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 ‘superbug’

‘A Real Disaster’: Surge in the spread of deadly superbug in NZ

Posted by feww on September 23, 2018

Submitted by the Zombie Democracy Blog

48 New Zealanders test positive to carrying CPE superbug 

“Doctors are warning a powerful superbug could become deadly if it continues to spread in New Zealand at its present rate.

“So far this year, 48 New Zealanders have tested positive to carrying the bacteria known as carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE), up from 33 people last year. It was found in just 30 people in the six years from 2009 to 2014.

“CPE are bacteria that produce an enzyme that deactivates a powerful group of antibiotics called carbapenems, meaning they are difficult to treat.

“In most cases, the bug sits in the body, usually the bowel or gut, and causes no harm. But if it gets the bloodstream or urine it can be life threatening.”
Read more. . .

New Zealand’s cases of “flesh-eating” disease have surged by 300 percent since 1990

The astronomical rise in the necrotising fasciitis in New Zealand was revealed to scientists at the UK Health Protection Agency conference in Warwick, England.

The International Journal of Infectious Diseases has published a paper by Dr Dilip Das and others who identified necrotising fasciitis and cellulitis as emerging major health problems in New Zealand.

Late diagnosed necrotizing fasciitis in a 43-year-old male. Preoperative photograph on the day of admission. Extensive erythema and necrosis of the left leg. Source: Cases Journal. Image may be subject to copyright.

Das says the reasons for the meteoric rise in the number of NZ cases remain a mystery, “but the researchers had ruled out changes made in 2004 to the way diseases were recorded,” a report said.

See also: Viruses

Serious threats 2013-cdc
Microorganisms with a threat level of SERIOUS. Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States 2013. Source: CDC

Related Links

Additional Links

Posted in News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nature’s Deadly Arsenal of Diseases: Drug-Resistant Microbes 2 — GEID 052102

Posted by feww on May 21, 2018

  • CJ
  • IGE
  • OCT
  • TML
  • TWM

FIRE-EARTH Conference: Drug-Resistant Microbes 2 — GEID 052102

Nature’s Deadly Arsenal of Diseases

  • Prepared and presented by FIRE-EARTH Science (FSCT, MIU) and affiliated scientists.

Details are available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

  • All Groups

Latest FIRE-EARTH ALERTS, FORECASTS, BULLETINS and MESSAGES are available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

Posted in News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

FIRE-EARTH Conference in Progress: Drug-Resistant Microbes — GEID 052002

Posted by feww on May 20, 2018

  • CJ
  • IGE
  • OCT
  • TML
  • TWM

FIRE-EARTH Conference: Drug-Resistant Microbes — GEID 052002

  • Prepared and presented by FIRE-EARTH Science (FSCT, MIU) and affiliated local researchers.

Details are available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

  • All Groups

Latest FIRE-EARTH ALERTS, FORECASTS, BULLETINS and MESSAGES are available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

Posted in News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drug-Resistant ‘Japanese Fungus’ Spreads to 200 Patients in 55 UK Hospitals

Posted by feww on August 15, 2017

Candida auris: An emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat –CDC

Healthcare facilities in several countries including the UK, United States, Japan, Venezuela, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Israel, South Africa and Spain have reported that C. auris has caused severe illness in hospitalized patients.

  • Some strains of C. auris are resistant to all three major classes of antifungal drugs [including the first-line anti-fungal drug fluconazole.] This type of multidrug resistance has not been seen before in other species of Candida.
  • Also of concern, C. auris can persist on surfaces in healthcare environments and spread between patients in healthcare facilities. [CDC]

C. auris was first identified in Japan eight years ago. The first case in Britain was detected in 2013, and has since spread to at least 200 patients in 55 UK hospitals.

On July 14, 2017, the US case count was updated to 98 across nine states, with a total of 68 cases in New York, and 20 in New Jersey.

  • The superbug is linked with bloodstream, wound and ear infections (otitis). 
  • Several strains of C. auris appear to be rapidly evolving.

