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Theology => Prophecy - Current Events => Topic started by: Soldier4Christ on October 01, 2007, 10:23:04 AM

Title: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 01, 2007, 10:23:04 AM
Dengue fever surges in Latin America
Mosquitoes carrying virus thriving in urban slums scattered with trash, old tires

Dengue fever is spreading across Latin America and the Caribbean in one of the worst outbreaks in decades, causing agonizing joint pain for hundreds of thousands of people and killing nearly 200 so far this year.

The mosquitoes that carry dengue are thriving in expanded urban slums scattered with water-collecting trash and old tires. Experts say dengue is approaching record levels this year as many countries enter their wettest months.

"If we do not slow it down, it will intensify and take a greater social and economic toll on these countries," said Dr. Jose Luis San Martin, head of anti-dengue efforts for the Pan American Health Organization, a regional public health agency.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has posted advisories this year for people visiting Latin American and Caribbean destinations to use mosquito repellant and stay inside screened areas whenever possible.

"The danger is that the doctors at home don't recognize the dengue," said Dr. Wellington Sun, the chief of the CDC's dengue branch in San Juan. "The doctors need to raise their level of suspicion for any traveler who returns with a fever."

Dengue has already damaged the economies of countries across the region by driving away tourists, according to a document prepared for a PAHO conference beginning Monday in Washington.

Some countries have focused mosquito eradication efforts on areas popular with tourists. Mexico sent hundreds of workers to the resorts of Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Acapulco this year to try to avert outbreaks.

Health ministers from across the region meet at the PAHO conference and San Martin said he will urge them to devote more resources to dengue fever.

The tropical virus was once thought to have been nearly eliminated from Latin America, but it has steadily gained strength since the early 1980s. Now, officials fear it could emerge as a pandemic similar to one that became a leading killer of children in Southeast Asia following World War II.

Officials say the virus is likely to grow deadlier in part because tourism and migration are circulating four different strains across the region. A person exposed to one strain may develop immunity to that strain - but subsequent exposure to another strain makes it more likely the person will develop the hemorrhagic form.

"The main concern is what's happening in the Americas will recapitulate what has happened in Southeast Asia, and we will start seeing more and more severe types of cases of dengue as time progresses," Sun said.

The disease - known as "bonebreak fever" because of the pain - can incapacitate patients for as long as a week with flu-like symptoms. A deadly hemorrhagic form, which also causes internal and external bleeding, accounts for less than 5 percent of cases but has shown signs of growing.

So far this year, 630,356 dengue cases have been reported in the Americas - most in Brazil, Venezuela, or Colombia - with 12,147 cases of hemorrhagic fever and 183 deaths, according to the Pan American Health Organization. With the spread expected to accelerate during the upcoming rainy season in many countries, cases this year could exceed the 1,015,000 reported in 2002, according to San Martin.

In Puerto Rico, where 5,592 suspected cases and three deaths have been reported, some lawmakers called this week for the health secretary to resign.

In the Dominican Republic, which has reported 25 deaths this year, the health department announced Thursday that it would train 2.5 million public school students to encourage parents and neighbors to eliminate standing water.

Researchers have not yet developed a vaccine against dengue and Sun said that for now, the only way to stop the virus is to contain the mosquito population - a task that relies of countless, relentless individual efforts including installing screen doors and making sure mosquitoes are not breeding in garbage.

"It's like telling people to stop smoking," he said. "They may do it for a while, but they don't do it on a consistent basis and without doing that, it's not effective."

While dengue is increasing around the developing world, the problem is most dramatic in the Americas, according to the CDC.

Health officials believe the resurgence of the malaria-like illness is due partly to a premature easing of eradication programs in the 1970s.

Migration and tourism also have carried new strains of the virus across national borders, even into the United States, which had largely wiped out the disease after a 1922 outbreak that infected a half-million people.

Mexico has been struggling with an alarming increase in the deadly hemorrhagic form of dengue, which now accounts for roughly one in four cases. The government has confirmed 3,249 cases of hemorraghic dengue for the year through Sept. 15, up from 1,924 last year.

The CDC says there is no drug to treat hemorrhagic dengue, but proper treatment, including rest, fluids and pain relief, can reduce death rates to about 1 percent.

San Martin said he use the meetings starting Monday to urge enforcement of trash disposal regulations, more investment in mosquito control and new incentives for communities to participate.

"It is a battle of every government, every community and every individual," he said.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 01, 2007, 10:23:49 AM
The banning of DDT claims even more lives.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Shammu on October 14, 2007, 05:15:21 PM
Schools Say Treatment-Resistant Staph Infections on the Rise

Saturday , October 13, 2007

Dangerous staph infections are on the rise at schools across the nation, officials report.

Several students have been hospitalized.

Schools say the outbreaks of staph infections are occurring mostely among athletes, and the germs include an antibiotic-resistant strain that is sometimes associated with serious skin problems and blood disorders.

The infections have forced districts to call off classes, cancel sporting events and disinfect entire buildings.

Many of the infections are being spread in gyms and locker rooms, where athletes — perhaps suffering from cuts or abrasions — share sports equipment.

In Virginia, a Newport News high school closed its weight room Thursday to be disinfected after at least four students were infected — one with the drug-resistant strain. The drug-resistant patient, a football player, was hospitalized for three days.

On Friday, the high school in Galax, Va., postponed a football game because of an infection on its football team. School officials said they could not clean the equipment in time for the kickoff.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta does not track staph infections but confirmed that the cases seem to be more widespread than in the past.

"Most of these are mild infections," agency spokeswoman Nicole Coffin said. "They can be as simple as a pimple or a boil, or as serious as a blood infection."

The drug-resistant strain, called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain, or MRSA, can be especially stubborn. It resists treatment with penicillin and related antibiotics but can be treated with other drugs.

The potentially fatal germ typically thrives in health care settings where people have open wounds. But in recent years, outbreaks have also occurred in schools.

Virginia public schools spokesman Charles Pyle said the Education Department's health specialist has received about eight calls about the problem since school started. Last year, he received only two calls during the entire fall semester.

"We're not viewing this as something to be overly alarmed about," Pyle said.

He said the department will send information about prevention and treatment to Virginia's 132 school districts for distribution to schools and parents.

MRSA is spread mostly through personal contact, although sharing towels, razors or athletic equipment also can spread the bacteria. Frequent and thorough hand-washing is one of the most important preventive measures, said Coffin, of the CDC.

In neighboring Maryland, more than two dozen staph infections have been reported by four Anne Arundel County high schools over the past three weeks. School officials said cleaning crews have been scrubbing all 12 high schools with hospital disinfectant.

In western Ohio, 800 students at Troy Christian Schools were sent home early Tuesday as a precaution after at least one student contracted MRSA. Superintendent Gary Wilber said classrooms, lockers, student belongings, buses and other equipment were disinfected.

At least three other Ohio high schools disinfected their facilities after students reported staph infections.

Health officials in North Carolina and Florida also noted an increase in staph infections.

Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., reported two cases of MRSA involving athletes last month, and at least two dozen athletes at three New Hampshire schools recently came down with skin infections.

Schools Say Treatment-Resistant Staph Infections on the Rise (,3566,301583,00.html)

Title: HIV-TB co-epidemic sweeps sub-Saharan Africa
Post by: Shammu on November 02, 2007, 02:05:41 PM
HIV-TB co-epidemic sweeps sub-Saharan Africa
Nov 2 09:09 AM US/Eastern

Drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV have merged into a double-barreled epidemic that is sweeping across sub-Saharan Africa and threatening global efforts to eradicate both diseases, according to a report released Friday.

Over-burdened health systems are unable to cope with the epidemic and risk collapse, said the report, which calls for urgent measures to curb its spread.

A third of the world's 40 million HIV/AIDS sufferers also have TB, and the death rate for people infected with both is five times higher than that for tuberculosis alone.

The situation is aggravated by surging rates of multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB precisely in those areas where the rates of HIV infection are highest.

MDR and XDR tuberculosis are resistant to some or all of the standard drugs used to fight the disease.

"Now the eye of the storm is in sub-Saharan Africa, where half of new TB cases are HIV co-infected," said Veronica Miller, co-author of the report and director of The Forum for Collaborative HIV Research, which issued the study.

"Unlike bird flu, the global threat of HIV/TB is not hypothetical -- it is here now," she said.

One third of the world's population carries the tuberculosis bacterium, but the disease remains latent in nine out of 10.

HIV, however, changes the equation: Of those whose immune systems have been compromised by HIV, 10 percent will develop active tuberculosis each year, according to the report.

"In today's world, a new TB infection occurs every second. When one considers that much of this transmission occurs in areas with high HIV prevalence, the imminent danger of a global co-epidemic is clear," said Diane Havlir, head of the World Health Organisation's TB/HIV working group.

TB control has been severely destabilised in regions with high rates of HIV, the study says.

In one community of 13,000 people outside of Cape Town, South Africa, the TB patient case load increased six-fold between 1996 and 2004, the researchers reported.

"There has been a staggering increase in TB in this community, and this has been replicated right across southern Africa," Stephan Lawn, a medical researcher at the University of Cape Town, said in a statement.

The report called for urgent coordinated action on the part of governments, researchers, drug companies and local communities.

The measures called for include fast diagnostic tests to detect all forms of TB in HIV-infected adults and children; new methods to rapidly map HIV and TB hotspots; new screening tools to identify new cases of drug-resistant TB; and better equipment for field laboratories in the most affected areas.

There are approximately nine million new cases of tuberculosis in the world every year, according to the WHO. In 2005, the disease killed 1.6 million people.

At the same time, an estimated 40 million people are living with HIV, according to the UN and the WHO. There were 4.3 million new infections in 2006 with 2.8 million (65 percent) of these occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2006, 2.9 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

In South Africa, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of child mortality and accounts for 40 to 60 percent of all deaths nationwide, according to UNICEF.

HIV-TB co-epidemic sweeps sub-Saharan Africa (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Littleboy on November 02, 2007, 03:43:09 PM
 900,000 affected by Mexican floods By ANTONIO VILLEGAS, Associated Press Writer
19 minutes ago
VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico - Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans fled a flooded region of the Gulf coast Friday, jumping from rooftops into rescue helicopters, scrambling into boats or swimming out through murky brown water.

President Felipe Calderon, flying overhead, called it one of Mexico's worst recent natural disasters.

A week of heavy rains caused rivers to overflow, drowning at least 70 percent of the oil-rich state of Tabasco. Much of the state capital, Villahermosa, looked like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, with water reaching to rooftops and desperate people awaiting rescue.

At least one death was reported and nearly all services, including drinking water and public transportation, were shut down. The flood affected an estimated 900,000 people — their homes flooded, damaged or cut off by high water.

In a televised address late Thursday, the president called on Mexicans to donate emergency supplies as the government trucked in bottled water, food and clothing.

"The situation is extraordinarily grave. This is one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the country," Calderon said.

Mexicans across the country responded by contributing money and supplies. Television stations dedicated entire newscasts to the flooding and morning shows switched from yoga and home improvement to calls for aid. Friday was the Day of the Dead holiday, but banks opened to accept donations for flood victims.

Food and clean drinking water were extremely scarce in Tabasco state, and federal Deputy Health Secretary Mauricio Hernandez warned that there could be outbreaks of cholera and other waterborne diseases.

"With so many people packed together there is a chance that infectious diseases could spread," he said.

Officials tested for 600 suspected cases of cholera, but none was positive, he said. The waterborne sickness, which can be fatal, has not been reported in Mexico for at least six years.

The government also sent 20,000 Hepatitis A vaccinations and were giving booster shots to children to prevent outbreaks, Hernandez said.

Medical care was difficult, however, because at least 50 of the state's hospitals and medical centers were flooded.

Hotels, parking garages and other dry structures were converted into temporary shelters for those forced from their homes.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 04, 2007, 09:53:12 AM
Chicken-plant workers
test 'positive' for TB 
212 out of 765 processing employees infected
– company says HIV-privacy laws nix screening

Alabama health officials have identified 212 workers who have tested positive for tuberculosis at a single poultry plant owned by one of the largest processors in the U.S.

In two batteries of skin tests last month, given to 765 fresh processing employees at the Decatur, Ala., plant owned by Wayne Farms LLC by the State Department of Public Health's Tuberculosis Control Division, 28 percent were found to be infected, including one with active tuberculosis disease, which is contagious. Doctors have yet to evaluate X-rays for 165 current workers who tested positive to determine if any more are contagious.

The testing was prompted by an earlier active TB case – a former Wayne Farms worker.

Both employees with active TB are Hispanics born in countries where the disease is prevalent, heath officials said.

When the disease is latent, those with TB are not contagious, but the TB bacteria remains in the body for life unless it is treated. Once it becomes active it may cause permanent damage to the lungs and other organs and the airborne bacteria is easily spread by coughing, laughing or even talking. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50 percent of those who have close contact with someone with active TB for 15 minutes will become infected.

Accompanied by the rise in illegal immigration, tuberculosis is making a comeback in the U.S., often eluding diagnosis by doctors who are unfamiliar with the disease.

Last year, WND reported more than three-quarters of the 2,903 cases in California in 2005 were among foreign natives, with a total of 14,093 cases nationwide.

Scott Jones, interim director of the Tuberculosis Control Division told the Decatur Daily he was not surprised at the large number of employees who tested positive.

"The majority of the folks that we're dealing with in this situation are foreign born," Jones said. "I would expect about 30 percent of them to test positive."

Of particular concern to public health officials are emerging strains of drug-resistant TB brought to the U.S. by illegal aliens who bypass the screening regularly done with legal immigrants.

The drug-resistant TB recently killed more than 50 people in South Africa. It has been found in limited numbers in the U.S. – 74 reported cases since 1993. The strain is nearly impossible to cure because it is immune to the best first- and second-line TB drugs. It is as easily transmitted through the air as the old TB.

There is another form of TB concerning U.S. health officials. It is called "multi-drug resistant." It responds to more treatments but can cost up to $250,000 and take two years to cure. This is the strain increasingly common throughout the world – rising more than 50 percent from about 273,000 in 2000 to 425,000 in 2004, according to a study published in August in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

In the U.S., 128 people were found to have it in 2004, a 13 percent increase from the previous year.

Stan Hayman, sales and marketing director for Wayne Farms, told the Decatur Daily the company had offered to reimburse the state for the measures taken at the plant.

Jones, who noted his office has only two X-ray technicians in the Division of TB Control to cover the entire state, said the offer was appreciated, but "if Wayne Farms is interested in investing something, my recommendation to them would be to invest within their own facility to establish a pre-employment screening routine.

"If their intent is to invest, I wish they'd think about ways they can invest toward the future as opposed to reimbursing for a one-time event."

Hayman earlier told Huntsville's WHNT-TV News the company was looking for ways to pre-test employees before they're hired but said the law imposed limits on what could be done.

"The laws today don't truly allow for pre-employment screening. You know HIV and all of these over the years have built cases where personal information is very guarded," he said. "So we struggle a little bit with the laws today to say can we truly implement a pre-screening, pre-employment process."

Hayman also said, despite the large number of foreign-born Hispanic employees working at the Decatur facility, all have been verified as legally working in the U.S.

"When we offer application of employment to an individual we use what's called the pilot program," Hayman told WHNT-TV.

The pilot program checks Social Security numbers. Wayne Farms requires job applicants to fill out an I-9 form confirming their identity and right to work in the U.S. and to provide their Social Security number.

"The system will give you a go, no-go at that point when you put that information into it," said Hayman. "So we don't allow those people that come back with non compliant to ever start work for us without contesting it or giving us additional information on really who they are."

The two Hispanic workers with active TB went through the same Wayne Farms hiring process.

"They all went through that process. They all came back verified the information came back compliant. It was in the system. So they all went through the exact process we are talking about," said Hayman.

According to the company website, "Wayne Farms LLC is one of the top six fully integrated poultry processors in the United States. With a focus on quality every step of the way, 'from farm to fork,' more than 250 million chickens or 1.8 billion pounds of poultry are processed annually in our 13 facilities."

Humans cannot become infected with TB bacteria from chickens, and it cannot be transmitted through chicken meat.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 04, 2007, 09:54:23 AM
Humans cannot become infected with TB bacteria from chickens, and it cannot be transmitted through chicken meat.

For some reason that doesn't do much for me.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: HisDaughter on November 04, 2007, 10:53:27 AM
Before I do what I do now, I worked as a Pharmacy Tech for 16 years.  One of the places I worked was for King County Jail Health and the King County TB clinic together.
ALL of the folks that were being treated for TB were immigrants!  Another reason that we are too late in closing the back door.

Title: Record 1 Million Cases of Chlamydia Reported in the U.S. Last Year
Post by: Shammu on November 14, 2007, 01:39:39 PM
Record 1 Million Cases of Chlamydia Reported in the U.S. Last Year

Tuesday , November 13, 2007


More than 1 million cases of chlamydia were reported in the United States last year — the most ever reported for a sexually transmitted disease, federal health officials said Tuesday.

"A new U.S. record," said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr. of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More bad news: Gonorrhea rates are jumping again after hitting a record low, and an increasing number of cases are caused by a "superbug" version resistant to common antibiotics, federal officials said Tuesday.

Syphilis is rising, too. The rate of congenital syphilis — which can deform or kill babies — rose for the first time in 15 years.

"Hopefully we will not see this turn into a trend," said Dr. Khalil Ghanem, an infectious diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University's School of medicine.

The CDC releases a report each year on chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, three diseases caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.

Chlamydia is the most common. Nearly 1,031,000 cases were reported last year, up from 976,000 the year before.

The count broke the single-year record for reported cases of a sexually transmitted disease, which was 1,013,436 cases of gonorrhea, set in 1978.

Putting those numbers into rates, there were about 349 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people in 2006, up 5.6 percent from the 329 per 100,000 rate in 2005.

CDC officials say the chlamydia record may not be all bad news: They think the higher number is largely a result of better and more intensive screening.

For more than 10 years, the CDC has recommended annual screening in sexually active women ages 15 to 25. Meanwhile, urine and swab tests for the bacteria are getting better and are used more often, for men as well as women, said Douglas, director of the CDC's Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention.

About three-quarters of women infected with chlamydia have no symptoms. Left untreated, the infection can spread and ultimately can lead to infertility. It's easily treated if caught early.

Health officials believe as many as 2.8 million new cases may actually be occurring each year, he added.

Gonorrhea is a different story.

In 2004, the nation's gonorrhea rate fell to 113.5 cases per 100,000 people in 2004, the lowest level since the government started tracking cases in 1941.

But since then, health officials have seen two consecutive years of increases. The 2006 rate — about 121 per 100,000 — represents a 5.5 percent increase from 2005.

Health officials don't know exactly how many superbug cases there were among the more than 358,000 gonorrhea cases reported in 2006. But a surveillance project of 28 cities found that 14 percent were resistant to ciprofloxacin and other medicines in the fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics.

Similar samples found that 9 percent were resistant to those antibiotics in 2005, and 7 percent were resistant in 2004. The appearance of the superbug has been previously reported, and the CDC is April advised doctors to stop using those drugs against gonorrhea.

Douglas said it doesn't look like the superbugs are the reason for gonorrhea's escalating numbers overall, but they're not sure what is driving the increase.

Other doctors are worried. The superbug gonorrhea has been on the rise not only in California and Hawaii, where the problem has been most noticeable, but also in the South and parts of the Midwest.

"Suddenly we're starting to see the spread," Ghanem said.

Syphilis, a potentially deadly disease that first shows up as genital sores, has become relatively rare in the United States. About 9,800 cases of the most contagious forms or syphilis were reported in 2006, up from about 8,700 in 2005.

The rate rose from 2.9 cases per 100,000 people to 3.3, a 14 percent increase.

For congenital syphilis, in which babies get syphilis from their mothers, the rate rose only slightly from the previous year to 8.5 cases per 100,000 live births.

Record 1 Million Cases of Chlamydia Reported in the U.S. Last Year (,3566,311318,00.html)

Title: Bird flu confirmed in Britain
Post by: Shammu on November 14, 2007, 02:11:17 PM
Bird flu confirmed in Britain
Nov 14 02:40 AM US/Eastern

Veterinary authorities confirmed an outbreak of the potentially lethal Asian strain of bird flu in eastern England on Tuesday, in a new blow to the British farming industry.

More than 6,000 poultry were ordered to be slaughtered at the site in Suffolk, where an exclusion zone was imposed on Monday after a suspected outbreak was found.

"I can now confirm that the strain of avian influenza found in the infected premises is the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strain," said deputy chief veterinary officer Fred Landeg.

"It is of the Asian lineage. It is closely related to strains of the highly pathogenic avian influenza found this summer in the Czech Republic and in Germany," he added.

On Monday, officials ordered the slaughter of poultry at the farm, which houses free-range turkeys, ducks and geese, while the Food Standards Agency reassured consumers that poultry meat and eggs were still safe to eat, so long as they were cooked properly.

The cull involves some 5,000 turkeys, more than 1,000 ducks and 500 geese. About 100 turkeys were found dead on Sunday, and overnight between Sunday and Monday a further 80 birds died.

Ducks and geese were not displaying symptoms, Landeg added.

Hilary Benn, the environment secretary, told parliament Tuesday that officials were doing their "darnedest" to ensure the disease did not spread, and said the anti-viral drug Tamiflu had been given to all those who were involved in the poultry cull.

A three-kilometre (1.8-mile) radius protection zone and a 10-kilometre surveillance zone has been imposed around the farm in the county of Suffolk, where there was an outbreak of H5N1 in February.

Further restrictions are in place in a wider area as a "precautionary measure" as well as a ban on poultry movements, bird fairs and pigeon racing.

Landeg said the operation to contain the latest outbreak would be tough. The similarities between the British and European strains suggested the turkeys could have caught the virus from a wild bird through contact on a farm lake.

But he said all potential sources of the virus would be investigated.

The new bird flu cases are the latest blow to hit the British farming industry, after the first foot-and-mouth disease cases in six years were found in August and the country's first ever cases of bluetongue disease in cattle.

Ireland immediately imposed a ban on the import of British birds for gatherings and shows.

Irish Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan said a simultaneous ban was being introduced in British-ruled Northern Ireland as a precautionary all-island approach to the threat of the introduction of bird flu.

In the February bird flu outbreak some 159,000 turkeys were killed as a precaution at a plant near Holton in Suffolk, prompting some countries to impose import bans on British poultry.

An official report said it was most likely the virus reached the flock via imported turkey meat from Hungary.

Britain's first case of H5N1 was detected in a dead swan in eastern Scotland in April 2006.

The H5N1 strain first emerged in Asia in 2003, and has caused some 205 deaths in humans, with Indonesia and Vietnam among the worst hit countries, according to World Health Organisation figures.

Scientists fear that H5N1 will eventually mutate into a form that is much more easily transmissible between humans, triggering a global pandemic.

The original source is thought to have been wild migratory birds.

H5N1 has mainly affected Asia and some parts of Africa, but the Food and Agricultural Organisation warned last month that the virus could be transmitted to poultry in Europe by ducks and domestic geese seemingly in good health.

Besides Indonesia and Vietnam, deaths have been recorded in Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Iraq, Laos, Nigeria, Thailand and Turkey.

Bird flu confirmed in Britain (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Littleboy on November 15, 2007, 02:23:16 PM
CDC: New respiratory bug has killed 10 By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer
1 hour, 12 minutes ago

ATLANTA - A mutated version of a common cold virus has caused 10 deaths in the last 18 months, U.S. health officials said Thursday.

Adenoviruses usually cause respiratory infections that aren't considered lethal. But a new variant has caused at least 140 illnesses in New York, Oregon, Washington and Texas, according to a report issued Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The illness made headlines in Texas earlier this year, when a so-called boot camp flu sickened hundreds at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. The most serious cases were blamed on the emerging virus and one 19-year-old trainee died.

"What really got people's attention is these are healthy young adults landing in the hospital and, in some cases, the ICU," said Dr. John Su, an infectious diseases investigator with the CDC.

There are more than 50 distinct types of adenoviruses tied to human illnesses. They are one cause of the common cold, and also trigger pneumonia and bronchitis. Severe illnesses are more likely in people with weaker immune systems.

Some adenoviruses have also been blamed for gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis and cystitis.

There are no good antiviral medications for adenoviruses. Patients usually are treated with aspirin, liquids and bed rest.

In the CDC report, the earliest case of the mutated virus was found in an infant girl in New York City, who died last year. The child seemed healthy right after birth, but then became dehydrated and lost appetite. She died 12 days after she was born.

Tests found that she been infected with a form of adenovirus, called Ad14, but with some little differences, Su said.

It's not clear how the changes made it more lethal, said Linda Gooding, an Emory University researcher who specializes in adenoviruses.

Earlier this year, hundreds of trainees at Lackland became ill with respiratory infections. Tests showed a variety of adenoviruses in the trainees, but at least 106 — and probably more — had the mutated form of Ad14, including five who ended up in an intensive care unit

In April, Oregon health officials learned of a cluster of cases at a Portland-area hospital. They ultimately counted 31 cases, including seven who died with severe pneumonia. The next month, Washington state officials reported four hospitalized patients had the same mutated virus. One, who also had AIDS, died.

The Ad14 form of adenovirus was first identified in 1955. In 1969, it was blamed for a rash of illnesses in military recruits stationed in Europe, but it's been detected rarely since then. But it seems to growing more common. The strain accounted for 6 percent of adenovirus samples collected in 22 medical facilities in 2006, while none was seen the previous two years, according to a study published this month in the medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Shammu on November 17, 2007, 01:26:48 PM
Virulent New Form of Cold Virus Worries Experts
Thursday, November 15, 2007 8:49 PM

WASHINGTON -- A new and virulent strain of adenovirus, which frequently causes the common cold, killed 10 people in parts of the United States earlier this year and put dozens into hospitals, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report detailed cases of people ill in May of 2006 and from March to June of 2007 with a strain of the virus called adenovirus 14 in New York, Oregon, Washington state and Texas.

"Whether you're a healthy young adult, an infant or an elderly person, this virus can cause severe respiratory disease at any age," said John Su, who investigates infectious diseases for the CDC and contributed to the report.

"What makes this particular adenovirus a little different is that it has the capability of making healthy young adults severely ill. And that's unusual for an adenovirus, and that's why it's got our attention," Su said in a telephone interview.

Two of the 10 people who died from the new strain were infants, Su said. The CDC report said about 140 people were sickened by the virus and more than 50 hospitalized, including 24 admitted to intensive care units.

One of those who died was a 19-year-old female recruit at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas where other cases were found.

"Adenoviruses are notorious for causing illnesses, particularly in military recruits," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

A CDC spokesman said there was no evidence the virus was currently causing disease anywhere in the United States.

Adenoviruses frequently cause acute upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold, but also can cause other illnesses including inflammation of the stomach and intestines, pink eye, bladder infection and rashes.

