Earth Watch Report   –  Biological Hazards

File:Two species of penguim at Arctowski Polish Station.jpg

Close to Arctowisky Station there is a huge penguin colony.  by  José Nestor Cardoso

Wikimedia . org


Today Biological Hazard Antarctica [The area was not defined] Damage level Details




Biological Hazard in Antarctica on Tuesday, 06 May, 2014 at 10:11 (10:11 AM) UTC.

A new kind of bird flu has been detected for the first time in Antarctica. The virus has been found in Adelie penguins – although it doesn’t appear to make them sick. Researchers say the virus is unlike any other avian flu known to science and raises a lot of unanswered questions. The findings show avian influenza viruses can get down to Antarctica and be maintained in penguin populations.
Biohazard name: H5Nx – Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (new strain)
Biohazard level: 4/4 Hazardous
Biohazard desc.: Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.
Status: confirmed



Distinct Avian Influenza Virus Identified in Antarctica Penguins

First Posted: May 06, 2014 09:06 AM EDT

Distinct Avian Influenza Virus Identified in Antarctica Penguins

Distinct Avian Influenza Virus Identified in Antarctica Penguins (Photo : Aeron Hurt, WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, Australia.)

An international team of researchers has identified a distinct avian influenza virus in a group of Antarctica’s Adelie penguins.

According to the finding documented in the journal of American Society of Microbiology, the avian influenza virus is different from the circulating avian flu.

Studies conducted earlier did not detect the live influenza virus in Antarctic’s penguins or other birds.

The study was led by associate professor Aeron Hurt, PhD, a senior research scientist at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, Australia.

The researchers worked on the swab samples taken from Adelie penguins’ windpipes. They also collected samples from posterior openings. Apart from this, blood samples from 270 penguins were taken from two sites on the Antarctic Peninsula.

The two regions included Admiralty Bay and Rada Covadonga. All the samples were collected during January and February 2013.


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