We begin with the maladies, including a new one from Kansas, via Medical Daily:
New Tick-Borne Disease Identified In Kansas Man, Kills Him In 11 Days
Experts have been warning us for years about the dangers of tick bites; they’re the primary cause of Lyme disease, a terrible infectious disease characterized by cognitive impairments, arthritis, and flu-like symptoms that can linger even after treatment. But a new tick-borne disease to emerge recently has given Americans more of a reason to avoid ticks, as it has killed the man who first developed it.
It’s called Bourbon virus, and was named after Bourbon County, Kansas, where the man who became ill with the disease lived. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the man, who was previously healthy in his 50s, sought medical attention after a series of tick bites and symptoms like fatigue and fever. However, he quickly developed thrombocytopenia and leukopenia, which are an absence of blood platelets — used to clot blood and prevent internal bleeding — and white blood cells, respectively. Within 11 days, his organs had failed, and he died of cardiac arrest.
This chain of events occurred despite the man undergoing antibiotic treatment. Moreover, he underwent a battery of tests for tick-borne viruses, which came back negative. Unsure of what was happening to him, doctors sent a blood sample to the CDC’s headquarters, where more sophisticated testing could determine what the cause of the man’s illness was. There, they found it belonged to a family of viruses known as thogotoviruses, which can be found all over the world.
Another outbreak, via the Associated Press:
Deaths in Saudi Arabia from MERS virus climb to 385
Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry says two more people have died after contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS, pushing the total number of deaths from the virus in the kingdom to 385.
The ministry’s statement on Saturday says that 902 cases of MERS have been discovered in Saudi Arabia since the virus was first identified in 2012, though 490 people who contracted it have recovered.
Some 57 people have contracted MERS in the kingdom since the start of February.
From the New York Times, troubling resistance:
Malaria in Widening Area Resists Drug, Study Finds
The world’s best drug for treating malaria, a medicine that is the key to saving millions of lives in Africa and beyond, is losing its efficacy in a much larger swath of territory than was previously known, according to research that was released Friday.
The study, in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, a medical journal, raises the troubling prospect that resistance to the drug, artemisinin, might one day severely hamper treatment of a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people every year.
“This should focus minds,” said Charles Woodrow, one of the authors of the study. “We have to eliminate these very resistant parasites. The fear is that if we don’t, we would reverse all the gains that have been made.”
For several decades, artemisinin has been considered an anti-malaria wonder drug, rapidly ridding the body of the parasite that is introduced into the body by a mosquito and infects the blood.
Running the numbers with BBC News:
Malaria on Myanmar-India border is ‘huge threat’
Deaths from malaria have nearly halved since 2000, and the infection now kills about 584,000 people each year.
But resistance to artemisinin threatens to undo all that hard work, and it has been detected in:
- Myanmar, also known as Burma
Blood samples from 940 people with malaria from 55 sites across Myanmar showed this resistance was widespread across the country.
From GNN Liberia, the witchcraft of Big Agra’s food products:
LIBERIA: Diabetes Symptoms Not Witchcraft Says Pervocate Manager
The Administrative Manager of Pervocate, a diabetes testing and awareness center located on Front Street in Monrovia has called on Liberians to be familiar with the symptoms of diabetes which is often associated to witch craft in Liberia.
Agnes Johnson made the statement during an interview at her front street offices . She said diabetes which is simply an increased of sugar level in the body has become a global health crises that is affecting about 3.3 million people in west Africa according to the World Health Organization estimate.
She said since the opening of the diabetes testing and awareness center in Liberia data collected indicates, that diabetes is becoming a major health crises in the country adding that everyone visiting the center and getting tested is either pre-diabetic or suffering from type 2 diabetes.
From teleSUR, riverine toxic maladies?:
Illnesses Spike 6 Months after Mine Spill into Mexico River
- One of Mexico’s worst mine disasters continues to affect residents, 6 months after spill.
Farmworkers and rural residents from several communities around the Sonora State capital, Hermosillo, have started a sit-in protest in front of the state capital building, declaring that they have been affected by toxins from a mine spill that occurred in August of 2014.
According to a report in the Mexican weekly, Proceso, residents from the communities of Molino de Camou, Fructuoso Méndez, El Oregano, Jacinto Lopez, San Juan San Bartolo and Mesa del Seri have reported at least 20 new cases of illness due to contact with water from Hermosillo’s reservoir. The water source is fed directly by the Sonora River, which was contaminated in the massive mine spill.
“Everyday more people get sick…a few days ago we had 17 and now we have 20; they were attended to superficially in November by the state’s medical unit…but they never came back,” said Jose Lopez, a resident of Molino de Camou, in the Proceso report.
From the New York Times, India’s killer air:
Polluted Air Cuts Years Off Lives of Millions in India, Study Finds
More than half of India’s population lives in places with such polluted air that each person loses an average of 3.2 years in life expectancy, according to a recent study by researchers from the University of Chicago, Yale and Harvard.
Altogether, 660 million Indians could lose 2.1 billion years as a result of air pollution at enormous cost to the country’s economy, the researchers found.
“This study demonstrates that air pollution retards growth by causing people to die prematurely,” said Michael Greenstone, an author of the study and the director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.
Indian prepares for a major GMO push, via Reuters:
Modi bets on GM crops for India’s second green revolution
On a fenced plot not far from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home, a field of mustard is in full yellow bloom, representing his government’s reversal of an effective ban on field trials of genetically modified (GM) food crops.
The GM mustard planted in the half-acre field in the grounds of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi is in the final stage of trials before the variety is allowed to be sold commercially, and that could come within two years, scientists associated with the project say.
India placed a moratorium on GM aubergine in 2010 fearing the effect on food safety and biodiversity. Field trials of other GM crops were not formally halted, but the regulatory system was brought to a deadlock.
From the Toronto Globe and Mail, another tar sands threat:
Cut costs or face ‘death spiral,’ CNRL warns oil sands
The president of one of Canada’s biggest oil and gas producers delivered a stern warning to the oil sands industry, telling a room full of Fort McMurray business people that they need to start cutting costs or the industry will fall into a “death spiral.”
The “made in Fort McMurray cost” of doing business has risen too quickly and must end, Steve Laut of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. told members of the local Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Laut said oil sands producers were making three times the profit in 2004 when a barrel of oil cost about $40 (U.S.) than it did when the price hit close to $100 in 2013.
He said rising costs from suppliers, and not world oil prices, were the reason that CNRL and others could no longer produce the profits it once did.
After the jump, concerns mount over fracking-caused quakes, Montana farmers sue for fracking protection, fuel train warnings sounded, Texas to release fuel train data, fireworks send Chinese air pollution soaring, scientist who denies anthropogenic climate change sucks at Big Oil’s teat, on to Fukushimapocalypse Now!, starting with a radiation levels spiking, a Strontium 90 leak cited, a Fukushima highway straight out of Sartre, and a Sport Illustrated cover sparks a surgical boomlet. . . Continue reading