Colds caused by adenoviruses can be very severe in the very young and the very old as well as in certain other people, like those with compromised immune systems.


Dr. William Schaffner, a spokesman for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, said an important next step is for public health officials to determine the dimension of the problem.

"I think this is a big alert to those of us in infectious diseases and public health to gather the appropriate specimens and see how widely distributed this virus is," said Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.

The first case described in the report was that of an infant girl in New York City who died in May 2006. Seven other people died in Oregon, including an infant. And a patient with AIDS died in Washington state.

Su said it was possible people outside the four states were sickened by the new strain of the virus.

"The cases described in this report are unusual because they suggest the emergence of a new and virulent Ad14 (adenovirus 14) variant that has spread within the United States," according to the CDC report.

There are 51 types of adenoviruses, the CDC report said.

Virulent New Form of Cold Virus Worries Experts (

Title: South Africa has world's highest number with AIDS
Post by: Shammu on November 21, 2007, 08:02:53 PM
South Africa has world's highest number with AIDS

Tue Nov 20, 4:35 PM ET

GENEVA (AFP) - More than three-quarters of AIDS-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa is now officially the country with the highest prevalence of HIV in the world, according to a new UN report to be published Wednesday.

Improved monitoring of the pandemic has led the United Nations to revise its estimates, particularly in Southern Africa and Asia, resulting in a major revision in the assessment of India's epidemic, the country previously thought to be worst-hit.

"South Africa is the country with the largest number of HIV infections in the world," read the UNAIDS annual report on the epidemic for 2007.

While the report did not give a figure, the South African government currently estimates some 5.5 million of the country's 48 million population are living with the disease.

While AIDS continued to be the leading cause of death in Africa, sub-Saharan Africa was the worst affected region.

"More than two out of three (68 percent) adults and nearly 90 percent of children infected with HIV live in this region, and more than three in four (76 percent) AIDS deaths in 2007 occurred there, illustrating the unmet need for antiretroviral treatment in Africa."

Women in the region bear the brunt of the disease.

"Unlike other regions, the majority of people (61 percent) living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are women," the report found.

"It is estimated that 1.7 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2007, bringing to 22.5 million the total number of people living with the virus" that causes AIDS.

Southern Africa was the worst affected in the region with national adult HIV prevalence over 15 percent in eight countries.

"While there is evidence of a significant decline in the national HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe, the epidemics in most of the rest of the subregion have either reached or are approaching a plateau."

The UN data showed that adult HIV prevalence was either stable or has started to decline in many parts of Africa.

According to the report, Kenya and Zimbabwe were some of the countries where the slowing trend of new infections was most evident, with similar shifts in Burkino Faso, Ivory Coast and Mali.

Worldwide, new infections of AIDS were levelling off, and of the 2.5 million people newly infected overall, more than half come from sub-Saharan Africa.

South Africa has world's highest number with AIDS (;_ylt=Alqnq3l5BnKi.CQYlsvOtHq96Q8F)

Title: Ebola outbreak in Uganda kills 16
Post by: Shammu on November 29, 2007, 02:41:16 PM
Ebola outbreak in Uganda kills 16

By GODFREY OLUKYA, Associated Press Writer Thu Nov 29, 11:03 AM ET

KAMPALA, Uganda - An Ebola outbreak has killed at least 16 people in western Uganda, a senior Ministry of Health official said Thursday.

Dr. Sam Zaramba, the health service director general, said laboratory tests in South Africa and the United States confirmed 51 Ebola cases, and of those 16 patients died.

The first case was reported Nov. 10 in Bundibugyo district, 210 miles west of the capital, Kampala, Zaramba said. The Ministry of Health has set up an isolation facility at the main hospital in Bundibugyo, where all the Ebola cases have been reported, he said.

Officials are closely following all the people who have had contact with any of the 51 people with the disease, he said.

Ebola attacks the body's internal organs, and can cause bleeding from the ears, eyes and elsewhere. It is transmitted by close contact with infected animals or humans.

Uganda last had an outbreak of Ebola in October 2000, when 173 people died.

The World Health Organization says more than 1,000 people have died of Ebola since the virus was first identified in 1976 in Sudan and Congo. Primates, hunted by many central Africans for food, can carry the virus.

Ebola outbreak in Uganda kills 16 (;_ylt=AnZFW71ebzPO6LIVufF6t_O96Q8F)

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 04, 2007, 12:39:57 PM
Whooping cough makes comeback 
Pertussis kills 1, strikes 8,000 in all 50 states, closes schools, colleges

Cover your mouth when you cough.

Wash your hands frequently.

And don't knowingly expose yourself to those infected with an illness you may have thought was a thing of the past.

That's the advice from public health officials who report small outbreaks of whooping cough, or pertussis, in all 50 states – with some pockets resulting in school closings and even one infant death.

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta reports some 8,000 cases in the U.S. this season.

At Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., the campus has been shut down for an early Christmas break as a result of a major outbreak among students and staff. Some of the 30 infected with the bacterial disease at Bob Jones reportedly had been vaccinated against the illness as infants, suggesting those inoculations are not holding up after 20 years.

The fall semester officially ended prematurely – a full week before the scheduled date.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control said that it is working with the school to make sure all necessary precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

(Story continues below)

"Because pertussis is so highly contagious, as a precautionary measure we have altered our schedule for the end of first semester and final exams to enable students to leave Dec. 7 rather than Dec. 13 as originally scheduled," said a statement from University spokesman Jonathan Pait. "We are encouraging our students to study diligently, take into consideration their health and the health of others, and immediately visit our health offices should they experience symptoms."

Whooping cough is an infection of the respiratory system, characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a "whooping" sound when the person breathes in.

The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold:

    * Runny nose

    * Sneezing

    * Mild cough

    * Low-grade fever

The bacterial disease is highly contagious and can be treated with antibiotics. There is a vaccination against pertussis available for children 6 years old and younger.

Some have linked a resurgence in the disease since 2005 with illegal immigrants.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, officials in Sonoma County in California confirmed the death of an infant from whooping cough and issued a warning to pediatricians and schools.

While it is an illness that most adults can easily beat, newborn babies are especially at risk when it comes to whooping cough. Whooping cough is treatable with antibiotics, but if undiagnosed in an infant, it can be deadly. The baby who died was less than two months old. It was the first reported death this year from pertussis.

"There is this reservoir of this bacteria in the community; it resides in teenagers and adults, pregnant mothers and the like," explains Dr. Gary Greensweig, chief medical officer at Santa Rosa Hospital. "So when infants are exposed to it, what happens is they tend to get into trouble."

Some 20 other cases have been reported in the county.

Last month the Greenwood School District in Neillsville, Wis., also battled an outbreak, with 32 positive diagnoses of pertussis.

Officials there noted effective ways to avoid spreading the infection include covering your mouth and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.

Health officials acknowledge the vaccine against pertussis is not 100 percent effective. And no one is quite certain how long it protects. In fact, it appears to last longer in some than others. Boosters are now being suggested for children as young as 11.

Whooping cough is a disease that affects the lungs. The pertussis bacteria is spread from person to person through the air on respiratory droplets and attaches itself to the hairs that line the respiratory tract, preventing them from working properly.

The Kutztown School District in Pennsylvania has been dealing with a dozen cases of the whooping cough this season.

Some 16 cases in Stanly County in North Carolina resulted in treatment for more than 2,000 people who had come in contact with the infected. Meanwhile, half a dozen cases have been reported among students in Selah, Washington, near Yakima.

Title: Two doctors die as Uganda Ebola toll climbs to 21
Post by: Shammu on December 05, 2007, 03:39:56 PM
Two doctors die as Uganda Ebola toll climbs to 21

Wed Dec 5, 3:17 AM ET

KAMPALA (AFP) - The Ebola virus has killed two doctors in western Uganda, bringing the toll to 21 since the strain first appeared in September, an official said on Wednesday.

"The sad news is that our doctor who was admitted in Mulago died last night and a senior clinic officer who had been in critical condition died this morning," said Samuel Kazinga, district commissioner for Bundibugyo, the epicentre of the new outbreak.

Kampala's Mulago hospital is the largest in the country. Some health officials have said that a lack of appropriate equiment in Mulago and other hospitals has allowed the virus to spread.

The health ministry confirmed the latest fatalities caused by the virulent local strain of Ebola, which kills up to 90 percent of its victims, mostly by puncturing blood vessels and spurring non-stop hemorrhage.

Eight pathogen experts from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) arrived in the country on Tuesday to help battle the disease that has infected at least 64 people in Uganda.

Efforts to isolate suspected patients in the rural district neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have failed as many residents fear hospitals are unsafe, authorities have said.

The rare disease, named after a small DRC river, killed at least 170 people in northern Uganda in 2000, with experts blaming poor sanitation and hygiene.

It was first discovered in the DRC in 1976, but other outbreaks have been recorded in Ivory Coast and Gabon.

Two doctors die as Uganda Ebola toll climbs to 21 (

Title: Kenya battles swarms of locusts
Post by: Shammu on December 08, 2007, 04:59:01 PM
Kenya battles swarms of locusts
Friday, 7 December 2007

Kenyan authorities are battling swarms of locusts, which are reported to have damaged crops.

A BBC correspondent says it is the first time such large numbers have been seen in Kenya for 45 years.

The ravenous creatures - which are capable of stripping vegetation in minutes - are laying eggs in remote areas in the north-east of the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture says it is spraying affected areas from the ground and from aircraft.

The BBC's Adam Mynott in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, says if the locusts are successful in laying eggs, then the threat lies in them hatching as hoppers in about two weeks.

They would then turn into adult insects - which if uncontrolled are capable of devastating any vegetation they alight on.

The insects can eat their own weight in food every day, which means a single swarm can consume as much food as several thousand people.

Locust swarms have been spotted in many areas in the Horn of Africa, but it is the first time since the early 1960s that large concentrations have moved into Kenya, our reporter says.

Africa experienced devastating swarms in 2004 when they swept across northern and western Africa, leaving 60% of Mauritania's population - 400,000 people - needing food aid.

Kenya battles swarms of locusts (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: MusicMedic5150 on December 09, 2007, 07:51:30 PM
The most amazing thing of all is people still choose not to believe the Bible. Everything is happening word for word as God has said.  It's as plain as day and people are still blind to the truth.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 10, 2007, 10:23:42 AM
China market may be breeding ground for deadly viruses 
Exotic wildlife, squalor that led to 2002 SARS outbreak has returned

Scorpions scamper in bowls, water snakes coil in tanks and cats whine in cramped cages, waiting to be slaughtered, skinned and served for dinner.

Welcome to the Qingping market in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, where everything from turtles to insects are sold alongside fowl and freshly caught fish.

An outbreak of the SARS virus in 2002 resulted in a local gourmet favorite -- the civet -- being banished to the black market. The racoon-like animal was blamed for spreading SARS, which infected 8,000 people globally and killed 800.

But exotic wildlife and squalor have returned to the Qingping market, making health officials worried that another killer virus could emerge.

"We face similar threats from other viruses and such epidemics can happen because we continue to have very crowded markets in China," said Lo Wing-lok, an infectious disease expert in Hong Kong.

"Even though official measures are in place, they are not faithfully followed. We are not talking about just civet cats, but all animals," he added.

Ever since Severe Respiratory Disease Syndrome (SARS) virus emerged in China, authorities have fought to rectify the country's image and clean up it's market.

Civets, which are a delicacy in southern China, are now banned for sale and consumption, and a nine-storey traditional medicine plaza has replaced Qingping's wild animal market.

 "The market is much different now," said He Zhiquan, an official from Guangdong's foreign affairs office.

"Civet cats are forbidden, and sanitation is an important issue. Most live animals are sold on the city's outskirts. You can see it's more of a normal market now."

Propaganda posters such as "Everyone should honor the policy of paying attention to product safety," hang everywhere at Qingping.

Still, sights abound that would send even the most ardent carnivores running.

In a dark shop near the new medicine mall, feces and urine drip like goo thorough stacked cages of squawking chickens and meowing cats.

"The Qingping market is dirty," said a Guangzhou-born taxi driver, surnamed Mo. "It's dirty because it's old, and the government is unwilling to put up enough money to fix it."


In wealthy Guangzhou, rising incomes and fear of diseases are sending well-heeled consumers to supermarkets in search of packaged and branded goods.

Yet outside of China's glitzy marquee cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, traditional wet markets still account for the bulk of fresh food sales in China.

 "The concept of buying food once a week and putting it in your fridge doesn't really exist in China yet. It's produced today, bought today, and eaten later today," said John Chapple, general manager for China-based food analysis laboratory Sino Analytica.

And dangerous tastes persist under the radar.

Although Guangdong authorities culled thousands of civets in January 2004, investigators recently found the animals, as well as badgers and pangolins, on the black market and in Guangdong's "wild flavor" restaurants, where diners hope exotic meats will bring good fortune.

Health inspectors found 14 frozen and one live civet cat, and 22 kilograms of civet cat meat from 18 animals in a sweep of restaurants across the province, the People's Daily newspaper reported earlier this year.

"You can't say something else won't come up," said Li Jib-heng, general specialist at the Department of Health in Taiwan.

The odds of another human catching SARS from a sick civet cat were next to none, Li said, but added a new disease could emerge from close contact with sick wild animals.

Keeping clear of wild animals could prove difficult for some locals, who are known for their eclectic palettes.

Among Qingping's cats and chickens were tiger paws, turtles, insects of myriad varieties, and bundled strips of shredded toads -- some food, others medicine.

"You can eat anything with four legs except the dinner table," says one local expression.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 10, 2007, 10:31:37 AM
Interpol chief warns of virus attack at sports event

POLICE across the world say there is no doubt that terrorists are planning to release a plague virus at a major sports event.

Experts are convinced that the bacteria will be distributed using something as simple as a child's plastic horn.

With the Beijing Olympics just months away and the World Cup to be held in South Africa in 2010, there are plenty of opportunities for an attack.

Although it is more than six years before Scotland hosts the Commonwealth Games, its organisers say they are not taking anything for granted. A conference, codenamed 'Black Death' and organised by Interpol, was held last week in Lyon, France.

Ronald Noble, Interpol's general secretary, told delegates about the threat posed by bio-terrorists.

He said: "We will deal with a worst-case scenario of global proportion - terrorists that produce large amounts of a deadly bacteria, [or] plague - and disseminate it using hundreds of simple horns, the kind which children use at sporting events. In their wake are mass casualties and even greater disruption to society."

Security sources say the idea of terrorists using toy horns to distribute a deadly virus is a significant possibility.

One insider told Scotland on Sunday: "This has come from information received from the authorities in Indonesia, where references to such a form of attack were discovered."

He said it was simple and "very straightforward but potentially, absolutely deadly".

Noble said the threat needed to be addressed by everyone in order to prevent the terrorists from succeeding.

He said this type of attack "does not rely on advanced scientific expertise, large amounts of money or elaborate laboratories. This is the truly frightening form aspect of bio-terrorism. It is the perfect storm of opportunity and motivation".

The subject of targeting major sporting events was also identified recently by experts at Indiana University.

The authors of a report called 'Bio-terrorism and me' wrote: "Biological and chemical toxins can be released in several different ways.

"For practical purposes, certain delivery methods are more likely to be used than others. If the goal is to launch an unforeseen attack on the population of a certain region causing the highest possible number of deaths, an aerosol delivery of the agent is the most likely choice."

A spokesman for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games said: "Security is our number one priority and we will be liaising extremely closely with experts constantly throughout the build-up to the games.

"With a track record of regularly hosting major sporting, cultural and political events, the police and security services in this country have the knowledge and capacity to make sure that security is something that will not impinge on the Games' experience of competitors, spectators or the media."

Title: Delayed short rains, locusts and floods threaten localized food security
Post by: Shammu on December 11, 2007, 12:17:29 PM
Dec 11 2007

KENYA Food Security Warning

December 11, 2007

Delayed short rains, locusts and floods threaten localized food security

The food security of eastern and southern pastoralists and southeastern marginal agricultural households is at risk due to a late start to the short-rains (October to December) season in the southeast, locusts in the northeast and floods in the eastern flood plains (Figure 1). If seasonal rains do not continue into January, or if sufficient action is not taken to mitigate the impact of the locust and flood shocks, food access could decrease more than normal for these households during the upcoming January to March dry season.

The 2007 short rains started nearly three weeks late in the short rains-dependent southeastern marginal agricultural lowlands, threatening the harvest that normally occurs in March. Seventy percent of annual crop production in the lowlands is derived from the short-rains season. As livelihood options for many of these farm households are limited to growing crops, rearing indigenous livestock and participating in migratory labor, the short-rains harvest is a key source of household food access. Although rains are now fairly widespread, the current season usually ends in December, but a successful harvest will require an uncharacteristic continuation of rains into January. Households in these areas also experienced a poor 2007 long-rains (April to June) season, and if the short rains do to continue into January, farm households in the southeast could be highly food insecure from the second quarter of 2008, when food stocks run out, until the third quarter of the same year.

Locusts have been sighted in the northeastern pastoral districts of Mandera and Moyale. They are swarming in localized areas in Mandera, and have spread from Mandera Central to Wargadud, Shimbir, Fatuma, El Wak and Kalaliyo divisions. To control the spread, the Government of Kenya’s (GoK’s) Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has pre-positioned aircraft, pesticides, jet fuel vehicle-mounted and hand-held sprayers and protective gear in both districts. The MoA has also trained key personnel and intensified publicity information campaigns on locust control measures. Some limited damage to irrigated crops and pastures has already occurred along the River Daua, although the spread was forestalled by spraying. The MoA indicates that control measures have been highly successful so far, largely due to early detection and spraying of newly hatched hoppers that are not yet fully mobile. The locusts are migrating southward toward neighboring Wajir District, and could lay more eggs if current control measures are not sustained. Such a scenario would put the short-rains crop in southeastern marginal agricultural areas at risk, exacerbating the impacts of delayed rains. If locust control efforts are insufficient, pastoralists’ access to pasture and browse through the January to March dry season in these areas would also be insufficient, decreasing increasing this group’s food security more than normal in the coming months.

Floods in Tana River District displaced farmers situated along the banks of the river, damaging crops and constraining livelihood options for an estimated 200 households from mid-November through the end of December. The floods resulted from heavy rainfall in adjacent highland cropping areas, and have decreased the food security of affected households. The Red Cross has provided non-food items for affected households along the river basin in Madogo, Bura and Galole Divisions, while the GoK is distributing food to the displaced.

The locust invasion and the floods are increasing the risk of food insecurity at a critical time for both pastoralists and lowland farmers. Pastoral recovery in northeastern and eastern districts was expected to continue, as the short rains began earlier-than-normal in these areas and have been good so far. However, consolidation of the recovery process for pastoralists will be compromised by the locust invasion if current control measures by the GoK and partners do not continue. Farmers in the southeastern lowlands are already moderately food insecure following the poor 2007 long-rains season, and if the short-rains harvest fails, interventions would be necessary to respond to the resultant high levels of food insecurity after the first quarter of 2008.

Delayed short rains, locusts and floods threaten localized food security (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 14, 2007, 12:38:35 PM
 Infectious diseases are spreading around the globe faster than ever before

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning that states infectious diseases are emerging more quickly and spreading faster around the globe than ever and are becoming increasingly difficult to treat.

The UN said in its annual world health report that an outbreak or epidemic in one part of the world is only a few hours away from becoming an imminent threat somewhere else because billions of people are moving around the planet every year. The UN agency warned that there was a good possibility of another major scourge like AIDS, SARS, or Ebola fever with the potential of killing millions appearing in the coming years.

The potential for the rapid spread of an infectious disease around the globe in the coming years is setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

The WHO and the UN in their annual world health report have issued warnings in the past, but this most recent report should get the attention of world leaders and in fact, everybody on planet Earth. As billions of people move around the globe, the spread of infectious disease has become faster than ever and this potential will only increase not decrease.

The director general of WHO says that mass travel is facilitating the rapid spread of infectious diseases which no country can shield itself from an invasion thereof. This alarming report is not meant to scare anybody, but for all to realize the potential disaster ahead and understand the prophetic significance of this report.

Jesus, in His Olivet Discourse, warned of pestilence would be an indication of His soon return to the Earth. Pestilence is in essence pandemic disease, that means infectious diseases spreading rapidly across the Earth. Revelation 6:7-8 is the prophecy of the Fourth Seal Judgment which will take place on the Earth during the first half of the seven year Tribulation Period, and that judgment is death.

With infectious diseases as one reason for one-fourth of the Earth's population dying, the rapid spread of infectious diseases across the globe is indeed setting te stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

Title: Bird flu resurfaces in Asia: Pakistan and Myanmar report first human cases
Post by: Shammu on December 15, 2007, 11:31:22 PM
Bird flu resurfaces in Asia: Pakistan and Myanmar report first human cases
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST    Dec. 16, 2007

Pakistan and Myanmar have reported their first human cases of H5N1 bird flu as the virus continues to flare in other parts of Asia, including recent deaths in Indonesia and China.

Six people were infected with the virus in northern Pakistan last month and at least one has died, the government said Saturday. World Health Organization country representative Khalif Bile confirmed all of the cases were positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu in preliminary testing conducted at a government laboratory, but said a second round of analysis was being conducted to ensure the results.

If confirmed, they would be the first human cases detected in South Asia.

Two brothers died in the northwestern city of Peshawar, but specimens were only gathered from one of them, the Health Ministry said in a statement. Officials were trying to identify how the victims became infected and were monitoring people who had been in contact with the sick.

Myanmar experienced its first human case when a 7-year-old girl from the eastern Shan State became ill Nov. 21 in an area where poultry outbreaks had earlier been reported, WHO said. She was hospitalized and has since recovered.

Bird flu resurfaces in Asia: Pakistan and Myanmar report first human cases (

Title: Australia - Stockpile food for flu crisis
Post by: Shammu on December 19, 2007, 04:53:41 PM
Stockpile food for flu crisis
Clair Weaver

December 16, 2007 12:00am

EVERY Australian household should stockpile at least 10 weeks' worth of food rations to prepare for a deadly flu pandemic, a panel of leading nutritionists has warned.

World health experts now agree a pandemic is inevitable and will spread rapidly, wiping out up to 7.4 million people globally and triggering rapid food shortages.

Australia is expected to be among the first countries hit because of its proximity to Asia and high levels of international traffic.

But Woolworths and Coles, the nation's two major supermarket chains, will run out of stock within two to four weeks without a supply chain – or even faster if shoppers panic.

This has prompted a team of leading nutritionists and dietitians from the University of Sydney to compile "food lifeboat" guidelines to cover people's nutritional needs for at least 10 weeks.

Their advice – published in the Medical Journal of Australia – would allow citizens to stay inside their homes and avoid contact with infected people until a vaccine becomes available.

The lifeboat includes affordable long-life staples such as rice, biscuits, milk powder, Vegemite, canned tuna, chocolate, lentils, Milo and Weet-Bix.

Jennie Brand-Miller, professor of human nutrition at the University of Sydney and co-leader of the study, believes it is common sense to stockpile food before a pandemic strikes.

"It's really not a question of if: it's a question of when," she said.

"We are going to have an epidemic. Chances are it will be avian flu (bird flu) but it might be something else.

"It will spread very rapidly just like flu does normally because it's a highly contagious organism, except this will be a really lethal one. What we suffer from is a false sense of security that someone else is looking after all this."

While there are emergency plans within governments, hospitals and the food industry, individuals will still need to take personal precautions in a disaster, she said.

The most important message for the Australian public is to avoid going out in public when the pandemic hits, the research found.

"We know that once it becomes a highly transmissable virus it will probably fly around the world within three weeks," Prof Brand-Miller said.

"We know it's got all the right conditions to start in Indonesia or Asia and there have already been human transmissions.

Stockpile food for flu crisis (,23739,22929648-953,00.html)

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 24, 2007, 11:20:00 AM
Flock of birds mysteriously drop dead
'They would land, lie on the ground, flap and die'

Droves of dead birds dropped from the sky in Staten Island Friday - and city health officials don't know why.

More than 50 birds plummeted to the pavement in Bay Terrace about 3 p.m., causing frightened residents to scramble indoors.

"It was like Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds,'" said Donna Toti, 50. "Birds were just falling out of the sky. They would land, lie on the ground, flap and die."

The birds - all believed to be Purple Martins - landed within the Port Regalle development near the intersection of Wiman Ave. and Tennyson Drive. Some appeared to die in the air; others expired in the moments after they hit the pavement, authorities said.

"When we pulled in, most of the birds were on the ground, floundering and foaming at the mouth," said FDNY Battalion Chief John Giacella.

Giacella suggested that because all the birds were the same species they likely got ill from something they ate. But he noted that he was far from certain.

Health department officials collected the birds last night and were sending them to a lab for testing.

A spokeswoman said it was too early to tell what led to their demise. Officials from the city Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of Emergency Management were at the scene last night.

Marc Zurlo, 33, and other residents were left scratching their heads.

"There's rumors about everything," he said. "The compost pile, ammonia, that they must have ate something."

Zurlo said the birds were flying around crooked - "as if they were drunk" - before torpedoing to the ground.

"It was like something you see in a movie," he added.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 26, 2007, 05:25:40 PM
Worms infect more poor Americans than thought
'We have a devastating parasitic disease burden ... right under our nose'

Roundworms may infect close to a quarter of inner city black children, tapeworms are the leading cause of seizures among U.S. Hispanics and other parasitic diseases associated with poor countries are also affecting Americans, a U.S. expert said on Tuesday.

Recent studies show many of the poorest Americans living in the United States carry some of the same parasitic infections that affect the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a tropical disease expert at George Washington University and editor-in-chief of the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Writing in the journal, Hotez said these parasitic infections had been ignored by most health experts in the United States.

"I feel strongly that this is such an important health issue and yet because it only affects the poor it has been ignored," Hotez said via e-mail.

He said the United States spent hundreds of millions of dollars to defend against bio-terrorism threats like anthrax or smallpox or avian flu, which were more a theoretical concern than a real threat at present.

"And yet we have a devastating parasitic disease burden among the American poor, right under our nose," Hotez said.

He noted a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, presented in November, found that almost 14 percent of the U.S. population is infected with Toxocara roundworms, which dogs and cats can pass to people.

"Urban playgrounds in the United States have recently been shown to be a particularly rich source of Toxocara eggs and inner-city children are at high risk of acquiring the infection," Hotez wrote, adding that this might be partly behind the rise in asthma cases in the country. Up to 23 percent of urban black children may be infected, he said.

"Because of its possible links to asthma, it would be important to determine whether covert toxocariasis is a basis for the rise of asthma among inner-city children in the northeastern United States," he added.

"Cysticercosis is another very serious parasitic worm infection ... caused by the tapeworm Taenia solium, that results in seizures and other neurological manifestations," Hotez wrote.