Public Health England (PHE)

“As at the beginning of July 2017, 20 separate NHS Trusts and independent hospitals in the United Kingdom had detected over 200 patients colonised or infected with Candida auris,” PHE said.

“Three hospitals have seen large nosocomial [within hospital] outbreaks that have proved difficult to control, despite intensive infection prevention and control measures, though two of these outbreaks have been declared over and one is seeing significantly fewer numbers of new acquisitions.

 “Over 35 other hospitals have had patients known to be colonised with Candida auris transferred to them.”
A “biosafety” unit at Porton Down, Britain’s infamous chemical weapons lab, has been testing fungicidal activity of a variety of disinfectants and antiseptics, UK media reported.
Related links:

Posted in News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘Virtually Untreatable’ Tuberculosis Poses Global Threat

Posted by feww on March 25, 2013

TB already kills 1.4 million people, 16 pct of sick cases each year

A rise in “virtually untreatable” tuberculosis poses a global threat, according to an international group of doctors and researchers, and plans to deal with the deadly disease are failing.

The cases of  drug resistance TB are exponentially rising, while many first-choice antibiotics are no longer effective against several strains of the TB bacterium.

M. tuberculosis-CDC
Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Under a high magnification of 15549x, this colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted some of the ultrastructural details seen in the cell wall configuration of a number of Gram-positive Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. As an obligate aerobic organism M. tuberculosis can only survive in an environment containing oxygen. This bacterium ranges in length between 2 – 4 microns, and a width between 0.2 – 0.5 microns. TB bacteria become active, and begin to multiply, if the immune system can’t stop them from growing. The bacteria attack the body and destroy tissue. If in the lungs, the bacteria can actually create a hole in the lung tissue. Some people develop active TB disease soon after becoming infected, before their immune system can fight off the bacteria. Other people may get sick later, when their immune system becomes weak for another reason.Babies and young children often have weak immune systems. People infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have very weak immune systems. Other people can have weak immune systems, too, especially people with any of these conditions: substance abuse; diabetes mellitus; silicosis; cancer of the head or neck; leukemia or Hodgkin’s disease; severe kidney disease; low body weight; certain medical treatments (such as corticosteroid treatment or organ transplants); specialized treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn’s disease. Source: CDC/ Dr. Ray Butler

In parts of central Asia and eastern Europe about a third of all TB cases are multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB). Globally, MDR-TB cases skyrocketed from 12,000 in 2005 to as many as 300,000 in 2011.  Now an even more aggressive strain of TB, called extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, which is resistant to even more types of antibiotics has been detected across 84 countries, according to a report published in Lancet Medical Journal.

Tuberculosis bacteria, SEM
Tuberculosis bacteria.  Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, the main cause of human tuberculosis. These are Gram-positive rod-shaped bacteria. If a bacterium enters the lungs in a droplet coughed or sneezed by an infected person, it multiplies to form a localized bacterial colony (primary tubercle). Normally the tubercle is destroyed by the immune system. In a few cases, however, the bacteria then either spread through the lymphatic system to other parts of the body, which can be fatal, or lie dormant, only becoming active again many years later. Treatment is with antibiotics. Magnification unknown. Source: Lancet Medical Journal.

Mycobacterium fortuitum bacteria
Under a magnification of 3841X, this scanning electron micrograph SEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphologic details exhibited by a number of Gram-positive bacilli, or “rod-shaped”, Mycobacterium fortuitum bacteria. M. fortuitum is classified as a “rapidly-growing” Mycobacterium, due to the fact that it can be grown on laboratory culture medium in less than 7 days. As a human pathogen, this organism has been determined to be the cause of skin infections, including furunculosis, i.e., boils, on the legs of people receiving pedicures in nail salons. With drinking water as their source, in a 72 hour period, these organisms created a biofilm upon a submerged polycarbonate surface, from which they were subsequently harvested. As a nontuberculous bacterium (NTB), M. fortuitum is a member of the same genus as its cousin Mycobacterium tuberculosis, however, it is classified outside the M. tuberculosis complex. Credit: CDC/ Margaret M. Williams; Janice Haney Carr

