Posts

October 19, 2014

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10:31 PM | Stay at home, thoroughly clean: Pennyslvania hospital implements improvements after norovirus affects 19 staffers
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently improved its virus-detection process after a state Health Department investigation revealed the room of a patient suffering from norovirus in April was inadequately cleaned amid an outbreak among nurses there. The Health Department report was … Continue reading →
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10:31 PM | Kids Microbiology Book Review: Germ Stories
I was going through some kids books today and found quite a few that I thought were wonderful and thought - well - I should post about some of them.  So that is what I am going to do.The first I want to write about is Germ Stories by Arthur Kornberg with Illustrations by Adam Alaniz and Photos by Roberto Kolter.  I used to read it to my daughter all the time (she is two years older than my son) and then sometimes, when she was older, she would read it to my son.  A few […]
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10:23 PM | Post #7 Ebola, Career Ambition, and Coming Up Short - My PhD Process: How I Survived a PhD in the Biological Sciences and Succeeded Afterward
With all the discussion about the Ebola outbreak that is going on in Africa, I can't help but think about my brushes with Ebola research. Ideally, I would have had more than "brushes" with Ebola by now, however I haven't been able to get a position (postdoc, fellowship, or other) where BSL-4 work is required.When I was in college, Joseph McCormick and Susan Fisher-Hoch came to my undergraduate school (North Dakota State University) to give a talk and to promote their book "Level 4: Virus […]
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9:41 PM | Eggs? 3 sick with Salmonella during festival of Pilar in Spain
Three people were stricken with Salmonella and hospitalized during the past holiday Pilar in Zaragoza. The latest data published by the Public Health Epidemiological Bulletin of Aragon recorded a total of 480 food poisoning during the 2014, slightly above the estimated … Continue reading →
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9:08 PM | 10 in Mexican chancery poisoned by food
Ten people were poisoned after consuming liver in the dining room of headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Avenida Juarez. Seven were hospitalized (something may be lost in translation).
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8:41 PM | Canadian says McDonald’s coffee contained dead mouse
Ron Morais of Fredericton says he got more than he bargained for when he picked up a cup of coffee from a local McDonald’s restaurant on his way to work. He was contendedly sipping his coffee that he got Monday from the … Continue reading →
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8:22 PM | 14K tests, 98.7% compliance: Canadian annual microbiology report 2011-12
The Government of Canada verifies that food produced and/or sold in Canada meets federal food safety standards to ensure Canadians have confidence in what they buy. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) monitors and regulates food products that are produced … Continue reading →
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7:54 PM | INSPIRE Excelencia!
I know sometimes I come off a bit negative about things, especially as it relates to my PhD experience. However, it wasn't all bad and recently I was reminded of one of the better experiences.A few weeks back the INfluence Student Potential and Increase Representation in Education (INSPIRE) program at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) received national recognition as a pathway for Latino students interested in graduate education and possible careers in the health and […]
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7:53 PM | More tampered Canadian potatoes discovered
CBC News reports that tampered potatoes from P.E.I. have reached other parts of Atlantic Canada. Over the last few days, police received three reports of tampered potatoes, one in Neil’s Harbour, Nova Scotia, one in Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland and one in … Continue reading →
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7:38 PM | Ohio Daily Ebola Contact Report – Oct 19th
    # 9218   Although the primary Ebola focus in the United States has focused on Dallas, Texas - public health authorities in Ohio are also managing more than 150 contacts (close and otherwise) of Texas nurse Amber Vinson who visited family shortly before being diagnosed with Ebola. Most of these contacts are considered casual/low-risk, and so only three are `quarantined’.   Others must either have their temperatures taken twice daily (Tier […]
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6:46 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 2 More MERS Cases
  # 9217 The Saudi MOH Announced two more MERS cases today, including the 11th recent case from Taif.   Unless I’ve lost count, this makes 22 cases reported since this uptick began on  September 12th.     With half of those cases hailing from Taif, and few details released, it begs the question whether these are mostly community acquired cases or part of a nosocomial outbreak.
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4:49 PM | NIH: `More Stringent’ PPE Standards For Ebola On The Way
Old CDC Ebola PPE Recommendations http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/infection-prevention-and-control-recommendations.html   # 9216   When Thomas Duncan arrived at a Dallas hospital last month the CDC’s recommended PPEs for HCWs dealing with a suspected or confirmed Ebola case included contact (gloves, gown) and droplet protection (surgical masks, eye protection), but full skin covering and the use of  respirators (ie. PAPR, N95) were not for patient care not […]
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3:31 PM | Can Ebola virus infect via the skin?
I received this question about Ebola virus infection via email: Can you become infected if infected droplet lands on your skin even if there is no abrasion on the skin? I am now hearing this, which surprises me. The virus can enter through the actual skin and does not need mucus membrane to enter? The […]
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3:02 PM | TWiV 307: Ebola aetiology
On episode #307 of the science show This Week in Virology, Tara Smith joins the TWiEBOVsters to discuss the Ebola virus outbreak in west Africa, spread of the disease to and within the US, transmission of the virus, and much more. You can find TWiV #307 at www.twiv.tv.
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1:05 PM | Ebola: Ohio Public Health Monitoring 29 Individuals
Contact Risks – Summit County Ebola FAQ   # 9215   The good news is that out of more than 150 people exposed to Thomas Duncan and the two-Ebola infected nurses from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, none have shown signs of infection to date.  (Note: This number does not include passengers on Frontier Airlines flights).   About a quarter of those contacts come off `quarantine watch’ at midnight tonight, having gone 21 days without symptoms. […]
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12:40 PM | Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital’s Open Letter To The Community
    # 9214   While we tend to think of Ebola in terms of the tragic number infected, and the number of deaths, the damage done by this epidemic also includes impacts on society, the economy, and even personal and corporate reputations.    One small example – Yesterday ABC News reported that the Ebola Scare Turns Dallas Hospital Into a 'Ghost Town', a response to the initial misdiagnosis of America’s index imported Ebola case, and the subsequent […]
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12:16 PM | Tweeting for foodborne illness
In less than a year, a Chicago Department of Public Health website launched to track Twitter traffic for foodborne illness complaints turned up 21 restaurants that failed unannounced health inspections (Harris JK et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63[32]:681-685). … Continue reading →