He said up to 2,000 new cases of neurological disease caused by tapeworms are diagnosed every year in the United States. More than 2 percent of adult Latinos may be infected, and with 35 million Hispanics in the United States, this could add up to tens of thousands of cases, Hotez said.

"In the hospitals of Los Angeles, California, neurocysticercosis currently accounts for 10 percent of all seizures presenting to some emergency departments," he wrote.

"We need to begin erasing these horrific health disparities," Hotez wrote in the paper

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 31, 2007, 09:51:19 AM
Bedbug epidemic attacks New York City 
Outbreaks spread panic in some of city's richest neighborhoods

A bedbug epidemic has exploded in every corner of New York City - striking even upper East Side luxury apartments owned by Gov. Spitzer's father, the Daily News has learned.

The blood-sucking nocturnal creatures have infested a Park Ave. penthouse, an artist's colony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a $25 million Central Park West duplex and a theater on Broadway, according to victims, exterminators and elected officials.

Once linked to flophouses and fleabags, bedbug outbreaks victimize the rich and poor alike and are spreading panic in some of the city's hottest neighborhoods.

"In the last six months, I've treated maternity wards, five-star hotels, movie theaters, taxi garages, investment banks, private schools, white-shoe law firms, Brooklyn apartments in Greenpoint, DUMBO and Cobble Hill, even the chambers of a federal judge," said Jeff Eisenberg, owner of Pest Away Exterminating on the upper West Side.

The numbers are off the charts: In 2004, New Yorkers placed 537 calls to 311 about bedbugs in their homes; the city slapped 82 landlords with bedbug violations, data show.

In the fiscal year that ended in June, 6,889 infestation complaints were logged and 2,008 building owners were hit with summonses.

They must get rid of the pests within 30 days or face possible action in Housing Court, the city Department of Housing, Preservation & Development says.

The scourge has left no section of the city untouched: Complaints and enforcement actions soared in 57 of the 59 community boards.

In the most bedbug-riddled district, Bushwick in Brooklyn, HPD issued 172 violations this year, up from four in 2004; it responded to 476 complaints, up from 47.

Central Harlem chalked up 269 complaints, up from nine. Williamsburg and Greenpoint, home to the city's hippest galleries, racked up 148, up from 11 in 2004. Astoria and Long Island City saw the tally climb to 345 from 41.

Bedbugs come out of the woodwork at night to feed on human blood, biting people in their sleep and leaving large, itchy skin welts that can be painful. They are not believed to carry or transmit diseases.

A surge in global travel and mobility in all socioeconomic classes, combined with less toxic urban pesticides and the banning of DDT created a perfect storm for reviving the critters, which had been virtually dormant since World War II, experts say.

Prolific reproducers and hardy survivors, they can thrive in penthouses, flophouses or any environment where they can locate warm-blooded hosts, said Louis Sorkin, an entomologist at the Museum of Natural History who keeps a colony of 1,000 bedbugs in his office and lets them feed on his arm.

"The female hatches as many as 500 eggs a year, and they can survive for a year and a half without a blood meal," he said. "They're at home in every neighborhood in the city, including Park Ave. and Fifth Ave."

The small, wingless, rust-colored insects hitch rides on clothing, luggage, furniture, bedding, bookbags, even shoelaces. They've been spotted in cabs and limos, as well as on buses and subways.

Those travel patterns account for the 1,708 verified bedbug cases in 277 public housing projects this year, the city Housing Authority says. The Department of Education has documented another 74 cases, spread across 50 schools.

They even contaminated five or six apartments in the swanky rental tower at 220 E. 72nd St. owned by Bernard Spitzer, the governor's 83-year-old father.

Several tenants described a persistent, if intermittent, infestation on the 15th, 16th and 17th floors.

One resident had to throw away rugs, bedding, curtains, 20 cashmere sweaters, an Armani suit, a couch, a headboard, a night table, a bedframe and an exercise bike. During extermination, he stayed at the Carlyle Hotel.

Spitzer, a prominent developer, said he was unaware of contamination problems in any of his buildings. He referred calls to the managing agent, Rose Associates.

"The company has worked aggressively and proactively to address this issue through ongoing extermination and apartment inspections," a spokesman said.

Spitzer's 28-story building sits atop the six-story home of Marymount Manhattan College, which discovered seven infestations in two residence halls. The problem was under control by October, a spokeswoman said.

City officials say HPD inspectors are increasing enforcement as complaints mushroom and the Health Department is handling education and prevention efforts. It's not more actively involved because its focus is on disease-spreading pests, officials said.

"That's not good enough," said City Councilman Gale Brewer (D-upper West Side.) "It's great that we're not smoking as much, and great that we're not eating trans fats, but we need to focus on bedbugs in the same aggressive manner."

Brewer wants to create a Bedbug Task Force and bar the sale of reconditioned mattresses, which the Bloomberg administration opposes because it "would adversely impact lower-income New Yorkers," a mayoral spokesman said.

I was getting up to 20 bites a night

Tiny bedbugs can take a huge psychological toll on their victims, like Caitlin Heller, a Queens College student whose Jackson Heights apartment was twice infested.

"I was getting 15 to 20 bites a night, and it was driving me crazy," said Heller, who runs Yahoo's Bedbug Support Group where sufferers commiserate. "I suffered mentally. I couldn't sleep at night, and I couldn't focus during the day because I had itchy, painful welts all over my body."

For therapy, Heller (photo inset) started her online support group in January 2006. In eight months, she had 70 members; today there are 555, almost all New Yorkers.

Bedbugs also take a steep financial toll - and can even keep families apart for the holidays, like the Delgados of Woodside in Queens.

Joyce Delgado, an office manager at a midtown firm, and her husband Joseph, who works in the back office of a brokerage house, always went upstate for Thanksgiving to see family in Wappingers Falls. Not this year. They used up all their vacation time battling an infestation in their apartment of 35 years and didn't want to risk contaminating the homes of loved ones.

It all began in September when Joyce Delgado saw a single bedbug on her husband's pillow at 2 a.m. "We threw out everything - a rug, couch, two upholstered chairs, wall-to-wall carpeting, drapes, towels, curtains, bedding - because we thought everything we owned was contaminated," she said. "We checked into the Grand Motor Inn in Maspeth during extermination. All told, we must have spent $2,000, and we still won't go back into our bedroom. We're living on a makeshift bed in the living room."

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 31, 2007, 09:52:14 AM
The government needs to bring DDT back to get these little critters under control.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 31, 2007, 09:58:30 AM
An article from WND from December 13, 2004

U.S. not sleeping tight as bedbugs renew bite
Some scientists see plague tied to DDT ban

A forgotten old nursery rhyme is having more meaning for Americans these days.

"Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite."

But they are biting in all 50 states as they haven't bitten since the 1940s, say pest control companies, scientists and health officials. And, indeed, it is making sleep more difficult for Americans of all walks of life – from denizens of homeless shelters to those visiting the swankiest five-star hotels.

Outbreaks of bedbug infestations have been reported from coast to coast, north and south and among rich and poor. Experts attribute the plague largely to two factors: increased travel and the banning of DDT and other effective pesticides that virtually wiped out "Cimex lectularious," the Latin name for the pest.

A November newsletter from Doctors for Disaster Preparedness made the link between the rise of bedbug infestations and the U.S. banning in 1972 of the potent pesticide DDT.

"No chemical in history has saved more lives than DDT, and few if any have a better safety record," the organization decried.

Dozens of other experts made the connection with DDT and increased travel. The banning of DDT has also been linked worldwide to the major increase in malaria, which annually took the lives of millions before DDT nearly wiped out the mosquito-borne plague. Many countries have reintroduced the use of DDT to fight malaria.

Bedbugs are often confused with lice, fleas or scabies.

Bedbugs are small flat bugs about the size of an apple seed, growing up to one-quarter inch in adulthood. They resemble tiny cockroaches without wings and live in the crevices of beds. They generally only come out at night to feed on people's blood with a painless bite. Signs of the bites are red, itchy welts on your skin in the morning.

Health officials say to look for dark red or black streaks of digested blood on the sheets along with a very distinctive, sweet smell which is the telltale sign of bedbug infestations.

A survey by Orkin Pest Control found reports of bedbug infestations increased 300 percent between 2000 and 2001, 70 percent between 2001 and 2002, and 70 percent between 2002 and 2003. The company said it had reports of infestations last year in 33 states.

In a statement, the company said, "We first started seeing [bedbugs] in hotels, but in the past year have also treated infestations in homes, apartments, college dormitories, condominiums, aircraft and cruise ships."

Bedbugs can survive for up to a year lying in wait for the nice warm body of an unknowing traveler. Once discovered, they can be difficult for a hotel or cruise ship or homeowner to eliminate, requiring special insecticides and tools, not just a can of bug spray.

"Homeowners are staying in hotels, picking up bedbugs in their suitcases and bringing them home," Cindy Mannes of the National Pest Management Association in Dunn Loring, Virginia, outside Washington, told the Washington Post.

One Boston mother reportedly threw out her children's bunk beds and her own and asked her landlord to fumigate her apartment. When that didn't end the rash of ugly bug bites on her children, she moved, leaving her possessions behind for fear they'd become infested. Bedbugs cost her $6,000.

According to dozens of experts, the bedbug had virtually disappeared from the United States during World War II, when the pesticide DDT was introduced. But the banning of DDT and other effective pesticides due to environmental concerns has spurred their return.

There are a range of treatments. At hotels, for example, Orkin uses high-temperature steam (heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit – about 100 degrees hotter than they can withstand) which instantly kills adults and their eggs.

The company recommends cleaning nine rooms at a time: the room where the complaint was lodged, the rooms on each side as well as the three rooms above and three rooms below. Headboards and bed frames are taken apart.

"This is one of the hottest bug issues in a generation," said Michael Potter, a professor of urban entomology at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture in Lexington. "Bedbugs are going ballistic."

Potter said that while bedbug infestations were common before World War II, the widespread use of DDT virtually eliminated them in some parts of the world.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on December 31, 2007, 04:15:46 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

It does appear that parts of the entire puzzle are falling into place for the end days of this Age of Grace. Bible Prophecy is quite clear about many things that will happen at GOD'S Appointed time. The world may laugh when they hear the term, "Bible Prophecy", but the world won't be laughing long.

Many areas of the forum are devoted to events that are foretold in Bible Prophecy. Pestilences, natural disasters, and wars are just part of the big picture of Bible Prophecy that appears to be unfolding before our very eyes. Mankind will one day get the unbridled evil that many desire. Saying that there will be a time of unimagined HORROR is an understatement, but the world will still laugh until they see things for themselves. Even then, they will make excuses and try to discredit the TRUTH of the HOLY BIBLE and GOD'S Promises.

I find it amazing that most of the world, including many Christians, can't see and understand that many of the things going on around the world can be read about in the Holy Bible. The Bible isn't a large book, but it's packed with the most powerful messages ever written to mankind. It is GOD'S WORD written to us, so it's far MORE than just a literary masterpiece. For the lost reading here, please understand that the words in the Bible are from GOD HIMSELF - OUR CREATOR. It contains all of the answers to the most difficult questions in human history. GOD knew that we would ask those questions, and HE has already answered them.

I think that the time for accepting JESUS CHRIST as LORD and SAVIOUR is growing short. Regardless, many of us could die today in countless ways and it would be too late. This is the most important decision of your entire life. Make your decision today because tomorrow might be too late.

Love In Christ,


Title: WHO Confirms Human-to-Human Bird Flu Case
Post by: Shammu on December 31, 2007, 04:16:21 PM
WHO Confirms Human-to-Human Bird Flu Case
Officials Say No Immediate Risk of Further Spread; Health Experts Remain Vigilant


The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Thursday a single case of human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 bird flu virus in a family in Pakistan but said there was no apparent risk of it spreading wider.

A statement from the U.N. agency said tests in its special laboratories in Cairo and London had established the "human infection" through presence of the virus "collected from one case in an affected family."

But it said a WHO team invited to Pakistan to look into an outbreak involving up to nine people, from late October to December 6 had found no evidence of sustained or community human-to-human transmission.

No identified close contacts of the people infected, including health workers and other members of the affected family, had shown any symptoms and they had all been removed from medical observation, the WHO added.

The outbreak followed a culling of infected chickens in the Peshawar region, in which a veterinary doctor was involved. Subsequently he and three of his brothers developed proven or suspected pneumonia.

The brothers cared for one another and had close personal contact both at home and in the hospital, a WHO spokesman in Geneva said. One of them, who was not involved in the culling, died on November 23.

His was the human-to-human transmission case confirmed by the WHO. The others all recovered.

"All the evidence suggests that the outbreak within this family does not pose a broader risk," the WHO spokesman told Reuters. "But there is already heightened surveillance and there is a need for ongoing vigilance."

It was the first human-to-human case of H5N1 transmission in Pakistan, while others have been confirmed in Indonesia and Thailand in similar circumstances of what the WHO calls close contacts in a very circumscribed area.

Global health experts fear the virus -- which has killed 211 people out of 343 infections reported since 2003 -- could mutate into a form that spreads easily from one person to another, possibly triggering a pandemic that could kill millions.

WHO Confirms Human-to-Human Bird Flu Case (

Tick tock tick tock....... :o

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on December 31, 2007, 04:17:26 PM


2:  Romans 3:23  NASB  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

3:  Romans 5:12  NASB  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--

4:  Romans 6:23  NASB  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5:  Romans 1:18  NASB  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

6:  Romans 3:20  NASB  because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

7:  Romans 3:27  NASB  Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

8:  Romans 5:8-9  NASB  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

9:  Romans 2:4  NASB  Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

10:  Romans 3:22  NASB  even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

11:  Romans 3:28  NASB  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

12:  Romans 10:9  NASB  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

13:  Romans 4:21  NASB  and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

14:  Romans 4:24 NASB  but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

15:  Romans 5:1  NASB  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

16:  Romans 10:10  NASB  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.


Thanks be unto GOD for HIS unspeakable GIFT!, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Saviour forever!

Title: Valley fever hits epidemic numbers from Texas to Northern California
Post by: Shammu on December 31, 2007, 04:17:35 PM
Valley fever hits epidemic numbers from Texas to Northern California

Jesse McKinley, New York Times

Sunday, December 30, 2007

(12-30) 04:00 PST Coalinga, Fresno County -- When any of the 5,300 inmates at Pleasant Valley State Prison begin coughing and running a fever, doctors do not think flu, bronchitis or even the common cold.

They think valley fever; and, more often than they would like, they are right.

In the past three years, more than 900 inmates at the prison have contracted the fever, a fungal infection that has been both widespread and lethal.

At least a dozen inmates here in Central California have died from the disease, which is on the rise in other Western states, including Arizona, where the health department declared an epidemic after more than 5,500 cases were reported in 2006, including 33 deaths.

Endemic to parts of the Southwest, valley fever has been reported in recent years in a widening belt from South Texas to Northern California. The disease has infected archaeologists digging at the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and dogs that have inhaled the spores while sniffing for illegal drugs along the Mexican border.

In most cases, the infection starts in the lungs and is usually handled by the body without permanent damage. But serious complications can arise, including meningitis; and, at Pleasant Valley, the scope of the outbreak has left some inmates permanently disabled, confined to wheelchairs and interned in expensive long-term hospital stays.

About 80 prison employees have also contracted the fever, Pleasant Valley officials say, including a correction officer who died of the disease in 2005.

What makes the disease all the more troubling is that its cause is literally underfoot: The spores that cause the infection reside in the region's soil. When that soil is disturbed, something that happens regularly where houses are being built, crops are being sown and a steady wind churns, those spores are inhaled. The spores can also be kicked up by natural events like earthquakes and dust storms.

"It doesn't matter whether you're custody staff, it doesn't matter if you're a plumber or an electrician," said James Yates, the warden at Pleasant Valley. "You breathe the same air as you walk around out there."

The epidemic at the prison has led to a clash of priorities for a correctional system that is dealing with below-average medical care and chronic overcrowding.

Last fall, heeding advice from local health officials and a federal receiver charged with improving the state's prison medical care, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation delayed plans to add 600 new beds out of concern that the construction might stir up more spores.

Prison officials blame the construction of a state hospital nearby for causing a spike in valley fever. The construction was under way from 2001 to 2005, and valley fever hit its peak here in 2006, when the disease was diagnosed in 514 inmates.

This year, about 300 cases have been diagnosed among inmates at the prison, which sits along a highway lined with almond groves and signs advertising new "semi-custom homes."

Felix Igbinosa, the prison's medical director, said "the No. 1 reason" is thought to be the soil disturbance from new construction.

The delayed expansion here was part of a $7.9 billion plan signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last summer to relieve overcrowding in the state's prisons. Pleasant Valley was built in 1994 to house 2,000 inmates.

California reported more than 3,000 cases of valley fever in 2006, the most in a decade. Explanations for the spike have included increased residential development and changes in weather patterns that have resulted in increased blooms of the fungus.

Other prisons in the Central Valley of California have had increases in the number of fever cases in recent years, but in none has the rate of infection been higher than at Pleasant Valley, where about 1 inmate in 10 tested positive in 2006.

Even allowing for the nearby construction, experts say they do not know why the disease is so rampant here.

"Is the soil surrounding Pleasant Valley different?" asked Demosthenes Pappagianis of UC Davis, a professor of medical microbiology and immunology who has been studying valley fever for more than 50 years. "There's a lot we still need to know about it."

Early symptoms of the disease, which is clinically known as coccidioidomycosis, mimic the flu, with symptoms that include a cough, lethargy and a fever. Most of those who become infected recover with little or no treatment and are subsequently immune.

In about 2 percent to 3 percent of the cases, the disease spreads from the lungs and can attack the bones, liver, spleen and skin.

For the 11,000 noninmate residents of Coalinga, about 200 miles southeast of San Francisco, the disease has been a fact of life for generations. "We just deal," said Trish Hill, the city's mayor. "You don't do stupid things like go out on windy days or dig in the dirt."

Inmates appear to be especially susceptible to the disease, in part because they come from all over the state and have not developed an immunity.

California corrections officials are preparing new guidelines for prison design, including ventilation and landscaping.

"Prisons tend to have a lot of bare dirt, and that has some security benefit," said Deborah Hysen, the corrections department's deputy secretary of facility planning. "But in the case of valley fever, you want to really contain the soil."

At Pleasant Valley, officials say the outbreak of valley fever places a burden on the institution, requiring guards to escort inmates to local hospitals, where stays can last months and result in medical and security costs of $1 million and more, said Igbinosa, the medical director.

The disease also affects inmate morale, doctors say.

Gilbert Galaviz was convicted of murder and is serving a sentence of 25 years to life. Galaviz had been at Pleasant Valley for a week or so when he started to feel sick. "I couldn't breathe," he said. "My chest starting hurting, I had pain all over like somebody beat me up, and I would sweat bad at night."

The cause was valley fever. After six months, Galaviz is still weak, having lost 30 pounds, and is barely able to complete a lap in the prison yard. In early December, he was attacked and his jaw broken.

"It wouldn't have been like that if it hadn't been for valley fever," Galaviz said, his jaw still wired shut. "They wouldn't have got me. It would have been the other way around."

Valley fever hits epidemic numbers from Texas to Northern California (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 01, 2008, 12:30:18 PM
CDC seeks 44 on flight with TB patient 
30-year-old woman now hospitalized in San Francisco Bay area

Health officials were searching Monday for dozens of airline passengers who may have come in contact with a 30-year-old woman infected with a hard-to-treat form of tuberculosis on a flight from India.

The 30-year-old woman, who authorities declined to identify, was being treated at a Bay Area hospital. Officials said the chances that she had infected anyone else were minimal.

The woman arrived in San Francisco on Dec. 13 aboard an American Airlines flight that she boarded in New Delhi. The flight stopped in Chicago before continuing to San Francisco International.

"She did have symptoms on the flight," said Santa Clara County Health Director Dr. Marty Fenstersheib. "She was coughing."

Health officials said she was diagnosed with TB in India, but boarded the flight anyway. Such passengers are typically barred from boarding flights originating in the United States, but U.S. officials have little authority over who boards incoming international flights.

About a week after the flight landed, the woman showed up at the Stanford Hospital emergency room with advanced symptoms of the disease. Hospital spokesman Gary Migdol said the woman is in isolation and is in stable condition.

The woman will remain hospitalized until she tests negative for the disease, which will take at least two weeks, Fenstersheib said. Her stay could last longer because she has a strain of the disease that resists the most common antibiotics, he said.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are asking health authorities in 17 states to contact 44 people who sat within two rows of the woman and urge them get checked for tuberculosis. The risk of infection is far lower than passing on influenza or the common cold, doctors said.

"TB requires pretty constant contact with someone," Fenstersheib said. About 1 percent to 2 percent of all tuberculosis cases are of the multi-drug resistant variety, he said.

CDC spokeswoman Shelly Diaz said the agency has not received any reports back. Diaz said it will take more than eight weeks to receive definitive results.

In May, a TB patient caused an international health scare when he flew to Europe for his wedding. There has been no evidence that the man spread the disease.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: HisDaughter on January 01, 2008, 05:07:47 PM
The government needs to bring DDT back to get these little critters under control.

The government needs to return to God.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Shammu on January 01, 2008, 05:43:05 PM
The government needs to return to God.

AMEN sister AMEN!!!!

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on January 02, 2008, 09:46:24 PM
The government needs to return to God.


Mankind really didn't learn very much from Adam, and it appears that most of mankind is determined to suffer the consequences of sin and death. Much of mankind has become so skilled in disobedience and defiance of GOD that it's easy to say that much of mankind's misery and disease even in this short life is self-imposed. In effect and reality, much of mankind suffers from self-imposed torture and arrangement for their own eventual execution. Some men brag about medical and scientific advances that have enhanced the quality and length of life, but this is really just a bunch of hogwash and man's vanity speaking. Mankind needs to think about the Garden of Eden and know what the natural order under GOD could have been. Mankind brags about living 80 years now, but think about what it was in ancient times. There's also a misery index to consider for those years. There is a statistical difference that's great when just comparing 50 years ago. Doing things UNDER GOD is the natural order!

Love In Christ,


Title: Avian flu fears spark chicken cull
Post by: Shammu on January 04, 2008, 08:13:33 PM
Avian flu fears spark chicken cull
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich and Jpost staff , THE JERUSALEM POST    Jan. 3, 2008

Agricultural Ministry workers were observed on Friday clad in protective gear as they worked to cull as many as 4,000 chickens in the Binyamina area.

The cull orders came following the outbreak of the human-lethal H5N1 strain of the avian flu in the petting zoo of a Binyamina kindergarten.

All kindergarten and veterinary staff were given preventative treatment on Thursday, even though authorities were keen to emphasize that there was no reason to seriously fear for their health.

At one point a 4-year old girl was hospitalized with flue like symptoms, only to be diagnosed as suffering from unrelated pneumonia.

The kindergarten itself was opened Friday afternoon, after disinfection and cleaning procedures were completed.

Eighteen chickens have been found dead from bird flu in a Binyamina kindergarten's animal corner on Thursday.

The kindergarten teacher alerted the district health office when she discovered the chickens had died - but not the ducks or pigeons - and the authorities closed the kindergarten for a day. Magen David Adom announced that it would prepare for the possibility of human infection. MDA teams across the country were instructed to refresh procedures and ensure the presence of protective measures and sterilization substances in their ambulances.

Teams in the Binyamina area received briefings on disease symptoms and cautionary steps. In addition, MDA has prepared special enclosed beds, resembling large incubators, to allow safe transfer for people suspected of infection.

The Health Ministry, meanwhile, reiterated basic guidelines to prevent bird flu infection. Consumers should buy food products only in recognized, licensed stores under veterinary supervision, hands should be washed thoroughly before and after handling food and raw foods, including eggs, should be fully cooked.

Symptoms of bird flu (H5N1 virus) include an unexplained acute lower-respiratory infection. People who have been in contact with other poultry - not those in the Binyamina kindergarten, but within three kilometers of it - should be alert to any symptoms of fever within a week of contact with the fowl. If a fever of over 38 degrees Celsius develops, one should go to a hospital emergency room and tell staff about the possibility of bird flu.

Ministry officials said it had no other reports of fowl deaths in the area. The ministry said it had not changed the level of alertness to bird flu, which is not a human epidemic. Only if the virus results in human-to-human infection will the authorities be worried, and this has not happened.

Avian flu fears spark chicken cull (

Title: Norovirus reaches epidemic levels
Post by: Shammu on January 13, 2008, 11:28:11 PM
Norovirus reaches epidemic levels
January 12, 2008

Brendan Montague, The Sunday Times

The winter vomiting bug norovirus has struck 2.8million people, with health professionals braced for another rise as people return to schools and offices.

The virus - which causes projectile vomiting, diarrhoea, mild fevers and headaches - is striking down more than 200,000 a week, according to official estimates.

Three hospitals have been placed on red alert, while hundreds of wards up and down the country have been closed to new patients as the number of beds being taken up by bug victims reaches critical levels.

Schools have even begun sending warning letters to parents explaining the symptoms while employers are calling on staff to stay away from work 48 hours after they have recovered to stem the spread of the virus.

The rate of new cases being confirmed has reached the levels of reports during the massive outbreak five years ago, when officials announced an epidemic.

Norovirus can prove deadly for vulnerable people, such as children and the elderly. The impact of the bug has been exacerbated by a new outbreak of flu with those most at risk now being given antiviral drugs by their doctors.

NHS Direct, which patients can telephone for health advice, has been inundated with people calling with symptoms of the norovirus.

Helen Young, the clinical director, said: “We are seeing an increasing number of calls about diarrhoea and vomiting. Norovirus is a major issue for the whole NHS right now and we urge anyone who has symptoms to engage in good hygiene to prevent it spreading further and to drink plenty of fluids.”

The number of reports of norovirus is expected to rise over the next six weeks, as children return to school and employees head back to work after the Christmas break.

A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency said it was too early to say if the disease had reached its peak. A statement said: “This season we have seen an increase in reports of norovirus cases, almost double the number reported for the same period last year.

“The self-limiting infection usually only lasts a few days, hence the majority of cases are not reported to the clinician.”

The Health Protection Agency has confirmed that 1,922 laboratory samples tested positive for norovirus.

The agency expects 1,500 cases in the community for every one found in its labs, bringing the total number to 2.8million infected people – or a million new cases each month.

Lincolnshire health officials have placed three hospitals on red alert following a 20 per cent rise in infections over expected levels.

George Briggs, the general manager for emergency care at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have had a 20 per cent increase in the number of people being referred to us by GPs with illnesses.

“We have had some with cold and flu and we have had some with the norovirus. We expect an increase in the winter, we always do, hence we put some beds to one side. We didn't expect a 20 per cent increase.”

Boots, the High Street chemist, has also reported a 50 per cent rise in the sale of anti-diarrhoea treatments compared to last year.

