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« Reply #15 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
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« Reply #16 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
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« Reply #17 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.
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« Reply #18 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."

WET FLOORS, HIDDEN BEASTS

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.

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« Reply #19 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."
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« Reply #20 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
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« Reply #21 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.
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« Reply #22 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
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« Reply #23 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.


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« Reply #24 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.
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« Reply #25 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
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« Reply #26 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."
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2007, 09:52:14 AM »

The government needs to bring DDT back to get these little critters under control.

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« Reply #28 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.
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« Reply #29 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,
Tom

 
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