Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Consequences => Topic started by: JimD on December 03, 2013, 09:42:02 PM

Title: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 03, 2013, 09:42:02 PM
I have been reading about various pathogens and their current and potential impacts on us and our future for some time.  My prime interest in this subject is how they relate to agriculture production, but there are significant additional threats that pathogens present to human health, the economy and other species which can have major impacts beyond agriculture.  Feel free to add whatever you think is interesting.

Posts to follow.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 03, 2013, 09:47:12 PM
MRSA - Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

This is the staphylococcus bug which has developed resistance to antibiotics.  It now occurs in a variety of forms and one of them is getting pretty interesting in terms of food production.  LA-MRSA which stands for Livestock Associated.  And you can guess where this is going.  CAFO operations.

LA-MRSA or MRSA ST398

Quote
..This is a strain of drug-resistant staph that is different from either the hospital or community variety. It was first found in pigs in the Netherlands in 2004 and has spread widely across Europe and into Canada and in the US. By molecular analysis, it is clearly linked to antibiotic use in livestock-raising, and it is frequently found on retail meat. And, of most importance for the UK reports, it does cause human infections: sometimes mild, but sometimes very serious...


Quote
...the UK’s Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency announced that livestock-associated MRSA, drug-resistant staph, has been found in UK poultry for the first time...

...Officials are under fire for keeping details of an outbreak of the MRSA bug in Christmas turkeys secret from consumers.
 The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Defra, the food and farming ministry, have refused to identify the East Anglia farm involved. They have also decided to allow the turkeys to be sold as normal. Officials claim any risk to  consumers is ‘very low’....

...First, because MRSA doesn’t cause classic “food poisoning.” (Other forms of staph do.) The risk with LA-MRSA is not that you’ll cook your food insufficiently, swallow the still-living organisms, and get a gastrointestinal illness; the risk, instead, is that the organism will spread to surfaces in your kitchen, and thence to your skin, and cause either a skin infection that is drug-resistant, or a much more serious illness. ..


I have this uncomfortable feeling that this situation will become a big issue eventually.  For instance the prevalence of a strain of MRSA being carried by the general population is about 5% but among CAFO operation farm workers it is over 20%.  Time is not on our side I think.  If you find this subject interesting there are links within the links that will take you to many articles on this subject.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/12/mrsa-turkey-uk/ (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/12/mrsa-turkey-uk/)

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/07/mrsa-st398-2/ (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/07/mrsa-st398-2/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 03, 2013, 09:50:50 PM
Christmas tree root rot

A mold is causing root rot and killing large numbers of Fraser firs the primary tree used for Christmas trees.   This is having a big financial impact on farmers who grow Christmas trees as their primary business.

Quote
....The culprit: Phytophthora root rot, a water mold that, once in the soil, makes it unfit for production...

...said Phytophthora set in after Hurricane Fran in 1996 and got worse following 2004's Hurricane Ivan...

This family of pathogens, once in the soil cannot be eradicated and it is lethal to the Fraser fir.  Its range and spread is believed to be associated with changing climate in that it needs extra humidity and wet conditions to spread.  Of interesting note is that Fraser fir trees have also been under a long-term decline due to a non-native species killing off most of the mature trees.

Quote
....The species is severely damaged by a non-native insect, the Balsam woolly adelgid (Adelges piceae). The insect's introduction and spread led to a rapid decline in Fraser fir across its range, with over 80 percent of mature trees having been killed....

Guess who's fault that is?

The fix for the farmers appears to be the importation of two species of fir from Eurasia.  One of which, the Turkish Fir, turns out to be extremely tasty food for our overpopulation of deer.  More imported problems on the way?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/02/christmas-tree-root-rot/3804141/ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/02/christmas-tree-root-rot/3804141/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 04, 2013, 05:03:17 AM
Cassava

Also known as manioc and yuca (not yucca that is a different plant) is a starchy root crop primarily grown in the tropics.  Cassava is very drought tolerant and heat resistant and has been promoted as a replacement for corn as the climate changes.

Quote
Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize.[1][2] Cassava is a major staple food in the developing world, providing a basic diet for over half a billion people.[3] It is one of the most drought tolerant crops, capable of growing on marginal soils. Nigeria is the world's largest producer of cassava, while Thailand is the largest exporting country of dried cassava.

Quote
...The future of cassava, one of the most climate-resilient crops in Africa, may be under threat because rising temperatures have led to a dramatic increase in the number of whiteflies, tiny insects that spread the deadly cassava brown steak virus.

Previously seen as a major problem, but one confined to eastern and central Africa, the virus is spreading, alarming scientists who say new outbreaks suggest the disease is heading west towards the world’s largest cassava producer – Nigeria....


Quote
...Cassava is the second most important source of carbohydrates in sub-Saharan African, after maize, and is eaten by around 500 million people globally every day, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Every year 280 million tons are produced, with half the supply coming from Africa.
...

http://www.trust.org/item/20130515115344-6mlpb (http://www.trust.org/item/20130515115344-6mlpb)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava)

http://www.irinnews.org/report/96767/cameroon-new-cassava-species-could-boost-food-security (http://www.irinnews.org/report/96767/cameroon-new-cassava-species-could-boost-food-security)

http://www.irinnews.org/report/96767/cameroon-new-cassava-species-could-boost-food-security (http://www.irinnews.org/report/96767/cameroon-new-cassava-species-could-boost-food-security)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 04, 2013, 05:41:09 AM
Soybean Rust

This is a really bad one. And a big threat to food production.

Quote
Soybean rust caused by P. pachyrhizi has been a serious disease in Asia for many decades. It appeared in Africa in 1997, and in the Americas in 2001. Before it was first found in the continental USA in late 2004, probably brought in by a hurricane, it was considered such a threat that it was listed as a possible weapon of bioterrorism. Soybean rust cannot overwinter in areas with freezing temperatures, but it can spread by wind rapidly over such large distances, its development can be so explosive, and it can cause such rapid loss of leaves that it is now one of the most feared diseases in the world's soybean-growing areas.

Quote
It is important to detect infection in the field early because this disease progresses rapidly and decisions to apply fungicides must be made as early as possible. Soybean rust in the early days following infection can be found on the lower, first leaves of soybean plants.

Control of soybean rust will not be an easy task, and there is no straightforward approach that would seem applicable to every situation in every country where this disease occurs.

Note that the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (an invasive species brought to the States about 10 years ago) is also a big threat to soybeans.  Not to mention all the other crops it eats as well.  This bug was a real problem on my farm and even farmers who sprayed had trouble dealing with it.  It is devastating on any kind of fruit plant (tomatoes especially in addition to standard fruit like apples).

http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/intropp/lessons/fungi/Basidiomycetes/Pages/SoybeanRust.aspx (http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/intropp/lessons/fungi/Basidiomycetes/Pages/SoybeanRust.aspx)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 04, 2013, 06:07:37 AM
JimD, If you haven't met the Bagrada bug yet you soon will. Nasty on brassica crops during summer,they like heat . They will like Arizona . They build up a population on wild mustard
then they seem like they're everywhere. They crawl , pesticides are effective but for organic production summer Cole crops are out of the lineup. I've  had them two summers now.

http://www.trivalleycentral.com/trivalley_dispatch/farm_and_ranch/arizona-gardeners-bagrada-bug-is-a-new-potentially-serious-problem/article_448fd856-7adf-11e2-a16c-0019bb2963f4.html (http://www.trivalleycentral.com/trivalley_dispatch/farm_and_ranch/arizona-gardeners-bagrada-bug-is-a-new-potentially-serious-problem/article_448fd856-7adf-11e2-a16c-0019bb2963f4.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 04, 2013, 03:12:34 PM
Bruce

That sounds like a pretty nasty bug.  It resembles a Harlequin bug and descriptions of its effect are similar.  In the east the harlequin causes lots of trouble for those following organic practices.  I lost a lot of brassica plants to those buggers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlequin_cabbage_bug (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlequin_cabbage_bug)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 04, 2013, 03:46:20 PM
Wheat Rust

This disease, without exaggeration, threatens civilization.  In fact if the current strain being fought by plant geneticists had originated in North America or Asia vice Uganda this would be an academic discussion in that the world would already be in mass famine mode.  The Ug99 strain of wheat rust effects over 90% of the wheat varieties grown worldwide.

Quote
Rust diseases of wheat are among the oldest plant diseases known to man. Early literature on wheat cultivation mentions these devastating diseases and their ability to destroy entire wheat crops. Since rust discovery, numerous studies have been conducted on the life cycles of rust pathogens and their management. The information gained from these studies has enabled us to develop best management practices that reduce the impact of the diseases. Today, worldwide epidemic losses are rare, though the diseases can occur at significant levels in particular fields or throughout a particular growing region. The persistence of rust as a significant disease in wheat can be attributed to specific characteristics of the rust fungi. These characteristics include a capacity to produce a large number of spores—which can be wind-disseminated over long distances and infect wheat under favorable environmental conditions—and the ability to change genetically, thereby producing new races with increased aggressiveness on resistant wheat cultivars.

Millions of people have died in the past due to various strains of this disease.  Biologists are concerned that the spores under the right conditions could be carried on the wind clear across the Indian Ocean to south Asia and Australia.  It is only a matter of time until the current lethal strain reaches major growing areas and researchers are frantically working on identifying a disease resistant gene and are on the verge of solving this current outbreak they believe.  If they are wrong and it gets to the US or Asia we have a problem.

Quote
IT IS sometimes called the “polio of agriculture”: a terrifying but almost forgotten disease. Wheat rust is not just back after a 50-year absence, but spreading in new and scary forms. In some ways it is worse than child-crippling polio, still lingering in parts of Nigeria. Wheat rust has spread silently and speedily by 5,000 miles in a decade. It is now camped at the gates of one of the world's breadbaskets, Punjab. In June scientists announced the discovery of two new strains in South Africa, the most important food producer yet infected....

...It has plagued crops for centuries. The Romans deified it, and believed that sacrificing dogs warded it off. It was the worst wheat disease of the first half of the 20th century, killing about a fifth of America's harvest in periodic epidemics.

Wheat rust once spurred the Green Revolution, the huge increase in crop yields that started in the 1940s. Now it could threaten those great gains. Norman Borlaug, the great American agronomist who died last year, conducted his original research into wheat rust. After ten years of painstaking crossbreeding, he isolated a gene, Sr31 (Sr for stem rust) that resisted P. graminis. By wonderful good fortune, Sr31 also boosted yields (and not only because plants were impervious to rust). Farmers everywhere adopted his seeds enthusiastically, saving millions of lives.....

In a worst case event where wheat rust hit North America or Asia and a 20% crop loss occurred, as used to happen in the past, we would in one fell swoop wipeout the entire global stockpile of grain.  A daunting prospect.  The researchers better have it right that they have identified the correct gene for resistance and that they can quickly breed new strains of wheat for the global agriculture community.  We are also fortunate that bio-terrorists have not started spreading this disease deliberately around the world. 

http://www.economist.com/node/16481593 (http://www.economist.com/node/16481593)

http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/A415/ (http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/A415/)

http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/06/27/scientists-discover-gene-to-combat-devastating-wheat-rust/ (http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/06/27/scientists-discover-gene-to-combat-devastating-wheat-rust/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Bruce Steele on December 04, 2013, 04:24:31 PM
JimD, Ergot, Rust,Saint Vitas dance, Saint Anthony's Fire, lost in myth.
 I know I am of off topic but I thought you would enjoy this letter I received yesterday.  I do enjoy the stuff you dredge up. There is such a strong connect between agriculture and some way out of this, if not for everyone at least for a few. Food storage, salted meats, drying, all are also part of low energy options. A complete farm, transport, food storage, food sales package, a working low energy working farm would be relief to a lot of anguish.
 
    I wanted to let know how impacting your talk was to me.  It was hands down the most moving and impressionable talk of the quarter, or maybe that I've had yet at Bren.  

I think I was impacted perhaps more so than some students just because I think I could relate on a very personal level to what you were describing towards the end, but I also think our whole class was very impressed.  I have definitely gone through periods of absolute bewilderment and confusion, and a sort of disconnectedness with others, as I hear about the impacts of Global Warming that we are causing, and then watching as everyone turns the other way and continues living life as usual.  I have felt depression, anxiety, and absolute confusion from this before in my life, and I think my coping mechanism when coming to Bren has been to ignore some of those feelings in order to keep moving forward.  It was so refreshing to hear from someone else who I felt actually understands these feelings, and yet is doing something about it on a personal as well as larger level, rather than freezing up and becoming stagnant like I think many people who understand the science are doing.

I think we miss out on passionate, genuine people like you at Bren, and sometimes get too caught up in the pragmatism of science from a removed perspective.  It's easy to talk about problems and analyze them, but so rarely do we hear from individuals who are inspiring on a personal level to walk the talk.  

I hope to come visit your farm sometime.  It sounds amazing.

Again, thanks for all that you do, and for your inspiration.
 
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 04, 2013, 05:24:05 PM
Corn  -  Goss's Wilt

Quote
It has come on like a tidal wave, washing across the Corn Belt from Minnesota to the Texas panhandle, a disease that few farmers had seen until five years ago.

Known as Goss’s wilt, it has cut some farmers’ corn yields in half, and it is still spreading. This summer it reached Louisiana, farther south than it had ever been identified.
...

Quote
...When a plant is damaged by hail or other heavy weather, the microbe enters the wound and infects its vascular system, scarring the leaves with brownish-yellow lesions sprinkled with black freckles.

The infection may or may not kill the plant, depending on when it comes, but it almost always curtails yields.
....

...Until 2008, Goss’s wilt had been confined to western Nebraska and a handful of counties in eastern Colorado. But that year it was found in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

In 2011, a particularly virulent year, farms in much of Illinois lost as many as 60 bushels of corn per acre to the disease (the usual yield is 200 bushels per acre). So did many counties in Indiana.
...

Interestingly enough this disease is primarily confined to the GMO corn varieties (RoundUp ready) used almost exclusively by industrial farming in the US and many other countries.  Pointing out the great risk inherent in mono-cropping.  A fear often articulated is that some pathogen will mutate and turn out to be highly lethal to the GMO corn and difficult to breed around thus dramatically impacting the global food supply. 

Quote
...“One of the best management techniques for controlling Goss’s wilt is crop rotation — corn, then soy or another crop,” Mr. Anderson said.

Another possible factor is the growth of no-till farming, which leaves cornstalks, on which the bacteria can linger, to decay in the field after harvesting, rather than being plowed under.

No hybrids have been developed that can fully withstand Goss’s wilt, but the companies have increased the number of seeds with higher resistance.
...

Note one of the negative aspects of the popular no-till farming technique favored by many environmentalists.  I know farmers who do not believe that the long-term result of no-till is going to work out and that tilling will always be required occasionally to keep pathogens down and to control weeds.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/science/earth/a-disease-cuts-corn-yields.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/science/earth/a-disease-cuts-corn-yields.html?_r=0)

Another interesting corn pathogen.

http://www.nuruinternational.org/blog/agriculture/nuru-kenyas-response-to-maize-lethal-necrosis-disease-2013-long-rains-season-in-review/ (http://www.nuruinternational.org/blog/agriculture/nuru-kenyas-response-to-maize-lethal-necrosis-disease-2013-long-rains-season-in-review/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 04, 2013, 06:29:26 PM
JimD.....I believe I have learned more from you than  any single commenter here. Thank you.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 04, 2013, 06:57:09 PM
A bit of philosophical discussion seems warranted at this point.

Humanity is at war with the bugs and pathogens which impact our health and food supply.  This is war in its truest sense in that it is actually a conflict which directly impacts our security and survival.  This, in general, is not true about most all other human conflicts.

Unfortunately there is no probability of winning this war and our attempts over the last few decades to do just that will in the long-run prove to be counterproductive to our security.  Our opponents have all the advantages in this endless war.  They are too numerous to count in the number of species, the possibilities of genetic variation, and in the possible ways they can attack us.  Evolution is on their side in this conflict.  They cannot lose.  We cannot win.  We also cannot lose in a total war sense (or at least a loss on that scale is highly improbable) though our actions can indeed make catastrophic losses not only possible but probable.

Chief among those actions is choosing to allow our population to push right to the limits of the world's ability to provide sustenance.  The need to use almost all arable land by agriculture in order to feed that population is risky behavior to say the least.  To add in industrial agricultural methods and fully utilize the temporary advantages of fossil fuels pushes us well into an overshoot position (in military terms we have advanced beyond our supply lines and outpaced supporting troops - we are vulnerable to counterattack).

One of the greatest of human weaknesses is our tendency to assume our superiority in all matters.  As the Earth's apparent penultimate predator we have come to exhibit extreme arrogance in the face of opposition from nature.  We assume that the man-nature battle was won long ago and we hold the forces of nature in some contempt,.  We think that our only worthy opponents are those of our own species with whom we strive for resource domination.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Our attempt to win the war against nature by resorting to a massive technology attack utilizing chemical warfare and genetic manipulation did indeed for a time suppress the enemy forces.  But evolution will win out in the long run as we cannot kill all of our opponents and the survivors will adapt to our attacks and come back invulnerable to them eventually.

This forces us to double down at each stage of the conflict.  We have to expend more effort and more resources to defeat each new evolutionary version of our opponents that nature throws at us.  Our inability to understand the exponential function comes into play once again.  Eventually we will run out of resources to fight and our opponents will put us into full retreat.  Dramatic population reductions are inevitable.  It is a matter of when it will happen, not if.  Winning in the context of conflicts within nature is to strive for balance not superiority.

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/posts/monsanto%E2%80%99s-roundup-triggers-over-40-plant-diseases/ (http://www.responsibletechnology.org/posts/monsanto%E2%80%99s-roundup-triggers-over-40-plant-diseases/)

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2008/01/03/12-diseases-that-altered-history (http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2008/01/03/12-diseases-that-altered-history)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 04, 2013, 07:01:06 PM
SH....Hey thanks.  I appreciate that.  I am sure my wife appreciates my bombarding all of you with my endless thoughts on what is going on and leaving her some peace for a change  :)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Theta on December 04, 2013, 08:29:50 PM
A bit of philosophical discussion seems warranted at this point.

Humanity is at war with the bugs and pathogens which impact our health and food supply.  This is war in its truest sense in that it is actually a conflict which directly impacts our security and survival.  This, in general, is not true about most all other human conflicts.

Unfortunately there is no probability of winning this war and our attempts over the last few decades to do just that will in the long-run prove to be counterproductive to our security.  Our opponents have all the advantages in this endless war.  They are too numerous to count in the number of species, the possibilities of genetic variation, and in the possible ways they can attack us.  Evolution is on their side in this conflict.  They cannot lose.  We cannot win.  We also cannot lose in a total war sense (or at least a loss on that scale is highly improbable) though our actions can indeed make catastrophic losses not only possible but probable.

Chief among those actions is choosing to allow our population to push right to the limits of the world's ability to provide sustenance.  The need to use almost all arable land by agriculture in order to feed that population is risky behavior to say the least.  To add in industrial agricultural methods and fully utilize the temporary advantages of fossil fuels pushes us well into an overshoot position (in military terms we have advanced beyond our supply lines and outpaced supporting troops - we are vulnerable to counterattack).

One of the greatest of human weaknesses is our tendency to assume our superiority in all matters.  As the Earth's apparent penultimate predator we have come to exhibit extreme arrogance in the face of opposition from nature.  We assume that the man-nature battle was won long ago and we hold the forces of nature in some contempt,.  We think that our only worthy opponents are those of our own species with whom we strive for resource domination.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Our attempt to win the war against nature by resorting to a massive technology attack utilizing chemical warfare and genetic manipulation did indeed for a time suppress the enemy forces.  But evolution will win out in the long run as we cannot kill all of our opponents and the survivors will adapt to our attacks and come back invulnerable to them eventually.

This forces us to double down at each stage of the conflict.  We have to expend more effort and more resources to defeat each new evolutionary version of our opponents that nature throws at us.  Our inability to understand the exponential function comes into play once again.  Eventually we will run out of resources to fight and our opponents will put us into full retreat.  Dramatic population reductions are inevitable.  It is a matter of when it will happen, not if.  Winning in the context of conflicts within nature is to strive for balance not superiority.

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/posts/monsanto%E2%80%99s-roundup-triggers-over-40-plant-diseases/ (http://www.responsibletechnology.org/posts/monsanto%E2%80%99s-roundup-triggers-over-40-plant-diseases/)

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2008/01/03/12-diseases-that-altered-history (http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2008/01/03/12-diseases-that-altered-history)

Depending on how things progress, I wouldn't exactly say we are fighting a losing battle, just one that can't possibly be won, although some circumstances might allow for pathogens to overwhelm humanity's efforts to stave off the huge set of pathogens' destruction of the crops that allow us to produce food.

One thing that interests me though is how pathogens are likely to progress in the short term, particularly with regards the one threat to civilization, Wheat Rust. I am confident that within the next decade we will still be able to produce food, excluding any nasty surprising such as Methane Release, but beyond that, I think the picture becomes rather bleak.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 04, 2013, 09:21:52 PM
Theta,

I don't mean to imply we are fighting a losing battle.  As I meant to indicate here..

Quote
...We cannot win.  We also cannot lose in a total war sense (or at least a loss on that scale is highly improbable) though our actions can indeed make catastrophic losses not only possible but probable.
...

I don't foresee extinction at all (very unlikely).  But I do expect that the pendulum is going to swing as they say.  We are heading for much lower population levels eventually.

As you say below I pretty much agree.

Quote
One thing that interests me though is how pathogens are likely to progress in the short term, particularly with regards the one threat to civilization, Wheat Rust. I am confident that within the next decade we will still be able to produce food, excluding any nasty surprising such as Methane Release, but beyond that, I think the picture becomes rather bleak.

Unfortunately for us humans there are other equivalents to wheat rust out there waiting to bite us.  Rice Blast being one of the greatest scourges of the past and potentially the future.  Every important crop to human food production has serious pathogens effecting it.  That is of course part of the evolutionary process.  We make the situation worse by inappropriately messing with how nature works and we can cause the pendulum to swing in a bigger arc.  Lots of us now, not so many down the road a ways.  As you say, as time goes on the odds of food shortfalls get higher and higher.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Csnavywx on December 05, 2013, 02:34:15 AM
EMS Shrimp Pathogen, Black Gill

You may have noticed that shrimp prices at the local market have skyrocketed lately. My local supermarket is now selling jumbo shrimp at $9-11/lb.

Quote
That fried shrimp is going to hit you in the gut, and the wallet.

Prices for the tiny crustaceans are soaring because of a disease that’s crimping supplies in Thailand, Vietnam and China, the three largest producers of shrimp in the world.

“Production is down substantially,” said Paul Brown, president of Urner Barry, a food industry market research firm that tracks shrimp prices.

The popular shellfish is now approaching a record $6 per pound, up one-third from the beginning of the year. In 2010, a pound of shrimp set consumers back $3.

Producers are blaming a disorder called Early Mortality Syndrome, which thrives in the warm waters of Southeast Asia. The disease is not believed to be communicable to humans and has been gradually worsening in the last few years.

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-shrimp-20130816,0,6405299.story#ixzz2mYkS58sX (http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-shrimp-20130816,0,6405299.story#ixzz2mYkS58sX)


http://www.gaalliance.org/newsroom/news.php?Cause-Of-EMS-Shrimp-Disease-Identified-107 (http://www.gaalliance.org/newsroom/news.php?Cause-Of-EMS-Shrimp-Disease-Identified-107)



We're not getting much help from home either:

Black Gill

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/03/shrimp-parasite_n_4207881.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/03/shrimp-parasite_n_4207881.html)

Precipitation extremes seem to help drive these outbreaks.

Quote
The size of wild shrimp hauls off the southern Atlantic coast have plunged in recent months as a parasite has made it harder for the creatures to breathe, according to state wildlife officials in Georgia and South Carolina.

Experts said they believe black gill disease, caused by a tiny parasite, contributed to a die-off of white shrimp between August and October, typically the prime catch season.

The disease does not kill shrimp directly but hurts their endurance and makes them more vulnerable to predators.

"It's like the shrimp are smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, and now they're having to go run a marathon," said Mel Bell, director of South Carolina's Office of Fisheries Management.

"Shrimpers are reporting to us that they dump the bag on the deck, and the shrimp are just dead."

South Carolina shrimpers hauled in 44,000 pounds of shrimp in September, less than 6 percent of the September, 2012 catch of more than 750,000 pounds, Bell said.

The August take was down nearly 75 percent from the same month the previous year, he said.

Georgia shrimpers have caught fewer than half the number they usually catch in August, September and October, said Patrick Geer, chief of marine fisheries for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.



http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/04/3021451/maine-shrimp-season-closed/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/04/3021451/maine-shrimp-season-closed/)


Not pathogen related, but it contributes to the problem.

Quote
The Gulf of Maine Northern shrimp fishery has never been big. But the season, usually between December and May, helps make ends meet for Maine fisherman during otherwise difficult winter months, before the lobsters and tourists arrive. In 2012, the value of the Gulf catch was about $5.1 million. Historically, as much as 25 million pounds of shrimp have been caught in the Gulf of Maine. The last time the fishery had to shut down, way back in 1977, just 1 million pounds of shrimp were landed. Regulators closed the fishery the following year, and since then, shrimp populations have rebounded to record highs.

The problem looks bleaker this time around. The annual shrimp survey in 2012 revealed the lowest abundance of adults ever recorded in the survey’s thirty-year history.

“I think everyone was startled by what we saw in 2012, and there was a lot of pressure to close down the fishery for the 2013 season,” said John Annala, Chief Scientific Officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. “The survey this summer found just 20 percent of the 2012 record low, so it has fallen off incredibly sharply.”

Perhaps most worrying is the fact that juvenile shrimp have not been picked up in a survey since 2010. Northern shrimp live about five years, so the lack of younger shrimp for three years straight may mean empty nets for years to come.

“During the last ten years the water temperature in the Gulf of Maine has been running about 2.5 degrees Celsius or about 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the previous one hundred year average,” Annala said. “We don’t know what the thermal threshold of this species is, but the Gulf of Maine has always been the southernmost extreme of their range, so we probably don’t have much wiggle room.”

Even if Northern shrimp prove themselves to be more heat tolerant than scientists predict, the warmer waters in the Gulf of Maine are proving deadly to the shrimp’s food supply, tiny zooplankton. Last spring, the usual surge in plankton never happened. Many species of plankton are also at the southernmost end of their thermal tolerance. Warmer waters are also making the Gulf more hospitable to shrimp predators like dogfish and red hake.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 08, 2013, 06:11:01 PM
Quote
What are the biggest future dangers faced by the western world? If asked that question, most people might mumble “terrorism”, “climate change”, “debt crisis” or “cybercrime”. But if Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, is correct, there is another terrifying issue looming over all of us: the growth of antibiotic resistance.

Quote
...The drugs companies, meanwhile, are not creating new antimicrobial medicines that could beat the bugs.

As a result, we are moving towards a world where, within a generation, the drugs simply may not work any more. Modern medicine could lose the ability to combat many illnesses or infections.
...Davies calculates that about 25,000 people a year are already dying from drug-resistant bacteria in Europe – and the toll is similar in the US. “That is almost the same number as die in road traffic accidents,” she points out...

...“No new class of anti-bacterial has been developed since 1987 . . . partly because companies can no longer make enough money out of antimicrobials to justify investing in the research needed.” ....

Sharpen that scythe.

Capitalism and a functioning medical system seem incompatible.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/8be857b4-5d3d-11e3-81bd-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2mqaXhChK (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/8be857b4-5d3d-11e3-81bd-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2mqaXhChK)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 18, 2013, 04:46:28 PM
This was mentioned on one of the other threads but I thought I would repeat it here as it is very relevant.

Banana fungus

Darn.  Bananas are my favorite fruit after tomatoes.

Quote
...The fungus, which has been found on several plantations, causes the incurable Panama disease, or Fusarium wilt, that rots bananas. In the 1950s, another strain of the banana fungus nearly wiped out the Gros Michel cultivar, once as common as the Cavendish variety...

...But scientists have long feared that the Tropical Race 4 strain of the fungus -- previously confined to areas of Asia and Australia -- would eventually spread around the world and wipe out the Cavendish supply, just as a previous strain did to the Gros Michel banana.

"Given today's modes of travel, there's almost no doubt that it will hit the major Cavendish crops,"
...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/banana-fungus-threatens-plantations-fruit-supply_n_4453573.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/banana-fungus-threatens-plantations-fruit-supply_n_4453573.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 29, 2013, 05:28:05 PM
Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops (from Jan 2013)

Quote
In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance.

Quote
What Podevin and du Jardin discovered is that of the 86 different transgenic events (unique insertions of foreign DNA) commercialized to-date in the United States 54 contain portions of Gene VI within them. ....

The researchers themselves concluded that the presence of segments of Gene VI “might result in unintended phenotypic changes”. They reached this conclusion because similar fragments of Gene VI have already been shown to be active on their own....

In general, viral genes expressed in plants raise both agronomic and human health concerns (reviewed in Latham and Wilson 2008). This is because many viral genes function to disable their host in order to facilitate pathogen invasion. Often, this is achieved by incapacitating specific anti-pathogen defenses. Incorporating such genes could clearly lead to undesirable and unexpected outcomes in agriculture. Furthermore, viruses that infect plants are often not that different from viruses that infect humans. For example, sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus (Dasgupta et al. 2001). Thus, in various ways, inserting viral genes accidentally into crop plants and the food supply confers a significant potential for harm......

Quote
...Can the presence of a fragment of virus DNA really be that significant? Below is an independent analysis of Gene VI and its known properties and their safety implications. This analysis clearly illustrates the regulators’ dilemma.

The Many Functions of Gene VI
 Gene VI, like most plant viral genes, produces a protein that is multifunctional. It has four (so far) known roles in the viral infection cycle. The first is to participate in the assembly of virus particles. There is no current data to suggest this function has any implications for biosafety. The second known function is to suppress anti-pathogen defenses by inhibiting a general cellular system called RNA silencing (Haas et al. 2008). Thirdly, Gene VI has the highly unusual function of transactivating (described below) the long RNA (the 35S RNA) produced by CaMV (Park et al. 2001). Fourthly, unconnected to these other mechanisms, Gene VI has very recently been shown to make plants highly susceptible to a bacterial pathogen (Love et al. 2012). Gene VI does this by interfering with a common anti-pathogen defense mechanism possessed by plants.
....

Quote
1) Gene VI Is an Inhibitor of RNA Silencing
 RNA silencing is a mechanism for the control of gene expression at the level of RNA abundance (Bartel 2004). It is also an important antiviral defense mechanism in both plants and animals, and therefore most viruses have evolved genes (like Gene VI) that disable it (Dunoyer and Voinnet 2006).

....This attribute of Gene VI raises two obvious biosafety concerns: 1) Gene VI will lead to aberrant gene expression in GMO crop plants, with unknown consequences and, 2) Gene VI will interfere with the ability of plants to defend themselves against viral pathogens. There are numerous experiments showing that, in general, viral proteins that disable gene silencing enhance infection by a wide spectrum of viruses (Latham and Wilson 2008).

Quote
...Is There a Direct Human Toxicity Issue?
 When Gene VI is intentionally expressed in transgenic plants, it causes them to become chlorotic (yellow), to have growth deformities, and to have reduced fertility in a dose-dependent manner (Ziljstra et al 1996). Plants expressing Gene VI also show gene expression abnormalities. These results indicate that, not unexpectedly given its known functions, the protein produced by Gene VI is functioning as a toxin and is harmful to plants (Takahashi et al 1989). Since the known targets of Gene VI activity (ribosomes and gene silencing) are also found in human cells, a reasonable concern is that the protein produced by Gene VI might be a human toxin. This is a question that can only be answered by future experiments....

Quote
....Is Gene VI Protein Produced in GMO Crops?
 Given that expression of Gene VI is likely to cause harm, a crucial issue is whether the actual inserted transgene sequences found in commercial GMO crops will produce any functional protein from the fragment of Gene VI present within the CaMV sequence.

There are two aspects to this question. One is the length of Gene VI accidentally introduced by developers. This appears to vary but most of the 54 approved transgenes contain the same 528 base pairs of the CaMV 35S promoter sequence. This corresponds to approximately the final third of Gene VI. Deleted fragments of Gene VI are active when expressed in plant cells and functions of Gene VI are believed to reside in this final third. Therefore, there is clear potential for unintended effects if this fragment is expressed (e.g. De Tapia et al. 1993; Ryabova et al. 2002; Kobayashi and Hohn 2003).

The second aspect of this question is what quantity of Gene VI could be produced in GMO crops? Once again, this can ultimately only be resolved by direct quantitative experiments. Nevertheless, we can theorize that the amount of Gene VI produced will be specific to each independent insertion event. This is because significant Gene VI expression probably would require specific sequences (such as the presence of a gene promoter and an ATG [a protein start codon]) to precede it and so is likely to be heavily dependent on variables such as the details of the inserted transgenic DNA and where in the plant genome the transgene inserted.
....

I am no PhD biologist, but the risk factor in this type of activity seems very high and my understanding of what the probabilities of unintended effects are lead me to be very...very... uncomfortable with this technology.  What can go wrong will as they say..  I believe that we will suffer dire consequences from this type of activity eventually.

http://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/regulators-discover-a-hidden-viral-gene-in-commercial-gmo-crops/ (http://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/regulators-discover-a-hidden-viral-gene-in-commercial-gmo-crops/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on January 01, 2014, 03:50:24 PM
A twist for a change.  Human pathogens.

Quote
LONDON, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Another five people in Saudi Arabia and one in the United Arab Emirates have become infected with the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

The new infections,..... bring the total confirmed cases of the respiratory disease to 176, of which 74 have died, the United Nations health agency said.

MERS emerged in the Middle East in 2012 and is from the same family as the SARS virus. It can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia.

Although the worldwide number of MERS infections is fairly small, the more than 40 percent death rate among confirmed cases and the spread of the virus beyond the Middle East is keeping scientists and public health officials on alert.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/mers-saudi-arabia-uae-cases_n_4523939.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/mers-saudi-arabia-uae-cases_n_4523939.html)

We have talked about disease being one of the primary ways that large population drops can occur.  Whether by accident or by design.  I was reading yesterday that some doctors believe that if HIV had mutated, or does mutate, to being transmittable via the virus being exhaled into the air where others could inhale it and then become infected it would have been, or would be, an extinction event.  How's that grab one's attention?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on January 09, 2014, 04:42:03 AM
Quote
...The World Health Organization says that as of mid-December, there had been 648 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 flu, reported mostly in Asia. Of that total, 384 infections have been fatal.

Experts say the virus remains hard to catch with most human infections linked to contact with infected poultry.

59% fatality rate.  One mutation away.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/h5n1-bird-flu-death-north-america-canada_n_4563879.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/h5n1-bird-flu-death-north-america-canada_n_4563879.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 09, 2014, 05:12:01 PM
Quote
...The World Health Organization says that as of mid-December, there had been 648 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 flu, reported mostly in Asia. Of that total, 384 infections have been fatal.

Experts say the virus remains hard to catch with most human infections linked to contact with infected poultry.

59% fatality rate.  One mutation away.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/h5n1-bird-flu-death-north-america-canada_n_4563879.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/h5n1-bird-flu-death-north-america-canada_n_4563879.html)

Perhaps in a single decade the human population could drop to a sustainable level. There sure wouldn't be a homeless population in the U.S.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on January 09, 2014, 07:29:52 PM
Perhaps in a single decade the human population could drop to a sustainable level. There sure wouldn't be a homeless population in the U.S.

History does not tend to support the view that pandemics can enforce a sustainable population. During episodes of the black death considerable mortality figures only put a short term delay in population growth and were not even sufficient to collapse the society of the day (while I grant it must have been pressured by it).

The most that mass mortality from pandemic would do would be to briefly alleviate pressures - and you'd need far more than 60% gone in the developed nations to get resource consumption near to anything theoretically sustainable.

If all else continued as normal homelessness would return just as soon as the old unused housing stock fell into decay or was worn down and market forces were allowed to price some people out of shelter.

I think the bottom line is our species needs to solve it's problems itself - not look to external agencies to do so?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 09, 2014, 07:46:47 PM
Perhaps in a single decade the human population could drop to a sustainable level. There sure wouldn't be a homeless population in the U.S.

History does not tend to support the view that pandemics can enforce a sustainable population. During episodes of the black death considerable mortality figures only put a short term delay in population growth and were not even sufficient to collapse the society of the day (while I grant it must have been pressured by it).

The most that mass mortality from pandemic would do would be to briefly alleviate pressures - and you'd need far more than 60% gone in the developed nations to get resource consumption near to anything theoretically sustainable.

If all else continued as normal homelessness would return just as soon as the old unused housing stock fell into decay or was worn down and market forces were allowed to price some people out of shelter.

I think the bottom line is our species needs to solve it's problems itself - not look to external agencies to do so?

Prior to effective antibiotics, there is some evidence they could do this regionally. As we develop more and more antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria we may be able to duplicate the results of the black plague.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on January 09, 2014, 08:15:11 PM
History does not tend to support the view that pandemics can enforce a sustainable population. During episodes of the black death considerable mortality figures only put a short term delay in population growth and were not even sufficient to collapse the society of the day (while I grant it must have been pressured by it).

The most that mass mortality from pandemic would do would be to briefly alleviate pressures - and you'd need far more than 60% gone in the developed nations to get resource consumption near to anything theoretically sustainable.

If all else continued as normal homelessness would return just as soon as the old unused housing stock fell into decay or was worn down and market forces were allowed to price some people out of shelter.

I think the bottom line is our species needs to solve it's problems itself - not look to external agencies to do so?

Barring the bio-terrorist I don't think anyone is trying to make this happen as a solution.  But there is strong evidence that it easily could happen.  The effect of that event could actually be a large long-term blessing.  After all the Black Death resulted in the freeing up of tremendous resources and is considered to have directly led to the Enlightenment. 

It certainly would not solve the problems of human nature which do need to change.  But breathing room might give us enough slack to work out some solutions which having 9 billion people would foreclose.

And it is not like we get a choice in the matter if nature deals us the wrong mutation.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on January 09, 2014, 11:34:19 PM
I think rather than the black plague, I'd prefer something more along the lines of World War Z or I am Legend. At least there's a fighting chance!  ;D

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ficdn6.digitaltrends.com%2Fimage%2Fworld-war-z-special-effects-helicopter-4-2-650x0.jpg&hash=379ed24b0097b4fe93d7863eb75c3e5e)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fbryanmckeon.files.wordpress.com%2F2011%2F05%2Fi-am-legend-alternate-ending.jpg&hash=e5fd071fd6456da0e60dc28806988cf0)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on January 13, 2014, 06:15:12 PM
Zambia has a strain of tuberculosis that passes between cattle and humans.

Do you think Al Quaeda is listening?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210071944.htm (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210071944.htm)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on January 25, 2014, 08:37:16 PM
More spread of the pig virus.

Quote
A piglet-killing virus that spread last year to hog herds in 23 U.S. states has been detected in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

A farm in Middlesex County, Ontario, tested positive for the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus after a hog producer reported increasing vomiting, diarrhea and death in piglets on Jan. 22, Greg Douglas, the province’s chief veterinarian, said in a telephone interview from Guelph, Ontario. There was also a positive test on Jan. 21 at Olymel S.E.C. LP’s processing facility in Saint-Esprit, Quebec, Richard Vigneault, a spokesman, said by telephone from Montreal.....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-24/pig-virus-found-at-two-canadian-sites-posing-disastrous-loss.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-24/pig-virus-found-at-two-canadian-sites-posing-disastrous-loss.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on January 28, 2014, 05:50:50 PM
This is a really bad idea.

Genetic Weapon Against Insects Raises Hope and Fear in Farming

Quote
...Monsanto has applied for regulatory approval of corn that is genetically engineered to use RNAi, as the approach is called for short, to kill the western corn rootworm, one of the costliest of agricultural pests. In another project it is trying to develop a spray that would restore the ability of its Roundup herbicide to kill weeds that have grown impervious to it.....

And for use with bees against varroa mites.

Quote
RNA interference is a natural phenomenon that is set off by double-stranded RNA.

DNA, which is what genes are made of, is usually double stranded, the famous double helix. But RNA, which is a messenger in cells, usually consists of a single strand of chemical units representing the letters of the genetic code.

So when a cell senses a double-stranded RNA, it acts as if it has encountered a virus. It activates a mechanism that silences any gene with a sequence corresponding to that in the double-stranded RNA.

Scientists quickly learned that they could deactivate virtually any gene by synthesizing a snippet of double-stranded RNA with a matching sequence.

Quote
Some scientists are calling for caution, however, In a paper published last year, two entomologists at the Department of Agriculture warned that because genes are common to various organisms, RNAi pesticides might hurt unintended insects.

One laboratory study by scientists at the University of Kentucky and the University of Nebraska, for instance, found that a double-stranded RNA intended to silence a rootworm gene also affected a gene in the ladybug, killing that beneficial insect.

Concerns about possible human health effects were ignited by a 2011 paper by researchers at Nanjing University in China. They reported that snippets of RNA produced naturally by rice could be detected in the blood of people and mice who consumed the rice and could even affect a gene that regulates cholesterol. Such a “cross kingdom” effect would be extraordinary and was met with skepticism. At least three studies subsequently challenged the findings.

In a paper prepared for Tuesday’s meeting, E.P.A. scientists said RNAi presented “unique challenges for ecological risk assessment that have not yet been encountered in assessments for traditional chemical pesticides.”

So we kill the corn rootworm AND the ladybugs!   

History has shown that we should not have ever used the GM Roundup ready crops.  What do you want to bet that the same will eventually be said of this idea.  The Law of Unintended Consequences is coming once again to a theater near you.
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/business/energy-environment/genetic-weapon-against-insects-raises-hope-and-fear-in-farming.html?ref=business (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/business/energy-environment/genetic-weapon-against-insects-raises-hope-and-fear-in-farming.html?ref=business)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on January 29, 2014, 03:41:54 AM
Zombie Bees!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/zombie-bees-eastern-us_n_4683136.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/zombie-bees-eastern-us_n_4683136.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on February 03, 2014, 04:47:13 PM
Another article on the wasting disease in starfish.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/mysterious-epidemic-devastates-starfish-population-pacific-coast/ (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/mysterious-epidemic-devastates-starfish-population-pacific-coast/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on February 05, 2014, 05:54:04 PM
New strain of 'deadly' bird flu

Quote
Pandemic risk
 
Scientists who have studied the new H10N8 virus say it has evolved some genetic characteristics that may allow it to replicate efficiently in humans.

The concern is that it could ultimately be able to spread from person to person, although experts stress that there is no evidence of this yet.

Quote
"This case reminds us to be aware of human infections from animal influenza viruses, like the H7N9 cases in China which increase daily. Previously we did not think that H7N9 infections might be so lethal. Now we also must consider H10N8 infections as well."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26020015 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26020015)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on February 17, 2014, 04:55:41 PM
Ok.  Now it is cat poop getting in the rivers and flowing into the Arc tic and infecting the whales with cat parasite that can cause blindness in humans.

Quote
Toxoplasma gondii is ubiquitous at lower latitudes, and many people carry it with no ill effects. But it is a danger to pregnant women and individuals with weak immune systems.

The fact that it is now prevalent in beluga is significant because Inuit will often eat the meat raw or undercooked - something they are now being strongly discouraged from doing.

A prime reason that they eat lots of raw and partly cooked meat of course is access to cooking fuel is limited.

Quote
"The transmissible stage of this parasite is an egg-like structure," said Dr Grigg.

"The only way to deactivate it is to boil it or freeze it, so the longer you have temperatures above zero degrees Celsius, the more risk you have in being exposed to this infectious stage of the parasite. And with climate change, you are increasing your risk."

In 2012, Dr Grigg's UBC team showed that a new strain of another parasite, Sarcocystis, was responsible for killing more than 400 grey seals in the North Atlantic. This pathogen had previously been seen only in the Arctic.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26197742 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26197742)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 17, 2014, 06:14:53 PM
JimD, Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that needs a cat to complete it's reproductive cycle. It can infect other animals like  sea otters , seals , gophers,humans and whales but they will not expel new cysts into the environment. Although toxoplasma cysts start out on land they can remain infectious in salt water and bioaccumulate in shellfish.
 Sarcocystis Neurona is disease which also has a cyst form but it is carried by opossums. Sarcocystis wasn't here on the West Coast until settlers brought opossums as pets in the great migrations. These two diseases account for about 50% of all sea otter mortalities in California with population centers like Morro Bay and Monterey accounting for the largest concentrations of beach washed mortalities.
California also has very large cat rescue organizations with feeding stations in creeks all along our coast , they even have one on Cannery Row right across the street from the Monterey Aquarium where they try to patch up the encephalitic stranded otter pups.
 Global warming and growing human population centers should be very beneficial to the expansion of opossums along both the Atlantic as well as the Pacific seaboards. Coyotes are probably the best predator left to control feral cats and opossums but we still allow unlimited Coyote hunting, no seasons or bag limits and the Calif. Fish and Wildlife makes no attempt to document coyotes killed. For a bit of a cat fight you might expect otter lovers to speak up about cat feeding stations but alas both cats and otters share the same funding streams.  NGO's do not insult their funders and there are other scapegoats to pin the otter problems on anyhow. Money being more important than solutions.     
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on February 17, 2014, 08:21:34 PM
Bruce.  Thanks.  Great additional info.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on March 04, 2014, 05:00:57 PM
Climate change increases risk of fusarium ear blight on wheat in central China

Quote
Abstract


To estimate potential impact of climate change on wheat fusarium ear blight (FEB), simulated weather for the A1B climate change scenario was input into a model for estimating FEB in central China. In this article, a logistic weather-based regression model for estimating incidence of wheat FEB in central China was developed, using up to 10 years (2001–2010) of disease, anthesis date and weather data available for 10 locations in Anhui and Hubei provinces. In the model, the weather variables were defined with respect to the anthesis date for each location in each year. The model suggested that incidence of FEB is related to number of days of rainfall in a 30-day period after anthesis and that high temperatures before anthesis increase the incidence of disease. Validation was done to test whether this relationship was satisfied for another five locations in Anhui province with FEB data for 4–5 years but no nearby weather data, using simulated weather data obtained employing the regional climate modelling system PRECIS. How climate change may affect wheat anthesis date and FEB in central China was investigated for period 2020–2050 using wheat growth model Sirius and climate data simulated using PRECIS. The projection suggested that wheat anthesis dates will generally be earlier and FEB incidence will increase substantially for most locations.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/aab.12107/abstract;jsessionid=3351F2B772652F2DADD71FAEA1700645.f01t01 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/aab.12107/abstract;jsessionid=3351F2B772652F2DADD71FAEA1700645.f01t01)

Quote
Fusarium Head Blight emerged in the past decade as a widespread and powerful enemy of American agriculture. This disease, also known as ‘Scab’, inflicts yield and quality losses on farms in at least 18 states. Food industries throughout the U.S. incur losses from the cost of dealing with the toxin-contaminated grain that often accompanies scab infection. Combined losses to all steps in the food system are difficult to estimate, but the bill at the farm-gate alone is estimated to exceed 9.0 billion dollars since 1990.
Quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusarium_ear_blight (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusarium_ear_blight)

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on March 09, 2014, 08:32:11 PM
As Temperatures Climb, So Does Malaria

The risk area for malaria expanded between 1990 and 2005

Quote
Warming temperatures expand the risk area for malaria, pushing the disease farther uphill in afflicted regions, according to a new study.

Infecting more than 300 million people each year, malaria emerges from a tapestry of temperature, rainfall, vectors, parasites, human movement, public health and economics.

Quote
But that doesn't account for where people reside relative to the disease. Much fewer people live in the regions where malaria is endemic compared to the metropolises at higher elevations, many that emerged in part to avoid the disease, according to Bouma. About 37 million people -- 43 percent of Ethiopia's population -- live at elevations between 1,600 and 2,400 meters.

People who live in these highland cities, whether in Africa or South America, have much lower rates of disease resistance and don't have a history of fighting malaria. If the disease encroaches on these regions, overall morbidity would increase and the results could be devastating to millions.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/as-temperatures-climb-so-does-malaria/ (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/as-temperatures-climb-so-does-malaria/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on March 12, 2014, 07:45:17 PM
This is sort of funny and not at the same time.  We are definitely our own worst enemy.

New 'Super Lice' Are Resistant To Traditional Treatments

Quote
New research published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, a publication of the Entomological Society of America, shows that lice are becoming increasingly difficult to remove. That's thanks to a new strain of critter that is resistant to traditional treatments. In fact, this new strain — dubbed "super lice" — doesn't seem to respond to any of the over-the-counter lice treatments currently on the market. And these super lice are spreading more quickly than health experts had initially feared.

Maybe, like bedbugs, the time is coming once again when we will all just have to live with them again  ;D

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/11/super-lice-resistant-to-treatments_n_4942080.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl25%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D452949 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/11/super-lice-resistant-to-treatments_n_4942080.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl25%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D452949)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 12, 2014, 09:31:23 PM
Looks like we may all have to develop our "nit picking" skills.  ;)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on March 19, 2014, 03:18:22 PM
Nature fights back

Quote
One of agricultural biotechnology’s great success stories may become a cautionary tale of how short-sighted mismanagement can squander the benefits of genetic modification.

After years of predicting it would happen — and after years of having their suggestions largely ignored by companies, farmers and regulators — scientists have documented the rapid evolution of corn rootworms that are resistant to Bt corn.

Until Bt corn was genetically altered to be poisonous to the pests, rootworms used to cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. crops. Named for the pesticidal toxin-producing Bacillus thuringiensis gene it contains, Bt corn now accounts for three-quarters of the U.S. corn crop. The vulnerability of this corn could be disastrous for farmers and the environment...

Suppose some committed individual isolated these rootworms which are resistant and then drove around the mid-west at night spreading them here and there.   Who knows what could happen.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/03/rootworm-resistance-bt-corn/ (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/03/rootworm-resistance-bt-corn/)


Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 19, 2014, 04:44:07 PM
Nature fights back

Quote
One of agricultural biotechnology’s great success stories may become a cautionary tale of how short-sighted mismanagement can squander the benefits of genetic modification.

After years of predicting it would happen — and after years of having their suggestions largely ignored by companies, farmers and regulators — scientists have documented the rapid evolution of corn rootworms that are resistant to Bt corn.

Until Bt corn was genetically altered to be poisonous to the pests, rootworms used to cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. crops. Named for the pesticidal toxin-producing Bacillus thuringiensis gene it contains, Bt corn now accounts for three-quarters of the U.S. corn crop. The vulnerability of this corn could be disastrous for farmers and the environment...

Suppose some committed individual isolated these rootworms which are resistant and then drove around the mid-west at night spreading them here and there.   Who knows what could happen.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/03/rootworm-resistance-bt-corn/ (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/03/rootworm-resistance-bt-corn/)

You're beginning to sound like an environmental terrorist again.   ;D
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 19, 2014, 04:52:26 PM
I don't like visiting this thread because it represents an area where science is so far behind the curve. It scares the hell out of me. Pathogens can lay hidden in specific ecosystems and then suddenly break out with devastating results, HIV for instance. We are almost always caught by  surprise. These pathogens can certainly attack us but they can be just as lethal for other life forms.

Rapid climate change is going to make things much worse. Recent sampling of Russian permafrost found a previously unknown pithovirus, the largest virus ever found.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25151-biggestever-virus-revived-from-stone-age-permafrost.html#.Uym8aaZOW00 (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25151-biggestever-virus-revived-from-stone-age-permafrost.html#.Uym8aaZOW00)

As the permafrost thaws and other ecosystems go through gut wrenching change, who knows what kinds of pathogens we will release.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on March 19, 2014, 05:13:21 PM
Quote
You're beginning to sound like an environmental terrorist again.   ;D

LOL I am in the process of reading Jensen's Deep Green Resistance again.  I get all excited.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 19, 2014, 06:58:05 PM
The last remaining stores of small pox virus are stored in a freeze dried state. Is there a possibility that nature stores them as well?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on March 19, 2014, 08:20:32 PM
The last remaining stores of small pox virus are stored in a freeze dried state. Is there a possibility that nature stores them as well?

I think that is highly possible.  It was not that many years ago scientists traveled to Nome Alaska to did up victims of the 1918 flu epidemic to obtain samples of the virus to determine its DNA and compare it to modern flus.  Since the bodies were still frozen and not decomposed they succeeded.

Is there are reason that someone could not find a similar situation for smallpox?  OH!  I found a link.

Quote
Will climate change bring back SMALLPOX? Siberian corpses could ooze contagious virus if graveyards thaw out, claim scientists

The disease, which causes a painful blistering rash and sometimes blindness and death, was wiped out in 1979
Some experts fear defrosting bodies in Siberia could potentially begin a cycle of infection, if a person makes contact with remains
Defrosting bodies are coming to light as a result of global warming, although so far scientists have not found any remains with a virus in them

....

Pretty cool!   ;D

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2551664/Will-climate-change-bring-SMALLPOX-Siberian-corpses-ooze-contagious-virus-graveyards-thaw-claim-scientists.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2551664/Will-climate-change-bring-SMALLPOX-Siberian-corpses-ooze-contagious-virus-graveyards-thaw-claim-scientists.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on March 19, 2014, 09:17:21 PM
The thought of dying of small pox is horrifying. Poison oak is bad enough!
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on March 20, 2014, 05:10:01 AM
The thought of dying of small pox is horrifying. Poison oak is bad enough!

I think I view small pox as a pretty fringe risk?

In general though as population rises and becomes increasingly crowded and malnourished, one expects there will be an orgy of pathogens sweeping through the human population. Antibiotic resistant bacteria, old diseases returning (I mean, look at those coming back just because people don't understand what vaccinations are for in the US and UK?), new diseases coming out...

Later one presumes the disease pool dwindles again - at least that portion of it that relies on human hosts? I guess things with natural reservoirs last as long as their natural reservoir does.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on March 20, 2014, 10:31:29 PM
The thought of dying of small pox is horrifying. Poison oak is bad enough!

I think I view small pox as a pretty fringe risk?

Agreed. But the photos make it look like hell!

You're correct that pathogens will eb and flow with their hosts. Imagine, the Native Americans never knew the common cold until colonization. Disease is thought to have wiped out as many as 90 percent of them. Otherwise, they probably would have sent us white boys packin!  :)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Theta on April 02, 2014, 01:24:58 AM
I thought I would bump this thread with a disease that might be of interest to people, particularly in the context of peak population.

Recently an Ebola outbreak commenced in Guinea and has been dubbed the worst Epidemic, kiling 83 people so far, with an unprecedented spread

Quote
The death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in seven years climbed to 83 in Guinea as the aid organization Doctors Without Borders said the disease’s geographical spread marks the flare-up as unprecedented.
, (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-31/ebola-confirmed-in-liberia-as-guinea-death-toll-rises.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-31/ebola-confirmed-in-liberia-as-guinea-death-toll-rises.html))

What is notable about this particular disease is the high mortality rate associated with it, reaching as high as 90%, and there is no Vaccine for this particular Virus (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/27/world/ebola-virus-explainer/?hpt=bosread (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/27/world/ebola-virus-explainer/?hpt=bosread)). While it is isolated to Africa and can be considered ineffective in terms of becoming a worldwide pandemic, it kills those who are infected too quickly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease#Treatment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease#Treatment)) it is still interesting to think about the possibility of Ebola becoming an Airborne Virus which would definitely curb the population, maybe even back to sustainable levels?

References
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-31/ebola-confirmed-in-liberia-as-guinea-death-toll-rises.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-31/ebola-confirmed-in-liberia-as-guinea-death-toll-rises.html)

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/27/world/ebola-virus-explainer/?hpt=bosread (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/27/world/ebola-virus-explainer/?hpt=bosread)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease#Treatment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease#Treatment)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK on April 02, 2014, 04:20:44 PM
I find it quite scary that it's reached the capital now. I hope they keep a lid on this beast.

I've never been so scared as when I was reading the book 'Hot Zone' about Ebola Reston. It's the book the the film Outbreak was based on. Something akin to airborne Ebola would make all our current problems fade to nothing.

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Theta 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK 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?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter 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
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster 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).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: icefest 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD 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 (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)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: sidd on April 09, 2014, 07:31:50 PM
Hate to say, but those baby pigs were spared a horrible life and death.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD 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/ (http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/04/22/banana-fungus-tr4-threatens-us-supply/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: icefest 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity 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?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: icefest 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Anne 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity 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.    ::)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: icefest 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JackTaylor 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/ (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/building-a-better-banana-70543194/)
is the online version.

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD 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 (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/04/30/306907097/mysterious-kidney-disease-slays-farmworkers-in-central-america)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent 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 (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2379278/glyphosate_is_a_disaster_for_human_health.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on May 07, 2014, 06:07:31 PM
http://triplecrisis.com/alarm-bells-over-antibiotic-resistance/ (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 (http://triplecrisis.com/alarm-bells-over-antibiotic-resistance/#sthash.duo7JChu.dpuf)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD 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/ (http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/08/the-us-is-losing-the-war-against-deer-disease/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD 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 (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 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/growing-antibiotic-resistance/2013/09/16/b61ac100-1f2d-11e3-8459-657e0c72fec8_graphic.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter 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
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD 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
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on May 21, 2014, 09:25:57 AM
Study: UK cities becoming mosquito-friendly habitats
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27491891 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27491891)

I have got some water collectors...no mosquitoe yet...I'll watch...
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 21, 2014, 03:26:56 PM
Study: UK cities becoming mosquito-friendly habitats
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27491891 (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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent 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 (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/25/syngenta-exemption-neonicotinoid-insecticide-ban-oilseed-rape)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD 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 (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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Anne 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 (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/alarm-as-dutch-lab-creates-highly-contagious-killer-flu-6279474.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on July 06, 2014, 08:26:28 PM
Virus Plagues the Pork Industry, and Environmentalists
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/business/PEDv-plagues-the-pork-industry-and-environmentalists.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/business/PEDv-plagues-the-pork-industry-and-environmentalists.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Theta 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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/ (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 (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 (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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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 (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/07/us-health-ebola-ghana-idUSKBN0FC0ZF20140707)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK 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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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 (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 (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).)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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 (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.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP 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 (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/ (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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://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/ (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 (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/ (http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/) ... uinea.html
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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 (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 (http://allafrica.com/stories/201407090813.html?page=2)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on July 11, 2014, 02:44:55 AM
This doesn't bode well:

Liberia: Health Workers Flee Ebola

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407101069.html (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 (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 (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...
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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?)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Anne 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 (http://www.msf.org.uk/ebola?gclid=CN6qhNeMyL8CFa7HtAodAAcAuw)

ETA: thanks, wili! (In case it wasn't obvious that your work is appreciated!)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili 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 (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/ (http://www.who.int/csr/don/2014_07_15_ebola/en/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 16, 2014, 03:49:15 PM
Another pathogen for Americans to worry about due to AGW.

http://www.weather.com/health/kansas-girls-death-prompts-brain-eating-amoeba-warnings-20140715 (http://www.weather.com/health/kansas-girls-death-prompts-brain-eating-amoeba-warnings-20140715)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Anne 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 (http://www.msf.org.uk/ebola?gclid=CN6qhNeMyL8CFa7HtAodAAcAuw)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: icefest on July 17, 2014, 01:04:21 PM
I appreciate your work too willi!
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on July 18, 2014, 09:36:03 AM
Chikungunya Virus Acquired In The U.S.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/chikungunya-florida-acquired-us-virus_n_5596927.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/chikungunya-florida-acquired-us-virus_n_5596927.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Anne on July 20, 2014, 05:29:58 AM
Drug-resistant bacteria: Sewage-treatment plants described as giant 'mixing vessels' after scientists discover mutated microbes in British river.

Link (http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/drugresistant-bacteria-sewagetreatment-plants-described-as-giant-mixing-vessels-after-scientists-discover-mutated-microbes-in-british-river-9615850.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: mabs on July 20, 2014, 06:26:40 AM
Drug-resistant bacteria: Sewage-treatment plants described as giant 'mixing vessels' after scientists discover mutated microbes in British river.

Link (http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/drugresistant-bacteria-sewagetreatment-plants-described-as-giant-mixing-vessels-after-scientists-discover-mutated-microbes-in-british-river-9615850.html)

Of all the bad news we got this week, this might just be the worst.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: solartim27 on July 20, 2014, 07:31:19 PM
Otters in Pacific getting sick from a disease that was confined to the Atlantic.
http://www.npr.org/2014/07/20/333173754/as-polar-icebox-shrinks-infectious-pathogens-move-north (http://www.npr.org/2014/07/20/333173754/as-polar-icebox-shrinks-infectious-pathogens-move-north)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Anne on July 22, 2014, 03:51:18 PM
Oh great.

Quote
Chinese city sealed off after bubonic plague death

A Chinese city has been sealed off and 151 people have been placed in quarantine since last week after a man died of bubonic plague, state media said.

The 30,000 residents of Yumen, in the north-western province of Gansu, are not being allowed to leave, and police at roadblocks on the perimeter of the city are telling motorists to find alternative routes, China Central Television (CCTV) said.

A 38-year-old man died last Wednesday, the report said, after he had been in contact with a dead marmot, a small furry animal related to the squirrel. No further plague cases have been reported.

CCTV said officials were not allowing anyone to leave. The China Daily newspaper said four quarantine sectors had been set up in the city.

"The city has enough rice, flour and oil to supply all its residents for up to one month," CCTV added. "Local residents and those in quarantine are all in stable condition." No further cases have been reported.
So no need to panic.

Quote
Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection best known for the Black Death, a virulent epidemic that killed tens of millions of people in 14th-century Europe. Primarily an animal illness, it is extremely rare in humans.
But it pops up all round the world. There have been four cases in Colorado in the last fortnight, none of them life-threatening. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-18/four-cases-of-life-threatening-plague-found-in-colorado.html)

Quote
The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) says modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague, but that without prompt treatment the disease can cause serious illness or death.
BIB: We all know the implications of the world's profligate use of antibiotics.

Source: The Guardian, 22 July 2014. Link (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/22/chinese-city-yumen-sealed-bubonic-plague-death)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Milret2 on July 29, 2014, 08:03:24 AM
When I saw the first report of Ebola in Nigeria and how it arrived I wondered how they quarantined the passengers on that plane before they were able to disperse. I soon saw several articles that said they were indeed quarantined .. but now there is this -->http://qz.com/241241/why-ebola-reaching-the-nigerian-capital-is-a-whole-new-level-of-scary/ (http://qz.com/241241/why-ebola-reaching-the-nigerian-capital-is-a-whole-new-level-of-scary/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on July 30, 2014, 01:26:24 AM
Lagos is the largest city in Africa, 21 some million souls, many living in utter squalor.

This disease could explode rather quickly in such a context. And of course this is also a major transportation hub not only to the rest of Africa, but also to major cities in Europe, the MidEast, and the US (Houston and Atlanta).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murtala_Muhammed_International_Airport#Airlines_and_destinations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murtala_Muhammed_International_Airport#Airlines_and_destinations)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on July 31, 2014, 08:26:55 PM
Quote
Global medical charity Doctors Without Borders has given warning that the Ebola crisis in West Africa is "unprecedented, absolutely out of control", as states across the world took steps to prevent its spread.

Bart Janssens, the charity's director of operations, warned there was no overarching vision of how to tackle the outbreak, in an interview with Belgium's La Libre Belgique newspaper.

"This epidemic ... can only get worse, because it is still spreading, above all in Liberia and Sierra Leone, in some very important hotspots," Janssens said.

"We are extremely worried by the turn of events, particularly in these two countries where there is a lack of visibility on the epidemic. If the situation does not improve fairly quickly, there is a real risk of new countries being affected.

"That is certainly not ruled out, but it is difficult to predict, because we have never known such an epidemic."
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/07/ebola-epidemic-out-control-says-charity-2014730143330618539.html (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/07/ebola-epidemic-out-control-says-charity-2014730143330618539.html)

Things continue to deteriorate.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on July 31, 2014, 08:55:41 PM
I found this fascinating/horrifying/saddening account being posted by UNC’s Dr. William Fischer II working with MSF on the frontlines. Brave, brave people.

http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2014/june/dispatch-from-guinea-containing-ebola (http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2014/june/dispatch-from-guinea-containing-ebola)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: solartim27 on August 02, 2014, 08:55:02 PM
400k people around Toledo Ohio can't drink the tapwater, can't even boil it because of microcystin in Lake Erie.
http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/08/02/City-of-Toledo-issues-do-no-drink-water-advisery.html (http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/08/02/City-of-Toledo-issues-do-no-drink-water-advisery.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: AbruptSLR on August 06, 2014, 06:06:23 PM
According to the linked article, climate change will make ebola outbreaks worse:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/08/05/will-climate-change-worsen-ebola-outbreaks/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/08/05/will-climate-change-worsen-ebola-outbreaks/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 06, 2014, 07:16:51 PM
Thanks for that link, ASLR.

The rate of increase is pretty frightening. For those who want to keep up, wiki is actually doing a pretty good job of staying on top of the latest numbers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_West_Africa_Ebola_outbreak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_West_Africa_Ebola_outbreak)

Now at 1711 cases and 932 deaths. The rates of increase continue to be pretty staggering, especially if you extrapolate where they could be in just a few months, and no one who I have heard speak authoritatively on this seems to think it will be anywhere near under control in less than several months.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2Fc%2Fc8%2FEbola_Outbreak_2014.svg%2F500px-Ebola_Outbreak_2014.svg.png&hash=02fba67077c1dfbdf4fd9d0eeaa3fcc5)

Cases are more than doubling every month now, deaths doubling in a bit more than a month. How many deaths and cases does that give us by the new year?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 08, 2014, 05:33:14 AM
    The health care system in Liberia is collapsing, hospitals closing down and medical workers fleeing from the Ebola epidemic, which is poised to worsen, Liberia’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

   
Quote
“People are dying from common diseases because the health care system is collapsing,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan said in an interview with Thomson Reuters Foundation.

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/08/07/ebola-expert-liberia-is-apocalypse-now/?singlepage=true (http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/08/07/ebola-expert-liberia-is-apocalypse-now/?singlepage=true)

Quote
Isaacs ended the hearing with a somber tone, warning members of [US] Congress to take the Ebola threat seriously.

    “If you read the Ministry of Health status reports coming out every day from Libera, I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it has an atmosphere of ‘Apocalypse Now’ in it,” he said, referring to bodies lying in the street and gangs threatening to burn down hospitals.

    “I believe that this disease has the potential to be a national security risk for many nations, and I think it will even have an impact on our national security,” he added.

Maybe that last bit will get their attention. But since we are already on the brink of a hot war in the Ukraine and now in Iraq again, there are plenty of...distractions.

Quote
Previous outbreaks occurred in rural areas, and essentially burned themselves out.

The current outbreak is happening in extremely densely populated cities. It is moving along the terrestrial transportation routes. The viral infection is never likely to burn out in such conditions.

In other words, there is plenty of 'fuel' for that exponential graph to keep growing exponentially for a long, long time. Just as we have to count people who die from a stampede out of a crowded burning theater as casualties of the fire, we now have to count the many who are dying and will die of easily treatable diseases as victims of this ebola epidemic.
 
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Milret2 on August 08, 2014, 10:00:39 AM
Looks like there are now several more fatalities among health workers who responded to the man who collapsed in the Lagos Nigeria air terminal and subsequently died from his Ebola infection. I wonder if this might be part of the reason the CDC went to status RED for this evolving disease situation.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Milret2 on August 10, 2014, 05:07:26 AM
I thought I had read somewhere that four people beside the fellow who arrived at Lagos airport had died but the article I am leaving here states that there have only been two fatalities so far but nine infections, apparently all in initial care providers. I hope that is as far as it goes.
http://wonkynewsnerd.com/lagos-asks-volunteers-fight-ebola/ (http://wonkynewsnerd.com/lagos-asks-volunteers-fight-ebola/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 10, 2014, 09:56:44 AM
"two fatalities so far but nine infections"

That's my understanding, too. But they're declaring a state of emergency, so I'm not sure that they are certain that they have identified all the cases.

Here's Ken Isaac's testimony before the US Congress's Foreign Affairs committee. He points out at about minute 3 that the reported cases are likely as little as 25% of the actual cases.

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/ebola-crisis-in-west-africa/?utm_source=SPTwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=m_Y000-SOCM_SocialMedia (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/ebola-crisis-in-west-africa/?utm_source=SPTwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=m_Y000-SOCM_SocialMedia)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 10, 2014, 01:49:14 PM
"two fatalities so far but nine infections"

That's my understanding, too. But they're declaring a state of emergency, so I'm not sure that they are certain that they have identified all the cases.

Here's Ken Isaac's testimony before the US Congress's Foreign Affairs committee. He points out at about minute 3 that the reported cases are likely as little as 25% of the actual cases.

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/ebola-crisis-in-west-africa/?utm_source=SPTwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=m_Y000-SOCM_SocialMedia (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/ebola-crisis-in-west-africa/?utm_source=SPTwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=m_Y000-SOCM_SocialMedia)

One of the worrisome aspects is the degree to which a relatively modest number of deaths in the region (about a thousand over several months) is causing fairly massive social and economic chaos.  Foreign workers are going home, businesses are closing, schools are abandoned, airline service suspended, borders sealed, and healthcare workers attacked. 

We can expect ANY area of the world that gets significant numbers of cases to face similar social and economic devastation.  The main harm from this epidemic may prove to be economic in the end.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 10, 2014, 03:21:01 PM
Thanks for that link, ASLR.

The rate of increase is pretty frightening. For those who want to keep up, wiki is actually doing a pretty good job of staying on top of the latest numbers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_West_Africa_Ebola_outbreak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_West_Africa_Ebola_outbreak)

Now at 1711 cases and 932 deaths. The rates of increase continue to be pretty staggering, especially if you extrapolate where they could be in just a few months, and no one who I have heard speak authoritatively on this seems to think it will be anywhere near under control in less than several months.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2Fc%2Fc8%2FEbola_Outbreak_2014.svg%2F500px-Ebola_Outbreak_2014.svg.png&hash=02fba67077c1dfbdf4fd9d0eeaa3fcc5)

Cases are more than doubling every month now, deaths doubling in a bit more than a month. How many deaths and cases does that give us by the new year?

That sure looks like exponential growth in cases and deaths. Such a chart speaks volumes. It suggests that the virus is encountering no current limitations on its spread. As the UN spokesperson said a couple of weeks ago, this outbreak is currently out of control.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on August 10, 2014, 03:38:58 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/science/cyanobacteria-are-far-from-just-toledos-problem.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/science/cyanobacteria-are-far-from-just-toledos-problem.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Cyanobacteria Are Far From Just Toledo’s Problem
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 10, 2014, 08:04:46 PM
Steve, quite likely, but that doesn't mean that the physical threat of an exponentially growing epidemic isn't real. It's kind of like saying that the main death toll from a fire that burnt down a crowded theater was from the stampede of people getting out--but if they had all stayed in the theater, the death total would have been higher/total.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 12, 2014, 03:08:31 AM
Ebola Deaths Now Top 1000

http://www.afro.who.int/en/clusters-a-programmes/dpc/epidemic-a-pandemic-alert-and-response/outbreak-news/4242-ebola-virus-disease-west-africa-11-august-2014.html (http://www.afro.who.int/en/clusters-a-programmes/dpc/epidemic-a-pandemic-alert-and-response/outbreak-news/4242-ebola-virus-disease-west-africa-11-august-2014.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK on August 12, 2014, 05:38:53 PM
To put this Ebola outbreak into some form of context:

There have been 33 previous outbreaks since it was first identified in 1976.
The sum total of all of those earlier outbreaks are 2,361 infected and 1,548 dead.

This one outbreak has so far infected 1,848 and killed 1,013.

The way the numbers are going sadly looks like this outbreak wil be worse than all previous ones combined. If they don't get a grip on it in Lagos very soon then you can expect some truely horrific numbers in the coming weeks and months.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 12, 2014, 08:45:17 PM
Thanks for that perspective, DITUK (I guess :-[).

Lagos (largest city in Africa--over 21 million) and Nigeria in general (most populous country in Africa, 7th most populous in the world--about 175 million) certainly bear watching and represent an enormous 'opportunity' for this bug to continue its exponential growth for another 17 or so doublings/months. Spread to Asia could put the death toll into the billions, especially if if mutates to become airborne.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on August 13, 2014, 12:58:40 AM
Lagos:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.guim.co.uk%2Fsys-images%2FGuardian%2FPix%2Fpictures%2F2010%2F11%2F23%2F1290539227462%2FCrowded-Oshodi-Market-in--007.jpg&hash=fb129f851ade2e1f4734c990da017727)


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi2.cdn.turner.com%2Fcnn%2Fdam%2Fassets%2F120821035221-makoko-mpa-5-horizontal-gallery.jpg&hash=6cae039bb8fe1c4e16ebf3005b9b4edf)


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.guim.co.uk%2Fsys-images%2FEnvironment%2FPix%2Fcolumnists%2F2013%2F12%2F13%2F1386944680923%2FMDG--Africa-and-poverty---007.jpg&hash=210ef1b6ccd31d20d0b807456b85d0ca)


(https://smartercitieschallenge.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/lagos-traffic-congestion1.jpg)


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F_uxeoYKG5-bU%2FS8-qOeptGwI%2FAAAAAAAABHg%2FYYFzYHfxl50%2Fs1600%2FLagos%2BDump%2B5.jpg&hash=9f72d91480c3fd06f3655e58f966bae4)


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fsustainablelagos.files.wordpress.com%2F2011%2F06%2F07104c.jpg&hash=2730b3336eb30d02380eaddb8932ea79)


I am unsure how quarantine is implemented in this environment.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on August 13, 2014, 01:21:24 AM
Quote
Nigeria races to halt Ebola spread in overcrowded Lagos
http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN0GC1N820140812?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0 (http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN0GC1N820140812?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0)

Quote
In its built-up metropolitan areas, Lagos has 20,000 people per square km (50,000 people per square mile), the state government says, about the same as other overcrowded cities such as Mumbai and Dhaka.

Sanitation is at least as bad as either of the other two, with most Lagosians urinating and defecating in the open.

So, when you've got the associated diarrhea and vomiting, there's nowhere but the street to evacuate. And others are doing their business in the same places, likely without shoes and generally with no knowledge of germ theory. What a nightmare for the responders.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 13, 2014, 06:25:07 AM
Good points and great pics, r.

A bit further north, things are getting medieval:

Quote
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is so out of control that governments there have revived a disease-fighting tactic not used in nearly a century: the “cordon sanitaire,” in which a line is drawn around the infected area and no one is allowed out.

Cordons, common in the medieval era of the Black Death, have not been seen since the border between Poland and Russia was closed in 1918 to stop typhus from spreading west. They have the potential to become brutal and inhumane. Centuries ago, in their most extreme form, everyone within the boundaries was left to die or survive, until the outbreak ended...

In Sierra Leone, large sections of the Kailahun and Kenema districts, an area the size of Jamaica, have been cut off by military roadblocks. Soldiers check the credentials and take the temperatures of those trying to go in or out. In Liberia, similar restrictions have been imposed north of the capital, Monrovia.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/science/using-a-tactic-unseen-in-a-century-countries-cordon-off-ebola-racked-areas.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/science/using-a-tactic-unseen-in-a-century-countries-cordon-off-ebola-racked-areas.html?_r=0)

Given the story a while back that an officially quarantined house had visitors wandering in and out at will, I am dubious about the effectiveness of even these extreme measures. And of course people can travel other ways than just on official roads.

And as you point out, it is not clear that any such measures will have any effect in a place like Lagos.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK on August 13, 2014, 01:17:49 PM
Wili,

A note on Ebola going airborne - although there has been some instances documented by Canadian researchers of pigs and monkeys passing it on with no contact there is little evidence of it occuring...yet.

Ebola Reston - a strain that was discovered in a monkey quarantine house does appear to have that ability to be airborne, but the mutation/hybrid makes it harmless to humans. Sadly, not for the monkeys. I still find that a little too close for comfort.

The genome of Ebola is very small and there's no much room for it to take on other genes from more communicable diseases. The fear of Ebola meeting Influenze to spawn some nightmare virus child is almost zero. Unlike HIV which evolves really quickly, Ebola has a relativley stable genome and is unlikely to spontaneously mutate.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 13, 2014, 06:09:06 PM
DITUK wrote: "The genome of Ebola is very small and there's no much room for it to take on other genes from more communicable diseases."

I hadn't heard that before. Thanks. But how does this square with your earlier two paragraphs that cite instances of it actually mutating to more communicable diseases (though not, in those cases, for humans)?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK on August 13, 2014, 08:14:24 PM
It does sound a bit counter-intuitive doesn't it.

The Ebola small genome has very few 'junk' areas and most sections seem to have a function.

Say we 'wanted' to introduce a new section that would code for a tougher outer coating that allows it to live longer in the air. This section would need to be incorporated into an area that doesn't currently code for something else, say the binding protien that allows it to latch onto human cells.

Any changes to the genome are very likely to interfere with it's current functioning and are almost certain to degrade its performance as a human pathogen. There are only around 19,000 gene base-pairs in Ebola and about 13,000 in Influenza. We have 3.2 billion, with what appears to be masses of junk area. Pick a bit of our genome at random, slot in a new bit and you probably wouldn't notice. Get the wrong bit though and you might just wipe out the coding for mucus membranes or part of the functioning of sodium transport through cells, and hey presto - it's no longer a viable human genome.

It just not that easy for it to mutate in exactly the right way. It's not impossible, just really not very likely.

Of course the longer it spends in human hosts, the more chance it has to rub up against some other air-borne virus, and then with one goldilocks mutation...........

.....but it's still a very long shot. Far more likely is H1N1 or some varient to mutate the wrong way and we get the Spanish Flu all over again.

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 13, 2014, 09:12:58 PM
Points taken. Thanks for the clarification. Wouldn't you say, though, that every new case does increase that probability, however slightly?

Meanwhile, death totals are now up to 1,975; deaths--1,069. This continues the pattern of cases about doubling every month, with deaths slightly behind that rate.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on August 13, 2014, 09:47:51 PM
Ebola outbreak: Kenya at high risk, warns WHO
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28769678 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28769678)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on August 13, 2014, 10:25:34 PM
Breaking news and analysis from the world of science policy
http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/08/what-does-ebola-actually-do (http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/08/what-does-ebola-actually-do)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK on August 14, 2014, 02:18:00 PM
Wili,

You're right, there is a very small (but constantly growing) chance that it will mutate by one mechanism or another. We could be lucky and find the mutation makes it harmless as in Ebola Reston (and there's still some debate as to whether it is properly airborne).

After further reading up it would appear that the pig->chimpanzee communication was most likely through atomisation or contaimination from cleaning the pigs pens rather than direct airborne ability. Pigs are probably the best human compatible host to produce atomised spray to spread a virus. They sweat very little and so, like dogs, try to reduce their temperatire by panting.

Ebola is nasty enough as it is without giving the bugger wings!
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on August 15, 2014, 10:10:23 AM
Ebola outbreak: Guinea declares emergency
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28787025 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28787025)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on August 16, 2014, 03:42:33 PM
Thus, in the early stages of collapse, we see the dilemma of how to deal with a crisis in a place we no longer care about, but which has the potential to impact us (oil supplies).

Do we mobilize a large and costly effort to control this epidemic at its sources or do we wall the region off and let it burn itself out.  Or do we essentially do nothing because we are just no longer capable of acting in some form of a rational manner.

This situation should get a lot worse.   We have health care workers avoiding treatment of the outbreak, a number are dying, one at least breaking quarantine, locals hiding sick people from health care workers, victims being buried secretly, and so on.  As the article says, if it gets going in Lagos we are all in trouble.  In that case do we quarantine West Africa and just let them die or what.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/08/14/you_are_not_nearly_scared_enough_ebola_vaccine_west_africa_outbreak (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/08/14/you_are_not_nearly_scared_enough_ebola_vaccine_west_africa_outbreak)

edit to add llink

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/ebola-moving-faster-than/1315088.html (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/ebola-moving-faster-than/1315088.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK on August 18, 2014, 12:26:52 PM
Jim,

The phrase 'horns of a dilema' springs to mind. They can't sit back and do nothing (not without setting up a cordon sanitaire anyway), they haven't got the resources to track and isolate evryone who comes in contact with an infected person, and there is a general distrust of authority with added heaps of mis-information and lies.

And now this, just when you thought the world had run out of really stupid ideas, someome decides that looting an Ebola clinic would be a great plan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28827091 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28827091)

I get the feeling that events are begining to overtake us and there is now very little genuinely helpful intervention that can be provided. Very soon all we will have left is the final contents of Pandora's box.....Hope.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on August 18, 2014, 07:05:12 PM
And now this, just when you thought the world had run out of really stupid ideas, someome decides that looting an Ebola clinic would be a great plan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28827091 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28827091)

That seems an excellent way to learn first hand that ebola does, in fact, exist. Uhg.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 18, 2014, 07:54:44 PM
Quote
"The crowd was exuberant, having won this battle in their minds," he says. "And then they marched on the isolation ward and pushed through the door and basically pulled out the patients. Members of this mob literally pulled people out of the isolation ward. I saw a man carrying a small girl by one arm up in the air and she was screaming, and the crowd carried them off."

Part of the problem, Moore says, is that there's "a fair number of people ... who believe that the Ebola virus and the epidemic is a hoax, that it's not real after all, and it's a way for the Liberian government to bring in foreign money."

They have their ebola denialists--we have our gw denialists...not sure which is the more deadly in the long run.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/18/341308310/photographer-recalls-how-ebola-patients-were-carried-off-in-liberia (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/18/341308310/photographer-recalls-how-ebola-patients-were-carried-off-in-liberia)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 18, 2014, 08:50:53 PM
Quote
"The crowd was exuberant, having won this battle in their minds," he says. "And then they marched on the isolation ward and pushed through the door and basically pulled out the patients. Members of this mob literally pulled people out of the isolation ward. I saw a man carrying a small girl by one arm up in the air and she was screaming, and the crowd carried them off."

Part of the problem, Moore says, is that there's "a fair number of people ... who believe that the Ebola virus and the epidemic is a hoax, that it's not real after all, and it's a way for the Liberian government to bring in foreign money."

They have their ebola denialists--we have our gw denialists...not sure which is the more deadly in the long run.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/18/341308310/photographer-recalls-how-ebola-patients-were-carried-off-in-liberia (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/18/341308310/photographer-recalls-how-ebola-patients-were-carried-off-in-liberia)

AGW denialists...no contest.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Milret2 on August 18, 2014, 09:05:39 PM
Mean while ... a new article about conditions in Lagos Nigeria. The only good thing in this report I see is that the Nigerian government decided that "nanosilver" was not an appropriate treatment.

http://saharareporters.com/2014/08/17/nigeria-hasn%E2%80%99t-given-priority-ebola-treatment-abandons-nano-silver-treatment (http://saharareporters.com/2014/08/17/nigeria-hasn%E2%80%99t-given-priority-ebola-treatment-abandons-nano-silver-treatment)

By the way, if anyone needs to lose some sleep tonight regards the situation in Liberia where that clinic was evacuated by a "mob" that took blood stained sheets and other materials from the clinic  l wonder if that could be a means of waging asymmetrical biologic warfare by some groups in Nigeria or elsewhere. I think I will go and fix myself a large drink now.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on August 20, 2014, 02:10:12 PM
Ebola crisis: A doctor's view from Sierra Leone
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28852352 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28852352)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 21, 2014, 12:26:50 AM
New numbers in--cases and deaths still rising exponentially (by official numbers, anyway--we know that there are many, perhaps a majority, of cases not being reported for one reason or another; we just don't know how many. Would that qualify as a 'known unknown'?)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F6%2F65%2FDeseased_per_day_Ebola_2014.png%2F800px-Deseased_per_day_Ebola_2014.png&hash=66bced737564fc391990b3a27d449912)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F8%2F86%2FDiseased_Ebola_2014.png%2F800px-Diseased_Ebola_2014.png&hash=f5225571576da36b28fe9aaf6051967a)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_West_Africa_Ebola_virus_outbreak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_West_Africa_Ebola_virus_outbreak)

Both total cases and number of new cases per day are doubling about every month. Deaths lag this by a bit.

Raw numbers, available at the above wiki site which gets them from WHO, as of Aug. 18:

Total cases: 2473, up 233 from two days previous (a rate which, extrapolated, would put the doubling time at about 20 days.)

Total deaths: 1350, up 121 from two days previous (again, extrapolated, this would put doubling time at about 20 days; in both cases, if this new rate of increase persists it would mark a big acceleration in the rate of acceleration, especially in deaths. No one thinks that this thing can be gotten under control in less than 6 months. At that point, if this rate of increase continues, cases would be in the millions.)

(I see, though, that they show only four deaths in Nigeria, but recent news accounts mention a fifth--the top doctor that treated the Minnesotan who came there from Liberia: http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Top-doctor-is-Nigerias-fifth-Ebola-death-20140820 (http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Top-doctor-is-Nigerias-fifth-Ebola-death-20140820))
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on August 21, 2014, 09:12:05 PM
US Ebola patient Kent Brantly 'thrilled to be alive'
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28885753 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28885753)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: dorlomin on August 23, 2014, 12:05:46 AM
Ebola has nothing to do with climate change.
It is also a pipsqueak of a disease. There are transmittable diseases that kill 1000 times more people every year than Ebola has so far. 3 orders of magnitude and they do it every year. It is simply a load of wailing for the press.

This simply outs those who have latched onto climate change as yet another doom story to wallow in.

Ifuckinglovescience nails it.
5 Diseases You Should Be More Afraid Of Than Ebola (http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/5-diseases-you-should-be-more-afraid-ebola#Etj8PsqKJpT2uM8C.99)



Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on August 23, 2014, 01:35:20 AM
Ebola has nothing to do with climate change.

A complete misunderstanding.  The issue is not about what causes ebola it is about how we deal with such crises as collapse (largely caused by climate change and exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity) progresses.  The responses are likely to be less competent, use less resources and be more authoritarian as time goes on.  We wait to see what the end result of this epidemic turns out to be.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 23, 2014, 02:03:34 AM
Ebola has nothing to do with climate change.
It is also a pipsqueak of a disease. There are transmittable diseases that kill 1000 times more people every year than Ebola has so far. 3 orders of magnitude and they do it every year. It is simply a load of wailing for the press.

This simply outs those who have latched onto climate change as yet another doom story to wallow in.

Ifuckinglovescience nails it.
5 Diseases You Should Be More Afraid Of Than Ebola (http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/5-diseases-you-should-be-more-afraid-ebola#Etj8PsqKJpT2uM8C.99)

Beyond Jim's take on the applicability to climate change, it's also possisble that the epidemic is a result of climate change.  It's a zoonosis -- a disease transmitted to humans from animals.  As climates change, animals may come into new patterns of contact with humans.  We may see other novel zoonoses emerge.

The article cited is just plain wrong.  Ebola is poorly understood and vastly more lethal than anything listed there.  Numbers are growing exponentially (literally), and nobody has any idea when the death curve will plateau.  Might be 2,000 deaths, 2 million, or 2 billion.   Sure, it could suddenly come to a halt soon, but I think that's less probable than exceeding 2 million deaths in the next year.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F8%2F86%2FDiseased_Ebola_2014.png%2F800px-Diseased_Ebola_2014.png&hash=f5225571576da36b28fe9aaf6051967a)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 23, 2014, 04:42:32 PM
Many, if not most, of the most virulent diseases that plague humanity are the result of disease transfers from other species...malaria, lyme disease, West Nile, flu, ebola etc. Many of these diseases are on the march, a direct result of AGW.

Did AGW create West Nile virus? Of course not! Is it allowing for the spread into more temperate zones? Of course.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Michael Hauber on August 23, 2014, 11:08:15 PM
Ebola has nothing to do with climate change.
It is also a pipsqueak of a disease. There are transmittable diseases that kill 1000 times more people every year than Ebola has so far. 3 orders of magnitude and they do it every year. It is simply a load of wailing for the press.

This simply outs those who have latched onto climate change as yet another doom story to wallow in.

Ifuckinglovescience nails it.
5 Diseases You Should Be More Afraid Of Than Ebola (http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/5-diseases-you-should-be-more-afraid-ebola#Etj8PsqKJpT2uM8C.99)

Going on past statistics influenza has killed far more people than Ebola.  However past statistics say that ebola should not have killed as many as it already has - so past statistics are no longer a reliable guide on what may happen.  Hopefully this outbreak will be limited as past outbreaks have been, and never spread beyond Africa.  However there are no iron-clad guarantees of this, and I think this unknown factor is a reasonable reason to fear this disease more than influenza.

Of course there is a big unknown factor with the development of anti-biotic resistance.  Which is worse, a world were ebola is running rampant?  Or a world were bacterial infections cannot be cured?  I don't know.  Which is more likely to happen?  I don't know.  Equally scary in my opinion.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on August 24, 2014, 12:40:12 AM
Does anyone know of any other deadly disease with no known cure whose cases and deaths have been doubling about every month for the last five months or so?

No one seems to think this will be anywhere near under control in less than six or even nine months.

I leave it to you to do the math: We are now officially at 2615 cases and 1427 deaths.

(Everyone who knows about the situation agrees that the actual numbers are at least double and possibly quadruple these.)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 24, 2014, 03:26:46 PM
Everything I've read about this spread (I agree. It is not primarily a global warming story.) suggests that the main difference with this outbreak is that it did not occur in an isolated region of a country. Since the most effective method for limiting spread is to isolate the sick, the fact the disease has established itself firmly in urban areas makes it very difficult to gain the upper hand.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DoomInTheUK on August 25, 2014, 11:02:04 AM
The main difference between this outbreak and previous ones is that this one has occured in West Africa whereas all previous Ebola Zaire outbreaks have been in Central Africa. It's also the wet season there and so Malaria is quite common.

Although some hemoragic fevers are transmitted by mosquito, it would appear that Ebola is not.

Due to the initial sysmptoms of Malaria and Ebola being very similar a lot of patients are choosing to stay at home and self medicate. This lack of isolation is the driving force behind the current spread of the disease.

Infected people are only contagious once symptoms appear, infection requires direct contact with infected body fluids and the incubation period is quite short.
Once it becomes culturally acceptable to isolate patients and not come into close contact with the dead then this Ebola outbreak's days are numbered.

There's no doubt that many thousands more will die in the coming months, but Ebola will almost certainly burn itself out in Africa.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 25, 2014, 05:39:34 PM
I've actually read that it can be up to 21 days before someone becomes symptomatic.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 25, 2014, 10:55:59 PM
The main difference between this outbreak and previous ones is that this one has occured in West Africa whereas all previous Ebola Zaire outbreaks have been in Central Africa. It's also the wet season there and so Malaria is quite common.

Although some hemoragic fevers are transmitted by mosquito, it would appear that Ebola is not.

Due to the initial sysmptoms of Malaria and Ebola being very similar a lot of patients are choosing to stay at home and self medicate. This lack of isolation is the driving force behind the current spread of the disease.

Infected people are only contagious once symptoms appear, infection requires direct contact with infected body fluids and the incubation period is quite short.
Once it becomes culturally acceptable to isolate patients and not come into close contact with the dead then this Ebola outbreak's days are numbered.

There's no doubt that many thousands more will die in the coming months, but Ebola will almost certainly burn itself out in Africa.

As long as the infection incidence curve stays on an exponential trajectory, I don't think anyone should be sanguine.  And as for the epidemic "buringing itself out in Africa" -- well, there's a billion people there.  I think it more likely to become a new chronic African problem than simply die out.

I do agree, though, that people in advanced countries don't have much to fear directly.  Past outbreaks have resolved with contact tracing, quarantines and isolation procedures.  This means that societies in which these measures can effectively be put in place are unlikely to have widespread infection. 

But people in overcrowded, poverty-striken urban areas, like the West Point slum in Monrovia, Liberia may be in grave danger.  That slum has been cordoned-off, with all 50,000 residents facing a raging epidemic with no medical care or public health measures at all.  If they don't die of thirst or hunger, the population there could suffer from this epidemic for years and years.

Add to this the wild cards of the upcoming Hajj in Mecca, and future viral mutations, and we may learn all too well how homo sapiens behaves under the worst stresses of fear and social disruption.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on August 28, 2014, 09:26:35 PM
Dengue emerges in Japan for first time in decades
http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2014/08/dengue-emerges-japan-first-time-decades (http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2014/08/dengue-emerges-japan-first-time-decades)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on August 29, 2014, 10:47:43 PM
Senegal confirms first Ebola case
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/29/health/ebola-outbreak-senegal/index.html (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/29/health/ebola-outbreak-senegal/index.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on September 01, 2014, 12:07:57 AM
Disease modelers project a rapidly rising toll from Ebola
http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/08/disease-modelers-project-rapidly-rising-toll-ebola (http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/08/disease-modelers-project-rapidly-rising-toll-ebola)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on September 02, 2014, 10:03:09 PM
Ebola response lethally inadequate, says MSF
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29031987 (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29031987)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on September 03, 2014, 05:54:53 AM
From L's link above:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.sciencemag.org%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Fthumb_article_l%2Fpublic%2FWest_africa_log-c_science2.jpg%3Fitok%3Dl8gO2guf&hash=aab18405ac5af657be26946d4594b01b)

Stupid mathematical question: What kind of equation or function gives you an upward curve on a logarithmic/linear graph like that. It's like it is super-exponential growth, if there is such a thing.

Anyone want to try fitting that curve and making a projection (not a prediction) of how many cases there would be by next summer if this curve were to extend that far?

ETA:

I see they are using a log scale for cumulative cases and deaths at the wiki site, too:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F2%2F2d%2FEvolution_of_the_2014_Ebola_outbreak_in_semiLog_plot..png%2F800px-Evolution_of_the_2014_Ebola_outbreak_in_semiLog_plot..png&hash=655b25cf3c1be1f33e743e909a0b1791)


Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on September 03, 2014, 09:47:46 PM
Congo outbreak of Ebola unrelated to escalating West African epidemic
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/09/congo-outbreak-ebola-unrelated-escalating-west-african-epidemic (http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/09/congo-outbreak-ebola-unrelated-escalating-west-african-epidemic)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tor Bejnar on September 04, 2014, 02:21:21 AM
Grim news:
Nigeria's Ebola outbreak spreads
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/09/nigerias-ebola-outbreak-spreads (http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/09/nigerias-ebola-outbreak-spreads)

Quote
The hopes that Nigeria’s Ebola outbreak could be quickly stamped out have evaporated. The World Health Organization (WHO) this afternoon issued its first detailed report of the spread of the virus in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil hub. Last week, authorities announced that a doctor there had died of the disease, after secretly treating a diplomat who had been infected in Lagos by a traveler from Liberia.