TB Symptoms (CDC)

Symptoms of TB disease include:

  • Bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • Pain in the chest
  • Coughing up blood or sputum
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • No appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Sweating at night

Latent TB Infection and TB Disease

Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection and TB disease. Latent TB Infection TB bacteria can live in the body without making you sick. This is called latent TB infection. In most people who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria to stop them from growing. People with latent TB infection do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms. People with latent TB infection are not infectious and cannot spread TB bacteria to others. However, if TB bacteria become active in the body and multiply, the person will go from having latent TB infection to being sick with TB disease. Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.  If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

How TB Spreads

TB is spread through the air from one person to another.  The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings.  People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

The danger posed by growing resistance to antibiotics is ‘as big a risk as terrorism,’ the UK medical chief, Professor Sally Davies has warned, describing the threat as a “ticking time bomb.” See video.

‘Superbug Humor’

superbug humor
‘Superbug Humor: First, the Good News!’ Submitted by a reader.

TB and other Superbug Related Links

.

DISASTER CALENDARMarch 25, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,083 Days Left 

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

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,083 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, infectious diseases | 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:

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

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 »

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 »

States of Emergency Declared in Flooded Ontario Towns

Posted by feww on May 29, 2012

Extensive flooding due to torrential rain prompts Ontario towns to declare states of emergency

The City of Thunder Bay, Conmee Township and the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge in northwestern Ontario, Canada have declared states of emergency following severe flooding due to extreme rain events.

Flooding has forced the authorities to close down dozens of schools in Thunder Bay area, reports said.

Up to 108mm of rain have been recorded by the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority over the last 24 to 36 hours, with the  highest amounts logged in Thunder Bay and Oliver Paipoonge.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • New Zealand.  It’s been revealed that kiwifruit growers in New Zealand illegally inject their crops with the powerful antibiotic streptomycin to stop the spread of PSA bacteria.
    • The illegal use of streptomycin can create antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to toxicology experts.
    • Streptomycin is a bactericidal antibiotic and was the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis (TB).
    • In 2009, New Zealand researchers revealed that cases of necrotizing fasciitis in“flesh-eating” disease had surged by 300 percent since 1990.
    • Since about 1999, another serious form of monomicrobial necrotizing fasciitis,  the methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterium has struck with increasing frequency.
    • See also: Superbugs Invasion Has Begun
  • Qatar. A large fire at a shopping mall in Doha, capital of the Saudi satellite state of Qatar, has killed at least 19 people, including 13 toddlers, and left more than 17 others injured, including 4 children.
    • The victims included Spanish, French, Filipino and two-year-old New Zealand triplets.
  • North Korea. A severe drought is threatening food shortages in North Korea, which has received little rain since late April.
  • Bologna, Italy.  A shallow earthquake measuring 5.8Mw struck Emilia Romagna region, 40 km (24 miles) NNW of Bologna, northern Italy, killing at least 10 people.
    • [Death toll is expected to rise because an unknown number of people are trapped under the rubble, police said.]
    • The quake was centered at 44.814°N, 11.079°E and struck at a depth of about 9.6 km (6 miles) on May 29, 2012 at 07:00 UTC, USGS/EHP reported.
    • The quake also caused structural damage, toppling a tower in San Felice sul Panaro, Italian media reported.
    • The quake was followed by at least three aftershocks, and the tremors were felt throughout northern Italy, including Milan, the financial capital.
    • The quake was the second significant shock to strike the region since May 20. The 6.0Mw quake earlier this month killed at least 7 people, injured dozens, destroyed hundreds of buildings and left about 5,000 people homeless.
    • See also: Italy Declares State of Emergency in EQ Zone Posted on May 23, 2012

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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

Gonorrhea: First superbug strain found

Posted by feww on July 12, 2011

“Superbug” strain of gonorrhea has been discovered by Sweden – Japan researchers

The strain is said to be resistant to all the common antibiotics

The superbug strain was discovered by a Swedish scientist Magnus Unemo, who received the samples from his colleagues in Kyoto, Japan.

