’s MERS?

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness  caused by a coronavirus called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).”

Symptoms

MERS symptoms include fever and pneumonia leading to kidney failure and often death. Most victims who got infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of them died. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness within 14 days after traveling from countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries.

MERS Virus
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of these people died.

MERS-CoV is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. However, like the SARS virus, MERS-CoV is most similar to coronaviruses found in bats. –CDC

Countries With Lab-Confirmed MERS Cases – Since April 2012

  • Egypt (see below)
  • France
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Unites States of America (USA)

Source of MERS

MERS-CoV has been “extraordinarily common” in camels since the 1990s, and it may have evolved after being passed to humans, according to a recent study.  The virus has been found in camels in Qatar and a bat in Saudi Arabia. Camels in a few other countries have also tested positive for antibodies to MERS-CoV.

Doctors Resigning for Fear of Infection

At least four doctors at a Jeddah hospital resigned in April after refusing to treat MERS patients for fear of infection, said reports.

Egypt’s Reports First Case of MERS-CoV

Egypt reported its first case  of MERS last week. A man in his twenties who  had recently returned from Saudi Arabia, and showed symptoms of the infection, tested positive for MERS-CoV, according to a report.

MERS a Year Ago

A total of 38 infected cases had been reported in Saudi Arabia, 49 worldwide, as of May 30, 2013.

Related Links

Links to Other Infectious Dieases

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global health catastrophe, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Saudi MERS Death Toll Reaches 102

Posted by feww on April 28, 2014

EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
DEADLY MERS
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 011
.

8 more deaths and 16 new cases of MERS reported over 24 hrs in Arabia

The Saudi health ministry reported eight additional deaths and 16 new cases of MERS infections late Sunday.

The acting health minister said the latest fatalities had raised the total to 102 deaths. Meanwhile, the number of recorded infections have climbed to 339, with 143 new cases reported since April 1, a massive rise of 73 percent in just four weeks.

The previous Saudi health minister was fired last Monday amid the rising death toll, and a “lack of transparency.”

What’s MERS?

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness  caused by a coronavirus called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV).

Symptoms

MERS symptoms include fever and pneumonia leading to kidney failure and often death. Most victims who got infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of them died. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness within 14 days after traveling from countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries.

MERS Virus
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of these people died.

MERS-CoV is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. However, like the SARS virus, MERS-CoV is most similar to coronaviruses found in bats. –CDC

Countries With Lab-Confirmed MERS Cases – Since April 2012

  • Egypt (see below)
  • France
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Source of MERS

MERS-CoV has been “extraordinarily common” in camels since the 1990s, and it may have evolved after being passed to humans, according to a recent study.  The virus has been found in camels in Qatar and a bat in Saudi Arabia. Camels in a few other countries have also tested positive for antibodies to MERS-CoV.

Doctors Resigning for Fear of Infection

At least four doctors at a Jeddah hospital have resigned so far this month after refusing to treat MERS patients for fear of infection, said reports.

Egypt’s Reports First Case of MERS-CoV

Egypt reported its first case  of MERS last week. A man in his twenties who  had recently returned from Saudi Arabia, and showed symptoms of the infection, tested positive for MERS-CoV, according to a report.

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

Global Disasters/ Significant Events – 30 May 2013

Posted by feww on May 30, 2013

Rare Tornado Leaves a Trail of Destruction in Milan, Italy

A ferocious tornado struck the northeastern outskirts of Milan, destroying buildings, overturning trucks, uprooting trees

  • “It kept growing and growing. It was like having the engine of a plane next to me,” said a local resident.

Milan has a population of about 1.35 million; however, its urban area is the largest in Italy, and 5th largest in the EU, with a population of more than 5.2 million. The Milan metropolitan area is located within the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest industrial output.

-oOo-

U.S. Drought Eases in the Northeast

us drought map 2013may28

Rain threatens yields in the US Midwest

“Additional rainfall from late Thursday into the weekend will further stall corn and soybean plantings in the U.S. Midwest, threatening to trim acreage and yield potential for each crop, an agricultural meteorologist said on Thursday,” said a report.

-oOo-

Hurricane Barbara slams into the Pacific Coast of Mexico

Hurricane BARBARA slammed into Mexico’s Pacific Coast Wednesday, leaving at least two people dead and 14 others missing, before being downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved north toward the Gulf of Mexico.

-oOo-

Saudi Arabia reports 3 more deaths from MERS-CoV

Saudi Arabia says three more people have died from MERS-CoV, a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the global total to 30. The three victims, ranging in age from 24 to 60,  had chronic diseases, the Health authorities said.  A total of 38 infected cases had been reported in the country, 49 worldwide, as of May 30, 2013.

Despite major scaremongering by the World Health Organization (WHO), calling the virus a “threat to the entire world,” MERS does not appear to be as easily transmitted as SARS was.

So far, MERS has not shown any signs of sustained person to person transmission, and nearly all of fatalities have occurred in patients with underlying medical conditions.

The SARS outbreak in South China and later Hong Kong, which didn’t become  a pandemic, led to 8,273 cases and 775 deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

[The novel coronavirus called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV) was identified in 2012 as the cause of respiratory illness in people, CDC said.]

-oOo-

DISASTER CALENDARMay 30, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,017 Days Left 

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

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,017 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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

Unusual Mortality Event (UME) Declared for California Sea Lions

Posted by feww on March 29, 2013

It’s going to be a bad year or two for sea lions – Biologist

More dying sea lion have stranded themselves on SoCal beaches since January 2013 than in the previous five years combined. “It’s going to be a bad year or two for sea lions,” said a wildlife biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Beginning in January 2013, elevated strandings of California sea lion pups have been observed in Southern California (Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties). The area with the highest reported stranding rates is currently Los Angeles County, followed by Orange County, and strandings are increasing in San Diego County.

The increase of sea lion strandings continues and has intensified over the last few weeks. Live sea lion strandings are nearly three times higher than the historical average.

“We anticipate this will get worse when the pups begin to wean from their mothers and have to forage on their own.” NMF biologist said.

“The oddest part of this is the pups should have been with their mothers,” the biologist said. “We think the mothers are having to go out farther and stay out longer to find food and the pups begin to forage on their own after they’ve been alone for some time.”

csl_strandings_graph
Live California sea lion historical stranding rates for 2008-2012 (admits to rehabilitation facilities from Jan 1-March 31). Data for 2013 is as of March 24, 2013.  Source: NOAA FISHERIES

At least 948 sea lion pups have stranded themselves on SoCal beaches between January 1 and March 24, 2013, with the largest number, 395 pups, reported in the Los Angele County.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Death toll from novel coronavirus (nCoV) reaches 11: World Health Organization (WHO)

A new confirmed case of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection has been reported, said WHO.

  • The patient was a 73-year-old male from United Arab Emirates, who was transferred from a hospital in Abu Dhabi to Munich by air ambulance on 19 March 2013. He died on 26 March 2013.
  • WHO has been informed of a global total of 17 confirmed cases of human infection with nCoV, including 11 deaths as of March 26, 2013.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that includes viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold to SARS. Viruses of this family also cause a number of animal diseases. -CDC

matured SARS-CoV (coronavirus) particles
This colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) reveals the “rosettelike” appearance of the matured SARS-CoV (coronavirus) particles (arrows). See PHIL 6400 for a black and white version for this image. Credit: CDC/ Dr. Mary Ng Mah Lee, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

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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!

Related Links:

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.

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »