Disease outbreaks will increase as per ZetaTalk


Taking Sick

On Jan 15, 1998 ZetaTalk stated that Illness will increase as Planet X approaches.  Zetas right again !!!

ZetaTalk: Take Sick, written Feb 15, 1998.
Increasingly, as the pole shift nears, the populace will take sick. This will take the form of known illnesses occurring more frequently, seemingly depressed immune systems, but will also appear as new and puzzling illnesses not seen before in the memory of man. What is going on here?

The changes at the core of the Earth that have resulted in El Nino weather patterns and white buffalo and deformed frogs also affect man. The germs are on the move. Their carriers are on the move. And thus humans are exposed to diseases that are so rare as to be undocumented in medical journals.

You will see increasing illness, odd illnesses, microbes that travel because an insect is scattering about and spreading germs in places where it normally doesn't travel. 90% of all the illness and distress you're going to see is a natural situation, a natural occurrence. Because of the changing, swirling in the core of the Earth, and this will continue to up-tick until the pole shift.

And reiterated in 1999

ZetaTalk: Next 3 1/2 Years, written Sep 15, 1999.
Sickness will slightly increase from where it is today. There is a lot of illness now because people who are already unstable are unable to take the turmoil caused by the increased emanations from the Earth. Some of them have simply sensed what is coming and have decided to die. This is true of animals as well as humans. Sickness will increase, but not to the point where it is going to get exponentially worse.

On Feb 2, 2000 a Washington report confirmed this increase, and published concerns were subsequently reported.

Diseases From Around World Threatening U.S.
Reuters, Feb 2, 2000
30 New Diseases Make Global Debut
At least 30 previously unknown diseases have appeared globally since 1973, including HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, Ebola haemorrhagic fever and the encephalitis-related Nipah virus that emerged in Indonesia. Twenty well-known infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and cholera have re-emerged or spread since 1973.
Is Global Warming Harmful to Health?
Scientific American, August 2000
Notably, computer models predict that global warming, and other climate alterations it induces, will expand the incidence and distribution of many serious medical disorders. Disturbingly, these forecasts seem to be coming true.

And since this time, SARS and increased incidence of flesh eating disease,
and entire cruise ships regularly returning to port with the passengers ill with stomach flu have been reported.
Depressed immune systems?
Zetas RIGHT Again!

After the pole shift, there will be many opportunistic diseases that will afflict mankind. This does not require an imagination, as today they afflict mankind after disasters. The primary affliction will be from sewage laden water, which will pollute the drinking water man is forced to use. We have been adamant about mankind distilling their drinking water after the pole shift for this reason. Distillation removes heavy metals as well as killing microbes by the boiling process. Any disease that flourishes in malnourished bodies and in areas of poor hygiene will take advantage of the pole shift disasters. Scurvy due to lack of Vitamin C will occur, with bleeding gums and even death if not corrected. Many weeds are high in Vitamin C and survivors should arm themselves with knowledge about the vitamin content of weeds. Unprotected sex by survivors either taking advantage of the weak, as in rape, or by simple distraction and grief and a lack of contraceptive devices will spread AIDS and hepatitis. Morgellons, which is caused by a synergy of parasites and microbes when the immune system is low will likely increase. There will be outbreaks of diseases which were endemic in the past, such as small pox or measles, but in those survivor communities where the members have been immunized in the past these will be limited and quarantines can help in this regard.



Chile battles youth unrest and typhoid fever outbreak

September 15, 2011SANTIAGOChile’s problems dealing with youth unrest over slow education reforms are being compounded by concerns the capital may be in the grip of a typhoid fever outbreak. The government has battled to enforce restraint on law enforcement agencies amid angry student-led protests, which have disrupted urban centers across the country for more than a month. The reforms demanded by youth groups are nowhere near being implemented and protests continue to simmer with support from teachers and workers unions. Now authorities are faced with the more immediate risk of typhoid. Health authorities issued repeated alerts for tougher hygiene checks and controls after they found several people infected and seriously ill with typhoid in the western metropolitan area of Santiago. At least seven cases were confirmed by the Public Health Institute but there were no immediate reports of fatalities. “Typhoid fever is an acute infectious disease triggered by a salmonella bacteria strain,” Institute Director Maria Teresa Valenzuela said. In most cases the infection is caused by consumption of contaminated food and drink or fruit and vegetables grown in areas where contaminated water is used in irrigation. Typhoid fever produces symptoms of high fever, diarrhea or intense headaches. The Santiago region has been prone to typhoid outbreaks since the 1990s when incidence of the disease caused up to 190 cases a year.


Epidemic Hazard in India on Saturday, 17 September, 2011 at 03:16 (03:16 AM) UTC.

The Department of Health and Family Welfare has informed that it had received a message through telephone on 12th September 2011 of an outbreak of fever of unknown cause leading to three deaths at Poilwa village, Peren District. Immediately the State Rapid Response Team (RRT) of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP), Nagaland, comprising of Dr. John Kemp (State Surveillance Officer), Dr. Sao Tunyi (Epidemiologist), Dr. Kevisevolie Sekhose (Epidemiologist), and Venezo Vasa (Entomologist) conducted an outbreak investigation at Poilwa village. The team collected three samples from suspected cases out of which all the three were tested positive for Scrub Typhus. Till date, there are 9 cases with 3 deaths. This was stated in a official press note issued by Dr. Imtimeren Jamir, the Principal Director, Directorate of Health & Family Welfare, Kohima. Scrub Typhus is Rickettsial disease caused Orientia tsutsugamushi and transmitted by the bite of mite called Leptotrombidium deliense. In Nagaland, it was formerly detected by IDSP with Central Surveillance Team at Longsa village Mokokchung in 2006, and in Porba village of Phek District in 2007. The State RRT team carried out the outbreak investigation along with doing and entomological survey. The patients were treated with appropriate medicines and awareness and preventive measures were communicated with the villagers. The concerned local health authorities and programs are informed for further necessary action. The mop-up operation is being carried out by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program.
Biohazard name: Typhus (Scrub)
Biohazard level: 3/4 Hight
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans, but for which vaccines or other treatments exist, such as anthrax, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, SARS virus, variola virus (smallpox), tuberculosis, typhus, Rift Valley fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, yellow fever, and malaria. Among parasites Plasmodium falciparum, which causes Malaria, and Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes trypanosomiasis, also come under this level.
Symptoms: - After bite by infected mite larvae called chiggers, papule develops at the biting site which ulcerates and eventually heals with the development of a black eschar. - Patients develop sudden fever with headache, weakness, myalgia, generalized enlargement of lymph nodes, photophobia, and dry cough. - A week later, rash appears on the trunk, then on the extremities, and turns pale within a few days. - Symptoms generally disappear after two weeks even without treatment. - However, in severe cases with Pneumonia and Myocarditis, mortality may reach 30% Diagnosis - The most commonly used test for diagnosis is Wel-Felix Test, which is available at State IDSP laboratory, Kohima. - More specific serological tests like detection of IgM can also be done for diagnosis.



Turns out, the plague isn't just ancient history. New Mexico health officials recently confirmed the first human case of bubonic plague — previously known as the "Black Death" — to surface in the U.S. in 2011. 

An unidentified 58-year-old man was hospitalized for a week after suffering from a high fever, pain in his abdomen and groin, and swollen lymph nodes, reports the New York Daily News. (Officials declined to say when the man was released from the hospital.) A blood sample from the man tested positive for the disease.


Epidemic Hazard in USA on Saturday, 17 September, 2011 at 03:33 (03:33 AM) UTC.

Umatilla County health officials today confirmed a case of plague in an adult male county resident. He may have been infected while hunting in Lake County, noted Sharon Waldern, clinic supervisor for the county’s public health department. “Lake County had two cases of human plague last year.” The man has been hospitalized and is receiving treatment, Waldern noted. “People need to realize he was never considered contagious and he started treatment fairly quickly.” Plague is spread to humans through a bite from an infected flea. The disease is serious but treatable with antibiotics if caught early, officials said. Plague can be passed from fleas feeding on infected rodents and then transmitted to humans. Direct contact with infected tissues or fluids from handling sick or dead animals can pass the disease, as well as through respiratory droplets from cats and humans with pneumonic plague, officials said in a press release. Some types are spread from person to person, but that is not the case here, Waldern said. Symptoms typically develop within one to four days and up to seven days after exposure and include fever, chills, headache, weakness and a bloody or watery cough due to pneumonia, enlarged, tender lymph nodes, abdominal pain and bleeding into the skin or other organs.

Plague is rare in Oregon. Only three human cases have been diagnosed since 1995 and they all recovered. Last year two human cases of plague were diagnosed in Lake County. As far as she knows, this is the first ever incident in Umatilla County. “In this recent case it is important to stay away from flea-infested areas and to recognize the symptoms. People can protect themselves, their family members and their pets,” said Genni Lehnert-Beers, administrator for Umatilla County Health Department. “Using flea treatment on your pets is very important, because your pets can bring fleas into your home.” People should contact their health care provider or veterinarian if plague is suspected. Early treatment for people and pets with appropriate antibiotics is essential to curing plague infections. Untreated plague can be fatal for animals and people. Antibiotics to prevent or treat plague should be used only under the direction of a health care provider. Additional steps to prevent flea bites include wearing insect repellent, tucking pant cuffs into socks when in areas heavily occupied by rodents, and avoiding contact with wildlife including rodents.
Biohazard name: Plague (Bubonic)
Biohazard level: 4/4 Hazardous
Biohazard desc.: Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.

The Black Death: Bubonic Plague








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Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 29, 2014 at 1:09am

23 people dead, 670 sickened


South Sudan capital faces worsening cholera outbreak

JUBA, 28 May 2014 (IRIN) - Health officials are warning that a cholera outbreak in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, which has left 23 people dead and forced more than 670 others to seek treatment, could be getting worse. Laboratory tests have confirmed that at least one person living in a Juba displacement camp has contracted cholera and there are fears the disease could spread rapidly within the crowded site.

Officials are setting up new treatment centres across the city and treating the water sources they believe are responsible for spreading the disease, but said they anticipate at least 1,000 more people might need to be hospitalized before the outbreak ends. And that is only if cholera does not spread to other areas of the country.

Health Minister Riek Gai Kok officially announced the cholera outbreak nearly two weeks ago - the first in South Sudan since 2009 - and pledged “as the government, as a country [we] will support any efforts made to contain this disease.”

The outbreak was not unexpected. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Abdinasir Abubakar said the ministry and health partners had already started preparing for the appearance of cholera and other communicable diseases “because of the context. Because we had a lot of population movement and that population movement always brings some health problems.”

Five and a half months of fighting in South Sudan has forced more than a million people to flee their homes - and the situation continues to deteriorate. Despite a renewed cessation of hostilities agreement signed nearly three weeks ago by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, fighting has continued. The UN reports an additional 70,000 people have been displaced since then, some into areas without clean water or enough latrines.

When the outbreak was announced, UN agencies and partners began focusing on some of the most serious water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) concerns - both in the displaced populations and among long-term Juba residents.

Much of the water people use for drinking and cooking is collected from the Nile and delivered by tanker truck. UNICEF’s WASH chief Lillian Ukwiri said they are trying to track down every truck and make sure each shipment is chlorinated, something which should kill cholera bacteria.

They have also put out radio advertisements instructing people to boil water for at least 10 minutes before drinking it or cooking with it, and to wash their hands regularly. The messages also encourage people to report to a health centre as soon as they show any symptoms, including watery diarrhoea or vomiting, because the disease can kill swiftly.

Isolation ward 

When the outbreak was announced, Juba Teaching Hospital set up an emergency isolation ward. It filled quickly, with patients sleeping in open-air corridors that have been covered with tarps. Trina Helderman from Medair, a humanitarian group providing emergency services in the country, has been stationed at the ward since it opened. She told IRIN that initially they were seeing more than 100 patients a day, though the intake has slowed.

“It seems that the cases are going down, but based on what the experts have told us, it could be that the peak comes back up again,” she said. “We’re just waiting to see how things play out.”

Helderman said the messaging does seem to be working, with many people arriving as soon as they exhibit any symptoms, which makes it easier to treat them. They receive either oral rehydration salts to replace fluid lost in diarrhoea or vomiting or - in severe cases - an intravenous drip.

But some people are still not making it to the health centres in time. Samuel Moro’s family said they recognized the symptoms of cholera immediately, but first attempted to treat the disease with a homemade rehydration solution of sugar and salt. His condition worsened over the next 48 hours. By the time he arrived at the isolation ward, it was too late. He died a few hours later.

His brother, Kagwa Apolo, told IRIN Moro’s family was aware of the outbreak and had heard the messages encouraging them to seek treatment, but “we were hoping we could treat him at home. People left him to stay at home for a long time.”

High fatality rate

WHO’s Abubakar said the outbreak’s fatality rate is still too high. To bring it down, he said they needed to increase the surveillance teams so they could more quickly identify people in need of treatment, like Moro. They also needed more cholera treatment centres (CTCs). Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened a clinic last week in one of the hardest-hit areas of the city and Abubakar said health officials are considering opening two additional centres in the coming weeks.

Those are not the only shortages. Abubakar said because the outbreak has been worse than officials initially anticipated, it has forced them to revise the expected number of people showing symptoms of cholera from 5,000 to 10,000, 2 percent of the population. 2,000 people are expected to be hospitalized. 

“We need to go back to our planning and bring more supplies. We need to bring more staff in. We need to set up more CTCs. We need to train more staff and we need to expand the response.” And that was before MSF reported this week that the disease had officially entered one of Juba’s two displacement camps.

When the fighting started in mid-December, thousands of people crowded into the UN Mission in South Sudan’s two bases in the capital. More than 14,000 people are still living in each of the camps, which do not have enough latrines or other basic sanitation facilities.

Stefan Liljegren, MSF’s field coordinator, told IRIN there was one laboratory-confirmed case at the UN House camp on the outskirts of Juba and seven other patients who showed symptoms of cholera.

Because of their conditions, health officials already viewed the camps as high-risk areas for a cholera outbreak. Earlier this year they provided two doses of oral cholera vaccines to more than 96 percent of the people living in the camp in an effort to mitigate the impact of a possible outbreak.

But Liljegren said the vaccine offers only 65 percent coverage, which means there is still the potential for thousands of people to become sick. MSF has already set up CTCs in each of the camps.

“The advantage in the camp is that the population is aware,” he said. “They have a very close access to the CTC, so hopefully they will be able to access treatment very quickly, and thus, also be discharged very quickly.”

Abubakar said they are also waiting for reports from three other areas of the country where potential cases have been reported and acknowledged. “Our estimation is the cholera outbreak might spread outside Juba.” Even without any confirmation, the government has encouraged state officials to start rolling out public awareness campaigns and preparing people for the possibility that the outbreak could spread. 

Comment by Tracie Crespo on May 23, 2014 at 9:50pm


E. Coli Contaminates Portland, Oregon, Tap Water

All of Portland, Oregon, was told Friday to boil its tap water after the city found E. coli in water samples.

An alert sent to people who live in the city and nearby warned that they "should boil all tap water used for drinking, food preparation, tooth brushing and ice for at least one minute. Ice or any beverages prepared with un-boiled tap water on or after May 20 should be discarded."

In all, 670,000 customers are under the order, health officials said at a news conference. "Animal waste" — fecal matter — in the water was the likely source of the E. coli, they said.

Samples taken three times between May 20 and May 23 "confirmed the presence of total coliform and E. coli in routine drinking water samples," the Portland Water Bureau said.

Tigard and King City, Oregon, as well as parts of Gresham and other districts, also received the alert, NBC affiliate KGW reported. A full list of areas affected is available at KGW com.

Image: A water reservoir in Mount Tabor Park in Portland, Ore., in 2011. Rick Bowmer / AP file
A water reservoir in Mount Tabor Park in Portland, Ore., in 2011.

Most types of E. coli, a bacterium, are harmless or cause brief diarrhea, according to the Mayo Clinic. But some strains can cause abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

Based on test results, officials said they believed the risk to the public was low.

This is the second water problem in two months for Portland. In April, the Portland Water Bureau diverted nearly 36 million gallons of water from a reservoir after officials feared it was tainted by a teenager's urine.

— Elizabeth Chuck

First published May 23rd 2014, 3:01 pm

Comment by lonne rey on May 7, 2014 at 5:05pm

Unusual new penguin flu found in Antarctica

WASHINGTON: A new kind of bird flu has been detected for the first time in Adelie penguins in Antarctica, though the virus does not seem to make them sick, researchers said Tuesday.

The virus is unlike any other avian flu known to science, said the report in mBio, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

"It raises a lot of unanswered questions," said study author Aeron Hurt, senior research scientist at the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, Australia.

The findings show that "avian influenza viruses can get down to Antarctica and be maintained in penguin populations," he said.

The study is the first to report on live avian influenza virus in penguins, though previous research has found evidence of influenza antibodies in penguin blood.

They found live, infectious avian influenza virus in eight samples, or nearly three percent of the birds. The penguins did not appear to be sick.

All the samples were found to be H11N2 influenza viruses that were highly similar to each other.

But when researchers compared the genome sequences of four of the viruses to a publicly available database of animal and human viruses, "we found that this virus was unlike anything else detected in the world," said Hurt.

Comment by Chris on May 3, 2014 at 12:38pm
MERS hits America

The US’s first case of the MERS virus has been detected in Indiana, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday.

The patient is a healthcare worker who returned to the US from Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, on April 24. Along the way, the person passed through London and Chicago before taking a bus to Indiana. The patient first showed symptoms on April 27 and was hospitalized the next day, according to the CDC.

The health agency refused to provide any additional information, declining to disclose gender, age, or location a more specific of the patient, according to NBC News.

MERS, short for Middle East respiratory syndrome, is a recently identified illness tied to the MERS coronavirus. Symptoms of MERS include severe pneumonia and kidney failure, which is fatal in about one-third of observed cases. As its name suggests, it first emerged in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and has since appeared across the Middle East, Europe and Asia, with more than 100 reported deaths in Saudi Arabia alone.

According to the World Health Organization, the exact means by which humans are infected is unknown, though camels are suspected as a primary source of the virus. Person-to-person infection is possible as well.

No vaccine or cure exists yet for MERS, which has been compared to SARS, a similar disease that infected over 8,000 people and killed over 700 from 2002–2003, mostly in China.

Thus far, patients have tended to be sick, elderly, or have compromised immune systems. Some individuals have contracted the virus and failed to show any symptoms at all.

US officials had been bracing for the disease’s arrival for some time. The number of cases has increased in the spring, and global travel networks mean an infected individual can be just a plane ride away.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 3, 2014 at 3:34am


Mers outbreak confirmed on Britain-bound flight

Last updated Sat 3 May 2014Health officials are in the process of contacting British airline passengers who may have made contact with a passenger who has been hospitalised in the US with the often fatal MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome).

Health officials are in the process of contacting British airline passengers who may have made contact with a passengerHealth officials are in the process of contacting British airline passengers who may have made contact with a passenger Credit: PA

The man, a non-British national, took a British Airways flight 262 on April 24 from Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, to London, where he changed flights at Heathrow to fly to the US.

Public Health England said it has contacted UK passengers on the BA flight to London who were sitting in the vicinity of the affected passenger and is working with US health authorities to contact any British passengers on the April 24 onward flight to Chicago, American Airlines Flight 99.

It said that the risk of the infection being passed to other passengers "is extremely low" but was contacting the passengers "as a precautionary measure."

Any UK based passengers on Flight 262 on April 24 who have since become unwell or experienced respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, are advised to contact NHS 111.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 1, 2014 at 2:39am


World headed for dangerous 'post-antibiotic era,' WHO warns in landmark report

Unless immediate action is taken, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era where infections that were once treatable will turn deadly, according to a landmark report from the World Health Organization.

The report, issued Wednesday, says that antibiotics resistance is found in all parts of the world and can affect anyone of any age in any country. Antibiotics resistance, which the WHO says occurs when bacteria change and antibiotics no longer work against infections, “is now a major threat to public health.”

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” Dr. Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general for health security at the WHO, said in a statement.

“Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine. Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

The study, entitled “Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance,” gathered data from 114 countries. While it is not a complete picture of antibiotics resistance, it is “the most comprehensive picture that we’ve had to date,” Fukuda told reporters at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The report focused on antibiotics resistance in seven different types of bacteria that are responsible for common but serious diseases. These include blood infections such as sepsis, diarrhea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhea.

Rates of resistance to treatment among bacteria that cause some of the most common serious infections are “very high,” Fukuda noted.

In all regions of the world, hospitals are reporting “untreatable or nearly untreatable” infections, he said. And medications of “last resort” for some infections are proving completely ineffective.

For some infections, such as bacteria-related diarrhea or urinary tract infections, “we really are beginning to run out of medicines that can be taken by mouth.” This means patients require treatment in hospital, Fukuda said.

Not only will some infections simply become “untreatable,” but antibiotics will also become ineffective at preventing infections in people with compromised immune systems: cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, premature babies and elderly patients undergoing joint replacements, he said.

What antibiotics resistance means “is that all of us, our family members…our friends, when we are most vulnerable and in need of these medicines, there is a chance that they simply are not going to be available and we are not going to be able to have access to effective medical care in a number of instances,” Fukuda said.

Comment by Derrick Johnson on April 29, 2014 at 6:28am

MERS Cases Spike As Virus Makes First Appearance In Egypt


ISTANBUL -- A highly deadly and little-understood virus that has struck fear across the Middle East and caused more than 100 deaths in the region made its first appearance in Egypt last week, coinciding with a spike in patients in Saudi Arabia, its place of original identification.

The virus, known as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS, is closely related to the Asian flu SARS, which sickened thousands of people and left nearly 800 dead a decade ago. Thus far, MERS, which was first detected in 2012, is not believed to be nearly as contagious as SARS, and not everyone who contracts the disease becomes ill. However, MERS is significantly more fatal, with no known vaccine or cure.

Despite the relative difficulty of acquiring the disease, it continues to spread. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia reported 26 new cases of MERS and 10 deaths, an alarming increase, according to health officials there.

Also over the weekend, Egyptian authorities confirmed their first official case of the virus in a 27-year-old civil engineer who had recently returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia.

Public health advocates and watchdog groups have criticized Saudi officials for failing to fully acknowledge the severity of the crisis. More than three hundred cases have already been linked to the Kingdom.

A week ago, in apparent response to these criticisms, the Saudi leadership fired its Minister of Health, Abdullah al-Rabia, who a day earlier had told reporters that he had no idea why cases of MERS were rising so dramatically.

But the government has also continued to caution against panic, saying that the spike in cases could be tied to the changing seasons.

"We have faced an increase in the number of cases around the same time last year at the end of winter," a Saudi health official told reporters, according to CNN.

In a recent report on the virus, the World Health Organization also suggested that seasonality may play a role, as could an increased vigilance for testing. But the report warned that more cases of MERS seem to be spreading through person-to-person contact, a worrisome development. Previously, most cases were believed to be linked to people who acquired the disease from contact with camels.

Still, the WHO said there is little evidence that patients who acquired the disease in Saudi Arabia before traveling abroad have spread it further, suggesting the virus remains relatively contained to the Middle East, and has not grown more contagious since it was first detected.

