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ccgwebmaster

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #50 on: April 02, 2014, 04:37:54 PM »
Something akin to airborne Ebola would make all our current problems fade to nothing.

Not sure that's really true - even if the most lethal strain of Ebola mutated such that it could spread more easily and further - and took out 90% of the global population - the remaining 10% would still have decades to centuries of climate change to deal with...

Although maybe there's a case that population correction through disease is better than through conflict - I'm not sure most people would pick either option.

Theta

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #51 on: April 02, 2014, 05:40:50 PM »
Something akin to airborne Ebola would make all our current problems fade to nothing.

Not sure that's really true - even if the most lethal strain of Ebola mutated such that it could spread more easily and further - and took out 90% of the global population - the remaining 10% would still have decades to centuries of climate change to deal with...

Although maybe there's a case that population correction through disease is better than through conflict - I'm not sure most people would pick either option.

At least the survivors will have more resources which gives them a better chance at standing up to the conditions that they will be experiencing as a result of Climate Change, although the killing mechanism that brings the population to that point, in the context of Ebola, is rather unpleasant.
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DoomInTheUK

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #52 on: April 02, 2014, 05:54:45 PM »
ccg,

I'm not so sure that if 90% of the workforce of a powerplant died off that there would be enough knowledge people remaining to run it. The same applies to refineries, manufacturing, just about any production or even farming. Almost every jo these days requires expert knowledge to perform it, and that knowledge almost always lays in someones head.

The current infrastructure would collapse pretty darned quickly if there aren't enough people to run it.

Ask yourself this - would you feel comfortable trying to run an oil refinery if there wasn't anyone else to ask?

ritter

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #53 on: April 02, 2014, 05:59:07 PM »
Ask yourself this - would you feel comfortable trying to run an oil refinery if there wasn't anyone else to ask?

Or safely shutting down a nuclear power facility?  :o

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #54 on: April 02, 2014, 06:51:03 PM »
I'm not so sure that if 90% of the workforce of a powerplant died off that there would be enough knowledge people remaining to run it. The same applies to refineries, manufacturing, just about any production or even farming. Almost every jo these days requires expert knowledge to perform it, and that knowledge almost always lays in someones head.

The current infrastructure would collapse pretty darned quickly if there aren't enough people to run it.

It isn't that I don't agree with what you're saying above - it's that I think it will be a consequence of climate change and resource depletion anyway (ie global pandemic or not). Which is to say lethal pandemic has the plus points of avoiding massive conflict and direct immediate infrastructure damage (though I daresay it will degrade fast enough anyway).

icefest

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #55 on: April 03, 2014, 01:18:14 AM »
Ask yourself this - would you feel comfortable trying to run an oil refinery if there wasn't anyone else to ask?

Or safely shutting down a nuclear power facility?  :o

With a decent manual and assuming it is physically possible (ie, I don't need to be in two places at once) I wouldn't be altogether too worried about having to.

I am actually less worried about ebola than many other pathogens. Ebola mutates much slower than the flu (cf ebola - marburg virus differentiation). I'm much more worried about malaria, influenza and dengue fever.
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DoomInTheUK

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #56 on: April 03, 2014, 11:12:08 AM »
Ritter,

I agree, give me a good guide and a bit of a run up at it and I'll have a damned good go at most things. Sadly not many very technical installations have a readily available idiots guide. And you don't get a second chance when things start going wrong at those sort of plants. It's usually a case of find a mop and bucket to clean up where the previous crew stayed to try and sort it out.

As for Ebola I agree, it's just one of a bunch of very nasty bugs waiting in the wiongsfor their chance - but an airborne version would certainly count as high on a virologists nightmare list.

I don't think that any pandemic that threatens the majority of the population is likely in the next 20 years, but the odds are certainly non-zero. It's just another thing in the mix that our society has waiting to knock our head count down a notch or two. Some self inflicted, others are just opportunists waiting for an easy meal.

JimD

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2014, 05:09:13 PM »
More on the deadly pig virus.

Quote
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A virus never before seen in the U.S. has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year, and with little known about how it spreads or how to stop it, it's threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10 percent or more.

Quote
Farmer and longtime veterinarian Craig Rowles did all he could to prevent PED from spreading to his farm in Iowa, the nation's top pork producer and the state hardest hit by the disease. He trained workers to spot symptoms, had them shower and change clothing before entering barns and limited deliveries and visitors.

Despite his best efforts, the deadly diarrhea attacked in November, killing 13,000 animals in a matter of weeks, most of them less than 2 weeks old. The farm produces about 150,000 pigs each year.

Estimates of how many pigs have died in the past year vary, ranging from at least 2.7 million to more than 6 million. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the die-off has had a hand in shrinking the nation's pig herd by 3 percent to about 63 million pigs.


http://www.aol.com/article/2014/04/08/us-bacon-prices-rise-after-rare-virus-kills-baby-pig/20865600/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl35%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D462572
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How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

sidd

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2014, 07:31:50 PM »
Hate to say, but those baby pigs were spared a horrible life and death.

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #59 on: April 22, 2014, 04:08:54 PM »
I'm off playing farmer in Calif this week (building goat sheds) so I am not paying much attention to other things.  But I saw this with the morning coffee.

More on the banana fungus.

Quote
Banana lovers take note: The world's supply of the fruit is under attack from a fungus strain that could wipe out the popular variety that Americans eat.


"There's nothing at this point that really keeps the fungus from spreading," he said in an interview with CNBC.

 While there are nearly 1,000 varieties of bananas, the most popular is the Cavendish, which accounts for 45 percent of the fruit's global crop -- and the one Americans mostly find in their supermarkets.

 The Cavendish became a favorite in the 1950's because it was found to be resistant to strains of Panama disease that hit the then-preferred Gros Michel variety of banana.

 But now the Cavendish, which makes up about 95 percent of global banana exports, is dying from the fungus strain Ploetz found.


The problem has gotten so bad according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, that countries that grow bananas have been warned to step up monitoring, reporting and prevention in order to tackle what it calls "one of the world's most destructive banana diseases, and threatens the income of millions of people."

According to the FAO, bananas are the eighth most important food crop in the world and the fourth most important food crop among the world's least-developed countries. Through trade and supply, bananas make up a global $8.9 billion trade industry.

 Bananas are grown in more than 150 countries, which produce 105 million tons of fruit a year, while employing hundreds of thousands pf people. The U.S. is the top importer of bananas in the world at nearly 4 million tons a year. The European Union is a close second. The largest exporters of the fruit are Ecuador, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Colombia.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/04/22/banana-fungus-tr4-threatens-us-supply/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

icefest

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #60 on: April 22, 2014, 05:02:27 PM »
RE: Banana fungus.
It's no surprise and was bound to happen sooner rather than later.

Most modern banana cultivars are sterile.  There is no functional genetic variability between individual plants of the same cultivar. This means that the risk of pathogen spread is heightened and that the entire crop can be affected at the same time.

Have you heard of the Gros Michel banana? That had a similar fate to what we might be seeing in the cavendish banana.
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Shared Humanity

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #61 on: April 22, 2014, 06:06:45 PM »
RE: Banana fungus.
It's no surprise and was bound to happen sooner rather than later.

Most modern banana cultivars are sterile.  There is no functional genetic variability between individual plants of the same cultivar. This means that the risk of pathogen spread is heightened and that the entire crop can be affected at the same time.

Have you heard of the Gros Michel banana? That had a similar fate to what we might be seeing in the cavendish banana.

Are there non-commercial banana varieties that could get us out of this mess?

icefest

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #62 on: April 22, 2014, 06:53:58 PM »

Bananas are a cross breed of two species. Both are virtually inedible (Giant seeds or taste depending).  Going back to them is stupid.  There are a multitude of other combinations of the original cultivars (diploid, triploid, tetraploid, all with differing genetic sources)

There are plenty of other cultivars, some older, some smaller, some more hard, some less shelf-stable. You will not run out of banana.

Creating a new banana plant almost invariably requires vegetative reproduction, this is almost always a commercial process. Theoretically it could be done alone.

Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banana_cultivars
It explains the genetic much better than me.


As an aside, banana genetics was what finally made me understand genetics... we as far as I can hope to understand it.
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Anne

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #63 on: April 22, 2014, 08:40:11 PM »
The problem is really that the producers who rely on bananas for their livelihood will suffer great hardship before another cultivar can be planted and yield fruit.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #64 on: April 22, 2014, 09:02:19 PM »

As an aside, banana genetics was what finally made me understand genetics... we as far as I can hope to understand it.

Sharing 50% of its genes with humans, the question is whether the banana will ever understand us.    ::)

icefest

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #65 on: April 23, 2014, 05:10:49 AM »
The problem is really that the producers who rely on bananas for their livelihood will suffer great hardship before another cultivar can be planted and yield fruit.

True, Thankfully it's mainly export oriented farmers that're growing cavendish. Subsidence farmers (in the eastern african highlands average intake is 0.7kg bananas person/day) are growing other cultivars and have more variability.
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JackTaylor

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #66 on: April 23, 2014, 03:01:18 PM »
Perhaps we're further along toward a replacement for the Cavendish than the recent alarms.

In October 2005, almost nine years ago now, The Smithsonian Magazine had an article about
(in Belgium of all places)
Building A Better Banana
It is the world's No. 1 fruit, with millions of people dependent on it to stay alive. Now diseases threaten many varieties, prompting a search for new hybrids of the "smile of nature"
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/building-a-better-banana-70543194/
is the online version.


JimD

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #67 on: May 01, 2014, 05:28:16 PM »
This sounds nasty.

My first reaction is that the use of pesticides and herbicides is much less regulated and regulations are widely ignored in 3rd world agriculture and this is the likely cause.  But we will see.

Ag workers in Columbia who work the rose farms are well known to have very high cancer rates.

Quote
Mysterious Kidney Disease Slays Farmworkers In Central America

In Central America, a form of kidney disease is attacking men in the prime of their lives. Researchers are struggling to explain what's causing it.

The condition appears to be concentrated among male agricultural workers, particularly sugar cane cutters, along the Pacific coast.

The town of Chichigalpa has been hard hit. It's surrounded by the cane fields of El Ingenio San Antonio, one of the oldest and largest sugar estates in Central America.
....

Tejarino's doctor says hundreds of men in Chichigalpa are suffering from this mysterious kind of chronic kidney failure. It's not related to diabetes or other well-known kidney diseases....

The first reports of this disease date back at least 20 years. At first the clusters of men dying of kidney failure was dismissed as a fluke. Then it was written off as diabetes or some other underlying health problem that hadn't been correctly diagnosed.

Despite years of research all over the world, scientists still can't definitively pinpoint the cause.
...

The disease is killing relatively young men, sometimes while they're still in their early 20s. Researchers at Boston University have attributed about 20,000 deaths to this form of kidney failure over the past two decades in Central America...

A similar epidemic is afflicting sugar farmers in Sri Lanka, which has a hot, dry climate similar to western Nicaragua. In response, the Sri Lankan government banned the use of glyphosate this past March. Glyphosate is the generic version of the popular herbicide marketed by Monsanto as Roundup.

Officials at the Ingenio San Antonio in Chichigalpa say they also use Roundup. But a link between the herbicide and the disease hasn't been proven.
....

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/04/30/306907097/mysterious-kidney-disease-slays-farmworkers-in-central-america
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Laurent

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #68 on: May 01, 2014, 07:12:40 PM »
I did not want t post that on the forum but...yes the roundup is a big ch**t.

May be not related to kidney...d we need that to stop using that stuff and others...
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2379278/glyphosate_is_a_disaster_for_human_health.html

JimD

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #69 on: May 07, 2014, 06:07:31 PM »
http://triplecrisis.com/alarm-bells-over-antibiotic-resistance/

Quote
“Without urgent, coordinated action, 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. “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.” - See more at: http://triplecrisis.com/alarm-bells-over-antibiotic-resistance/#sthash.duo7JChu.dpuf
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #70 on: May 09, 2014, 05:26:47 PM »
This is just a horrible situation.

It is becoming unsafe to eat deer/elk due to the risk of disease being passed to the consumer yet a large part of the US is badly overrun with deer (far more than ever existed naturally).  Extrapolate ahead a few years and this becomes a health and big financial issue. 

Quote
It has been over ten years since Wisconsin endured a kind of deer holocaust. The terminal deer and elk disease, chronic wasting disease (CWD), descended upon its deer population with such vengeance officials declared “CWD eradication” zones in which fauns and does would be killed before bucks. Thousands of deer carcasses were stored in refrigerated trucks in La Crosse while their severed heads were tested for CWD. If the carcasses were disease-free they were safe to eat (any takers?); if not, they were too dangerous to even put in a landfill. Why? Because “prions” (which also cause mad cow disease, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans) are not inactivated by cooking, heat, autoclaves, ammonia, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, phenol, lye, formaldehyde, or radiation. They remain in the soil indefinitely.....

...Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials in Wisconsin and other states assured the public that deer meat was safe, even if it harbored CWD, as long as they avoided eating a deer’s brain, eyeballs, spinal cord, spleen and lymph nodes–the parts also implicated in mad cow disease.  But scientific articles suggested most of the animal contained prions including its kidneys, pancreas, liver, muscle, blood, fat and saliva, antler velvet and birthing material.....

....Many animal lovers have noted the hypocrisy of states citing deer “overpopulation” when they encourage deer
breeding farms. What?  Recently a four-part expose in the Indiana Star explores how “the pursuit of deer bred for enormous antlers and shot in hunting pens” on trophy farms is spreading CWD at an alarming rate. Deer breeding and “trophy farms” are a $4 billion a year industry and hotbeds of CWD thanks to their concentration of animals, “communicability window” (from trophy stock trading and escaped animals) and its unknown feed sources.....

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/08/the-us-is-losing-the-war-against-deer-disease/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #71 on: May 09, 2014, 05:35:47 PM »
And while we are on the subject of scary information.

Quote
Antibiotic-resistant genes are widespread in nature, study finds

From Antarctic lakes to forest soil in Puerto Rico to the guts of mice, scientists are finding antibiotic-resistant genes almost everywhere they look, according to a new study that examined environmental samples from around the globe.

Note that they are present in treated sewage sludge.  Since many cities are going to have to resort to using treated sewage water in their drinking water systems in the future this presents and interesting question.

Quote
“What we’re seeing more and more of, that’s unquestionably true, is that these resistant genes are becoming more and more abundant in pathogens” that can then carry antibiotic resistance to new organisms, said Lance Price, an epidemiologist and expert in antibiotic resistance at George Washington University. “They are getting incorporated into organisms that they never were in before.”

Quote
The publication of the study comes amid mounting concern that the planet could be barreling toward a post-antibiotic era in which common infections might once again prove fatal as the antibiotics used to treat them become less and less effective.

“The problem is so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine,” the World Health Organization concluded in a report last week.

The WHO documented “very high rates of resistance” in different parts of the globe: Some urinary tract infections and skin wounds, once easily treatable with common antibiotics, are proving more and more difficult to defeat. The bacteria that cause pneumonia are now less susceptible to penicillin. In dozens of countries, the last-resort treatment for gonorrhea is losing its punch. Meanwhile, few new antibiotics are in the development pipeline.

Might help with the overpopulation problem.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/antibiotic-resistant-genes-are-widespread-in-nature-study-finds/2014/05/08/ec608662-d53c-11e3-aae8-c2d44bd79778_story.html

Check out these charts.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/growing-antibiotic-resistance/2013/09/16/b61ac100-1f2d-11e3-8459-657e0c72fec8_graphic.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #72 on: May 09, 2014, 05:42:31 PM »


My brother owns 30 acres of land in Sauk County, Wisconsin which is at the very heart of the CWD eradication zone. Hunters can continue to get unlimited kill licenses so long as they kill 2 doe for every buck.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 05:51:12 PM by Shared Humanity »

ritter

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #73 on: May 09, 2014, 06:35:09 PM »
Might help with the overpopulation problem.

Balance will be restored. It's just a matter of how much we take out with us.

Common waste water treatment methods don't remove pharmacological residual components so the world is now awash with them. It's not just antibiotics. It's all the meds we take for this or that ailment sloshing around out in the water ways. What could possibly go wrong?  :o

JimD

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #74 on: May 09, 2014, 09:29:47 PM »
Well we will still die eventually, but we at least won't rot as fast as our parents did.

My daughter is a forensic scientist (a real CSI person) and she told me that human bodies take much longer to decompose now than they did  back when medical folks started collecting data on that.  It is attributed to all of the mix of manmade chemicals we have in our systems now.

At least we can claim to be leaving better looking corpses than we used too  ;D
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Laurent

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #75 on: May 21, 2014, 09:25:57 AM »
Study: UK cities becoming mosquito-friendly habitats
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27491891

I have got some water collectors...no mosquitoe yet...I'll watch...

Shared Humanity

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #76 on: May 21, 2014, 03:26:56 PM »
Study: UK cities becoming mosquito-friendly habitats
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27491891

I have got some water collectors...no mosquitoe yet...I'll watch...

This concerns me. Rain barrels are proliferating across the Chicago metro area. There has been a metropolitan wide effort, with government, business, colleges and non-profits pushing green solutions. It reminds me of this saying......"The root cause of most problems are the solutions."

As climate and weather continues to shift, adaptations of all kinds cause what had been a stable ecosystem, including urban ecosystems to contribute to the change, with unexpected results.

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #77 on: May 21, 2014, 05:21:39 PM »
Most of the rain barrel designs I've seen have fine-mesh screens on the to prevent just this sort of thing. Is that not the practice in Chicago?
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ritter

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #78 on: May 22, 2014, 08:59:36 PM »
Most of the rain barrel designs I've seen have fine-mesh screens on the to prevent just this sort of thing.

A must have.

Laurent

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #79 on: June 25, 2014, 02:27:29 PM »
Syngenta seeks ‘emergency’ exemption to use banned insecticide on UK crops
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/25/syngenta-exemption-neonicotinoid-insecticide-ban-oilseed-rape

JimD

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #80 on: July 02, 2014, 05:20:22 PM »
What could possibly go wrong???  Or is he an advocate of Crash on Demand??

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/exclusive-controversial-us-scientist-creates-deadly-new-flu-strain-for-pandemic-research-9577088.html

Quote
“He took the 2009 pandemic flu virus and selected out strains that were not neutralised by human antibodies. He repeated this several times until he got a real humdinger of a virus,” said one scientist who was present at Professor Kawaoka’s talk.

“He left no doubt in my mind that he had achieved it. He used a flu virus that is known to infect humans and then manipulated it in such a way that it would effectively leave the global population defenceless if it ever escaped from his laboratory,” he said.

“He’s basically got a known pandemic strain that is now resistant to vaccination. Everything he did before was dangerous but this is even madder. This is the virus,” he added.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Anne

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2014, 06:42:09 PM »
Not the first time someone has done this. This report is from 2011.  Sooner or later...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/alarm-as-dutch-lab-creates-highly-contagious-killer-flu-6279474.html

Laurent

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #82 on: July 06, 2014, 08:26:28 PM »

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #83 on: July 07, 2014, 04:10:17 AM »
That's a rather disturbing (and gross) story.

But I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned the historic ebola outbreak in east Africa yet.

Worst outbreak of Ebola virus hits West Africa: Will it spread?

Quote
The recent outbreak  initially struck an area near the city of Gueckedou in Guinea, a major trading hub near the borders of Sierra Leone and Liberia. The virus spread rapidly to all three countries, killing 467 people in 759 known cases, according to figures released Monday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to WHO officials, the figures mean that the outbreak is the deadliest one in history; it is also unprecedented in its geographical spread. There were more than 60 outbreak sites, said Janssens.

Yet, foreign health care workers trying to stem the tide of of the illness are being met with hostility, resistance and threats of physical violence in areas severely impacted by the disease.

“A worrying issue is that because of the lack of understanding of the disease there’s a real problem in communities in southern Guinea with growing hostility towards any foreigners. And this is really due to a lack of effort to explain well enough the reality of the disease,” said Janssens.

Some communities are blaming emergence of the disease on medical staff, clad in alien-looking, full-body protection suits and masks, who have gone there to help. Other West African residents do not believe the disease exists at all, placing blame on curses or witchery when a loved one falls ill, according to the Times.

Traditional burial rites, such as washing the bodies of loved ones before they are buried, may also  spread the illness; yet the affected communities are reluctant to change their ways.

Health workers from the Red Cross were surrounded by a group of men with knives, threatened, and blamed for causing the virus. On Wednesday, The Red Cross announced it had been forced to suspend activities in southeast Guinea as a result of the incident.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Theta

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #84 on: July 07, 2014, 08:11:19 AM »
That's a rather disturbing (and gross) story.

But I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned the historic ebola outbreak in east Africa yet.

Worst outbreak of Ebola virus hits West Africa: Will it spread?

Quote
The recent outbreak  initially struck an area near the city of Gueckedou in Guinea, a major trading hub near the borders of Sierra Leone and Liberia. The virus spread rapidly to all three countries, killing 467 people in 759 known cases, according to figures released Monday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to WHO officials, the figures mean that the outbreak is the deadliest one in history; it is also unprecedented in its geographical spread. There were more than 60 outbreak sites, said Janssens.

Yet, foreign health care workers trying to stem the tide of of the illness are being met with hostility, resistance and threats of physical violence in areas severely impacted by the disease.

“A worrying issue is that because of the lack of understanding of the disease there’s a real problem in communities in southern Guinea with growing hostility towards any foreigners. And this is really due to a lack of effort to explain well enough the reality of the disease,” said Janssens.

Some communities are blaming emergence of the disease on medical staff, clad in alien-looking, full-body protection suits and masks, who have gone there to help. Other West African residents do not believe the disease exists at all, placing blame on curses or witchery when a loved one falls ill, according to the Times.

Traditional burial rites, such as washing the bodies of loved ones before they are buried, may also  spread the illness; yet the affected communities are reluctant to change their ways.

Health workers from the Red Cross were surrounded by a group of men with knives, threatened, and blamed for causing the virus. On Wednesday, The Red Cross announced it had been forced to suspend activities in southeast Guinea as a result of the incident.

Seems like an interesting topic to bring up on the depopulation thread since a worldwide spread of Ebola could be seen as nature's way of depopulation; not a great form of depopulation by any means though.
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wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #85 on: July 07, 2014, 12:30:48 PM »
Well, the answer to the question in the title of that article "Will it spread?" seems to be, "Yes."

They are now looking at possible cases in Accra, the capital of Ghana. If this turns out to be an actual case, that means it has either skipped over Cote d'Ivoire and so is being spread by plane passengers, or that there are lots of other cases in the latter country that have not yet been reported. Either situation (and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive--both could be the case) is very bad.

Quote
The Ministry of Health has confirmed that a suspected fever case is being investigated in the country.

Earlier reports on Sunday said Ghana had recorded its first case of the deadly Ebola disease.

http://www.citifmonline.com/2014/07/07/ebola-alert-nugochi-yet-to-confirm-nyaho-fever-case-moh-2/

ETA: The fact that it is an American citizen who is being quarantined and tested for ebola suggests that it is now being transmitted across borders by plane (that is, if s/he does actually have the disease). http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/west-africa-ebola-outbreak-american-citizen-quarantined-tested-deadly-virus-ghana-1455585

No one expects this thing to go away any time soon. "Deadly ebola epidemic will rampage for several months, says UN" http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/deadly-ebola-epidemic-will-rampage-for-several-months-says-un-20140704-zsvi4.html

So, if it is still flourishing in the region in October, I would imagine that many from the majority Muslim population in Sierra Leone and Guinea (and even from the smaller Muslim community in Liberia) will be eager to go on Hajj--a very convenient mechanism for spreading this disease worldwide, if precautions are not taken.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 01:13:08 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

DoomInTheUK

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #86 on: July 07, 2014, 05:28:29 PM »
Good point Wili,

The problem is not in Ebola itself - it's not a very contagious disease. But the more time it spends in humans, the more chance it has of coming into contact with one of our more contagious diseases. Mass migration of people is a brilliant mixing pot for diseases.

The love child of Ebola and the common cold is enough to give any virologist sleepless nights.

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #87 on: July 07, 2014, 08:19:40 PM »
If the guy in Ghana does turn out to have ebola, it would be a pretty clear case of this thing being spread across national boundaries through long-distance travel, presumably by air travel. He had been in both Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Quote
There are fears Ebola could have spread to Ghana as a US citizen is being tested for the deadly virus.

The man was undergoing treatment on Monday after falling ill during a trip to two West African countries with confirmed outbreaks.

A senior official from Ghana’s health ministry said the man being tested was American.

He added: “Records showed that he had been to Guinea and Sierra Leone in the past few weeks.”

The Ministry of Health said the patient, who has not been named, was in quarantine at Nyaho clinic in Accra and urged the public to remain calm.

DITUK, good points. But it obviously can be a very contagious disease in certain circumstances--those circumstances that are prevalent in East Africa.

You are certainly right, though, that if this goes aerial, it will likely spread even more quickly.

ETA: Good news--the US guy tested negative: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/07/us-health-ebola-ghana-idUSKBN0FC0ZF20140707
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 05:21:43 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

DoomInTheUK

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #88 on: July 08, 2014, 11:06:54 AM »
It's only really spreading in Africa due to cultural practices. Washing the dead for burial etc.

