Category: Biological Hazard


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The Boston Globe

Scores of rare turtles found stranded on Cape

Rescuers placed cold-stunned turtles in fruit boxes.

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Rescuers placed cold-stunned turtles in fruit boxes.

Massachusetts Audubon Society volunteers recovered about 120 “cold-stunned” sea turtles during the weekend after strong winds caused them to wash up on the shores of Cape Cod Bay.

The majority of the reptiles found on the beaches of Wellfleet, Truro, Eastham, and Brewster were Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, a critically endangered species and the rarest type of sea turtle.

It was an unusually large late-season stranding for the turtles, who most often get stuck on Cape Cod shores around Thanksgiving as they try to make their way south to warmer waters for the winter.

Young sea turtles often feed in Cape Cod Bay during the summer but can get trapped in the “hook” of the Cape and become hypothermic as temperatures drop, according to Mass Audubon.

Despite their rarity, Kemp’s ridleys are the type of turtle most often found stranded on Massachusetts beaches.

 

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New bird flu outbreak: More than 60 farms in France infected

© Luc Gnago
New cases of highly pathogenic avian flu in poultry have recently been detected in south-western regions of France, forcing authorities to step up sanitary measures.

The total number of confirmed cases of contamination with the virus in France has risen to 61, according to a statement from the French Ministry of Agriculture. The statement was published on Tuesday.

 

 

🔴GRIPPE AVIAIRE 8 nouveaux foyers identifiés dans les Landes. 61 foyers désormais touchés dans le sud-ouest

 

Special protection zones stretching for between 3 to 10 kilometers around the farms have been set up until the epidemic ceases, a decree published in the Official Journal said.

There is currently no evidence that the virus is transmitted to humans through birds’ eggs, meat or foie gras, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease and Control (ECDC) stated.

 

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Dead birds wash up on MS beaches

Posted: Dec 13, 2015 4:29 PM CST Updated: Dec 14, 2015 7:16 AM CST

Fish were the first organisms to wash ashore dead after the algal bloom was announced. (Image Source: Missy Dubuisson) Fish were the first organisms to wash ashore dead after the algal bloom was announced. (Image Source: Missy Dubuisson)

 

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) –

It’s a frightening sight along the coastline. First fish, now dozens of birds found dead on beaches in several coast cities.

“We got reports of several birds in the Gulfport area and after speaking with DEQ they got several more birds in the Biloxi area,” said Missy Dubuisson with Wild at Heart Rescue.

Even in Long Beach, many species of birds have been found lifeless or clinging to life. Experts saying it all goes back to the unprecedented December red tide.

Dead seagull found lying on beach in Pass Christian. (Image Source: Missy Dubuisson) Dead seagull found lying on beach in Pass Christian. (Image Source: Missy Dubuisson)

 

“Of course there probably has been this issue before on a smaller scale and we might have just had a bird or two that maybe came in and didn’t make it, but we weren’t seeing what we’re seeing now,” said Dubuisson.

Caretakers at Wild at Heart Rescue are currently rehabilitating a pelican who started with a hook injury, but is now battling respiratory distress due to the algal bloom.

 

 

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al.com

A widespread fish kill is underway on Mobile Bay. Dead fish litter the bottom in the shallows surrounding a Fairhope boat ramp.

 

The fish kill on Mobile Bay appears to be affecting primarily filter-feeding fish such as menhaden, sardines, alewives and shad.

 

Widespread fish kill underway in Mobile Bay

 

A widespread fish kill is underway across Mobile Bay. It appears to be affecting primarily filter-feeding fish such as menhaden, sardines, alewives and shad.

Dead fish are present in the shallows and on beaches on both sides of the bay, from Point Clear to Daphne on the eastern shore and from Arlington Point south to Fowl River on the western shore. Dead and dying fish also dot the surface of the bay, from one side to the other.

The kill does not appear to be related to a red tide bloom occurring in the Gulf of Mexico and around Dauphin Island. Instead, the bloom in the upper bay appears to be another species of algae with a similar neurotoxic effect on fish.

Fish affected by the algae swim in a markedly erratic fashion, zipping straight ahead for a time, then falling into lazy circles, often swimming on their side or even upside down.