Most of those who have acquired the disease, the organization said, are health care workers who did so through contact with sick patients in the hospital.

Some public health experts have cautioned against overreacting, pointing out that as long as the virus remains difficult to contract, it is unlikely to develop into a full-blown epidemic.


Comment by Derrick Johnson on April 28, 2014 at 9:09am

Killer Pig Virus Wipes Out More Than 10 Percent Of Nation's Hogs, Causing Spike In Pork Prices

By Meredith Davis and Theopolis Waters

CHICAGO, April 27 (Reuters) - John Goihl, a hog nutritionist in Shakopee, Minnesota, knows a farmer in his state who lost 7,500 piglets just after they were born. In Sampson County, North Carolina, 12,000 of Henry Moore's piglets died in three weeks. Some 30,000 piglets perished at John Prestage's Oklahoma operation in the fall of 2013.

The killer stalking U.S. hog farms is known as PEDv, a malady that in less than a year has wiped out more than 10 percent of the nation's pig population and helped send retail pork prices to record highs. The highly contagious Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is puzzling scientists searching for its origins and its cure and leaving farmers devastated in ways that go beyond financial losses.

"It's a real morale killer in a barn. People have to shovel pigs out instead of nursing them along," Goihl said.

Since June 2013 as many as 7 million pigs have died in the United States due to the virus, said Steve Meyer, president of Iowa-based Paragon Economics and consultant to the National Pork Board said. United States Department of Agriculture data showed the nation's hog herd at about 63 million as of March 1, 2014.

PEDv was first diagnosed in Ohio last May and has spread within a year to 30 states with no reliable cure in sight. U.S. packing plants may produce almost 2 percent less pork in 2014, according to Ken Mathews, USDA agricultural economist.

Last week the USDA responded to calls for more reliable data and classified PEDv as a reportable disease, a step that requires the pork industry to track its spread.

"It's a positive step that I wish they had taken last summer when it became obvious this was spreading rapidly," said Meyer.

Most farmers and researchers believe PEDv is transmitted from pig to pig by contact with pig manure.

"Something like a tablespoon of PEDv infected manure is roughly enough to infect the entire U.S. hog herd," said Rodney "Butch" Baker, swine biosecurity specialist at Iowa State University.

The National Pork Board has spent about $1.7 million researching the virus, which is nearly always fatal in pigs younger than 21 days. With pork prices at an all-time high of $3.83 a pound, the loss of baby pigs cuts into profits for hog farmers.

"If you have four weeks of mortality in a PEDv break, that's pretty devastating to the financial wellbeing of that operation," said Greg Boerboom, a Minnesota hog farmer.

"I think most producers are scared," Boerboom said. "They stay up at night."

PEDv does not pose a risk to human health and is not a food safety issue, the USDA says.


Months of forensic research so far have turned up no clear evidence of how the disease entered the United States.

The virus is nearly identical to one that infected pigs in China's Anhui province, according to a report published in the American Society of Microbiology journal mBio. Researchers also are exploring whether the widespread use of pig-blood byproducts in hog feed might have introduced the disease.

There have been outbreaks in recent years in Europe, Japan, Mexico and parts of South America, though in milder forms than seen in the U.S. and China.

The disease has taken root in Canada, too, where the pork industry is deeply integrated with U.S. pork production.


PEDv thrives in cold, damp environments, and after slowing last summer its spread accelerated during the past winter. In mid-December, there were over 1,500 cases but by mid-April, that had more than tripled to 5,790, according to USDA data.

Altogether, of nearly 15,000 samples tested for PEDv about 32 percent have been positive.

The virus "acts like a lawn mower" on the villi in a pig's intestines, which are the tiny projections that aid digestion, said Tony Forshey, chief of animal health at the Ohio Department of Agriculture. With their villi gone, the piglets cannot absorb nutrients from food or water, contract diarrhea and die from dehydration.

So far, no vaccine has been able to completely protect pigs from the disease. An Iowa company, Harrisvaccines Inc., has made some progress, while pharmaceutical giants Merck Animal Health and Zoetis Inc have joined with universities to begin vaccine development.