The strain is said to be extremely resistant to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics—the only antibiotics still effective in treating gonorrhea.

He described the discovery as “alarming” and “predictable.”

“Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it,” he said.

The fact that the new strain had been found in Japan also follows an alarming pattern, he told reporters.

“Japan has historically been the place for the first emergence and subsequent global spread of different types of resistance in gonorrhea,” he said.

In the past few years trends of gonorrhea drug resistance have emerged in Australia, China, Hong Kong and other Asian countries.

Gonorrhea

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

The infection is readily transmitted when an infected person has ANY type of sex. The infection is spread by contact with the mouth, vagina, penis, or anus.


This was a newborn with gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum caused by a maternally transmitted gonococcal infection.Unless preventative measures are taken, it is estimated that gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum will develop in 28% of infants born to women with gonorrhea. It affects the corneal epithelium causing microbial keratitis, ulceration and perforation. Source: CDC/J. Pledger. Click image to enlarge


The lesion on this patient’s left hand was due to the systemic dissemination of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. Though sexually transmitted, and involving the urogenital tract initially, a Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterial infection can become disseminated systemically, manifesting itself as a cutaneous erythematous lesion anywhere on the body. Source: CDC/Dr. S. E. Thompson, VDCD./J. Pledger

Gonorrhea—Rates, United States, 1941–2009


Reported Gonorrhea rates in the United States, 1941–2009. Source: CDC 

Gonorrhea—Rates by State, United States and Outlying Areas, 2009

The total rate of gonorrhea for the United States and outlying areas (Guam, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands) was 97.8 per 100,000 population. Source: CDC

What is gonorrhea?

[Sourced from CDC] Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.

Why Treat the Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea can spread to the blood or joints. This condition can be life threatening. In addition, people with gonorrhea can more easily contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV-infected people with gonorrhea can transmit HIV more easily to someone else than if they did not have gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea can affect the anus, eyes, mouth, genitals, or throat.

In men, gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a painful condition of the ducts attached to the testicles that may lead to infertility if left untreated.

In women, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) can lead to serious consequences including infertility.

PID occurs when certain bacteria, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, move upward from a woman’s vagina or cervix (opening to the uterus) into her reproductive organs.

About 750,000 women each year in the United States develop PID.

What Next?

  • A major challenge to monitoring emerging antimicrobial resistance of N. gonorrhoeae is the substantial decline in capability of laboratories to perform essential gonorrhea culture techniques required for antibiotic susceptibility testing. This decline results from an increased use of newer non-culture-based laboratory technology, such as a diagnostic test called the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). Currently, there is no reliable technology that allows for antibiotic susceptibility testing from non-culture specimens. Increased laboratory culture capacity is needed. ~CDC

Global Scope

About 340 million new cases of STD including syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis are reported each year among the 15 to 49 age group, World Health Organization estimates.

Related Links

Posted in infectious diseases, STD | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New superbug spreading from India

Posted by feww on August 11, 2010

A new, untreatable superbug has reached Britain from India and could spread globally: Scientists

A new gene called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, or NDM-1, has been found in patients in South Asia and in Britain, researchers say.

“NDM-1 makes bacteria highly resistant to almost all antibiotics, including the most powerful class called carbapenems, and experts say there are no new drugs on the horizon to tackle it.” A report said.

The so-called medical tourism is partly blamed for the spread  of the NDM-1 superbug which could soon spread globally, according to Timothy Walsh, the study’s lead researcher from Britain’s Cardiff University.

“At a global level, this is a real concern,” Walsh said.

