Ruth Schuster – February 08, 2018
Gonorrhea is becoming more dangerous worldwide as the sexually-transmitted disease approaches untreatability, a report on growing incidences of the STD superbug in China shows.
Strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae with dual resistance to World Health Organization-recommended antibiotics azithromycin and last-ditch drug ceftriaxone turn out to be common in China, says the groundbreaking study published this week in PLOS Medicine.
From 2013 to 2016, the rates of dually-resistant gonorrhea in China climbed from 1.9 percent to 3.3 percent, reports Yueping Yin of the National Center for STD Control, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College Institute of Dermatology in Nanjing, China and colleagues.
In short, superbug gonorrhea is becoming a global threat.
Most of the participants in the Chinese study were symptomatic male heterosexuals.
Matt Drake – February 15, 2018
A PLAGUE that caused Romans to sacrifice red-coated dogs to the gods and caused famines for thousands of years is returning to the UK, scientists have said in a stark warning.
The “plague” is a fungus called Puccinia graminis which infects harvests of wheat and caused Romans to sacrifice their canines to appease the god of rust, which they thought was behind the infection.
Wheat stem rust caused crop failures for thousands of years until farmers noticed a link between the outbreaks and barberry shrubs, which were planted as hedges and harvested for their berries – leading to campaigns in Europe and North America to remove the bushes.
The last official outbreak of the plague was in the UK was 1955 but it has come back due to conservation efforts to preserve a rare species of moth called the carpet moth which live off the shrubbery.
Staff Writers – February 09, 2018
An astonishing number of viruses are circulating around the Earth’s atmosphere – and falling from it – according to new research from scientists in Canada, Spain and the U.S.
The study marks the first time scientists have quantified the viruses being swept up from the Earth’s surface into the free troposphere, that layer of atmosphere beyond Earth’s weather systems but below the stratosphere where jet airplanes fly. The viruses can be carried thousands of kilometres there before being deposited back onto the Earth’s surface.
“Every day, more than 800 million viruses are deposited per square metre above the planetary boundary layer–that’s 25 viruses for each person in Canada,” said University of British Columbia virologist Curtis Suttle, one of the senior authors of a paper in the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal that outlines the findings.
Rachel Axon – Febtuary 6, 2018
The workers are largely responsible for checking credentials and screening baggage entering the venues. The military personnel were brought in from about 40 minutes away.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Norovirus is considered highly contagious and typically includes symptoms of diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting and nausea.
The organizing committee said ground water used in food and beverages at the Horeb Youth Centre — a housing facility — was suspected. In a statement late Tuesday, the committee said the Ministry of Food And Drug Safety and Ministry of Environment had checked the water used for cooking and consumption over five days and found it tested negative for Norovirus.
On Monday, the Korean Centre for Disease Control and Prevention began a survey of everyone staying there. Those workers displaying symptoms will be sent to the hospital and those that do not will remain at the center until there are no further cases.
Joseph Carey – February 5, 2018
A DEADLY outbreak has sparked a warning to tourists after a dangerous infection known as Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) spread to hundreds of people in India leaving 19 dead, a watchdog has warned.
The virus, which is in the same family as yellow fever and dengue fever, is believed to be spreading from an outbreak that started in three villages in Sindhudurg.
The report from watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said: “Between January 2016 and January 2018, laboratory tests confirmed 332 cases of the disease in the district, and 19 cases of that number were lethal.
“The Indian authorities did not specify the incidence of the KFD in January 2018.”
The dangerous virus is spread to humans by tick bites or in milk from infected animals.
David Williams – February 3, 2018
How prepared is the world to take on another pandemic? Not very, according to two of the world’s foremost experts on the subject. Speaking at the recently concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dr. Sylvie Briand, a specialist in infectious diseases from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Elhadj As Sy, the secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, each shared their thoughts on the matter of the world’s preparedness for the next pandemic.
According to the two experts, the world should stop looking at pandemics as sort of isolated incidents and instead start recognizing them as the population-wiping abominations that they truly are. As Elhadj As Sy stated to the AFP, “Pandemics are becoming a real threat to humanity.” And Dr. Brand agrees, adding: “We know that it is coming, but we have no way of stopping it.” They spoke at Davos in a discussion titled, “Are We Ready For The Next Pandemic?”
Evidently, the answer to their question there is a resounding no.
Ciaran McGrath – January 26, 2018
A future influenza pandemic could kill millions of people the World Health Organisation has warned – a century on from the Spanish flu outbreak which did just that.
The NHS has been struggling to cope with the added burden posed by this winter’s Australian flu outbreak, and other countries, including the United States, France and China are facing similar problems as WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said worse could be around the corner.
He said: “In North America Influenza-like Illness (ILI) levels are similar to those seen in 2014-2015 season, which was the most severe season in recent years, and influenza A (H3N2) is the main circulating virus.
“In some Western European countries hospitalization rates have already reached high levels. It is difficult to predict when the influenza activity will peak or if it has already peaked.”
To further complicate matters, different strains of the virus were impacting in different countries, he explained.
Mac Slavo – January 25, 2018
The yellow fever outbreak in Brazil has taken a backseat to the flu outbreak spreading globally. But, the death toll from yellow fever has now tripled and travelers are being warned.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday there are 35 confirmed cases of the disease, including a case confirmed in the Netherlands for a traveler who had recently visited Sao Paulo state. Sao Paulo even closed its zoo and botanical gardens Tuesday as the yellow fever outbreak that has led to 70 deaths is picking up steam.
The big Inhotim art park, which attracts visitors from all over the world, also announced that all visitors would have to show proof of yellow fever vaccination to be allowed to enter. The park said the measure was preventative only and that so far, no case of yellow fever had been found there.
Yellow fever is a potentially life-threatening viral disease that is transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Tsiresena MANJAKAHERY – January 26, 2018
Most inhabitants of Madagascar thought the plague was a footnote of medical history until the disease dramatically returned last year, slaying more than 200 people.
In the “Black Death” pandemic that swept through Europe in the 14th century, as much as a third of the population were wiped out by the plague.
Today, thanks to diagnostic tests, tried-and-trusted containment procedures, simple rules of hygiene and an arsenal of antibiotics, the disease is no longer a mass killer.
Even so, it remains an endemic threat in a number of African countries that are among the poorest on the planet, including Madagascar.
The bacteria that causes the plague, Yersinia pestis, is transported by rats and transmitted to human beings by their fleas.
Tim Pearce – January 25, 2018
Due to changes in the South Texas ecosystem over the past half century, a previously suppressed, lethal cattle disease is spreading again through ticks on wildlife.
The disease, commonly referred to as cattle fever, is lethal to about 90 percent of cattle bitten by an infected tick. The virus was largely eliminated from the United States by 1943, but has made a recent comeback, mostly in federally controlled wildlife refuges, according to the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA).
Ranches in the “quarantine zone,” about 1.4 million acres in South Texas bordering Mexico where the disease is active, abide by strict regulations to treat cattle and kill disease vectors, or infected ticks.