October 18, 2014

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9:09 PM | Saudi MOH Announces Another MERS Case In Taif
    # 9213   The Saudi MOH today announced the 10th MERS case reported out of Taif over just less than 5 weeks, although we’ve heard virtually nothing about the circumstances surrounding this cluster.   Today’s case is described simply as:     The MOH also announced one death (in Taif) and one recovery in Riyadh.   Earlier today we saw Turkey Announces MERS Fatality – ex KSA, which followed an earlier case reported a […]
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7:21 PM | CHP: Mainland China Reports Two H7N9 Cases
  # 9212   Via Hong Kong’s CHP (h/t Sharon Sanders of FluTrackers) and Taiwan’s CDC, we’ve announcements of two previously unreported H7N9 cases on the Chinese mainland, although very little detail is provided on either case.  While it is still early in the fall, this should serve to remind us that `avian flu season’ is just around the corner. The first case is that of a 44 year-old woman from the far western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, […]
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12:34 PM | Ebola- The current situation
Greetings   I have been covering the Ebola story for some months now and the posts have been well received by the audience. The current world news is focused on Ebola transmission. When I last wrote a "updates post" (Link), the total number of cases was already at a record high. With more and more papers pumping in, I felt this is the right time to get back into writing an update on EBOV 2014.The current estimates is 4,500 cases (as of on 18 Oct 2014) of death, including 236 health […]
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11:56 AM | Squirts Stars, thermometers and gender stuff
In Canada we call the little kids that play hockey, Novices. In Brisbane they call them Squirts. Novice is better. Whatever they’re called, mucho kudos to the Brisbane  Southern Stars Squirts (5-9-years-old) on winning all seven games at the 4th … Continue reading →
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11:47 AM | CDC: Review of Human-to-Human Transmission of Ebola Virus
Credit CDC PHIL     # 9211   My reasoning behind why I don’t believe that Ebola is an `airborne’ virus in the `classic sense’ (although short-distance droplet transmission appears possible) is pretty simple:    If it was truly airborne, we’d be digging mass graves all around the globe by now.   Whether it could someday achieve airborne transmissibility is a debate I’ll leave to real scientists to wrangle over. While I […]
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10:50 AM | Turkey Announces MERS Fatality – ex KSA
  # 9210     Overnight ProMed Mail carried a brief reports on a reported fatality in Turkey from the MERS virus (see MERS-COV (38):TURKEY ex SAUDI ARABIA, FATAL, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION), with the following brief announcement:   MERS-CoV, Ankara, Turkey, New Death --------------------------------------------- MoH Turkey announced the laboratory results as MERS-Cov positive for a recently dead patient in Ankara. The Turkish-originated male patient, […]
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7:08 AM | Ebola’s Chain of Infection
A chain of infection is a method for organizing the basic information needed to respond to an epidemic.  I’ve gathered the best information I’ve been able to find. As the current epidemic is analyzed, there is no doubt some of the recommendations and basic knowledge will change. The Ebola Virus (EBOV) The Ebola virus is […]

