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Tag Archive: Netherlands


Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

File:Neutrophil and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococccus aureus (MRSA) Bacteria.jpg

 

Scanning electron micrograph of neutrophil ingesting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Credit: NIAID   National Institutes of Health.

NIAID/NIH

Wikimedia.org

 

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May 13 2014 03:04 AM Biological Hazard Denmark [The area was not defined.] Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Biological Hazard in Denmark on Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 at 03:04 (03:04 AM) UTC.

Description
A troubling and also kind of odd story came out of Denmark this weekend. In a court proceeding, a microbiologist has disclosed that three residents of the country who had no known connection to farming died of MRSA infections caused by ST398, the livestock-associated strain of drug-resistant staph that first appeared among pig farmers in the Netherlands in 2004 and has since moved through Europe, Canada and the United States. If the report is correct – and sources have told me it is, but I’ve seen no data to confirm it – it reinforces the concern that bacteria which become resistant because of antibiotic use on farms can move off farms and affect the health of people who have no connection to farming. Livestock MRSA has always one of the best cases for establishing that, because the drug to which it showed the greatest resistance, tetracycline, wasn’t used against human MRSA in the Netherlands, but was used routinely on farms – so the only place the strain could have picked up its unique resistance pattern was in pigs. (Here’s my long archive of posts on pig MRSA, dating back to my book Superbug where the story was told for the first time.) Just to get them high up, here are some Danish news sources; this sees to have been a widely covered story. Danish isn’t one of my languages, so I’ve relied on Google Translate – not the best practice, but there’s enough agreement among the stories that I am comfortable with it in this case.
Biohazard name: MRSA (pig, human)
Biohazard level: 3/4 Hight
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans, but for which vaccines or other treatments exist, such as anthrax, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, SARS virus, variola virus (smallpox), tuberculosis, typhus, Rift Valley fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, yellow fever, and malaria. Among parasites Plasmodium falciparum, which causes Malaria, and Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes trypanosomiasis, also come under this level.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

 

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Denmark: Three Deaths from Drug-Resistant “Pig MRSA”

ICStefanescu (CC), Flickr

A troubling and also kind of odd story came out of Denmark this weekend. In a court proceeding, a microbiologist has disclosed that three residents of the country who had no known connection to farming died of MRSA infections caused by ST398, the livestock-associated strain of drug-resistant staph that first appeared among pig farmers in the Netherlands in 2004 and has since moved through Europe, Canada and the United States.

If the report is correct — and sources have told me it is, but I’ve seen no data to confirm it — it reinforces the concern that bacteria which become resistant because of antibiotic use on farms can move off farms and affect the health of people who have no connection to farming.

Livestock MRSA has always one of the best cases for establishing that, because the drug to which it showed the greatest resistance, tetracycline, wasn’t used against human MRSA in the Netherlands, but was used routinely on farms — so the only place the strain could have picked up its unique resistance pattern was in pigs. (Here’s my long archive of posts on pig MRSA, dating back to my book Superbug where the story was told for the first time.)

Just to get them high up, here are some Danish news sources; this sees to have been a widely covered story. Danish isn’t one of my languages, so I’ve relied on Google Translate — not the best practice, but there’s enough agreement among the stories that I am comfortable with it in this case.

  • The Information: “Filthy use of antibiotics”
  • Kvalls Posten: “Resistant swine bacterium has killed three Danes”
  • DR DK: “Politicians are worried about swine bacteria”
  • Avisen: “Three Danes die of swine bacteria”
  • Ekstra Bladet: “Three died from killer bacteria from pigs”
  • Fyens: “University hospital physician: Three died of swine bacteria”

 

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young sick Americans Living Sick and Dying Young in Rich America

 

Health Impact News Editor Comments

When I read an article in The Atlantic recently with the title: Living Sick and Dying Young in Rich America – Chronic illness is the new first-world problem – it caught my attention. This is the kind of topic we cover on a regular basis here at Health Impact News, but seldom do you read about it in the mainstream media.

There are 3 things that are rather astonishing about the sad state of health in America today:

1. We’re sicker than previous generations, and most of us know it.

2. We don’t seem to care about it too much. It is not headline news.

3. There doesn’t seem to be much motivation to change this fact: it seems to have been accepted as the new “norm.”

Last year, we reported about a study funded by the government and your tax dollars which clearly showed that the United States ranks #1 on healthcare spending, but last in life expectancy among wealthy nations (See: U.S. Ranks First in Healthcare Spending – Last in Life Expectancy). The mainstream media barely even covered this story, and even here at Health Impact News it was probably not even in the top 100 stories read from everything we published last year.

The sad fact seems to be that most Americans have adopted an attitude that the current health situation in the U.S. cannot be changed.

For those few of you who have not drunk the Kool Aid, and still believe you do have control over your health and have choices you can make to live a healthier life, then this article by John Thomas identifying the problems and solutions is for you.

Please understand that if enough Americans understand that the healthcare system (which is not really a “healthcare” system at all but a MEDICAL system) is the primary problem and take measures to avoid it, that it would absolutely destroy our economy, since so much of it is dependent on sick people. But maybe our economy is heading for destruction anyway, so don’t let that threat stop you from making healthy choices today.

Is it Normal to be Sick?

by John P. Thomas

Is it normal to be sick? Many people think so, but it hasn’t always been this way. What was life like before we became dependent on modern pharmaceutical drugs, major medical centers, and health insurance? If we turn back the clock a hundred and fifty years, we will hardly find anything that looks like the modern medical system. Did previous generations live in the dark ages of medicine, or is the modern age of chronic degenerative illness and modern pharmaceutical drugs actually a dark age of medicine?

I remember overhearing a conversation while waiting for a table in a restaurant some 25 years ago. A grandmother was talking to her 10 year old grandson. She must not have seen him for a while, so she began by asking one of those general types of questions to get the conversation started. “How are you feeling?” Without hesitation, her grandson started discussing his various health problems, which included allergies, asthma, fatigue, etc. In a grandmotherly voice filled with sympathy and concern, she gave a reply that sticks in my mind to this day.  She said, “I understand — we all have something wrong with us.” She went on to tell him that we are all sick and we have to learn to live with it. I don’t know if her words were entirely true then, but they are most certainly true today! We are sick and getting sicker, and we are all being taught to live with it.

Here we are 25 years later and despite all the medical and pharmaceutical advances that have taken place in the United States, we are sicker than ever. How many people do you know who are not taking one or more prescription medications? How many people do you know who do not have a medical diagnosis for some chronic illness? How many people do you know who are not being treated for some condition that requires periodic trips to the doctor to monitor disease progression and to adjust medications? How many people do you know who struggle with paying for medications? If I count the people I know, who do not fall into the groups I just mentioned, I can count them on the fingers of one hand. How about the people you know?

The purpose of this article is to examine how we respond to our illnesses and to questions whether our pharmaceutical drugs and system of healthcare is making us sicker than we need to be.

Does the Healthcare System in the United States Lead the World?

We certainly lead the world in the amount of dollars spent on healthcare. We spend 2.5 times more per person per year than is spent in any other country on Earth for healthcare.1

Does the Money we Spend for Healthcare Make Us the Healthiest people in the World?

The New York Times recently revealed how our healthcare system compares to other countries.

“In the Social Progress Index, the United States excels in access to advanced education but ranks 70th in health, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal safety.”2

The United States is sitting in the 70th position down from the top of the list for the category of health when compared to other countries. Let’s look at the details of how we compare to other wealthy countries.

The Panel on Understanding Cross-National Health Differences Among High-Income Countries, compared the health of people living in the United States with people living in other high income countries, which included Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. They reported:

Over this time period, we uncovered a strikingly consistent and pervasive pattern of higher mortality and inferior health in the United States, beginning at birth: … For many years, Americans have had a shorter life expectancy than people in almost all of the peer countries. For example, as of 2007, U.S. males lived 3.7 fewer years than Swiss males and U.S. females lived 5.2 fewer years than Japanese females.3

We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world, which should make us the healthiest people on Earth, but this is not the case.

Why are We so Sick?….

 

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Dutch court rules in favor of unblocking Pirate Bay as ban ‘ineffective’

Published time: January 28, 2014 17:28
Image from flickr user@campuspartymexico

Image from flickr user@campuspartymexico

People in the Netherlands will soon have access to The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s most censored file-sharing websites, as a court in The Hague ruled that Dutch ISPs need to stop blocking the site after the ban proved ineffective against piracy.

The Court of The Hague released its verdict that two leading ISPs operating in the country – XS4All and Ziggo – no longer have to block access to file sharing website The Pirate Bay.

“In applying the case law from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the Court of Appeal held that an access provider is not under an obligation to take measures that are disproportional and/or ineffective” according to the legal representative of XS4ALL.

The court’s verdict was based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which includes the “freedom to conduct a business” and “right to property.” Entrepreneurial freedom overrides property rights, the court ruled.

The Pirate Bay was blocked by Ziggo in 2010 after anti-piracy group Stichting Brein, which represents copyright holders in the Netherlands, went to court, citing the file-sharing website’s copyright violations. In 2012, XS4ALL joined Ziggo to appeal the court’s previous ruling. Brein took the case to court again, winning a full trial.

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MOXNEWSd0tC0M MOXNEWSd0tC0M·

 

Published on Dec 23, 2013

December 23, 2013 C-SPAN News http://MOXNews.com

 

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Eyes everywhere: NSA’s second tier spying partners identified

Published time: December 19, 2013 20:08
Edited time: December 20, 2013 00:22
AFP Photo / DPA / Peter Steffen Germany out

AFP Photo / DPA / Peter Steffen Germany out

Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and several other EU countries were named among “third party partners” in the NSA-led global signal intelligence program, a new leak submitted by journalist Glenn Greenwald to Danish TV reveals.

According to the document, obtained by Swedish TV program ‘Mission: Investigate’, that has been probing Sweden’s participation in global spying operations, nine European countries were added to the list of NSA accomplices.

The “third party partners” to the Five Eyes nations has now grown to include nine states – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

The newly-leaked document from Edward Snowden is the first written confirmation of Denmark’s formal agreement with the NSA, the Copenhagen Post writes.

Denmark’s role in US spying scheme was labeled “very worrying” by Enhedslisten’s Pernille Skipper, Danish parliamentarian.

“When Denmark is one of the US intelligence services’ close allies, one must ask themselves what it is we are giving in return,” Skipper told public broadcaster DR.

“When you consider this along with the other revelations that have come out, which insinuate that the US systematically spies on residents throughout Europe in violation of very basic rights, then you can naturally fear that the collaboration between Denmark and the US means that Danes have been spied upon.”

The list of new NSA partners was made public last week as part of the new batch of NSA-documents from the Snowden-Greenwald collection. The ‘14-Eyes’ group, the document also revealed, send their staff for training to the US. The group is also known as the SIGINT Seniors Europe or SSEUR.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

Dutch cancel flights as storm looms

Dutch cancel flights as storm looms

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Extreme Weather Netherlands [Oosterscheldekering Region] Damage level Details

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Extreme Weather in Netherlands on Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:37 (02:37 PM) UTC.

Description
The Netherlands braced for the storm by closing water barriers that protect the low-lying country from high tides. The Oosterscheldekering in the south-western delta region of the country was being closed to protect the land behind it for the first time since 2007. National carrier KLM cancelled dozens of flights to European airports as a precaution.

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Extreme Weather Denmark [Jutland-wide] Damage level Details

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Extreme Weather in Denmark on Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:46 (02:46 PM) UTC.

Description
Storm surges were feared Thursday off the coast of Jutland in western Denmark, the Danish weather service DMI said. DMI also forecast hurricane-force gales would sweep across the country. Danish train operator DSB said it would reduce traffic on its local and regional train routes. The move was to avoid trains being stranded on tracks because of severed power lines and to reduce the risk of being hit by falling trees or debris. Western and southern Norway were also bracing for the pending storm.

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Extreme Weather in Denmark on Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:46 (02:46 PM) UTC.

Back

Updated: Friday, 06 December, 2013 at 18:00 UTC
Description
In western Denmark the 72-year-old female passenger of a truck died when the vehicle overturned in howling winds.

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Dutch cancel flights as storm looms

Updated: 09:25, Thursday December 5, 2013

Dutch national carrier KLM says it has scrapped 84 flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport after forecasters sounded a ‘code orange’ extreme weather warning.The Netherlands is preparing for heavy storms on Thursday with surging tides and winds predicted to gust up to 130km/h in places in the north.In the south, the landmark Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier has been closed off for the first time in six years, public broadcaster NOS reported.’As a result of the extreme weather expected, we have cancelled 84 flights to and from Amsterdam,’ KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) spokesman Joost Ruempol told AFP.’These are flights going to and coming in from across the continent,’ he added.Inter-continental flights will go ahead as scheduled, but travellers flying KLM to European destinations are advised to check for regular updates on the airline’s website, Ruempol said.

Read More Here
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Deaths in the Netherlands and Denmark, woman swept out to sea off France, and Sweden braces for storm’s arrival

Storm damage in Rheibach

Rescue workers stand next to a car crushed by a falling tree near Rheibach, Germany. Photograph: Axel Vogel/Corbis

The death toll across Europe from storms that began sweeping the continent on Sunday has reached at least 12, with Britain, Germany and the Netherlands among the hardest hit.

Four people died in the south of England after winds gusting up to nearly 100mph felled trees, and another four were killed on Monday in Germany, adding to two deaths at sea off the German coast on Sunday.

In Amsterdam a woman was killed and another person injured when a tree by a canal was blown over. Other injuries were reported around the city from falling debris.

In Denmark a man died after he was hit by a flying brick north of Copenhagen. In France a woman was still missing on Monday night after being swept out to sea from a cliff at Belle-Ile, Brittany.

Transport infrastructure took a battering across the continent. Sustained winds of more than 75mph caused the cancellation of 50 flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, Europe’s fourth largest, and there were delays at Europe’s busiest port in Rotterdam.

Read More Here

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Storm Sweeps Europe After Battering Britain

Hurricane-strength winds topple trees, cut power supplies and cause travel chaos across northern Europe.

Some 10 people have died in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia after a fatal storm that struck Britain swept eastwards to northern Europe.

A Danish man was killed near Copenhagen by a collapsing wall, a woman was killed by falling trees in Amsterdam and a 47-year-old woman was found dead after being swept out to sea during a cliff walk on Belle Ile in France.

At least seven people died in Germany with falling trees killing several drivers. One man also drowned and a 66-year-old woman died when a wall collapsed on her, German media reported.

Hurricane-strength winds cut power supplies and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights and train journeys across the continent.

Southern Sweden was hit by torrential rain, and winds up to 84mph (136kph) blew down trees, blocking roads and bringing down power lines, leaving around than 50,000 homes without electricity.

As evening fell there were no reports of injuries in Sweden but widespread reports of property damage.

Read More Here

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11 dead as storm lashes northern Europe

LONDON—At least 11 people were killed on Monday as a fierce storm tore across northern Europe, causing mass disruption to transport.

Four people were killed in Britain and three in Germany as heavy rain and high winds battered the region. The storm also claimed two victims in The Netherlands, one in France and one in Denmark.

Rough conditions at sea also forced rescuers to abandon the search for a 14-year-old boy who disappeared while playing in the surf on a southern English beach on Sunday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron described the loss of life as “hugely regrettable.”

Winds reached 99 miles (159 kilometers) per hour on the Isle of Wight off the southern English coast, according to Britain’s Met Office national weather center, while more than 500,000 homes in Britain and France were left without power.

Heavy rain and winds of 80 mph elsewhere brought down thousands of trees and left hundreds of passengers trapped in planes at Copenhagen airport.

In Britain, a 17-year-old girl died after a tree fell on the parked caravan where she was sleeping, while a 51-year-old father of three died when a tree hit his car, police said.

The bodies of a man and a woman were later found in the rubble of three houses in London that collapsed in an explosion thought to have been caused by a gas pipe being ruptured in the storm.

Read More Here

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LiveScience

Odd Cause of Salamander Die-Off Found: Skin-Eating Fungus

 

Fire Salamander
A fire salamander.
Credit: Frank Pasmans

 

A newly discovered fungus that feasts on the skin of amphibians is threatening to decimate a species of salamander in the Netherlands, according to new research.

Fire salamanders are one of the most recognizable salamander species in Europe, and are characterized by their distinct yellow- and black-patterned skin. Since 2010, fire salamanders have been mysteriously dying off in the forests of the Netherlands.

Now, scientists have identified a deadly fungus, called Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (the second part of the name translates to “salamander-eating”), that they say is jeopardizing biodiversity and bringing fire salamanders close to the brink of regional extinction. [Photos: Bizarre Frogs, Lizards and Salamanders]

 

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Farmer Builds a Mudslide for His Pigs

Buzz60 Buzz60·

Published on Aug 9, 2013

A farmer in the Netherlands built a mudslide for his pigs. He says he got the idea after going to a water park. The pigs love sliding into their mud pit, and Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has a look, plus cats sliding down a slide… because why not?

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Pigs Sliding in the Mud!

Jim Cristea Jim Cristea

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Swimming Pigs & Piglets in Exuma Bahamas

Dennis Walsh

Published on Apr 5, 2013

Watch the swimming pigs & piglets in the turquoise waters of Great Exuma

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Mudd the 1.5 pound micro pig eating

MelissaMuffin1

Uploaded on Aug 7, 2010

Mudd the 1.5 pound micro pig pigs out

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dog and pig playing video

Animal Dream

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Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

File:Camel in Giza.jpg

 

Image Source  :  Wikimedia.org

Author kallerna

 

File:Camel and it's rider in Giza.jpg

Image Source  :  Wikimedia.org

Author kallerna

Lisa Schnirring | Staff Writer | CIDRAP News

Aug 08, 2013

A WHO spokesman said the findings in camels provide clues, but the issue of how humans are being infected is still unresolved.

Researchers who conducted blood tests on animals from different regions found evidence that camels have been exposed to the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) or a very close relative, the outbreak’s first strong clue about a possible animal reservoir.

Until now, the only animal clue has been from genetic sequencing studies, which suggested the virus came from bats. Though there are no reports that any of the patients had contact with bats, a man from the United Arab Emirates who was treated for his fatal infection in Germany had been exposed to a sick racing camel.

The investigators, mostly from the Netherlands and Germany, reported their findings today in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The first MERS-CoV illness was reported a year ago, and so far 94 cases and 46 deaths have been confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), all of them from or linked to Middle Eastern countries.

Human-to-human infections have been rare, and health officials suspect that an animal reservoir could be playing a yet unknown key role in the spread of the new virus.

The research team obtained 349 blood serum samples from livestock animals including dromedary camels, cows, sheep, goats, and other animals closely related to dromedaries. The animals were from different areas, including Oman, the Netherlands, Spain, and Chile.

They analyzed the blood samples for antibodies to MERS-CoV, other antibodies that react to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus, and HCoV-OC43, another strain of coronavirus that can infect humans and is related to a bovine form of the virus.

No cross-reactivity was seen between MERS-CoV antibodies and those for SARS or HCoV-OC43, and the team confirmed those findings with highly specific virus neutralization tests. Presence of MERS-CoV antibodies probably shows previous infection with MERS-CoV, or a closely related virus, the group reported.

No MERS-CoV antibodies were found in the blood of 160 animals from the Netherlands and Spain, but evidence of earlier exposure to the virus was found in all 50 samples taken from dromedary camels in Oman. Sampling in Oman involved camels from different parts of the country, suggesting that MERS-CoV or a close relative is circulating widely in the region’s dromedary camels, the authors reported.

No antibodies were found in animals from the Netherlands and Chile that are closely related to dromedaries, such as Bactrian camels, alpacas, and llamas.

Lower levels of MERS-CoV antibodies were found in 14% (15) of samples taken from two herds of dromedaries from the Canary Islands, a Spanish island group located off the coast of mainland Africa that has not reported any human MERS-CoV cases.

The authors said in a journal press release that the dromedaries from Oman were positive more often and had much higher antibody MERS-CoV antibody levels than the ones from Spain. “The best way to explain this is that there is a MERS-CoV-like virus circulating in dromedary camels, but that the behavior of this virus in the Middle East is somehow different to that in Spain,” they noted.

The findings suggest dromedary camels may be one reservoir for MERS-CoV and that their popularity in the Middle East, where they are used for racing, meat, and milk, presents a variety of contacts with humans that could lead to virus transmission, the investigators said in the press release.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Epidemic Hazards

                                                                 Image Source

12.06.2013 Epidemic Hazard Netherlands Province of Zeeland, Veluwe Damage level Details

Epidemic Hazard in Netherlands on Wednesday, 12 June, 2013 at 10:22 (10:22 AM) UTC.

Description
At least 30 people from the Dutch Bible belt have so far been diagnosed with measles in the first outbreak of the sometimes fatal disease in 13 years. The infections are largely based around strict Protestant schools in a broad sweep across the country from the Veluwe area to Zeeland province, the public health institute RIVM said in a statement. Fundamentalist Protestants in the Netherlands do not believe in having their children vaccinated. The measles vaccine is given to most children in the BMR combination injection at the age of 14 months and again at nine years. The total number of cases may be far higher than 30 because not everyone will have visited their doctor, the RIVM said. Measles is spread by coughing and sneezing. The RIVM said it is monitoring developments closely and expects the spread of the disease to widen among unvaccinated children. Parents can visit their doctor for a catch-up injection, the RIVM said. The last measles outbreak in the Netherlands was between 1999 and 2000 when there were some 3,300 infections and three children died.
Biohazard name: Measles
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed