Posts

October 12, 2014

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6:14 PM | KUNA: Qatar Announces MERS Case
Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL   # 9184   Technically, this is a Qatari who fell ill while visiting Saudi Arabia, and was air-ambulance evacuated back to Qatar for treatment.   Crof has another version of this report in his blog  Qatari man in hospital after contracting MERS. Over the past 30 days Saudi Arabia has reported 17 MERS infections, 9 of which were from the Taif region.   Qatar announces first MERS-CoV case for '14 […]
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5:06 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 2 MERS Cases (1 today, 1 Yesterday)
    # 9183   While reassuring that the Hajj went off without seeing any MERS cases among pilgrims (the incubation period is still running), the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia has announce two new MERS cases over the past two reporting days. Yesterday’s case: And yet another case from Taif, the 9th over the last month from that city.
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4:38 PM | CDC Press Conference & Media Statement On New Texas Ebola Case
  # 9182   The CDC held a press conference this morning to address reports of a Health care worker who has been infected while providing hospital care to Eric Duncan in Dallas (see Dallas Ebola Press Conference & Hospital Statement).  The CDC has been pretty quick to get the transcripts and audio files up on these pressers – and so I expect to see those later today on the CDC’s  Media Website. First stop, however, is the CDC’s statement […]
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2:33 PM | New Yorkers like their science from scientists
I cannot pass up the opportunity to point out this wonderful quote by Ginia Ballafante in her NY Times piece, Fear of Vaccines Goes Viral. The article starts by noting an article on plummeting vaccination rates in Los Angeles: The piece had the virtue of offering New Yorkers yet another opportunity to feel smugly superior to […]
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2:29 PM | Shooting the messenger: small RNA as a target for antibiotics
All living cells contain DNA; the code for producing every protein needed by the cell. As DNA is important it needs to be kept safe. Plants and animals keep their DNA tightly twisted and organised... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:22 PM | TWiV 306: This Week in Ebolavirus
On episode #306 of the science show This Week in Virology, the Grand Masters of the TWiV discuss Ebola virus transmission, air travel from West Africa, Ebola virus infectivity on surfaces, the Dallas Ebola virus patient, and Ebola virus in dogs. You can find TWiV #306 at www.twiv.tv.
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1:29 PM | Dallas Ebola Press Conference & Hospital Statement
  # 9181   A clearly subdued Dallas County Judge (highest ranking county official in the state of Texas) Clay Jenkins, in a press conference this morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, provided additional details on the first nosocomial transmission of Ebola in the United States. What we know (some details are being withheld to protect the family, and observe HIPAA regulations), is that a healthcare provider at Texas Presbyterian Hospital – who was involved in […]
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10:12 AM | Secondary Transmission: Dallas HCW Tests Positive For Ebola
Credit CDC PHIL    NOTE:  A press conference is scheduled for 8:30 EDT, where we hope to learn more details.   # 9180   We don’t have a lot of details yet, particularly regarding when this hospital worker was exposed (before or after the index case was isolated), but the State of Texas sent out the following statement a few minutes ago to regarding the first secondary transmission of the Ebola virus in the United States.     Texas […]
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2:02 AM | The most promising treatments for ebola are based on basic immunology-part 2
One of the more peculiar, historic and almost cinematic treatments being discussed in the midst of the ebola crises is the use of blood transfusions. In movies, the blood of a survivor or someone special is often supposed to have some sort of mystical effect on the (usually villainous) recipient. It turns out, blood transfusions […]

October 11, 2014

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12:29 PM | Sierra Leone’s Ebola Battle Shifts To Facilitating Home Care
  # 9179   In some of the bleaker flu pandemic scenarios that floated around during the middle of the last decade – with 30% (or more) of the population expected to fall ill with a comparable-to-1918  flu – at some point hospitals would be overrun, healthcare worker infections (and defections) would degrade their ability to provide services, and 90% of those infected would end up being treated in their homes by family and friends (see Alabama Pandemic Drill & […]
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6:00 AM | Mexican tomatoes Salmonella positive
Fresh-cut roma tomatoes grown in Mexico and distributed to Costco by Boskovich Farms Inc. may have been contaminated with salmonella and are part of a voluntary recall Expo Fresh LLC initiated in September. Coral Beach of The Packer reports Boskovich was … Continue reading →
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5:48 AM | Don’t eat moose organs: Quebec health agency
A health agency in Northern Quebec is providing some, uh, Northern Quebec advice:  don’t eat moose organs because of cadmium found in samples collected last fall. Moose kidneys and livers are considered a delicacy among the Cree First Nations of … Continue reading →

October 10, 2014

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5:05 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Jonathan Bujak
Dr. Jonathan Bujak (on the right in the photo above) had a reputation for causing trouble, one that started on his first day of school. Read on to learn how doing a little better in chemistry helped him survive the 1960s, how chance played a very special role in his life, and how finding a fern in an Arctic ocean sediment core completely changed the trajectory of his career. Lea: How about you tell me a little bit about where you were in middle school between the ages of 10 and 14? Jonathan: I […]
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4:18 PM | ECDC Ebola Epidemiological Update – Oct 10th
  # 9178   The ECDC has produced another of their data and graphic rich epidemiological updates on the Ebola outbreak, which includes a listing of all cases evacuate to the United States & Europe, the most recent stats, and a listing of key events in this outbreak since it first made headlines last March.   Follow the link below for the full update, including an impressive selection of maps and charts.   Epidemiological update: outbreak of Ebola virus […]
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1:39 PM | Early Season Flu Fatalities In NC, SC & ID
  # 9177     Although flu season often doesn’t get started in earnest until after Thanksgiving, some years we see earlier starts than others.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen a smattering of flu reports from New Mexico, California, and New Hampshire – but this week we’ve seen several flu fatalities announced – including among children.   A reminder that influenza is a genuine killer – claiming thousands of lives in […]
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12:47 PM | EID Journal: Avian Influenza (H7N9) Virus Infection in Chinese Tourist in Malaysia, 2014
Itinerary Of Chinese Tourist With H7N9 In Malaysia – Feb 2014   # 9176   Last February, in Malaysia Reports Their 1st Imported H7N9 Case & Malaysian MOH Statement On Imported H7N9, we looked at the third country (or autonomous region) to see an imported case of human H7N9 infection (the other two being Taiwan and Hong Kong) from Mainland China.   The patient – a 66 year-old woman - had purchased 3 chickens from a live market in Guangzhou, Guangdong […]
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11:32 AM | Escape from Australian Salmonella outbreak nightmare for small business
The owner of a family-owned business identified as the source of a salmonella bacteria outbreak says he has avoided a “nightmare” by having the correct food safety procedures in place. Max Schofield is the founder of Fresh Fodder, which employs … Continue reading →
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11:29 AM | WHO Marburg Update – Uganda
  # 9175 Five days ago, in Uganda Reporting Apparent Marburg Outbreak, we learned of what appeared to be the first case of Marburg virus infection since 2012, involving 1 `confirmed’ case in Kampala, Uganda, along with a number of contacts under observation. Marburg hemorrhagic fever (Marburg HF) is normally found in parts of eastern and central Africa, and is less commonly reported than its more famous Ebola cousins.   Today we’ve an update from […]
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11:09 AM | UK Statement On Airport Screening For Ebola
Credit UK.gov   # 9174   Three days ago the UK government was still openly resisting the idea of screening inbound passengers for Ebola symptoms  (see Ebola surveillance and contingency planning ongoing in UK) - but between public and media pressures to `do something’, and seeing the United States and Canada announce targeted enhanced screening (see Airport Screening Fact Sheet) – the decision to go ahead has finally been made.   While airport […]
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10:42 AM | Blood-covered cardboard and rat droppings found at UK supermarket sentenced for food hygiene offences
Rat droppings on pallets of bottled water and cardboard covered in blood were just some of the shocking finds made at a supermarket in Slough. The director and manager of Marwa Superstore in High Street have been fined and banned … Continue reading →
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10:29 AM | UK store fined £2,000 after rotting mouse found among
A decomposing mouse was found sandwiched between packets of beans at a convenience store. The owner of the Gurkha SP4 Mini Market in Brompton High Street, Gillingham, has been fined after the discovery. Rodents had torn their way into packets … Continue reading →
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10:18 AM | Sri Lanka temporarily halts some Fonterra milk product sales after illness
New Zealand’s Fonterra’s still got some problems after Sri Lanka suspended the sale of some Anchor milk powder after some children consumed the product and fell ill, government health officials said on Sunday. However Fonterra, a New Zealand dairy giant, … Continue reading →
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10:07 AM | A Blogger’s Dilemma – What To Do About `Suspect’ Ebola Cases
  # 9173   Over the past 48 hours I’m aware of perhaps a dozen suspected Ebola `scares’ around the world (outside of Western Africa) where one or more persons has displayed symptoms consistent with the disease – resulting in hospitalization and/or testing.   Recent locations have included Paris, Macedonia, Texas,  Brazil, and  Prague.   I’ve not blogged any of these cases because: Most, I believe, will turn out to be false […]
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2:25 AM | Wash the poo, reduce campy rates?
A move to scrub poo from dirty chicken crates has spared New Zealanders from hundreds of cases of Campylobacter, authorities say. New research presented to a health conference has revealed that New Zealand’s once-dire problem with the painful and embarrassing … Continue reading →
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2:14 AM | PhD scholarships available
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October 09, 2014

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11:49 PM | More cases of Yersinia in NZ
A total of 124 cases of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, up from 120, have been confirmed throughout New Zealand, possibly linked to bagged carrots and lettuce. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said they are continuing to interview those who have become … Continue reading →
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11:38 PM | Taiwan tycoon resigns over food safety scandal
The head of a leading Taiwanese food company resigned on Thursday after his firm was implicated in a string of food safety scandals that resulted in hundreds of tonnes of products being pulled from shelves. Wei Yin-chun stepped down as … Continue reading →
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11:26 PM | Joyce 2014 field season preview
This upcoming field season we will be getting to know Lake Joyce of the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys very well.  For seven weeks, 5-7 of us will live and work within the confines of Pearse Valley, with a valley floor all of 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.   Our field camp in Pearse Valley, 2010Our attention will be focused on the bottom of Lake Joyce and the microbial communities that call it home.  In previous seasons, we dove on one side of the lake, near locations where […]
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11:23 PM | Over half of food inspections in mainland China failed last quarter
Orders for food inspections in mainland China—almost half of which have failed—have increased at a fast rate in the wake of recent food scandals, a report by quality-control services provider AsiaInspection (AFI) has said.
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10:14 PM | C. perfringens: UK Christmas Day diner died and dozens seriously ill after Xmas turkey lunch at pub ‘where staff paid lip service to safety procedures’
A Christmas Day diner died and dozens of others became seriously ill after eating their turkey lunch at a pub where staff paid ‘lip service’ to safety procedures, a court heard today. Mother-of-one Della Callagher, 46, died after paying £39.95 … Continue reading →
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