The Guardian the latest measles hot spot:
Las Vegas confirms three new cases of measles linked to casino restaurant
- Two staff members and patron of seafood restaurant at MGM Grand affected
- Cases not linked to Disneyland outbreak that began in December
Three new cases of measles have been confirmed in Las Vegas, in people believed to have been infected by a contagious worker at an upscale MGM Grand Hotel and Casino seafood restaurant, Nevada public health officials said on Friday.
The newly diagnosed patients, two staff members and a patron of Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand, bring to nine the total number of measles cases reported in Clark County, the Southern Nevada health district spokeswoman, Jennifer Sizemore, said.
None of those cases are believed to be linked to an outbreak of measles that began at Disneyland in December, she said.
And from the Oakland Tribune, a measles alert about one of esnl’s favorite local eateries:
Person with measles dined at Berkeley restaurant, health officials warn
A person infected with measles dined at La Mediterranee restaurant in Berkeley last week, exposing hundreds of fellow diners to the infectious virus, a city health spokeswoman said Thursday.
The adult, a San Mateo resident, visited the popular Berkeley restaurant Feb. 20, between 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Health officials said the person had not developed the telltale rash and was unaware of the infection. Symptoms can develop between 7 and 21 days after exposure to the virus.
Also on Thursday, BART officials warned that more than 1,000 riders may have been exposed to measles when an infected person rode the train last week, getting on a Richmond-bound train at Millbrae and getting off at Civic Center. The person was also described as a San Mateo resident, although privacy laws make it impossible to know if it is the same one.
From the Associated Press, fingering a Bosnian culprit:
Experts blame anti-vaccine lobby for Bosnia measles outbreak
Medical experts warned Friday the anti-vaccination lobby is growing in Bosnia, using scientifically discredited arguments to stoke parental fears in the worst-affected country in Europe’s measles outbreak.
This trend — combined with a generation that could not be immunized because of lack of vaccines during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war — has led to 5,340 measles cases in Bosnia, according to the World Health Organization.
“I am increasingly hearing from parents about their fears due to the stuff they read on the Internet,” Dr. Gordana Banduka, a pediatrician from Pale, near Sarajevo, told The Associated Press.
Bosnia’s immunization rate has fallen to just 87 percent, chief epidemiologist Jelena Ravlija said, below the 95 percent rate needed to prevent outbreaks.
Some good news about another lethal virus, via Medical News Today:
Researchers identify antibodies to fight Marburg virus
Two new studies have demonstrated how human antibodies can neutralize the Marburg virus, a highly lethal virus related to Ebola.
Antibodies have been found to bind to the surface of the virus, which could lead to future antibody treatments and vaccines to target Marburg and other viruses in the family.
Marburg virus is up to 90% lethal. Just like the Ebola virus, it can cause hemorrhaging and organ failure. An outbreak of the virus in Angola in 2005 was responsible for the deaths of 329 people, and the worry is that an even bigger outbreak could occur in the future.
“The good news is, humans do make antibodies when they are infected that can kill these viruses… which suggests that vaccines should work,” says Dr. James Crowe, lead author of one of the two studies published in Cell.
From the New York Times, and they’re surprised?:
U.S. Push for Abstinence in Africa Is Seen as Failure Against H.I.V.
The $1.3 billion that the United States government has spent since 2005 encouraging Africans to avoid AIDS by practicing abstinence and fidelity did not measurably change sexual behavior and was largely wasted, according to a study presented on the last day of an AIDS conference here.
The study, done by a second-year student at Stanford Medical School for a professor with an expertise in cost-benefit analyses, caused a major stir in the room where it was presented.
The researcher, Nathan Lo, analyzed records showing the age of people having sex for the first time, teenage pregnancy and number of sexual partners in international health surveys that have been paid for by the State Department since the 1970s.