The Norovirus started to appear a month earlier than expected this year and has already exceeded the levels of the record 2002 to 2003 outbreak, when 935 cases were confirmed by tests.

Over the last four years, Britain has seen the bug arrive and spread quickly in late November to December and then peak in January before falling to insignificant levels by the spring.

However, the number of reports would have to increase dramatically or continue into the summer for an epidemic to be declared.

Norovirus reaches epidemic levels (

Title: Plague a growing but overlooked threat: study
Post by: Shammu on January 15, 2008, 02:01:46 PM
Plague a growing but overlooked threat: study

By Michael Kahn Tue Jan 15, 10:45 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Plague, the disease that devastated medieval Europe, is re-emerging worldwide and poses a growing but overlooked threat, researchers warned on Tuesday.

While it has only killed some 100 to 200 people annually over the past 20 years, plague has appeared in new countries in recent decades and is now shifting into Africa, Michael Begon, an ecologist at the University of Liverpool and colleagues said.

A bacterium known as Yersinia pestis causes bubonic plague, known in medieval times as the Black Death when it was spread by infected fleas, and the more dangerous pneumonic plague, spread from one person to another through coughing or sneezing.

"Although the number of human cases of plague is relatively low, it would be a mistake to overlook its threat to humanity, because of the disease's inherent communicability, rapid spread, rapid clinical course, and high mortality if left untreated," they wrote in the journal Public Library of Science journal PloS Medicine.

Rodents carry plague, which is virtually impossible to wipe out and moves through the animal world as a constant threat to humans, Begon said. Both forms can kill within days if not treated with antibiotics.

"You can't realistically get rid of all the rodents in the world," he said in a telephone interview. "Plague appears to be on the increase, and for the first time there have been major outbreaks in Africa."

Globally the World Health Organization reports about 1,000 to 3,000 plague cases each year, with most in the last five years occurring in Madagascar, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The United States sees about 10 to 20 cases each year.

More worrying are outbreaks seem on the rise after years of relative inactivity in the 20th century, Begon said. The most recent large pneumonic outbreak comprised hundreds of suspected cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.

Bubonic plague, called the Black Death because of black bumps that sometimes develop on victims' bodies, causes severe vomiting and high fever. Victims of pneumonic plague have similar symptoms but not the black bumps.

Begon and his colleagues called for more research into better ways to prevent plague from striking areas where people lack access to life-saving drugs and to defend against the disease if used as a weapon.

"We should not overlook the fact that plague has been weaponized throughout history, from catapulting corpses over city walls, to dropping infected fleas from airplanes, to refined modern aerosol formulation," the researchers wrote.

Plague a growing but overlooked threat: study (

Title: S.F. gay community an epicenter for new strain of virulent staph
Post by: Shammu on January 15, 2008, 02:29:37 PM
S.F. gay community an epicenter for new strain of virulent staph
Sabin Russell, Chronicle Medical Writer

Monday, January 14, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- A new variety of staph bacteria, highly resistant to antibiotics and possibly transmitted by sexual contact, is spreading among gay men in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Los Angeles, researchers reported Monday.

The study released online by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the highest concentrations of infection by the drug-resistant bug in and around San Francisco's Castro district and among patients who visit health clinics that treat HIV infections in gay men in San Francisco and Boston.

The culprit is a form of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bug that was once confined to hospitalized patients but, since the late 1990s, has been circulating outside medical settings, afflicting anyone from injection-drug users to elementary school students. A strain called USA300 has been a leading cause of MRSA infection in this decade, and an exceptionally drug-resistant variant of it is now on the loose, researchers say.

The study estimated that 1 in 588 residents living within the Castro neighborhood 94114 ZIP code area is infected with that variant, which is resistant to six types of commonly used antibiotics. The risk of contracting this difficult-to-treat bug is 13 times greater for gay men than for the rest of the city's population, researchers found.

"We probably had it here first, and now it is spreading elsewhere," said Binh An Diep, a researcher at San Francisco General Hospital and lead author of the report. "This is a national problem, and San Francisco is at the epicenter."

The germ typically causes boils and other skin and soft-tissue infections and, despite its resistance to some drugs, is still treatable by surgical drainage and several classes of antibiotics. What is unusual in this case is the high percentage of infections - up to 40 percent - occurring in the buttocks and genitalia.

Although researchers have stopped short of declaring this form of staph a sexually transmitted disease, the infections are found where skin-to-skin contact occurs during sexual activity.

Most of the infections are limited to the skin surface, but the bacteria can invade deeper tissues or disseminate through the bloodstream. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, various forms of MRSA are causing 95,000 of these more costly and potentially life-threatening infections - and 19,000 deaths - annually in the United States.

Until last year, staph infections had never been linked to sexual activity. Early last year, New York City physicians traced three instances of staph infection apparently spread by sexual contact. Their report was published in February in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

A month later, doctors from the Albany Medical Center in New York reported in the Journal of Urology three cases of multi-drug-resistant staph in the groins of three patients - one of whom developed a form of rapid-tissue destruction popularly known as "flesh-eating bacteria" disease. The patients recovered after treatments with surgery and antibiotics.

San Francisco General Hospital physicians have been battling an aggressive strain of MRSA, called USA300, since 2001. The most recent study estimates that this strain alone is infecting about 2,000 city residents a year.

But the latest problem is being caused by a new variant of USA300 that was first detected in a San Francisco patient in 2003. Among the six antibiotics it is resistant to are three that are normally considered for treatment of suspected MRSA. The study estimated that 200 cases of this highly drug-resistant variant are turning up in San Francisco each year, mostly among gay men.

"We are nowhere near the peak," Diep said. "The peak will occur when it spreads into the general population."

Diep said there is reason to believe that the more drug-resistant strain will make that leap because it is just a slight variant of USA300, which became one of the most common strains of MRSA in the United States only a few years after it was first detected.

The latest study focuses on the spread of the more drug-resistant strain in San Francisco and Boston, but reports of the bug are turning up in New York and Los Angeles.

Just why the new, more drug-resistant variety is concentrated among gay men is not yet known. Patients infected with HIV appear to run a higher risk of infection, but the study suggests that gay men are being infected with the staph germ regardless of whether they are HIV-positive.

One factor that could be in play is a medical history of heavy use of antibiotics, which creates conditions for breeding drug-resistant strains. Any patient, HIV-positive or not, who has had high previous exposure to antibiotics might be more susceptible.

The good news is that, once the public is aware of the risk, there are ways to prevent the spread of drug-resistant staph. It can be as simple as soap and water.

"Taking a shower after sexual contact may minimize contamination," said Dr. Chip Chambers, director of infectious diseases at San Francisco General, a co-author of the study. "Ordinary soap will do. It dilutes the concentration of bacteria. You don't need antibacterial soap."

Chambers stressed that some people, no matter how fastidious, could be more prone than others to staph infections. They could have unknown genetic traits or a history of antibiotic use that raises the risk.

"Despite one's best efforts, it is still possible, of course, to get a staph infection," he said. "This is why if one has a cut or open wound that it is important to clean it out and keep it clean."

The new variant of USA300 is resistant to the antibiotics erythromycin, clindamycin, tetracycline, Cipro-like antibiotics and drugs in the penicillin family. It also does not respond to mupirocin - a gel that is often used to kill MRSA growing in people's noses.

That still leaves a variety of antibiotics that will kill the new USA300 strain, but they tend to be more expensive and require intravenous drips. One common oral antibiotic, Bactrim, is still effective against it.

Chambers also pointed out that researchers at San Francisco General have shown that many skin sores and boils caused even by these drug-resistant strains of staph often can be treated without any antibiotics, just by surgical drainage of pus.

One of the paradoxes of bacterial infections is that using antibiotics to treat them is one of the quickest ways to promote antibiotic resistance. Although the drugs sometimes are essential, overuse is weakening their effectiveness worldwide.

S.F. gay community an epicenter for new strain of virulent staph (

Title: Re: S.F. gay community an epicenter for new strain of virulent staph
Post by: Shammu on January 15, 2008, 02:56:00 PM
Homosexuals, sodomites, or any other name you chose to call them by, are not gay (which means happy), talented, special, or even gifted. What homosexuals and homosexuality are, is an evil abomination in the eyes of God's creation.

Romans 1:22, 24, 26-27, Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], 26 For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one,27 And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another--men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own [a]bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution.

Many churches and many Christians and believers in God have gotten lazy and relaxed in taking a stand for what is right and what is of God. Because of this, homosexuality is running rampant in an ever-increasing number. Well enough is enough. It is time to take a stand and stand up for what is right. Homosexuality is a sin!! Standing up and speaking against this vile sin does not make you homophobic as the homosexuals would have you believe. Homophobia is a fear of homosexuals. As children of the one and only eternal and loving true God, we have nothing to fear from these sinners. In fact, it is they who are afraid of us. They are afraid of us because we stand up against them and proclaim homosexuality for what it is, a vile and evil sin against God!!

1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

1 Timothy 1:9-10 Knowing and understanding this: that the Law is not enacted for the righteous (the upright and just, who are in right standing with God), but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who strike and beat and [even] murder fathers and strike and beat and [even] murder mothers, for manslayers,10 [For] impure and immoral persons, those who abuse themselves with men, kidnapers, liars, perjurers--and whatever else is opposed to wholesome teaching and sound doctrine

No matter how much rambling on I do, or quoting of the Bible I do, in the end, in any "debate" over homosexuality within the church, it boils down to this.............

To our guest on the forum, GOD said it is WRONG do you understand !!

Title: Re: S.F. gay community an epicenter for new strain of virulent staph
Post by: nChrist on January 15, 2008, 06:38:28 PM
Homosexuals, sodomites, or any other name you chose to call them by, are not gay (which means happy), talented, special, or even gifted. What homosexuals and homosexuality are, is an evil abomination in the eyes of God's creation.

Romans 1:22, 24, 26-27, Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], 26 For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one,27 And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another--men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own [a]bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution.

Many churches and many Christians and believers in God have gotten lazy and relaxed in taking a stand for what is right and what is of God. Because of this, homosexuality is running rampant in an ever-increasing number. Well enough is enough. It is time to take a stand and stand up for what is right. Homosexuality is a sin!! Standing up and speaking against this vile sin does not make you homophobic as the homosexuals would have you believe. Homophobia is a fear of homosexuals. As children of the one and only eternal and loving true God, we have nothing to fear from these sinners. In fact, it is they who are afraid of us. They are afraid of us because we stand up against them and proclaim homosexuality for what it is, a vile and evil sin against God!!

1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

1 Timothy 1:9-10 Knowing and understanding this: that the Law is not enacted for the righteous (the upright and just, who are in right standing with God), but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who strike and beat and [even] murder fathers and strike and beat and [even] murder mothers, for manslayers,10 [For] impure and immoral persons, those who abuse themselves with men, kidnapers, liars, perjurers--and whatever else is opposed to wholesome teaching and sound doctrine

No matter how much rambling on I do, or quoting of the Bible I do, in the end, in any "debate" over homosexuality within the church, it boils down to this.............

To our guest on the forum, GOD said it is WRONG do you understand !!


Brother, I'm sad to say that millions apparently don't understand, even though GOD made it exceptionally plain in the Old and the New Testament. Many millions of people have already died from dreaded diseases caused by this immoral, abnormal, and banned by GOD behavior. In fact, millions die slow and painful deaths every year, and the numbers are still growing. So, I'll conclude that they either don't understand or they just don't care. In fact, there are organized efforts to increase this abomination, suffering, and death. SADLY, their efforts are succeeding! The consequences are horrible, and they involve more than this short life. Bluntly, it's impossible to find anything positive or normal about this tortured lifestyle!

Title: India battles to contain 'very serious' bird flu outbreak
Post by: Shammu on January 18, 2008, 09:56:48 PM
India battles to contain 'very serious' bird flu outbreak
Jan 18 05:29 AM US/Eastern

Health workers in eastern India battled Friday to contain a "very serious" bird flu outbreak, amid reports the virus had spread to new areas and local people were resisting a mass poultry cull.

Officials in the densely-populated state of West Bengal said chickens were still on sale despite a ban, while New Delhi called in paramilitary troops to prevent birds being smuggled out.

"The situation is very, very serious in 102 villages in three districts of Birbhum, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur," West Bengal animal resources development minister Anisur Rahaman said.

"Villagers are resisting culling operations. Chickens are on sale despite a ban and reports of poultry deaths from new places keep coming," he added.

But he said there had been no reports of human cases since the outbreak of the disease," adding that he would visit the affected areas on Saturday.

In New Delhi, a home ministry official said the paramilitary Border Security Force had been called in to stop chickens being smuggled into Bangladesh, where the virus has also broken out.

But West Bengal health services director Sanchita Baksi said villagers were throwing chicken carcasses into rivers and ponds, increasing the risk of the virus spreading.

"And in some areas, villagers are feasting on dead chickens and are reluctant to disclose if there are any chickens or ducks in their backyards.

"Thousands of people are in danger," she warned, adding that local hostility was hampering efforts to cull the birds.

The cull began Wednesday after the agriculture ministry confirmed the deaths were due to the deadly H5N1 strain.

The federal government has sent advisories to states neighbouring West Bengal in a bid to contain the spread of the disease.

More than 62,000 chickens and ducks have died over the past the past week in the three districts affected, West Bengal animal resources development director Dilip Das said.

"It will take at least 20 days to reach our target to slaughter 350,000 chickens and ducks," he said.

Baksi said there were reports other birds had also been infected.

"We are worried over the reports that crows and hawks are dropping dead in some bird-flu affected areas, she said.

"We are trying to tell the people not to touch any birds lying in the those places.

Humans are typically infected by coming into direct contact with infected poultry, but experts fear the deadly virus may mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans.

Wild migratory birds have been blamed for the global spread of the disease, which has killed more than 200 people worldwide since 2003.

The outbreak is the third in India, home to 1.1 billion people, since 2006.

India battles to contain 'very serious' bird flu outbreak (

Title: Kansas Man May Have Died From Mad Cow-Related Disease
Post by: Shammu on January 19, 2008, 01:53:19 PM
Kansas Man May Have Died From Mad Cow-Related Disease

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WICHITA, Kan. —  A Kansas man may have died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob, a rare disease that turns brain tissue spongy, health officials said.

The disease also affects the central nervous system.

Health officials said they did not know when or how the Kansas man got the disease, citing its incubation period of years. It also will not be known until testing is complete in several weeks what form of disease he carried.

The 53-year-old Colby man, whose identity was not released, died Friday at Wesley Medical Center, where he had been a patient since December.

Wesley spokesman Paul Petitte said the diagnosis for now is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD. That can be confirmed only through the testing of brain tissue, which will be done through the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center.

Kansas has an average of three CJD cases a year, said Joe Blubaugh, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environment.

One form of the disease, called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob, is related to mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and may come from eating infected beef or from blood transfusions. The human form of mad cow disease has never been seen in the United States in someone not exposed in another country.

Most cases of classic Creutzfeldt-Jakob occur spontaneously, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In rare cases, it also can be hereditary.

Nationwide, one to two people per million have a spontaneous case of CJD each year, according to the CDC. Between 250 and 300 cases of CJD are reported each year.

“We have no idea of how he possibly contracted this,” said attending physician Richard Liepins.

The man worked in a meatpacking plant “quite a few years ago,” Liepins said. He was also an elk hunter.

Chronic wasting disease, found in some deer and elk, is another form of spongiform encephalopathy. It is known to spread from animal to animal, but so far there’s no concrete evidence that it can be transmitted to humans.

Kansas Man May Have Died From Mad Cow-Related Disease (,2933,323107,00.html)

And some people wonder why we pray before eating.

Title: Viral flu hits school
Post by: Shammu on January 30, 2008, 07:24:16 PM
Viral flu hits school
Thursday January 31, 2008

SUNGAI BESAR: Four teachers and 143 students from SM Agama Simpang Lima have been put in isolation after 13 of their schoolmates were admitted to hospital for viral influenza.

Those now quarantined in the school hostel would be getting round-the-clock medical attention from five doctors stationed there.

The outbreak started on Jan 24 with 10 students from the boarding school showing symptoms like blocked nose, cough and high fever.

However, they were allowed to return to their hostels after receiving outpatient treatment at the clinic in nearby Sabak Bernam.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Noh Omar said more students started showing symptoms of the influenza soon after and 13 had to be admitted to the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital.

He said the state Health Department checked the school grounds on Tuesday and set up a 24-hour operations centre at the school with five doctors and other medical personnel to monitor the sick.

The four teachers are under isolation in their own homes.

The school, offering classes from Form 1 to Form six, has 647 students of whom all, except for 111, live in hostels on the school grounds. 

Noh assured the parents the children were well looked after and asked them to call, not visit, to get updates. 

“Please leave your children here for now so that they can seek immediate medical attention if symptoms start to show,” Noh told a press conference at the school here yesterday.

He said classes would continue as usual for those who were not infected.

Many parents had initially panicked following rumours of an avian flu outbreak and a small crowd of them gathered at the school gate on Tuesday night.

The fears arose following a cross-country run last Thursday that took students through a poultry farm near Pantai Sungai Nibong.

Noh said initial checks showed no signs of avian flu. 

Viral flu hits school (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 08, 2008, 12:28:16 PM
MRSA found on 15% of hospital's curtains
Study finds some material less likely to carry superbug

The super-bug MRSA has been discovered on 15% of a hospital's curtains, a new medical study has found.

During the research 200 curtains were randomly selected from wards and departments across the Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham and tested for MRSA. Of those, 31 tested positive for the bug.

But, as is standard practice, the hospital washes its curtains only four times a year unless they are known to have come in to contact with an infection.
Cutting risk of MRSA

Doctors at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the QMC, have now been looking at ways of reducing the risk of MRSA infecting curtains.

They have found that introducing a silver thread to the material greatly reduces the prevalence of the bug.

Dr Tim Boswell - who is based at the QMC - found that of 192 samples taken from freshly cleaned polyester or cotton curtains over a four week period, 21 contained MRSA.

But under the same conditions only four out of 96 samples taken from silver-woven curtains were infected with the superbug.

Dr Boswell, a consultant medical biologist and an infection control doctor, said: 'We are quite keen to evaluate new technologies that will help us prevent infections.

'There are some companies that are producing products that are quite dubious but there are others that have products that are potentially very exciting.

'I think we would have seen a more dramatic effect may be if there was more silver in the curtain but certainly what we saw was very promising.'
Replacing curtains

He added: 'The trust has been looking at replacing many of its curtains and the results of this research have come at the right time.'

But any plans to replace the hospital's curtains might depend on the cost.

Standard polyester curtains from Toray Textiles Europe Ltd, the Mansfield-based firm behind the new curtains, cost on average £3 a square metre. But the silver-woven curtains cost on average £5 a square metre.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 08, 2008, 12:29:14 PM
Nurses to be banned from wearing uniforms home?
Infection fears: Move considered 'to ease public superbug fears'

Nurses could be banned from wearing their uniforms off hospital premises - because the public are afraid they could spread superbugs.

Hospital chiefs in Lancashire have revealed that nurses could be forced to get changed before and after work on site if they decide to alter their existing uniform policy.

At the moment, nurses are allowed to wear their uniforms while travelling to and from work, as long as it is covered by an outer garment.

Bosses in Preston and Chorley admitted the move has been prompted by growing public concern about the spread of hospital infections - despite there being no concrete evidence to show uniforms can pose an infection risk.

Sue Reed, nursing director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The issue of nurses wearing the hospital uniform outside of trust premises has become a growing concern for the public and the trust.

"While expert opinion suggests that this does not pose a significant hazard in terms of spreading infection, public perception is that there is a risk.

"The trust is currently exploring the possibility of prohibiting all staff from wearing uniform off trust premises."

Guidance from the Department of Health states: "There is no conclusive evidence that uniforms or other work clothes pose a significant hazard in terms of spreading infection. But the Government does acknowledge that the public believe there is a risk and do not like seeing nurses wearing their uniform when they are off the premises."

Nurses fear the potential change in uniform policy will add to their already long working day. Janet Howarth, branch secretary for UNISON, said: "Nurses have expressed concerns that if this new policy is implemented, they will have to get to work earlier and they want to know if there will be 'changing time' allowed.

"There are already major problems with parking on the site, so workers have to get in early to make sure they get a space.

"If they then have to allow extra time for getting changed into their uniform, it will lead to an even extended working day. I do understand the trust's need to have a robust infection policy, but I think this move is prompted more by public perception than risk.

"If the trust do decide that nurses have to get changed into and out of their uniforms at work, they will have to provide the facilities to make this possible.

"At the moment, there are some changing rooms at Preston, but they need updating and there are very limited changing facilities at Chorley.

"Hospital bosses will also need to provide laundry facilities as it is pointless nurses taking their dirty uniforms home with them."

Title: New Bacterial Infection from Babylon.....
Post by: Shammu on February 09, 2008, 01:56:45 PM
New Bacterial Infection from Babylon.....
Feb. 8, 2008

Troops arriving home from Iraq and Afghanistan have been carrying a mysterious, deadly bacteria, according to a new magazine report.

Doctors have linked the bacterium acinetobacter baumannii to at least seven deaths, as well as to loss of limbs and other severe ailments, according to the report, which found the bacterium has spread quickly since the war in Afghanistan began in the fall of 2001

Acinetobacter baumannii has been found in military hospitals in Germany, the Washington, D.C., area and Texas -- the primary destinations of wounded service members from the two war zones. And it has now spread to civilians, according to the report.

"The outbreak began traveling with patients or nonpatients from Iraq all the way back to Walter Reed," said Dr. Rox Anderson at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Timothy Endy, a retired Army colonel now teaching infectious disease medicine at the Upstate Medical University of the State University of New York, said the outbreak might be the largest of its kind to spread through hospitals in history.

Doctors quoted in the magazine article agreed. "Of the infectious disease problems that come out of the conflict, it is the most important complication we've seen," Dr. Glenn Wortmann, acting chief of infectious disease at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, said in the February issue of Proceedings, published by the U.S. Naval Institute, a professional organization focused on naval issues.

The report was released to subscribers of the magazine this week.

New Bacterial Infection from Babylon..... (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 15, 2008, 11:23:53 AM
California to require reporting of staph infections
Estimated 90,000 people in U.S. fall ill every year from drug-resistant MRSA

California doctors and health care workers will be required to report cases of drug-resistant staph infections under a new state rule announced Thursday.

Officials from the state Department of Public Health hope that mandatory reporting will allow them to learn who's at greatest risk and develop strategies to control the germ.

An estimated 90,000 people in the United States fall ill every year from the drug-resistant strain, known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

MRSA thrives in health care settings, but in recent years has spread to schools, prisons and community settings. The germ is spread mostly through personal contact and it's largely preventable by commonsense hygiene, according to health officials.

The new rule requires health care providers in California to notify local health departments of severe cases of staph infections including MRSA in healthy people who get hospitalized or die. MRSA joins a list of reportable diseases that includes anthrax and hepatitis.

Lisa McGiffert of Consumers Union said the new reporting rule is limited because it does not include cases of people who catch MRSA in hospitals, which make up the majority of infections.

Some studies have found 17 percent of drug-resistant staph infections were caught in the community and did not have any apparent links to health-care settings.

About 18 states require some form of MRSA reporting.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 17, 2008, 02:19:50 PM
U.S. flu season getting worse

Are you feeling surrounded by family, friends and co-workers spewing flu virus? It's not paranoia.

Federal health officials say the flu season is getting worse. And they say it's partly because the vaccine that's out there doesn't protect against more than half of this year's viruses.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control said the vaccine was effective against roughly half the strains making the rounds. But officials say the situation has deteriorated even in the last week. So that flu shot that you may have gotten a couple months ago is now a good match for only about 40 percent of the viruses.

In good years, the vaccine can fend off anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of flu bugs. The CDC's chief flu specialist says every area of the country is affected and 44 states are reporting widespread flu.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Littleboy on February 19, 2008, 02:55:20 PM
 More than 40 percent of Chinese rural drinking water unfit: report Mon Feb 18, 4:10 PM ET BEIJING (AFP) - More than 40 percent of drinking water in rural China falls short of government standards, state media said Monday, citing a health ministry study. The survey found 44.4 percent of all drinking water in the rural areas was unhealthy, leading to outbreaks  of diarrhoea and other diseases, Xinhua said, citing the Ministry of Health."The condition of drinking water in rural areas still has a long way to go to improve the health condition and living quality for rural people," said ministry spokesman Mao Qunan, according to Xinhua.The findings were based on a joint survey by the Ministry of Health and the National Committee for the Patriotic Public Health Campaign of nearly 7,000 samples from villages across the country, the report said.Mao said 74.9 percent of people drank underground water while 25.1 percent drank surface water."Most people living in rural areas do not have their drinking water sterilised, and often they just drink the well water, which may have been polluted already," the spokesman said.Three decades of unchecked industrialisation have led to massive contamination of China's water supplies and reports of polluting factories causing disruptions to water supplies emerge often.More than 70 percent of the country's waterways and 90 percent of its underground water is polluted, according to previously released government figures.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on February 19, 2008, 06:23:26 PM
Hello Littleboy,

This is sad but not very surprising. China appears to be much more interested in money than the are the lives and welfare of people. One could look at many of their recent exports and wonder what the Chinese people get. It stands to reason that it would probably be much worse.

It's great to hear from you, and I'm glad to see you on the forum.

Love In Christ,


Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 23, 2008, 04:19:40 PM
Feds set new recipe for next year's flu vaccine

Federal health advisers are recommending a completely reformulated recipe for next year's flu vaccine.

They're hoping it will provide better protection against three new and different flu strains. The Centers for Disease Control says this year's version has been a good match for only about 40 percent of the viruses that have emerged.

The CDC's flu director say the new formula will make for a "really busy spring and summer" for vaccine manufacturers expected to produce more than 100 million doses by the fall.

The flu vaccine is redone every year, because the influenza virus evolves quickly. The CDC has a relatively successful record, with vaccines proving well-matched in 16 of the last 19 flu seasons. But health authorities didn't spot this year's big culprit, the Brisbane/10 strain until it was too late.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Littleboy on February 24, 2008, 04:57:36 PM
Hi Brother Tom
Indias waters are even worse than China's...
When the dysaster at the Chernobyl Nucular site in Russia happened,
I had heard that the word Chernobyl means Wormwood!
Do you know if Chernobyl really means Wormwood?
and if it does,
Isn't it strange how russia has a star(wormwood) & sycle(reaping) as there Flag?
Even stranger, the fact that if the nucular waste from that plant gets into the water table, God only knows how many will die...(Maybe A 3rd of man) ;)
One Good earthquake in that area and i can see that happening!
I wonder if this is what John saw or if it was an actual star falling from Heaven that had the name Wormwood?
Something to contemplate while where waiting for his return for us...
I've missed & love you to Brother, stay strong & always forward!
I look forward to your input on this as well as others too...
Godspeed my Brother

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on February 24, 2008, 07:01:54 PM
Hello Littleboy,

I only have a casual knowledge of Chernobyl from what I remember hearing on the news. I've never considered Chernobyl in connection to Bible Prophecy, but it appears that many have. One can do an advanced Google search of:

All words:  Chernobyl wormwood

There are a large number of results, and many of the sites are related to Bible Prophecy. According to what I found, "Chernobyl" is Russian for "wormwood". I would have to think about this and study it to have any opinion about Chernobyl being related to Bible Prophecy. At this point, I would only have the same opinion I had before learning about this. I do think that we are nearing or in the end days of this Age of Grace. There are countless events around the world to indicate this possibility. I'll just say over all things that I will love the Glorious Appearing of JESUS CHRIST, our LORD and SAVIOUR forever!