“Because of medical tourism and international travel in general, resistance to these types of bacteria has the potential to spread around the world very, very quickly. And there is nothing in the (drug development) pipeline to tackle it.”

“India [and Thailand] also provides cosmetic surgery for other Europeans and Americans, and it is likely NDM-1 will spread worldwide,” the study reported.

NDM-1-producing bacteria are resistant to just about every kind of antibiotics including carbapenems, “the scientists said, a class of the drugs often reserved for emergency use and to treat infections caused by other multi-resistant bugs like MRSA and C-Difficile.”

C. difficile kills three times as many people as MRSA


Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency show there were 55,681 cases of Clostridium difficile infection reported in patients aged 65 years and above in England in 2006. (Source: SIMeL Italy)


The bacteria are naturally present in the intestine but kept under control by other bacteria. Antibiotics can kill some of these, allowing C.difficile to take hold. Image source and other images. Click image to enlarge.

More …

Related Links:


Posted in C. difficile, Flesh-Eating Disease, MRSA, NDM-1 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Super Superbug C. difficile

Posted by feww on March 23, 2010

New super superbug surpasses MRSA infection rates

Were you afraid of MRSA?

A deadly antibiotic-resistant bacterium, Clostridium difficile, a new super superbug is on the rise, which might literally take your breath away.

C. difficile kills three times as many people as MRSA


Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency show there were 55,681 cases of Clostridium difficile infection reported in patients aged 65 years and above in England in 2006. (Source: SIMeL Italy)


The bacteria are naturally present in the intestine but kept under control by other bacteria. Antibiotics can kill some of these, allowing C.difficile to take hold. Image source and other images. Click image to enlarge.

Related Links:

The following is a Public Release note by Duke University Medical Center:

New superbug surpasses MRSA infection rates in community hospitals

ATLANTA, GA – While prevention methods appear to be helping to lower hospital infection rates from MRSA, a deadly antibiotic-resistant bacterium, a new superbug is on the rise, according to research from the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network.

New data shows infections from Clostridium difficile are surpassing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in community hospitals.

“We found that MRSA infections have declined steadily since 2005, but C. difficile infections have increased since 2007,” said Becky Miller, M.D., an infectious diseases fellow at Duke University Medical Center.

C. difficile is a multi-drug resistant bacterium that causes diarrhea and in some cases life-threatening inflammation of the colon. The infections are currently treated with one of two antibiotics. But relapses are common and occur in one-quarter of patients despite treatment, according to Miller.

“This is not a nuisance disease,” said Daniel Sexton, M.D., director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON). “A small percentage of patients with C. difficile may die, despite treatment. Also, it is likely that the routine use of alcohol-containing hand cleansers to prevent infections from MRSA does not simultaneously prevent infections due to C difficile.”

Miller and her team evaluated data from 28 hospitals in DICON, a collaboration between Duke and 39 community hospitals located in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The group tries to improve infection control programs by compiling data on infections occurring at member hospitals, identifying trends and areas for improvement, and providing ongoing education and leadership to community providers.

During a 24-month period, there were 847 cases of C. difficile infections in the 28 hospitals and the rate of C. difficile infection was 25 percent higher than the rate of infection due to MRSA.

C. difficile is very common and deserves more attention,” she said. “Most people continue to think of MRSA as the big, bad superbug. Based on our data, we can see that this thinking, along with prevention methods, will need to change.”

In the past, hospitals were focused on MRSA and developed their prevention methods on MRSA as the issue, Sexton said.

“I have always thought that we need to be looking more globally at all the problems and this new information about C. difficile provides more data to support that,” he said.

C. difficile has been a low priority for hospitals, but now it is relatively important priority, Sexton said.

“The key is to develop prevention methods aimed at C. difficile while still maintaining the success we have had with MRSA,” Miller said.

Contact: Erin Pratt
erin.pratt@duke.edu
Duke University Medical Center

Related Links:

Posted in antibiotics, Clostridium difficile, inflammation of the colon, NSAIDs, Nurofen | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »