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 December 3, 2011 at 3:07am


What Is Clostridium Difficile (C. Difficile)?

Main Category: Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses
Also Included In: GastroIntestinal / Gastroenterology; Seniors / Aging
Article Date: 26 Nov 2009 - 11:00 PDT

Clostridium difficile, also known as C. difficile, or C. diff, is a bacterium which infects and can make humans ill, as well as other animals. Symptoms can range from diarrhea to serious and potentially fatal inflammation of the colon.

Elderly hospital patients, as well as those in long-term care facilities are most commonly affected by C. difficile - especially after or during the use of antibiotic drugs.

C. difficile infection is gradually becoming more common, symptoms more severe and harder to treat. In North America, Europe, Australasia and many other parts of the world a significant number of people become ill from C. difficile - not only hospitalized patients taking antibiotics, but also otherwise healthy individuals.

Patients with mild symptoms may improve if they stop taking antibiotics. Those with severe symptoms need different antibiotic medications and sometimes further therapy.

C. difficile is present in the gut (intestinal tract) of approximately 3% of all adults and 66% of children. Healthy people are not usually affected by C. diff. However, some antibiotics may alter the balance of good bacteria in the gut, allowing C. diff to multiply and cause diarrhea, and possibly more serious illness.

The reason most cases of C. diff infection occur in healthcare environments is because of their link to antibiotic therapy - a significant number of hospitalized patients are on antibiotics. In industrialized countries approximately four-fifths of all C. diff cases occur in patients aged over 65 years.

The majority of patients with C. difficile infection recover completely without any long-term consequences. A small percentage, unfortunately, do have complications and some of them die.

In the UK there were 7% more cases of C. diff infection in 2006 compared to 2005. Experts say that improvements in testing technology and methods are partly responsible for the apparent increase. However, there is concern that the numbers are rising regardless.

Experts say that with good hygiene practices in healthcare environments, many C. diff infection cases can be prevented.

According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary:

Clostridium difficile is "a bacterial species found in feces of humans and animals. It colonizes newborn infants, who are spared from toxin-induced diarrheal disease. Pathogenic for human beings, guinea pigs, and rabbits; frequent cause of colitis and diarrhea following antibiotic use. Found to be a cause of pseudomembranous colitis and associated with a number of intestinal diseases that are linked to antibiotic therapy; also the chief cause of nosocomial diarrhea."

What are the signs and symptoms of Clostridium difficile?
A symptom is something the patient feels and reports, while a sign is something other people, including a doctor or a nurse may detect. For example, pain may be a symptom while a rash may be a sign.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on December 3, 2011 at 3:05am


C. difficile outbreak at GRH
570 News Dec 02, 2011 13:33:44 PM

There's an outbreak of C. difficile in one unit at Freeport Hospital.

Hospital staff are taking steps to protect patients while working to stop further spread of the disease.

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. William Ciccotelli told 570 News five new cases total have been recorded in the past three weeks, three of those in the Union Terrace Four unit.

Vulnerability to C. difficile isn't limited to the elderly, Ciccotelli said, "a lot of patients who have chronic health problems or maybe antibiotic exposures are people who can actually aquire this disease, but certainly the elderly are a group that we are concerned about getting this infection."

Ciccotelli says they're agressively looking for cases that are symptomatic of C. difficile, putting those patients in isolation as soon as possible, and getting them tested and on treatment.

The hospital is also ramping up cleaning of the facility in the areas that are infected in hopes of breaking the cycle of transmission.

While there has not been visitor ban, Ciccotelli said if you are visiting the unit the outbreak is on to consider holding off. Ciccotelli says if you have to visit, "please help us by washing and sanitizing your hands regularly before, during and after your visit. Hand hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of many infections,” he said.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on December 2, 2011 at 2:52pm


Europe experiences measles outbreak
December 01, 2011 1:33 PM
Maria Cheng/AP Medical Writer

LONDON (AP) -- After years of decline, measles is on the rise in Europe, according to a new report released Thursday.

As of October, European health officials reported more than 26,000 measles cases this year and nine deaths. That's a threefold increase in cases from the same time period in 2007, said the World Health Organization.

France accounted for about 14,000 cases, mainly in children older than five and in young adults.

Other big outbreaks of the highly-contagious disease have been identified in Spain, Romania, Macedonia, and Uzbekistan. So far, measles has killed nine people in Europe and hospitalized thousands of others. The report was published Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are seeing a surge of cases much larger than we've seen in the past five or six years," said Rebecca Martin, immunization program manager for WHO's Europe office in Copenhagen. Measles cases had been dropping for years, but began to increase sharply in late 2009.

Martin said the epidemic was fueled mainly by low vaccination rates and noted about half the cases were in people older than 15.

"Over the years, people who haven't been vaccinated are now giving the virus a big opportunity to spread," Martin said.

The report said overall vaccination rates in Europe were high, but still didn't meet the 95 percent target needed to stop outbreaks. Of the people who got measles, about half weren't vaccinated and the vaccination histories of many of the others was unknown.

More cases in Europe have also meant spillover elsewhere. The U.S. has 205 cases this year - the most in a decade - and virtually all are linked to other regions, including 20 cases from Europe. Because North America has so little measles, every imported case requires a thorough investigation and response costing tens of thousands of dollars, Martin said.

The U.S. normally only has about 50 cases a year. In May, international health officials posted an alert urging travelers everywhere to get vaccinated before flying overseas.

Measles is highly contagious and up to 90 percent of people exposed to an infected person get sick, experts say. The virus spreads easily through the air, and in closed rooms, infected droplets can linger for up to two hours after the sick person leaves.

It causes a fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. The disease kills about one to two children for every 1,000 it infects, and can also cause pregnant women to have a miscarriage or premature birth.

In 2008, there were about 164,000 measles deaths worldwide. More than 95 percent of those deaths were in poor countries.

Health officials say controlling measles outbreaks in Europe is still being compromised because of ignorance of the disease's severity and skepticism about the vaccine.

The measles shot was tainted by now discredited research published by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 suggesting a possible link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. Parents abandoned the vaccine in droves and suspicion about its safety still lingers, even though repeated studies have shown no connection.

Unlike in the U.S., where most states require children to be vaccinated against measles before starting school, no such regulations exist in most of Europe.

Spain and Switzerland exclude unvaccinated children from school during measles outbreaks, but don't otherwise insist on vaccination. In France and Britain, parents are advised to have their children immunized if they haven't received the measles shot, but there is no penalty for not doing so.

WHO's Martin said Europe's measles epidemic appeared to be on the decline. She said France

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on December 2, 2011 at 2:47pm


Lockdown at RMAF base
24 trainee commandos in hospital for suspected leptospirosis infection

Friday, December 2nd, 2011 10:21:00
Bukit Jugra RMAF base

SHUTDOWN: Health Ministry officers will conduct checks at the Bukit Jugra RMAF base (top) while infected commandos are being housed in the maternity ward at Hospital Banting

BANTING: The Bukit Jugra RMAF base is under lockdown after 24 trainee commandos were admitted for suspected leptospirosis infection.

Two of them are in critical condition, while Health Ministry officials have descended on the army base since Monday to ensure there is no outbreak.

The trainees have been quarantined in the maternity ward of the Banting Hospital. Two of them are in critical condition, with one trainee transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital yesterday.

The condition of the remaining 22 trainees was reported to be stable. Thery will be released only after tests are complete — expected to be in a few days.

According to sources, the patients were brought there on Monday evening for food poisoning.

A security guard said family members and friends of the trainees, who turned up at the hospital earlier in the day, were not allowed to enter the ward.

“They just sat here and waited for hours. All they wanted was to see the trainees, but no one was allowed to go in. They left after talking to doctors on duty,” he said.

The guards said they were given strict orders by the hospital management not allow anyone to enter.

A hospital staff who contacted The Malay Mail said they were given strict orders by hospital management and military commandants to keep the situation under wraps.

Hospital Banting director Dr Rozita Mohamed confirmed the commandos were admitted there but declined to comment further.

Visiting the hospital yesterday, The Malay Mail found the 22 commandos housed at the maternity ward.

A hospital staff said there were two maternity wards and whenever a high number of patients were admitted with the same problem, they were kept at one of the wards, also known as “Ward 2”.

A nurse, who declined to be identified, said as patients were quarantined, they had to be housed in a separate ward.

“The hospital is taking precautionary measures as the disease may be contagious.”

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi yesterday confirmed the soldiers were infected by leptospirosis, which is commonly associated with rat’s urine.

Sources said it was believed the commandos could have been infected from the food or water they consumed.

Health Ministry officers are conducting checks at the RMAF base, including scouring the Bukit Jugra jungle area where the victims are believed to have undergone final training.

The health officers are also inspecting the airbase’s water tanks and water outlets to see if the food or water source could have been contaminated.
Disease spread through animal urine

PETALING JAYA: Leptospirosis is a rare disease which infects humans exposed to bacteria contaminated by animal urine and is contagious as long as the bacteria remain moist.

The main carriers are rats, moles and mice but a large range of other mammals, such as dogs, deer, rabbits, hedgehogs, cows, sheep, raccoons, opossums, skunks, and certain marine mammals, are able to carry and transmit the disease as secondary hosts.

Wikipedia states: “There have been reports of ‘house dogs’ contracting leptospirosis apparently from licking the urine of infected mice that enter houses. The types of habitats most likely to carry infective bacteria are muddy riverbanks, ditches, gullies, and muddy livestock rearing areas where there is a regular passage of either wild or farm mamma

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on November 30, 2011 at 8:44am


Kala-azar disease kills 27 people in Unity state

November 29, 2011 (BENTIU) - Unity state’s health ministry said Friday that an outbreak of Kala-azar disease had killed 27 people in Koch and Mayiandit counties.

JPEG - 22.1 kb
A MSF doctor examines a kid, who suffers from kala azar, in Malakal Upper Nile (photo MSF)

Health officials say that the disease spread from neighbouring Jonglei state, which had an outbreak in January.

Koch county’s Leer Hospital - the only health centre in the state that can treat the disease - has diagnosed over 100 cases officials told Sudan Tribune.

Dr. Manong Thot Teny director general of ministry of health in Unity state said that cases were on the rise, particularly in Koch county.

The state ministry of health and the World Health Organization have come to an agreement to train staffs at Koch County Hospital to investigate and treat the disease, which is spread by the bite of female sand flies.

"There is a need of establishment centre in Koch, but they had some challenges that Koch Hospital is very small, and at the end we are still need some support,” said Thot.

The health ministry director said that Medicine Sans Froniter (MSF) is the only organisation that clinics treating cases of Kala-Azar in Leer County. He said that they needed support from other organisations to fight the disease, which causes diarrhea, fever, general body weakness and swelling of some internal organs.

If left untreated, the disease kills around 95% of people who have been infected.

Thot said, they are planning to open a centre in Koch county, as the health centre there was too small to cope with the number of patients.

Unity states health facilities have attracted patients from Jonglei state.

MSF Holland visited Koch County on Tuesday with state health ministry staffs and found that the high rate of detection indicated that civilians were at an increased risk.

Health authorities in Unity state are urging citizens to use mosquito nets as a way to minimize the risk of contracting the disease.

The Kala azar or Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease transmitted through sand fly bites which breed in forest areas, caves, or the burrows of small rodents. It can cause death by attacking a person’s internal organs and bone marrow and has a mortality rate of 95 per cent if it is not treated.

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) reported that October that the Kala azar killed some 720 people in South Sudan. However, UN officials stress that the real number of victims can be higher than reported.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said that more than 18,000 cases of the disease have been recorded in South Sudan since the outbreak emerged in September 2009. Children are the first victims, she underscored.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on November 29, 2011 at 3:16pm


Six more found infected after Hepatitis C outbreak in central China

HEFEI, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Six people were confirmed to be infected with the Hepatitis C virus in central Henan province Tuesday after a bordering region in Anhui province reported an outbreak of the disease Monday.

A total of 104 people in Maqiao township of Yongcheng city in Henan have tested positive for Hepatitis C virus in a preliminary screening. Of all, six have been confirmed as Hepatitis C patients in further tests, the Yongcheng city health bureau said in a statement Tuesday.

In Guoyang county in Anhui, 56 people, mostly children, have tested positive for the Hepatitis C virus in a preliminary screening. Further nucleic acid tests on 16 confirmed 13 were infected.

An initial investigation by local health authorities showed all 56 once received intravenous injections at a clinic in Maqiao township of Yongcheng city and the reuse of needles at the village clinic might have caused the outbreak.

Wu Wenyi, a man in his 60s who runs the village clinic in Maqiao township, is not a licensed doctor, the Yongcheng city health bureau said. A further investigation is underway to to see if he is behind the outbreak, it added.

A villager surnamed Yang in Guoyang said doctor Wu can cure fever and diarrhea for children with one injection that costs 10 to 20 yuan (1.6 to 3.1 U.S. dollars), and people living within a radius of 20 km came to see him for health issues.

Yang brought his wife and 9-month-old daughter for a medical check at the county people's hospital Tuesday, as they had all received medical treatment at the suspect clinic.

"We never saw him change the needles and don't even know what medication he prescribed," Yang said.

Comment by Sevan Makaracı on November 27, 2011 at 1:45pm

Thank you for creating and updating this blog post.


Unidentified Illness (rash on the skin), Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA (Nov 22)


At least 10 teachers at the troubled Hunking Middle School have contracted a poison ivy-like rash, according to the head of a parents group who is calling for the building to be vacated and closed. Parent Kelly Valaskatgis, president of the newly formed Haverhill Parents Shaping Our Schools group that is pushing for a new school, said she spoke to two teachers yesterday afternoon about the situation. "I'm told they all have a rash that looks like poison ivy," Valaskatgis said. "Some are having bronchial problems. They all believe something in the school is making them sick." Valaskatis said some of the affected teachers have been put on prednisone, a steroid used to suppress inflammation. "Our goal now is to get the kids and the teachers out of the building," Valaskatgis said. "We want it evacuated immediately." School Superintendent James Scully said he is aware of only two teachers who have complained of rashes, not including principal David Cook, who has been on sick leave but is expected back later this week or early next week, Scully said. Scully maintained the building is safe and that there is no reason to close the school. "In an hour it's going to be 20 teachers with rashes, then 40," he said, suggesting the situation is being exaggerated by teachers there. "I only know of two teachers with rashes. And it's unclear whether their illnesses have anything to do with conditions inside the building." Scully said a just-completed analysis of the school's air "shows there is no need to remove students." HUB Testing Laboratories of Waltham has been monitoring the building's air quality daily for several weeks, he said. Valaskatgis said she believes Scully that air inside the building is safe, but said something there is making teachers sick. "Maybe it's something in one of the teacher rooms that they are coming into contact with," she said. Hunking's entire sixth grade was moved to another school last month when half the building was closed over fears it could collapse due to structural problems. A week later, a parent said his daughter told him windows in the school must be left open because of asbestos. And at a recent School Committee meeting, a seventh-grader said he and other students there sometimes suffer headaches due to poor air quality. But since then, daily checks of the building's air have not indicated problems caused by mold, asbestos or anything else, Scully said. The testing showed "indoor mold spores" in the air, but not at high or unsafe levels, he said. The full report was posted on the Hunking website yesterday afternoon. "Most of our schools have asbestos under them, but Hunking does not have an asbestos problem in the building," Scully said. "There are rumors out there and one teacher is trying to get everyone alarmed. But the truth is the building is safe or we wouldn't have kids there." Marc Harvey, president of the Haverhill Education Association teachers union, did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment. School Committee member Paul Magliocchetti said he is receiving daily updates on issues at Hunking, but that he has seen nothing to suggest teacher illnesses are related to the building's air quality. "If there are staff or students who are sick or who have rashes, I invite them to get a note from their doctor that it's related to the building, and I'll move to vacate the rest of the school immediately," Magliocchetti said. "We have an outside firm monitoring and testing the air, and they are telling us it's safe."


Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on November 26, 2011 at 2:58am


McCaskill calls for probe into smallpox-vaccine boondoggle

Almost two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times reported on the peculiar case of Siga Technologies, which got a no-bid contract to supply the Pentagon with an experimental vaccine for smallpox, a dead disease, when we have a plentiful supply of traditional vaccine to handle an outbreak.  Siga Technologies has close ties to the Democratic Party with its primary investor, party donor Ronald Perelman, and relatively new board member Andy Stern, the former head of the SEIU and a frequent visitor to the Obama White House.  The deal amounts to almost a half-billion dollars for Perelman and Stern, and the White House appears to have intervened to relax contract requirements and eliminate any hint of competition for the project.

Under those circumstances, it should come as no surprise that a member of Congress wants this deal investigated.  Should it surprise us that the demand comes from a Senate Democrat?

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, has asked The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review the Obama administration’s award of a $443 million sole-source contract to a company owned by a major Democratic donor. …

Citing “serious questions” about the contract, the Los Angeles Times reported that McCaskill has asked the inspector general of HHS to investigate. McCaskill is the chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting and Oversight.

It turns out that there was another questionable call in awarding the contract to Siga:

In October 2010, Siga announced it had been awarded a multi-billion dollar contract to develop ST-246, despite the fact that the contract stipulated only a small business could be the winning bidder. A smaller company protested, and in response, the Obama Administration blocked everyone except Siga from bidding for a second offering of the contract.