Love In Christ,

Titus 2:11-14 NASB
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

2 Timothy 4:5-8 NASB
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 24, 2008, 11:14:00 PM
Rev 8:10  And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
Rev 8:11  And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

According to scripture Wormwood is an actual star that falls from heaven not something that is already here on earth. Based on this I personally am sure that Chernobyl has nothing to do with this prophecy.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on February 24, 2008, 11:49:30 PM
Hello Pastor Roger,

Brother, I hope this means you are some better or you don't have a really bad case of the flu. You are already in our prayers.

There is a star called "Wormwood". This is the first I've heard of anything involving Chernobyl. We do know that Russia is heavily involved in End Days events, so the meaning of "Chernobyl" is at least very strange. I would at least be curious about the reason why the Russians called a nuclear plant by this name. I usually say that I don't believe in coincidence, but I don't know about this one yet. I remember reading this word several times while studying Bible Prophecy, and I always thought this was a very strange name. However, I didn't do a word study on this and never did follow it up. I still have a lengthy list of things I want to study in the area of Bible Prophecy, so I'll add this to the list. We do know that any heavenly body large enough to get through the atmosphere without burning up would cause a horrible catastrophe. The explosive power could easily be many times larger than our biggest nuclear weapons. In fact, many things in nature have great power locked up in them.

Love In Christ,


Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 25, 2008, 12:04:43 AM
I'm still down in bed and doing a lot of sleeping, but I am able to be up on short intervals and dropped in here during one of them.

I looked into Chernobyl quite a bit right from the time it first occurred. Currently the area in which it happened is in much better condition than originally thought it would be. Wild life in that area is returning and is showing no signs of ill health from the incident. The sarcophagus (container encasing the spill) is still holding up and does not appear to be ready to release any of the spill for at least another 100 years.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on February 25, 2008, 01:16:15 AM

This particular Bible Prophecy is pretty plain and blunt, so the most logical translation is probably the most literal. It's just very strange there would be a nuclear plant bearing the same name at this time in history by a major player in the end times. Just the timing would make this interesting. The last I heard of Chernobyl was a documentary about children born in the area with horrible birth defects.

I do know there is usually a good reason for the mention of names, places, and details in the Holy Bible. In looking backward in time, it's almost as if GOD telling us why HE mentioned a particular detail. This is just one reason why the study of Bible Prophecy is so fascinating. The Bible has proven itself TRUE countless times, and these details were in the proofs. The proofs are being added by the day now with discoveries of various kinds that all prove the Bible to be 100% ACCURATE.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 25, 2008, 10:15:31 AM
I do know there is usually a good reason for the mention of names, places, and details in the Holy Bible. In looking backward in time, it's almost as if GOD telling us why HE mentioned a particular detail. This is just one reason why the study of Bible Prophecy is so fascinating.

Sometimes this is also Satan using such things to deceive people. I do believe that is the case in Chernobyl. It has been a leading away from Biblical teachings.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on February 25, 2008, 12:00:20 PM
Sometimes this is also Satan using such things to deceive people. I do believe that is the case in Chernobyl. It has been a leading away from Biblical teachings.

Hello Pastor Roger,

I'll take your word for this. I doubt that I'll have the time to look at this issue for some time. There's a great number of things that I want to study first. I have no idea what the people behind this thought teach, but I do know there are more self-proclaimed prophets by the day. It would be impossible to keep up with all of them, but I would rather just study the Bible anyway. In fact, I know it would be best for us all to spend most of our time with nothing but the Bible.

Love In Christ,


Title: Drug resistant TB 'at new high'
Post by: nChrist on February 26, 2008, 09:10:11 PM
Drug resistant TB 'at new high'
By Imogen Foulkes
BBC News, Geneva

TB is not 'last century's disease', the WHO warns Drug resistant tuberculosis has hit the highest levels ever recorded, according to a report on the disease from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In a survey of over 90,000 TB patients in 81 countries, the WHO found that levels of multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB were far higher then expected.

The survey also found cases of extensively drug resistant TB which is virtually untreatable in 45 countries.

The findings have taken the organisation by surprise.

MDR-TB is resistant to at least the two most powerful anti-TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin.

As a result patients do not respond to the standard six month treatment and have to take more expensive - and more toxic - drugs for up to two years.

It is especially prevalent in the former Soviet Union: in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, almost a quarter of all new TB cases are multi-drug resistant.

The new survey also reveals that the virtually untreatable form of TB is now present in dozens of countries.

Baku, Azerbaijan: 22.3%
Moldova: 19.4%
Donetsk, Ukraine: 16%
Tomsk Oblast, Russia: 15%
Tashkent, Uzbekistan: 14.8%

The figures may well be higher: many African states do not have the diagnostic tools to identify the disease, so the exact level of this often fatal form of TB remains unknown.

The WHO is calling for a major expansion in TB surveillance for treatment programmes for drug resistant tuberculosis to be scaled up.

The $5bn needed would be money well spent, says the WHO.

TB, it notes, is not "last century's disease". There were nine million new cases in 2006 alone, of which 1.7m died.

And neither is it confined to poor countries. In parts of east London, rates of TB are higher then in some developing nations.

Dr Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO Stop TB Department, said: "TB drug resistance needs a frontal assault.

"If countries and the international community fail to address it aggressively now we will lose this battle.

"In addition to specifically confronting drug-resistant TB and saving lives, programmes worldwide must immediately improve their performance in diagnosing all TB cases rapidly and treating them until cured, which is the best way to prevent the development of drug resistance."

The report also found a link between HIV infection and MDR-TB.

Surveys in Latvia and Ukraine found nearly twice the level of MDR-TB among TB patients living with HIV compared with patients without HIV.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Littleboy on February 27, 2008, 01:48:43 PM
I've always believed it is an actual star that John spoke of, Just thought it to be strange...
And it's just like God to do something strange like that...
I'm glad I'm a strong enough man of God though, to where something like this could'nt change my perspective on Reality!!
I know what is "is" so i have alot of time on my hands, Maybe to much? ;D
It's better to be one of his Son's, than a Prophet!

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Littleboy on February 27, 2008, 06:37:22 PM
Back to some reality...

Pollution turns Chinese river system red 57 minutes ago
 BEIJING - Pollution has turned part of a major river system in central China red and bubbly, forcing authorities to cut water supplies to 200,000 people and close schools, a government news agency reported Wednesday.

Some communities along tributaries of the Hanjiang River — a branch of the Yangtze — in Hubei province were using emergency water sources, while at least 60,000 people were relying on bottled water and limited underground sources, Xinhua News Agency said.

Five schools were closed in Xingou township, while others could not provide food to students, the report said without elaborating.

Gao Qijin, head of the water company in Xingou township, said officials discovered the Dongjing River — one of the tributaries — was red and bubbly Sunday. The company immediately stopped drawing water from the river, Xinhua cited Gao as saying.

Tests showed the polluted waters contained elevated levels of ammonia, nitrogen, and permanganate, a chemical used in metal cleaning, tanning and bleaching, Xinhua said. The source of the pollution had not been determined, and an investigation was ongoing.

Local officials closed a gate linking the Hanjiang River to the tributaries, and were using water from the nearby Changhu Lake to flush out the pollutants, the report said.

A paper mill dumped waste water directly into the Hanjiang last September, forcing authorities to cut water supplies for a week in some areas, Xinhua said. It did not say how many people were affected.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 29, 2008, 10:43:44 AM
Superbug deaths soar in England, Wales
'Figures reflect the full scale of the human cost of C. difficile infection'

The number of deaths linked with hospital superbug Clostridium difficile has soared in England and Wales, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Between 2005 and 2006 the number of death certificates which mentioned the infection rose by 72 per cent to 6,480. Elderly people were most at risk from the bacteria, which caused more than 55,000 infections in NHS hospitals last year.

It is thought that some of the increase may be due to more complete reporting on death certificates, but there has been a fiftyfold increase in C. difficile infections since 1990.

Deaths citing C. difficile as a factor increased by 77 per cent in men, and 66 per cent in women between 2005 and 2006, the new statistics show. In more than half of cases, C. difficile was listed as the underlying cause of death.

Rates in both sexes have risen dramatically since 2001, when there were only 1,200 mentions of the infection on death certificates.

The ONS figures also showed deaths involving another notorious superbug, MRSA, remained roughly the same between 2005 and 2006 - at about 1,650 each year.

C. difficile is present in the gut of 3 per cent of adults and two thirds of infants, although it rarely causes problems. However, certain antibiotics can disturb the normal balance, allowing the bug to thrive and causing severe diarrhoea and in some cases severe inflammation of the bowel which can be life threatening. Elderly hospital patients over 65 are most at risk from bacterial spores, which are difficult to eradicate from wards.

Brian Duerden, chief microbiologist at the Department of Health, said that ministers called for more accurate reporting of infections such as MRSA and C. difficile on death certificates in 2005.

“These statistics from 2006 show that this move has worked and our figures are now in line with other developed countries,” he said.

“Since 2006 we have taken significant steps to tackle infections. These include stringent hand-washing guidance for the NHS, a bare below-the-

elbows dress code, putting matrons back in charge of cleanliness on their wards and an ongoing deep clean of every ward.”

Professor Duerden added that hospital infection rates were now falling. The Health Protection Agency reported in November that rates of C. difficile infection may be levelling off, with the number of new cases down 7 per cent to 13,660, while MRSA cases are also falling.

But Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said that the figures “beg the question of why it took so long for the government to realise the seriousness of deadly infections such as C. difficile.

“Recent successes in keeping infection rates down are down to the hard work of NHS staff, who are up against enormous pressure to hit targets while keeping their wards infection-free.”

Andrew Lansley, the Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, described the figures as “unacceptable” and noted that hospital-acquired infections now kill almost three times as many people as road accidents.

“These shocking figures reflect the full scale of the human cost of C. difficile infection. The overall scale of infection is unacceptable and the need for a comprehensive infection control strategy, including improved antibiotic prescribing and access to isolation facilities, hand hygiene and cleanliness is paramount.”

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2008, 08:53:00 AM
MRSA 'superbug' becoming more resistant
'They can adapt to virtually any pressure that we expose them to,' doctors say

Peg McQueary is at war with bugs. They live inside her and she often leaves the invisible critters behind on the surfaces she touches. She can't see her enemies, only the nagging evidence they leave behind on her body.

They're microscopic and a million years old. Her weapons for battling them are heavy-duty antibiotics and disinfectants such as Lysol and bleach that she uses to clean her home. Despite her constant fighting back, the bugs are outsmarting her.

"There's a war between bugs and drugs, and the bugs are winning," said McQueary, who is 43 years old and lives in Roseville, Calif.

Her battle started three years ago, when she nicked her leg shaving on New Year's Eve.

"Two weeks later I was sicker than anybody can imagine — fever, nausea, just fatigued, very badly fatigued," McQueary said.

McQueary had no idea that her illness had anything to do with the small cut on her leg. She took a few days off from work and noticed that her leg and ankle had swelled.

"My leg and my ankle swelled to almost three times its normal size," McQueary said. "I got into the doctor, and he took one look at it and said, 'Oh my God, Peg, I think this is MRSA.'"

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and is one of a number of bacterial infections commonly found in hospitals. But now, it is being found with an increasing frequency outside hospitals. McQueary isn't sure where she got it.

"That's what's frightening — very frightening— because everything that you touch has a potential of having that illness on it," McQueary said. "Elevator buttons, stairways, your keyboards at work, your telephones at work, it's everywhere."

'Superbug' Setting Off Panic

Dr. Chip Chambers, chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at San Francisco General Hospital, said MRSA is an organism that stays with you but doesn't always affect those it lives within. MRSA can become fatal when it enters a sore or a pimple and gets into the bloodstream. The bacterial infection that was once confined to hospitals has now spilled out into communities at alarming rates, Chambers said.

"In the mid '90s and later, these strains began to be detected in people who had no hospital contact," Chambers said.

MRSA, and other bacterium like it, have become so prevalent in communities, and so resistant, that it's called a superbug. Chambers said the superbug is fatal in about 10 to 20 percent of cases in which there is a bloodstream infection.

As recently as mid-February, a 20-year-old college student in Washington state thought he was was battling the flu before he died from MRSA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 19,000 Americans die from the infection each year.

CA-MRSA, which signifies the community-acquired kind of MRSA, came full focus in the news last fall after a 12-year-old middle school student, Omar Rivera, died from it in Brooklyn, N.Y. His death set off a panic in schools. That same month, 17-year-old Ashton Bonds, a Virginia high school football player, died after contracting it. News of the so-called superbug was everywhere and catching doctors by surprise. They were not used to seeing the infection outside of hospitals, and were too often missing the signs.

Anyone can get a staph or MRSA infection, Chambers said.

"The way you tell is, typically, it's the appearance of a boil," Chambers said. "Classic features are … redness, the skin is warm, it's tender, there may be swelling and there may be drainage of pus."

MRSA Always Present

After the initial infected injury on McQueary's leg, there were more boils and sores that refused to heal. McQueary said that MRSA living inside of her has damaged muscles and tissue, and she believes that because her boils were not drained properly, the MRSA continued to thrive in her system. She's also quick to point out that people who believe they show signs of the infection should insist on a culture for MRSA.

"It's permanently in your system, McQueary said. "It can lie dormant. Some people never get it again, but some are like me." McQueary has been fighting off MRSA for three years now. Despite all the different antibiotics and precautions she takes, the infection keeps coming back.

Before the infection took over her life, McQueary and her husband used to make their living showing their prized Bernese mountain dogs. With the constant pain and therapy she can't do that anymore.

"I'm still doing pain management, still taking Norco, valium, just to get through my day with my leg because of the cramping and the spasms and the pain that goes through my leg," McQueary said. And as of today, McQueary is on two new antibiotic IV drips to fend off the latest recurrence of MRSA infection.

McQueary lives at home with her husband, their two children and toddler grandson. Her priority is to keep them safe. She makes sure that her 19-month-old grandson's hands are wiped and washed all the time to kill any staph bacteria. So far, none of her family members have contracted MRSA.

McQueary finds some comfort in doling out advise to other MRSA sufferers by sharing her experience with them on a Web site she moderates called MRSA Resources

Through her work with others on the Web site and through following news reports, McQueary knows that her story is actually quite common. " My case is not much different than thousands of others, it's crazy," she said.

Antibiotics Are Losing the Fight

Chambers and other infectious disease doctors are concerned that eventually the drugs they use to treat MRSA will stop working.

"We may eventually lose what drugs we do have, [and that] is a real concern in treating MRSA infections," Chambers said. "We know from the experience in the hospital that this organism-type of bacteria is very adept at adapting to any antibiotic that we throw at it."

Common infections are treated with a week or 10 days of antibiotics and they're gone, but McQueary has tried dozens of antibiotics and her infection goes away only to come back again.


Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2008, 08:54:08 AM
Finding an antibiotic that works is not as easy as it used to be because bacteria grow more virulent over time. In a lab at the University of California at San Fransisco, where the latest and most aggressive MRSA strain, USA300, was discovered, researchers match patients with antibiotics they hope will cure them.

Using bacteria from infected patients, Dr. Jeff Brooks grows ''lawns'' of germs in petri dishes and adds tiny spots of antibiotics. He then waits 24 hours to see what works on that particular strain. The results show how complicated finding an antibiotic can be. After all, bugs such as MRSA are organisms whose very DNA is designed for survival.

Said Chambers: "They can mutate. They can adapt to virtually any pressure that we expose them to and the most important one now is antibiotics. From the bacteria point of view, antibiotics are the biggest problem they've had to face in their evolution and they're doing a good job of adapting."

There are antibiotics in the pipeline for some infections, including MRSA, but they are slow to arrive on the market and few are in a convenient pill form.

"The problem is oral drugs," Chambers said. "Most of these are not oral; they require intravenous administration."

That presents patients with a difficult and costly outlook for hospital treatment. The antibiotics that McQueary is getting right now are daptomycin and cephazolin.

"If I become resistant to the daptomycin, we don't know what we're going to do," she said.

Part of the problem is that developing antibiotics isn't a priority for pharmaceutical companies, according to the chairman of the University of California at San Franciso's Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Dr. Joseph Guglielmo.

"I would say for pharmaceutical companies, frankly, there is not as great a fiscal incentive to produce new anti-infectives as opposed to drugs for chronic disease states," he said. "And the reason for that is you give an antibiotic that may only be given for seven days. As opposed to, let's say a cholesterol-lowering drug, or an anti-depressant, which is given to you for the rest of your life, the fiscal return on the investment is better with those."

In fact, antibiotic development has dropped off dramatically. During the five-year period ending in 1987, the Food and Drug Administration licensed 16 new antibiotics. But in the five-year period ending in 2007, only five were approved.

'Too Quick to Give Antibiotics?'

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics is believed to be part of why the MRSA bug is growing so strong. There seems to be a general widespread practice of prescribing antibiotics for bacterial infections sometimes even before we are certain that the infection being treated is bacterial.

"We're too quick to give antibiotics," Chambers said, adding that the more we use them, the faster bacteria evolve to resist them.

"We would not have drug resistance if we did not have drugs. It's that simple," Chambers said. "Of course, we have to have antibiotics and antimicrobial drugs that are used to treat infections, but there is this tradeoff in using antibiotics."

Doctors regularly talk about a "post-antibiotic era" and if history is any indication, we are well on our way. The overprescribing and misuse of antibiotics have long been eroding their effectiveness.

Penicillin was the wonder drug of the 1940s, but now it is rarely prescribed. Cipro was once considered a miracle drug. In 1999, it worked on 95 percent of e-coli specimens. By 2006, it was effective only 60 percent of the time.

"When nature confronts an adversity there is a mutation that takes place to allow it to survive, and I think these bacteria are very simply trying to survive," Guglielmo said.

While doctors advise people to use antibiotics only when they're needed, the best prevention against MRSA is to wash hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds at a time. It's a message that Peg McQueary has taken to heart

"This is all you need to wash your hands with. Just plain old soap and water. You don't need antibacterial that they're selling in the stores, plain old soap and water and wash your counters down, your door handles with bleach and make sure you've got your Lysol spray."

McQueary is in the practice of religiously spraying Lysol on her door handles, and washes all floors and counters with bleach every day. While MRSA has certainly changed her habits, the toll it has taken on her life and on her family is far more dramatic.

"It's changed everybody's life -- it's put everything on hold. Our biggest love is getting out there and showing our dogs, and that has just been nonexistent."

The Bernese mountain dogs have to be satisfied with short walks around the neighborhood for now.

"I hope to just be able to have the strength to go back out, show my dogs, do the things that we used to do before I got sick and just take it one day at a time. Deal with it one day at a time. If another boil comes, we deal with it. Just as we've been doing for the last three years."

Title: Asia shows way to fight dengue as global spread looms
Post by: nChrist on March 13, 2008, 09:45:20 AM
Asia shows way to fight dengue as global spread looms

Clarissa Poon was one of an estimated 50 million people who contracted mosquito-borne dengue fever last year. She spent an agonizing week on a drip in a Bangkok hospital as she battled the potentially deadly disease.
Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 7:54 (GMT)

Clarissa Poon was one of an estimated 50 million people who contracted mosquito-borne dengue fever last year. She spent an agonizing week on a drip in a Bangkok hospital as she battled the potentially deadly disease.

"There was not a single moment when I wasn't aching everywhere, dizzy and nauseous. I was so weak I couldn't even stand," said Poon, who caught the illness during a family holiday at a beach resort in Thailand.

"My kids were very worried because the mother of one of their friends died," she added.

From Africa to Asia to Latin America, around 2.5 billion people live in areas that are at risk of dengue fever, a viral disease spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. There is no vaccine or drugs to treat the illness which killed an estimated 22,000 people last year, most of them children.

Due to international travel and climate change, the Aedes aegypti mosquito's habitat is spreading.

In January, health officials warned that the disease was poised to move across the United States. It has been spreading aggressively in Latin America and the Caribbean, reaching epidemic levels last year.

Dengue is endemic in Southeast Asia where a tropical climate and monsoon rains provide ideal conditions.

Strategies developed in places such as Singapore might provide vital information for other countries seeking to combat the virus and the mosquitoes that spread it. Family doctors in Singapore look out for patients with suspicious symptoms. When cases are confirmed, researchers try to nail down the specific dengue virus subtype, of which there are four, and the location of the outbreak.

"You need to monitor what (subtype) is going around ... You want to limit the damage, the fatalities," the World Health Organisation's advisor in Asia, John Ehrenberg, told Reuters.

While dengue and malaria share geographical patterns, dengue is more dangerous because its mosquito carriers thrive indoors. Mosquitoes that carry malaria are rarely found in urban areas.

Dengue fever is endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and western Pacific. Of the 50 million people who contract the disease every year, about one percent get potentially deadly severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which requires hospitalization.

There is no cure or vaccination for dengue fever. Sufferers such as Poon, face an increased likelihood of developing DHF if they contract the disease again, which is not uncommon for those living in the tropics where the mosquito carriers flourish.


International travel has made the spread of dengue inevitable, experts say.

"There is always a risk for the borders ... In central America, you have a lot of people moving up north," Ehrenberg said. "There is a risk of people moving in with dengue."

Ehrenberg says there is little to stop dengue from spreading. He compares it to West Nile virus which appeared in New York in 1999 and then spread across the United States, Canada and Mexico. West Nile killed 98 people in the United States last year.

"As you can see with West Nile virus, there is hardly anything you can do to control its spread in the U.S. It's all over the place now. There's always the risk of introducing, when the climatic conditions are right," Ehrenberg said.

Both dengue and West Nile are spread by mosquitoes.

"It's a neglected disease because no one pays attention in between outbreaks, except in places like Singapore, where there is very good surveillance," Ehrenberg said.

In Singapore, health workers aggressively control breeding sites by regularly spraying pesticides in parks and gardens. Government inspectors fine people for allowing water to build up in flower pots which is a favourite breeding site.

Singapore reported 14,000 dengue cases in 2005, but that fell to 3,597 cases in the first half of 2007.

With 42,456 cases in 2006 and 45,893 in 2005, Thailand figures near the top of the dengue list. Fanned out across the country are 500,000 volunteers who educate villagers on mosquito control, chiefly by removing stagnant pools of water.

Kitti Pramathphol, head of Thailand's dengue control, said more inspections would be made to remove potential breeding sites before the rainy season in June and July, when the disease peaks.

"Its eggs can hide in crevices and survive for a year without water in tropical climates and in normal temperatures. Once there is rain or water, they will hatch into larvae," he said.

Compared to its cousin, the Culex mosquito, the Aedes aegypti is considered a weaker species.

"It is slender and has thin wings. Culex likes to breed in drain water, but Aedes will die in such dirty water. It likes rain water, relatively clean water," Pramathpol said.

"It is usually indoors and has problems surviving outdoors," Pramathphol said, adding that another strategy was to trap it indoors with insecticide-laced curtains.

Drugmaker Novartis AG has designed a drug which it hopes can combat all four dengue viruses.

"If the safety is acceptable, we hope to go into human testing, hopefully next year," Paul Herrling, head of corporate research, said in a telephone interview.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 18, 2008, 10:36:33 PM
Superbug infection detected in facelifts
NYC surgeon warning: 'It's not surprising that it has been found in cosmetic surgery'

A dangerous drug-resistant bacterial infection has been showing up in a small number of patients who undergo face-lifts, doctors reported on Monday.

When infections do occur at surgical sites following such procedures "the facial plastic surgeon should have a high suspicion" for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), as the source, they said.

Dr. Richard Zoumalan of Lennox Hill-Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital in New York and the New York University School of Medicine and Dr. David Rosenberg also of the Lennox Hill center said a review of 780 U.S. face-lift patients from 2001 to 2007 found five -- 0.6 percent -- with infections at incision sites. Four were confirmed as MRSA, all in 2006.

Of the four, two patients appeared to have been exposed to the bacteria before surgery -- one who had spent time with her spouse in a cardiac intensive care unit four months earlier, and another who had frequent contact with her brother-in-law, a cardiologist, the report said.

As many as 1.5 percent of Americans carry the highly contagious infection and may spread it to others without developing a serious infection themselves. It was blamed for an estimated 19,000 deaths in 2005 in the United States.

It has become the most common cause of all infections at surgical incision sites, and about 85 percent of cases happen in hospitals where the infection can kill the weak.

"It's not surprising that it has been found in cosmetic surgery," Rosenberg said in an interview; adding that the study was the first to confirm it.

He said follow-up research he and Zoumalan have done has found no additional cases of MRSA in face-lift surgeries where the skin was pre-treated to kill the bacteria.

Since people enter hospitals with the bacteria, he said, "the emphasis has to be on pre-treatment."

The report published in the current issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery said doctors who perform face-lifts may want to start screening patients to track down those who may be at risk.

"During preoperative evaluation, a full medical history should include information on possible prior contacts with persons at high risk for carrying MRSA," the study said.

"Other risk factors include age, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and prolonged postoperative stay. Groups with higher incidence ... include athletes, military personnel, prison inmates, men who have sex with men, intravenous drug users, native Americans and Pacific Islanders," it added.

The post-surgery infection rate found in the study was about the same as that found in research done 10 years ago, but the earlier study was done when MRSA was still rare, the authors said.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 18, 2008, 10:37:30 PM
More TB cases slip through detection net
Countries fail to keep up with rapid progress made in earlier years

The World Health Organisation warned Monday that more new tuberculosis cases are slipping through the detection net, as countries fail to keep up with rapid progress made in earlier years.

"After some years of good trends for tuberculosis control, 2006 documents a slowing of progress -- the rate at which new cases were detected increased only slightly compared to recent years," WHO director-general Margaret Chan told journalists.

"This slowdown in progress comes at a time when numbers are still way too high," she added.

The WHO estimates that only 61 percent of all TB cases worldwide are registered.

In 2006, some 9.2 million new cases of TB were detected against 9.1 million in 2005, said the WHO in its annual report on TB control.

The WHO estimates that, including non-detected cases, there were 14.4 million cases of the disease worldwide in 2006.