 

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NBC NEWS
News
Dec 14 2015, 4:51 pm ET

Algae Causing Sea Lion Brain Damage in California, Study Shows

Image: ENVIRONMENT-US-RESEARCH-BIOLOGY-NATURE-ANIMAL-FILES

In this September 11, 2013 file photo, a sea lion scratches himself on Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California. DON EMMERT / AFP – Getty Images

WASHINGTON — A toxin produced by marine algae is inflicting brain damage on sea lions along California’s coast, causing neurological and behavioral changes that can impair their ability to navigate in the sea and survive in the wild, scientists said on Monday.

Brain scans on 30 California sea lions detected damage in the hippocampus, a brain structure associated with memory and spatial navigation, in animals naturally exposed to the toxin known as domoic acid, the researchers said.

Domoic acid mimics glutamate, a chemical that transmits nerve impulses in the brain, and leads to over-activation of hippocampus nerve cells and chronic epilepsy, according to Emory University cognitive psychologist Peter Cook, who worked on the study while at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

“The behavioral deficits accompanying brain damage with domoic acid are severe, and may negatively impact foraging and navigation in sea lions, driving strandings and mortality,” Cook said.

Hundreds of sea lions annually are found stranded on California beaches with signs of domoic acid poisoning such as disorientation and seizures. Thousands are thought to be exposed to the toxin.

 

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Biological Hazard in New Zealand on December 11 2015 01:43 PM (UTC).

Base data

EDIS Number BH-20151211-51213-NZL
Event type Biological Hazard
Date/Time December 11 2015 01:43 PM (UTC)
Last update December 11 2015 01:46 PM (UTC)
Cause of event
Damage level Is not or not known Damage level

Geographic information

Continent Australia – New-Zealand
Country New Zealand
County / State South Island
Area Wellington, Motueka, Kaikoura and Christchurch
Settlement
Coordinate 41° 7.443,173° 0.059

Number of affected people / Humanities loss

Dead person(s) 0
Injured person(s) 0
Missing person(s) 0
Evacuated person(s) 0
Affected person(s) 0
Foreign people 0

Biohazard information

Biohazard level
Disease, agent name Measles
Infected person(s) 0
Species Human
Status suspected

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A measles warning has been issued in several areas after an infected tourist traveled the country. A 28-year-old European man carrying the virus traveled from Wellington, to Motueka, Kaikoura and Christchurch from December 3 to 11. The Canterbury District Health Board now is asking anyone who may have come in contact with him and is now presenting symptoms to call their doctor. He is believed to have contracted the highly-infectious virus while in Australia and is in private accommodation in Christchurch until the end of his infectious period. Canterbury medical officer Alistair Humphrey said it was a particularly risky time for the tourism industry. “Over the next few years there is a heightened risk of measles as a result of the decision by parents in the 1990s not to get their children immunized,” he said. Where He Stayed: December 3-5: Comfort Hotel, Cuba Street, Wellington,5 December 5: BlueBridge Ferry,December 5-7: Motueka Holiday Top 10,December 8-10: Lazy Shag Backpackers, Kaikoura,December 11: Travels to residence outside Christchurch

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news

Sick tourist prompts measles warning

NZ Newswire
Measles is untreatable but easily preventagle through vaccinations© Getty Images Measles is untreatable but easily preventable through vaccinations A measles warning has been issued in several areas after an infected tourist traveled the country.

 

A 28-year-old European man carrying the virus traveled from Wellington, to Motueka, Kaikoura and Christchurch from December 3 to 11.The Canterbury District Health Board now is asking anyone who may have come in contact with him and is now presenting symptoms to call their doctor.

He is believed to have contracted the highly-infectious virus while in Australia and is in private accommodation in Christchurch until the end of his infectious period.

 

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Taiwan Hit by Six More Bird Flu Outbreaks

ThePoultrySite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the poultry industry

 

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Biological Hazard in Taiwan on December 11 2015 04:45 AM (UTC).

Base data

EDIS Number BH-20151211-51211-TWN
Event type Biological Hazard
Date/Time December 11 2015 04:45 AM (UTC)
Last update December 11 2015 04:46 AM (UTC)
Cause of event
Damage level Is not or not known Damage level

Geographic information

Continent Asia
Country Taiwan
County / State Pingtung County
Area
Settlement Changzhi
Coordinate 22° 33.119,120° 32.926

Biohazard information

Biohazard level
Biohazard description
Disease, agent name H5N8 (highly pathogenic avian influenza virus)
Infected person(s) 0
Species Animal (ducks)
Status confirmed
Symptoms

 

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Pingtung County’s animal disease control officials on Thu 10 Dec 2015 culled 8881 ducks after the highly pathogenic bird flu virus H5N8 was found to have infected ducks on a poultry farm in Changzhi Township, officials said. County officials said the farm operator kept the birds in a closed environment in violation of the law and they decided to issue a fine on the owner in accordance with the act governing the prevention of animal infectious diseases. To reduce the risk of spreading virus, local health authorities have worked with the farm owner in disinfecting the area and launched monitoring and sampling of poultry within a 1 km about 0.6 mile radius from the infected farm, said the officials.

 

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ThePoultrySite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the poultry industry

Taiwan Hit by Six More Bird Flu Outbreaks

11 December 2015

TAIWAN – Taiwan has reported six more outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

There were four outbreaks of the H5N2 serotype in Pingtung and Hualien counties (see image above). Just over 14,000 birds were destroyed to try and prevent these outbreaks from spreading.

The premises affected included a duck farm, a chicken farm, and chickens in two abattoirs. The cases were discovered after abnormal mortality levels.

 

 

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PressTV News Videos PRESS TV

Mon Dec 7, 2015 7:18PM
A digital rendering of the H1N1 virus
A digital rendering of the H1N1 virus

At least 33 people have lost their lives following an outbreak of swine flu mainly in two southeastern Iranian provinces in the past three weeks, Iran’s deputy health minister says.

Ali Akbar Sayyari said on Monday that the flu left 28 people dead in Kerman Province and five, including four pregnant women, in Sistan and Baluchestan.

He added that there are more cases of infection across the country.

 

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Swine flu outbreak nears Tehran as Iran death toll tops 40

AFP
The World Health Organisation declared the swine flu pandemic over in August 2010

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View photo

The World Health Organisation declared the swine flu pandemic over in August 2010 (AFP Photo/Sam Panthaky)

Tehran (AFP) – An outbreak of swine flu in Iran has claimed 42 lives since mid-November, including in a province neighbouring Tehran, Health Minister Hassan Hashemi said Thursday.

Hashemi, quoted by ISNA news agency, said 33 deaths from the H1N1 virus were recorded in Kerman and five in Sistan-Baluchistan, both provinces in southeastern Iran.

The other four deaths were in three northern provinces, including one in Karaj, near the capital, he said in an update recording nine new fatalities since Monday.

Hashemi has said the number of deaths from flu was similar to previous years, but that it was becoming harder to treat.

“This flu comes from beyond our borders, especially from Sistan-Baluchistan” near Pakistan, the minister said Monday. “But every year it becomes wilder and more resistant” to treatment.

 

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As Many As 200 Sickened In Seattle Tower Norovirus Outbreak

Norovirus is highly contagious and causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

12/08/2015 05:18 pm ET

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE (AP) — As many as 200 people have gotten sick in a norovirus outbreak at a downtown Seattle office building, health officials reported Monday.

Illness at the Russell Investments Center grew exponentially after a catered event in the building, but several cases were reported before the event last Tuesday, according to Public Health-Seattle & King County, which is still investigating the outbreak that began last week.

Between 175 and 200 cases have been reported to the health department either independently or through a survey of people who went to the catered event in the building.

“We anticipate that number is probably low,” said Dr. Meagan Kay, medical epidemiologist for communicable diseases with the Seattle and King County Public Health Department.

Two people spent one night in a hospital because of norovirus, and another eight people were treated in emergency rooms during the past week.

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The collapse of medical services in terrorist-controlled parts of Syria has caused the spread of a flesh-eating virus transmitted by parasites munching on corpses dumped in the streets.

“As a result of abominable acts by ISIS that included the killing of innocent people and dumping their corpses in streets, this is the leading factor behind the rapid spread of Leishmanisis disease,” Dilqash Isa, the head of the Kurdish Red Crescent told the Kurdish Rudaw news.

Kurdish fighters in Syria claimed the disease, spread by sand flies, was not noticed until Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) influence and atrocities spread across Syria. Leishmaniasis, which is rarely deadly but leads to disfiguring lesions on the skin, was particularly bad in war-torn parts of Syria, one unnamed militant told the publication.

“We have been fighting on the battlefield for almost four years and this disease basically generated from embattled areas of Tal Hamis, Hon and Qosa,” he claimed.

“It is very possible in the area where there is a lot of military activity and population movement, those are circumstances in which an outbreak of the leishmaniasis can occur,” Dr. William Schaffner (MD) told RT.

 

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