October 17, 2014

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5:25 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Doug Emlen
I recently sat down with evolutionary biologist Dr. Doug Emlen when he was in town to give a seminar at NC State. We met at the Hunt Library, and after testing out a few of their famous chairs, we settled in for an interview that took us around the world. Read on to learn how Doug spent the first six months of sixth grade in Kenya with his dad studying birds, got singled out in science class and learned early on in his academic career that he would never be Indiana Jones. Lea: We’re […]
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4:43 PM | WHO Ebola Roadmap Update – Oct 17th
  # 9209   Although there are quite obviously huge gaps in surveillance and reporting from the three hot zone countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the numbers collected by the WHO continue to rise at a staggering rate.  Last Friday the total number of cases sat at 8376 and today that number is 9191 – an increase over more than 800 cases in 7 days.   The real number is anyone’s guess, although many estimates put it at double or triple the […]
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4:12 PM | How to stop the spread of Ebola [video]
Tagged: Biology, Ebola, Emerging disease, Filovirus, Health, Medicine, Microbiology, Science, Video, Virology, virus
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1:35 PM | Hospital Ebola Preparedness COCA Call Now Online
    # 9208   On Tuesday the CDC sponsored a COCA Call that was so hammered by people trying to listen in, that many callers (like myself) were dropped, and based on twitter comments, many others were unable to log on at all.   In light of the events of this week, the information presented in this COCA Call by experts from both Emory and UNMC – where Ebola cases have been successfully handled – become even more important.   To access the audio, […]
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1:19 PM | ECDC Updated Rapid Risk Assessment On MERS-CoV
  # 9207   Although the number of MERS infections being reported over the past few months pales compared to the numbers we saw last spring, we’ve seen a steady trickle of cases in Saudi Arabia over the last month, and on September 30th we saw Austria Report 1st Imported MERS Case (ex- KSA).    While the reasons are not fully understood, MERS is beginning to look as if it has a seasonal preference, with most cases reported during the spring and early summer. […]
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11:49 AM | WHO MERS Update – Saudi Arabia
Credit FAO     # 9206   While are understandably focused on Ebola, there are other emerging viral infections out there that could – if they they began to spread efficiently among humans – pose an even bigger global threat than Ebola.  Among those are the various flavors of avian flu (H5N1, H7N9, H5N6, etc.) and the MERS coronavirus. Although the number of MERS cases has dropped over the summer, we continue to see a small trickle of cases in Saudi […]
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