Ebola needs a fluid to fluid contact to be passed on. A cut on your hand whilst washing a body would be a BAD idea. One of the problems with Ebola is that internal organs start to lose any coherence and eventually you "bleed out", where your blood is no longer held in, and it floods out into body cavities, under the skin, lungs, eyes etc. It's a messy end, and coming into contact with any of that infected blood is not a good idea.

It has a fairly short incubation period, high mortality rate and requires intimate contact for transmission. It is normally easy to isolate anyone who has been in contact, and anyone who is infected doesn't tend to get very far.

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #89 on: July 08, 2014, 01:56:42 PM »
The guy in Accra has been tested 'tentatively negative.'

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=315961

All of what you say is true. Yet AIDS spread rapidly. And people taking care of victims will be exposed to a lot of vomit, diarrhea, blood and pus.

But it is certainly much less contagious than if it goes airborne.

There are lots of other practices that are making things worse in East Africa, such as eating under-cooked 'bush meat.' But other behaviors are likely to be seen elsewhere--reluctance to come in when you see symptoms, distrust of authorities, reliance on home remedies...one hopes that health workers won't be attacked by machete wielding mobs elsewhere too often, as has been reported in some areas of East Africa!

Movies like "Outbreak," while rather fantastic in some respects, do give an idea of how easy it would be for both US citizens and authorities to panic in the face of such a deadly infection.

ETA: 50 more cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone:

Quote
The U.N. health agency says there have been 50 new Ebola cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia since last week as the disease, among the deadliest in the world, keeps spreading in West Africa.

The World Health Organization says 34 new cases were reported by Sierra Leone and 16 by Liberia since July 3.

WHO officials said in a statement Tuesday the outbreak in those two countries and Guinea shows "a mixed picture" because of a reduction in the number of new cases in Guinea, where no new cases have been reported during the past week.

The agency says as of Sunday, there have been 844 cases of Ebola in the three countries, including 518 deaths.
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/50-ebola-cases-african-countries-24466062

This represents a continued acceleration in new cases. So far, case numbers about doubled every month and this is keeping pretty close to that exponential curve. No reported cases from Guinea yet, though, so those numbers are likely to go higher (unless reporting has now been suppressed there, for whatever reason(s).)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 05:50:25 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #90 on: July 09, 2014, 06:18:45 AM »
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/08/out-of-control-ebola-outbreak-in-west-africa-could-have-1-500-victims-who-don-t-know-they-re-carriers.html

Ebola Outbreak in West Africa Could Have 1,500 Victims Who Don't Know They're Carriers

Doctors Without Borders is calling the epidemic "out of control" in three countries—and hundreds of unknowing infected could be spreading the deadly virus even farther.

Quote
At least 1,500 people have not yet been traced who are known to have come into contact with others confirmed or suspected to be infected with the haemorrhagic fever, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) told The Telegraph.

Many more could be moving freely in the three countries battling the virus, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, but fear of the illness and mistrust of Western medicine means they refuse to come forward to speak to doctors.

The current outbreak is the worst ever.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

SteveMDFP

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #91 on: July 09, 2014, 07:20:15 AM »
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/08/out-of-control-ebola-outbreak-in-west-africa-could-have-1-500-victims-who-don-t-know-they-re-carriers.html

Ebola Outbreak in West Africa Could Have 1,500 Victims Who Don't Know They're Carriers
....
In case anyone needs help becoming an insomniac, there's also the established fact:


Quote
Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #92 on: July 09, 2014, 06:14:01 PM »
Thanks for that, Steve...I guess :o

Meanwhile, the American guy who has quarantined and was being tested for ebola died. The health ministry continues to say that it wasn't ebola, but at least one local headline is proclaiming that it was.
http://en.starafrica.com/news/ghana-quarantined-american-dies-of-ebola.html
http://www.citifmonline.com/2014/07/08/no-ebola-case-recorded-in-ghana-health-ministry/

We've heard of the 'fog of war'; this seems to be 'the fog of plague.'

......
Here is one reason that there are probably a lot of cases that are not getting reported or treated in a hospital--and home care almost certainly means spread to those taking care of the patients:

No Proper Treatment Given 'Ebola Suspects'
Quote
The Deputy Coordinator for the Human Rights Protection Forum of Liberia, Ms.Korpo S. Kortimaihas observed many suspected ebola patients are dying in the hospitals owing to lack of care for them a situation for which she noted many others that could be infected with EVD are not forthcoming for treatments in the medical facilities.

