Category: Biological Hazard

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VOA    Voice of America

Mysterious Illness Kills Dozens of Children in Indonesian Village


FILE – Mosquito nets helped control malaria after an outbreak in the late 1990s. Today, a mysterious illness initially thought to be malaria has hit Papua, killing at least 41 children within three weeks.

FILE – Mosquito nets helped control malaria after an outbreak in the late 1990s. Today, a mysterious illness initially thought to be malaria has hit Papua, killing at least 41 children within three weeks.

Fatiyah Wardah

A mysterious illness in Indonesia has killed dozens of children in a village in the remote eastern province of Papua in the past three weeks, leading to charges that the government has failed to take aggressive action.

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41 kids die from mystery
disease in Papua

A large number of children, many below the age of seven, have died of an unexplained disease in Mbuwa district, Nduga regency, Papua, following the start of the rainy season in early November.

A medical team consisting of health workers from Nduga, Wamena and Jayawijaya regencies arrived at the location but have yet to ascertain the cause of the deaths.

“As many as 41 children have died, as of today. They present with a slight illness at first but die shortly after these initial signs. The medical team from Nduga Health Office, assisted by the Wamena Health Office may have returned home, but the cause of these deaths remains uncertain,” said Mbuwa district chief Erias Gwijangge, during a call to The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Erias said Nduga and surrounding areas had experienced drought and were exposed to haze from forest fires. Rain only fell in the past month. When the rain began, a number of livestock, such as pigs and poultry, also died abruptly.

“Many of the children died prior to the livestock but there was no report of child fatalities, only in the last three days,” said Erias.

When contacted by the Post, Wamena City community health clinic analysis member Yan Hubi, who joined the trip to Mbuwa district, said his clinic analyzed blood samples of the children to find out if the children had been infected by malaria, but all were negative.

Yan returned to Mbuwa on Nov. 17. A doctor and several other medical workers are also continuing to conduct medical treatment in Mbuwa.

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Daily News

Updated: Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 11:58 AM

“Kissing Bug” now in Florida and Georgia
WTEV – Jacksonville, FL
Don't let the kissing bugs bite.

Here’s another reason to stay in New York this holiday season — the “kissing bug” has now spread to 28 states.

Texas is the latest to report an outbreak of infections from the Latin American triatomine bug after the pest had been spotted in other southern and western states, including Georgia, Alabama and California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The creepy crawler resembling a cockroach gets its colorful nickname because it likes to bite around the lips and eyes of people when they are asleep. More than half of the bugs carry a parasite that can cause Chagas disease in humans, dogs and other mammals.

The good news? To actually pass on the disease, the bug not only needs to bite you, but then defecate into the gash. If left untreated, up to 30% of bite victims will develop chronic conditions such as difficulty breathing, heart and intestinal complications, and, in extreme cases, death.

There have been eight million cases in Latin America and South America because of poorly constructed rural homes, according to the CDC.

To prevent an outbreak, the CDC recommends:

Sealing cracks and gaps around windows, walls, roofs, and doors.

Removing wood, brush, and rock piles near your house.


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Zika virus: Health alerts in South America and Caribbean following fears illness may cause birth deformities

Doctors believe the illness may be linked to a rise in cases of microcephaly in infants
  • Alexandra Sims
  • Thursday 19 November 2015 Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease similar to dengue fever VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images


A virus believed to cause under-developed brains and skulls in newborn babies has sparked a public health emergency in Brazil and the Caribbean.

The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease similar to dengue fever, was first identified on Easter Island, Chile in February last year and has since spread to Brazil, Columbia and the Caribbean.

On Monday, the Caribbean Public Health Agency confirmed five cases of the Zika virus in a territory of the Caribbean Community, according to Liverostrum News Agency.

The territory where the cases were confirmed has not been revealed.

Reports say the disease surveillance system operated by one of the community’s members, Grenada, has since been heightened and health officials are on alert.


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citizen digital logo

Fear of cholera, floods as Burundi refugees pack Tanzania camps

By Agencies, Citizen Digital


Fear of cholera, floods as Burundi refugees pack Tanzania camps

Heavy rains, flooding and a spike in new arrivals could threaten the lives of over 110,000 Burundian refugees in overcrowded camps in Tanzania, six aid agencies said on Monday, amid warnings of rising political tension in Burundi.

Life-threatening malaria and diarrhoea have been spreading in Nyarugusu, the world’s third largest refugee camp, since the rainy season began, and damage caused by a powerful El Nino has left aid agencies short of funds throughout east Africa.

Also Read: Armed vigilantes in Burundi’s capital expose deepening crisis

“Refugees are arriving in the hundreds every day,” the agencies, which include Oxfam, Save the Children and HelpAge International, said in a statement.

“Many people are still living in overcrowded mass shelters months after their arrival, where wet floors and cramped conditions mean that the risk of respiratory infections and waterborne diseases is high.”

The agencies also fear a fresh outbreak of cholera, which killed 33 Burundian refugees in western Tanzania in May, as heavy rain sometimes makes toilets overflow and flood shelters.



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Primates in peril: HALF of our closest living relatives are on the brink of extinction around the world

  • Scientists released a new report on the world’s most endangered primates
  • The Hainan gibbon in China has just 25 individuals remaining in the wild
  • There are just 50 Northern sportive lemur left living in Madagascar
  • Scientists warn new efforts are needed to save many of these species

Danger list: Endangered primates that are battling for survival

Danger list: Endangered primates that are battling for survival

They are our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, yet more than half of the world’s primates are facing extinction due to our destruction of the habitats where they live.

Burning and clearing of large areas of tropical forest, combined with hunting of primates for food and illegal wildlife trade, has placed many species of apes, lemurs and monkeys at risk of dying out.

These include iconic species such as the Sumatran orang-utan, Grauer’s gorilla, the Northern brown howler monkey and the Hainan gibbon.

More than half of the world's primates are at risk of dying out due to the threat posed by habitat loss and hunting. The Hainan gibbon (pictured) is thought to be the world's most endangered primate, with just 25 of the animals left living on an isolated island in China

More than half of the world’s primates are at risk of dying out due to the threat posed by habitat loss and hunting. The Hainan gibbon (pictured) is thought to be the world’s most endangered primate, with just 25 of the animals left living on an isolated island in China

Scientists and conservation experts have now updated a report on the world’s 25 most endangered primates based on the current knowledge of the animals numbers and the risks facing them.

Dr Christoph Schwitzer, a primatologist and director of conservation at Bristol Zoological Society who helped compile the list, said: ‘This research highlights the extent of the danger facing many of the world’s primates.

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337 Whales Beached in Largest Stranding Ever

The cause of the massive die-off, discovered in remote waters off Patagonia, Chile, is being investigated. Scientists say they are most likely sei whales, which are endangered.

One of 337 dead whales found in Patagonia

The dead whales were first observed in Patagonia in June from the air, but now scientists are trying to figure out what killed them.
Photograph by Carolina Simon Gutstein

Scientists made a startling discovery on an observation flight over a remote fjord in southern Chile’s Patagonia: 337 dead whales. That is the biggest single whale stranding event known to science.

Because of the remoteness of the area and the roughness of the seas, scientists have not been able to examine the whales directly, but aerial and satellite photography identified 305 bodies and 32 skeletons in an area between the Gulf of Penas and Puerto Natales, toward the southern tip of the continent.

Many of the remains were in advanced states of decay so it’s unclear what species they are, says lead scientist Carolina Simon Gutstein of the Universidad de Chile and Consejo de Monumentos Nacionales in Santiago. But based on their size and location, they are probably sei whales, she says.

Endangered throughout its range, sei whales are large, bluish-gray baleen whales that filter the water to feed on krill and other small creatures. They can reach 64 feet (19.5 meters) long and 50 tons. Considered the fastest cetacean, sei whales can swim at speeds up to 31 miles (50 kilometers) per hour. Their lifespan is 50 to 70 years, and they are usually found in deep waters far from coastlines. The worldwide population is estimated at about 80,000.


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The slime has been described as “a plague” by local fishermen. Photo: Roger Larsen/ University in Tromsø.

Mystery purple slime coats Norway fjord

Published: 10 Nov 2015 14:12 GMT+01:00

“We have not been able to find out what this really is, other than that we are talking about large amounts of jellyfish,” Roger Larsen, associate professor at the University in Tromsø, told state news broadcaster NRK on Sunday.
“The images we are picking up from the echo sounders and other equipment are totally atypical. We have tried to gather information to find the answers, but I am absolutely sure that this is something we’ve never seen before.”


Norway: Purple ‘jellyfish slime’ coats northern fjord

  • 12 November 2015
A close-up view of the purple slime in a fishing boat
Image copyright Roger B. Larsen/UiT
Image caption Fisherman have been hauling in the slime during their trawls

Scientists in Norway say a huge area of reddish-purple slime which has appeared on the country’s northern coast could be the result of disintegrated jellyfish.

Fisherman first reported the emergence of the mucus in the Lyngen Fjord in late August, and now describe it as a “plague” which is causing problems for their sonar equipment, and coating their daily catch. The origin of the slime isn’t yet certain, but oceanographers at the Institute of Marine Research say cigar comb jellyfish could be to blame, The Local website reports.



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Newcastle Herald

Whale washes up at Warrnambool beach | photos

THE carcass of a young humpback whale has washed up at Levy’s Point.

Two Warrnambool residents walking their dog made the discovery on Tuesday evening and reported it to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on Wednesday afternoon.

Their father, who contacted The Standard, said the whale washed up at the eastern end of the beach, near the rocks.

“It’s in a reasonable condition at the moment and is washed fairly high on the sand,” he said.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning confirmed the reports on Wednesday night.

Senior biodiversity officer Mandy Watson said the animal had been identified as an 11-metre humpback whale, suggesting it was a young animal.


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Global Research

Poisoned Agriculture: Depopulation and Human Extinction


There is a global depopulation agenda. The plan is to remove the ‘undesirables’, ‘the poor’ and others deemed to be ‘unworthy’ and a drain on finite resources. However, according to Rosemary Mason, the plan isn’t going to work because an anthropogenic mass extinction is already underway that will affect all life on the planet and both rich and poor alike. Humans will struggle to survive the phenomenon.

A new paper by Rosemary A Mason in the ‘Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry’, indicates that a ‘sixth extinction’ is under way (the Holocene extinction, sometimes called the Sixth Extinction, is a name describing the ongoing extinction of species during the present Holocene epoch – since around 10,000 BCE). In her paper, ‘The sixth mass extinction and chemicals in the environment: our environmental deficit is now beyond nature’s ability to regenerate’, she argues that loss of biodiversity is the most urgent of the environmental problems, as biodiversity is critical to ecosystem services and human health. And the main culprit is the modern chemical-intensive industrialised system of food and agriculture.

Mason asserts there is a growing threat from the release of hormone-disrupting chemicals that could even be shifting the human sex ratio and reducing sperm counts. An industrial agricultural revolution has created a technology-dependent global food system, but it has also created serious long-run vulnerabilities, especially in its dependence on stable climates, crop monocultures and industrially produced chemical inputs. In effect, farming is a principal source of global toxification and soil degradation.

Without significant pressure from the public demanding action, Mason argues there could little chance of changing course fast enough to forestall disaster. The ‘free’ market is driving the impending disaster and blind faith in corporate-backed technology will not save us. Indeed, such faith in this technology is actually killing us.

Since the late 1990s, US scientists have written in increasingly desperate tones regarding an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like diseases, which have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species and which are jeopardizing food security. Only one paper dared to mention pesticides as being a primary cause, however.

Mason cites a good deal of evidence to show how the widespread use on agricultural crops of the systemic neonicotinoid insecticides and the herbicide glyphosate, both of which cause immune suppression, make species vulnerable to emerging infectious pathogens, driving large-scale wildlife extinctions, including essential pollinators.

Providing evidence to show how human disease patterns correlate remarkably well with the rate of glyphosate usage on corn, soy and wheat crops, which has increased due to ‘Roundup Ready’ crops, Mason goes on to present more sources to show how our over-reliance on chemicals in agriculture is causing irreparable harm to all beings on this planet. Most of these chemicals are known to cause illness, and they have likely been causing illnesses for many years. But until recently, the herbicides have never been sprayed directly on food crops and never in this massive quantity.

The depopulation agenda

Mason discusses how agriculture and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) fit into a wider agenda for depopulating the planet. She notes that on the initiative of Gates, in May 2009 some of the richest people in the US met at the home of Nurse, a British Nobel prize-winning biochemist and President (2003–10) of Rockefeller University in Manhattan, to discuss ways of tackling a ‘disastrous’ environmental, social and industrial threat of overpopulation. The meeting was hosted by David Rockefeller Jr. These same individuals have met several times since to develop a strategy in which population growth would be tackled.

The Rockefeller Foundation (RF) was involved in extensive financing of eugenics research  in league with some of the US’s most respected scientists from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Princeton. The explicit aim of the eugenics lobby funded by wealthy élite families, such as Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harriman and others since the 1920s, has embodied what they termed ‘negative eugenics’, the systematic killing off of ‘undesired bloodlines’.

RF funded the earliest research on GMOs, which Mason regards as part of the depopulation agenda. The RF funded the earliest research on GMOs in the 1940s and effectively founded the science of molecular biology.

Mason cites Steven Druker to show the fraud behind GMOs and how governments and leading scientific institutions have systematically misrepresented the facts about GMOs and the scientific research that casts doubt on their safety. Druker has shown that GMOs can have severe health impacts, which have been covered up.

The Royal Society is the preeminent scientific body within the UK that advises the government. It has misrepresented the facts about GMOs and has engaged in various highly dubious and deceptive tactics to promote the technology.

Druker wrote an open letter to RS as it has an obligation to the British public to provide a public response and ‘put the record straight’ on GMOs. Although Sir Paul Nurse’s presidency of Rockefeller University terminated in 2010, after he assumed the Royal Society presidency, Mason notes that Nurse is said to have maintained a laboratory on the Rockefeller campus and has an ongoing relationship with the university.

She asks: is that why Sir Paul was unable (or unwilling) even to discuss GMOs with Steven Druker? Was he sent to London by the Rockefeller Foundation to support the UK Government in their attempt to bring in GM crops? The UK Government and the GM industry have after all been shown to be working together to promote GM crops and foods, undermine consumer choice and ignore environmental harm.

Mason then goes on to discuss the impact of glyphosate residues (herbicide-tolerant GM crops are designed to work with glyphosate), which are found in the organs of animals, human urine and human breast milk as well as in the air and rivers. She documents its widespread use and contamination of soil and water and notes that the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer’s assessment of glyphosate being a 2A carcinogen (probably carcinogenic in humans) is unwelcome news for the agrochemical industry. She also notes that Roundup usage has led to a depletion of biodiversity and that loss of biodiversity is also correlated with neonicotinoids. However, despite the evidence, the blatant disregard concerning the use of these substances by regulatory agencies around the world is apparent.

To provide some insight into the impact on health of the chemical-intensive model of agriculture, Mason shows that in the US increases in Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, breast cancer, oesophageal cancer, congenital anomalies and a growing burden of disability, particularly from mental disorders are all acknowledged.

She claims that plans are under way to depopulate the planet’s seven million plus people to a more manageable level of between 500–2000 million by a combination of means, including the poisoning and contamination of the planet’s food and water supplies via chemical-intensive industrialised agriculture. Mason also notes that health-damaging GMOs are being made available to the masses (under the guise of ‘feeding the poor’), while elites are more prone to eat organic food.

We may be gone before planned depopulation takes hold

Although Mason cites evidence to show that a section of the US elite has a depopulation agenda, given the amount of poisons being pumped into the environment and into humans, the thrust of her argument is that we could all be extinct before this comes to fruition – both rich and poor alike.

In concluding, she states that the global pesticides industry has been allowed to dominate the regulatory agencies and have created chemicals of mass destruction that can no longer be controlled. She has some faith in systems biology coming to the fore and being able to understand the complexity of the whole organism as a system, rather than just studying its parts in a reductionist manner. But Mason believes that ultimately the public must place pressure on governments and hold agribusiness to account.

