Maggie Fox – August15, 2018
A new kind of tick is causing an epidemic of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Mexico, and it’s threatening to spread to the U.S., researchers said Wednesday.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is already dangerous, and the new carrier is more likely to bite people than the ticks that usually spread it, the team of U.S. and Mexican researchers said.
As ticks in general become more common as the climate warms, they’re a bigger threat, they added.
“Rocky Mountain spotted fever, caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii, is responsible for more human deaths than any other tick-borne disease in North America,” the team wrote in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever was reported in 4,269 people in the U.S. in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can kill up to 10 percent of victims, depending on the outbreak.
It’s usually spread by the American dog tick and the closely related Rocky Mountain wood tick. But in recent years the bacterial infection has also been spread by the brown dog tick — a completely different species.
Henry Holloway – August 8, 2018
SUPER gonorrhoea has taken hold as seven new strains of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) emerged fuelling fears of an outbreak.
Two completely drug-resistant versions of the venereal disease have been found and identified – with fears rampant unprotected sex could rigger an epidemic.
Doctors have been unable to treat patients with antibiotic ceftriaxone and azithromycin.
And sufferers have been left with a gonorrhoea – also known as the clap – infection that causes extreme pain during urination.
Australia’s federal government has issued a report warning of the risk of the “continuing threat of antimicrobial resistance by dangerous bacteria”.
Officials added another five strains of gonorrhoea have been found which have “high level resistance” to treatments.
Rob Waugh – July 30, 2018
A chilling simulation has revealed just how easily a new pathogen could wipe out a huge slice of the world’s population – up to 900 million people.
Researchers at John Hopkins University simulated the spread of a new illness – a new type of parainfluenza, known as Clade X.
The simulation was designed so the pathogen wasn’t markedly more dangerous than real illnesses such as SARS – and illustrates the tightrope governments tread in responding to such illnesses.
American politicians played out the scenario – which was built to be extremely realistic – where a doomsday cult released a genetically engineered virus.
By the end of the simulation in May, representing 20 months after the start of the outbreak, there were 150 million dead around the world – and no vaccine.
The researchers say that the simulation would have ended with up to 900 million dead, nearly 10% of the world’s population.
Kate Kelland – August 1, 2018
LONDON (Reuters) – Multidrug-resistant “superbugs” that can cause dangerous infections in hospitals are becoming increasingly resistant to alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfectants designed to hold them at bay, scientists said.
In a study of what the researchers described as a “new wave of superbugs”, the team also found specific genetic changes over 20 years in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, or VRE – and were able to track and show its growing resistance.
Their findings were published on Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
VRE bugs can cause urinary tract, wound and bloodstream infections that are notoriously difficult to treat, mainly because they are resistant to several classes of antibiotics.
In efforts to tackle the rise of hospital superbugs such as VRE and MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, institutions worldwide have adopted stringent hygiene steps – often involving hand rubs and washes that contain alcohol.
Douglas Patient – July 11, 2018
A WARNING has been issued about a dangerous sexually transmitted infection which is spreading rapidly.
The mycoplasma genitalium bug, known as MG, makes women infertile.
One in every 100 British adults aged 18 to 44 are already thought to be infected with the bug.
Experts are warning that this figure is set to double within 10 years as it becomes untreatable.
A total of 3,000 women a year could lose the ability to have children, the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) said.
BASHH has published the first official guidelines on management of MG on Wednesday.
Paddy Horner, of BASHH, told Daily Mail: “MG has the potential to become a superbug within a decade, resistant to standard antibiotics.
Elizabeth Cohen and John Bonifield – June 25, 2018
(CNN)In many parts of the United States, this weekend marks the start of summer sleep-away camp season, which means swimming, arts and crafts, marshmallow roasts — and, very often, ticks.
Of the more than 1,600 overnight camps that are members of the American Camp Association, more than a third are in New England and the mid-Atlantic states, where Lyme disease is particularly prevalent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to a May CDC report, cases of vector-borne diseases — those caused by viruses and bacteria carried by ticks, mosquitoes and other bugs — tripled in the United States from 2004 to 2016.
For years, experts have voiced concern that many local public health agencies are unprepared to control such pests and limit the spread of these diseases which include Lyme disease, dengue fever and Zika.
Breck Dumas – June 13, 2018
Idaho’s Central District Health Department reported on Tuesday that a child in Elmore County was recovering from the bubonic plague.
Known as the “Black Death,” the plague wiped out roughly one-third of Europe’s population in the mid-1300’s. But it is quite rare in modern times.
Evidently. It’s unknown whether the child — whose identity was not disclosed — contracted the disease in Idaho or in Oregon while on a recent vacation.
In a press release, the Health Department said that “Plague has historically been found in wildlife in both states,” and that “since 1990, eight human cases were confirmed in Oregon and two were confirmed in Idaho.”
The child who was diagnosed in Idaho this week was treated with antibiotics.
Mark Hodge – June 15, 2018
A NEW strain of deadly bird flu which kills 38 per cent of those infected and could spark a global pandemic has been identified in China.
Scientists around the world believe the new pathogen, dubbed “Disease X”, could be as lethal as 1918 Spanish flu which killed up to 100million people.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, told The Telegraph that virus H7N9, which is circulating poultry in China, could cause a global outbreak.
He said: “[H7N9] is an example of another virus which has proven its ability to transmit from birds to humans.
“It’s possible that it could be the cause of the next pandemic.”
In China, the deadly pathogen has killed 623 of the 1,625 people which have been infected.
CBS – June 13, 2018
HOUMA, LA (CBS Local) – A potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba has been found again in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Independent testing returned positive results for Naegleria fowleri, which causes fatal brain swelling and tissue destruction, in the community of Pointe-aux-Chenes, according to WWL-TV, as well as The Courier.
- A brain-eating amoeba has been detected in the Louisiana water system
- It is the third time since 2015 that the potentially deadly organism has been found in the state
- The amoeba can cause brain swelling and seizures according to the CDC
The Terrebonne Consolidated Waterworks District issued the notification Sunday and has temporarily switched to a different disinfectant to kill the organism.
Despite the Louisiana heat, residents are ignoring their swimming pools and nearby bayous. They’re terrified of something they can’t see but that officials warn is present.