Between 2001 and 2005, detection rates were increasing by six percent a year, but in 2006, this rate was halved to three percent.

"This is not a good sign because our target is to detect all cases that exist. There is 39 percent that we are unable to find, but which we think is there," said Mario Raviglione, who is director of the WHO's Stop TB department.

The slowdown was attributed to the fact that some national programmes that were making steady progress during the last five years have not been able to continue at the same pace in 2006, said the WHO.

In addition, in many African countries, there has not been any increase in the detection of TB cases through national programmes.

Others are slipping out of the detection net as they are treated by private care providers, and by NGOs or community groups, added the WHO.

"We've entered a new era. To make progress, firstly public programmes must be further strengthened. Secondly we need to fully tap the potential of other service providers," said Chan.

The health organisation also drew attention to the significant number of HIV-infected people with TB. In 2006, some 700,000 new cases of HIV-infected people with TB were detected.

"The report clearly demonstrates how closely linked TB and HIV are," said Peter Piot, who is executive director of UNAIDS.

In 2006, 200,000 TB deaths were recorded among people who were infected with HIV, while an estimated 1.5 million people without HIV also succumbed to tuberculosis.

"It's the single most important cause of death for people living with HIV," said Piot.

The report singled out Rwanda, Malawi and Kenya as posting the highest HIV testing rates among African states.

"The report tells us that we are far from providing universal access to high-quality prevention, diagnostic, treatment and care services for HIV and TB," said Piot.

Just last month, the WHO warned that drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis have been recorded at their highest rates ever around the globe amid shortages in funding needed to combat the disease.

Nearly a half million new cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis occur each year worldwide, or around five percent of the nine million new cases in total, the WHO said then.

Title: Military helps Rio tackle dengue
Post by: nChrist on March 25, 2008, 12:53:31 PM
Military helps Rio tackle dengue

By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Sao Paulo

Brazil's Defence Minister Nelson Jobim says the military is ready to help the city of Rio de Janeiro deal with rising numbers of dengue fever cases.

Some 48 people have now died across the state of Rio since the start of 2008.

The vast majority of victims have been in the city itself, where hospitals have been struggling to cope.

Dengue fever - which is transmitted by mosquitoes - causes high temperature, headaches and muscle pain and, in extreme cases, it can kill.

The impact is increasingly being felt in urban areas where stagnant waters are an attractive breeding ground for mosquitoes.

While overall, federal officials say the number of cases in Brazil have fallen, in the state of Rio de Janeiro there has been a significant rise - more than 33,000 this year - prompting one leading doctor to describe it as a catastrophe.

A seven-month-old baby girl is thought to have been the latest victim, and hospitals have been struggling to cope with the demand, with many people queuing for hours to get attention.

The defence minister has said the plans could involve setting up military hospitals in the areas which have been worst affected.

There has been growing criticism of the authorities for their handling of the crisis, with the local doctors' union urging prosecutors to charge officials with criminal negligence.

Although Mr Jobim did not apportion blame to any specific authority, he said there had been what he called a "leniency in the campaign against dengue" and because of this, "we are now paying the price", he added.

City officials are to open a crisis centre next week and are urging children and adolescents, who have been among the worst affected by the outbreak, to wear long trousers, socks and shoes to help prevent mosquito bites.

Easter holiday leave has been cancelled for doctors, with hospitals now reporting more than 2,000 new cases a day.


Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 04, 2008, 08:22:29 PM
China puts nation on alert to try to stop deadly virus
22 children have died in 1 city – type of hand, foot and mouth disease spreading

 China's Health Ministry ordered heightened efforts to stem the spread of infectious diseases Saturday following an outbreak of a virus that has caused the deaths of 22 children in one city and is spreading.

The outbreak of enterovirus 71, a type of hand, foot and mouth disease that children are susceptible to, is another headache for the communist government as it prepares for the Beijing Olympics already tarnished by an uprising among Tibetans and an international torch relay disrupted by protests.

Stepped up vigilance by health bureaus and hospitals to prevent the spread of infectious diseases was necessary "to guarantee the smooth staging of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics and to ... preserve social stability," said the order posted on the ministry's Web site.

Prompting the government to act was an unusual jump in cases of the enterovirus, known as EV-71, in Fuyang, a fast-growing city set in the rural heartland of central China.

As of early Saturday, 3,736 cases of EV-71 were reported in Fuyang's mainly rural outskirts, a rise of 415 in about 24 hours, health officials said. Besides the 22 deaths, 1,115 people remain hospitalized, 42 of them in serious or critical condition, said the health department of Anhui Province, where Fuyang is located.

State-run television footage showed workers spraying disinfectant around houses in rural areas outside Fuyang and medical teams visiting families with small children.

Meanwhile, nearly 800 other cases were reported in other parts of Anhui, the health department said on its Web site. In Guangdong province, 1,000 miles to the south, preliminary tests showed an 18-month-old boy who died Friday was infected with EV-71, and a second suspected death is under investigation, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Cases of hand, foot and mouth outbreaks, but not necessarily EV-71, have been reported in at least two other provinces, Xinhua said.

The Health Ministry said it expected infections to climb, and peak in June and July. While the order singled out hand, foot and mouth disease for particular concern, it also mentioned hepatitis A, measles and other infectious diseases.

Hand, foot and mouth disease causes fever, mouth sores and rashes with blisters. Spread by contact with the stool or discharge from the sneezing or coughing of infected people, the viruses mainly strike children 10 years and younger. Some cases can lead to fatal brain swelling. The illness is not related to the foot and mouth disease that hits livestock.

There is no vaccine or specific therapy to treat the disease. Health experts recommend improved hygiene, with more frequent hand-washing and disinfecting areas.

The large number of cases spreading across a large area brings up parallels with the communist government's handling of previous infectious outbreaks, especially that of SARS pneumonia in 2003. Government attempts to conceal the emergence of SARS, a new disease at the time, contributed to its spread beyond Guangdong in 2003, ultimately causing 774 deaths worldwide and forcing Beijing to apologize to the world.

When avian influenza started killing birds and sickening some people in East and Southeast Asia, Beijing was criticized for not sharing information on outbreaks and virus samples with international health authorities.

People in Fuyang also complained that the government's response to EV-71 was slow, allowing rumors to spread. The first word many people had about the outbreak were signs posted at hospitals on preventing hand, foot and mouth disease, the China Youth Daily reported.

The World Health Organization said Thursday that while cases in Fuyang cropped up in early March, they increased sharply starting April 19.

The WHO credited a rapid response from the government for steeply decreasing the rate of fatalities in the second half of April — to 0.2 percent of cases from 11 percent March 10-31. The ministry sent expert teams to Anhui to lead treatment of the disease and prevent its spread.

Outbreaks of viruses are frequent across rural China, where hygiene is often poor and people and animals live near each other.

In SARS' wake, the government invested heavily in disease-monitoring and ordered emergency response plans for outbreaks and other crises. Several notices issued by the Health Ministry on Friday and Saturday geared up those networks, calling for timely reporting of cases and the prompt examination of samples from patients with unidentified viruses.

Pointedly, the ministry vowed to punish officials, health workers or agencies that tried to cover up outbreaks or delayed reporting them.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 07, 2008, 12:10:09 AM
Tainted Mexican cheese spreading TB in U.S.
Unpasteurized dairy products linked to reemergence of ancient disease

A rare form of tuberculosis caused by illegal, unpasteurized dairy products, including the popular queso fresco cheese, is rising among Hispanic immigrants in Southern California and raising fears about a resurgence of a strain all but eradicated in the U.S.

Cases of the Mycobacterium bovis strain of TB have increased in San Diego county, particularly among children who drink or eat dairy foods made from the milk of infected cattle, a study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases shows.

But the germ can infect anyone who eats contaminated fresh cheeses sold by street vendors, smuggled across the Mexican border or produced by families who try to make a living selling so-called “bathtub cheese” made in home tubs and backyard troughs.
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Scientists at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine are warning that improved screening, treatment and public education are necessary to prevent the spread of the disease that now accounts for about 10 percent of all new cases of TB in that border region — and, perhaps, others.

“M. bovis TB is a disease of antiquity,” said Timothy Rodwell, a researcher who led the study published by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It is important that it not be allowed to re-emerge as a cause of TB in this country.”

Unlike typical TB, caused by the M. tuberculosis strain, the bovine variety isn’t easily spread through human-to-human contact.  It settles less often in the lungs, making it less likely to be transmitted through breathing and coughing, Rodwell said.

Rare strain resists drug treatment
However, the M. bovis bug is resistant to front-line drug therapy and adults who contract it are more than twice as likely as those with traditional TB to die before treatment is complete.

Researchers studied nearly 3,300 culture-confirmed cases of TB in San Diego county between 1994 and 2005, the study showed. Some 265 of the cases were identified as the bovine TB. Though the number of cases remained small, they increased by nearly 65 percent over time, rising from 17 cases a year to 28 cases a year.

By 2005, more than half the M. bovis cases were diagnosed in children younger than 15, the study said. Nearly all of the cases were in Hispanics, and 60 percent were in people from Mexico. Between 2001 and 2005, 19 adults with M. Bovis died before or during treatment.

That worries TB health experts, who say that the small numbers belie a potentially large problem.

“I wouldn’t want to characterize it as increasing in epidemic proportions,” said Dr. Kathleen Moser, director of tuberculosis control programs for San Diego County.

“But it’s clearly being seen, and being seen in places where people drink unpasteurized milk and eat unpasteurized dairy products.”

Demand for Hispanic cheeses has skyrocketed in California, where 108 million pounds of legal, properly pasteurized queso fresco and other cheeses were produced last year, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Last year, Moser was concerned enough about dangerous, illegal varieties to launch a public health campaign that included ads on Spanish-language television stations and new brochures that warned families to beware of infected cheese.

Officials seize illegal cheese
Agriculture officials have been cracking down on illegally produced cheese, including more than 375 pounds of so-called “bathtub cheese” seized from an open-air market in San Bernardino last year, according to Steve Lyle, the agency’s director of public affairs. Such cheeses have been found to be colonized with salmonella, listeria, E. coli and M. Bovis TB.

The problem stems from cattle in Mexico, where M. Bovis infects an estimated 17 percent of herds. In the U.S., the problem is limited to occasional outbreaks among isolated herds. Overall, the U.S. virtually eradicated the M. Bovis variety in the 1900s, Rodwell said.

TB officials in the U.S. want to watch the trend closely. Although there are about 9 million new cases of TB in the world each year and about 2 million deaths, cases in the U.S. have dropped dramatically. More than half of the 13,300 U.S. cases a year are now concentrated in people born outside the U.S.

Rodwell cautioned that people worried about the M. Bovis strain of TB should pay closer attention to dairy products, not people.

“It is NOT a disease you are very likely to get from a foreign-born person,” he said in an e-mail. “The increase in M. bovis cases is more about what you eat, not where you were born.”

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: HisDaughter on June 07, 2008, 12:40:05 AM
I used to work in the TB clinic here in Seattle, in the pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).  A disease that was all but gone is reaching epidemic proportions again.
Immigrants from all over the world, not just Mexico have brought it back.  Most of the people we saw needed an interpreter to explain their meds to them.  Or we had a sheet written in all kinds of languages and we would just point and let them read the instructions.  They have to take these meds for 6 mos to a year and longer.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: HisDaughter on June 07, 2008, 08:25:36 PM
Salmonella illnesses spread to 16 states

updated 1 hour, 6 minutes ago

Salmonella food poisoning first linked to uncooked tomatoes has spread to 16 states, federal health officials said Saturday.

Investigations by the Texas and New Mexico Departments of Health and the U.S. Indian Health Service have tied 56 cases in Texas and 55 in New Mexico to raw, uncooked, tomatoes.

"We're seeing a steady increase," Deborah Busemeyer, New Mexico Department of Health communications director, said Saturday.

An additional 50 people have been sickened by the same Salmonella "Saintpaul" infection in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Investigators are trying to determine if raw tomatoes also are responsible for the illnesses in those states, said Arleen Porcell, a CDC spokeswoman.

The source of the tomatoes responsible for the illnesses has not been pinpointed, but health officials in Texas and New Mexico said none of them was grown in those two states.

At least 23 people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported, she said. Patients ranged in age from 1 to 82.

The rarity of the Saintpaul strain and the number of illnesses "suggest that implicated tomatoes are distributed throughout the country," she said.

Interviews conducted with 73 people found the illnesses began between April 16 and May 27, Porcell said.

Source of outbreak
Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached and homegrown tomatoes are likely not the source of the outbreak, Busemeyer said.

Also not associated with the outbreak are raw Roma, red plum and round red tomatoes from Arkansas, California, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Belgium, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, Netherlands and Puerto Rico, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Association.

Salmonella is a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. It usually is transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with animal feces.

Most infected people suffer fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps starting 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness tends to last four to seven days. Many people recover without treatment, but severe infection and death is possible.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 10, 2008, 09:06:09 PM
Florida tomato industry in 'complete collapse'
Official: $40 million of crop will rot if salmonella outbreak not traced

Tomato growers scrambled Tuesday to deal with the fallout from an outbreak of salmonella illness traced to eating certain types of tomatoes.

Shipments of tomatoes from Mexico to the United States have stopped, according to a major tomato-growers' association, while Florida officials warned that their industry is in a state of "complete collapse" due to the outbreak.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says there have been 167 cases of salmonellosis since mid-April, including 23 that required hospitalization, associated with consumption of raw tomatoes.
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The FDA's Web page on the outbreak has a "safe list" of 19 states and six countries whose produce is not associated with the outbreak. As of the latest update Tuesday, Florida and Mexico have been left off the list.

“We probably have $40 million worth of product we can’t sell. We’ve had to stop packing, stop picking,” said Reggie Brown, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange.

The FDA has approved a plan that will allow key growing areas in Florida to resume shipping tomatoes, said Liz Compton, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Agriculture. Under the plan, Florida tomatoes will be shipped with a certificate indicating that they came from areas in the state that were not harvesting prior to May 1, when the outbreak began.

"We therefore plan to update our Web posting this evening to indicate the geographic regions in Florida from which red round, Roma and plum tomatoes are identified as not the source of the outbreak," Faye Feldstein, acting director of the FDA's office of food defense, communication and emergency response, told Florida officials in an e-mail.

The e-mail was made available to by Florida state officials.

The outbreak was linked to eating certain raw red plum, red Roma and red round tomatoes, and products containing these tomatoes. Several major restaurant and grocery chains have stopped selling those varieties.

“It fundamentally shut down the industry,” said Brown. “The stuff that should have been harvested over the weekend won’t survive more than another day or so. The stuff we have in storage is getting riper every minute and at some point it will have to be disposed of.”

Florida is the largest tomato-producing state, with a crop valued at $500 million to $700 million annually, he said. The state produces more than 90 percent of the nation’s tomatoes this time of year, Brown said.

But the concern is hardly limited to Florida as growers fear the outbreak could cast a pall over their product for the prime summer season.

“Even though our tomatoes are safe, we know consumers are going to stay away from our product this year,” said Jack King, the California Farm Bureau Federation’s national affairs manager. “The lesson we learned with the spinach E. coli outbreak is that regardless of where the problem exists, it affects all growers.”

The FDA has said that it is safe to eat cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached. But those varieties account for only a tiny portion of the industry, Brown said.

Federal officials are still hunting for the source of the bacterial outbreak, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is linked to a rare strain called salmonella saintpaul.

The infections have struck most often in New Mexico and Texas.

If the federal government takes weeks to uncover the source, the damage to the industry could grow, industry experts warned.

“This is a nightmare for growers. This is right when their product should be coming to market, and everyone is saying don’t buy it,” said Jaydee Hanson, a policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, a Washington-based nonprofit. “The tragedy is that people will quit eating things that are safe because they’re worried.”

A spokesman for the Sinaloa state Tomato Growers Association says exports from Mexico have been halted as a precaution. So far there is no evidence that the salmonella originated in Mexico, which accounts for about one-third of winter tomatoes in the United States.

Salmonella bacteria are frequently responsible for food-borne illnesses. Symptoms generally appear within 12 to 72 hours after eating infected food and include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 07, 2008, 08:18:28 PM
Feds target children with live flu vaccine
Formula planned for possibly millions contains virus that can spread on contact

The federal government plans to give children – possibly millions of them – a live influenza vaccine they could transmit to anyone with whom they come into contact.

The vaccinations could start as early as a few weeks from now, and the infections could be spread for up to three weeks following the vaccinations, officials confirmed.

Each half milliliter portion of the formula, called FluMist, contains particles of "live, attenuated influenza virus," writes Robert Carrillo on his extensive blog posting about the vaccine.

"That means that between 10 million and 100 million viral particles will be forcefully injected into the nostrils administered," he says.

Carillo warns one of the most troubling concerns over the injection is the potential for the viruses to enter directly into the brain.

"At the top of the nasal passages is a paper-thin bone called the cribriform plate," he explains. "The olfactory nerves pass through this bone and line the nasal passages, carrying messenger molecules to the brain that are identified as 'smells' familiar to us. The olfactory tract has long been recognized as a direct pathway to the brain."

According to MedImmune, the company providing FluMist, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted earlier this year to "expand flu vaccination recommendations to include all children six months through 18 years of age."

Previously, the recommendations were to vaccinate children from six months to 59 months of age, the report said.

"The new guidelines add approximately 30 million children to the recommended pediatric population to be vaccinated annually against influenza," the company said.

"MedImmune is committed to doing all it can to support the ACIP's expanded influenza vaccination recommendations and to work toward our common goal to vaccinate more children against the flu each year," John Trizzino, vice president, vaccines, said in a prepared statement. "The data presented … highlight the need to use every possible opportunity to improve vaccination rates and compliance, including vaccinating children when they visit their healthcare providers for back-to-school check-ups and sports physicals. We are focused on delivering FluMist(R) (Influenza Virus Vaccine Live, Intranasal) into the marketplace this year beginning in August."

Carrillo, who works with an organization advising about the dangers of vaccines, says among some of the ingredients of various vaccines are human diploid lung cells, fetal bovine serum, aluminum, formaldehyde, mercury and dry natural latex rubber.

In this particular case, however, probably the most significant issues are that recipients of the vaccine could suffer complications. There are advisories against giving it to children under age 2, anyone with asthma or pregnant women, and the vaccine could transmit the virus itself to others.

"It has been documented that the live viruses from the vaccine can be shed (and potentially spread into the community) from recipient children for up to 21 days," Carrillo writes.

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, agreed.

"It's a live virus," she told WND. "There is a risk if you give it to a child, the child could expose someone to that vaccine virus in whom there could be complications."

The drug manufacturer also warns of possible complications for people afflicted with the Guillain-Barre syndrome.

"You could transmit the virus [to someone] in whom the vaccine could cause a reaction," Orient said. "What about a child whose mother turns out to be pregnant?"

There also is a warning about the danger to people whose immune systems are affected, such as individuals taking chemotherapy.

A study cited by the company in its documentation about the vaccine confirmed that a transmission of influenza from a vaccinated child to someone else is possible. That study encompassed 197 children in a day-care center, officials said.

"It does replicate and is shed and has been transmitted to a few individuals in this study," Orient said.

But she said that going from 197 children to 30 million kids, "I would say is a big experiment."

"I would be concerned about the hazards," she told WND. "And I'm not convinced about the benefit."

Orient, who serves as medical adviser for the institute's projects involving human health and disease, also is president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness and of Physicians for Civil Defense.

Carrillo also cites the moral concerns raised by vaccines. He writes on his blog, "The Bible teaches us that children are a gift from God," and parents are entrusted with the care and welfare of their children.

"Parents, not the state, are responsible to make health care decisions on behalf of their children," he says, noting the moral problems raised by vaccines that are produced using aborted baby lung tissue.

"The Bible also teaches that there have been times in history when evil government and government employees have attempted, through force or color of law, to intimidate, harm or destroy the children of God's people … Therefore, if a parent feels that vaccines are not safe, it is their responsibility to defend our children from an individual or government who is attempting to subject our children to those vaccine risks," he says.

"The Bible teaches that when man's law contradicts God's law, His people must obey God over Man. … Therefore, be it known, should any policy, edict or legislation of man decree our children must be vaccinated, we must obey God rather than man," he says

"Just so you know one flu shot a year [five] years in a row will increase chances of Alzheimer's by X10 FOLD. WOW! It is criminal that now babies at 6 months old are getting this TOXIC vaccine," Carillo says.

Federal advisory board members cited a study that found fewer than 20 percent of school-age children from 5-19 were vaccinated in their doctors' offices during the most recent influenza season.

"Just so you know, only 10 percent of the adverse reactions gets reported and the count on the site for FluMist so far is over 800 adverse reactions so in reality over 8,000 people have had an adverse reaction," Carrillo counters.

He notes parents still have retained a right to exempt their children.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the government advisory panel decision doesn't make such flu shots mandatory, but "it will smooth the way for both private insurers and publicly funded vaccination programs to pay for the immunizations."

The report did confirm that controlling influenza among children is a key to fighting the seasonal attacks.

"Kids are the vectors. They bring it home from school and give it to their parents. If you can stop it at school, you stop it at home and break the cycle," says Dr. Frank Malinoski of Gaithersburg, Md., a senior vice president for MedImmune.

The Chronicle report said there have been about two dozen pediatric influenza deaths so far this year. But it also noted the company stands to gain a return on its vaccine, with a price of about $18 per dose.

Another organization, called Families Fighting Flu, Inc., was whole-heartedly in support of the plan.

"We strongly urge all parents to recognize the severity of influenza and get their children vaccinated against the flu every year," said Richard Kanowitz, president of the group.

The organization, however, confirmed it is funded by unrestricted grants from several pharmaceutical companies, including MedImmune.

At Vaccination Liberation officials said vaccines have left flu largely unchanged in recent years anyway.

"Deaths from flu and pneumonia declined by about 90 percent of the year 1900 rates before the widespread use of flu vaccines. This demonstrates with certain[t]y that the major preventive of flu deaths (and flu incidence) is sanitation and nutrition. The fact that no further declines have occur[r]ed in the death rate for combined flu and pneumonia deaths tells us that the ONLY preventive for flu deaths and flu incidence is the lifestyle elements which make a healthy life."

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 07, 2008, 08:20:55 PM
Considering that head Drs of government agencies and the manufacturer of the vaccine both make these warnings it is evident that it is not just a conspiracy theory gone amok. I strongly urge all parents to insure that your children are not given this vaccine.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: HisDaughter on July 12, 2008, 08:08:24 PM
Honey bee crisis could lead to higher food prices (


Food prices could rise even more unless the mysterious decline in honey bees is solved, farmers and businessmen told lawmakers Thursday.

"No bees, no crops," North Carolina grower Robert D. Edwards told a House Agriculture subcommittee. Edwards said he had to cut his cucumber acreage in half because of the lack of bees available to rent.

About three-quarters of flowering plants rely on birds, bees and other pollinators to help them reproduce. Bee pollination is responsible for $15 billion annually in crop value.

In 2006, beekeepers began reporting losing 30 percent to 90 percent of their hives. This phenomenon has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Scientists do not know how many bees have died; beekeepers have lost 36 percent of their managed colonies this year. It was 31 percent for 2007, said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service.

"If there are no bees, there is no way for our nation's farmers to continue to grow the high quality, nutritious foods our country relies on," said Democratic Rep. Dennis Cardoza of California, chairman of the horticulture and organic agriculture panel. "This is a crisis we cannot afford to ignore."

Food prices have gone up 83 percent in three years, according to the World Bank.

Edward R. Flanagan, who raises blueberries in Milbridge, Maine, said he could be forced to increase prices tenfold or go out of business without the beekeeping industry. "Every one of those berries owes its existence to the crazy, neurotic dancing of a honey bee from flower to flower," he said.

The cause behind the disorder remains unknown. Possible explanations include pesticides; a new parasite or pathogen; and the combination of immune-suppressing stresses such as poor nutrition, limited or contaminated water supplies and the need to move bees long distances for pollination.

Ice cream maker Haagen-Dazs and natural personal care products company Burt's Bees have pledged money for research and begun efforts to help save the bees.

The problem affects about 40 percent of Haagen-Dazs' 73 flavors, including banana split and chocolate peanut butter, because ingredients such as almonds, cherries and strawberries rely on honey bees for pollination.

Katty Pien, brand director for Haagen-Dazs, said those ingredients could become too scarce or expensive if bees keep dying. It could force the company to discontinue some of its most popular flavors, Pien said.

Haagen-Dazs has developed a new limited-time flavor, vanilla honey bee, and will use some of the proceeds for research on the disorder. Burt's Bees has introduced Colony Collapse Disorder Lip Balm to "soften your lips while saving honeybees."

The House Appropriations Committee approved $780,000 on Thursday for research on the disorder and $10 million for bee research. The money awaits approval by the full House and Senate.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 12, 2008, 08:26:11 PM
There are many forces at work that are out to destroy what America once was and in many different ways.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: HisDaughter on July 12, 2008, 08:31:36 PM
There are many forces at work that are out to destroy what America once was and in many different ways.

This is so true.  I am so glad that I have God, because if I didn't and still knew what I know, I would feel absolutely hopeless and more hopeless each day.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 22, 2008, 03:07:52 PM
Salmonella found in a Mexican-grown jalapeño
Pepper in Texas plant offers clues to outbreak's source

Government inspectors finally have a big clue in the nationwide salmonella outbreak: They found the same bacteria strain on a single Mexican-grown jalapeno pepper handled in Texas — and issued a stronger warning for consumers to avoid fresh jalapenos.

But Monday’s discovery, the equivalent of a fingerprint, doesn’t solve the mystery: Authorities still don’t know where the pepper became tainted — on the farm, or in the McAllen, Texas, plant, or at some stop in between, such as a packing house.

Nor are they saying the tainted pepper exonerates tomatoes sold earlier in the spring that consumers until last week had been told were the prime suspect.
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Still, “this genetic match is a very important break in the case,” said Dr. David Acheson, the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety chief.

Avoid fresh jalapenos
For now, the government is strengthening its earlier precaution against hot peppers to a full-blown warning that no one should eat fresh jalapenos — or products such as fresh salsa made from them — until it can better pinpoint where tainted ones may have sold.

Tomatoes currently on the market, in contrast, now are considered safe to eat.

The Texas plant, Agricola Zaragoza, has suspended sales of fresh jalapenos and recalled those shipped since June 30 — shipments it said were made to Georgia and Texas.

FDA said no other produce currently in the plant has tested positive for salmonella, and was continuing to probe where the produce came from and went.

But a sign over Agricola Zaragoza’s spot inside a huge produce warehouse on Monday displayed pictures of tomatoes, onions and tomatillos alongside jalapenos — suggesting the small vendor might have handled both major suspects in the outbreak that has sickened 1,251 people.