Ms. Kortimai said the manner in which health authorities were responding to the Ebola situation was scaringly characterized by violations of the rights of the patients leading to deaths that may be blamed on the Ebola Virus Disease.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407081567.html

....
Here's a video of what things are like inside one ebola clinic--I'm thinking this is one of the better ones: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/ ... uinea.html
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 11:33:46 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #93 on: July 10, 2014, 02:15:32 AM »
The UN Security Council is worried about this, too:

Quote
"The Members of the Security Council also expressed their deep concern over the current outbreak of the Ebola virus in some countries in West Africa and conveyed to the international community the need to provide prompt assistance in order to prevent the spread of the virus," the statement said.

Doctors say the Ebola outbreak gripping West Africa could spread to neighboring countries or even Europe.

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=228915

And here's another reason why this thing is not going to end soon:

Quote
Liberia's heavy monsoon rains, which can aggravate conditions in an already squalid environment in many areas of the country, coupled with a dysfunctional health system and denial of the disease are just the right conditions for the hemorrhage fever-causing virus to thrive.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407090813.html?page=2
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 06:33:03 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #94 on: July 11, 2014, 02:44:55 AM »
This doesn't bode well:

Liberia: Health Workers Flee Ebola

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407101069.html

In other places, nurses are going on strike.

..
Meanwhile, the numbers keep rising:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/07/ebola-claims-more-victims-west-africa-201471181553906939.html

Ebola claims more victims in west Africa:
World Health Organisation records 44 new cases and 21 deaths in region between July 6 and 8, taking total dead to 539.


And the panic continues to spread:
http://allafrica.com/stories/201407111593.html

JFK Nurses Abandon JFK ER Ward Over Suspected Ebola Death

   
Quote
...The JFK scare comes at a time when nurses and patients have abandoned the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town over similar fears.

    Since the outbreak of the new round of the disease was reported in early June, health workers who have been in the frontline fighting the disease by giving care to sick people have been at risk with ten deaths reported in health practitioners who have succumbed to the deadly virus. Recently a Ugandan Doctor died after being infected with the virus. Many health workers have abandoned duties because they are afraid of coming in contact with people infected with the disease...
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 09:16:33 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #95 on: July 15, 2014, 07:55:29 PM »
Deaths from Ebola in West Africa have just passed the 600 mark, and continue on their track of about doubling every month or so. If that rate continues, there should be more than a million within a year. Each new case makes it more likely that it will spread more broadly, and/or mutate into something even more contagious.

No one else seems particularly interested in this here, though, so I'll probably stop posting on it. (What did ever happen to JimD, by the way?)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 09:55:10 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Anne

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #96 on: July 15, 2014, 09:58:26 PM »
wili, I don't suppose I'm the only one who is interested - I just don't have anything to add apart from expressions of horror and this appeal from Médécins Sans Frontières:
http://www.msf.org.uk/ebola?gclid=CN6qhNeMyL8CFa7HtAodAAcAuw

ETA: thanks, wili! (In case it wasn't obvious that your work is appreciated!)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 10:41:15 PM by Anne »

wili

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #97 on: July 16, 2014, 06:08:21 AM »
Thanks for the video and the appreciation. I certainly understand if people don't want to think about this. But since we face down so many other grim things here, it would seem that this would be one place that people might find an interest, even though it's not specifically Arctic related.

NYT has finally picked up the story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/world/africa/death-toll-from-ebola-surges-in-west-africa-prompting-alarm.html

Quote
In its latest update, the W.H.O. said the number of suspect, probable and confirmed cases as of Saturday totaled 964, up about 14 percent from a week earlier. Deaths totaled 603, up about 16 percent from a week earlier.

That makes an about 7 week doubling time for cases, 6 week for deaths. It looks like this thing is getting deadlier as it goes along!

Here's the link to the official WHO update: http://www.who.int/csr/don/2014_07_15_ebola/en/
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 06:28:34 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Shared Humanity

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #98 on: July 16, 2014, 03:49:15 PM »
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 04:17:54 PM by Shared Humanity »

Anne

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Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #99 on: July 17, 2014, 03:08:13 AM »
BTW, it's worth scrolling down from the MSF video mentioned above: that page gives a lot of information not in the video.

ETA: here's the link again. http://www.msf.org.uk/ebola?gclid=CN6qhNeMyL8CFa7HtAodAAcAuw