The doctor had close contact with family, friends, and health care workers during his illness, but he did not disclose his previous exposure to the virus. His infection wasn’t confirmed until 5 days after his death. Experts are now following hundreds of the doctor’s contacts, 60 of which had “high-risk or very high-risk exposure,” WHO says.
...
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Theta on September 06, 2014, 11:30:44 AM
Engineer under observation for Ebola goes missing

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/engineer-under-observation-for-ebola-goes-missing/article1-1259570.aspx (http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/engineer-under-observation-for-ebola-goes-missing/article1-1259570.aspx)

I can't really imagine the potential for this individual to spark off a chain reaction in a tightly packed hub in this area.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 06, 2014, 09:33:48 PM
Pandora's box was also mentioned at a conference I attended at Exeter University on Thursday. Professor Sarah Gurr's speciality is plant pathogens. Here's a recent open access paper:

"The global spread of crop pests and pathogens (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/geb.12214/abstract)"

and here are the slides from her presentation two days ago:

http://www.existexeter.co.uk/includes/documents/Sarah%20Gurr.pdf (http://www.existexeter.co.uk/includes/documents/Sarah%20Gurr.pdf)

The bullet points that grabbed my attention the most were:

"Fungal infection of plants and wild creatures outstrips the threat posed by all other diseases combined"

"Fungi are moving polewards at 7.6 km per year in the Northern Hemisphere, and accelerating"

"The complete life cycle of some fungi takes just 3 days"
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on September 08, 2014, 09:47:06 PM
Ebola crisis: Liberia 'faces huge surge' says WHO
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29115298 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29115298)

Breaking news: Liberia's Ebola problem far worse than imagined, says WHO
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/09/breaking-news-liberias-ebola-problem-far-worse-imagined-says-who (http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/09/breaking-news-liberias-ebola-problem-far-worse-imagined-says-who)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: LRC1962 on September 09, 2014, 05:23:50 PM
The main difference between this outbreak and previous ones is that this one has occured in West Africa whereas all previous Ebola Zaire outbreaks have been in Central Africa. It's also the wet season there and so Malaria is quite common.
See
 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/ebola-outbreak-it-s-not-the-virus-but-africa-that-s-changed-1.2729264/url)
Quote
But at least part of the explanation for the current dilemma may be found in how Africa has changed since the first known outbreaks of Ebola in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sudan.
For one, this outbreak is taking place in parts of Africa that are "much more densely populated, much more urban in their nature and those populations are much more mobile," says Olds. Also, "these were populations that had never seen Ebola before."
Location is not the problem it is urbanization., plus deforestation bringing carriers of ebola into closer proximity of man far more often.
area infected.http://www.ibtimes.com/where-ebola-outbreak-updated-map-ebola-virus-outbreak-death-toll-tops-2000-1680308]http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/ebola-outbreak-it-s-not-the-virus-but-africa-that-s-changed-1.2729264/url][quote]But at least part of the explanation for the current dilemma may be found in how Africa has changed since the first known outbreaks of Ebola in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sudan.For one, this outbreak is taking place in parts of Africa that are "much more densely populated, much more urban in their nature and those populations are much more mobile," says Olds. Also, "these were populations that had never seen Ebola before." [/quote]Location is not the problem it is urbanization., plus deforestation bringing carriers of ebola into closer proximity of man far more often.area infected.[url]http://www.ibtimes.com/where-ebola-outbreak-updated-map-ebola-virus-outbreak-death-toll-tops-2000-1680308
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on September 15, 2014, 03:41:50 AM
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/photographer-goes-inside-liberias-ebola-ravaged-slums-n203151 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/photographer-goes-inside-liberias-ebola-ravaged-slums-n203151)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: LRC1962 on September 16, 2014, 03:48:36 PM
CBC update http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/ebola-cases-may-be-kept-within-tens-of-thousands-who-s-bruce-aylward-says-1.2767583 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/ebola-cases-may-be-kept-within-tens-of-thousands-who-s-bruce-aylward-says-1.2767583)
WHO map https://extranet.who.int/ebola/ (https://extranet.who.int/ebola/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: LRC1962 on September 16, 2014, 04:11:32 PM
Google Earth to help out with pathogen spread?
http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/news/google-earth-engine-to-help-predict-spread-of-malaria-592047 (http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/news/google-earth-engine-to-help-predict-spread-of-malaria-592047)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on September 16, 2014, 11:04:16 PM
CBC update http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/ebola-cases-may-be-kept-within-tens-of-thousands-who-s-bruce-aylward-says-1.2767583 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/ebola-cases-may-be-kept-within-tens-of-thousands-who-s-bruce-aylward-says-1.2767583)

That headline is misleading. It looks like the statement was:

Quote
"Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, this health crisis we're facing is unparalleled in modern times. We don't know where the numbers are going on this," he said.

When the WHO had said it needed the capacity to manage 20,000 cases two weeks ago "that seemed like a lot", Dr Aylward said.

"That does not seem like a lot today," he added.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29224752 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29224752)

edited for complete quote.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 02, 2014, 05:58:22 PM
Ebola outbreak: Texas checks 100 for exposure
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29462431 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29462431)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on October 02, 2014, 06:16:20 PM
Ebola outbreak: Texas checks 100 for exposure
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29462431 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29462431)

Yep. And now we get to see if our healthcare system is up to the task.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 02, 2014, 08:11:59 PM
Yep. And now we get to see if our healthcare system is up to the task.

If it got into the wrong section of the population - I doubt it would be.

The mathematics points to this not being a one off, as long as infections are spiralling upwards in the countries where containment has failed, one can expect travel infections to be in approximate proportion (moderated only more effective responses).

Get an infection into a sector of society where people don't care and where contact tracing would be hard to impossible (drug users, homeless, etc) and I think the complacent attitude many have about western nations will be shaken, even if one wouldn't necessarily predict catastrophic spread.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on October 02, 2014, 08:17:45 PM
ccg, add undocumented to that list--about 2 million in Texas alone.

All of our idiocies and poor policies could be coming home to roost on this one.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 03, 2014, 10:34:45 AM
All of our idiocies and poor policies could be coming home to roost on this one.

I think the handling of the single case in the US so far is testament to just how poorly prepared the country is for Ebola. Sure - they have the contact tracing and the modern medicine and all the rest of it, and yet - they can't even work out how to dispose of the hazardous waste expeditiously (including in the apartment where the infected man was and where several other people still are living!), they don't appear to have a co-ordinated policy for handling those exposed - everything points to at least several more cases being likely, and some of them could easily be directly due to poor handling of the single case (one wonders if the legally enforced confinement of the parties in a location with hazardous materials would provide a later legal basis to sue the authorities if some of those parties became ill or died). Not to mention their failure to register the travel history of the person (it can't help that until now a lot of Americans probably couldn't have told you Liberia was a country, let alone where it is).

The other thing I note is that despite constant reassurances in Ebola not being that contagious, requiring direct contact with a symptomatic individual - the person who travelled to the US allegedly did no more than help to move a person. From what I've read every person who helped move that person is now dead. That's a pretty impressive effectiveness for something I thought required direct contact - blood to blood, ingestion, inhalation, whatever. It would suggest a pretty low bar for infection, as would the significant number of healthcare professionals that have got the disease (who it should be noted are taking precautions and understand how the infection vector works...).

The media has made far too much fuss about African "behaviours" that are a convenient way to reinforce the complacency of western nations. The same complacency that allowed the disease to spiral out of control in Africa in the first place (and I suspect the official counts are very much too low now, and in any case there is at likely almost one more doubling of committed cases that aren't symptomatic yet - so one should probably double the figures just to reflect infected but not detected yet). Also, if there aren't enough treatment beds (by a very significant amount now) - is anyone even trying to keep proper count?

With respect to the US case, had there been a comprehensive plan one presumes the questions of waste disposal, clean up, exposed parties, etc would have been taken into account in advance. We're making some heroic assumptions in the affluent nations about a situation that we've never encountered before (as this is the first time this disease has broken out properly into major population centres).

I'm afraid to say though that in theory a pandemic of Ebola (although I'm still far from certain it can wholly escape containment in countries with more coherent healthcare systems and effective governance) could do for us what people have consistently failed to do voluntarily - cut our emissions and resource consumption. Something like that could buy us a little more time, presuming natural feedbacks aren't close to causing dramatic changes.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 03, 2014, 10:59:16 AM
Hard facts clear the air about catching Ebola from a cough
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/hard-facts-clear-air-about-catching-ebola-cough (http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/hard-facts-clear-air-about-catching-ebola-cough)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 03, 2014, 11:31:37 AM
Hard facts clear the air about catching Ebola from a cough
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/hard-facts-clear-air-about-catching-ebola-cough (http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/hard-facts-clear-air-about-catching-ebola-cough)

Those sample sizes are much much too small to get good information from (or in most cases, any information at all).

Neither of these two seems sure how they were infected (though the doctor seems to identify inadequate PPE as a likely cause)

http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/ebola-survivor-ii-nancy-writebol-we-just-dont-even-have-clue-what-happened (http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/ebola-survivor-ii-nancy-writebol-we-just-dont-even-have-clue-what-happened)
http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/ebola-survivor-i-senga-omeonga-every-day-i-m-still-thinking-when-was-i-contaminated (http://news.sciencemag.org/africa/2014/10/ebola-survivor-i-senga-omeonga-every-day-i-m-still-thinking-when-was-i-contaminated)

The infected person in the US supposedly carried (by the legs) a person with symptoms. So did he get it from sweat? Blood? Fecal material? Vomit? It doesn't seem unreasonable to assume he would have had at least some standard of hygiene and avoided ingesting or contacting most bodily fluids if present in visible amounts, does it?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on October 03, 2014, 01:14:45 PM
When they say that you can only get it from bodily fluids, we all think--"Hey, bodily fluids are most always inside the body, so how could anybody catch this thing?"

But what they don't tend to point out is that a fully symptomatic ebola victim is oozing and spewing large quantities of every kind of bodily fluid out of every orifice and pore.

Handling anybody in such a condition is extremely hazardous--basically a death sentence--without extreme protection, and sometimes even then, based on the number of well trained, top medical workers who have gotten it even though they presumably knew and followed strict protocols.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 03, 2014, 08:01:07 PM
But what they don't tend to point out is that a fully symptomatic ebola victim is oozing and spewing large quantities of every kind of bodily fluid out of every orifice and pore.

I think the amount of virus required for infection is probably tiny. Visible bodily fluids one should easily be able to avoid. But if there is just a trace - too small to see with the eye - and you transfer it to the mouth, eye, respiratory system, any other mucous membrane, open wound - presuably that's all it takes. I don't see any other way to account for the high infection rate in even trined personnel who are adequately equipped. Supposedly it can remain infectious for hours on a dry surface and days at room temperature in fluid environments (or at least moist ones, and since viruses aren't really alive, I have to wonder why it couldn't survive almost indefinitely in a moist friendly environment - does something eat it...?).

Handling anybody in such a condition is extremely hazardous--basically a death sentence--without extreme protection, and sometimes even then, based on the number of well trained, top medical workers who have gotten it even though they presumably knew and followed strict protocols.

Maybe? Hard to say for sure - Nancy's partner cared for her for some days without contracting it, before they knew she had it (and she was symptomatic, just assumed to have only malaria). Obviously luck is a factor, and maybe he didn't move her at all - but it strikes me one probably can care for a person with it provided their location is constrained and one is very careful in it.

Where it seems to me the nightmares start is when symptomatic people are moving around dispersing infectious fluids (note above about how long those are risky for) into situations such as public transport. By dispersing, one doesn't just mean obvious amounts - one has to assume trace amounts could be a problem too (and even with obvious amounts - who cleans it up and how?).

You simply cannot contact trace all such scenarios if any significant number of people are involved. Again, they say people won't spread it a lot as mostly people are too ill to travel - but someone desperate for treatment will do whatever they can to get it (one reason we should expect an explosion now that treatment facilities are so comprehensively overwhelmed - whether due to fear and trying to escape those regions, or desire to survive and seeking treatment - it seems relatively rapid dispersal is likely to happen now).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: icefest on October 04, 2014, 06:24:40 AM
since viruses aren't really alive, I have to wonder why it couldn't survive almost indefinitely in a moist friendly environment - does something eat it...?

Usually because the virion cannot survive getting dried, exposed to varying pH, heat, cold, oxidisation, reduction, or radiation.

If I recall correctly from microbiology, this is mainly due to denaturation of proteins or the disruption of genetic viability.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 04, 2014, 12:26:14 PM
HIV pandemic's roots traced back to 1920s Kinshasa
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/02/us-health-aids-origins-idUKKCN0HR26220141002?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/02/us-health-aids-origins-idUKKCN0HR26220141002?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 06, 2014, 04:56:13 PM
What Next For The Ebola Outbreak? Here's What The Math Says
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/06/ebola-outbreak-math_n_5924680.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/06/ebola-outbreak-math_n_5924680.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 07, 2014, 10:20:33 AM
Inside Sierra Leone's Ebola clinics
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29507673 (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29507673)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 07, 2014, 02:42:33 PM
Ebola outbreak: Spain investigates new case
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29516882 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29516882)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 08, 2014, 07:28:26 PM
This Map Shows How Discussion Of Ebola Is Spreading Online
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/08/ebola-spread-across-twitter_n_5947570.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/08/ebola-spread-across-twitter_n_5947570.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)

Can Dogs Spread Ebola?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/08/dog-spread-ebola_n_5952134.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/08/dog-spread-ebola_n_5952134.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on October 08, 2014, 10:39:06 PM
Mr. Duncan has died.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/us/ebola-us-thomas-eric-duncan.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/us/ebola-us-thomas-eric-duncan.html?_r=0)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on October 08, 2014, 11:10:40 PM
There's another scare in Texas--a  deputy that was in Duncan's apartment without protective gear.
http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/health/2014/10/08/patient-frisco-ebola-suspect/16922477/ (http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/health/2014/10/08/patient-frisco-ebola-suspect/16922477/)

If you look at the photos at the end of the article, emergency resoponders will be hard pressed to turn out this way for every (hopefully) false alarm or on-plane puking as flu season starts up. It's going to be an interesting winter.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: viddaloo on October 08, 2014, 11:33:16 PM
Does anyone know the rationale (assuming there is one) for not closing down West-African airspace during this epidemic? Seems people are dying and getting infected in America, Europe and Nigeria after being allowed to fly freely. What's Obama's grand plan here?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on October 08, 2014, 11:44:48 PM
Does anyone know the rationale (assuming there is one) for not closing down West-African airspace during this epidemic?

Too much impact to the global economy. You see, nothing can disrupt the flow of spice.*

As for Obama's (or any other leader's) plan, I hope they are not the deciders on this. Talk about unqualified! In reality, I think the best we can humanely do is hope that containment works. If it does not, then we move on to the questionable ethics of area quarantines. If it truly gets out of hand, most of us will get sick and approximately half of those will die. Just like species have been dealing with pathogens for eternity! Feel better now?  ;)



*Dune reference
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: viddaloo on October 08, 2014, 11:54:38 PM
Strange. I always thought 'containment' meant keeping the deadly virus on at least the same continent where the infection happened? But my first language isn't English, so bear with me.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ritter on October 09, 2014, 12:03:34 AM
Strange. I always thought 'containment' meant keeping the deadly virus on at least the same continent where the infection happened? But my first language isn't English, so bear with me.

Your English is just fine! You're correct. But one must also have a fallback position. ;D
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 09, 2014, 12:49:40 AM
Does anyone know the rationale (assuming there is one) for not closing down West-African airspace during this epidemic?

Too much impact to the global economy. You see, nothing can disrupt the flow of spice.*

Actually I think the logic that attempting to isolate the region too aggressively will disrupt the flow of support and manpower and guarantee a much worse outbreak is pretty sound - given air travel isn't the only way for spreading to occur.

It would seem a theoretically rational approach for those few places able to isolate themselves by air (and sufficiently by sea) to do so in the event of any risk of them failing to contain internal outbreaks though.

I think the secondary infections in Spain (and probably also the US) are testament to just how infectious this really is - and how misleading the advice being given to reassure the public might just be. If it was just the US or Spain, one might write it down as a one off - but with both of them apparently failing to contain properly - indeed making simply and stupid errors in a low stress context (ie a single case, for crying out loud) - that's not a good omen. I wouldn't be sanguine now about the risks of a true pandemic outbreak (I wasn't before, but I view it as a bit more likely now than I did).

I'm even a bit torn on the climate impacts - initially I thought a sufficiently large die off would lighten resource pressure - and so it might - but giving the world a different emergency to deal with for a few years would also be a very serious setback to progress on the climate (er, what tiny smatterings we have seen), not to mention the recovery period from a pandemic.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: viddaloo on October 09, 2014, 01:19:57 AM
I for one wouldn't put it past them to gin this up for use as a distraction.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 09, 2014, 02:12:53 AM
I for one wouldn't put it past them to gin this up for use as a distraction.

Er, from what? There are plenty of very effective distractions from all sorts of real world issues without needing to add a deadly disease into the list.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on October 12, 2014, 07:48:04 PM
Orlov on Ebloa.  An interesting read.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/10/ebola-and-five-stages-of-collapse.html (http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/10/ebola-and-five-stages-of-collapse.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on October 12, 2014, 08:15:09 PM
Ian Welsh on Ebloa

http://www.ianwelsh.net/why-ebola-is-a-threat/ (http://www.ianwelsh.net/why-ebola-is-a-threat/)

and once again. 

http://www.ianwelsh.net/why-africa-cant-handle-ebola-the-destruction-of-the-3rd-world/ (http://www.ianwelsh.net/why-africa-cant-handle-ebola-the-destruction-of-the-3rd-world/)

NOTE:  for those who get confused when Ian is talking about neo-liberal policies this is the formal terminology for conservative economic ideology.  Note also that this link could easily have been posted in Global Economics or the  Empire threads.  Third note:  There are a few things that Orlov and Welsh missed or were not public knowledge when they wrote the several pieces I have posted.  1. Ebola victims ARE infectious before becoming symptomatic, just not as much or 100% of them.  2. Ebola CAN be spread via air transmission via sneezing or coughing in close quarters as medical experts have been trying to say since the beginning though it is not common.  Enjoy!

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 12, 2014, 08:19:37 PM
Orlov on Ebloa.  An interesting read.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/10/ebola-and-five-stages-of-collapse.html (http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/10/ebola-and-five-stages-of-collapse.html)

The incubation period is up to 3 weeks - it can be as little as 2 days, is my understanding. He's mispresenting that bit somewhat.

Nigeria managed to contain their initial import of the disease (and there will no doubt be further imports in approximate proportion to the caseload, with scope for a big spike if the affected states collapse as functional states), but the lengths they went to were extraordinary.

Both the US and Spain - the only two imports so far - failed to prevent their oh so superior health care facilities from transmitting the disease to workers in protective gear. The affluent nations are complacent, and that is the main threat there - as Nigeria clearly demonstrates you can contain with serious effort and lots of discipline.

Clearly it is too late to contain in the affected African nations, and the disease will probably have to burn itself out there. Best chance is to contain all imports of the disease elsewhere. On balance it seems there ought to be reasonable chances of success in most nations in that respect, though the scope for large problems is still present.

The nightmare scenario - and I think really quite credible - is bioterrorism attack using the disease (I can think of multiple simple scenarios where a single actor would likely be able to infect hundreds or potentially even thousands). It would be a very cheap and effective terrorist attack in the absence of an effective and mass produced vaccine or treatment. Orlov is quoting a 50% mortality rate, but I think that's wrong - the caseload is always higher as the mortality figures quoted by CDC necessarily lag the caseload (it takes time to die). Actual mortality, if I'm not mistaken, is more like 70%. In any event - it seems to me the main factor in the mortality rate is the quality of supportive treatment keeping the patient alive to give their immune system time to regroup. To that extent a mortality rate of up to 90% is probably perfectly credible during a mass outbreak where healthcare facilities are unable to deliver care to the infected. On the other hand, affluent nations (and even (Nigeria) have a pretty respectable track record of keeping patients alive with plenty of medical resource.

Past outbreaks of Ebola have been small enough for heavy concentration of medical resource (as is the case in import nations currently) and in isolated communities where it burns out.

Whether or not this disease is contained this time, the risks of such pandemics in general continues to rise with increasing population, increasing stress factors upon those populations, and increasing population density as people coalesce into cities. Personally though, I think a high mortality global pandemic somewhat of a sideshow in terms of our final destination, and one could even buy us more time as well as significantly cutting resource consumption and pollution (not just because of the direct mortality, but also the economic impacts).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 12, 2014, 08:23:23 PM
1. Ebola victims ARE infectious before becoming symptomatic, just not as much or 100% of them.  2. Ebola CAN be spread via air transmission via sneezing or coughing in close quarters as medical experts have been trying to say since the beginning though it is not common.  Enjoy!

To restate from previous posts - it can also be transmitted through infected dry surfaces (at least up to several hours) and remains viable in moist environments potentially for days (upper limit not known but depends somewhat on temperature I suspect).

Direct contact with infected person not required. Not to mention infection with only a few virus particles can be enough - an amount invisible to the human eye.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 13, 2014, 01:46:59 PM
Ebola infection in Dallas nurse underscores critical need for proper training
http://news.sciencemag.org/2014/10/ebola-infection-dallas-nurse-underscores-critical-need-proper-training (http://news.sciencemag.org/2014/10/ebola-infection-dallas-nurse-underscores-critical-need-proper-training)

Some interesting informations about what does Ebola actually do.
http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/08/what-does-ebola-actually-do (http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/08/what-does-ebola-actually-do)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on October 13, 2014, 03:35:25 PM
http://www.women24.com/News/West-Africans-flee-Ebola-head-to-SA-20141013 (http://www.women24.com/News/West-Africans-flee-Ebola-head-to-SA-20141013)

West Africans Fleeing Ebola Head to South Africa

Quote
there is a considerable number of people attempting to reach SA, most trying to reach it overland - a 5 000km trek.

One man said he alone knew of at least five people who were on their way.

If this is the case, the main threat is to the countries along the way, since anyone who was infected would likely be dead or too sick to travel further before they got all the way to South Africa.

(Google maps tells me it's an over 9000 km drive from Monrovia to Capetown, not the 5000 mentioned in the article.)

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: viddaloo on October 13, 2014, 04:11:16 PM
I for one wouldn't put it past them to gin this up for use as a distraction.

Er, from what? There are plenty of very effective distractions from all sorts of real world issues without needing to add a deadly disease into the list.
True, but any good psychiatrist will tell you a live, fatal, short-term threat will serve as the best distraction from more long-term threats. Human beings are not laidback geniuses, and will swallow the bait 9 days out of 10.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: viddaloo on October 13, 2014, 04:25:56 PM
Strange. I always thought 'containment' meant keeping the deadly virus on at least the same continent where the infection happened? But my first language isn't English, so bear with me.

Your English is just fine! You're correct. But one must also have a fallback position. ;D
Then we just have to wait for the first oh-so-qualified-and-important Western leader to suggest (and implement) containment. Seems like the only solution used in the 20th century, some sort of higher level decision must have been made this time around, probably with the intention to spread this out a bit before containment is (again) ordered as the #1 remedy for disease control.

Can we hope for containment to be applied on all affected continents by the end of November, or is that too early according to the Western plan for this ebola pandemic?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 13, 2014, 05:04:35 PM
If this is the case, the main threat is to the countries along the way, since anyone who was infected would likely be dead or too sick to travel further before they got all the way to South Africa.

Maybe the main threat is, but you still couldn't be sure someone couldn't export the disease that way - overland - even with slower modes of transport. I thought about it with respect to boats, if one was 21 days travel time from anyone, wouldn't it pretty much guarantee you isolation - but no, not if a group is travelling, and they don't all fall sick at once. Worst case someone is just infected at the start - takes three weeks to become symptomatic. Then the second group member becomes infected within say a week - so far they've had a month... repeat as many times as you care to speculate upon.

That said I expect movement of the virus overland to mostly be to nearer places, though as the case load climbs, one can expect the more statistically improbably scenarios to become probable (albeit rarer) ones.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on October 13, 2014, 06:00:48 PM
"not if a group is travelling, and they don't all fall sick at once"

Good point. And of course as populations get infected further south by the first wave of dying immigrants, they, too, will likely take up the attempted exodus, probably in the same general direction for the same general reasons. Thus a second 'wave' is formed--and on and on.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 14, 2014, 03:57:51 AM
Some interesting stuff here - a map showing air transport volumes by country from the affected region in Africa - and projections showing what to expect in the recipient nations.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jvchamary/2014/10/13/ebola-travel/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jvchamary/2014/10/13/ebola-travel/)

How accurate the projections turn out to be is up in the air, but the transport data is indicative. Interesting that the US had an import before the UK - but that's statistics for you...

[EDIT] I see now, they're including Nigeria and it's connections to the UK, which seems questionable at this time as Nigeria has probably contained Ebola (for now) and certainly doesn't have an ongoing outbreak from which to derive mathematical information.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: viddaloo on October 15, 2014, 07:50:59 PM
This seems perfectly under control.... Not.

2nd Dallas nurse with Ebola flew with 132 passengers day before showing symptoms (http://rt.com/usa/196220-second-texas-nurse-ebola/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 15, 2014, 08:58:44 PM
This seems perfectly under control.... Not.

2nd Dallas nurse with Ebola flew with 132 passengers day before showing symptoms (http://rt.com/usa/196220-second-texas-nurse-ebola/)

The affluent nations have been far too complacent all along. It is possible (and even probable provided there isn't a festering section of disease spreading in an underclass of society that we don't know about yet) for the affluent nations to contain this - Nigeria managed it after all.

However the disease is far easier to catch and far harder to avoid catching than people believe. It doesn't take African conditions to propagate and some things actually work to the advantage of the disease in affluent nations - much greater and more frequent travelling for example.

To contain it requires near perfect adherence to a rigid protocol. The US has now permitted as many of their healthcare workers to become infected dealing with one case as Medicin Sans Frontieres has so far in the whole outbreak.

We're seeing protocols evolve however and there is still a good chance I think for containment.

Nigerian contact tracers interviewed almost 1000 people for each case they had, by the way. That's a major effort - they weren't complacent, took it seriously from the outset, and stopped it in its tracks - that time (clearly there is a very significant risk of more exports and statistics is not your friend when you keep rolling the dice).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Milret2 on October 15, 2014, 09:01:38 PM
Yeah, here I am in America where we are so very technological and sophisticated and where we do not need to worry about ebola epidemics or outbreaks ... and we have a city and hospital that appears to be unable to prevent an outbreak or keep someone who had direct contact and gave care to a patient with ebola from getting on a commercial aircraft a few days after said patient died to get ready for her wedding and then develops fever and a positive ebola titer a few hours AFTER she flies back to Dallas. As a retired military medical person I am appalled and not at all unalarmed.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 15, 2014, 10:28:50 PM
Yeah, here I am in America where we are so very technological and sophisticated and where we do not need to worry about ebola epidemics or outbreaks ... and we have a city and hospital that appears to be unable to prevent an outbreak or keep someone who had direct contact and gave care to a patient with ebola from getting on a commercial aircraft a few days after said patient died to get ready for her wedding and then develops fever and a positive ebola titer a few hours AFTER she flies back to Dallas. As a retired military medical person I am appalled and not at all unalarmed.

Personally I think it's I think it's nice to see reality creeping in. America is showing true colours for a change now, by finding that assumptions and complacency don't offer protection, and it actually has to take the threat seriously (or else of course it will fail, but Nigeria managed to contain their export, so... er...?)

Shades of climate change response (or lack thereof) here too.

While people like to feel "exceptional" and superior to Africa, they're forgetting that while hygiene may be (a bit, but not as much as people think) better in an affluent nation, there are other risk factors not present to the same extent in Africa. For instance, many more people travel far more often and further in affluent nations. That gives the scope to greatly increase the exposure pool and geographically distribute a disease in a way not present so much in Africa.

I also find it hard to believe that a person is categorically not infectious until symptomatic as the viral load will be increasing continually from the infection incidence. It may well be much harder to contact dangerous body fluids until there are obvious symptoms - but I'd be surprised if you couldn't find dangerous levels of virus (any virus at all in this case) in at least some body fluids before symptoms emerge.

The US certainly hasn't got the best healthcare in the world - though it's arguably decent compared to most African nations (if patients can afford it at least, which many cannot). It's the human factor that's behind all these failings - watch this space? There's not long to get it right, if the outbreak continues to grow, we could reasonably expect a 50 fold increase in exports by early next year...
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 15, 2014, 10:42:29 PM
Take bushmeat off the menu before humans are served another ebola
http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2594108/take_bushmeat_off_the_menu_before_humans_are_served_another_ebola.html (http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2594108/take_bushmeat_off_the_menu_before_humans_are_served_another_ebola.html)


Small drugmakers try to scale up to meet Ebola crisis
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/small-drugmakers-try-to-scale-up-to-meet-ebola-crisis/2014/10/09/a594dec2-4fee-11e4-babe-e91da079cb8a_story.html?wprss=rss_energy-environment (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/small-drugmakers-try-to-scale-up-to-meet-ebola-crisis/2014/10/09/a594dec2-4fee-11e4-babe-e91da079cb8a_story.html?wprss=rss_energy-environment)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 15, 2014, 10:47:40 PM
Take bushmeat off the menu before humans are served another ebola
http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2594108/take_bushmeat_off_the_menu_before_humans_are_served_another_ebola.html (http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2594108/take_bushmeat_off_the_menu_before_humans_are_served_another_ebola.html)

If it's what you can afford to eat, you have no choice. From what I've read it's actually thought possible to catch it from eating fruit with bat saliva on it - no need to directly consume the animal anyway.

Habitat destruction, human population pressure and international exploitation are big factors here too.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on October 15, 2014, 11:56:03 PM
If we weren't feeding nearly all of it to cows and cars, there would be plenty of corn (or other better stuff) to be feeding these folks so they don't have to go for bushmeat. But really it's more about human encroachment into forested areas and destruction of forest driving forest animals into more and more inhabited areas.

Meanwhile:

Drexel study questions 21-day quarantine period for Ebola
:(

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-10-drexel-day-quarantine-period-ebola.html (http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-10-drexel-day-quarantine-period-ebola.html)
Quote
    "Twenty-one days has been regarded as the appropriate quarantine period for holding individuals potentially exposed to Ebola Virus to reduce risk of contagion, but there does not appear to be a systemic discussion of the basis for this period," said Haas, who is the head of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Drexel.

    Haas suggests that a broader look at risk factors and costs and benefits should be considered when setting this standard. With any scientific data of this nature there is a standard deviation in results –a percentage by which they may vary. In the case of Ebola's incubation period the range of results generated from the Zaire and Uganda data varied little. This might have contributed to the health organizations' certainty that a 21-day quarantine period was a safe course of action.

    But looking more broadly at data from other Ebola outbreaks, in Congo in 1995 and recent reports from the outbreak in West Africa, the range of deviation is between 0.1 and 12 percent, according to Haas.

This means that there could be up to a 12 percent chance that someone could be infected even after the 21-day quarantine.

    "While the 21-day quarantine value, currently used, may have arisen from reasonable interpretation of early outbreak data, this work suggests reconsideration is in order and that 21 days might not be sufficiently protective of public health," Haas said.

This is NOT good news, folks.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 16, 2014, 12:33:01 AM
This is NOT good news, folks.

Statistics only gets you so far in biological systems though - in reality there are boundaries not automatically encompassed by the mathematical tools statistics gives you. For example, where are the 20 feet tall people? Statistically shouldn't a very small number exist or be possible? But in reality we know it isn't ever going to happen (the health problems of growing to excess size kill you first).

In the case of Ebola for infection to take as long as 21 days is I think very rare - most cases manifest within more like 2 weeks (for now). For infection to take much longer would be very unlikely because the immune system has either successfully responded or not responded in this time. If symptoms were going to take much longer than 21 days to manifest it's more likely that actually you have an even worse scenario - a non symptomatic carrier... who will never manifest symptoms and yet remain infectious (although perhaps not strongly compared to most so as the symptoms also happen to be the primary infection vectors).

And here, we really don't know for sure what the probabilities are, just as we don't know lots of things about the disease when it's acting on these scales.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: wili on October 16, 2014, 03:08:52 AM
Much as I admire most of your writing, I'm afraid I just can't follow your connections/associations here. What do the non-existence of 20-foot people have to do with the fact that about 1 in every 8 people who survive ebola are still infectious?

Are you just saying that you think anything having to do with statistics is completely bs?

It's quite a clear ratio presented. Nothing terribly tricky looking or subtle. Do you think "health problems" are likely to kill people who are non-symptomatic like they do people who get over a certain height????

Really, I'm just at a loss as to what you are trying to convey here exactly.

It touches me potentially closely, since a largish family from Nigeria that lives near us has reportedly been under 21-day quarantine till today, but now are wandering free again. So if this report is right, there is a fair chance that, if they had been exposed, one of them could still be asymptomatic but still carrying the disease. So further clarity would be most welcome.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Bruce Steele on October 16, 2014, 06:10:31 AM
Pondering the notion that our technology may prove problematic. Apparently The Dallas hospital with the outbreak used a pneumatic tube delivery system like the one linked below for ( hot ) specimen samples for several days a couple weeks ago. Seems like decontamination of one of these might be difficult ?  Went back on this page to April 2 for the first posting of Ebola , 83 victims .

http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2010/01/gone-with-the-wind-tubes-are-whisking-samples-across-hospital.html (http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2010/01/gone-with-the-wind-tubes-are-whisking-samples-across-hospital.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 16, 2014, 07:23:04 AM
Much as I admire most of your writing, I'm afraid I just can't follow your connections/associations here. What do the non-existence of 20-foot people have to do with the fact that about 1 in every 8 people who survive ebola are still infectious?

Are you just saying that you think anything having to do with statistics is completely bs?

It's quite a clear ratio presented. Nothing terribly tricky looking or subtle. Do you think "health problems" are likely to kill people who are non-symptomatic like they do people who get over a certain height????

Really, I'm just at a loss as to what you are trying to convey here exactly.

It touches me potentially closely, since a largish family from Nigeria that lives near us has reportedly been under 21-day quarantine till today, but now are wandering free again. So if this report is right, there is a fair chance that, if they had been exposed, one of them could still be asymptomatic but still carrying the disease. So further clarity would be most welcome.

Well, I'm not sure precisely what your article is saying - except that it's possible a small proportion of Ebola cases (very worst case end of the range 12%) could take longer than 21 days to become symptomatic? (and since we know it can survive for days out of a host in some circumstances, I'd like to know how that was measured - one couldn't simply measure Ebola onset intervals between cases, or the onset of symptoms - how exactly DO you measure the precise moment of infection, again?).

From the point of view of the precautionary principle, I'd agree with you I think - it surely wouldn't hurt to tack a bit longer onto the quarantine period if there is any doubt over the time to onset of symptoms.

However in the bigger picture it might not make sense even if a small proportion of cases do take longer to manifest. The reasons for this are that you do not need perfect containment to stop an epidemic - you just have to play a numbers game where on average less than one person is infected per case. If a 21 day quarantine can catch even 90% of your cases and permit appropriate isolation and management, you are almost certainly going to win that game (and the virus has to work very hard to infect enough people before you catch up with any outliers).

Furthermore - there is a cost to quarantine. In the early stages of containment, which is really all you ever want to have to deal with in an ideal world, this might not be such a problem. But if you have to start quarantining large numbers of people for longer just to catch a small percentage of the case load - that has a real economic cost and problem. It might be cheaper to tolerate a small increase in case load and a few more deaths, in other words.

One final point though - I don't get what you say about 1 in 8 survivors still being infectious? I don't see anything about that in the article you linked?

It is known that the virus can be recovered from semen for up to almost 90 days, and so it seems a male survivor could potentially transmit the virus for months after recovery from the disease. This is a potentially serious problem and I think one people need to be more educated about (though the information is out there, one does wonder about other bodily fluids, if there are any other reservoirs available to the virus). Your article only seems to deal with quarantine to determine if infection will develop though? It doesn't seem to provide even any hard data detailing longer intervals to manifestation of symptoms or description of the measurement methodology given the great difficulty in determining the precise moment of infection.

Not sure if I'm making any sense?

And all that said - this large family that was quarantined - frankly if there was a solid reason for the quarantine, I'd be cautious well past the 21 day window. I would also note that I believe the timescale that must elapse for a nation to be declared free of Ebola is two 21 day intervals, or 42 days.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 16, 2014, 07:35:32 AM
Pondering the notion that our technology may prove problematic. Apparently The Dallas hospital with the outbreak used a pneumatic tube delivery system like the one linked below for ( hot ) specimen samples for several days a couple weeks ago. Seems like decontamination of one of these might be difficult ?  Went back on this page to April 2 for the first posting of Ebola , 83 victims

One thing bugging me personally is food handling and preparation. For example, how long could viable virus survive in frozen or chilled meat - slaughtered and packaged on industrial scale in (for example) a facility in Thailand and imported by the container load into the the UK (for example)?

Or for a more nationally worrying scenario to most here - if an illegal Mexican field worker falls ill, and contaminates lettuces being picked for national distribution - how long will viable virus survive, given the constant refrigeration? (and most people don't cook lettuce, right?)

There are, I think, so many practises in the western nations that they just don't have in Africa in the same way - so many alternative opportunities for the virus, that it's really dangerous to assume we're better placed.

Furthermore, there is this assumption of worse hygiene in Africa. This may be founded in truth to some extent in some countries (I mean, their burial traditions are a real problem specific to them), but I think if we assume they don't have - and use - things like soap, we're kidding ourselves. Look at the pictures - of even corpses lying in the street that died from Ebola - the clothes they are wearing have been laundered recently and do not suggest catastrophically poor conditions to me. Even if they washed them by hand - they still have hygiene, and, er, lots of people in affluent nations don't have a particularly high standard of it either I would suggest.

How many affluent nation inhabitants don't wash their hands after using the toilet? Eat food from the floor? Share germs with pets? Etc.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 16, 2014, 11:07:21 AM
That must be a nightmare to work in these suits...and the quantity of rubbish thrown away...
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29628834 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29628834)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 19, 2014, 09:39:23 AM
Head of Cuba's Ebola Effort Expects More Aid Soon
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/head-cubas-ebola-effort-expects-aid-26284142 (http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/head-cubas-ebola-effort-expects-aid-26284142)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on October 20, 2014, 06:53:42 PM
How many Ebola cases are there really?
http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/10/how-many-ebola-cases-are-there-really (http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/10/how-many-ebola-cases-are-there-really)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: icefest on October 26, 2014, 12:20:58 AM
If this is the case, the main threat is to the countries along the way, since anyone who was infected would likely be dead or too sick to travel further before they got all the way to South Africa.

Maybe the main threat is, but you still couldn't be sure someone couldn't export the disease that way - overland - even with slower modes of transport. I thought about it with respect to boats, if one was 21 days travel time from anyone, wouldn't it pretty much guarantee you isolation - but no, not if a group is travelling, and they don't all fall sick at once. Worst case someone is just infected at the start - takes three weeks to become symptomatic. Then the second group member becomes infected within say a week - so far they've had a month... repeat as many times as you care to speculate upon.

That said I expect movement of the virus overland to mostly be to nearer places, though as the case load climbs, one can expect the more statistically improbably scenarios to become probable (albeit rarer) ones.

Well wili and ccg, it seems your both right!
http://www.theage.com.au/world/fears-hundreds-exposed-to-ebola-after-girl-in-mali-dies-20141026-11bx19.html (http://www.theage.com.au/world/fears-hundreds-exposed-to-ebola-after-girl-in-mali-dies-20141026-11bx19.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 27, 2014, 01:05:30 AM
Well wili and ccg, it seems your both right!
http://www.theage.com.au/world/fears-hundreds-exposed-to-ebola-after-girl-in-mali-dies-20141026-11bx19.html (http://www.theage.com.au/world/fears-hundreds-exposed-to-ebola-after-girl-in-mali-dies-20141026-11bx19.html)

I'm really watching the whole Ebola thing personally. Having seen the CDC reported caseload fluidly climb from 5k-10k, and knowing they are assuming underreporting of 2.5x (and could easily be worsening as infrastructure degrades in the affected regions), it seems fairly unlikely to me that the international response is going to be sufficient.

Bearing in mind predictions at the worst case end are 1 million+ infected in just two of the three countries that are at the centre of the outbreak for early next year (vs perhaps 25,000 total to date), and I'm reading that someone thinks they will have 1 million doses of vaccine by the end of next year...

I'm also noting irrational fear driven responses in the US with respect to quarantines for returning health care providers. While I think it still cannot be assumed that the disease will become entrenched into more affluent nations I find that interesting in the context of the irrational fear responses that really enabled the disease to become embedded so deeply in the African nations worst affected. It seems public understanding of the disease is not really so much better in the affluent nations - another poor indicator for their ultimate scope to deal smoothly with a sufficiently large situation in Africa (even presuming no massive spread further).

If the fire isn't dying down soon, I think this will be big next year and possibly beyond (and by big I mean the death toll is at least going to register on the same scale as other key killers in Africa - HIV, malaria, etc).

Just my tuppence (two cents) reading of the numbers and social dynamics that seem to be at work.

There could also be interesting medium term implications for geopolitical stability in affected regions (by "interesting", I mean "potentially unhelpful"). It isn't as though there isn't already enough of that going around...
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: icefest on October 28, 2014, 11:11:34 PM
There's a huge amount of irrationality here in Australia.

A bit more news about the bus-girl, she was probable infective during at least part of her bus ride. In 10 days there will be a decent size oubreak in Mali.
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/oct/28/mali-rushes-contain-ebola-first-case (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/oct/28/mali-rushes-contain-ebola-first-case)

Have you seen the latest jump in the number infected? It's incredible. 3.5% daily growth, the fastest in at least two months.

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 28, 2014, 11:31:55 PM
There's a huge amount of irrationality here in Australia.

A bit more news about the bus-girl, she was probable infective during at least part of her bus ride. In 10 days there will be a decent size oubreak in Mali.
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/oct/28/mali-rushes-contain-ebola-first-case (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/oct/28/mali-rushes-contain-ebola-first-case)

Have you seen the latest jump in the number infected? It's incredible. 3.5% daily growth, the fastest in at least two months.

The Nigerian patient managed to infect a staggering 19 others (though Nigeria also did a phenomenal job of containing that).

Whether or not this is enough to kick off a bigger problem in Mali remains to be seen - they might contain it - this time - but the real case load right now is say around 25,000 using the CDC estimates for reported vs non reported.

Multiple the caseload up to > 1 million early next year potentially, and, well, that's a lot more buses with symptomatic children in... each one of which must successfully be fully and aggressively contained to stop the disease spreading.

This instance will actually be interesting, as it will answer the question of just how serious a symptomatic individual travelling could be (in a crowded bus anyway - if the buses there are anything like the little buses I've ridden in Russia - LOTS of people use them, many people getting on and off all the time, and often very crowded indeed inside).

Expecting efficient contact tracing in this case is probably virtually hopeless - though again - interesting answers will come from this.

An aeroplane would probably be less bad - at least presuming the symptomatic individual did not smear infectious material around the toilet area... in which case all bets are off.

In some ways I think it's worth noting that children are particularly dangerous in that they can (and will) be transported even if severely ill. A severely ill adult on public transport is likely to be self transporting, and thus once ill past a point - likely to no longer continue (though the rate of onset of ebola symptoms still makes that potentially messy).

The response of the western nations is shaping up to guarantee that this crisis explodes and becomes a real problem, so far. Even if they can lock down their borders and contain the imports of disease that will still manage to occur, people forget that the world is globally interconnected. We can't just close down all those links - not without substantial and unforeseen consequences. Once the disease speads into nations from which resources are imported (or even exported), this will become increasingly clear.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 28, 2014, 11:38:00 PM
For those interested, I think the CDC guidelines for what counts as low risk are interesting:

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/risk-factors-when-evaluating-person-for-exposure.html (http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/risk-factors-when-evaluating-person-for-exposure.html)

These low risk transmissions are probably actually the hardest to contact trace or keep track of as they are the most innocuous. The low risk ones I highlight especially as some of the things mentioned there haven't really been informed to people via the media - for example, shaking hands with a person in the early stages of symptoms.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Bruce Steele on November 18, 2014, 05:27:49 PM
Man quarantined in Delhi !  I don't know what percentage of "cured Ebola patients" still carry Ebola but I think we need to know . Also if you test negative does that mean negative ?  Gotta be worrying
some epidemiologists.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Man-tests-positive-for-Ebola-in-Delhi-kept-under-isolation/articleshow/45194610.cms (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Man-tests-positive-for-Ebola-in-Delhi-kept-under-isolation/articleshow/45194610.cms)

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on November 18, 2014, 05:49:10 PM
Man quarantined in Delhi !  I don't know what percentage of "cured Ebola patients" still carry Ebola but I think we need to know . Also if you test negative does that mean negative ?  Gotta be worrying some epidemiologists.

Negative doesn't mean negative for sure, at least in the earlier stages of symptoms - and I'm not sure one can test properly at all before symptoms are expressed?

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/surgeon-ebola-died-nebraska-hospital-26964965 (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/surgeon-ebola-died-nebraska-hospital-26964965)

Quote
Dr. Martin Salia was in the 13th day of his illness when he reached Omaha on Saturday. It took three days for him to be formally diagnosed after an initial test for Ebola came back negative and then another five days to be flown to the United States.

I think it's worth reiterating that it's already known the disease can survive in the semen (and perhaps other bodily fluids hard for the immune system to reach?) of survivors up to 3 months. It would be entirely possible for a secondary epidemic to be kickstarted by one careless person in the wrong place and time in that context - or theoretically even a cluster of them.

I haven't seen anything yet to suggest people can carry the virus indefinitely, presumably if that's even possible we'll find out in due course. I do think it's fair to assume if it is possible at all it would be a tiny proportion though - and anyoyne able to carry it would probably not be very infectious as the symptoms relate to the process of dying (at which point you won't carry it indefinitely) and it's hard to see how you'd sustain a high viral load without symptoms.

Some viruses are able to go dormant and re-emerge years after initial infection though, I suppose one cannot assume that is zero risk. I think it's a little academic though inasmuch as the natural reservoir of the virus is still out there and infections crop up from time to time anyway? This was just a matter of time really. So is a global pandemic of some sort (not necessarily Ebola, there are plenty of other candidates). As impoverisation and resource depletion bite against rising population (particularly in densely packed infrastructure stressed cities of the sort more and more are living in now) you can expect to see these sorts of events increasing in frequency - I'm not making any statements attributing this outbreak to the collapse process - but I think it's a fair general observation.

The big question this time is whether or not the virus breaks out of the current regions, or can it be contained and burn itself out, albeit on a larger scale than previous outbreaks. Clearly it's possible for it to become pandemic if vigilance is insufficient...

... and clearly the progression of the factors driving collapse will raise the risks of pandemics, at least up to the point that global travel infrastructure is compromised (where the risk won't go away, but potential spread would be slower).

Interesting though it is, Ebola is somewhat of a sideshow I think - and would be even if it went truly pandemic (civilisations have survived high rates of attrition from diseases before, when that factor has acted in relative isolation).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on November 18, 2014, 05:52:26 PM
... and clearly the progression of the factors driving collapse will raise the risks of pandemics, at least up to the point that global travel infrastructure is compromised (where the risk won't go away, but potential spread would be slower).

And by global travel instructure I mean fossil fuel powered transport in general, not just air travel (though that is a specific factor of interest here).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on November 18, 2014, 05:56:00 PM
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Man-tests-positive-for-Ebola-in-Delhi-kept-under-isolation/articleshow/45194610.cms (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Man-tests-positive-for-Ebola-in-Delhi-kept-under-isolation/articleshow/45194610.cms)

I ought to have read the link before posting as it's exactly that scenario - someone testing positive for Ebola in semen - something the US seems to have failed to pick up on (though their whole response has been about as high quality as the national understanding of science these days in that country would suggest arguably).

Statistically it is perfectly possible there are others, and handling them is a complex issue as you cannot realistically test all travellers for all body fluids, and there is already reasons people wouldn't self declare a prior infection - not to mention theoretical situations where people wouldn't even accept they had prior infection (even when they had - one must consider low probability cases such as mentally ill people, for example).

EDIT: At least we haven't seen a bioterrorist attack using it. I think if that happened, unless it was amateur hour - it would be unmistakeable. Due to the media frenzy around both Ebola and terrorism in general (again in certain western countries), no doubt it would be highly effective as a terrorist weapon (while not necessarily resulting in mass fatalities).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Bruce Steele on November 18, 2014, 06:38:57 PM
That line at the airport is gonna get kinda long when after you take off your shoes and belt you get a magazine and a little private room before you can finish the boarding process.  :-X
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on November 18, 2014, 06:47:16 PM
That line at the airport is gonna get kinda long when after you take off your shoes and belt you get a magazine and a little private room before you can finish the boarding process.  :-X

I dunno, the TSA are half way there already - just swap agent genders and ditch the little private room (nobody really needs privacy these days, right?)...

[I feel I ought to note for the benefit of those not familiar with air travel in the US, that the US experience wins all the awards for hostility and inappropriate unpleasantness out of any country I've travelled in - and by a graph axis breaking margin at that. Whole other irrelevant topic though...]
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Bruce Steele on November 18, 2014, 07:09:23 PM
Damn it Ccg we are a democracy !  As such I demand a choice between the little room or the  TSA hospitality agents advertised in the new "coffee tea or me? " campaign.   
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 04, 2014, 02:02:31 PM
Ebola is certainly scary in some fundamental way, but this article is about something far more likely to result in very large numbers of deaths.  And it is building fast over the last few years.

Quote
A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, and among its many victims are tens of thousands of newborns dying because once-miraculous cures no longer work.

These infants are born with bacterial infections that are resistant to most known antibiotics, and more than 58,000 died last year as a result, a recent study found. ...

....“Five years ago, we almost never saw these kinds of infections,” said Dr. Neelam Kler, chairwoman of the department of neonatology at New Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, one of India’s most prestigious private hospitals. “Now, close to 100 percent of the babies referred to us have multidrug resistant infections. It’s scary.”

These babies are part of a disquieting outbreak. A growing chorus of researchers say the evidence is now overwhelming that a significant share of the bacteria present in India — in its water, sewage, animals, soil and even its mothers — are immune to nearly all antibiotics......

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/world/asia/superbugs-kill-indias-babies-and-pose-an-overseas-threat.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/world/asia/superbugs-kill-indias-babies-and-pose-an-overseas-threat.html?_r=0)


The Third - soon to be 4th - world will eventually get devastated by this effect.  And it will eventually sweep across the world.  Just contemplate for a time the type, scope and scale of the tidal waves of problems rushing towards India.  There is just no probable way for them to impactfully deal with issues related to Climate Change.  So Mother Nature will take up that burden for them.  Thus the tides of civilizational collapse flow onwards.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on December 04, 2014, 02:44:11 PM
In a statement issued Monday, the World Health Organization echoed these findings, warning that Ebola "can persist in [survivors'] semen for at least 70 days" and that some research even "suggests persistence for more than 90 days."

How Long Does the Ebola Virus Survive in Semen?
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/how-long-ebola-sperm (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/how-long-ebola-sperm)

The resistance to antibiotic is here in France also...we clearly have a problem...
The reasons are well known, too much antibiotics for humans who do not need them  and more surely for animals who cannot survive in confined spaces without them. We have to stop this insanity in order for futur generations to live. we may invent a few more antibiotics but if we do not change the way we deal with the diseases, theses chidren are doomed. We also need to control our births otherwise bacterias will control them...
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on December 17, 2014, 05:15:22 PM
Quote
The true cost of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will be 300 million premature deaths and up to $100 trillion (£64 trillion) lost to the global economy by 2050. This scenario is set out in a new report which looks to a future where drug resistance is not tackled between now and 2050.....

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/antibiotic-resistance-will-kill-300-million-people-by-2050/ (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/antibiotic-resistance-will-kill-300-million-people-by-2050/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: ccgwebmaster on December 23, 2014, 07:40:29 PM
The Third - soon to be 4th - world will eventually get devastated by this effect.  And it will eventually sweep across the world.  Just contemplate for a time the type, scope and scale of the tidal waves of problems rushing towards India.  There is just no probable way for them to impactfully deal with issues related to Climate Change.  So Mother Nature will take up that burden for them.  Thus the tides of civilizational collapse flow onwards.

But we can at least be cautious optimistic that this will only be a major problem during the period of elevated population density which will come to an end, for two reasons:

1. Transmission of disease in general peaks in overcrowded and stressed populations, destroy the population, disease transmission drops
2. It's possible evolving antibiotic resistance carries a cost to bacteria, and thus removing the antibiotics for some time may in some cases cause the bacteria to return to non resistance

So disease is a big actor during collapse potentially but of much lesser long term concern - though of course surviving populations might be well advised to try to manage and contain it. Even there, it's worth the noting that immune systems of populations evolve resistance in the long run (note the difference in mortality rate to smallpox amongst europeans and the original americans).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on January 08, 2015, 04:26:30 PM
This is very interesting.  Still 5-6 years out but still...

Antibiotics: US discovery labelled 'game-changer' for medicine

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30657486? (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30657486?)

Quote
Tests on teixobactin showed it was toxic to bacteria, but not mammalian tissues, and could clear a deadly dose of MRSA in tests on mice.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on January 16, 2015, 10:19:43 AM
Hidden Population Structure and Cross-species Transmission of Whipworms (Trichuris sp.) in Humans and Non-human Primates in Uganda
http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0003256 (http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0003256)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on January 19, 2015, 10:23:36 PM
Genetics of malaria drug resistance revealed
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30886419 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30886419)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on January 27, 2015, 11:41:45 PM
White House plans big 2016 budget ask to fight antibiotic resistance
http://news.sciencemag.org/funding/2015/01/white-house-plans-big-2016-budget-ask-fight-antibiotic-resistance (http://news.sciencemag.org/funding/2015/01/white-house-plans-big-2016-budget-ask-fight-antibiotic-resistance)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on January 29, 2015, 02:54:34 PM
Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-31019097 (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-31019097)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 31, 2015, 04:26:05 PM
White House plans big 2016 budget ask to fight antibiotic resistance
http://news.sciencemag.org/funding/2015/01/white-house-plans-big-2016-budget-ask-fight-antibiotic-resistance (http://news.sciencemag.org/funding/2015/01/white-house-plans-big-2016-budget-ask-fight-antibiotic-resistance)

When I slide into my most cynical moods, (these are happening more frequently) I can't help  but feel that antibiotic resistant pathogens are our last best hope against AGW.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: JimD on January 31, 2015, 05:05:27 PM
White House plans big 2016 budget ask to fight antibiotic resistance
http://news.sciencemag.org/funding/2015/01/white-house-plans-big-2016-budget-ask-fight-antibiotic-resistance (http://news.sciencemag.org/funding/2015/01/white-house-plans-big-2016-budget-ask-fight-antibiotic-resistance)

When I slide into my most cynical moods, (these are happening more frequently) I can't help  but feel that antibiotic resistant pathogens are our last best hope against AGW.

I agree with that.  I think we are far too cowardly to actually act in our own best interests in this situation.  It does seem that our only hope is the intervention of Mother Nature or one of the other Four Horseman.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 16, 2015, 05:13:32 AM
The linked article discusses how climate change is helping to spread infectious diseases:

http://phys.org/news/2015-02-infectious-diseases-emerging-climate.html (http://phys.org/news/2015-02-infectious-diseases-emerging-climate.html)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Laurent on May 27, 2016, 12:06:43 PM
Mutant Superbug Has Been Discovered In The U.S.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mutant-superbug-us_us_57474a21e4b055bb11719d35?ir=Green&section=us_green&utm_hp_ref=green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mutant-superbug-us_us_57474a21e4b055bb11719d35?ir=Green&section=us_green&utm_hp_ref=green)
Quote

A mutant strain of E. coli, resistant to even the toughest antibiotics, has been found in the United States, federal health officials said Thursday.

The bacteria, discovered last month in a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman with a urinary tract infection, contains a gene known as mcr-1, making it resistant even to colistin, a decades-old antibiotic that has increasingly been used as a treatment of last resort against dangerous superbugs.

The discovery — the first time the strain has been found inside the U.S. — “heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria,” according to a report released Thursday by Department of Defense researchers. The woman, now recovered, has a military connection, authorities said without elaborating.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Anne on May 27, 2016, 04:21:56 PM
In response to that HuffPo article it's worth reading this rebuttal
Quote
No, this isn’t the start of the antibiotic apocalypse, just bad reporting

<Snip>Here's the quick take-away

Thursday’s report of a mcr-1-based colistin-resistant bacterial infection in a US patient is concerning, but unsurprising. The plasmid based resistant gene threatens to spread to other bacteria, potentially to ones that are already resistant to last resort drugs, such as CRE. However, the trajectory of mcr-1's emergence and its contribution to drug resistant infection trends is not yet clear. For now, the case serves mostly to highlight the ongoing crisis of rising antibiotic resistance and furthers the need for better stewardship of old antibiotics and development of new ones.

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 2016. DOI: 10.1128/AAC.01103-16

More at the link:
http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/05/everybody-be-cool-a-nightmare-superbug-has-not-heralded-the-apocalypse-yet/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/05/everybody-be-cool-a-nightmare-superbug-has-not-heralded-the-apocalypse-yet/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on December 08, 2018, 06:04:14 PM
It's Winter. The ice is returning. Its time to curl up by the fire, have a drink, and worry about something else. (More methane and less ice will be there next year)...

This Mock Pandemic Killed 150 Million People. Next Time It Might Not Be a Drill. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/30/this-mock-pandemic-killed-150-million-people-next-time-it-might-not-be-a-drill/)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/30/this-mock-pandemic-killed-150-million-people-next-time-it-might-not-be-a-drill/
Quote
(https://www.stripes.com/polopoly_fs/1.530121.1527690929!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_490/image.jpg)

... This past May, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (CHS) led an exercise (http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/events/2018_clade_x_exercise/index.html) involving current and former high-ranking U.S. government officials on how the country would respond to an international outbreak of an engineered pathogen. In this fictional scenario (http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/events/2018_clade_x_exercise/pdfs/Clade-X-exercise-presentation-slides.pdf), a terrorist group constructed a virus that was both deadly and highly contagious. More than a year into the made-up pandemic, the worldwide death toll was soaring past 150 million (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqa7NHq73xM&feature=youtu.be&t=2675), the Dow Jones had fallen by 90 percent, and there was a mass exodus from cities amid famine and unrest.
Quote
... The advisers were asked to give recommendations to a fictional president (who remained offstage). They received briefings and news reports as the exercise progressed. Their consensus advice was repeatedly ignored and overridden by the president for short-term political reasons.

The fictional outbreak kept getting worse.... “We didn’t want to have a Disney ending,” Inglesby said. “We wanted to have a plausible scenario. We did know it would be jarring.”
Quote
... The Johns Hopkins pandemic exercise, as some of the audience members noted, took place one week after the top White House official responsible for leading the U.S. response in the event of a deadly pandemic left the administration and the global health security team he oversaw was disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton.

Exercise: http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/events/2018_clade_x_exercise/clade-x-resources

Definitely check out the scenario slides - It gives one pause... http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/events/2018_clade_x_exercise/pdfs/Clade-X-exercise-presentation-slides.pdf

Exercise Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqa7NHq73xM&feature=youtu.be&t=2675

RealTime Outbreak Map: http://outbreaks.globalincidentmap.com/
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Ktb on December 09, 2018, 03:56:43 AM
One of the most interesting reads on the ASIF. Thanks for posting Vox.

Does raise some serious concerns about how we would handle a true global epidemic like Clade X. Recently read The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, very similar concept but the manufactured disease in the book has a much higher virulence and lethality resulting in true collapse.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Sebastian Jones on December 11, 2018, 06:24:33 AM
I actually spent 4 hours or so watching the entire thing- something I would not ordinarily do. I suppose that alone is a testament to the value of the series ;D.
I found it to be authentic, so far as I could tell.
It being American, it took a fairly dismissive attitude towards international institutions -this was definitely a feature.
Unfortunately the group failed to grasp the seriousness of the situation and failed to take the kind of action required.
The situation they did not grasp was that the entire system of civilization was probably going to collapse and the action required was not just dealing with the (comparatively) simple situation of the pandemic, but how best to situate the nation- and the world- to best survive the aftermath.
In  this, it is reminiscent of how most countries are addressing (or not) the climate and bio-diversity crises.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: bbr2314 on December 19, 2018, 09:18:48 AM
Reposting from what may have been the wrong thread --

The Ebola outbreak in DRC continues to worsen.

Today's sitrep shows 542 confirmed cases, 96 suspected cases, and 319 deaths.

That is a weekly increase (12/10->12/17) of 44 confirmed cases, 23 suspected cases, and 34 deaths. Or, +67 versus one week prior.

So, we are at approximately 636 total cases and 319 deaths, with a weekly increase of 67 cases and 34 deaths.

11/19: 444 / 217
11/26: 495 / 241 (+51 / 24)
12/03: 516 / 260 (+21 / 19)
12/10: 569 / 285 (+53 / 25)
12/17: 636 / 319 (+67 / 34)

At the same stage of the West African outbreak, the below numbers were occurring -- a weekly increase of +137 cases, and 94 deaths.

6/22: 567 / 350
6/29: 704 / 444

However, there are several major differentials between the current outbreak and the 2014 outbreak.

1) We have an effective vaccine, albeit in limited supplies. Out of an estimated 300,000 total doses, almost 49,000 have now been used.

2) The current outbreak is in a single nation, and seems to be more geographically contained (for now). However, it is also an active war zone with ongoing civil strife that has repeatedly hampered medical efforts.

Considering these two factors, it is apparent that if not for the vaccine, the current outbreak would be easily outpacing 2014's numbers. Unfortunately, even WITH the vaccine, this is now the second largest outbreak on record, the largest in DRC's history, and is spreading within urban areas. The number of new cases and deaths each week, WITH vaccine, are still rising exponentially.

Archived reports:

https://us13.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=89e5755d2cca4840b1af93176&id=aedd23c530

This is a very bad situation. The week-over-week increases in new cases have been sustained for the past month after briefly dropping at the end of November. I would imagine there are higher numbers than what are being reported as well due to the fact that guerilla rebels have actively been attacking Ebola clinics and kidnapping patients (.... not the brightest bunch).

At the current pace of the epidemic, there will be over 1,000 cases by 2/1. And if it accelerates in the next few weeks, that number could be reached by 1/15. I would anticipate Western media fervor over the epidemic to begin ratcheting upwards at that point. By the time we reach 2/1, the vaccine supply will likely be substantially exhausted, with ~150,000 doses remaining

So, buying stock in MERCK is probably a good bet, as they are the only producers of the current vaccine, and there is likely to be substantial media hysteria as the current outbreak seems to be spreading even WITH the substantial containment efforts. And as weekly new case counts potentially surpass 100+ (we are now 2/3 of the way there), the number of contacts / vaccinations will also increase exponentially.

On a final note: I am beginning to suspect Ebola is now behaving much more like an STD than it has traditionally. Rape and pillaging are still the norm in parts of the DRC where the outbreak is spreading wildly, and it would not surprise me if there are infections occurring in the latency period AFTER symptoms have abated for some of those infected with the virus. This is very troubling and potentially allows a much higher r-naught compared to areas where rape and pillaging are not the norm. Beyond the civil strife, perhaps this is the confounding variable influencing the current trajectory of the disease? Because nothing else really makes sense at this point.

Monthly numbers, BTW:

08/17: 103 / 50
09/17: 148 / 66 (+45 / 16) +43%
10/17: 234 / 109 (+86 / 43) +58%
11/17: 432 / 214 (+198 / 115) +84%
12/17: 636 / 319 (+204 / 105) +47%

vs. West Africa 2014

3/29: 103 / 66
4/29: 248 / 157 +140%
5/29: 309 / 204 +24%
6/29: 704 / 444 +127%
7/29: 1323 / 729 +87%
8/29: 3116 / 1607 +136%

It appears we are currently at a "make or break" moment for transmission. We shall see what happens next. It is interesting to note that the monthly numbers in the West African outbreak experienced an up-and-down see-saw from month to month. DRC's outbreak has seen lower overall spread but more consistent growth, which is potentially more alarming in the long-term if containment is not achieved. The West African "see-saw" would also argue that January is probably going to be a very bad month.

Also re: vaccine -- after doing more digging it appears stockpile is now running out rather quickly in the outbreak region.

On 12/5, there were 4,290 doses available. After delivery of 2,160 new doses, the stockpile still decreased to 4,060 doses. This is down from 4,530 doses available as of two weeks ago, and in the past week alone, there have been 4,421 vaccinations.

Week 49 report: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/276677/OEW49-0107122018.pdf

Week 50 report: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/277186/OEW50-0814122018.pdf
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: bbr2314 on December 23, 2018, 11:00:44 PM
As of today's SITREP, we are now at 574 confirmed cases and 161 suspect, for a total of:

735 cases / 347 deaths

UP from 617 / 313 as of 12/16

A 7-day increase of +118 cases / 34 deaths

And the hotly-contested "election" in a war zone now riddled with Ebola is happening today.

Happy New Years....
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: bbr2314 on December 24, 2018, 09:54:29 PM
12/24 SITREP

792 confirmed / suspected...!!!
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Human Habitat Index on December 26, 2018, 12:44:20 AM
12/24 SITREP

792 confirmed / suspected...!!!

Louis Pasteur was a fraud. His private diaries confirm that.

The Germ Theory is a hoax.

Vaccination is a barbaric hoax.

Therefore Ebola is a hoax.

Viruses have not been proven to exist - show me a photo.

Bechamp was a genius.

As Pasteur said on his death bed "the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything, Beachamp was right "

So we in fact are living under a medical dictatorship, where science is being ignored.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9bl1nxjA3Q&t=741s
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: bbr2314 on December 26, 2018, 12:52:11 AM
12/24 SITREP

792 confirmed / suspected...!!!

Louis Pasteur was a fraud. His private diaries confirm that.

The Germ Theory is a hoax.

Vaccination is a barbaric hoax.

Therefore Ebola is a hoax.

Viruses have not been proven to exist - show me a photo.

Bechamp was a genius.

As Pasteur said on his death bed "the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything, Beachamp was right "

So we in fact are living under a medical dictatorship, where science is being ignored.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9bl1nxjA3Q&t=741s
I think you might be severely mentally challenged and if Neven allows this post to stand I might just stop visiting this forum entirely
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on December 26, 2018, 03:52:47 AM

The Germ Theory is a hoax.

Vaccination is a barbaric hoax.

Therefore Ebola is a hoax.

Viruses have not been proven to exist - show me a photo.

Utterly ridiculous.  Of course viruses can be demonstrated with electron microscopes.
Many of their entire genome sequences have been 100% sequenced.
You think AIDS isn't caused by the HIV virus?  Smallpox isn't caused by the smallpox virus?
If vaccination is a hoax, how did we eliminate smallpox as a human disease?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 26, 2018, 04:34:59 AM

The Germ Theory is a hoax.

Vaccination is a barbaric hoax.

Therefore Ebola is a hoax.

Viruses have not been proven to exist - show me a photo.

Utterly ridiculous.  Of course viruses can be demonstrated with electron microscopes.
Many of their entire genome sequences have been 100% sequenced.
You think AIDS isn't caused by the HIV virus?  Smallpox isn't caused by the smallpox virus?
If vaccination is a hoax, how did we eliminate smallpox as a human disease?

Christ!! Where do these people come from?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Paddy on December 26, 2018, 08:34:13 AM
12/24 SITREP

792 confirmed / suspected...!!!

Where is this update from? The latest I can find online is the 19/12 update from the WHO, when the case total stood at 560 https://www.who.int/ebola/situation-reports/drc-2018/en/

(Ignoring the weird medical denialist conspiracy theory being posted here for now).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: oren on December 26, 2018, 09:30:37 AM
I really hope this virus rant was some weird humor and not meant seriously.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Neven on December 26, 2018, 09:34:19 AM
I really hope this virus rant was some weird humor and not meant seriously.

I hope so too, because otherwise it might better for HHI to go look for another forum.

But Merry Christmas, nevertheless, of course.  ;) :)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: bbr2314 on December 26, 2018, 09:35:49 AM
12/24 SITREP

792 confirmed / suspected...!!!

Where is this update from? The latest I can find online is the 19/12 update from the WHO, when the case total stood at 560 https://www.who.int/ebola/situation-reports/drc-2018/en/

(Ignoring the weird medical denialist conspiracy theory being posted here for now).
The most recent report got rid of a bunch of suspect cases. They can be accessed here:

https://us13.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=89e5755d2cca4840b1af93176&id=aedd23c530
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on December 26, 2018, 09:59:06 AM
12/24 SITREP

792 confirmed / suspected...!!!

Where is this update from? The latest I can find online is the 19/12 update from the WHO, when the case total stood at 560 https://www.who.int/ebola/situation-reports/drc-2018/en/

(Ignoring the weird medical denialist conspiracy theory being posted here for now).

I'm also having trouble verifying the 792 number.  However, it's not necessarily wrong, as that was described as "confirmed/suspected."  The WHO sit rep page doesn't include current *suspected* cases, only confirmed and *probable* cases.  Suspected cases apparently are of a lower level of certainty than probable:
"Alert and suspected cases (not reported here), are systematically investigated to confirm or exclude Ebola virus disease before inclusion in the case counts or discarded as non-cases."

I note the case fatality rate is well over 50%, suggesting to me that medication treatment of infections may not be highly effective.  My reading suggests current rate of increase is much lower than the last epidemic, which could reflect efficacy of the experimental vaccine.  Vaccine supplies were recently described as "adequate," but as cases are now appearing in at least one urban area, I have concerns about how long supplies will remain so. 

Last time around, the Obama administration gave rather massive support to ebola control, with many US personnel sent to Africa to assist in efforts.  I suspect Trump is more likely to just shut down travel from affected areas and let DRC, NGOs, and WHO do all the difficult work.  Penny wise and pound foolish.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Human Habitat Index on December 26, 2018, 12:48:23 PM
I really hope this virus rant was some weird humor and not meant seriously.

I hope so too, because otherwise it might better for HHI to go look for another forum.

But Merry Christmas, nevertheless, of course.  ;) :)

Whatever happens with this issue, ASIF will remain the best forum on the net.

As the Sword of Damocles is suspended above me, all I ask for is a "last meal".

Louis Pasteur was a fraud. His private diaries confirm that.

https://www.google.com/search?q=louis+pasteur+was+a+fraud&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU701AU701&oq=louis+pasteur+was+a+fraud&aqs=chrome..69i57.26271j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

"The Private Science of Louis Pasteur," Gerald L. Geison

Viruses have not been proven to exist - show me a photo.

DR STEFAN LANKA DEBUNKS PICTURES OF “ISOLATED VIRUSES”

https://www.vaccinationinformationnetwork.com/dr-stefan-lanka-debunks-pictures-of-isolated-viruses/

In a recent ruling, judges at the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) confirmed that the measles virus does not exist. Furthermore, there is not a single scientific study in the world which could prove the existence of the virus in any scientific literature. This raises the question of what was actually injected into millions over the past few decades.

https://www.sott.net/article/340948-Biologist-wins-Supreme-Court-case-proving-that-the-measles-virus-does-not-exist

Are viruses alive?

https://www.google.com/search?q=are+viruses+alive&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU701AU701&oq=are+viruses&aqs=chrome.0.0j69i57j0l4.13395j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

The science is not settled on this question.

Béchamp maintained that disease developed in the presence of an unhealthy environment caused by an unbalanced state in the body. He held that disease could not take hold without a preexisting weakness.9

As summarized and greatly simplified by author Walene James10—and ridiculed by Mark Crislip11 in Science-Based Medicine—Béchamp’s basic message was that:

Disease arises from micro-organisms within the cells of the body.
These intracellular microorganisms normally function to build and assist in the metabolic processes of the body.
The function of these organisms changes to assist in the catabolic (disintegration) processes of the host organism when that organism dies or is injured, which may be chemical as well as mechanical.
Microrganisms change their shapes and colours to reflect the medium.
Every disease is associated with a particular condition.
Microorganisms become “pathogenic” as the health of the host organism. deteriorates. Hence, the condition of the host organism is the primary causal agent.
Disease is built by unhealthy conditions.
To prevent disease we have to create health.
Among those who rejected germ theory, instead championing the influence of diet, climate, ventilation, hygiene and sanitation in causing disease were Florence Nightingale and Rudolf Virchow.

https://thevaccinereaction.org/2018/02/pasteur-vs-bechamp-the-germ-theory-debate/

Pesticides and Polio: A Critique of Scientific Literature

https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/environmental-toxins/pesticides-and-polio-a-critique-of-scientific-literature/

Whistleblower Dr. William Thompson confirmed that "the CDC knew about the relationship between the age of first MMR vaccine and autism incidence in African-American boys as early as 2003, but chose to cover it up." He remarked "we've missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They're not doing what they should be doing because they're afraid to look for things that might be associated." He alleges criminal wrongdoing by his supervisors, and he expressed deep regret about his role in helping the CDC hide data.

https://www.vaccinationinformationnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/UK-Deaths-1838-1978-Copy.gif

“The further I looked into it, the more shocked I became. I found that the whole vaccine business was indeed a gigantic hoax. Most doctors are convinced that they are useful, but if you look at the proper statistics and study the instance of these diseases you will realise that this is not so.”

Dr A Kalokerinos MD, Australia

https://www.vaccinationinformationnetwork.com/do-infectious-disease-mortality-graphs-show-vaccines-save-lives/

A healthy body will resist disease.

We are not alone , we live symbiotically with trillions of microbes and our health is reliant on having a healthy gut flora, which should not be compromised by antibiotics and vaccinations.

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: bbr2314 on December 26, 2018, 01:00:52 PM
I really hope this virus rant was some weird humor and not meant seriously.

I hope so too, because otherwise it might better for HHI to go look for another forum.

But Merry Christmas, nevertheless, of course.  ;) :)

Whatever happens with this issue, ASIF will remain the best forum on the net.

As the Sword of Damocles is suspended above me, all I ask for is a "last meal".

Louis Pasteur was a fraud. His private diaries confirm that.

https://www.google.com/search?q=louis+pasteur+was+a+fraud&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU701AU701&oq=louis+pasteur+was+a+fraud&aqs=chrome..69i57.26271j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

"The Private Science of Louis Pasteur," Gerald L. Geison

Viruses have not been proven to exist - show me a photo.

DR STEFAN LANKA DEBUNKS PICTURES OF “ISOLATED VIRUSES”

https://www.vaccinationinformationnetwork.com/dr-stefan-lanka-debunks-pictures-of-isolated-viruses/

In a recent ruling, judges at the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) confirmed that the measles virus does not exist. Furthermore, there is not a single scientific study in the world which could prove the existence of the virus in any scientific literature. This raises the question of what was actually injected into millions over the past few decades.

https://www.sott.net/article/340948-Biologist-wins-Supreme-Court-case-proving-that-the-measles-virus-does-not-exist

Are viruses alive?

https://www.google.com/search?q=are+viruses+alive&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU701AU701&oq=are+viruses&aqs=chrome.0.0j69i57j0l4.13395j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

The science is not settled on this question.

Béchamp maintained that disease developed in the presence of an unhealthy environment caused by an unbalanced state in the body. He held that disease could not take hold without a preexisting weakness.9

As summarized and greatly simplified by author Walene James10—and ridiculed by Mark Crislip11 in Science-Based Medicine—Béchamp’s basic message was that:

Disease arises from micro-organisms within the cells of the body.
These intracellular microorganisms normally function to build and assist in the metabolic processes of the body.
The function of these organisms changes to assist in the catabolic (disintegration) processes of the host organism when that organism dies or is injured, which may be chemical as well as mechanical.
Microrganisms change their shapes and colours to reflect the medium.
Every disease is associated with a particular condition.
Microorganisms become “pathogenic” as the health of the host organism. deteriorates. Hence, the condition of the host organism is the primary causal agent.
Disease is built by unhealthy conditions.
To prevent disease we have to create health.
Among those who rejected germ theory, instead championing the influence of diet, climate, ventilation, hygiene and sanitation in causing disease were Florence Nightingale and Rudolf Virchow.

https://thevaccinereaction.org/2018/02/pasteur-vs-bechamp-the-germ-theory-debate/

Pesticides and Polio: A Critique of Scientific Literature

https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/environmental-toxins/pesticides-and-polio-a-critique-of-scientific-literature/

Whistleblower Dr. William Thompson confirmed that "the CDC knew about the relationship between the age of first MMR vaccine and autism incidence in African-American boys as early as 2003, but chose to cover it up." He remarked "we've missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They're not doing what they should be doing because they're afraid to look for things that might be associated." He alleges criminal wrongdoing by his supervisors, and he expressed deep regret about his role in helping the CDC hide data.

https://www.vaccinationinformationnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/UK-Deaths-1838-1978-Copy.gif

“The further I looked into it, the more shocked I became. I found that the whole vaccine business was indeed a gigantic hoax. Most doctors are convinced that they are useful, but if you look at the proper statistics and study the instance of these diseases you will realise that this is not so.”

Dr A Kalokerinos MD, Australia

https://www.vaccinationinformationnetwork.com/do-infectious-disease-mortality-graphs-show-vaccines-save-lives/

A healthy body will resist disease.

We are not alone , we live symbiotically with trillions of microbes and our health is reliant on having a healthy gut flora, which should not be compromised by antibiotics and vaccinations.
You should go volunteer to help the Ebola patients in DRC without any protective gear if it is such a hoax. It is tragic that your views are given any air at all, but if you hold them so dearly, why not go save the people who are dying from a lie?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Archimid on December 26, 2018, 01:15:11 PM
HHI. Order decays into disorder as time passes. That's the law.

 The structure of the body is order, and over time it will decay. Sometimes microorganisms cause the decay, sometimes chemicals cause the decay, sometimes a simple failure of correctly copying a cell cause the decay, even cosmic radiation can cause the decay.

There are no lifestyle choices that can avoid that decay, although some forms of decay can be minimized by lifestyle choices. There are ways to temporary fix that decay, and those ways are systematically explored in the field of medicine.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Neven on December 26, 2018, 01:26:46 PM
HHI, I'm not interested in virus/vaccination-discussions here. So, either refrain or go elsewhere.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: b_lumenkraft on December 26, 2018, 02:12:04 PM
Quote

A healthy body will resist disease.


Having a friend lost to cancer, this sounds like victim blaming in my ears.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on December 26, 2018, 03:15:30 PM
HHI, I'm not interested in virus/vaccination-discussions here. So, either refrain or go elsewhere.

I just wanted to provide a couple of background articles for anyone who might think the anti-vaxxer arguments presented here have merit.

LOUIS PASTEUR AND QUESTIONS OF FRAUD
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/wellness/1993/02/23/louis-pasteur-and-questions-of-fraud/196b2287-f63f-4bac-874e-c33b122d6f61/?utm_term=.e73835e42a43 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/wellness/1993/02/23/louis-pasteur-and-questions-of-fraud/196b2287-f63f-4bac-874e-c33b122d6f61/?utm_term=.e73835e42a43)

"But in at least two significant cases, the 19th century French researcher apparently lied about his scientific methods, appropriated an idea from a competitor and conducted human experiments that would be considered unethical then as well as today.

Princeton history professor Gerald L. Geison, a leading Pasteur scholar, unearthed "two examples of what might be called scientific misconduct" in the public trial of a vaccine against deadly anthrax disease in sheep and the vaccination of a young boy against the lethal disease rabies.

Geison concluded that, despite his monumental contributions to medicine, Pasteur would "not have passed muster with Congress" if his scientific methods were scrutinized today."
____________________________________________

The "expert" quoted by HHI is simply a kook:

A vaccine denier bet $100,000 the measles virus 'doesn't exist.' He lost.
https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-a-vaccine-denier-20150320-column.html (https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-a-vaccine-denier-20150320-column.html)

"Stefan Lanka is a German biologist with a long history of pseudoscientific outbursts, including a denial that the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, "exists at all."

In November 2011 he put his money where his mouth is by offering 100,000 euros (about $106,000) to anyone who could prove that the measles virus exists. His position is that the disease is "a psychosomatic illness" caused by "traumatic separations."

The challenge was taken up by David Bardens, a German doctor who compiled evidence from medical journals proving the disease's viral cause. When Lanka rejected the evidence, Bardens sued. Last week a German court found Bardens' evidence persuasive and ordered Lanka to pay. He says he'll appeal."
_________________________________________________________

HHI previously asserted that there were no victims on 9/11, no planes hit the towers.
I previously described how the video clip presented as evidence made no rational sense.

We needn't rehash any of this
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: gerontocrat on December 26, 2018, 03:34:53 PM
I sent an e-mail to NIPR about the JAXA data. I got a nice reply.
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2223.msg185174.html#msg185174)

So I have sent them a thankyou email and mentioned how this forum uses and values the sea ice data from the NIPR / JAXA organisation. I also gave them the link to this forum.

Trouble is, if they use it what might they see on the unread posts page and what might they read if following the obvious link? Conspiracy theories from the lunatic asylum. Bloody embarassing.

and that's all I'm going to say about that

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: oren on December 27, 2018, 01:12:06 PM
In just a week we had one moon landing denier and one virus/vaccine denier - and this on the ASIF. I shudder to think what's going on in the general population.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 27, 2018, 03:11:08 PM
In just a week we had one moon landing denier and one virus/vaccine denier - and this on the ASIF. I shudder to think what's going on in the general population.

The earth is flat?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Human Habitat Index on December 29, 2018, 12:54:12 AM
HHI, I'm not interested in virus/vaccination-discussions here. So, either refrain or go elsewhere.

I'm not surprised by the contempt prior to investigation, but I thought that I would get a fairer hearing on a science based forum.

Of course I respect your decision, but I note it was a political rather than a scientific one, which amounts to censorship.

I still hold hope for the awakening of the general public after the recent Italian elections.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Human Habitat Index on December 29, 2018, 01:03:50 AM
HHI. Order decays into disorder as time passes. That's the law.

 The structure of the body is order, and over time it will decay. Sometimes microorganisms cause the decay, sometimes chemicals cause the decay, sometimes a simple failure of correctly copying a cell cause the decay, even cosmic radiation can cause the decay.

There are no lifestyle choices that can avoid that decay, although some forms of decay can be minimized by lifestyle choices. There are ways to temporary fix that decay, and those ways are systematically explored in the field of medicine.

I play Australian Rules Football against people 20+ years younger than me, in fact I believe I'm the best 60+yo half-back flanker in the world.

Due to lifestyle choices.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Archimid on December 29, 2018, 01:33:19 AM
Good for you. However one day, regardless of how optimal your environment is, something in your body will fail and the rest is history. Let's hope is not for a very long time and I totally believe that by adopting the correct life style choices you can minimize decay significantly, but regrettably it will happen. Just like the rest of us.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Human Habitat Index on December 29, 2018, 07:47:04 AM
Good for you. However one day, regardless of how optimal your environment is, something in your body will fail and the rest is history. Let's hope is not for a very long time and I totally believe that by adopting the correct life style choices you can minimize decay significantly, but regrettably it will happen. Just like the rest of us.

I am not seeking immortality, I just don't want to be feeble in old age.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 31, 2018, 06:23:45 PM
CHINCOTEAGUE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Virginia

On an island famous for wild ponies, a dangerous infection is killing horses
Quote
Managers of the herd worry that warmer weather will bring yet more infections and, potentially, a serious threat to the beloved ponies, one of the region’s iconic tourist draws and a feature of the Virginia coast for centuries.
...
The unexpected malady is pythiosis, an infection typically caused when a horse steps in water carrying a fungus-like organism known as Pythium insidiosum. Pathogens can enter small cuts or abrasions and, in some horses, create itchy, swelling lesions that will eventually become tumor-like growths. Untreated, the infection is invariably fatal. ...
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/eastern-shore/bs-md-post-chincoteague-swamp-cancer-20181231-story.html
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on January 08, 2019, 09:16:44 PM
Unintended consequences ...

Wild Monkeys With Killer Herpes are Breeding Like Crazy In Florida
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/01/wild-monkeys-with-killer-herpes-are-breeding-like-crazy-in-florida/

Quote
(https://mediaweb.wftv.com/photo/2017/07/07/monkkkkk_1499444380049_8540802_ver1.0_640_360.jpg)
https://www.wftv.com/news/local/monkeys-swarm-ocala-mans-property/552589371

A quick reminder: there’s a band of feral monkeys running wild in Central Florida that carries a type of herpes lethal to humans. The mischievous simians—who are not shy around people—can transmit deadly disease with just a scratch, nip, or fling of poo.

Last year, experts warned that the rhesus macaques are a public health threat. It now seems that the monkey business is likely to get worse, with a wildlife expert revealing that their population is set to double in the next few years.

It’s going to be a problem… Continual growth of that population is going to occur without intervention,” Steve Johnson told Florida ABC-affiliate WFTV in a report published January 3. Johnson is a professor and wildlife expert at the University of Florida and part of a team of researchers that has followed the monkeys for years.

Early last year, Johnson and colleagues published a study estimating that about 25 percent of Florida’s population of free-wheeling monkeys carries the deadly virus, known as macacine herpesvirus 1 (McHV-1), herpes B, or monkey B virus. The study appeared in the February issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

In humans, McHV-1 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2879342/) can cause a flu-like illness that can progress to neurological problems, such as double vision and paralysis. At that point, an infected person is likely to die of the infection.

The population got its start during the 1930s and 1940s when the captain of a glass-bottom boat released a handful of macaques on an island in Florida’s Silver River to amuse tourists. The monkeys, which are excellent swimmers, established in the surrounding Silver Spring State Park and nearby Ocala National Forest.

----------------------------

Escapades in Ecology: Bart Simpsons
https://ekostories.com/2013/03/08/simpsons-bart-mother-ecology/

Quote
(https://ekostoriesdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/simpsons-invasive-species.jpg?w=300&h=225)

... Bart discover that they are in fact Bolivian tree lizards, an invasive species responsible for the demise of many native birds and must by law be exterminated. After developing a bond with the hatchlings, Bart refuses to hand the lizards over and instead releases them to freedom.
Quote
“Our top story, the population of parasitic tree lizards has exploded, and local citizens couldn’t be happier! It seems the rapacious reptiles have developed a taste for the common pigeon, also known as the ‘feathered rat’, or the ‘gutter bird’. For the first time, citizens need not fear harassment by flocks of chattering disease-bags.” (Kent Brockman)
Much to everyone’s surprise, the lizards turn out to be a blessing, dining on the town’s pesky pigeon population. Bart is thanked and praised by Mayor Quimby, but Lisa worries about the long-term ramifications of the introduced lizards. Principal Skinner reassures her that releasing other non-native species will keep the lizards in check.
Quote
Skinner: Well, I was wrong. The lizards are a godsend.
Lisa: But isn’t that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we’re overrun by lizards?
Skinner: No problem. We simply unleash wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They’ll wipe out the lizards.
Lisa: But aren’t the snakes even worse?
Skinner: Yes, but we’re prepared for that. We’ve lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.
Lisa: But then we’re stuck with gorillas!
Skinner: No, that’s the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on February 18, 2019, 03:29:01 AM
Biologists Are Trying to Make Bird Flu Easier to Spread. Can We Not? 
https://www.vox.com/2019/2/17/18225938/biologists-are-trying-to-make-bird-flu-easier-to-spread-can-we-not

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fvideos.usatoday.net%2FBrightcove2%2F29906170001%2F2015%2F05%2F29906170001_4260765370001_MainVideoThumb.jpg&hash=fc9095de774d2c9af83353388f7263b7)

Bird flu is a deadly virus with the potential to spark a global pandemic. Now, thanks to the US government, two lab experiments - trying to find ways to make it more dangerous - will resume their work after years on hold. 

Science Magazine last week broke the news that the US had quietly approved the two dangerous and controversial experiments. One of them will begin within the next few weeks. The other is expected to begin later this spring. The two had been on hold since 2012 amid a fierce debate in the virology community about gain-of-function (increased lethality) research. In 2014, the U.S. government declared a moratorium on such research.

That was a bad year on the biohazard front. In June 2014, as many as 75 scientists at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention were exposed to anthrax. A few weeks later, Food and Drug Administration officials ran across 16 forgotten vials of smallpox in storage. Meanwhile, the “largest, most severe and most complex” Ebola outbreak in history was raging across West Africa, and the first patient to be diagnosed in the U.S. had just been announced.

In 2017, the government released new guidelines for gain-of-function research, signaling an end to the blanket moratorium. And the news from last week suggests that dangerous projects are proceeding.

(https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-d806ac80543164c5f694105c5c420bdf.webp)

Experts in biosecurity are concerned that the field is heading toward a mistake that could kill many innocent people. They argue that, to move ahead with research like this, there should be a transparent process with global stakeholders at the table. After all, if anything goes wrong, the mess we’ll face will certainly be a global one. 

Quote
What Gain-of-Function Research Looks Like

In 2001, an Australian research team went to work on what was intended to be a contraceptive virus for pest control, targeting mice. Instead of sterilizing the mice, the Ectromelia virus the scientists were using killed the mice — all of them.

In 2011, two different groups of researchers announced plans to publish research in which they’d modified H5N1 — in ferrets, not in humans — to make it transmissible through the air. H5N1 has killed more than half of people it infects

Now, both of these labs have been given the green light to increase the lethality of bird flu.

... “Do you think we have problems with anti-vaxxers now?” If vaccine research, however well-intentioned, results in dangerous diseases escaping the lab, things could get a great deal worse.

---------------------------

EXCLUSIVE: Controversial experiments that could make bird flu more risky poised to resume
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/02/exclusive-controversial-experiments-make-bird-flu-more-risky-poised-resume
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on February 27, 2019, 02:28:31 PM
Texas Lawmaker Completely Unconcerned About Measles Outbreak Because of 'Antibiotics'
https://gizmodo.com/texas-lawmaker-completely-unconcerned-about-measles-epi-1832919951/amp

Some lawmakers in Texas are apparently very unworried about the growing number of epidemics across the country involving diseases once nearly eradicated by vaccines, including a five-county one in their state. A few of them are even pushing a bill that would make it even easier to opt out of vaccinations, the Texas Observer reported Tuesday, with one of them claiming that people can always just get “antibiotics.”

One proponent, Republican state representative and outspoken Texans for Vaccine Choice ally Bill Zedler, told the Observer the U.S. is “not the Soviet Union,” bragged about how he was never debilitated by contracting diseases that hadn’t had vaccines yet, and said no one is dying from measles since we have “antibiotics and that kind of stuff”

Word to Zedler: Measles is a virus. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. There is no prescription medication to treat measles.

By the way, reports of measles-related deaths do occur in the U.S., and in epidemics from 1989-1991 that saw about 55,000 cases, 11,000 were hospitalized and at least 123 people died according to the CDC.

(https://ladyliberty1885.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/gollum-stupid-burns-us.jpg)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: kassy on February 27, 2019, 04:52:03 PM
In a way vaccines are a victim of their success.

If you look back at historical child mortality related to the diseases and suffering caused by symptoms or complications of the diseases you understand how useful they are. But almost no one remembers that because they have not experienced those times and actually researching a subject instead of thinking your kid might get ADHD from them because some idiot friend of yours says so on facebook is something most people don´t even think of.

People also have a hard time understanding herd immunity.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on March 11, 2019, 04:25:36 PM
WHO Launches Strategy to Fight 'Inevitable' Flu Pandemics
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-03-strategy-inevitable-flu-pandemics.html

... "Another influenza pandemic is inevitable," the UN health agency said, adding that "in this interconnected world, the question is not if we will have another pandemic, but when."

Launching the new strategy, the WHO chief stressed the need for vigilance and preparation.

"The cost of a major influenza outbreak will far outweigh the price of prevention," he said.

While pandemic preparedness is estimated to cost less than $1 per person per year, WHO said responding to a pandemic costs roughly 100 times that amount.

... "In a perfect world, everyone would be vaccinated," Friede told reporters in Geneva.

(https://teachprivacy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/birdflucartoon.jpg)

---------------------------------------

Study Warns of Disinfectant Use in Hospitals
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-disinfectant-hospitals.html

In a study published in Nature Microbiology, Dr. Karolin Hijazi, Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen Institute of Dentistry, in collaboration with Professor Ian Gould, Consultant Microbiologist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and colleagues at the University of Leicester analysed resistance to disinfectants in a specific type of bacteria.

The team looked at Staphylococcus epidermidis, a type of bacteria found on the skin of healthy people and is traditionally considered harmless. They previously found that in environments with a high concentration of disinfectant, such as intensive care units, this otherwise benign bacteria can become pathogenic and multidrug resistant.

When this happens, the drug resistant strain can potentially transfer 'resistance' genes to Staphylococcus aureus, which then transforms into 'superbug' MRSA.

Up until now, previous research has focussed largely on MRSA, with little attention paid to Staphylococcus epidermidis in this context. According to Dr. Hijazi, however, these results indicate that Staphylococcus epidermidis may also pose a potentially a significant risk to public health.

Professor Gould explains: "Our research shows that in environments with a high concentration of disinfectant, this previously harmless bacteria can develop resistance to treatments commonly used to treat infection. This is potentially a very significant public health issue and highlights the importance of investigating how these bugs can become resistant to disinfectants.' ... "Basically, we are saying that intensive use of the particular disinfectants used in hospitals can contribute to the prevalence of bugs that are resistant to most antibiotics commonly used to treat infections.

(https://i.pinimg.com/400x/14/f2/bd/14f2bd91255bc5d3e7deff5c4e3c7fb0--strain-political-cartoons.jpg)

---------------------------

Drug-Resistant Superbug Spreading in Hospitals
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-09-drug-resistant-superbug-hospitals.html
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on April 12, 2019, 07:24:29 PM
Congo's Ebola Outbreak Might Be Declared Global Emergency
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/congo-s-ebola-outbreak-might-be-declared-global-emergency-n993856

A top Red Cross official says he’s “more concerned than I have ever been” about the possible regional spread of the Ebola virus after a new spike in cases, as the World Health Organization met on whether to declare the outbreak in Congo an international health emergency.

Emanuele Capobianco, head of health and care at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, cited Congolese health ministry statistics showing 40 new cases over two days this week. He called that rate unprecedented in this outbreak. ... 75% of new Ebola cases have no obvious link to previous patients, meaning that officials have lost track of where the virus is spreading.

We’re discovering people when it’s way too late,” ... noting numerous cases were buried in secret and never reported to authorities. “Given the average number of cases we’re seeing now, this is not going to be over for at least another six months or more.”

... To be designated a public health emergency of international concern, a situation must be “serious, unusual or unexpected,” threaten to infect other countries and require “immediate international action.”

-------------------------------

Drug-Resistant “Superbugs” are Spreading
https://www.vox.com/2019/4/8/18300388/candida-auris-superbug-drug-resistant

In a breathtaking Saturday feature in the New York Times, reporters Matt Richtel and Andrew Jacobs shined a light on one such hidden outbreak: the spread of a drug-resistant fungus, Candida auris, around the world.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 12, 2019, 10:54:39 PM
Given our inaction with regards to climate change and the accelerating extinction event, a raging global pandemic which kills a couple of billion may be Mother Earth's last best hope. May it be particularly deadly in the most developed nations as this will have the greatest ameliorative impact.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: bbr2314 on April 13, 2019, 12:11:08 AM
Given our inaction with regards to climate change and the accelerating extinction event, a raging global pandemic which kills a couple of billion may be Mother Earth's last best hope. May it be particularly deadly in the most developed nations as this will have the greatest ameliorative impact.
Anything that threatens the nuclear power plants in the developed world in a substantial way would result in "game over" for the entire Northern Hemisphere.

I think the Ebola situation is much more likely to result in something substantially deadly (and if we ever do have a devastating pandemic it is probably going to rise in a similar fashion). My suspicion is that Ebola is evolving into an STD, which is why women are more impacted than men in the current outbreak (men are more promiscuous and often have multiple partners especially in a war-torn region like where the outbreak is currently occurring in DRC).

Beyond handling corpses at funerals, it is actually fairly difficult to contract Ebola, barring large cross-contamination of bodily fluids, i.e., sexual intercourse, and I think this is what is now occurring. The rebels may also be weaponizing Ebola patients to sow additional civil / societal discord, also possibly explaining why it is seemingly impossible to get a hold of the current situation despite the administration of nearly 100K doses of vaccine to this point.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on April 15, 2019, 01:41:38 AM


Measles outbreak kills 1,200 in Madagascar, where parents want to vaccinate but lack means
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/measles-outbreak-kills-1-200-madagascar-where-parents-want-vaccinate-n994266 (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/measles-outbreak-kills-1-200-madagascar-where-parents-want-vaccinate-n994266)
...
As Madagascar faces its largest measles outbreak in history and cases soar well beyond 115,000, resistance to vaccinating children is not the driving force.
...
This epidemic is complicated by the fact that nearly 50 percent of children in Madagascar are malnourished.

"Malnutrition is the bed of measles," Sodjinou said.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

We have a highly effective measles vaccine.  It looks like the new Ebola vaccine may be highly effective as well.  But we have expanding epidemics of both, due to poverty, armed conflict, and societal breakdown.

More to come?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tor Bejnar on April 15, 2019, 03:40:28 AM
Quote
... My suspicion is that Ebola is evolving into an STD ...
It is an STD and 'always' has been. (https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/ebola-confirmed-be-sexually-transmitted-disease/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: bbr2314 on April 15, 2019, 04:33:06 AM
Quote
... My suspicion is that Ebola is evolving into an STD ...
It is an STD and 'always' has been. (https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/ebola-confirmed-be-sexually-transmitted-disease/)
It has never successfully replicated as an STD or otherwise in the human population for more than a few months outside of the current outbreak and the 2014 outbreak. While the current outbreak has been curtailed by vaccines, the virus has had many replications within the human population of the DRC since its initial incursion in August of 2018.

In the same time the current outbreak has taken to reach 1,500 confirmed+suspected cases, the 2014 outbreak had surpassed 17,000 confirmed+suspected. However, the total twelve months after 11/2014 was only 28,613, as the outbreak was brought under control by early 2015.

Unlike the 2014 outbreak's course at the current moment, the 2018+ outbreak is accelerating in spread. The week ending today (the 14th) saw the first instance of 100+ confirmed new cases, and also saw 80 deaths, almost double any other period.

There is one major difference between West Africa and DRC, and it is fertility rates. The region of the current outbreak's fertility rate is approximately 50% above Liberia / Sierra Leone / Guinea. This does not necessarily mean people are having more sex, but it certainly seems they are having more unprotected sex. I think thusly we have conditions present for selection in a way that was not quite as prevalent in the 2014 outbreak and that gives rise to the prospect of SUSTAINED transmission in populations as an STD versus just another failed incursion.

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on April 19, 2019, 04:27:54 AM
Marin county supervisors receive report on AGW impact on health, diseases, sea level rise:
https://www.marinij.com/2019/04/13/marin-supervisors-receive-harrowing-report-on-climate-change-sea-level-rise/
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on April 26, 2019, 08:32:45 PM
Unintended consequences ...

Gene-Editing Technology to Create Virus-Resistant Cassava Plant has Opposite Effect
https://phys.org/news/2019-04-gene-editing-technology-virus-resistant-cassava-effect.html

Using gene-editing technology to create virus-resistant cassava plants could have serious negative ramifications, according to new research by plant biologists at the University of Alberta, the University of Liège in Belgium and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Their research shows that attempts to genetically engineer the plants to fight off viruses resulted in the propagation of mutated viruses in controlled laboratory conditions.

"Because this technology creates a selection pressure on the viruses to evolve more quickly, and also provides the viruses a means to evolve, it resulted in a virus mutant that is resistant to our interventions," explained U of A post-doctoral fellow Devang Mehta.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Farnoldzwicky.s3.amazonaws.com%2FArcticCircleSnail.jpg&hash=2e6b70c9420662fb6816edcc9f79b3b4)

Open Access: Devang Mehta et al. Linking CRISPR-Cas9 interference in cassava to the evolution of editing-resistant geminiviruses (https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13059-019-1678-3), Genome Biology (2019).

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on May 03, 2019, 06:19:15 PM
Ebola Death Toll to Pass 1,000: UN
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-05-ebola-death-toll.html

The current Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed nearly 1,000 people, the UN said Friday, warning the "intense" spread of the virus was set to persist.

... in recent weeks senior WHO officials have conceded that insecurity in the restive region, scarce financial resources and manipulation of the Ebola issue by local politicians to turn people against health workers has seriously undermined the containment effort.

"We are anticipating a scenario of continued, intense transmission," he added.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on May 15, 2019, 10:38:13 AM
'Terrifying' Ebola Epidemic Out of Control In DRC, Say Experts   
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/15/terrifying-ebola-epidemic-out-of-control-in-drc-say-experts

...  More than 1,600 people have been infected with the Ebola virus in the North Kivu region of DRC and more than 1,000 have died so far – the great majority women and children. At least 10 months since the outbreak began, the numbers are rising steadily and the fatality rate is higher than in previous outbreaks, at about 67%.

... “The situation is far more dangerous than the statistic of 1,000 deaths, itself the second largest in history, suggests and the suspension of key services threatens to create a lethal inflection point in the trajectory of the disease,” he said. “The danger is that the number of cases spirals out of control, despite a proven vaccine and treatment.” 
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on June 04, 2019, 01:21:05 AM
DRC Set to Exceed 2,000 Ebola Cases in Second Largest Outbreak Ever   
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/03/drc-set-to-exceed-2000-ebola-cases-in-second-largest-outbreak-ever

Aid agencies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are set to announce that more than 2,000 people have been infected with Ebola since the outbreak was declared in August last year.

So far, there have been 1,994 confirmed and probable cases of infection with the virus, making the outbreak the second largest in history. New cases are being reported at a rate of around 10 every day. Some 1,339 people have died
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on June 11, 2019, 08:15:04 PM
In this global forum, there may be a few near Hannover, Germany who might have an interest in a conference:

Understanding and Responding to Global Health Security Risks from Microbial Threats in the Arctic: A Workshop
http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Activities/Global/UnderstandingandRespondingtoGlobalHealthSecurityRisksfromMicrobialThreatsintheArctic/2019-NOV-06.aspx (http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Activities/Global/UnderstandingandRespondingtoGlobalHealthSecurityRisksfromMicrobialThreatsintheArctic/2019-NOV-06.aspx)

When:
November 6, 2019 - November 7, 2019 (12:00 AM GMT+2)

Where:
Herrenhausen Palace Conference Center • Vahrenwalder Straße 7 , Hannover, Germany 30165

At this early stage, there's no agenda published, nor indication of presenters.

It's known that anthrax can emerge from thawing permafrost.  But anthrax responds to early treatment with antibiotics.  It's conceivable that agents like smallpox might emerge from thawing bodies.  This isn't treatable with antibiotics, and essentially everyone born since 1972 would be susceptible.  Who knows what other microbes might be released.  So, the workshop may be worth keeping an eye on, as the arctic permafrost thaws ever faster.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on June 12, 2019, 05:51:45 PM
Most rivers are awash in antibiotics, fueling bacterial resistance (this is the real coming plague):
https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/environment-and-conservation/2019/05/first-global-look-finds-most-rivers-awash-antibiotics
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on June 13, 2019, 10:17:10 PM
Ebola Spreads in Uganda—2 Deaths, 27 in Contact—as WHO Calls Emergency Meeting
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/06/ebola-spreads-in-uganda-2-deaths-27-in-contact-as-who-calls-emergency-meeting/

Local and international health officials are scrambling to smother a flare-up of Ebola in Uganda, which spread this week from a massive, months-long outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. The outbreak has sickened 2,084 and killed 1,405 since last August.

Uganda announced its first case stemming from the outbreak on Tuesday, June 11. The case was in a 5-year-old Congolese boy who traveled across the border with family a few days earlier. The Ugandan Health Ministry reported shortly after that the boy succumbed to his infection the morning of June 12. Two of his family members also tested positive by that time: the boy’s 50-year-old grandmother and his 3-year-old brother.

Today, June 13, the Ministry announced that the grandmother had also passed. In an urgent meeting over the situation, officials from Uganda and the DRC mutually decided to send the remaining family back to the DRC. That includes the 3-year-old boy with a confirmed case, as well as the mother, father, a 6-month-old sibling, and their maid. Health officials noted that the latter four family members are all considered “suspected cases.”
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on June 14, 2019, 02:48:42 AM
Salmonella Resistant to Antibiotics of Last Resort Found in US
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-06-salmonella-resistant-antibiotics-resort.html

Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a gene that gives Salmonella resistance to antibiotics of last resort in a sample taken from a human patient in the U.S. The find is the first evidence that the gene mcr-3.1 has made its way into the U.S. from Asia. ... The sample came from a person who had traveled to China two weeks prior to becoming ill with a Salmonella infection.

... "Public health officials have known about this gene for some time," says Siddhartha Thakur, professor and director of global health at NC State and corresponding author of the research. "In 2015, they saw that mcr-3.1 had moved from a chromosome to a plasmid in China, which paves the way for the gene to be transmitted between organisms. For example, E. coli and Salmonella are in the same family, so once the gene is on a plasmid, that plasmid could move between the bacteria and they could transmit this gene to each other. Once mcr-3.1 jumped to the plasmid, it spread to 30 different countries, although not—as far as we knew—to the U.S."

Daniel F. Monte et al, Multidrug- and colistin-resistant Salmonella enterica 4,[5],12:i:- sequence type 34 carrying the mcr-3.1 gene on the IncHI2 plasmid recovered from a human (https://jmm.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/jmm/10.1099/jmm.0.001012), Journal of Medical Microbiology (2019)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on June 18, 2019, 10:16:32 PM
Flesh eating bacteria in New Jersey from AGW:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/17/health/climate-change-flesh-eating-bacteria-study/index.html
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on July 02, 2019, 04:22:15 PM
Ebola Case Reported Near South Sudan Border
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-07-ebola-case-south-sudan-border.html

Authorities have confirmed an Ebola case not far from Congo's border with South Sudan, a country with a weak health care system after years of civil war that is vulnerable to the potential spread of the deadly disease.

The 40-year-old woman had traveled nearly 500 kilometers (289 miles) from Beni, despite having been identified by health officials as having been exposed to Ebola and warned not to travel.

Her case was confirmed in Ariwara, Congo, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the border with South Sudan's Yei River State, according to a report from South Sudan's health ministry that was viewed Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on July 05, 2019, 05:50:09 PM
DR Congo Ebola Death Toll Exceeds 1,600 Mark
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-07-dr-congo-ebola-death-toll.html

Deaths from an 11-month-old epidemic of Ebola in eastern DR Congo have crossed the 1,600 mark and a new fatality has been reported near the border with Uganda, the health ministry said on Friday.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 05, 2019, 09:54:00 PM
DR Congo Ebola Death Toll Exceeds 1,600 Mark
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-07-dr-congo-ebola-death-toll.html

Deaths from an 11-month-old epidemic of Ebola in eastern DR Congo have crossed the 1,600 mark and a new fatality has been reported near the border with Uganda, the health ministry said on Friday.

Not the pathogen we need, kills too quickly and transmits only through bodily fluids. We need a pathogen that is airborne, highly contagious, high fatality rate and slow incubation.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: kassy on July 06, 2019, 06:10:21 PM
Just out of curiosity what do you consider slow?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 06, 2019, 06:57:55 PM
Just out of curiosity what do you consider slow?

several weeks to diagnosis but virulently contagious long before that...

I am, of course, being gloomy and sarcastic. In my darkest moods, a global pandemic seems the only way out of the current crisis...would be best if the highest fatality rates occur in those people with rich diets and high caloric intake.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Pragma on July 06, 2019, 07:18:09 PM
Just out of curiosity what do you consider slow?

several weeks to diagnosis but virulently contagious long before that...

I am, of course, being gloomy and sarcastic. In my darkest moods, a global pandemic seems the only way out of the current crisis...would be best if the highest fatality rates occur in those people with rich diets and high caloric intake.

There is a second way, perhaps. I think our problem, besides the obvious population and consumption, is system complexity, which itself requires huge amounts of energy.

The fastest way to reduce complexity is a very large CME. It would result in an almost instant end to industrial civilization, hopefully flatlining CO2 concentrations and would affect the richest the hardest. I would guess that at least a billion or so wouldn't even notice that it had happened. Whoever survives would then have to weather the temperature bump when aerosols drop out.

Either way, not a pretty picture.

As long as natural CO2e feedbacks don't overtake the situation, that is the best we could hope for and it would be a waiting game after that.

*Edit*I should have typed:

the "best" we could hope for

Did I mention the nuclear plants, uncontrolled either due to staff loss or technology loss?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: kassy on July 06, 2019, 08:40:18 PM
That would work. But it´s not a pathogen.

#SH i think that several weeks would be pushing it.
Nature optimizes and for example flu is seasonal so it can not wait for weeks. It needs to get the push going so it has 1-4 days or so.

The pathogen has its own timing. After infection the cellular machinery starts cranking out copies and at some point it will burst the host cell. IIRC 6-8 hours before copies were made and then the actual cell gets punctured a couple of cycles after that.

A pandemic and a CME are basically just other ways of croaking all together while the whole key point is keeping an open future so our kids can actually have a live with choices....some stupid etc.

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Pragma on July 06, 2019, 08:54:14 PM
That would work. But it´s not a pathogen.

You're right Kassy, but I thought it was pertinent.

No intention to hijack the thread.

Regarding pathogens, I seem to remember something about how it's not in an organism's best interest to be too effective. (Sorry for the anthropomorphism :) )

That said, a highly transmissible, high lethality pathogen could emerge spontaneously and wipe itself out by wiping out the host.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: kassy on July 06, 2019, 09:36:27 PM
Yeah the pathogens do not want to kill us they just want to replicate.

All zoonotic diseases become less virulent over time and a lot of virulence is missmatched processes. In wild ducks flu is an intestinal disease while for us it is a respiratory disease all down to relative distribution of 2,3 and 2,6 alfa sialic sites.

The most interesting historicical pandemic is the spanish flu because that was actually simmering in the human reservoir for a while and then turned deadly.

Meanwhile we got to see if we can stop humans from eradicating humans...
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on July 23, 2019, 04:41:30 PM
Vox_mundi first raised the matter of Candida Auris on this thread.  It's a new fungal pathogen.  I saw this article today that explained how global warming might be responsible for its evolution. 

Deadly fungal infections may increase with global warming
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/deadly-fungal-infections-may-increase-global-warming-n1032366 (https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/deadly-fungal-infections-may-increase-global-warming-n1032366)

"But C. auris didn't spread like a virus would, radiating out from one location. Instead, it popped up simultaneously in different parts of the world, including India, South Africa and South America.

"Casadevall and his team thought the fungus's emergence must have been the result of some kind of change in the Earth's environment — in this case, a gradual rise in temperature.

"That's odd for fungi, which generally like ambient, cooler temperatures, like a cool forest floor where you might find a toadstool. Indeed, most fungal infections in people are found on the coolest parts of the human body, including the feet and in nail beds. The fungus tends to stay on the skin and doesn't cause an internal infection because it can't survive the warmer temperatures inside the body, where it is around 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Candida auris is different. While it poses no threat to most healthy people, it can survive inside the bodies of very sick people with weakened immune systems and cause serious complications.

"The teams says it's evidence that fungi have begun to adapt to live at hotter temperatures. In theory, that makes them much more likely to make the jump from living on cooler skin, to warmer temperatures inside the body."
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on July 24, 2019, 06:22:12 PM
AGW could bring pathogens we don't even know yet:
https://www.newsweek.com/candida-auris-fungus-global-warming-diseases-1450418
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on July 27, 2019, 08:15:17 PM
Still more on Candida auris:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/fungal-infection-candida-auris-1.5222602
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: kassy on July 27, 2019, 10:52:47 PM
Quote
In 2009, officials in Japan identified the presence of a deadly ‘superbug’ fungus called Candida auris in a human patient for the first time. Other infections involving this fungus began popping up in hospitals around the world, including in the United States in 2016, according to the CDC. The sudden rise of C. auris as a human pathogen was surprising and a new study indicates that climate change may be the cause.

...
Most fungal species are adapted to living in relatively cool natural environments like the soil and trees. Humans, in comparison, are typically too warm for fungus infections to happen, making such cases rare and limited to only a small percentage of known fungal species.

...

C. auris‘s surprising appearance as a human pathogen appeared in multiple ‘distinct families’ of the fungus that existed separately in different parts of the world. This consistent change across continents and the fungus’ seemingly sudden ability to infect humans indicates that C. auris may be the first fungal species to adapt to a warmer climate and, as a result, become a threat to human health.

Bolded stuff.

That is such a slam dunk and it is going to be a problem. People just do not appreciate the different time scales we and pathogens work on. Also people do not appreciate the amount of them possibly out there. Then again compound interest is too hard too.

My ex once went to south american rain forests and they sort of chew through everything you bring from civilization. Not sure if that is apt as comparison but it is very different from what you are used to in Europe. Seems apt for our near future.


https://www.slashgear.com/as-planet-warms-a-superbug-fungus-has-started-killing-humans-27585415/
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 27, 2019, 11:29:37 PM
After a routine examination, the White House physician has announced the president's body has been overrun with Candida auris and the president can now best be described as a fungus with hair.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on July 28, 2019, 12:19:43 AM
After a routine examination, the White House physician has announced the president's body has been overrun with Candida auris and the president could best be described as a fungus with hair.

Oddly, Stormy provided a description of Trump quite reminiscent of "fungus with hair."
https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news/stormy-daniels-trump-penis-mushroom-kimmel-732426/ (https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news/stormy-daniels-trump-penis-mushroom-kimmel-732426/)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on July 29, 2019, 10:02:22 PM
Flesh eating bacteria like AGW:
https://www.wlrn.org/post/why-flesh-eating-bacteria-rise-some-point-climate-change
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 30, 2019, 02:23:50 AM
Naegleria fowleri

The Brain-Eating Amoeba Is a Nearly Perfect Killer
The single-celled menace rarely infects humans. That’s what makes it so hard to treat.
Quote
Last week, a North Carolina man became a notorious microbial killer’s first confirmed victim this year. The 59-year-old Eddie Gray had unknowingly come across a brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a man-made lake near Fayetteville in mid-July; 10 days later, he was dead.

Since the brain-eating amoeba was first recognized and named, in 1970, grisly reports of its disastrous attacks have made headlines nearly every year. About 97 percent of confirmed cases in the United States have been fatal. But the infection is also incredibly rare, and the small sample size leaves the epidemiologists who study it and the doctors who encounter it with their hands tied. It may be one of nature’s most perfect crimes.

Despite their gruesome moniker, most brain-eating amoebas never eat a single brain. The single-celled swimmer, formally known as Naegleria fowleri, passes its time resting in a dormant state or, when it’s warm enough, splashing around and munching on bacteria. Unlike most waterborne pathogens, it’s utterly benign if you drink it. It becomes dangerous only when, thanks to a person enjoying a day at a water park or a quick rinse in a stream, the amoeba is yanked from its bacterial buffet and swept into the dark recesses of the human nose. ...
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/07/how-brain-eating-amoeba-kills/594964/
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tor Bejnar on July 30, 2019, 04:01:09 AM
So you don't want someone telling an 'explosively' funny joke while you are drinking Naegleria fowleri-infested water.  :o  :'(
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on July 31, 2019, 07:00:54 PM
Second Ebola Death in DR Congo's Goma
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-07-ebola-death-dr-congo-goma.html

"A patient who was confirmed with Ebola has died in Goma, Wednesday, heightening fears the disease could spread through the densely populated transport hub. ... His was really a hopeless case, because the illness was already at an advanced stage and he died overnight Tuesday." ...the virus death toll has risen to 1,803, according to figures published on Wednesday.

Goma, a lakeside city of more than two million people close to the Rwanda border, has an airport with flights to the capital Kinshasa, Uganda's Entebbe and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, as well as a port that links to Bukavu and South Kivu province.

https://blog.wolfram.com/data/uploads/2014/10/EbolaAnimFINAL.gif

... Abedi urged the public to respond swiftly to symptoms of Ebola and "not hide suspect cases".

"The treatment centre is not a dying room—you have to bring the patient in early," he said.

In Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, the mood among many is frustration and despair.

https://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/photos/animated-map-med-january-2016.gif
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on July 31, 2019, 07:09:10 PM
Kids and Dirt: Get Enough to Help, but Not Enough to Hurt
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-07-kids-dirt-doctor.html

Kids may need more exposure to dirt and microbes than previously thought.

The central tenet of the hygiene hypothesis is that we have gone a bit too far and inadvertently killed off our good bacteria along with the bad. As our society progressed from one that was chronically burdened with infectious diseases caused by poor sanitation, the thinking goes, we reduced our exposures to the things that gave our immune system an appropriate training and tolerance. Historically, our totally rational fear of dying from a cholera epidemic led to sewage and water management, but may have kicked off the allergy epidemic.

Our overuse of antibiotics and C-sections affects the set of organisms called the microbiome that an infant is exposed to growing up. Both have been shown to increase the risk of childhood allergic diseases.

Growing up in a rural area exposed to farm animals appears to confer a decreased risk of allergies and asthma for your entire lifetime, even among genetically similar populations. Studies in mice have shown that inhaling certain molecules from soil-dwelling bacteria can set off a beneficial cascade promoting an immune system which focuses more on threats rather than nonthreats, such as allergens.

At least 50% of patient-reported food allergies are only presumed. They have not been evaluated thoroughly enough to know for sure whether the patient is allergic. Research also demonstrates that, in many cases, we presume wrongly. The symptoms fit better with an intolerance than an allergy, or the events were coincidental. While 11%-12% of patients currently report a food allergy, only about 5% of adults and 8% of children likely have true food allergy. Around 8% of patients report a penicillin allergy, but fewer than five out of 100 patients who report a penicillin allergy can be shown to be allergic when tested.

Let your kids play outside, get dirty, try new foods and be exposed to a variety of things. Advocate for them to have outside recess time in school as much as possible. Use plain soap and water; you don't need to sanitize everything.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DrTskoul on July 31, 2019, 07:36:13 PM
I have been thinking/saying that to my family all along. Those damn antibacterial soaps :)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: TerryM on July 31, 2019, 09:25:14 PM
I have been thinking/saying that to my family all along. Those damn antibacterial soaps :)
Ramen!!


Far more harm than good when used outside of a clinical setting.
Terry
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: nanning on August 01, 2019, 04:48:51 AM
<snippage>
Use plain soap and water; you don't need to sanitize everything.
And you shouldn't shower every day. A healthy skin organ is a great defence, having many beneficial microorganisms. I haven't showered in >3 months and my skin is healthy, soft and doesn't smell (clothes get smelly after a while). What kind of food you eat is also important. I had to go to hospital for a check on my ears, so for that occasion I washed my hair with soap. I tried to find a soap without any crazy additives and found "Aleppo soap" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo_soap).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Sebastian Jones on August 01, 2019, 07:58:00 AM

[/quote]
And you shouldn't shower every day. A healthy skin organ is a great defence, having many beneficial microorganisms. I haven't showered in >3 months and my skin is healthy, soft and doesn't smell (clothes get smelly after a while). What kind of food you eat is also important. I had to go to hospital for a check on my ears, so for that occasion I washed my hair with soap. I tried to find a soap without any crazy additives and found "Aleppo soap" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo_soap).
[/quote]
You should be aware that statements like this will lead many to assume that you do not wash at all.
Under the assumption that you do cleanse yourself from time to time, I'm curious about your preferred method- I live off grid so I have to be creative about bathing, and I've gone considerably longer than 3 months without showering, while washing most every day. I also love a weekly sauna.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: TerryM on August 01, 2019, 09:20:49 AM

<snipped>

Under the assumption that you do cleanse yourself from time to time, I'm curious about your preferred method- I live off grid so I have to be creative about bathing, and I've gone considerably longer than 3 months without showering, while washing most every day. I also love a weekly sauna.
Any access to a local hot spring?
Hot springs themselves are sulfurous enough to do wonders for any many existing skin problems.


Much of my misspent youth was spent emulating Desmond Morris's Naked Ape. :D
Terry
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: nanning on August 01, 2019, 09:38:21 AM
Hi Sebastian,
I have been experimenting with 'new normals' in order to wash our insane civilisations' traditions from my conduct. Complete reanalysis. People in the old days hardly washed themselves and I have found that it is great for my skin and my smell gets better (I smell my poo and get information). I really don't like human artificial odors. In general I don't like most of the shit that came out of commerce and aristocracy in the past 150 years.
These days I don't wash at all, apart from my face for shaving. I make exceptions when I have to show respect for civilisations' customs, such as when I'm going sleep in another bed or go to the hospital.
In all of living nature, I think smell is the most important sense, yet humans have drowned that sense ever since we took the view of aristocracy as the civilised one. I am not supreme, I like to wash and clean like other animals do it but I live in a very clean human world and have almost no hair.
When cooking I am very hygienic. I have worked as a fishcutter (salmon) in a warm room and know a lot about hygiene. My bathroom and kitchen are clean, and in the other rooms there is nowhere food to be found, not a crumb. It's a bit dusty etc and other people would probably call it 'dirty' but it is clean. Hardly any insects here which is a shame for the spiders in my house.
Feel free to call me dirty. I like pigs. I like mud ;).
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DrTskoul on August 01, 2019, 11:57:52 AM
Why Ebola cannot be tamed in Congo (https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/4237a412-b1e2-11e9-bec9-fdcab53d6959)

Quote
...Each of the country’s previous nine outbreaks since 1976, when the virus was first identified, occurred in remote regions and were controlled within three months. This time, thousands of health professionals have been deployed and more than 170,000 people have received an effective trial vaccine. Yet May, the tenth month, was the deadliest so far, and a further 349 cases were confirmed in July....
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on August 01, 2019, 10:44:39 PM
Ebola Crisis: Rwanda Restricts Border Crossing with DR Congo Amid Outbreak
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-49191715

Rwanda has reopened its border with DR Congo, where an Ebola outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people in the past year.

The border was closed for several hours after the confirmation of a third death from Ebola in the Congolese city of Goma.

(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/7EE4/production/_108148423_drc_rwanda.png)

Goma, home to two million people, is the capital of North Kivu, one of the two provinces in DR Congo which have borne the brunt of the epidemic.

The city lies just across the border from the Rwandan city of Gisenyi, which has a population of around 85,000. Many residents cross the frontier for work and other activities - although illegal routes are also used.

The border had been closed "to avoid unnecessary crossings" to Goma, Gilbert Habayarimana, mayor of Rubavu district in western Rwanda which borders Goma, said earlier.

... There are still quite a few in Goma who still do not believe that Ebola exists but this might change now that another person has died.


-----------------

4th Ebola Case in Goma: Gold Miner Who Died of Ebola Contaminated Several
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/gold-miner-died-ebola-contaminated-drc-official-190802155742113.html

... Ebola response coordinator Jean-Jacques Muyembe said the wife of the miner, who died of Ebola in eastern DRC, tested positive for the disease - the fourth case confirmed in Goma, capital of North Kivu province which is where the outbreak started.

The miner's one-year-old daughter was confirmed on Thursday to have contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said seven relatives of the gold miner have been placed under surveillance as a precaution in Goma,

... Muyembe said an estimated half of cases of Ebola - which has killed at least 1,823 people since the outbreak started a year ago - were going unidentified.

"If we continue on that basis, this epidemic could last two or three years," he told a news conference in Goma.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on August 03, 2019, 09:45:35 PM
Warmer waters help flesh eating bacteria:
https://www.newsweek.com/flesh-eating-bacteria-could-claiming-more-victims-thanks-climate-change-experts-say-1452078
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DrTskoul on August 03, 2019, 09:48:43 PM
Warmer waters help flesh eating bacteria:
https://www.newsweek.com/flesh-eating-bacteria-could-claiming-more-victims-thanks-climate-change-experts-say-1452078

Yum!! Bon appetit
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on August 06, 2019, 11:41:45 PM
Military's Deadly Germ Lab Shut Down Due to Sloppy Work, Leaky Equipment
https://gizmodo.com/militarys-deadly-germ-lab-shut-down-due-to-sloppy-work-1836999279

(https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/simpsons/images/5/5c/IMG_0566.PNG/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/500?cb=20180422040905)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shut down a leading military research facility for failing to meet established safety standards, halting important research into some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens and toxins.

Following an inspection in June, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a cease-and-desist order to the Fort Detrick biodefense lab, reports the Frederick News-Post.
All research at the lab, run by the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), involving a select list of dangerous microbes and toxins is now on hold until further notice.

USAMRIID, conducts public and private research into some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens and toxins, including Ebola, anthrax, and the bacteria responsible for the plague.

Among the problems cited, the facility failed to have systems sufficiently capable of decontaminating wastewater, it lacked “periodic recertification training for workers in the biocontainment laboratories,” and it failed to meet standards established by the Federal Select Agent Program, among other deficiencies ... The CDC could not provide more specific details for “national security reasons.”

In May 2018, storms caused a flood at the Fort Detrick facility, seriously damaging its 10-year-old steam sterilization plant, which provides high-tech wastewater management. The plant was offline for months, and the incident resulted in upgraded biosafety procedures. But as Vander Linden told the Frederick News-Post, the new protocols significantly increased “operational complexity” at the facility. The CDC inspection found that the “new procedures were not being followed consistently,” along with the discovery of “mechanical problems with the chemical-based decontamination system, as well as leaks [inside the lab],” the New York Times reported.

(https://i.imgur.com/4Pp0XZi.jpg)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: TerryM on August 07, 2019, 04:28:15 AM
^^ talk about whiplash.


What could be better than shutting down a Bio Chemical Warfare lab - unless they're shutting it down for leaks. AAAggg
Terry
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 12, 2019, 01:40:48 AM
U.S.:  North Carolina.
Warmer waters increase the prevalence of blue-green algae.

Three dogs died within hours of playing in a pond due to toxic algae
Quote
Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz took their beloved dogs Abby, Izzy and Harpo to a pond in Wilmington on Thursday night to cool off. But within 15 minutes of leaving the pond, Abby, a West Highland white terrier, began to have a seizure.

Martin rushed her to a veterinary hospital, with Izzy and Harpo right behind her. Upon their arrival, Izzy, also a Westie, started seizing, and both terriers rapidly declined. Then Harpo, her 6-year-old "doodle" mix therapy dog, began to seize and show signs of liver failure.
By midnight Friday, all three dogs had died, she said.

Blue-green algae is most common in the summer
Toxic algae blooms are more likely to infest bodies of fresh water when the weather is warm and waters are stagnant, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Some algal blooms leave a film of muck on the surface and make the water ruddy, but others are difficult to immediately detect, such as the blooms in the pond where Martin's dogs were exposed.
There's no cure for the poisoning, and exposure nearly always leads to death in dogs. Drinking from a body of water where blue-green algae lurks or licking it off fur can kill a dog within 15 minutes of exposure, according to Blue Cross for Pets, a UK animal charity. ...
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/11/us/three-dogs-died-algae-trnd/index.html
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: DrTskoul on August 12, 2019, 02:11:19 AM
The south states waters become more toxic ...unfortunate..
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 12, 2019, 04:59:21 AM
Florida Blue-Green Algae Task Force (https://floridadep.gov/Blue-GreenAlgaeTaskForce)

You can sign up for weekly updates, etc. to see where blooms are occurring, etc.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 16, 2019, 08:40:40 PM
Florida's Algal Bloom Current (Weekly) Update
Quote
August 9 - 15, 2019 -  There were 20 reported site visits in the past week (8/09 - 8/15) with all 20 site visits resulting in samples collected. Algal bloom conditions were observed by the samplers at only 9 of those sites.
weekly report online (https://floridadep.gov/AlgalBloomWeeklyUpdate)
Algal Bloom Dashboard (https://floridadep.gov/AlgalBloom)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on August 24, 2019, 02:06:00 AM
Deadly Superbug Outbreak in Humans Linked to Antibiotic Spike in Cows
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/deadly-superbug-outbreak-in-humans-linked-to-antibiotic-spike-in-cows/

Use of certain antibiotics in cattle increased 41% just before the outbreak.

A deadly outbreak of multi-drug resistant Salmonella that sickened 225 people across the US beginning in 2018 may have been spurred by a sharp rise in the use of certain antibiotics in cows a year earlier, infectious disease investigators reported this week.

From June 2018 to March of 2019, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified an outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Newport. The strain was resistant to several antibiotics, most notably azithromycin—a recommended treatment for Salmonella enterica infections. Before the outbreak, azithromycin-resistance in this germ was exceedingly rare. In fact, it was only first seen in the US in 2016.

... In a report published August 23 by the CDC, the investigators note that just a year earlier, the Food and Drug Administration recorded a spike in the use of antibiotics called macrolides by cattle farmers. From 2016 to 2017, cattle farmers increased their use of macrolide antibiotics by 41%. Macrolides are a class of antibiotics that includes azithromycin. Because antibiotics within a class work to kill bacteria in similar ways, bacterial resistance to one drug in a class could lead to resistance to other drugs in the same class.

The investigators suggest that the surge in macrolide use could have encouraged the rise and spread of the azithromycin-resistant Newport strain.

“Because use of antibiotics in livestock can cause selection of resistant strains, the reported 41% rise in macrolide use in US cattle from 2016 to 2017 might have accelerated carriage of the outbreak strain among US cattle,” they wrote.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6833a1.htm?s_cid=mm6833a1_w#contribAff
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on September 14, 2019, 07:08:52 PM
We got your cure for over-population right here ...

----------------------

Big Pharma Nixes New Drugs Despite Impending 'Antibiotic Apocalypse'
https://dw.com/en/big-pharma-nixes-new-drugs-despite-impending-antibiotic-apocalypse/a-50432213

Even though doctors around the world are warning about the regular discovery of new superbugs, and saying that indiscriminate use of "last resort" antibiotics is threatening a major global health catastrophe, almost every major pharmaceutical company in the world has given up on research into new antibiotics.

According to an in-depth report from German public broadcaster NDR this week, the reason for this lack of preparation for the impending crisis is simple: antibiotics simply aren't profitable.

Antibiotics are only used for a few days once in a while, and are being prescribed less as doctors become more aware of the dangers of over-prescription. Instead, drug companies are focusing on lucrative medications for chronic conditions like high cholesterol, arthritis, epilepsy, and cancer.

Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Otsuka and many others have all gutted their antibiotic development teams and moved those budgets elsewhere. This is despite a 2016 pledge signed by over 100 companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Novartis, saying they would help prevent the next epidemic by investing in ways to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs."

... A report this week in the British publication New Statesman revealed that Chinese farmers are giving their cows colistin, known as the "last hope" antibiotic, to stave off future infections despite warnings that doing so is putting human lives in danger. The report details how this practice has led colistin-resistant bacteria to travel from cows and now to chickens, which means it is mobile and can transfer to humans.

Sally Davies, the UK's chief medical Officer, has warned that a "post-antibiotic apocalypse" is imminent, one that would spell "the end of modern medicine."
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: kassy on September 15, 2019, 12:23:42 AM
antibiotics simply aren't profitable.

Try selling really expensive cancer cures to people who died of sepsis or other bacterial nastiness and redo the analysis?

Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: morganism on September 15, 2019, 12:59:31 AM
Rare Mosquito-Borne Disease That Kills 1/3 of The Infected Is Spreading Across The US

"At least a dozen cases of eastern equine encephalitis, a dangerous mosquito-borne illness, have been confirmed across the US so far this season. Two people have died from the disease.

https://www.sciencealert.com/previously-rare-deadly-mosquito-borne-disease-is-starting-to-spread-across-the-us
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: nanning on September 16, 2019, 09:52:23 AM
https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/index.html

Quote
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. Each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection, and at least 23,000 people die.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Hefaistos on September 17, 2019, 08:48:28 AM
Hi Sebastian,
I have been experimenting with 'new normals' in order to wash our insane civilisations' traditions from my conduct. Complete reanalysis. People in the old days hardly washed themselves and I have found that it is great for my skin and my smell gets better (I smell my poo and get information). I really don't like human artificial odors. In general I don't like most of the shit that came out of commerce and aristocracy in the past 150 years.
These days I don't wash at all, apart from my face for shaving. ...


Thanks for sharing! Most people are so indoctrinated with a daily washing habit using chemicals (soap, shampoo etc).

I grew up in simple conditions, and except for rudimentary cleansing of the intimate parts, hands and face in cold water, we washed ourselves only once a week when we went to the village sauna.

Later, I found out that it's quite unnecessary to use shampoo/detergents in your hair. Hair actually becomes more healthy if you wash it only when it starts to irritate you. Same goes for showering, no need for soap there. As you say, it's the clothes that get smelly, and need to be changed frequently.

However, I also think this is age-related. Up to around 30 yoa the skin is more thick and produces more fat. Teenagers struggle to rid themselves of skin fat. An old person has a very thin skin in comparison, a skin that struggles not to dry out, to keep humidity.
A skin that isn't dried out by unnecessary washing stays more healthy and resistant to pathogens.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: nanning on September 17, 2019, 10:49:17 AM
My turn to thank you for sharing Hefaistos :) .

Indoctrinated is the right word I think.

Personally as a teenager when we showered once a week and I cycled every schoolday, I had no struggles. It was normal to smell others. And I haven't been to café's and disco's and wasn't sexually active until I was 19 yo.

Further advantages: It saves time, it saves potable water, it saves energy, it saves money.

Smell is something else than stink. I observe these days that people from rich countries treat every human smell as stink, which is insane. That's the power of commercial indoctrination for you: The very effective evil of advertisements.

You can't make those people 'see' the truth if the whole group is indoctrinated.
That goes for every small and large truth I have found.
I have accepted that people just don't/can't see it.
Alien perspective indeed!

One more layer of insanity. Near the top of the pile. What's left of those brains I ask myself?

Have you been able to convince people of their showering/washing folly?
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 18, 2019, 08:00:01 PM
This deadly fungal disease could use climate change to mobilize
https://www.popsci.com/climate-change-valley-fever-fungus-weather/
Quote
The vast majority of the 10,000 cases of Valley fever diagnosed in the United States each year occur in Arizona and California. In those two states, the environment and weather—a dry desert with rainy seasons —create the conditions that the Coccidioides fungus, which causes the illness, needs to survive and thrive.

But as the climate changes, temperatures will increase and rain patterns will change—and along with those changes, by 2100, the fungus’s range will expand causing the number of Valley fever cases to increase by 50 percent, according to a new model published in the journal, GeoHealth. Right now, the fungus is restricted by rain and temperature to its current territory, but climate change will lift some of those environmental barriers.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on September 19, 2019, 06:09:37 PM
Bloodstream Infections in Central Africa Caused by Strains of Salmonella Resistant to Nearly All Drugs
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-09-bloodstream-infections-central-africa-strains.html

The first extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains of Salmonella Typhimurium, a pathogen which is responsible for millions of bloodstream infections per year in sub-Saharan Africa, have been identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Drug-resistance has increased in successive groups of S. Typhimurium over time. These new strains are resistant to all but one of the commonly available drugs in the DRC, with one sample showing reduced susceptibility to this final antibiotic.

Most Salmonella infections result in symptoms associated with food poisoning. While unpleasant, symptoms are not life-threatening in the vast majority of cases. But in sub-Saharan Africa, Salmonella such as S. Typhimurium can cause infections of the blood, known as invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) infections.

Every year, iNTS infections are estimated to affect 3.4 million people and result in 681,316 deaths globally, of which the majority are caused by S. Typhimurium. The containment and treatment of iNTS infections in places like the DRC is complicated by limited access to healthcare, infrastructure challenges and weakened immunity, with children under five years of age particularly at risk.

It is known that iNTS infections in sub-Saharan Africa are dominated by a type of S. Typhimurium known as ST313, which is associated with antibiotic resistance. Two groups of ST313 (named lineage I and II) split off independently and subsequently spread over the African continent. Antibiotic resistance has been growing over time, with lineage II now the primary cause of iNTS infections.

Quote
... "All antibiotic resistance genes contributing to "XDR' are present on the same plasmid. This is worrying because a plasmid is a mobile genetic element that could be transferred to other bacteria. While accumulating more antibiotic resistance, we discovered that the novel Salmonella Typhimurium line is also showing further genetic and behavioral changes which suggest ongoing evolution of the bacteria towards bloodstream infections."

Open Access: Sandra Van Puyvelde et al. An African Salmonella Typhimurium ST313 sublineage with extensive drug-resistance and signatures of host adaptation (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-11844-z), Nature Communications (2019)

---------------------

Antimicrobial Resistance Rising Drastically: Study
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-global-antibiotic-resistance-food-animals.html

... A team of researchers led by Thomas Van Boeckel, SNF Assistant Professor of Health Geography and Policy at ETH Zurich, has recently published a map of antimicrobial resistance in animals in low- and middle-income countries in the journal Science.

The team assembled a large literature database and found out where, and in which animals species resistance occurred for the common foodborne bacteria Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and Staphylococcus.

According to this study, the regions associated with high rates of antimicrobial resistance in animals are northeast China, northeast India, southern Brazil, Iran and Turkey. In these countries, the bacteria listed above are now resistant to a large number of drugs that are used not only in animals but also in human medicine.

The highest resistance rates were associated with the antimicrobials most frequently used in animals: tetracyclines, sulphonamides, penicillins and quinolones. In certain regions, these compounds have almost completely lost their efficacy to treat infections.

The researchers introduced a new index to track the evolution of resistance to multiple drugs: the proportion of drugs tested in each region with resistance rates higher than 50%. Globally, this index has almost tripled for chicken and pigs over the last 20 years. Currently, one third of drugs fail 50% of the time in chicken and one quarter of drugs fail in 50% of the time in pigs.

... It is of particular concern that antimicrobial resistance is rising in developing and emerging countries because this is where meat consumption is growing the fastest, while access to veterinary antimicrobials remains largely unregulated. "Antimicrobial resistance is a global problem. There is little point in making considerable efforts to reduce it on one side of the world if it is increasing dramatically on the other side," the ETH researcher says.

Open Access: T.P. Van Boeckel el al., "Global trends in antimicrobial resistance in animals in low- and middle-income countries," (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6459/eaaw1944) Science (2019)

also https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6459/1251
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: sidd on September 19, 2019, 10:58:24 PM
Stay indoors this fall in michigan: equine enchephalitis on the rise, mosquito borne

"people may not want to stay indoors as fall is the “prettiest time in Michigan." "

https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2019/09/michigan-advises-against-outdoor-activity-due-to-deadly-mosquito-borne-virus.html

sidd
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on September 20, 2019, 04:43:06 PM
Philippines Confirms 2nd Polio Case After Declaring Outbreak
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-09-philippines-2nd-polio-case-declaring.html

Philippine health officials on Friday confirmed a second case of polio in a 5-year-old child a day after declaring the country's first outbreak in nearly two decades, and announced plans for a massive immunization program.

They said the polio virus has also been detected in sewage in Manila and in waterways in the southern Davao region, prompting plans for an immunization drive starting next month that is likely to include tens of thousands of children under age 5.

At least 95% of children that age need to be vaccinated to halt the spread of polio in the Philippines, according to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund, which expressed deep concern over the disease's reemergence

----------------------------

Blast Rocks Russian Facility Storing Smallpox and Ebola Viruses
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/9/18/20870537/smallpox-ebola-russian-lab-explosion-pathogens-escape

According to Russian independent media, the laboratory was undergoing repairs when a gas bottle exploded, sparking a 30-square-meter fire that left one worker severely burned. Glass throughout the building was reportedly destroyed in the blast, and the fire reportedly spread through the building’s ventilation system. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/17/blast-sparks-fire-at-russian-laboratory-housing-smallpox-virus) (... hopefully the smallpox wasn't in a glass container)

The lab is one of only two in the world known to still have samples of smallpox, which was eradicated from the wild in 1977. The other is in the United States.

... Monday’s incident was not the first at the Vector lab. In 2004, a researcher died at the complex after accidentally pricking herself with a needle carrying the Ebola virus. Russian media then claimed it was the only death from the virus in Russia’s history. Outbreaks of anthrax and smallpox were caused by Soviet weapons development programmes in the 1970s and subsequently covered up by the government.

-----------------------

UN Agency Says 124 Suspected Cholera Cases in Sudan
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-09-agency-cholera-cases-sudan.html

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a statement Friday saying that the provinces of Sennar and the Blue Nile were among Sudan's areas with the highest risk of cholera outbreak, following flash floods that swept the country in late August and affected water sanitation.

The statement adds that the current fatality rate stood at 5.6% but could be brought down below one percent with "proper treatment."

The OCHA says the outbreak can be contained if there is immediate action and funding.

Earlier, the World Health Organization said that new malaria cases were reported in several Sudanese provinces.

-----------------------

Dengue Virus Becoming Resistant to Vaccines and Therapeutics Due to Mutations in Specific Protein
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-09-dengue-virus-resistant-vaccines-therapeutics.html

-------------------------

He's back.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fchristianobserver.net%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F07%2Fdeath-horse-gustave-dore-1600x1000-wallpaper_www-wall321-com_43.jpg&hash=e06c6f2c7d40836a0f78ade809d95079)
Death on a Pale Horse ...
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 21, 2019, 02:18:22 AM
MAN VS. MOSQUITO: AT THE FRONT LINES OF A PUBLIC HEALTH WAR
https://publicintegrity.org/environment/man-vs-mosquito-public-health-war/
Quote
Mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika have increased almost tenfold nationally from 2004 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s put local governments at the front lines of a contentious public health war ― one that climate change will only worsen.

A 2016 report by Climate Central found warming temperatures coupled with more humid days have elongated mosquito seasons. The insect’s range has also expanded. Aedes aegypti, the species that transmits Zika, dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya, has moved northward in the U.S. by roughly 150 miles per year. By 2050, researchers predict, almost half the world’s population will be exposed to at least one of two major disease-carrying mosquitoes. Scientists are also concerned about the growing threat of resistance, which undercuts the effectiveness of insecticides.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: SteveMDFP on September 22, 2019, 06:35:01 PM
Here's a quite worrisome development:


WHO accuses Tanzania of withholding information about suspected Ebola cases
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/tanzanias-refusal-to-acknowledge-possible-ebola-casesrepresents-a-challenge-who/2019/09/22/70bf9a80-dd19-11e9-be96-6adb81821e90_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/tanzanias-refusal-to-acknowledge-possible-ebola-casesrepresents-a-challenge-who/2019/09/22/70bf9a80-dd19-11e9-be96-6adb81821e90_story.html)

"NAIROBI —  The World Health Organization accused Tanzanian authorities of withholding information about multiple suspected Ebola cases in the country this month, potentially hampering the containment of the deadly virus.. . .

WHO was made aware of the suspected cases in Tanzania shortly after one appeared this month in Dar es Salaam, the East African country’s massive capital. After that, the international organization was shut out of blood samples testing and told by the government that Ebola had been ruled out, it said.

Tanzanian authorities have not offered alternative diagnoses.. . .

WHO’s statement refers to a 34-year-old doctor studying in central Uganda who returned to her native Tanzania with Ebola-like symptoms and died Sept. 8 in Dar es Salaam. Her illness was apparently contagious, as numerous contacts also became ill."

Further worrisome information in the article.

Unlike the last large Ebola outbreak, we now have a seemingly effective vaccine, and fairly effective treatment.  But the vaccine must be administered well in advance of exposure, and the treatments must be started early in the course of the disease.  Neither of these is feasible if the disease spreads quickly in an under-resourced urban area.  Stay tuned.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on September 30, 2019, 11:16:56 PM
Possible Cover-Up of Ebola Outbreak in Tanzania Prompts Travel Warnings
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/09/possible-cover-up-of-ebola-outbreak-in-tanzania-prompts-travel-warnings/

US and UK government officials are warning travelers of the possibility of a concealed Ebola outbreak in Tanzania after the World Health Organization reported that the government there is withholding information about possible cases of the deadly virus.

On September 21, the WHO released an unusual statement outlining a series of unofficial reports from the country. The first was that a doctor who had recently traveled to Uganda had returned to Tanzania with a “suspected” case of Ebola. Testing performed by the Tanzanian National Health Laboratory reportedly indicated that the doctor was positive for the virus. She died on September 8 in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, after traveling extensively throughout the country. Subsequent unofficial reports to the WHO indicated that there were several other suspected cases as well as contacts in quarantine in various sites in Tanzania.

The Tanzanian government has said that there have been no cases of Ebola and that no suspected cases are “admitted anywhere” in the country. But officials there have been remarkably slow to respond to the WHO’s requests for information, have failed to provide critical details about the cases, have not offered alternative explanations for the illnesses and death, and have refused to perform confirmatory tests to ensure that the disease is not spreading, according to the WHO.

The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department updated their travel advisories for Tanzania late Friday, September 27.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/tanzania
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tanzania/health

The UK’s warning notes that the WHO declared the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in July and that cases have spilled over to Uganda.

The outbreak, which began in August of 2018, has sickened over 3,000, killing more than 2,000 so far. It is the second largest Ebola outbreak on record, surpassed only by the 2014 West African outbreak involving more than 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on October 15, 2019, 03:53:35 AM
Researchers Find Just Two Plague Strains Wiped Out 30%-60% of Europe
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/10/researchers-find-just-two-plague-strains-wiped-out-30-60-of-europe/

The Black Death ravaged medieval Western Europe, wiping out roughly one-third of the population. Now researchers have traced the genetic history of the bacterium believed to be behind the plague in a recent paper published in Nature Communications. They found that one strain seemed to be the ancestor of all the strains that came after it, indicating that the pandemic spread from a single entry point into Europe from the East—specifically, a Russian town called Laishevo.

... Y. pestis proved to be so virulent that mice died after being infected with just three bacilli.

Phylogeography of the second plague pandemic revealed through analysis of historical Yersinia pestis genomes
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12154-0
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on October 28, 2019, 11:50:06 PM
Multiple Factors Aligned to Establish Sustained Transmission of XDR-TB in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
https://m.medicalxpress.com/news/2019-10-multiple-factors-aligned-sustained-transmission.html

A study published today in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) examines the evolutionary and epidemiologic history of an epidemic strain of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) - called LAM4/KZN- in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This strain was first reported in a 2005 outbreak in Tugela Ferry, KwaZulu-Natal, where it was associated with 90 percent mortality among predominantly HIV infected individuals, and has since become widespread throughout the province. A new study identifies key host, pathogen and environmental factors that facilitated the success of this XDR-TB strain and steps that can be taken for early identification and containment of future epidemics. ...

Tyler S. Brown el al., "Pre-detection history of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa," (https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/10/23/1906636116) PNAS (2019)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on November 15, 2019, 02:51:18 PM
Pig Infected With African Swine Fever Washes Up In Taiwan
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-pig-infected-african-swine-fever.html

A floating dead pig infected with African swine fever washed up in Taiwan last week, according to a UN report, which also recorded a fresh mainland China outbreak and an attempt to illegally transport infected pigs.

China's swine herd has been devastated by the outbreak of the disease, first reported by the government in August last year.

An update on the crisis from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations dated Thursday said the dead pig was found floating on November 6 near Taiwan's Xiaojinmen Island—also known as Lieyu—close to the mainland province of Fujian.

It said the pig tested positive for the same strain of swine fever that has unleashed havoc in mainland China.

... There was also a fresh outbreak in China's southwestern Yunnan province this month, the FAO said, totalling 163 outbreaks in 32 provinces and regions.

One pig farmer told AFP last month that some affected farmers were quietly selling or disposing of dead pigs rather than declaring them to the government.

A Rabobank report has warned China could lose 200 million pigs during the epidemic.

The UN has also documented cases of swine fever in neighbouring Asian countries, including three new cases among wild pigs in South Korea.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on November 15, 2019, 08:53:55 PM
Might come in handy later in the season ...

Ketogenic Diet Helps Tame Flu Virus
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-11-ketogenic-diet-flu-virus.html

A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet like the Keto regimen has its fans, but influenza apparently isn't one of them.

Mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates, according to a new Yale University study published Nov. 15 in the journal Science Immunology.

The ketogenic diet—which for people includes meat, fish, poultry, and non-starchy vegetables—activates a subset of T cells in the lungs not previously associated with the immune system's response to influenza, enhancing mucus production from airway cells that can effectively trap the virus, the researchers report.

Specifically, the researchers found that the ketogenic diet triggered the release of gamma delta T cells, immune system cells that produce mucus in the cell linings of the lung—while the high-carbohydrate diet did not.

Open Access: E.L. Goldberg el al., "Ketogenic diet activates protective γδ T cell responses against influenza virus infection," (https://immunology.sciencemag.org/content/4/41/eaav2026) Science Immunology (2019)
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on November 18, 2019, 04:44:28 PM
A Fresh Case of Bubonic Plague Has Now Been Confirmed by China
https://www.sciencealert.com/a-fresh-case-of-bubonic-plague-has-now-been-confirmed-in-china

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Inner Mongolia reported a fresh, confirmed case of bubonic plague on Sunday, despite an earlier declaration by the country's health officials that the risk of an outbreak was minimal.

The patient in Inner Mongolia is now isolated and treated at a hospital in Ulanqab, the health commission said.

A total of 28 people who had close contact with the patient are now isolated and under observation, and the commission said there are no abnormal symptoms found in them.

Outbreaks in China have been rare, but large parts of the northwestern city of Yumen were sealed off in 2014 after a 38-year-old resident died of bubonic plague, known as "Black Death" in the Middle Ages and caused by the same bacterium as the pneumonic variant.

Rodent populations have risen in Inner Mongolia after persistent droughts, worsened by climate change. An area the size of the Netherlands was hit by a "rat plague" last summer, causing damages of 600 million yuan (US$86 million), Xinhua said.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: Tor Bejnar on November 18, 2019, 06:28:53 PM
When in university, my brother gave me a 'protest button' with:
   
         New Mexico
       Land of the flea
     Home of the plague

From the New Mexico Dept. of Health (https://nmhealth.org/about/erd/ideb/zdp/plg/):
Quote
Plague is an infectious disease of animals and humans caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis. People usually get plague from the bite of a rodent flea that is carrying plague bacteria or by handling an infected animal.

Although plague is a rare disease, about half of US cases each year occur in New Mexico. Antibiotics are effective against plague, but if an infected person is not treated promptly the disease can be life-threatening.

...

There has been one Human Plague Case in New Mexico in 2019 ...
There have been no human plague cases in 2018.
There were four Human Plague Case in New Mexico in 2017 ...
There were four Human Plague Cases in New Mexico in 2016 ... All survived the illness.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on November 22, 2019, 08:46:05 PM
DR Congo Measles: Nearly 5,000 Dead In Major Outbreak
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-50506743

Measles has killed nearly 5,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019, authorities said, after the disease spread to all the provinces in the country. Close to a quarter of a million people have been infected this year alone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says this is the world's largest and fastest-moving epidemic.

Four million children have been vaccinated, but experts warn that this amounts to less than half of the total in the country - and not enough vaccines are available. The majority of those infected with measles in the country are infants.

Measles in DR Congo has now killed more than twice the number who have died of Ebola there in the last 15 months.

It is estimated that a global total of 110,000 people die from measles each year.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on November 24, 2019, 01:49:07 AM
Border Patrol Denies Undocumented Immigrants Free Influenza Vaccine
https://abcnews.go.com/amp/Health/border-patrol-denies-undocumented-immigrants-free-influenza-vaccine/story?id=67237256

Peak flu season is fast approaching North America and the U.S. government is actively encouraging anyone over 6 months old to vaccinate – that is, unless you are one of the thousands of people being detained in Customs and Border Protection facilities for undocumented entry

“To us in the medical community the situation is alarming. When the CBP stated in August that they weren’t planning on vaccinating we saw this as egregious to deny basic health care access to people forced to stay in their care," said Dr. Bonnie Arzuaga, a Boston-based pediatrician and one of the founders of Doctors for Camp Closure.

The organization is a volunteer group of 2,000 U.S. based physicians who support the closing of the Customs and Border camps because of public health concerns. The organization volunteered to provide free influenza vaccines to those detained but the government never responded.

“We got no response, not even an acknowledgement of the letter," said Arzuaga.
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: kassy on December 30, 2019, 04:43:22 PM
Polio eradication program faces hard choices as endgame strategy fails

The “endgame” in the decadeslong campaign to eradicate polio suffered major setbacks in 2019. While the effort lost ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which recorded 116 cases of wild polio—four times the number in 2018—an especially alarming situation developed in Africa. In 12 countries, 196 children were paralyzed not by the wild virus, but by a strain derived from a live vaccine that has regained its virulence and ability to spread. Fighting these flare-ups will mean difficult decisions in the coming year.

The culprit in Africa is vaccine-derived polio virus type 2, and the fear is that it will jump continents and reseed outbreaks across the globe. A brand new vaccine is now being rushed through development to quash type 2 outbreaks. Mass production has already begun, even though the vaccine is still in clinical trials; it could be rolled out for emergency use as early as mid-2020. At the same time, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is debating whether to combat the resurgent virus by re-enlisting a triple-whammy vaccine pulled from global use in 2016. That would be a controversial move, setting back the initiative several years, as well as a potential public relations disaster—an admission that the carefully crafted endgame strategy has failed.

...

The heart of the problem is the live oral polio vaccine (OPV), the workhorse of the eradication program—the only polio vaccine powerful enough to stop viral circulation. Given as two drops into a child’s mouth, OPV for decades contained a mix of three weakened polio viruses, one for each of the three wild serotypes that have long plagued humanity. All three serotypes in the vaccine have the potential to revert to more dangerous versions; that’s why the endgame strategy calls for deploying OPV in massive campaigns to eradicate the wild virus, then ending its use entirely.

Wild serotype 2 was last sighted in 1999, so in 2016, as a first step in the endgame, all 155 countries using OPV replaced the trivalent version with a bivalent one, lacking the type 2 component. Announced with great fanfare, “the switch” was billed as the biggest vaccine rollout ever. Some type 2 outbreaks would inevitably occur for several years, GPEI realized, but those would be fought, somewhat paradoxically, by rushing in essentially the same vaccine that gave rise to them in the first place: a live, monovalent vaccine targeted against type 2 (mOPV2). If used in well-run campaigns, and only in outbreak regions, mOPV2 could stop outbreaks without seeding new ones, models suggested.

It often has not turned out that way. Instead of fading away, the number of type 2 outbreaks in Africa almost tripled from 2018 to 2019. Most of today’s outbreaks stem from mOPV2 responses to previous ones, and GPEI is burning through its emergency stockpile of mOPV2 faster than it can be replenished. (Based on a small study in Mozambique, a WHO advisory panel recently recommended halving the dose to one drop if supplies run critically low, despite what it calls “a relatively weak level of evidence” that the smaller dose is as effective.) Meanwhile, the risk of explosive outbreaks around the globe is ratcheting up, because millions of children born since the switch have little or no immunity to type 2 virus.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/12/polio-eradication-program-faces-hard-choices-endgame-strategy-fails
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: sidd on December 31, 2019, 12:18:15 AM
Polio and the CIA: Pakistanis distrust vaccine campaigns

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-27/polio-resurges-as-health-emergency-in-pakistan/5478144

sidd
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on December 31, 2019, 04:43:15 PM
China Investigates SARS-like Virus as Dozens Struck by Pneumonia
https://dw.com/en/china-investigates-sars-like-virus-as-dozens-struck-by-pneumonia/a-51843861

Chinese health authorities on Tuesday said they are investigating 27 cases of viral pneumonia in central Hubei province, amid online speculation that it could be linked to the SARS flu-like virus that killed hundreds of people a decade ago.

Wuhan health officials issued an emergency notification on Monday after local hospitals treated a "successive series of patients with unexplained pneumonia."

Of the 27 reported cases, seven are in a critical condition and 18 are stable, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said on Tuesday on its Weibo social media account. ...

A 2003 outbreak of the highly-contagious SARS virus was covered up and killed hundreds of people.

--------------------------

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4sYSyuuLk5g
Title: Re: Pathogens and their impacts
Post by: vox_mundi on January 03, 2020, 05:01:18 PM
China Confirms More Cases of Mystery Viral Pneumonia
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-01-china-cases-mystery-viral-pneumonia.html

China on Friday confirmed more cases of a mystery viral pneumonia that has sparked fears about a resurgence of SARS, the flu-like virus that killed hundreds of people more than a decade ago.

The 44 cases, up from the initial 27 announced Tuesday, include 11 "severe cases," health authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan said in a statement.

The authorities are still in the process of identifying the cause of the infection, but "influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus infection and other common respiratory diseases have been excluded," the Wuhan health commission said on Friday, without mentioning SARS, which is caused by a coronavirus.