McAllen, Texas, near the Mexican border, is in a region deemed a major hub for both Texas-grown and imported produce. Although Agricola Zaragoza is a small operation, it’s unclear whether inspectors have yet visited the company’s neighboring vendors inside the huge warehouse filled with tractor-trailers loading and unloading fruits and vegetables.

“I recognize there is a need to narrow this as soon as possible,” Acheson added — as parts of the country are entering prime hot pepper season.

A person who answered the phone at Agricola Zaragoza declined comment.

The pepper industry was bracing for an economic hit and urged FDA to quickly clear jalapenos grown in certain areas, like it earlier did with tomatoes.

“That is a very broad brush to tar the industry with,” said John McClung, president of the Texas Produce Association.

Angry tomato producers
Tomato producers have insisted their summertime staple couldn’t be to blame, and are estimating that industry losses may reach $250 million.

But health officials maintain they had good evidence linking certain raw tomatoes to the outbreak’s early weeks in April and May, and that the jalapeno connection appeared only in June.

“There may be more than one vehicle here,” Dr. Robert Tauxe of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

“The tomato cases are not exonerated,” Acheson added.

The tainted pepper “is an important clue but the investigation is far from complete,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal of the consumer advocacy Center for Science in the Public Interest, who described a maze of channels the FDA now must follow to determine where the contamination occurred.

Among top questions: Did the farm, packing house and distributors all use clean water? What fertilizer was used, and when? Given this distributor’s small size, who else distributed contaminated supply — or could there have been cross contamination with other products?

While health officials were cautiously excited at finally finding a firm clue, lawmakers decried the probe’s slow pace.

“The fact that it has taken over 14 weeks to identify the source of the contamination is simply unacceptable,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., who is pushing for stronger requirements to help trace tainted produce. “Much like (the) tomato industry, the result is a blanket warning that will decimate the entire industry and further depress consumer confidence when only a tiny fraction of peppers may be contaminated.”

The outbreak isn’t over yet, said Tauxe said. But the CDC said last week that it appeared to be slowing, and indeed has confirmed just 14 additional cases since then. The latest that someone fell ill was July 4.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 22, 2008, 03:11:32 PM
It looks like it's getting to the point that unless it is homegrown by yourself that everything needs to be cooked in order to avoid a salmonella infection.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on July 23, 2008, 12:03:58 AM
There are also some good common sense things that can be done to avoid many problems while buying fresh produce. 1) Check the skin of the vegetable and make sure it's intact;  2) Wash what you buy when you get home and put it in the refrigerator;  3) Avoid buying vegetables that are already sliced or pealed.

Many types of bacteria die in refrigeration. As a contrast, leaving them out in the open air will encourage bacteria to grow. If there is doubt, cooking is definitely the best way to make sure your vegetables are safe, but you might not want them cooked for the use you have planned. If this is the case, proper selection, washing, and preparation should eliminate most problems. Regardless, we still have the safest food supply in the world.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 23, 2008, 10:25:10 PM
New Antibiotic Kills Drug-resistant Superbugs
by Brian Thomas, M.S.*

Antibiotics are a bit like electronic products. Given time, they become obsolete. Scientists at the Rockefeller University have taken antibiotic technology to the next level by targeting bacterial genes. A new drug may have turned the tables on drug-resistant "superbugs."

Researchers pitted the new drug, called Ceftobiprole, against some of the deadliest strains of multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA. These bacteria have been blamed for a majority of the staphylococcal infections in hospitals and communities worldwide. Once they instigate an infection, such bacteria have proved extremely difficult to combat. Ceftobiprole has been engineered to interact with the mutated gene that confers antibiotic resistance to the bacteria.

The research, slated to be published in the August 2008 issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, showed Ceftobiprole to be remarkably successful in killing MRSA. The study’s lead investigator, Alexander Tomasz of the Laboratory of Microbiology at Rockefeller, said in a Rockefeller University news release, "It just knocked out the cells 100 percent."1 These results are good news for those who are suffering under and/or dying from MRSA infections. The drug was also able to kill S. aureus strains that were resistant to vancomycin (VRSA), a different class of antibiotics.

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics has been used as an example of evolution in action. However, it is rarely emphasized that these bacteria typically survive antibiotics for one of two reasons, neither of which involve the development of new genetic information. Either bacteria acquire an antibiotic-resistant gene from their environment, or they experience a mutation that both makes them antibiotic-resistant and weakens that bacterial strain when compared to its wild cousins. In neither case is a new gene or any new, useful information being created. Resistant bacteria are either the lucky recipients of pre-existing programs, or of a non-lethal mutation.

Though scientists have designed a drug that may remove the dreadful threat of MRSA infection, the fact remains that drug-resistant bacteria do not demonstrate macroevolution.2 When the selective pressure of the antiseptic hospital environment is removed, virulent bacteria such as MRSA are out-competed by other, more fit strains. And when the selective pressure of additional antibiotics like Ceftobiprole is increased, the bacteria again die. In neither case do they change from being the same species, Staphylococcus aureus, and the Bible even describes this in Genesis 1 with the repeated reference to each living creature reproducing "after his kind."


   1. New antibiotic beats superbugs at their own game. Rockefeller University press release, July 2, 2008. Accessed on July 3, 2008.
   2. Macroevolution includes the sweeping claim proposed by Charles Darwin in 1859 that all presently existing species developed naturally from a single common ancestor in the distant past. Mutations or gene-swapping events are real mechanisms that contribute to variation within a created kind, but are totally insufficient to account for the origin of any one kind.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Title: Fire Ants, Snakes, Tarantulas Lurk in Dolly Floodwaters as Texas Cleanup Continu
Post by: Shammu on July 27, 2008, 09:47:57 PM
Fire Ants, Snakes, Tarantulas Lurk in Dolly Floodwaters as Texas Cleanup Continues

Saturday , July 26, 2008


EDINBURG, Texas  —
South Texans eager to salvage what they can from waterlogged homes struck by Hurricane Dolly have another problem: The floodwaters they're slogging through are laced with stinging fire ants, snakes and tarantulas.

"You don't want to wade in this water," state Health Services Commissioner David Lakey said during a visit to the Rio Grande Valley Friday. "You don't want to play in this water. You want to stay out of this water."

It was timely advice, but residents in many neighborhoods with waist-deep water had little choice as they sifted through the mess left by the Category 2 storm that hit the eastern Texas and Mexico coasts Wednesday. In eastern Hidalgo County, as much as 12 inches of rain fell in six hours, turning neighborhoods into coffee-colored lakes.

Officials estimated it could take six weeks for the low-lying region to completely dry out and 118,000 people still had no electricity Friday morning. Emergency managers tried to assure people that they would come to help and begged for patience. They said they were beginning to pump water from some of the worst hit areas and working to move water into floodways.

Residents were using backhoes to dig their own drainage canals and clear water off their property. But the water simply flowed into the neighbors' yards. Tempers among longtime neighbors were becoming strained.

Iliana Reyna, 34, was monitoring the floodwater's rise to the second step of her front porch in Edinburg.

Reyna, her husband and three children waded into the water Friday to gather a few belongings and what dry goods they could.

Suddenly, 4-year-old Adolfo, standing on the shoulder of the road in bare feet, screamed and began hopping. The other children scooped up water in their shoes and splashed it on his feet, while his father lifted him and brushed away the attacking ant.

"This is just too much for us," said neighbor Arnold Silva, whose yard was flooded when another neighbor dumped water into it. It rose throughout the night carrying runoff from a cow pasture and "worms, spiders and ants."

Fire ants and tarantulas — hairy spiders sometimes the size of a dinner plate — can deliver stinging, painful bites but are not deadly.

The National Weather Service said the remnants of Dolly could still add a few inches of rain to some areas, and the forecast called for isolated showers in the Rio Grande Valley.

But water wasn't the only danger. Illness also lurked in refrigerators, health officials said.

"If it doesn't look right, doesn't smell right, don't eat it," said Eddie Olivarez, Hidalgo County health administrator. He said inspectors were fanning out to restaurants to make sure they disposed of food properly as well.

Fewer than 200 people remained in shelters in Hidalgo County, down from a peak of nearly 3,300. But rescue crews in boats were still searching flooded neighborhoods and plucking people from homes.

Still, officials were relieved it wasn't worse that no one died in the first hurricane of the season to hit the U.S. mainland.

The clean up will be substantial: President Bush declared 15 counties in south Texas disaster areas to release federal funding to them, and insurance estimators put the losses at $750 million.

The storm brought 100 mph winds and broke all-time July rainfall records in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, dumping a foot of rain in some spots.

Steve McCraw, the state's homeland security director, said about 1,500 workers were on hand to help restore power and seven stations were distributing water, ice, food and hygiene kits.

Gov. Rick Perry, who flew over the area Thursday with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, cautioned residents not to rest easy just yet.

"It appears that we have handled it as well as it can be handled. But it is far from over," Perry said, noting possible flooding over the next five days from runoff as the storm moves northward.

After crashing ashore on South Padre Island, Dolly meandered north, leaving towns on the northern tip of the Rio Grande Valley with a surprise. Officials had feared the levees would breach, but the storm veered from its predicted path and they held strong.

"We're glad it didn't make a direct hit, but it just refocuses on the issues we have," said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos. "The levees are suspect. Nothing's changed in my opinion."

On South Padre Island, which bore the brunt of the winds, officials said no buildings were in danger of collapse, but damage was widespread to hotels and other businesses.

Avi Fima was mourning the damage to "my baby" — his Surf Stop store on Padre Boulevard. Windows were blown out, half the roof was torn away and water bubbled up the carpeting inside.

"This is going to hit us good," Fima said. "We actually started summer really good. ... To rebuild it — the season will be over. We have a month left."

Shell Oil announced that it had restarted production at its natural gas operations in the Valley and was redeploying workers to rigs in the western Gulf of Mexico.

Fire Ants, Snakes, Tarantulas Lurk in Dolly Floodwaters as Texas Cleanup Continues (,3566,391475,00.html)

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: HisDaughter on August 02, 2008, 10:53:40 PM
A 'Dead Zone' in The Gulf of Mexico
Scientists Say Area That Cannot Support Some Marine Life Is Near Record Size
 The "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, an area on the seabed with too little oxygen to support fish, shrimp, crabs and other forms of marine life, is nearly the largest on record this year, about 8,000 square miles, researchers said this week.

Only the churning effects of Hurricane Dolly last week, they said, prevented the dead zone from being the largest ever.

The problem of hypoxia -- very low levels of dissolved oxygen -- is a downstream effect of fertilizers used for agriculture in the Mississippi River watershed. Nitrogen is the major culprit, flowing into the Gulf and spurring the growth of algae. Animals called zooplankton eat the algae, excreting pellets that sink to the bottom like tiny stones. This organic matter decays in a process that depletes the water of oxygen.

Researchers expected the dead zone to set a record -- even more than the 8,500 square miles observed in 2002 -- after the Mississippi, swollen with floodwaters, carried an extraordinary amount of nitrates into the Gulf, about 37 percent more than last year and the most since measuring these factors was begun in 1970.

The researchers set out July 20 aboard the Pelican, a 115-foot academic research vessel, and braved 12-foot waves and 35-mph winds from the outer bands of Dolly to take samples. The hypoxia began to appear about halfway to the bottom in waters ranging from 10 to 130 feet deep, said Nancy Rabalais, executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, which conducted the study. Some water samples from the bottom of the water column showed no oxygen at all, and instead bore the signature odor of hydrogen sulfide emerging from underlying sediments.

"It smells like rotten eggs," she said. "It's really nasty."

The dead zone has been known about for decades but has been studied carefully only since the mid-1980s, when Rabalais began making annual cruises in late July to measure its extent and characteristics. She said the dead zone has roughly doubled in size since 1985.

"I would think an area the size of Massachusetts where you can't catch any fish or shrimp, that's significant," Rabalais said.

The hypoxia tends to go away after October as cooler weather slows algae growth and storms mix the waters. Even so, there's a "legacy" from year to year, said Eugene Turner, a professor of coastal ecology at Louisiana State University who makes annual predictions of the size of the dead zone. Not all organic matter on the bottom decays in any given year.

"For the same amount of nitrogen going in one year, you'll get more hypoxia the next year," Turner said.

He said the entire Mississippi watershed, and not merely the Gulf, is suffering the effects of agricultural runoff. About half the streams and rivers in the watershed are unsafe for swimming, drinking, recreational contact or use as drinking water, Turner said. He said a major factor is intensified corn production, which relies heavily on fertilizer.

"The longer you wait to reduce the nitrogen, the harder it is to reverse course. It's like going into debt: You have compound-interest laws, and you have to back out of that. It's not good," he said.

The dead zone snakes east to west along the Louisiana and Texas coasts, starting near the mouth of the Mississippi. As the hypoxic region expands during the summer, commercial shrimpers and recreational fishermen have to find other areas to cast their lines and nets, typically farther out in the Gulf.

Wayne Keller, director of the Grand Isle (La.) Port Commission, said that in recent years many people along the Gulf coast have grabbed nets and poles to celebrate "jubilees" in which fish and shrimp seem to be rushing to the shoreline. But this was not a demonstration of nature's bounty, he believes:

"Unfortunately, what it was really showing was everything was going to the edge of the dead zone -- everything that could swim and go fast enough."

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 02, 2008, 11:28:52 PM
This is also another one of those things that only give half of the story. While nitrogen does have some effect on this it is much more the cause of something else. Fresh water flowing into the Gulf acts as a blockade that prevents atmospheric oxygen from getting into the lower depths. The high levels of rainfall experienced in the upper Mississippi Valley has resulted in more fresh water reaching further into the Gulf. The Gulf of Mexico is a closed in area much like an over-sized bay which reduces the amount of underwater currents in it. This combined with high Sun light in the Gulf region which causes more oxygen in the water to dissipate into the atmosphere along with calmer seas due to lack of wind breaking the surface of the water are the main causes of this. The dead zone would be there even if these nutrients were not there. Perhaps it would be a trifle bit smaller but it would still be there.

All of the above factors have combined more into the equation this year than is average. The environmentalists are pushing the nitrogen washing from the farm lands just as they do with the global warming garbage in an attempt to try to get farmers being banned from using these nutrients.

It is interesting to note that some of the areas that are experiencing larger dead zones are in nations that do not use nitrogen or for that matter any other such fertilizers.

The largest "dead zone" on the planet is the entire Black Sea below a depth of about 150 meters. Due to the fact that the exchange of water in the Black Sea with the Mediterranean Sea is limited to the flow through the narrow Bosporus, all of the mixing of freshwater and seawater takes place in the upper 150 meters, because the freshwater entering from rivers is less dense than seawater. This creates a permanent "cap" over the lower waters keeping them from getting oxygen.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: HisDaughter on August 03, 2008, 10:41:28 AM
Thank you PR!  Your knowledge never ceases to amaze me.  I wanna be just like you when I grow up!  (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 03, 2008, 10:55:10 AM
Thank you PR!  Your knowledge never ceases to amaze me.  I wanna be just like you when I grow up!  (

 :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[

All glory goes to God. I thank Him for all He has given to me. Being an educator is a part of that.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on August 04, 2008, 09:22:27 AM
Brothers and Sisters,

All I say say is that we need to keep the environmentalists away from farmers if we want to eat. Food prices are already outrageous and in short supply. As an example, environmentalist got the use of DDT banned around the world. The result has been HUGE numbers of people dying every year in poorer countries caused by diseases transmitted by insects. Malaria is just one of the diseases. DDT was the main weapon used to control the insects that transmit the diseases. This was a bad error that hasn't been reversed.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 04, 2008, 12:57:57 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

All I say say is that we need to keep the environmentalists away from farmers if we want to eat. Food prices are already outrageous and in short supply. As an example, environmentalist got the use of DDT banned around the world. The result has been HUGE numbers of people dying every year in poorer countries caused by diseases transmitted by insects. Malaria is just one of the diseases. DDT was the main weapon used to control the insects that transmit the diseases. This was a bad error that hasn't been reversed.

Amen! It has now come out that the CFL's, the lightbulb that is to replace the banned old incandescent bulbs in a few years, are quite hazardous. Not just because of the mercury that is in them but because of fire hazards. There is an inherent design built into them to burn and melt the plastic components of them if the bulb fails. Bulb failure seems to be quite common place even after just one use. This causes difficulty in removing the bulb from the socket without breaking it and causing a mercury spill. The melted plastic is also hazardous to the handler or in that matter anyone that is underneath a bulb not protected by an ample cover to catch the plastic.

So far there has not been any that have caused any significant fire damage. Supposedly this shouldn't happen. Having worked with larger fluorescent lighting in commercial and industrial applications for a number of years I can say it was very possible with them and the new CFL's are just miniature versions of them. In fact it is more possible than with incandescents.

Another problem is the poor quality lighting. First of all the lighting is a dim ‘sickly yellow light’ that has been described as "ghastly light" as that of a "Soviet morgue" seen in various movie scenes. In addition to the problems caused by that there is an increase in people reporting epileptic like symptoms caused by the flickering of these bulbs.

Environmentalists do cause more problems than they solve.

Every time they get involved it costs us, the taxpayers, more money and more health problems world wide.

Title: NHS hospitals report thousands of pest infestations
Post by: Shammu on August 09, 2008, 09:08:33 PM
NHS hospitals report thousands of pest infestations
August 6, 2008

Nearly 20,000 cases of pest infestations in NHS hospitals have been recorded over the past two years, the Conservatives have said.

Mice, rats, squirrels, bedbugs, fleas, cockroaches, ants, flies, silverfish and even foxes have all been reported by hospitals responding to Conservative freedom of information requests.

Responses from 127 trusts show that 70 per cent had to call out pest controllers 50 or more times between January 2006 and March 2008.

Examples include maggots found in patients’ slippers; rats in a maternity unit; wards “overrun” with ants; mice “all over” wards; cockroaches in a urology unit; fleas in a neonatal unit; and a store for sterile materials infested with mice.

Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, said: “Labour have said over and over again that they will improve cleanliness in our hospitals but these figures clearly show that they are failing.

“It is difficult for health service estates to maintain a completely pest free environment but the level and variety of these infestations is concerning.

“We need greater transparency in NHS infection control, and publishing data like this is one way in which we can drive up overall hygiene standards."

The data does not show whether infestations are increasing or diminishing, nor does it show that, unpleasant as they may appear, the pests found in hospitals have any clear implications for the health of the patients.

Few households can claim to be free of ants, mice, or silverfish all the time, and rats are never far away. Given the scale of the NHS, the size of its buildings, and the constant flow of patients in and out, the levels of infestation do not appear remarkable.

Malcolm Padley, a spokesman for Rentokil, which provides pest control for hospitals nationwide, said: “Pests are attracted to most buildings whether they are in the private or public sector. You are likely to see pests at some point in some form or another.

“There is a problem with large buildings, like hospitals, in particular and many buildings with a lot of grounds are also attacked.

“We have definitely seen an increase in the number of call-outs about bed bugs and rodents nationally. A lot of people could be going into hospitals with bed bugs on their clothing.

“It is hard to tell whether there has been an increase in the number of pests or whether there is better awareness and greater reporting of pest control issues.

“We are putting into place a number of new technologies to help our customers in terms of protection and prevention.

“Hospitals require a more rapid response to the problem as it is of great importance to them to maintain a clean and healthy environment.”

Christine Braithwaite, head of the healthcare associated infection programme at the Healthcare Commission, said: “Cleanliness and hygiene are issues of critical importance to patients and the public.

“We receive a wide range of information on hygiene from different sources. However, concerns around pest control have, to date, been negligible.

“Clearly, it may be necessary to take action against pests in these large public buildings from time to time.

“However, it is important for hospital trusts to have robust procedures in place to deal with any pest problems and, if they persist, trusts should question whether they have the right systems in place.”

Nearly a quarter of hospitals had problems with bed bugs, which can be hard to eradicate. They can survive for up to a year without feeding on a human host. But there is little evidence they can carry disease.

Almost 60 per cent had trouble with cockroaches, which can carry disease-causing bacteria. By far the commonest pests were ants, reported by 80 per cent of hospitals.

Some hospitals said that the number of reports was an indication of how seriously they took any pest infestation.

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, for example, said: “Common calls in Portsmouth are to deal with ants or, being a coastal city, dead seagulls or pigeons in the grounds.

“The number of calls logged reflects the proactive approach adopted by the Trust as successful pest control relies on early identification of potential problems.

“The number of helpdesk calls is not a reflection on cleanliness in our hospitals, more a recognition that we do not procrastinate with our response.”

The Department of Health dismissed suggestions that the pests were linked to spread of hospital-acquired infections like MRSA and insisted the threat to patient safety was “negligible”.

NHS hospitals report thousands of pest infestations (

Title: Re: NHS hospitals report thousands of pest infestations
Post by: Shammu on August 09, 2008, 09:10:29 PM

You know you're overrun when you have mice, rats, squirrels, bedbugs, fleas, cockroaches, ants, flies, silverfish and even foxes running around your hospital.

Title: Re: NHS hospitals report thousands of pest infestations
Post by: nChrist on August 12, 2008, 06:55:01 AM

You know you're overrun when you have mice, rats, squirrels, bedbugs, fleas, cockroaches, ants, flies, silverfish and even foxes running around your hospital.

 ;D   ;D    ROFL!

It sounds like they need some good predatory animals to even things out and keep things under control (i.e. spiders, bats, owls, wolves). The trick would be finding the right mix and still keeping the patients alive.  The ultimate goal would be getting the coveted THREE STOOGES SEAL OF APPROVAL!

Title: Mystery virus kills 160
Post by: Shammu on August 30, 2008, 12:26:23 AM
Mystery virus kills 160

Rural Kanpur is fighting its most frightening scourge — a mystery disease that has left a long line of bodies in its trail and doesn’t seem anywhere finished.

What started from one village two weeks ago has now spread to 350 and has so far claimed 160 lives. Thousands more are bed-ridden. On an average, 15 to 20 people have been dying every day; Saturday saw the highest toll in a day: 24.

The district’s health department is somewhat confused about the nature of the disease that has struck. At the beginning, the diagnosis was viral fever. Then doctors concluded that it was falciparum malaria. But after two weeks, they have ruled out both but still don’t have an exact answer.

“We really don’t know what exactly it is; we are depending on the finding of a team of specialists from New Delhi,” said Dr RC Agarwal, the district’s new chief medical officer.

Specialists from the Infectious Disease and Surveillance Programme, New Delhi, have collected the blood samples of a few patients. The team will make its findings known in a few days.

But the fear of the unknown has resulted in a mass exodus of villagers. Pulandar and Dhar villages under Malasa block are
the worst affected. About 1,000 people in these two villages alone are battling the disease. Dhar has taken the maximum number of casualties. The village has lost about 30 people but only one doctor has visited it so far. That was 15 days ago.

Kuldeep Singh and Ram Avtaar of Dhar break down screaming: “A lot of people can still be saved; we need doctors.” Rajesh (38) of Pulandar village says: “Everyone here is waiting for doctors to come and examine people; but they aren’t coming and we are counting our dead.” On Sunday morning, the mystery fever claimed Tilak Singh (35) and his nephew Vikas Singh (11).

Dhar still remains a perfect picture of neglect and apathy. Heaps of garbage continue to be littered all over. Houses are surrounded by stinking filth and roads are waterlogged — perfect breeding grounds for diseases like malaria. The village’s secondary school has been shut down for an indefinite period. Children would wade through knee-deep water to reach the school.

Santosh Prajapati is struggling to cope with looking after eight family members who have been afflicted by the disease. He has hired a tractor to shift them to a hospital in Kanpur city. “I have borrowed money from my relatives… if they remain here they will die,” he says.

Mystery virus kills 160 (

Title: WHO probing deaths from mystery disease in South Africa
Post by: Shammu on October 12, 2008, 12:31:40 AM
WHO probing deaths from mystery disease in South Africa

Fri Oct 10, 6:24 AM ET

GENEVA - The U.N. health agency says it is investigating a mystery disease that killed three people in the South African city of Johannesburg.

The World Health Organization says the disease appears to be a form of hemorrhagic fever.

It says tests have proved negative for Ebola, Lassa fever, Rift Valley fever, Marburg fever and other main types of hemorrhagic fever.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl says the first death on Sept. 13 was a tour guide who had fallen ill in Zambia before being evacuated to South Africa. Two further deaths on Sept. 30 and Oct. 4. involved a paramedic and a nurse who treated the woman.

Hartl said Friday that 121 people are being monitored and WHO hopes to receive further test results by Sunday.

WHO probing deaths from mystery disease in South Africa  (;_ylt=AnS3B7T9AIQbobDUv5yG9xq96Q8F)

Title: Cholera in Somalia
Post by: Shammu on October 21, 2008, 10:39:47 PM
Cholera in Somalia
Tue, 21 Oct 2008 23:45:25 GMT

At least 32 people have died due to hunger and cholera in Somalia, most of them children and old people, according to doctors.

The Press TV correspondent in South Mogadishu reported on Tuesday that about 15 people died of cholera in Cabudwaaq town of the Galgaduud region due to lack of clean drinking water and medicines to treat the disease.

Also, 17 people died of hunger in Gilib town in southern Somalia, our correspondent added.

In another incident, at least 10 people were killed and 20 others injured after a truck overturned in lower Shabelle region.

Witnesses told Press TV that the tragedy occured because the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Cholera in Somalia   (

Title: Staph germs harder than ever to treat, studies say
Post by: Shammu on October 28, 2008, 02:46:59 PM
Staph germs harder than ever to treat, studies say
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione, Ap Medical Writer
Oct 27, 6:13 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Drug-resistant staph bacteria picked up in ordinary community settings are increasingly acquiring "superbug" powers and causing far more serious illnesses than they have in the past, doctors reported Monday. These widespread germs used to be easier to treat than the dangerous forms of staph found in hospitals and nursing homes.

"Until recently we rarely thought of it as a problem among healthy people in the community," said Dr. Rachel Gorwitz of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now, the germs causing outbreaks in schools, on sports teams and in other social situations are posing a growing threat. A CDC study found that at least 10 percent of cases involving the most common community strain were able to evade the antibiotics typically used to treat them.

"They're becoming more resistant and they're coming into the hospitals," where they swap gene components with other bacteria and grow even more dangerous, said Dr. Keith Klugman, an infectious disease expert at Emory University. "It's really a major epidemic."

The germ is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. People can carry it on their skin or in their noses with no symptoms and still infect others — the reason many hospitals isolate and test new patients to see if they harbor the bug.

MRSA mostly causes skin infections. Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow was just hospitalized for a staph infection, his second in recent years, and the team reportedly has had at least six cases in the past three years.

But the germ can be life-threatening if it gets into the bloodstream, lungs or organs. Pneumonia, sinus infections and even "flesh-eating" wounds due to MRSA are on the rise, doctors reported Monday at an infectious diseases conference in Washington.

About 95,000 serious infections and 20,000 deaths due to drug-resistant staph bacteria occur in the United States each year.

To treat them, "we've had to dust off antibiotics so old that they've lost their patent," said Dr. Robert Daum, a pediatrician at the University of Chicago.

The CDC used a network of hospitals in nine cities and states to test samples of the most common community MRSA strain, USA300, over the last few years.

MRSA usually is resistant only to penicillin-type drugs. But 10 percent of the 824 samples checked also could evade clindamycin, tetracycline, Bactrim or other antibiotics.

"The drugs that doctors have typically used to treat staph infections are not effective against MRSA," and family doctors increasingly are seeing a problem only hospital infection specialists once did, Gorwitz said.

Even more worrisome: many of these community strains had features allowing them to easily swap genes and become even hardier.

Also at the conference:

_Doctors from Spain reported the first hospital outbreak of MRSA resistant to linezolid, a last-resort drug sold by Pfizer Inc. as Zyvox in the United States and Zyvoxid in Europe. A dozen intensive care patients got pneumonia and bloodstream infections last spring and the outbreak was controlled after use of the antibiotic was severely curbed, said Dr. Miguel Sanchez of Hospital Clinico San Carlos in Madrid.

_Georgetown University saw a spike in sinus infections due to MRSA. The germ accounted for 69 percent of the staph-caused cases in the hospital between 2004 and 2006 compared with 30 percent from 2001 to 2003.

_Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that more than half of staph-caused pneumonia cases from 2005 through 2007 were due to MRSA.

_Doctors from Case Western Reserve University and the VA Medical Center in Cleveland found that by the time hospitals isolated and tested new patients to see if they harbored MRSA, many had already contaminated their skin and surroundings. Within about a day of being admitted, roughly a third had already started to spread the germ.

Hospital screening is controversial, and has had mixed success, said Dr. M. Lindsay Grayson, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

The nation's Veterans Affairs hospitals began universal MRSA testing in 2007. Illinois and some other states have adopted or are considering laws requiring hospitals to test high-risk and intensive-care patients for MRSA.

The conference is a joint meeting of the American Society for Microbiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Staph germs harder than ever to treat, studies say (;_ylt=AuCYTP_dSwBCbBfztfrvgHNa24cA)

Title: Swarms of locusts spread across Australia
Post by: Shammu on November 19, 2008, 01:37:19 AM
Swarms of locusts spread across Australia

Swarms of locusts are sweeping across Australia as many farmers prepare to harvest their crops.
18 Nov 2008

The insects, which are attracted to green vegetation, are spreading across rural areas in the state of New South Wales.

The low to medium density swarms, some measuring up to three km long, have been seen at Condobolin, Gundagai, Narrandera and Wagga Wagga.

The Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, said that farmers had no need to panic.

He said: "We only have half a dozen or so swarms reported and they're low density.

"It's important to realise that most of the State's crops are in the final stages of maturity and close to harvest, so are brown in colour.

"Fortunately this means they are not as attractive to locusts, which prefer green plants, for example irrigated lucernce crops."

It has been reported that the NSW State Government has dispatched enough chemical direct to farmers to treat more than 90,000 hectares of locust bands on hundreds of properties and has nine aircraft on standby, ready to spray the insects.

Selwyn Geddes, a farmer in Dookie, told the Country News website that he was too busy to spray the insects now that the harvest had begun.

He said: "At one end of the paddock we have sheep and at the other we have hoppers.

"I'm on the header now and don't have the time to spray. We need to get some assistance from the Department of Primary Industries to do an aerial spray."

Swarms of locusts spread across Australia (

Title: New Type of Ebola Virus Discovered
Post by: Shammu on November 21, 2008, 11:09:09 PM
New Type of Ebola Virus Discovered
Fri Nov 21, 5:02 pm ET

FRIDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new species of the deadly Ebola virus has been identified by American and Ugandan scientists.

The new virus, called Bundibugyo ebolavirus, caused an outbreak in western Uganda in 2007. It is genetically distinct from all other known Ebola virus species, differing by more than 30 percent at the genetic level, said the scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Columbia University, the Uganda Virus Research Institute, and the Uganda Ministry of Health.

To determine the genetic signature of the new virus, the scientists had to employ a recently developed "random-primed pyro-sequencing" method. Using this, they were able to quickly determine more than 70 percent of the virus genome, which then enabled rapid development of a molecular detection assay that was used during the outbreak.

The draft genetic sequence also led to completion of the entire virus genome sequence using a traditional method and immediate confirmation that this was a new species of Ebola virus. Current efforts to develop effective Ebola diagnostics, antivirals and vaccines will need to factor in the distinct genetic makeup of this new species, the scientists said in an article published Nov. 21 in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

Currently, there is no treatment or vaccine for Ebola infection in humans, which has a death rate of between 53 percent and 90 percent.

New Type of Ebola Virus Discovered (;_ylt=Ar1NyUeS2Ht.i0TOlQcoHoqs0NUE)

Title: 21st century plague discovered by scientists
Post by: Shammu on November 26, 2008, 03:32:44 PM
21st century plague discovered by scientists

A new disease that is passed from rats to humans via fleas, much like the Black Death, has been discovered by scientists.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
24 Nov 2008

The bacteria can cause serious heart disease in humans are being spread by rat fleas, sparking concern that the infections could become a bigger problem in humans.

Research published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology suggests that brown rats, the biggest and most common rats in Europe, may now be carrying the bacteria.

Since the early 1990s, more than 20 species of Bartonella bacteria have been discovered. They are considered to be emerging pathogens, because they can cause serious illness in humans worldwide from heart disease to infection of the spleen and nervous system.

"A new species called Bartonella rochalimae was recently discovered in a patient with an enlarged spleen who had travelled to South America," said Professor Chao-Chin Chang from the National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan.

"This event raised concern that it could be a newly emerged pathogens. Therefore, we decided to investigate further to understand if rodents living close to human environment could carry this bacteria."

Scientists have found that rodents carry several pathogenic species of Bartonella, such as B. elizabethae, which can cause endocarditis and B. grahamii, which was found to cause neuroretinitis in humans. Although scientists are unsure about the main route of transmission, these infections are most likely to be spread by fleas.

Ctenophthalmus nobilis, a flea that lives on bank voles, was shown to transmit different species of Bartonella bacteria. These pathogens have also been found in fleas that live on gerbils, cotton rats and brown rats.

The researchers took samples from 58 rodents, including 53 brown rats, two mice (Mus musculus) and three black rats (Rattus rattus).

Six of the rodents were found to be carrying Bartonella bacteria; 5 of these were brown rats. Four of the rodents were carrying B. elizabethae, which can cause heart disease in humans, and one of the black rats was found to be harbouring B. tribocorum.

The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, widely thought to have been caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis, or Bubonic plague.

It was spread by rodents in the 14th century and centuries after that, killing an estimated 75 million people worldwide.

21st century plague discovered by scientists  (

Title: Zimbabwe Cholera Epidemic
Post by: Shammu on November 28, 2008, 09:27:20 PM
Zimbabwe Cholera Epidemic
By Scott Bobb, Sylvia Manika & Patience Rusere
27 November 2008

International and Southern African regional humanitarian officials were expressing growing concern over deteriorating health and sanitation conditions in Zimbabwe where the official death toll from a cholera epidemic on Thursday approached 400.

Deputy Health Minister Edwin Muguti told state television the death toll had risen to 386 from 9,363 cases. Though he earlier said the epidemic was under control, he said on Thursday that it was likely to worsen in coming weeks as the rainy season progressed.

"It is very regrettable that people are dying of cholera. With the onset of the rainy season, the situation could worsen," Muguti told state television, Reuters reported.

The Harare government reportedly sought international help in obtaining body bags.

VOA Correspondent Scott Bobb reported from Johannesburg.

As the cholera outbreak continued unabated, sources told VOA that at least 300 people have died at Harare's Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital alone, close to the death toll of 366 announced earlier this week by United Nations Health and Humanitarian officials.

Correspondent Sylvia Manika

The humanitarian arm of the United Nations has voiced its concern on the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the situation is acute and likely to get worse.

For perspective on the complex humanitarian emergency developing in Zimbabwe, reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Advocacy Officer Gladys Hlatshwayo and World Food Program Spokesman Richard Lee.

Hlatshwayo, who has been traveling around the country assessing conditions, said that the situation is becoming truly dire as the impacts of hunger and disease combine.

Zimbabwe Cholera Epidemic (

Title: At Least 3000 Feared Dead From Cholera Epidemic
Post by: Shammu on November 28, 2008, 09:28:30 PM
At Least 3000 Feared Dead From Cholera Epidemic
27 November 2008

Lance Guma

Over 3000 people are feared to have died so far from a severe cholera epidemic plaguing the country. With Mugabe's regime keeping a tight lid on the number of people who have succumbed to the illness, the actual number could be much higher. Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa told Newsreel the figure of 3000 dead could most likely be for Harare alone. He said most people did not bother to register the deaths of their relatives and this provided an added challenge to accurate record keeping.

Several Harare suburbs are recording as many as 10 deaths a day. Making the situation worse is that even people suffering from malaria are being dumped in cholera clinics, where they end up contracting the disease. This is because some of the symptoms between the two diseases are so similar. Differentiating them is proving difficult under the circumstances of a collapsed health system.

The World Health Organization says over 8000 people have been infected by the disease. Insiders however say local authorities, police and Home Affairs officials have been warned against divulging the real figures. With erratic water supplies in most cities, coupled with the lack of treatment chemicals, the water borne cholera has spread easily.

While the population battles the tragic realities of the disease the regime continues playing politics. The government on Wednesday announced it would not declare the outbreak a national emergency, claiming it had the disease 'under control'. Deputy Health Minister Edwin Mugutu blamed the west for the outbreak saying 'Western governments must like what they see with the cholera outbreak because it is their illegal sanctions that caused it.'

His remarks were immediately slammed by critics who blame the government's failed policies for an economic crisis that has led to the collapse of just about everything, including the health system. The west has also continued to fund humanitarian aid programmes to the country. Critics also point to the irony of Muguti's argument, in that it is actually government which has been banning or interfering with humanitarian work in the country.

Meanwhile the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition reports that 9 people have died of cholera since Monday in Gweru's high density suburb of Mkoba. The group says at least 7 prisoners died from the disease at Harare's Remand Prison according to sources there.

At Least 3000 Feared Dead From Cholera Epidemic (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Shammu on December 04, 2008, 09:50:41 PM
Zimbabwe declares national health emergency
Dec 4, 6:41 AM (ET)


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwe has declared a national emergency over a cholera epidemic and health care system collapse, and is seeking more international help to pay for food, drugs and hospital equipment, the state-run newspaper said Thursday.

"Our central hospitals are literally not functioning," Minister of Health David Parirenyatwa said Wednesday at a meeting of government and international aid officials, according to The Herald newspaper.

The health minister declared the state of emergency at the meeting, and appealed for money to pay for food, drugs, hospital equipment and salaries for doctors and nurses.

"Our staff is demotivated and we need your support to ensure that they start coming to work and our health system is revived," he was quoted as saying.

A cholera epidemic blamed on lack of water treatment and broken sewage pipes has killed more than 500 people across the country, the United Nations said.

Without help, the situation could get much worse, said Walter Mzembi, the deputy water minister who also attended Wednesday's meeting. He said the ministry has only enough chemicals to treat water nationally for 12 more weeks.

U.N. agencies, embassies and aid groups at the meeting pledged to help, The Herald said.

The European Commission said it would provide more than $12 million for drugs and clean water, and the International Red Cross said it would release more funds to help deal with cholera.

"We need to pool our resources together and see how best we can respond to this emergency," Agostinho Zacarias, the U.N. Development Program director in Zimbabwe, was quoted as saying.

Zimbabwe is suffering from the world's highest inflation, and Zimbabweans face daily shortages of food and other basic goods.

The government, meanwhile, has been paralyzed since disputed March elections, with President Robert Mugabe and the opposition wrangling over a power-sharing deal.

Despite the threat of arrest, Zimbabweans have increasingly been willing to protest for more government response to the worsening crisis. Riot police on Wednesday charged a group of protesting doctors and nurses and broke up other demonstrations. Several activists were reportedly detained, apparently to keep them from rallying protesters.

In neighboring South Africa, where increasing numbers of Zimbabweans are seeking cholera treatment, the crisis was being discussed at the highest levels.

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe planned to convene a Cabinet meeting "to consider ways in which South Africa could work with other countries in the region, donor organizations and (aid groups) to address the urgent need for food and other humanitarian needs," government spokesman Themba Maseko said Thursday.

Earlier this week, South African officials said the bacteria that causes cholera had been found in South African waters in the Limpopo River, which forms part of the country's border with Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe declares national health emergency  (

People are starving to death, an issue which the government seems to virtually nothing. The citizens are facing inflation and are in poverty. They have a corrupt leader who is going after anybody who dares disagree with him. Such is the power of GREED!!  :'(

Title: Infectious Superbug Invades Beaches
Post by: Shammu on February 18, 2009, 09:48:20 AM
Infectious Superbug Invades Beaches

By Robin Lloyd, Senior Editor
13 February 2009

CHICAGO — Add the MRSA "superbug" to the list of concerns you bring to the beach nowadays, a research doctor said today.

It's still safe to go in the water, especially if you shower thoroughly before and after swimming, but antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a strain of bacteria that can cause staph infections that are difficult to treat with traditional anti-infection drugs such as methicillin, can be caught when you take a dip in ocean water, said Dr. Lisa Plano of the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or multiple-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It has become a deadly and growing problem in hospitals in recent years.

"MRSA is in the water and potentially in the sand," Plano told a group of reporters today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "This constitutes a risk to anyone who goes to the beach and uses the water ... Most of us won't get infected but it only takes one infected person to spread [MRSA to others]."

So-called staph or Staphylococcus aureus, the kind that responds to antibiotics, is not a big deal typically out in the general public. About a third of us has it living in the nose or on the skin all the time, and we don't get sick from the bug. But for babies, the elderly and other people with compromised immune systems, staph can lead to an infection that can be deadly.

And in any population, when people catch the antibiotic-resistant strain (MRSA), doctors struggle to find a way to kill the infection.

Both the staph that responds to antibiotics and MRSA (which does not) have long been problems in hospitals, but the bugs have cropped up in locker rooms full of healthy people more recently, including some rumored infections among NFL and NBA players. Staph and MRSA can also occur in daycare settings.

A 'complicated bug'

Scientists already knew staph could spread in water. Now the research led by Plano shows that MRSA is also found at the beach — in the sea water and potentially in the sand.

To pin this down, Plano and her colleagues recently studied 1,300 adult bathers at a South Florida beach, half of whom took a dip in the water and brought back a sample of water for later lab analysis, and the other half of whom sat on the beach for 15 minutes.

Some 37 percent of the ocean water samples had Staphylococcus aureus in them, and 3 percent of those were the antibiotic-resistant strain of the bug, Plano said, even though the beach is located nowhere near a sewage source.

In other words, the "call was coming from inside the house" — probably, the bathers.

The staph was relatively mild strain, Plano said, but the strain of MRSA was particularly virulent, she said.
One weird thing she found was that a later genetic analysis of the bugs in the water samples indicated a very low presence of markers for genes that cause the skin infections associated with staph.

"Staph is a really complicated bug," Plano told LiveScience in a phone interview earlier in the day. "S. aureus has an excess of 40 different virulence factors that it could potentially have and use to establish different types of infections, and not all staph will have all of them. Basically, most staph will have some of them, and what I looked at and what I compared these to are ones we knew to be associated with skin-infecting bugs."

In the sand too

Municipal pools and most private pools are safe from S. aureus if chlorine levels are appropriate, Plano said.

But there is some evidence that staph is spread in beach sand, she said. In one study, several quarts of staph-free sea water was poured over 14 previously staph-free toddlers in diapers who had played for 10 minutes in beach sand. The water that flowed off the kids was collected and analyzed — some of it was found to have S. aureus in it.

"If they had MRSA on their skin, they would've had MRSA in the sand," Plano said.
It's unclear if staph and MRSA incubate in ocean water, she said. "We know that MRSA can be isolated from marine mammals such as dolphins and seals, which suggests MRSA is still in the water," she said, but more research needs to be done to find out how long organisms can survive in the water.

Infectious Superbug Invades Beaches (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: nChrist on February 19, 2009, 01:03:37 AM
MRSA is a nightmare, and people need to pay attention to it. Chapped or broken skin enhances your chances of being infected with it GREATLY. Using public places is dangerous these days because people who are very sick are also using public places. Keeping your hands away from your mouth and other such places is also a good safeguard until you can properly WASH YOUR HANDS. Covering open skin is also a must. These types of dreaded diseases have been spread to the general population by people abusing drugs, using dirty needles, and involvement in ABNORMAL activities.

MRSA can be a very hard to get rid of skin infection, OR it can enter the body through broken skin and settle in other parts of the body. Regardless of form, it's potentially FATAL even in simple forms. Your skin is a natural body defense barrier against infection, and this is the reason why chapped and broken skin is very dangerous these days. I'm not kidding at all. Lotions should be used on chapped skin because these infections can enter the body through chapped skin. Broken skin, cuts, and even simple nicks from shaving leaves an EASY way for MRSA to enter your body. Your first MRSA infection could easily be your last. Band-aids and other covering should be used for cuts, scrapes, and other abrasions to RESTORE THE INFECTION BARRIER - your skin. WASH YOUR HANDS - WASH YOUR HANDS - WASH YOUR HANDS! I also can't over-emphasize the important of keeping your HANDS away from your mouth and other entries into your body until your hands have been WASHED (i.e. eyes, ears). The ROBUST HEALTH of the potential MRSA victim makes no difference at all. MRSA can easily kill or cripple the healthiest person.

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 24, 2009, 07:46:02 PM
U.S. swine flu linked to Mexico outbreak
Source of unique virus a mystery; CDC announces additional case in Calif.

The unique strain of swine flu found in California and Texas has been connected to the deadly flu that has broken out in Mexico, killing as many as 61 people, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has confirmed.

The strain has never been seen before and is raising fears of a possible pandemic across North America.

The CDC's acting director Dr. Richard Besser announced Friday that an additional child in California tested positive for the swine flu, bringing the total number of U.S. cases to eight. All of the U.S. patients have recovered from the flu.
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CDC labs have confirmed that the flu-like illness in both countries is due to the same unusual genetic strain of the virus, Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing. Of the 14 samples tested from Mexico, seven were matches.

It first looked mostly like a swine virus but closer analysis showed it is a never-before-seen mixture of swine, human and avian viruses.

“It is a virus that mutated from pigs and then at some point was transmitted to humans,” Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said.

Cordova said additional suspected cases were still being tested. Mexico's Public Health Department put the total number of people sickened at close to 1,000 nationwide.

Cordova said in Mexico the virus has killed only people among the normally less-vulnerable young and mid-adult age range. One possibility is that the most vulnerable segments of the population — infants and the aged — had been vaccinated against other strains, and that those vaccines may be providing some protection.

Mexico closed museums and libraries Friday as well as canceled classes for millions of children in its sprawling capital city and surrounding area.

The White House is closely following the outbreak and President Barack Obama has been informed, an administration official said on Friday.

U.S. health officials said they expect to find more cases of the swine flu as they check people who had contact with the California and Texas patients.

The CDC has issued a travel advisory, warning people traveling to central Mexico to take flu-prevention precautions.

At least one of the California victims had traveled to Mexico.

The swine flu's symptoms are like those of the regular flu, mostly involving fever, cough and sore throat, though some of the seven also experienced vomiting and diarrhea.

"We are very, very concerned," WHO spokesman Thomas Abraham said. "We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human." If international spread is confirmed, that meets WHO's criteria for raising the pandemic alert level, he added.

Growing mystery
The U.S. cases are a growing medical mystery because it's unclear how they caught the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said none of the eight people were in contact with pigs, which is how people usually catch swine flu. And only a few were in contact with each other.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said they believe it can spread human-to-human, which is unusual for a swine flu virus.

Still, health officials said it's not a cause for public alarm. Worldwide, seasonal flu kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people in an average year. Plus, testing indicates some mainstream antiviral medications seem to work against the new swine virus.

Health officials have seen mixes of bird, pig and human virus before, but never such an intercontinental combination with more than one pig virus in the mix.

Scientists keep a close eye on flu viruses that emerge from pigs. The animals are considered particularly susceptible to both avian and human viruses and a likely place where the kind of genetic reassortment can take place that might lead to a new form of pandemic flu, said Dr. John Treanor, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The virus may be something completely new, or it may have been around for a while but was only detected now because of improved lab testing and disease surveillance, CDC officials said.

The virus was first detected in two children in southern California — a 10-year-old boy in San Diego County and a 9-year-old girl in neighboring Imperial County.

The cases were detected under unusual circumstances. One was seen at a Navy clinic that participates in a specialized disease detection network, and the other was caught through a specialized surveillance system set up in border communities, CDC officials said.

Investigators have since discovered six more cases. That includes a father and his teenage daughter in San Diego County, a 41-year-old woman in Imperial County who was the only person hospitalized, and two 16-year-old boys who are friends and live in Guadalupe County, Texas, near San Antonio.

Puzzling cases
The Texas cases are especially puzzling. One of the California cases — the 10-year-old boy — traveled to Texas early this month, but that was to Dallas, about 270 miles northeast of San Antonio. He did not travel to the San Antonio area, Schuchat said.

The two 16-year-olds had not traveled recently, Texas health officials said.

No details were available about the eighth victim, a child from San Diego.

CDC are not calling it an outbreak, a term that suggests ongoing illnesses. It's not known if anyone is getting sick from the virus right now, CDC officials said.

It's also not known if the seasonal flu vaccine that Americans got last fall and early this year protects against this type of virus. People should wash their hands and take other customary precautions, CDC officials said.

The Mexican government warned people not to shake hands, kiss when greeting or share food, glasses or cutlery for fear of contracting the flu.

Mexico City, one of the world's biggest cities and home to some 20 million people, was quieter than usual on Friday morning. Normally choking traffic was less chaotic in the absence of school buses and parents driving kids to school.

Many people waiting to enter subway stations had their faces covered with surgical masks.

Antivirals ready if needed
WHO said on Friday that it was prepared with "rapid containment measures" including antivirals if needed to combat the swine flu outbreaks in Mexico and the United States.

But health authorities in the two countries have the resources required already in place and are "well equipped," WHO spokeswoman Aphaluck Bhatiasevi said in Geneva.

She said the United Nations agency saw no need at this point to issue travel advisories warning travelers not to go to parts of Mexico or the United States.

The WHO will convene a meeting of its Emergency Committee on international health regulations, probably on Saturday afternoon, she added.   

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 29, 2009, 08:36:50 AM

Swine flu kills first victim in U.S.
The CDC says a 23-month-old child in Texas has died. 'My heart goes out to the family,' acting director says.

The swine flu outbreak has claimed its first victim in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: A 23-month-old child in Texas.

Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC, confirmed the fatality in an appearance this morning on NBC's "Today" show.

With 64 confirmed cases of the disease nationwide according to the agency's latest accounting – including 45 in New York City – the agency says it's too soon to say how fast the flu is spreading.

Health authorities had anticipated the first U.S. death after the disease was suspected in the deaths of more than 150 people in Mexico, where the outbreak is believed to have begun. Yet the death of the toddler in Texas is tragic, Besser said.

"As a pediatrician and a parent, my heart goes out to the family,'' Besser said.

The flu case in Texas was one of six that had been confirmed in the U.S. in addition to 10 in California, 2 in Kansas and one in Ohio, according to the CDC's accounting Tuesday. In addition, other reports of illnesses from Chicago to New York have raised the possibility that the number of cases will continue to climb.

Title: New Mexico Boy, 8, Dies of Bubonic Plague
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:51:40 PM
New Mexico Boy, 8, Dies of Bubonic Plague

Friday , June 05, 2009

An 8-year-old New Mexico boy has died and his 10-year-old sister was hospitalized after both contracted bubonic plague, the first recorded human plague cases in the nation so far this year.

New Mexico health officials did not immediately say Thursday how the brother and sister contracted the infectious disease, but they are conducting an investigation at the family's residence to determine if there is any risk to other people.

Plague is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but also can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, rabbits and pets.

Symptoms of the bubonic form of the plague in humans include fever, chills, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea and swollen lymph nodes in the groin, armpit or neck areas. Pneumonic plague, which is an infection of the lungs, can include severe cough, difficulty breathing and bloody sputum.

The Health Department, citing privacy concerns, would not release the name of the siblings or give a location for their home, other than saying it was in Santa Fe County. Spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer said the boy died in the last couple of days but she declined to be more specific.

Fleas collected from the area are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. Health workers also canvassed the neighborhood to tell other residents that plague had been confirmed in the area.

The CDC says an average of 10 to 15 persons contract the plague each year in the United States. Modern antibiotics are an effective treatment.

New Mexico Boy, 8, Dies of Bubonic Plague (,3566,525187,00.html)

Title: Locusts swoop down on Ethiopia
Post by: Shammu on June 24, 2009, 11:43:19 PM
Locusts swoop down on Ethiopia     
Jun 23

Crops in large swathes of Ethiopia risk being destroyed by swarms of locusts coming from northern Somalia, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Tuesday.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) "reports that locust swarms have been confirmed in seven regions in the country, including in areas where there is no previous record of infestation," a statement said.

"The government is expected to present a response plan specifying immediate and medium-term actions to be taken during the week," OCHA said.

It added that 1,390 hectares of land in several regions, mainly in southeastern Ethiopia had been sprayed in ground and air operations.

The vast majority of Ethiopia's 77 million inhabitants depend on subsistence agriculture and have been badly hit by successive infestations of voracious locusts that destroy every plant in their path.

Locusts swoop down on Ethiopia (

Title: Re: Pestilences
Post by: HisDaughter on August 01, 2009, 12:11:49 PM
Military planning for possible H1N1 outbreak       



The U.S. military wants to establish regional teams of military personnel to assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant outbreak of the H1N1 virus this fall, according to Defense Department officials.

The proposal is awaiting final approval from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The officials would not be identified because the proposal from U.S. Northern Command's Gen. Victor Renuart has not been approved by the secretary.

The plan calls for military task forces to work in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There is no final decision on how the military effort would be manned, but one source said it would likely include personnel from all branches of the military.

It has yet to be determined how many troops would be needed and whether they would come from the active duty or the National Guard and Reserve forces.

Civilian authorities would lead any relief efforts in the event of a major outbreak, the official said. The military, as they would for a natural disaster or other significant emergency situation, could provide support and fulfill any tasks that civilian authorities could not, such as air transport or testing of large numbers of viral samples from infected patients.

As a first step, Gates is being asked to sign a so-called "execution order" that would authorize the military to begin to conduct the detailed planning to execute the proposed plan.

Orders to deploy actual forces would be reviewed later, depending on how much of a health threat the flu poses this fall, the officials said.