However, that in itself may not be enough.

It is correct to highlight the poisonous impacts of the Rockefeller-sponsored petrochemical ‘green revolution’. It has uprooted indigenous/traditional agriculture and local economies and has recast them in a model that suits global agribusiness. It is poisoning life and the environment, threatening food security across the globe and is unsustainable. The ‘green revolution’ was ultimately a tool of US foreign policy that has been used in conjunction with various institutions like the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organisation. GMOs represent more of the same.

In this respect, Mason follows the line of argument in William F Engdahl’s book ‘Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation’, which locates the GM issue and the ‘green revolution’ firmly within the context of empire. Engdahl also sees the Rockefeller-Gates hand behind the great GMO project to a sinister eugenicist strategy of depopulation.

Mason’s concerns about depopulation therefore should not be dismissed, particularly given the record of the likes of the Gates and Rockefeller clans, the various covert sterility programmes that have been instituted by the US over the decades and the way agriculture has and continues to be used as a geopolitical tool to further the agendas of rich interests in the US.

To understand the processes that have led to modern farming and the role of entities like Monsanto, we must appreciate the geopolitics of food and agriculture, which benefits an increasingly integrated global cartel of finance, oil, military and agribusiness concerns. This cartel seeks to gain from war, debt bondage and the control of resources, regardless of any notions relating to food security, good health and nutrition, biodiversity, food democracy, etc.

Food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma notes the impacts in India:

“India is on fast track to bring agriculture under corporate control… Amending the existing laws on land acquisition, water resources, seed, fertilizer, pesticides and food processing, the government is in overdrive to usher in contract farming and encourage organized retail. This is exactly as per the advice of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as the international financial institutes.”

In Punjab, India, pesticides have turned the state into a ‘cancer epicentre‘. Moreover, Indian soils are being depleted as a result of the application of ‘green revolution’ ideology and chemical inputs. India is losing 5,334 million tonnes of soil every year due to soil erosion because of the indiscreet and excessive use of fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research reports that soil is become deficient in nutrients and fertility.

And now, there is an attempt to push GM food crops into India in a secretive, non-transparent manner that smacks of regulatory delinquency underpinned by corrupt practices, which suggests officials are working hand in glove with US agribusiness.

As smallholders the world over are being driven from their land and the GMO/chemical-industrial farming model takes over, the problems continue to mount.

The environment, the quality of our food and our health are being sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit and a type of looting based on something we can loosely regard as ‘capitalism’. The solution involves a shift to organic farming and investment in and reaffirmation of indigenous models of agriculture. But ultimately it entails what Daniel Maingi of Growth Partners for Africa says what we must do: “… take capitalism and business out of farming.”

It must also entail, according to Maingi, investing in  “… indigenous knowledge and agroecology, education and infrastructure and stand(ing) in solidarity with the food sovereignty movement.”

In other words, both farmers and consumers must organise to challenge governments, corrupt regulatory bodies and big agribusiness at every available opportunity. If we don’t do this, what Mason outlines may come to pass.


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Brucellosis is a contagious disease of both humans and animals caused by bacteria (invisible to the naked eye) of the genus Brucella which causes extensive economic damage to cattle breeding but is also a significant health issue as more than 50.000 people contract brucellosis world-wide.



Biological Hazard Bulgaria Province of Kyustendil, Rila Damage level Details


Biological Hazard in Bulgaria on Thursday, 29 October, 2015 at 04:05 (04:05 AM) UTC.

15 animals have been tested positive for brucellosis in the region of Rila town, the press centre of the District Administration – Kyustendil, announced. On September 13 began the second serological examinations of all small ruminants, cattle and equine which were tested negative in the first serological examinations in the infected villages. On October 20 were retested a total of 2,790 goats, sheep, buffalo, cattle and equine. 11 goats of them and three sheep from farms in the town of Rila, as well as one goat in Smochevo village were tested positive for brucellosis disease.
Biohazard name: Brucellosis
Biohazard level: 3/4 High
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.
Status: confirmed






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