Tag Archive: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards


Chikungunya 101





RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service

Budapest, Hungary


2014-01-15 04:27:41 – Biological Hazard – British Virgin Islands

EDIS Code: BH-20140115-42291-VGB
Date&Time: 2014-01-15 04:27:41 [UTC]
Continent: Caribean Sea
Country: British Virgin Islands
State/Prov.: ,
Location: ,
City: Jost Van Dyke
Number of infected people: 3

Not confirmed information!

Three cases of the mosquitoborne virus, chikungunya, have been confirmed in the British Virgin Islands, according to a Ministry of Health and Social Development news release Monday. “We have confirmed three cases on Jost Van Dyke”, said Medical Officer of Health in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Dr. Ronald Georges. Dr. Georges notes that the three cases were locally acquired. “It is important to note that these confirmed cases were not exposed to travel, which alerts us that the virus is already in our mosquito population,” he stated. According to Dr. Georges, the ministry has been coordinating a response with the Environmental Health Division to minimize the impact of Chickungunya. He is reminding the public to take appropriate measures to minimise exposure to mosquitoes. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported late last week, a total of 287 confirmed and probable chikungunya cases in the islands of the French
Caribbean. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) Fact Sheet, Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain.Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
The name of Hazard: Chikungunya

Species: Human

Status: Confirmed



Mosquito-borne virus spreading in Caribbean

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, James Gathany, File/Associated Press – FILE – This 2006 file photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquiring a blood meal from a human host at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. A mosquito-borne virus appears to be spreading quickly in the Caribbean just weeks after epidemiologists first found local transmission occurring in St.


KINGSTON, Jamaica — A mosquito-borne virus appears to be spreading quickly in the Caribbean during the winter tourism season just weeks after epidemiologists first found local transmission occurring in the French dependency of St. Martin.

Scientists said Tuesday that St. Martin now has as many as 200 cases of chikungunya, a virus found mainly in Africa and Asia that can cause a debilitating but rarely fatal sickness with fever, rash, fatigue and intense muscle and joint pain.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said new cases have been confirmed on the French Caribbean islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Barthelemy. The virus also infected a couple of residents of Dutch St. Maarten, which shares an island with St. Martin that was already battling dengue fever, a more serious mosquito-borne illness.

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Abu Dhabi skyline

The UAE case is in a 75-year-old Omani who is hospitalized in Abu Dhabi (pictured).

Medical authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia announced three new Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases today, one in the UAE and two in Saudi Arabia.

The case detected in the UAE is in a 75-year-old man from Oman who is hospitalized in Abu Dhabi, according to WAM, the UAE’s state news service. The man is visiting the UAE and became ill with respiratory symptoms in October. He is being treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU), according to the report.

The WAM information came from the Abu Dhabi health authority, which said it is coordinating with the UAE’s health ministry and has taken steps recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The man’s infection is the sixth MERS-CoV case detected in the UAE, and he is the second Omani known to be infected with the virus.

Saudi cases

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said in a statement in Arabic that one of the country’s newest cases involves a 72-year-old male resident of Riyadh who has several underlying chronic conditions. He is hospitalized in stable condition and is receiving treatment in the ICU.

The other Saudi case is in a previously healthy 43-year-old from Jeddah who is hospitalized in an ICU. The health ministry said the patient had not recently traveled outside of Jeddah.

The new cases announced today would lift the global total to 154 cases, including 64 deaths.

Surveillance efforts

In other developments today, Ziad A. Memish, MD, Saudi Arabia’ s deputy minister for public health, spoke about MERS-CoV at the European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (ESCAIDE) in Stockholm.

He told the group that active surveillance for the disease is under way, with a special focus on Hajj premises, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in live tweets from the meeting. He also noted that one of the key questions about MERS-CoV is why the virus behaves differently in different people, a factor that suggests transmission is more complex than previously thought.


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Airplane landing

Thinkstock / Photodisc

European and Spanish health officials released new details today about a Spanish woman who is hospitalized with a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection after visiting Hajj holy sites in Saudi Arabia, plus efforts under way to identify those who flew with her from Jeddah to Madrid.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said today in an updated risk assessment that the 61-year-old woman with no known underlying health conditions was in Saudi Arabia from Oct 2 to Nov 1. She visited Medina, then Mecca and had no known contact with animals.

Her symptoms began Oct 15 with cough and fever, and she was seen at a hospital emergency department of a Mecca hospital on Oct 28 and 29, where health workers diagnosed her as having pneumonia, based on chest x-ray findings.

Spain’s health ministry told CIDRAP News that it has relayed more details about the case to European health authorities, including that the woman refused to be hospitalized in Saudi Arabia and was hospitalized in Madrid on Nov 1 when she arrived back in Spain.

According to the ECDC, the patient was sick during the flight and needed oxygen treatment while she was aboard.

The health ministry said she was in Medina from Oct 2 through Oct 10 and in Mecca from Oct 11 through Nov 1.

The patient is still listed in stable condition and has not required intensive care, according to the health ministry.  She was placed in a private room on Nov 1, and her medical team instituted respiratory isolation measures on Nov 4 when they suspected the woman was infected with MERS-CoV.

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Food Safety


Research Links Pig Health and Food Safety


by Helena Bottemiller

Visceral lesions, or visible signs of infection or organ damage, can help predict Salmonella contamination on pig carcasses, according to new research published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research this month.

Researchers at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine found that Salmonella contamination was 90 percent more likely to occur in carcasses with lesions that were visibly identifiable, when compared to carcasses without visible lesions.

The study analyzed 202 conventionally raised pigs and 156 antimicrobial-free pigs in a Mid-western processing plant during December 2005 and January 2006. All carcasses were swabbed to check for Salmonella contamination and then both nonexperts and three veterinary pathologists examined the carcasses for lesions.

U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors are on hand at every slaughter facility to inspect animals for visual health defects before and after slaughter. If during antemortem inspection, animals are deemed sick, they are kept out of the abattoir, or are tagged as suspect and then inspected postmortem, or after slaughter, which should, keep sick animals out of the food supply.

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Study: Climate Change May Impact Outbreaks


by James Andrews


The transmission of foodborne pathogens may be impacted by the effects of climate change, according to a report released March 28 by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Studying hundreds of peer-reviewed publications on six different food- and waterborne pathogens, the report’s authors observed 1,653 “key facts” that link the viability of those pathogens to a range of climatic variables such as air temperature, water temperature and precipitation. The pathogens under study included Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, Norovirus, Cryptosporidium and non-cholera Vibrio.

Campylobacter, the most prevalent foodborne pathogen in Europe, shows a strong seasonal variability, leading researchers to believe its peak infection rates may rise or shift in response to rising global air and water temperatures. Salmonella infection rates were also strongly associated with air temperature.


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Consumer groups demand GMO labeling, question food safety


(Reuters) – Critics of genetically modified crops are making new demands for government mandated labeling to identify foods on grocer shelves that contain ingredients from transgenic corn, soybeans and other crops.

Labeling drives are underway on both state and federal levels, and on Tuesday several U.S. consumer groups released a survey and results of a petition drive that they say shows overwhelming consumer support for labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO).

“People believe they have a right to know what goes into their bodies,” said Mark Mellman, a public opinion pollster and consultant.

The Mellman Group survey released Tuesday said based on a polling of 1,000 voters last month, about 91 percent support labeling of GMO foods while 5 percent oppose such a move. Support was nearly equal among Democrats, Republicans and Independents.


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‘Pink slime’ is now found in 70 percent of the ground beef at our grocers


(NaturalNews) Would you knowingly eat ground beef which contained scrap meat items such as muscle connective tissue which had been sprayed with ammonium hydroxide? Would you want your children to eat such ground beef in their school lunches? According to recent revelations, if you or your children eat ground beef there is a strong chance that both may be happening.

Last week, former United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist-turned-whistleblower Gerald Zirnstein revealed that 70 percent of the ground beef sold at supermarkets contained the fake-meat additive which is commonly referred to as “pink slime”. This revelation came on the heels of reports that the USDA is purchasing 7 million pounds of the product for school lunches in public schools.

“Pink slime” is taking over ground beef at our grocers and schools
“Pink slime” is made by gathering beef waste trimmings, simmering them at low heat to make it easy to separate fat from the muscle, and using a centrifuge to spin the waste trimmings to complete the separation. Next, the mixture is sent through pipes and sprayed with ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria. Finally, the product is packaged into bricks, frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers, where it is added to most ground beef.


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No Food Recalls For Today




Allergen Alert

No Allergen Alerts For Today




Articles of Interest


House Bill Would Require Labeling LFTB


by News Desk


A bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday would require the labeling of any beef products that contain lean finely textured beef, the lean beef supplement also known as “pink slime.”

Introduced by Democratic Congresswoman Chellie Pingree from Maine’s 1st District, the “Requiring Easy and Accurate Labeling of Beef Act” (REAL Beef Act) was inspired by growing public demand for lean finely textured beef (LFTB) to both be labeled in supermarkets and removed from the school lunch program.

Pingree, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, also previously wrote a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack demanding LFTB be completely banned from the school lunch program. Dozens of House members signed on.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said it would allow schools to choose opt out of serving LFTB.

The REAL Beef Act has ten co-sponsors in the House: Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Jerry Lewis (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).


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E. Coli Vaccine Maker Eyes Government Support


by News Desk


****Yet another chemical to be injected into cattle so that we can consume it. How about we raise cattle more humanely so the health issues are not as monumental???? Now there is a no-brainer ****


A Canadian biotech company has developed a vaccine for cattle that prevents them from shedding E. coli in their manure, and its CEO now hopes the Canadian and U.S. governments will help spread the vaccine to combat the threat posed by E. coli contamination in beef.

In an interview with CTV News, Bioniche Life Sciences CEO Graeme McRae said that while the cost of his company’s vaccine is currently too expensive for farmers to buy, a public health investment in the product would save hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

E. coli illnesses cost the Canadian medical system more than $200 million a year, but vaccinating every cow in the country would cost less than $50 million. From an economic perspective, government support of the vaccine is a “no-brainer,” he said.


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