And then there’s another health threat, via the Guardian:
Three cases of leprosy in eastern Florida ‘linked to armadillos’
- Experts stress public has little cause for alarm
- ‘There’s more interaction with armadillos than you might think’
Health officials on the east coast of Florida have diagnosed three cases of leprosy in the last five months, linking two of the cases to contact with armadillos. The small armored mammals are known to harbor the disease in the southern US.
The cases were confirmed in Volusia County, Florida, which is home to about 500,000 people and tourist cities such as Daytona Beach. Health officials believe the three cases developed independently.
Though such a cluster of cases of leprosy is uncommon, experts say the general public has little to worry about. About 95% of the population is not susceptible to leprosy, also called Hansen’s disease, which can be cured with antibiotics. Also, only the nine-banded armadillo carries leprosy. The common five-banded armadillo does not.
Another epidemic spreads, via Outbreak News Today:
Diphtheria surge in Sumatra city prompts vaccination drive
Health officials with the West Sumatra Health Agency have reported a surge of the very serious vaccine-preventable disease, diphtheria, in the city of Padang over the past month prompting a mass vaccination campaign.
“During the last four weeks, 28 cases of children with suspected diphtheria have been found, six of which tested positive for the diphtheria bacteria,” West Sumatra Health Agency head Rosnini Savitri said to the Jakarta Post.
In addition, two of the 6 confirmed cases died from the disease.
The health agency is targeting 254,000 children and adolescents aged between 2 months and 15 years for vaccination against diphtheria, the report notes.
Latin Correspondent covers a war declared against Big Food:
To fight diabetes crisis, Mexican civil society takes aim at junk food, Coca-Cola
With one-third of Mexican children likely to develop diabetes during their lifetime, a group of civic associations known as the Alliance for Healthy Food have called for the removal of junk food and related marketing from children’s lives.
The Alliance for Healthy Food’s mass media campaign, entitled “What did your children eat today?” aims to raise awareness of this health crisis, which is being fueled largely by excessive consumption of junk food and sugary drinks.
The campaign is targeted at parents, to encourage them to make better dietary choices for their children, and at lawmakers, to persuade them to pass more stringent legislation against junk food and sugary drink advertising that targets Mexican children.
Al Jazeera America covers an American economic health threat:
Suicides among middle-aged spiked after 2007, tied to economic downturn
- Study shows that financial and legal troubles were increasingly a factor in US suicides after Great Recession
A sharp increase in suicide rates among middle-aged Americans in the years after 2007 is linked to economic troubles brought about by the financial crisis, according to a study published Friday in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The number of Americans age 40 to 64 who take their own lives has risen by 40 percent since 1999, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And suicide rates for the age group have picked up markedly since the onset of the Great Recession, according to the report.
The increase comes despite the number of suicides leveling off over the same time frame for other age groups.
From JapanToday, Big Pharma behaving badly once again:
Novartis Japan hit with suspension failing to report drug side effects
Japanese health authorities said Friday that they have ordered the local unit of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis to temporarily suspend its operations for failing to report drug side effects.
The health ministry’s 15-day suspension—reportedly a first for a pharmaceutical firm operating in Japan—means the company will not be able to sell most of its drugs during that period, which is to start from March 5.
Tokyo-based Novartis Pharma KK in December admitted it failed to promptly report more than 3,000 cases of adverse effects from about two dozen company drugs. Drugmakers are required to report serious side effects to the ministry within 15 to 30 days.
After the jump, a drug wars plan would deny a critically needed Third World medicine, another down side to digital media [What’s that? We can’t hear you. . .], California farmers denied water as drought drags on and what ground water there is faces illegal fracking and oil drilling waste contamination, Olympic-sized water woes in Rio, Americans see the climate change as a moral cause, the challenge of separating natural cycles from human causation in climate change, on to Fukushimapocalypse Now!, starting with soaring levels of radiation in the latest leaks, irradiated dirt transfers to commence, high radiation levels find in ocean fish near the site, and Kyoto signs a pact over a reactor restart, plus an avian threat to a Dutch town. . . Continue reading