The government’s justification for only talking to Siga was that an antiviral was needed within five years, and Siga was the only company who could do it. That justification troubled some HHS officials, one of whom called it “a stretch” in an internal email obtained by the paper. As much as $115 million in taxpayer money had already been spent developing the drug, which had not been approved by the FDA.

The kicker?  The FDA has no idea how it will approve the drug for use in humans.  In order to do the double-blind testing required for certification, they would have to expose test subjects to live samples of smallpox, since the disease no longer exists outside of a few military laboratories in Russia and the US.  Who would want to volunteer to expose themselves to smallpox and hope they don’t draw the placebo card in the trials?

McCaskill deserves one cheer for demanding an investigation into this contract, but it’s almost certainly not a selfless act.  She faces an almost impossible task in 2012 in winning re-ele

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on November 26, 2011 at 2:55am


Village under quarantine after typhoid outbreak

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A VILLAGE in the Navosa highlands has been closed off to the outside world as a typhoid outbreak forced the closure of a school this week.

More than 50 per cent of the people of Nanoko village as well as students are believed to have been infected.

Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki said the villagers and students had been given an ultimatum to remain in the village for 21 days.

A team of health officers was deployed to the village early this week to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the area.

He said the villagers were quarantined and no one was allowed to move out of the village until the disease was fully contained.

"The Thomas Baker School is now closed," said Cdr Cawaki.

"We have a good number of villagers believed to be infected and the health team is busy treating the disease. The disease needs to be treated fast to avoid it spreading to other areas.

"This is a huge concern for the villagers especially for the school students."

Cdr Cawaki urged villagers in the Western Division to always clean their backyards.

"Healthy living is one of the main focus of the government, people must therefore take heed of this advice. Health teams were first to this village and surrounding villages in the beginning of the year to educate villagers on the importance of keeping their villages clean. The spread of typhoid in Nanoko should be a wake-up call for other villagers to take care of the environment and keep their compounds tidy."

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on November 25, 2011 at 3:09am



Bat droppings cause central Alberta outbreak of rare disease

When Donna Rudd began suffering extreme shortness of breath, severe muscle pains and extreme blistering on her hands last June, her mind raced back to an incident a week earlier when she’d cleaned dead bats and a bucket of their droppings from the base of her home’s chimney.

But it would take numerous visits to hospital and a battery of tests in the ensuing months for doctors to determine the Ponoka woman was one of three confirmed and two suspected cases infected in a central Alberta outbreak after exposure to the flying mammal’s feces.

“It was pretty gross to try to clean up, and I remembered wondering whether this was something I really wanted to or should be doing,” Rudd said.

“The doctors said at first that it was a case of the flu, but I felt like the life was being sucked out of my bones.”

After noting an X-ray in the emergency ward showed a spot on her lungs, her family physician ordered a CT scan which showed that her pulmonary tract was covered in lesions and wart-like nodules.

“My doctor said your lungs are a mess,” said Rudd, “and since then I’ve been on antifungal medications to stop the fungus from growing.”

Infectious disease experts at Edmonton’s University Hospital sent blood samples to a lab in the U.S Midwest where tests confirmed the flu-like symptoms were caused by histoplasmosis, a fungal disease that’s more common south of the border and in South America.

Health inspectors took some of the bat droppings from her home and found they contained high numbers of the fungus spores that cause the ailment if inhaled.

While Rudd is feeling better now, she said specialists have warned she may have chronic lung problems.

Since being diagnosed, Rudd has had to spend over $2,000 to have the bats live trapped, before getting her chimney cleaned, disinfected, and sealed so the animals won’t return.

Lorne McClaflin of Twilight Bat Control said he trapped eight bats from Rudd’s home, just some of the hundreds he catches and releases from homes in central Alberta each year.

“Most people love bats because they can eat half their weight in mosquitoes every night, but the problem is they can poop that all out in your house if they’re living there during the day.” McClaflin said. “They can make a big mess, plus there’s the potential health issues of handling the droppings.”

The last outbreak of the disease in Alberta was in 2003, when several golf course workers near Edmonton became infected from contaminated soil.

While most people exposed to the fungus have only mild symptoms that require no medical attention, the disease can be debilitating for patients with chronic lung disease or depressed immune systems.

Earlier this year, the province started requiring doctors and labs to notify health officials of any confirmed cases of histoplasmosis so they can track its spread.Dr. Ifeoma Achebe, a medical officer of health with the central zone of Alberta Health Services, said people should use an industrial-strength respirator before handling dry bat or bird droppings and wet down areas with bleach before cleaning up any residue.

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