"There is no silver bullet for PEDv," said Justin Ellis, marketing manager at Alltech, which developed a feed additive designed to reduce risk of the disease.


The disease is spreading even as farmers and truckers impose stricter cleanliness measures across the so-called Hog Belt, which stretches across most of the U.S. Midwest and Plains States and extends south to North Carolina, the nation's No. 2 hog producer. Iowa ranks first.

"It's a complete lifestyle change," said Iowa State's Baker. "In the past the truckers haven't thought of biosecurity much."

Some hog farmers prohibit outside visitors. Others require workers to change clothes when entering and leaving barns. Truck drivers wipe down the step into their cabs, disinfect their steering wheels and change boots or wear disposable booties before entering farm yards.

The industry wants truck washes to use fresh water instead of recycled, since PEDv can live in room temperature water for up to 13 days, a University of Minnesota study said.

"The only truck I regularly allow on site is the feed truck and last November I told the driver not to get out of the truck," said Bill Tentinger, an Iowa farmer who so far has kept PEDv at bay.

The extra washing, drying and disinfecting can consume at least two hours and cost up to $500 per load, industry sources said.


Bright yellow signs marked "PED" are popping up outside North Carolina farms warning the virus is present. One-third of North Carolina's 3,000 hog farms have been struck by PEDv since the first diagnosed case there in June 2013, the state says.

So many piglets have died that Tom Butler, a farmer who fattens hogs for market in southeastern Harnett County, is having difficulty finding animals. His herd is down 25 percent to 6,000 pigs, costing him more than $100,000.

"We were spiraling downhill for a while but I think we've leveled off," Butler said. "The industry is learning to cope." (Additional reporting by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago, Marti Anne Maguire in Sampson County, N.C. and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by David Greising and John Pickering)


Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 10, 2014 at 7:21pm


Health officials: Unvaccinated person with measles may have spread disease around Phoenix area

April 10, 2014 - 6:14 am EDT

PHOENIX — Maricopa County health officials say an unvaccinated person who has measles may have spread the disease around portions of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

They are trying to identify additional cases and stop a possible outbreak of the contagious disease.

Health officials say the person returned from Europe with the measles late last month and visited several areas in Scottsdale and Cave Creek between March 29 and 31 in addition to Sky Harbor Airport's terminal 4.

That person hasn't been identified yet.

Authorities say measles symptoms typically surface within seven to 12 days of exposure but some cases take as long as three weeks.

The disease is spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with certain body secretions and can survive outside the body for hours.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 10, 2014 at 7:20pm


Massive Samoa pink eye outbreak hits thousands, forces school closures


The American Samoa pink eye outbreak has continued to get worse, and it’s now so bad that most schools in the U.S. territory will remain closed for the rest of the week, with thousands of students and teachers affected by the eye infection, ABC News reported on April 9.

The American Samoa pink eye outbreak now affects at least 2,400 students and teachers and has also disrupted court proceedings and prevented passengers from boarding some flights.

Pink eye, known officially as conjunctivitis, is one of the most common eye conditions affecting children and adults alike, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Samoa pink eye outbreak has left more than 30 percent of teachers on sick leave with pink eye, which is highly contagious.

Schools in American Samoa had shut down last week because of the pink eye outbreak and were scheduled to reopen this Wednesday. But with the American Samoa pink eye outbreak still growing, only four of 28 schools were back in session as planned this week.

Officials said the number of people affected by the American Samoa pink eye outbreak was alarming, according to The Associated Press. Officials said it’s thought that the pink eye outbreak on American Samoa spread from neighboring Samoa, which saw a pink eye outbreak in March.

The Samoa pink eye outbreak began in March and affected hundreds, according to the Samoa Observer. The Acting CEO of Education ordered schools there closed for at least a week, according to the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.).

In American Samoa, some 13,000 kids are enrolled in public schools, which means that more than 10 percent of students there are thought to have pink eye now.

American Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii.

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